Sunday, February 1, 2015

Mental Illness

If you mention these next two words to someone chances are they will quickly run away and keep their distance. 

Mental Illness

Even reading these words together seems like a scene from American Horror Story's Asylum season. I know I have posted twice addressing panic attacks and anxiety. But as I was re-reading those two posts a few minutes ago I realized that I never focused on the main points or even told you what it means to suffer from it. 

I remember getting my first panic attack at the age of around 13-14 when I was beginning middle school. If you are wondering what it feels to have a panic attack I will try to do my best to explain it. It feels like every single wall is closing in on you and each wall contains a person screaming at the top of their lungs. Panic attacks involve losing the ability to control your breathing, a loss of appetite, a feeling of nausea, feeling light headed, and having horrible headaches that are almost impossible to get rid of. 

Towards the beginning of this I was unaware of what was going on and why they were occurring so frequently. I used to believe that it was the stress of events that were going on in my life, but later learned that these events only had a certain amount of influence. I was embarrassed to ask my parents questions or to go into my school's councilor because of the what they would think. I remember there being a situation where I was called into the councilor's office in seventh grade when my anxiety was the worst because a teacher had picked up on the change and was worried about me. Sitting in the office and having someone expose you made it even more difficult to admit that something was wrong. I felt like someone was getting inside and crossing a personal level and listing things I wasn't ready to accept or let alone admit to someone other than myself. 

Social anxiety is such a personal issue that affects hundreds if not thousands of people of all ages around the world. Its hard to accept that you are living with something in your mind that has more control over your actions than you yourself do. Living with this mental illness has affected how I communicate and act around other people regardless if they are strangers or not. 

Dealing with social anxiety is unpredictable every day of your life. You are living with fear about everything. There have been several situations where I decide to stay home instead of going to Starbucks with friends. There has been times where I stay home from work and school. There have been times where I have to leave certain situations because I feel uncomfortable. Nothing about this is normal. The worst part about it is that people are unaware of how common this illness really is. I have been living with this for more than 5 years, and thats not only when I began to notice the patterns. 

I want people to know that although I might not be asking for help, I want to know that there is always going to be someone there for me. There are times where I find myself leaving a friend's house or locking myself in my room and crying over nothing. I begin feeling alone and overwhelmed with every little detail. There have been so many times where I wish I was normal and could go out and do things without fearing the chance of having a panic attack or the outcome that going out could create. 

Believe me when I say living with a mental illness is exhausting and tough. It's something that I have to deal with for the rest of my life and although some day are easier than others its never going to fully go away. It's time for us to spread the word and bring awareness to the issue because its affecting more people than we are aware of! I hope that you continue to make conversation about it and create discussions revolving the issue. I would love to get involved with some organizations in order to help out others and let people know that they are not alone with this battle. 

If you have any other questions regarding social anxiety or anxiety in general you can email me and I will make sure to reply! 

I'll leave you with this, 
Watch it and share it with friends!



  1. Thank you a lot Diana :)
    I'll definitely check out your blog, see ya there!

  2. Your honesty is inspiring! I love your blog. Though I don't/ have never experienced a panic attack, I do struggle with anxiety and a phobia of vomiting (I know right, weird)! It's always nice to see others approaching the subject and reaching out to others. Thank you for sharing!
    Zoe x


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