Don’t stress. Just breathe.

Anxiety. Something I’ve been dealing with for the last three or four years diagnosed but for at least the last 10 years undiagnosed. I started having panic attacks about 4 years ago around the time that I quit smoking weed. I lived in Northern California at the time, so that was pretty much the norm back then. At first I had no idea what was happening to me, I just thought I was dying or something until my mom told me that the same thing happened to her when she was my age. So I went to the doctor and was told I had generalized anxiety disorder with mild depression. The depression, I later found out, was from an auto-immune disease and had nothing to do with the anxiety. Or maybe it does, who knows.

Anyways, I’ve been dealing pretty good with the help of medication and talking myself out of panic attacks and ,save for a few situations, I’ve done well. But in the last few months, maybe more like 6-8 months, I’ve been having severe mood swings and getting really worked up over the smallest stuff. I know why right now I’m having such a tough time, because I can’t do ANYTHING, but before this I have no idea what is bringing this on. I’ve been too afraid to talk to anyone about it for some reason too. Which is so weird to me because I have such an amazing support system out here that I can count on. I think now that I’ll be off work for the next months, I’m going to make an appointment with my psychiatrist that I used to see out here about the possiblity of changing my medication. With my surgery, I have some pretty strong narcotics, but one of them is for anxiety and works by calming the brain and nerves. My god, this stuff actually makes me feel like my true self again. The fun happy-go-lucky person that I was before all this medical shit too kover my life. I’m talking my teenage self. I don’t want to have to be on medication my whole life, but if this is the only way that I can feel normal then I guess I have to.

I want to talk to my subscribers about my mental issues because I know I am not alone in this. A lot of people deal with mental disorders and a lot have it worse off than me. But we all have a voice and those who can’t speak need everyone else to speak for them. I want to bring awareness to generalized anxiety and other mental disorders, and much like others before me, I want to help those who need it. I have some tips that help me when I’m feeling an attack coming on or when I’m starting to feel out of control (I’m a control freak and thats where a lot of my anxiety comes from).

1. Take a walk outside

Whether you call up a friend to join you or just pop in your headphones and go, it doesn’t matter. Just getting outside helps a great deal. Fresh air, sunshine, nature are all huge helps for me personally.

2. Watch your favorite movie/TV show

A few years ago, every time I felt an attack coming on I would start playing Forgetting Sarah Marshall in my head (its my favorite movie and I have it memorized- its totally normal). But as the years went on and attacks got worse, I needed something better. It was almost like a drug addict looking for a stronger hit. So I started watching 30 Rock whenever I was starting to feel anxious. In desperate times though, I would skip TV and movies all together and just get straight on Imgur and browse the front page.

3. Write!

Even if I didn’t have internet access, I would open up the notes on my iPhone and start typing my feelings. Just getting everything out really helped me. Something that helps for some people is talking about it. I am the exact opposite of that . If I’m having a panic attack or starting to feel one coming on, I cannot talk about it otherwise it will make it way worse.

4. Talking about it (not for me)

Like I mentioned before, talking about the panicky feeling makes it way worse for me but for some people it actually really helps them get through it. So phone a friend, talk to your parents, hell talk to a pet if you have one. Sometimes I do find myself talking to the stuffed monkey M and I have (we can’t have pets in our house- sore subject and soon to change) and that helps me. I guess maybe what helps me is talking to something that can’t talk back and that won’t judge me and I would assume that is why I don’t talk to humans about my problems.

I hope these tips maybe help someone who deals with the same issues that I do and if you have any tips please feel free to let me know. I’m not a professional by any means and my advice won’t work for everyone. Please remember that if you don’t like what you read here, please don’t read. I know my writing isn’t for everyone, just please be respectful

-DF

 

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