Hello fellow bloggers!
It has been a long year since my last post and with very good reason. I began to study Psychology at Bangor University and also have become the new co-ordinator for RAG which is a student fundraising team. Such a busy and fantastic year which I will post about very soon.
This post is here to discuss Mind’s #TimeToTalk campaign. This is an amazing opportunity for everyone to share their story and experience to both help themselves and help other people. My story may not be the best written but without writing about details it is difficult for me to express it and I could literally type for hours about this…
So here is my (slightly ranty and un-organised) story…
I have never been massively outgoing. As a teenager I was a complete introvert and still was a bit nervous due to experiences when I was young yet I still had confidence and even ended up in Japan living with a family who I didn’t know and didn’t speak the same language. That took a lot of confidence to deal with and was a huge deal for me. Amazing time.
However, when I was sixteen I experienced some serious hardships. I was forced into working and paying bills and debts and looking after family members. As a sixteen year old, fresh out of school, this was a huge shock to the system. I don’t want to go into a huge amount of detail but times were hard. They got worse. When I was 21, however, times became less stressful and slowly started to get better.
That is the basics of my story. Now is the main issue…. Anxiety (and depression) which ruined my life.
The first time I spoke up about it was when I was 17. I was sat in bed one night, unable to sleep again, when I started to shake and the room was spinning. Breathing became difficult and for what seemed like forever I was curled up in bed thinking I was going to die. As I felt better I went to talk to the mother who was very supportive. We discussed how I was feeling depressed and how things were too much for me so I contacted the doctor. They prescribed me Citalopram and counselling. The counselling lasted one session because I didn’t feel comfortable talking to the man. The Citalopram lasted for 2 years. They did not help at all. If anything for a while I felt worse and even though I had good support it just wasn’t enough. Eventually I weaned myself off them with the advice of the doctor (against their suggestions) and entered autopilot. I have very little memory of the years following…
suicide, self-loathing and binging
However, recently I made the decision to go back to education. It has been 10 years since I left school and I was finally in a place I could manage to work towards what I want. This forced me to focus more on how I felt though. Through presentations and being surrounded by younger students it quickly became very tough and my anxiety reared its ugly head through the form of panic attacks and some severe physical issues such as shaking and not being able to breathe properly.
I returned to the doctors because these issues were stopping me from attending college and things were beginning to spiral. They prescribed me Sertraline and Propranolol this time and I am still currently taking them over a year later. Throughout university this year I have gradually seen a massive change in both my confidence and mental health. I am not depressed now, at least not so much. The anxiety is still there which is very difficult at times but the panic attacks have stopped. My confidence has grown in leaps; I have never been happier and can see things getting so much better!
My advice to anybody who suffers with anxiety and any other form of mental health issue is to seek advice even though it may seem like nothing in the world can help or that things will never get better.
It gets better.