Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Overcoming Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Depression

Anxiety, panic attacks and depression are horrible debilitating things. You suffer a loss in motivation, disinterest in the things you once loved, are afraid of living, afraid of dying, start to fear fear itself and are unable to get back on your feet. You feel like the world will never be the same again. I've been there, and whilst I didn't think it possible when I was in the middle of it all, overcoming anxiety, panic attacks and depression is possible.

When I was 19 I moved from Australia to England. Months later, when anxiety and depression reared their ugly heads, my web design career suffered and I withdrew from the world - electronically, socially and emotionally. With anxiety and panic attacks disrupting my sleeping pattern and turning my world upside down all I could think of was growing old and dying and losing the people I had come to rely on. I was terrified of nothing and of everything and experienced physical symptoms such as chest pain and a fuzzy feeling like I wasn't real.

This was a number of years ago. I have since moved back to Melbourne, Australia - sought professional assistance and guidance in overcoming both anxiety and depression and am once again full of passion, ideas and life and I love what I do.

As every person and their situation varies, you should consult your doctor and have them assist you in overcoming anxiety. They can discuss with you the various treatment options available, including talk therapy and/or medication.
In moments of extreme anxiety or if you feel you are having a panic attack, take a deep breath through your nose, hold it for 3 seconds then exhale through your mouth. Repeat until the anxiety passes.
If you are able to, go for a walk and concentrate on your surroundings as you go. Let your eyes wander and make a mental note of what you see. Being present in the moment can distract you from any thoughts that you may have that cause anxiety.
Call a friend who knows about your anxiety and would be willing to help. Ask them to talk to you about something lighthearted, like what they did that day. This will help take your mind off of any physical symptoms you might be experiencing as you will be focusing on your friend.

Think about something you find funny. For instance, during my own moments of anxiety or when I was having a panic attack, I would imagine myself in the exact same situation, except.. I was a banana. Of course I would then start laughing and the feeling of 'impending doom' would slip away.

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