I’ve suffered with anxiety since I was a teenager, it seems to come in waves, it’ll pretty much disappear for months, even years and then BAM! it’s back with a vengeance. It’s something that I’d like to talk about in more detail at some point but I find it very hard to talk about. I thought I’d start by debunking a few myths first, as a way of easing myself into talking about the subject of anxiety.
1. Once you have it, you’ll always have it.
Anxiety is different for everyone, you might experience anxiety for just a short time in your life and never again, or you might struggle with it for many years. It isn’t one size fits all. For me, it comes and goes.
2. You need medication to overcome it.
Again, everyone is different. Medication might work well for some, and not for others. I was given medication for anxiety years ago but I didn’t like how it made me feel so I came straight off it, I’ve been trying to manage my anxiety without medication ever since. There is also cognitive-behavioral therapy which can be very helpful and something which I plan to look into.
3. I’ve never seen you have a panic attack, you can’t have anxiety.
Firstly, panic attacks don’t necessarily happen how they do on TV, chest pain, hyperventilating etc. The panic attacks I’ve had have never been like that. Admittedly, I’ve only had a few panic attacks but I’ve always tried to get myself away from people so that nobody would see me. Secondly, even if you’ve never had a panic attack that doesn’t mean that you can’t be suffering with anxiety, there are no rules!
4. A panic attack might lead to a heart attack.
Although it’s very common for people to feel like they are having a heart attack during a panic attack it is highly unlikely that you will actually have one.
5. It is triggered by an event.
There is some truth to this, anxiety can be triggered by a stressful event and in my case it sometimes has been. However, this is not the case for everyone, it can effect anyone, at any time, and sometimes for no reason at all.
Thanks for reading.