Three months ago my beloved grandmother died. She was in and out of the hospital for weeks before it happened. She got thinner and thinner, couldn’t eat, wasn’t able to speak. Started saying things that didn’t make sense. One night she thought she was dying and we all went to the hospital to say goodbye – but it didn’t happen that night. My brother and I stayed until 4 o’clock in the morning, constantly checking her breathing. She ended up getting a bed at home in her house. She wasn’t able to leave the bed. And she died a few weeks later.
All of this simply TERRIFIED me. When she was ill, I had my first panic attack causing me to faint on the floor Christmas eve. After her death I had an oral exam. And then the funeral. And then back to university. Leaving me no time to process what had happened. However, I was soon forced to, as I started to have daily panic attacks about two weeks later. This was accompanied by extremely anxious thoughts and a intense, irrational fear of losing my mind – and losing everyone I love as a result of that.
I am still suffering from this and it has been going on for about 2 months now. I have a had some better days where I haven’t felt that hideous anxious feeling as much, but I still have to deal with the anxiety everyday. It seems like a lot of other people are going through this horrible, crippling anxiety as well. Here is what I’ve learned so far:
1) NEVER EVER Google anything related to mental/physical health. When you are anxious, everything will stick like glue and you will think you are dying/going completely insane. (I wish I would stop googling).
2) Do excercise. Running provides a sense of control over your body, that you lose when suffering from an anxiety/panic disorder.
3) Thought are just thoughts and rarely very true – especially the “what if” thoughts. They should just shut up. Weird intrusive thoughts are just a result of a stressed and anxious mind and nothing to worry about.
4) Try to stay positive… It feels like hell, but it is going to pass. Anxiety is a very treatable condition.
This is just what I’ve learned so far – and I try hard to actually follow my own advice (but it is incredibly difficult when you are in a state of panic half of the time). Does anyone else have any tips?