I think this is my most vulnerable piece of writing to date. Before I go on I want to say that this blog isn’t so you can pity me or anyone else with a anxiety disorder. I remember the first time I heard someone speak on this topic and I felt for the first time ‘normal’, that my life CAN and WILL go on! So for over 15 years I’ve lived with something the doctors have named Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression. It’s a anxiety disorder which develops after experiencing a severely traumatic or distressful life event. I’m not able to talk about my life event which led to my PTSD at the moment for reasons outside of my control. But next year once everything’s cleared I’m going to speak on the topic as it’s something that affects so many people and not enough are talking about it in the community.
When traumatic events happens to you at an age where you’re still learning the world and mind is developing, it can rock your life and effect the chemical make-up of your brain forever. The world becomes less of a safe place.
I want to encourage you to do research on anxiety disorders to better understand it. Especially if you know someone or you yourself have been diagnosed with one. We have the knowledge of the world literally at our fingertips, don’t neglect the information we have at our hand! Right now, there’s nothing you can’t find the answer to, well other than the questions posed on the blog post #6. ‘12 Unanswerable Questions’ hehe. It’s important to know that you are NOT weird, abnormal or alone. In facts, statistics captured by the NHS show that ‘at any one time, a sixth of the population in England aged 16 to 64 have a mental health problem’. Yes, the degree of its impact varies vastly, but you are not in this by yourself!
There was a time where I was on the highest dose of antidepressants the doctors could prescribe, I wouldn’t leave my house for weeks at a time, pulling my hair in my sleep, constantly breaking down, feeling disconnected from everything and everyone, ‘random’ panic attacks and the list continues. At that point I thought that was it for me, that this was my life. Especially since the doctors said it’s incurable. It amazes me to think how far I’ve come *inserts cheesy GIF*. I still have bad patches but there nowhere near to what they used to be as I’ve found ways to better manager it. Here are just 3 things I do to help manage it before it gets out of hand:
- Speaking to someone. Try and find someone who understands what you’re dealing with when you feel anxiety or depression coming on. This should firstly be a professional i.e., support worker, counsellor or doctor. Family and friends are always good, but from my experience they may not always understand and that’s OK. You just need to be able to find someone you can confined who can maybe give you advice and lead you to solutions.
- Going for walks and exercising. A change of scenery is always good for the soul. The release of endorphins which happens when engaging in physical exercise helps combats symptoms of anxiety. It improves sleep quality and relieves stress from the body.
- Changing your diet. Vitamin B6 and Iron play a crucial role in regulating the production of serotonin in the body. Healthy levels of serotonin, which is also known as “the hormone of happiness,” can help you let go of negative thoughts and allow you to better cope with difficulties when they arise. Look a food you can add to your diet.
Remember, everyone has their own unique response to trauma and it’s important to take things at your own pace. Be patient with yourself and don’t judge yourself harshly for needing time and support. I’m no longer at the mercy of my disorder and I don’t think I would be here today had I not sought help in the form of counselling and looked more into what I can do.
From One Discovering Soul To Another – It’s never too late to start, but always too early to give up!