Welcome back, personal post alert! This post has been looming over for me so long, I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to put out there as it’s quite personal. However if it helps and informs people, I’m happy to write it. I’ve had symptoms of Anxiety recently that I haven’t really spoken about. I’ve told some close friends and a few members of my family but that’s about it. I’ve never had Anxiety before but I think it started after my Granddad passed away, earlier this year. I was so close with him and his death was absolutely devastating for me. I had to leave the country, for a short period of time and when I returned, I felt like my head was all over the place.
I’ve always been a bit of a drama queen but this was different. At first I thought I was just stressed. But it was so consistent and I just felt panicked all the time. I had so much going on, all at once. I always joke around with my friends and say my life is like a movie because things happen so quickly and out of the blue. I didn’t feel like doing anything I normally did. I felt a bit like this Bridget Jones meme.
My symptoms included having trouble breathing, feeling upset and worried. I’d have tiny panic attacks and even the smallest things would really get to me. I found it really hard to make decisions and even think straight, amongst other symptoms. I went to my GP and he said that I had symptoms of Anxiety. I wasn’t shocked because I knew what I was feeling, was more than stress.
He prescribed me some meds and gave me some advice and I’ve been feeling a lot better since. I’m in a much better place, being positive is the key. I’ve always been quite a strong character and I feel like we all forget that we are “Bomb AF” at times.. which is okay as long as we get back up again, even if it takes a long period of time!
Sometimes you know you have friends you can speak too but you don’t wanna be a huge dark burden so you keep it to yourself, however you should always try to speak to anyone that you feel can help you even if you just want to have a vent!
I have teamed up with Spink Health to raise awareness as sometimes people get Anxiety and stress mixed up or confused. Anxiety symptoms can occur when nerve cells in the brain become over stimulated. We can all raise awareness! Watch the video below for more info :
I interviewed my “Bomb AF” and great friend Naomi Williams, (yes, Naomi is the best name ever) to talk about her personal journey and Anxiety. Read below :
1) When and how did you know you had Anxiety?
Well at the age of about 10/11 I started to have serious panic attacks, out of nowhere. Then when I was about 12, I started to have symptoms or nervousness all the time, which then developed into small tics, which came along being fidgety and then vocalisations and so forth. Since then my symptoms have increased and become worse and more frequent to the point I’m at now. At first I was told I had an anxiety disorder up to about three years ago when I was diagnosed as having Tourette’s syndrome
2) Do you know the difference between stress and Anxiety?
Yes. Firstly stress is a symptom of anxiety. So stress is more of a mental thing. When someone is stressed they tend to be flustered, heated and very unsettled which is quite similar to symptoms of anxiety. However, Anxiety is more to do with how your body reacts to that stress. So one will become nervous and maybe have a panic/anxiety attack, feel claustrophobic like they can’t breathe so the two go hand in hand in their own respective ways
3) What are your symptoms?
So my symptoms are: involuntary movements, vocalisations (constantly coughing and grunting), being fidgety, mental confusion and stress, bad breakouts of my eczema, stammering, always unsettled and depression sometimes
4) How do you keep your Anxiety under control?
That’s a hard question. It’s something I am still trying to figure out. I’ve tried various mechanisms but they have failed. What I’ve started doing which I find is kind of helping is going to the gym. When I work out and I have my headphones in, my mind is completely blocked from the outside world for a couple of hours and I just work out my stress and my Anxiety
It’s a way for me to stay healthy and fit as well as be at peace of mind for a couple of hours of the day. When I’m not at the gym, even though I thought they were ridiculous, I play with a fidget spinner on my commute and when I’m at home because surprisingly they actually help you to distress!
5) What can people who suffer from Anxiety do to raise awareness for it?
People with anxiety or what I have Tourette’s syndrome, can do talks whether it be in their schools, uni’s or clubs, so that more people can understand what Anxiety truly is and in particular, as it’s pertinent to me, what Tourette’s truly is. People have a misconception of what these disorders are and I think it is important that as many people as possible get an understanding of what these disorders entail. As well as doing talks, perhaps starting your own little awareness group where you can meet other people who suffer from Anxiety/Tourette’s and see how it affects various people in different ways and then as a collective make others aware; workshops, pop up shops, etc
6) Does your Anxiety hold you back or stop you from doing anything?
I wouldn’t say it holds me back, but it makes daily tasks difficult. For example, when I’m on my daily commute to work I always get nervous because I am always fidgety and of course I have my tics so I know what is going to happen. I know people are going to stare at me like some kind of alien, people are going to look at me weirdly, or say something nasty, or move away from me because of something I can’t control. When I’m at work because of my vocalisations (coughs and grunts) customers sometimes move away from me whilst I’m helping them, or I can’t go on the till because people will think that I’m coughing on them when I’m not. It’s stuff like that
7) How does your Anxiety make you feel?
If I’m brutally honest, it makes me fee like ‘shit’. Umm, when it started it wasn’t chronic so it didn’t really bother me that much but now that it is at a chronic stage it makes me feel so down. It makes me feel depressed, unhappy and gives me low self esteem. It also makes me feel disabled, makes me feel like I’m abnormal, like I’m a freak for having something I didn’t ask for and which I can’t control. Right now there is no cure for Tourette’s syndrome which means myself and other people who have it, will have to suffer and probably have it for the rest of our lives. That scares me because I don’t want to have this and I don’t want it to continue to get worse. I didn’t ask for this. But I take everyday as it comes. Sometimes I’m high and sometimes I’m low, that’s just how it is
8) Do you know anyone else with Anxiety?
I knew Naomi had symptoms of Anxiety recently, but I don’t know anyone else with anxiety, I do know people with stress, I mean we all have stress but with Anxiety or Tourette’s. No I don’t
9) Give any tips for people with Anxiety out there?
My tips for people with Anxiety : always try to find something that you enjoy to help distress. Whether you like writing, singing, dancing, or taking walks, staying fit, cooking or drawing. Whatever the thing that makes you happy is, do it for a couple of hours of the day and turn that into a distress mechanism
10) What are your long term goals, tell us a few?
That’s another thing I’m still trying to figure out, but ultimately I just want to be happy, settled in my own house , with my own little family, good job and hopefully find cures for my Tourette’s syndrome. It’s cliché but what can I say lol
11) Have you ever been on medication for your Anxiety?
I was on some medication to see if it would help my tics but they didn’t help. I used to be on inhalers as well because at one point they thought I had asthma but then later, they realised it was anxiety and so forth
Thanks so much Naomi! Your answers are fantastic, fidget spinners and working out often are two things I will definitely be trying!
For the first time in the UK, there is now a new option to relieve the symptoms of mild anxiety with uniquely prepared, pharmaceutical quality lavender oil in a one-a-day capsule. Kalms Lavender is a new one a day lavender oil capsule that helps relieve symptoms of anxiety– it’s a traditional herbal remedy so doesn’t leave you feeling crappy.
The Lavender oil is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of the symptoms of mild anxiety such as stress and nervousness, exclusively based on long standing use as a traditional herbal remedy. (Always read the label) I am looking forward too trying this product. Find out more info here : How to Spot Anxiety Infographic FINAL
Kalms Lavender One-A-Day capsules (RRP £6.49) and is available in Boots, Asda and online at www.kalmsrange.com
I hope you found this post helpful, big thanks to Spink Health for the collab and raising awareness!
Keep your head up & Stay Golden. Feel free to Comment below!