Emily and I have spoke about her experiences with anxiety and panic attacks and I feel that Emily's story will be a great read to anyone who is going through anxiety and suffering from panic attacks, therefore we've decided the best way to explain is by conducting an interview!
So Emily, could you tell me when you realised you suffered from anxiety and if there was a specific trigger that set it all off?
Thanks Chloe! I really hope that my interview will help others to realise that they are not alone!
It actually took me quite a long time to realise that I was suffering from anxiety, I'd had a few panic attacks without really knowing what was happening to me- I thought I had heart problems! I didn’t realise until it had become so bad that I could barely leave the house- I was just terrified of everything, from getting on the bus to walking near roads. My first two panic attacks were on the train, and it was knowing that I couldn’t get off the train that triggered the attack- since then I have struggled with public transport especially the Tube!
You've told me that you left school at the age of 17 due to the impact anxiety and depression was having on your life. Could you run me through this and what were your thoughts and feelings about having to put your anxiety before your education and future career dreams?
My school was quite far away from where I lived, around 45 minutes, and getting on a packed train at rush hour was horrible for me. Apart from that, I felt anxious speaking in front of other people, which was not helped by my awful English teacher, who forced me to speak in front of the class even though I was so nervous I was crying. It was one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to me! At the time it felt horrible to leave school, all my friends were applying to University and I was getting left behind.
How did it affect your daily life?
It was really embarrassing being a ‘dropout’ when all my friends were getting good jobs or going to Uni, but it turned out that leaving school was a big help for me, I got a job in a bar, which I loved, as I felt really safe and comfortable there as well having some money. This really helped me to gain some independence, make new friends, and take control of my life.
Did you seek any help?
I went to the doctor who recommended counselling, which I tried and hated. I couldn’t talk to the counsellor as I felt that she didn’t really understand me, so I never went back to that… I went back to the doctor who prescribed me some medicine for the anxiety, which has helped me so much. I would definately recommend asking for help, my doctor was so kind and understanding.
When did you see the light at the end of the tunnel and was there anything that made you feel like there was hope for you to lead a more “normal” life in the future?
I had saved up some money, and decided to go travelling, alone!! It was one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life, but also the best! I pushed myself to my limits, and it felt so good. I never had to worry about being embarrassed or anxious, as I didn’t know anyone, and I knew that if I panicked or felt uncomfortable I could just leave the situation at any time. It was complete freedom!
How are you coping with your anxiety at present?
When I first moved back to London I struggled a bit and had a few panic attacks, I think it’s the fact that it’s so busy that gets to me, but I seem to be coping quite well at the moment. This is mainly because I have told everyone at my new job about my anxiety and they have been so sweet and understanding about it. They know that certain things make me nervous, so I don’t have to do anything I don’t feel comfortable with. I have also finally enrolled in University to study Interior Design, which has given me a massive confidence boost, I feel as though I’m back in control of my life, and finally doing what I actually want to do! I still take medication for the panic attacks, but I haven’t had one for a while, so hopefully I’m on the right track now.
Do you think the media do enough to provide support for people who are going through these issues or do you think more could be done?
So much more needs to be done! I think it’s terrible that Anxiety and depression is still such a taboo- no one want’s to talk about it as it makes people uncomfortable. I think your campaign is so important Chloe, it let’s people know they’re not alone, and that anxiety and depression are actually quite common.
Thank you, Emily! I hope it helps whoever needs help! Do you have any advice or tips for anyone who is going through now what you have been through?
Yes I do. First of all, speak to your doctor- that is what they are there for, to help you! Talk about it openly with your friends and family, if they are good friends they will support you and try to help- It’s much harder trying to hide it from everyone. Change your lifestyle- I eat much healthier now, as well as taking vitamins, and I try to exercise when I can. This was advice from my doctor and I didn’t think it would help, but it really has!
Please let me know if you have any questions or advice, I’m always happy to talk!
My blog: emilymaydesigns.com
Thank you, Emily for taking part in this interview! Your answers were very inspirational and honest and is something I know my readers will appreciate and relate to!
Remember, one of the main reasons I started this blog was to provide a platform for people to come and feel safe knowing they have someone to talk to, so why not get in touch with me and we can discuss any problem you have or even if you just want to talk - that's fine too! Here's how you can contact me:
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