Living SURROUNDED by Anxiety.

Hey, guys!

This week's post is really difficult to write because it's about something that's been a part of my entire life- whether I knew about it at the time, or not. When I first started this blog, I said I was always going to be completely honest here, even if only a few of you actually followed me on Bloglovin. Although the thought of opening up is terrifying, I think it might make me feel better, so here goes.

A while ago, I found out that my mum had anxiety. Not that I knew what that meant, at the time.

Before I knew about this, I would sometimes see her sit down crying, wiping away her tears whenever I came into the room. I would ask, "Are you okay? Is there anything I can help with?" Hoping my little self could do something to help her and make her feel better. "I'm fine, sweetie," accompanied by a big hug was about as far as she could go, before bursting into tears again. She would tell me that 'Mommy's happy pills' made her feel better (anti-depression supplements), and that I would understand why she visited the doctors when I was older.

It took me about 3 years to figure out what anxiety was. And another year until she told me about depression. I started reading books loosely based on mental health "issues" (Girl Online by Zoe Sugg & All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven), as it intrigued me that these things could happen to people and that they have no control over when it could happen, or how bad it might be.

She started telling me about her depression story, and how it, amoungst many other things, moulded her into the strong woman she is today.

Nobody "gets" what a panic attack is. In fact, I'm pretty sure most people don't even know the difference between a panic attack and an anxiety attack, which is kind of off-putting. Being someone who is very close to my mum, I still struggle to understand exactly how it affects her, her life, and the decisions she's had to make because of it. I'm sure that even after hours of explaining, other people, including myself, will never fully understand... Until they've gone through a panic attack themselves, that is.

And it's different for everybody.

This is how she explains it:

"It depends on the reason... You feel short of breath, your heart is racing, and there are butterflies in your stomach. You feel as if you are trapped, even helpless, with the urge to cry and scream, without really knowing why. You feel hot, like your body temperature is rising, but yet you're shivering and freezing on the outside. I feel like for most people, it's the helplessness that gets them, as they know what's going on, but they are unable to do anything about it. It's like it's controlling you in a way you can't understand."

Panic attacks can last anywhere from 2 to 20 minutes, but this depends on the person (it could be longer). From my point of view, I know people with real anxiety DON'T WANT TO FEEL THIS WAY. I'm sure that they don't want to feel trapped on the subway train, and that they don't want to cancel a plan with someone, just because their mind said, "Nope. Not today."

My mum is very good at hiding her feelings a lot of the time, but there are days where it will completely and utterly destroy her. But what she's going through doesn't only affect her, but affects me as well. Seeing her this way makes me feel sympathy for her, even though I know it's completely normal.

Over the years, I've learned how to handle anxiety in other people.

Not to prevent it, but work with the attack and the person, if that makes any sense.

I remember being in a scenario where a girl from my school was having an anxiety attack for the first time- she didn't know it was happening, but I could see it. She couldn't form words as she was crying so hard, not to mention there were 10 other girls circled around her.

This was the worst. case. scenario.

Since I've lived surrounded by the idea of anxiety, I knew she was under pressure. I got everyone to leave, and told people to stop asking, "what's wrong?" and telling her to relax (never say this, by the way). I gave her water, told her that everything was going to be okay, and just comforted her by being there and not saying too much.

What I did tell her was:

That she was strong, and that no matter how horrible she felt, things would get better. That I was proud of her, and that it's not the actual thing making her feel this way, it's the thought of it. This is painful, but not dangerous, and that it would be over soon.

I really hope I managed to portray things from a different perspective, and that I made the point across that anxiety doesn't JUST affect the person- but the people around them as well.

That's all from me. I'd love to hear your experiences, if you suffer from anxiety, or if you know someone who does. Leave it in the comments below. It won't only help me to hear your side, but others who read this post as well! :)


  1. This was a great read. Thank you for sharing. I'm glad that you're able to help assist those who have anxiety attacks. My sister-in-law recently revealed that she had anxiety attacks while out in public and so it's been an enlightening experience just learning more and how to help her.

    Single Vegas Girl

    1. Thank you for reading! I'm very happy that my post helped you in some way or another, and I'm quite positive you can help your sister-in-law with her anxiety- you just have to put your mind to it :)

  2. I loved what you have written. I myself have suffered with anxiety, but my mum also deals with anxiety and depression. It is wonderful that you can portray another side and help others from your experience.

    When I had my first panic attack in public I felt so helpless until a stranger was happy to help and was very understanding.
    Good to know there are genuine people out there like him and you :)


    1. Thank you so much, Larisa! You have no idea how much your comment means to me, and I am so happy that I could comfort you in a way. x

  3. Thanks for sharing this post - its beautifully written. I think living with anxiety can be difficult not just for the person but for the people around him as well. I do get some serious anxiety attacks time to time but I am very lucky to have a very supportive boyfriend that helps me to calm down xx

    Thanks again for sharing!

    1. The fact that your boyfriend helps you out in anxious situations makes me smile, as not everyone understands what anxiety is. It's my pleasure :)

  4. This is such a well written piece, and must have been difficult to do, so we'll done! I recently wrote about my own mental health and I can empathise with how much courage it takes to write about personal things like this. It's so great that you can help those around you. So well done, and thankyou for sharing lovely :) xx

    1. Thank you so much, Claire. The fact that a couple people commented about how this helped them, makes me happy. If I can help at least one person, it'll be worth it :)

  5. It's true that the best thing you can do for a person with anxiety is support them through it, and love them no matter what. This is really well written and I'm glad that you help your mom through these kinds of things because they're not easy. Keep it up! :)

    Melissa |

    1. Thank you, Melissa, your comment means so much to me :)


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