“Breathe. Inhale, exhale. Everything is going to be fine.” This is what I have to tell myself on a daily basis. Many people do not understand what anxiety really is. Most people do not have to worry constantly about the smallest little things. Have you ever heard someone go “omg I just had a panic attack,” and then in your head you are thinking did you actually or are you just saying that. Panic attacks are not fun, and I do not see why people just throw this phrase around. Anxiety is definitely not something you want. Now, some of you reading this are probably thinking “Oh, I have anxiety about my school work.” Yeah, no that is not the type of anxiety I am talking about. There is normal anxiety and then there is the not so normal form of anxiety. The not so normal anxiety is the kind I am talking about. The kind where you are constantly worrying. This constant worrying is when you are thinking about one thing and then it spirals off onto another thing, and then this keeps happening and it does not stop until you ground yourself back into reality. Half the time there is really no reason to even be worrying, but the anxiety kicks it up a notch and makes you worry. When I am talking about anxiety, I am talking about when you can no longer ground yourself and you feel so out of control that you panic. Panic attacks are what I am talking about.
What is a panic attack?
Panic attacks are the worst thing in my life. I am not writing this as a pity party for myself, just merely to educate those who are not aware of what panic attacks actually consist of. Hopefully this will inform you and get you to understand (even though I know you can never fully understand unless you’ve experienced this yourself). Panic attacks come on out of the blue or you can feel them coming. For me most of the time I can feel the anxiety building, I try to calm myself down but most of the time this does not work. I cannot just say “Ashley you are safe, you are fine” and be able to relax. That is not how it works. Or they come on in the middle of the night, which is always fun. They keep me up usually for 2 hours, and the lack of sleep the next day does not help my anxiety. Panic attacks take over your life for ten minutes or even an hour. It is like you are a stuck in a glass box and cannot get out. You cannot breathe. Panic attacks are different for everyone, some people throw up, some cry, some shake, some hyperventilate. Panic attacks set a fear in you and you do not even know why you are scared. In that moment, you are scared for your life. Everything you have been stressed or worried about explodes inside of you and you cannot breathe or control it. Most of the time you have to let the panic attack run its course, which is the worst part. Shaking, crying, and hyperventilating is not a very fun time, let me tell you. So, no I do not think that throwing the phrase “omg I just had a panic attack” is a great phrase to throw around. Anxiety disorders are a real mental health issue. Everybody has some degree of anxiety; and sometimes certain people pull the short end of the stick and develop an anxiety disorder.