Friday, 12 April 2013

Talk To Holly: Panic Attacks


So I saw a post by Zoella on Panic attacks and I thought I’d write my take on them. So many people have panic attacks, about 6 million adults in the world suffer from them or panic disorder. And I am one of these. I find it hard to talk to people about them, as do many others, hence why they is not much coverage on them, the same with mental health/depression.
Panic attacks can happen any time during a person’s life; it can start in children or later on in life. Panic attacks are usually brought on with anxiety and stress, or both and can be pretty scary if you don’t know what to do, or if others around you don’t know how to cope.

So here’s my story, I have suffered depression since a young age, and with depression came anxiety. I started having panic attacks on a night, because I started having breathing difficulties, and through stress of not being able to breathe I used to panic more and have panic attacks. Later on in my teenage years my depression became worse, and I became anxious to go outside on my own, even walking down the street to the shops I’d become anxious and get hot flashes, I’d start breathing heavily and my throat would get tight, my body would become frail and I’d feel like I was going to pass out. Panic attacks scare you so the attack gets worse until you have to stop and calm yourself down. The more stressed you are, the worse they will get.  Slowly I’m getting better with them, I had a really bad one at work the other day before it was the anniversary of my best friend’s death, I was so stressed over the date coming up that I broke down. By no means am I cured of them, and I think it will take a while, but I know how to deal with them now, and I try to stop them occurring.

Signs of a panic attack are usually the same, shortness of breath, hot/cold flashes, feeling of choking, feeling sick, feeling dizzy, sweating and palpitations. Depending on how stressed/anxious you are usually depends on how bad a panic attack is, they can last for a few minutes or at worst an hour. 

If you or someone around you is having a panic attack, follow a few steps. Firstly, I know with me I have to calm myself down, no matter what anyone says you don’t usually follow, give them time and space to relax their breathing. Get them a drink of water, it usually relaxes them and helps slow their breathing, but don’t force it upon them. Get them to sit down, usually a person can blackout or feel dizzy so sitting down helps, and if you have a paper bag use it, it isn’t a myth, it helps them to not only concentrate on breathing but regulate it. And finally, if possible get them away from a stressful situation, or calm them about it. 

Hope this helps some people into knowing what to do, or how to help. Remember you are not on your own. Millions of people suffer it, you can help yourself to combat it, doctors help to, either by helping you figure what is causing them or in extreme cases prescribing medication. Stress and anxiety is usually the route cause, and it will get better with time. This is the first time i've ever spoke out about my depression and panic attacks so this takes a lot to write about it, please no hate. 

Remember you’re not alone and you will find a way to trigger it.

holls x

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22 year old textile designer & mum to a little miracle.
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Maira Gall