Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Suffering from anxiety for most of my life, I always feel I must explain it to those who don’t really understand it.
Anxiety is a common mental health disorder. It is usually brought on by a trauma. Characterized by excessive and persistent worry or fear about everyday situations. It is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, and restlessness. Anxiety can significantly impair a person’s ability to function and can interfere with their daily activities, relationships, and overall quality of life. It takes years to learn how to deal with it. I have learnt so many tools to deal with it. So that I can travel, on planes, going into weird and wonderful places. Life goes on and you learn to live with it.
Panic attacks, on the other hand, are intense episodes of fear or terror that come on suddenly and often without any specific trigger. During a panic attack, a person may experience symptoms such as a racing heart, chest pain, sweating, dizziness, shaking, hot or cold flashes, choking sensations, and a feeling of impending doom or loss of control. These episodes can be incredibly distressing and typically reach their peak within 10 minutes before gradually subsiding. Panic attacks can occur in individuals with anxiety disorders, but they can also happen to people without any prior history of anxiety.
Here are things you never say to people that suffer from anxiety.
“Just calm down.”
“It’s all in your head.”
“You’re fine, there’s nothing to worry about.”
“Can you please quiet down?”
“Why are you making such a big deal out of this?”
“You have nothing to be anxious about.”
“Take deep breaths and you’ll be fine.”
“Why are you being so dramatic.”
“You’re just seeking attention.”
“Snap out of it.”
“You’re being irrational.”
“Just think positive thoughts.”
“Stop letting your anxiety control you.”
“You’re letting everyone around you down.”
“You’re always like this, it’s exhausting.”
“I can’t deal with this right now.”
Equally so, never mock or joke about someone who suffers from anxiety, I would never mock someone who has a brain tumor. Nonetheless, you have no right to laugh about anxiety.
Always remember to compassionate, show empathy, and allow the person who is suffering to work through it.
I have always said, until you have had a full-blown panic attack, yourself you will never understand how incredibly difficult it is.