Anxiety ruined my life, stop making it a fashion!

Anxiety ruined my life, stop making it a fashion!

 

I’ve wanted to do this for so long but so many people have a hard time understanding mental illness that I thought it wasn’t a good idea. Then I thought ‘fuck it’.

I want to come clean. I want people to know what it’s really like suffering with anxiety and depression without social media making it glamorous. I also hope that this will in some way let people know the reason I am the way I am.

In the last year my anxiety and depression has taken over my life and ruined it. I couldn’t take control of it at all. Just so you have a mild understanding, here’s briefly what went on:

When I was 15 years old I remember going to a doctor and being told I suffered from General anxiety disorder and clinical depression.. 3 years later at the age of 18 I was told I also had social anxiety disorder. In that same year I became really ill with a lot of physical health issues that I won’t get into. Slowly the stress of being too ill to work and not being able to go out and see my friends got too much. After I turned 19 I had to make the decision to withdraw my application from university, this broke my heart. In a year I’d managed to lose everything that made me happy and gave me something to look forward to. I lost jobs, the opportunity to go and study what I love and most importantly friends.

In the middle of all the drama I was stuck on anti-depressants, in therapy twice a week and had to see a doctor at least once a month. The media seem to have a huge thing about ‘hope’ and ‘seeing the light in the dark’… In my situation there was none of that and I know so many other people are the same. Just after my 20th birthday I had what my doctor called a ‘nervous breakdown’. I’m now 5 months away from turning 21 and still recovering from that.

How it actually felt? Tumblr may have a couple of pretty quotes for you on top of black and white pictures. Facebook may have made you share something you didn’t actually understand? But I can assure you it’s nothing like what you read on there.

To start off with, I felt like I had no support. Which is a load of bull, I have the best support I could wish for. Close friends, family members, therapists, doctors you name it I have it.. That doesn’t stop me from feeling completely alone. ‘But Abbie you smile all the time you’re always happy’.. People with depression are the MASTER of disguises.. When I feel anxious I tend to over compensate in ways like being over friendly and being very smiley. Whenever I leave the house I feel nauseous, I always feel like something bad is going to happen. I shake all the time because I’m always nervous. I always feel like I’m doing something wrong, I never feel like I’m good enough. I can’t tell you the amount of times a day I can burst into tears about nothing. Overthinking, that’s a killer. I’ll be up till about 4am thinking about something stupid I said to someone 8 months ago.. I know it doesn’t matter, but in my mind it does.

I am mentally and physically exhausted, drained, lifeless, sad, down. I have no energy, I never want to go out and do anything. I never go out and do nice things any more or see my friends. I want to sit in bed all day, but when I do that I get depressed because I want to be outside doing something productive. It’s honestly like fighting yourself every damn day. You want one thing but you want the complete opposite at the same time.

I don’t want any attention. I just want people to know what it’s actually like.. why their friend doesn’t want to go out or hasn’t talked to them in a while. I want mental illness to stop being fashionable and start being shown as the disgusting horrible mess it is! I want anyone going through it to know they aren’t alone and people can understand.

I wanted to share my side of the story because I never want anyone to feel like I have. Even if I can only help one person know it’s not just them, I’m happy with that.

Twitter: @abbienicolex

Instagram: @abigailnicolex

XxX

 

 

118 Comments

  1. January 6, 2016 / 12:53 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been suffering with anxiety for about 7 years now, but only been diagnosed for 3 years. Depression quickly follows anxiety, they almost come hand in hand. Not to mention the other disorders you collect along the way. I became attached to my mum and was petrified she was going to die, and OCD kicked in rapidly. I spent ages not telling anyone, going from job to job hoping it would be different, but still the same today. I am getting better, I decided I’d start being open about my anxiety and depression. I write blogposts when I’m feeling down and I’m very open about it. I mention it in my YouTube videos a lot too. It’s a massive part of me and I refuse to be ashamed of it! I hate the way media play on it being glamorised, like you said. It’s a mental illness; its is not cool, it is not fun, and it ruins lives.

    Sending love from one soldier to another <3 x

    • Tracey thain
      January 8, 2016 / 2:48 pm

      Aw that was really nice of u all to spk about such hard times in ur life’s.
      I myself suffer from depression, anxiety & a lot of other stuff, i was 15 also when i discovered id been suffering from these horrible diseases, i am now 39, things get a little easier but then they seem to plummet back the way.was really good as my fiance was able to read & more so understand a little bit of wot of we go through. Love 2 u all xxx

    • January 8, 2016 / 7:53 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing! Do you have Twitter? There’s something I’d like to talk to you about. X

      • January 11, 2016 / 11:15 am

        Sorry, I only just saw this! I do, its @charldeeblogs I also have Facebook 🙂 x

  2. Sammie Wootten
    January 6, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    Abbie, this is amazing. The courage it must take to write this is incredible. The fact that I saw this purely because a friend of mine from London shared it just shows how you have touched other people! You should be very proud of yourself, such a strong girl! 💖

      • teresa
        January 7, 2016 / 3:22 pm

        I know exactly what its like I’ve suffered panic attacks/anxiety for several years still get them from time to time and know how debilitating they are,wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy.I think you are very brave and wish you the best.

      • Gareth Anderson
        January 8, 2016 / 12:06 am

        Abbie how did you cope I’m going through this and I’m struggling and I don’t know where to go or turn I’m so stuck and I feel trapped in my head can’t stop worrying and thinking

        • January 8, 2016 / 12:07 am

          Gareth please go to your doctor they can help you with everything. Make an appointment and talk it over with them. If you’re in the uk talk to healthy minds. You can self refer and they’ll have a therapist call you. X

  3. Barry
    January 6, 2016 / 11:52 pm

    I feel for you Abbie because I know how you feel.. I suppose I may start been open with my anxiety aswel. X

    • January 6, 2016 / 11:56 pm

      Once you accept it and are open it all seems a lot easier, go for it X

  4. January 7, 2016 / 2:38 am

    Thank you for posting this. I am sick of seeing hundreds of young people claim they suffer from anxiety, mostly because popular figures in the public eye (bloggers) have come out with their issues. I am all for it being a source of support for others, but to claim you have an illness that is complete hell just to fit in is ridiculous. I have suffered with anxiety and ocd from a very young age. Now at the age of 21, it is worse than ever. I decided to start a blog a couple of weeks ago, something my mind still tells me is a bad idea, but I’m doing it to help me make a record of my illness. I admire people like you who appear to be doing the same, but it isn’t supposed to appear to be a role model to look up to. Anxiety shouldn’t be the cool new illness. Generalised anxiety and fear of certain situations is not an illness, it is completely different to the illness that rules your life, mind and body. I fear too many young people identify with the illness because they get scared being in public or they fear talking to people. That is completely normal, we all get nervous and feel fear but it doesn’t mean that the thought of being in public makes you sick, gives you panic attacks, makes you fear for your life, drives you to irrational, erratic behaviour etc. When you know how it feels to live with this, you will not wish you had it. Thank you Abbie

  5. Sue
    January 7, 2016 / 12:50 pm

    Thank you.
    At 48 I am fighting the daily fight.
    I have left only 1 great friend who understands and supports me.
    My husband is my rock, but he doesn’t fully understand the feelings this awful thing gives me. The disappointment of all the times we make plans to go somewhere and have to cancel because I just can’t.
    My grown up kids have seen me become more and more withdrawn and less the mother who raised them.
    My need to seem normal overwhelms me sometimes and I am inappropriately over friendly and over share things that are not appropriate.
    This is not a glamorous illness.
    It has taken away a vibrant outgoing person and left a scared, anxiety filled shell behind.
    To all my fellow sufferers keep on keeping on.
    We are soldiers at war with ourselves.
    There is no winning, just holding back the tide each and every day from taking another piece of ourselves.
    Stay strong
    Xx

    • Emma hammond
      January 9, 2016 / 12:07 am

      Reading your words Sue has just made me cry because every word touched me it was like you were speaking for me! Take care and keep fighting. HUGS & love Em x

  6. Jacqueline
    January 7, 2016 / 2:20 pm

    I am 44. I have been suffering for 20 years. I have been on anti depressants for 15 years and I honestly believe that is why I am still here, writing this. Stricken is the word I use to describe how I feel most of the time. I want to be who I know is inside me. I use all my energy to be a good mum and function at work. Social situations are the worst. Sometimes leaving the house is more than I can bare. I am the master of disguise. I am a cryer. I have a wonderful support network, but I still have a mental illness that rules me. I am incredibly strong. I have no choice. I will never let it win. I deserve a happy life. I am still here.
    Jac

  7. Vikki
    January 7, 2016 / 4:14 pm

    I always I enjoyed my solitude and my bed space because I enjoyed my own company, n not wanting to go out with friends was cos I don’t want to spend what I cNt afford plus I love staying warm, hate crowds and despise loud club music but it now seems I may be antisocial because I am depressed. I hate the word depression because I am generally a positive person n just want most of the world to fk off! It’s society that has caused most of these problems, always telling us whatever we do is pointless n it’s no bloody wonder we’re anxious about things we haven’t tried yet or r not sure about cos it may not work out. How about we all tell ourselves fk it, it’ll be alright wot ever we do n stop focusing on what might not happen. Let the past be in the past, forgive what wrongs we may have done n try and enjoy the life u have been given. Don’t hold ur self to others standards n try to believe that someday it might be acceptable to spend a whole weekend in bed snuggled with a loved one xx

  8. January 7, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    Thank you for writing this Abbie! I’ve dealt with social anxiety throughout my life, by more recently suffered with anxiety, and I’ve never seen so many people claim to have anxiety and depression! It’s really unfair to the people that actually have to deal with these issues every single day of their life. I am grateful that at times I am still able to do the things I love, and sometimes I go out with friends but it takes all of my strength to leave the house without having a breakdown and become ill. Even when I am out I dread about what might happen, and want to get back home as quickly as possible. Before coming to the realisation that what I had was anxiety, I thought at first it was just a symptom of a cold or something, to a bug I had caught, to pregnancy or certain foods that I was eating (as before mentioned I was getting ill a lot, including sickness) being ill was ruining my social life and work life. I was relying on shop bought medication to make it better. Then I noticed a pattern that every time before I was ill I would get panicky, short of breath, feel confined, being stressed/worried which would then shortly lead to being ill. I am lucky now that when I have the correct mindset and my breathing patterns, and I take myself outside for a walk to relieve the anxiety. So far along with doing these things, and also getting back into my love of reading and my love for writing on my blog, I haven’t been getting as anxious as much. The last time I was anxious was when I was shopping in Asda last week, and at New Years because for some reason I felt so much pressure as it’s a big holiday and a big social event.

    I have so much respect for people like yourself that have been struggling with this for so long, it’s such an insult for people to claim these illnesses and get attention for it. When the rest of us suffer in silence for an illness we can’t escape from.

    Thank you for your post<3

    Saffron x

    http://saffronwatson.blogspot.co.uk

    • January 7, 2016 / 8:24 pm

      Thank you so much! I wish you all the best X

      • Victoria
        January 8, 2016 / 5:04 pm

        I take great strength from reading blogs like this, and actually also from a lot of the things that are shared on social media. I have suffered with anxiety and depression since I was an adolescent. I used to just think this is who I am; it’s my personality and I hurt accepted it. It was undiagnosed so I continued just to think I was a negative person who was ungrateful for the life I had been given. It wasn’t until a year ago when I also suffered a nervous breakdown that it was confirmed I had an anxiety disorder and depression. I had also suffered in silence with post natal depression. The most frustrating thing for me is that i am my own worst enemy i put too much pressure on myself to be perfect, to please everyone and constantly question whether I am good enough. Not being perfect is failure to me. My husband is wonderful and deals with my spontaneous outbursts and my inability to deal with social functions unless I’m almost blind drunk. I have fought this illness alone my whole life, I have been on antidepressants and off and on again; however what I know take my strength from is that this illness is part of me and will be foreve. it does make me unsociable, too sociable,
        not sleep, cry inexplicably, scream with irrational rage but it doesn’t define me as long as I am honest about how I’m feeling and never go back to that time last year.

        I try to laugh at myself and not let the illness be a secret. People say “don’t worry about it..” And I’m like “I worry about what pants to where in the morning in case I crash my car so don’t waste your breath! I’m going to worry about it 😂”

  9. A
    January 7, 2016 / 10:33 pm

    I know the feeling I have a 2 year old son and I feel absolutely terrible that I feel I need to stay in all the time its even harder when my partner just thinks I’m being lazy , anxiety is a horrible thing I remember my doctor telling me before I was pregnant I had anxiety but I just brushed it off then after having my son I was diagnosed with depression but the mix of both is unreal I am too though going to seek help again not only for me but for my son its not fair on him not getting out most days and only just to go to the shop ,thank you for sharing your story x

  10. January 7, 2016 / 11:26 pm

    I feel you there Deffo is not enough support out there and it is not taken seriously by the media.

  11. Ashleigh
    January 8, 2016 / 12:09 am

    I am in a similar place right now. I’ve been diagnosed with social anxiety a while back. On New Years eve I had a breakdown. I was supposed to work the next day. I sent a text turned my phone off and was in an awful place unable to leave my bed. Then I became anxious about missing work, and the day was a total hell. It took a lot of psyching myself up to even turn my phone on because of all the messages I would have from work. Eventually my mother got through to me and got me out of there and sent me up to the countryside where my dad lives. I’m going back to work on Monday. I’m very anxious about explaining myself. It’s a small team. I’m glad you shared you’re story. It is hell. I’m tired of fighting myself. Im glad I’m not alone.

    • January 8, 2016 / 12:10 am

      I promise they’ll be more understanding than you think. I’ve done exactly the same before. Don’t ever feel bad, it’s out of your control. Wishing you the best recovery xxx

  12. Stacey
    January 8, 2016 / 12:36 am

    My name is Stacey I’ve been suffering since the age of 15. My parents had a messy break up. As I was the oldest out of 4 i had a duty as big sister to take the stress of all my little sisters. It’s too messy to go right into it. Long story short I started feeling like my face was painted on. I was the life and sole of any party but inside I was crushed. I never slept hardly ate started crying over silly things even broke up with my first love/ best friend drinking more and more to block my acing heart. Not one person knew. After an attempt on my own life at 15 which I said was a complete accident I still could not admit there was something wrong. I mustered up the courage to see a doctor came clean and said how i felt. It didn’t go down to well with my doctor. His words shattered me ” your too young to be depressed” and he wouldn’t even dream of getting me help prescribe me a pill for “teenage drama”. They years past pretending was second nature to me. I still felt pretty awful so I put myself out there and tried to make myself feel better helping in charity’s working hard to help youths like me. I was then made homeless which I had to move into a hostel a pretty nice hostel not what i would imagine. I helped with some homeless people a charity group to help some of the people living in the building get up and out with sports. I met my partner Michael beautiful man body builder looked as if he just walked off a sunny beach. Never in a million years did I think he would look at me. He did 1 year still in this hostel together I fell pregnant the anxiety started to crack with the hormones I couldn’t pretend anymore it took me a year to tell him. It’s not that I didn’t Want to be honest I didn’t think what I felt was real I pushed it away. He was so supportive. Along came out beautiful daughter I’ve never felt love like this before suddenly everything was a gone. For a while. We ended up in a 3rd floor flat With a new born and my partner away to work everyday. I found myself stuck head was racing. Crying everyday. Me and my partner started arguing more and more over silly things before long i hadn’t left the flat for over 6 month my stunning little daughter just a little baby happy. The Heath visitor eventually started noticing how pale I was from my olive skinned self and my partner told her everything. I felt betrayed like why is everyone blaming me. They hate me. All the stupid things what I thought suddenly seemed to be real I had postnatal depression! After tests it was finally out there and real everyone judging me knowing I’m a failer of a person failer of a mother. I fought i decided right am off out fresh air little walk will do me good. Not so much. I had this sudden chest pain tunnel vision I couldn’t breath i thought I’m dieing! Everyone looking at me in the street like some kind of freek! Ambulance came took me to hospital was given oxygen. The doctor sat down with me after all had calmed down told me to take it easy I had a panic attack. He set me up to speak to my gp which I did the next day she prescribed me anti depressants and mood pills. She looked back on my notes the last time I sought help from my gp she was disgusted that any Doctor would send me away when I clearly needed help now 22 years old I should have been getting help from my first complaint. I now have social anxiety and have been diagnosed with agoraphobia and machanical muscle disorder caused by stress and anxiety I can barely get out from bed I’m in so much pain. I’ve also been showing signs of OCD. I could have been spared and receiving help from the get go. Pretending was best thing i knew. Not to say it is the best thing to do. I see pictures on Facebook with stupid quotes and people act like they know. They don’t unless they have suffered. Walk a mile in someone’s shoes to see the fit. I would hate for anyone of them who had to deal with this constant battle. I’m lucky to have friends and family who know and to let other suffering with this horrible illness your not alone as I saw this and felt the same. This took a lot for me to write and have got a lot of my chest sorry and thank you xxx

  13. M
    January 8, 2016 / 12:44 am

    Some of this so relatable. I however haven’t struggled with something like this for as long as you seem to have done. I find myself torturing myself by over thinking almost every day. I used to a person who didn’t give a care in the world about stuff like this, I thought depression didn’t effect me and it never would and that I’d always find something in the world that would bring me back up and be able to maintain my happiness. However at age 17 (I’m now 19) I had some quite bad news, something which is now resolved but since then I feel as though I haven’t been myself. There will be a period of time where I’ll be confident but then something will set me back, and that continues to happen. I had a spell in 2014 where I was extremely depressed, so much so I was on the verge (as back as that sounds it was the truth) but then it seemed to go away. However in the past few months I’ve been seeing a ‘mental health advisor’ as they call it, because I’ve been struggling so much with anxiety and things like that. I’ve really struggled when its come to going out because of the fear of breaking down and panicking and having to get out of wherever I am, which has happened often. I have no idea whether you have any coping mechanisms but it’s something that I really want to get over, despite the fact my anxiety will probably always linger with me now.

  14. January 8, 2016 / 12:57 am

    Hi Abbie, firstly I would like to say thank you for sharing your story and secondly I would like to share mine.

    I have been 43 days clear of panic attacks and I don’t know how long this will last but everyone of those days I go to bed feeling blessed I made it one more day.

    My therapist thinks I have had anxiety since I was 14 (secondary school) however I have the “fight or flight” mode of anxiety. I have had a very tough year, major theft, nervous breakdown, signed off work, agoraphobic, drinking just to get myself out of the house. I remember having my first panic attack on stage and fighting with every ounce of my being to keep my feet on the stage. I’m a singer in a metal band and had £10,000 worth of musical equipment stolen from the studio we built. I remember my journey from breakdown to now and being treated awfully and people acting like I was faking. When I read stories like yours I feel like a fraud but I must remember that everyone’s battle is different and that just because I am high flying now doesn’t mean I didn’t work and sweat and cry and beg myself to become me again. Stories like yours are the reason I got better, are the reason I still remember everyday that I am fighting but can let go and don’t have to keep up the shield or mask. I can breakdown I need to remember that I am allowed to do this because I am not a fraud and I have suffered and will more than likely suffer again. I am crying writing this because I feel for you and wish I could take away your pain and give you strength but what you are doing is perfect sharing your story being a beacon of hope and understanding for anyone out there.

    Abbie I wish you all the best, strength, support, love and hugs.

    Please don’t take my words the wrong way this is the first time I have written my feelings down and I thank you for giving me the opportunity 🙂 xx best of luck xx

    • January 8, 2016 / 1:00 am

      Thank you so much. This makes it all worth while, knowing I’ve helped people. I wish you all the best X

  15. Danni
    January 8, 2016 / 2:32 am

    This is the most spot on explanation I have heard! I have been suffering from depression on and off for years and currently am having another episode with paranoia and anxiety also. I have an underlying condition which I am having a relapse in haven’t been able to work in 2 months, I can’t go out as I cannot be alone and I can’t walk. All the thoughts that run through my head on a daily basis are almost debilitating and I feel guilty for thinking them. I get embarrassed if I have a break down and hide myself away from others, reading your post as really hit home that other people feel this way and go through the same things I have. I wish you better soon and thank you for vocalising our struggles so brilliantly!! ❤️💙💖

  16. Shemeliah
    January 8, 2016 / 3:20 am

    Thank you so much for positing this, means a bunch x

  17. Claire
    January 8, 2016 / 7:45 am

    Thank you for this. I suffer from anxiety some days are better than others. I feeling of pure dread just comes over me for no apparent reason and my head starts to “race” and go all “mushy” it’s all most as if i am drunk. I dread going out to social events and get myself worked up about going i even dreaded the thought of going on a holiday that we had booked 😕. The doctor’s have given me various medication but the don’t seem to help so i am trying to manage with out but it’s really hard.xx

  18. January 8, 2016 / 10:26 am

    Hey,

    Your blog post is amazing and very inspiration to put the truth on a faceless disorder which is so constraining to a persons life.
    I was wondering if you would be open to talk about you’re anxiety for part of a final year piece at university that I am doing, please let me know what you think!

    Thanks!

    • January 8, 2016 / 12:30 pm

      Yeah sure let me know how to contact you X

      • January 10, 2016 / 12:05 pm

        Fab! I’ll follow you on twitter now and direct message you 🙂

    • January 8, 2016 / 4:26 pm

      I’m on Twitter @_fabzz send me a tweet oh there X

  19. Lyndsey Lou
    January 8, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    Thank you so much for this. I found it really helped me! I’ve suffered with anxiety for years and it’s so hard to explain it to people that don’t understand! I used to hate telling people how I felt and that would make me so much worse. Now I always talk to someone when I need to and am currently going through cbt training. I wish there was a cure for anxiety so I never have to feel like this. I don’t like taking tablets from the doctors as I struggle to come off them! You are truly inspiring! Well done for telling your story! Xx

  20. Craig
    January 8, 2016 / 12:45 pm

    Hey Abbie,

    Like a lot of people I can totally relate to what you’re saying and a lot of what you’ve been through. If it’s any help, I can recommend a couple of books/audio books that have been really helpful to me? I used to not be able to go out, get on buses, go to restaurants, busy places, christ I thought I was going crazy and couldn’t escape my thoughts but in the last year or so things have really turned a corner (or so it feels). I’ve done things I used to only be able to look back and remember doing BEFORE all the anxiety, depression and panic attacks started like holidays abroad, meals with friends and family, sports/exercise, buses/trains etc. I learned that no matter how bad you are or have been, you are never beyond help. If you drop me an email I can send you the audiobooks over and help you any way I can. 🙂

    Craig x

  21. kierra
    January 8, 2016 / 12:47 pm

    This post is so true, the amount of people who regularly post things on Facebook claiming that they have a mental illness is astonishing.

  22. Laura
    January 8, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    I have suffered with anxiety/depression/ panic attacks for roughly 10 years now. At one point i lost everything, my job, my marriage, and i had never felt so alone and ashamed. With medication i got better but 5 yrs ago when i was expecting my first child the illness reared its ugly head once more and because i was pregnant i was far too scared to take my meds incase i hurt my baby. As a result of this once my boy was born i spiralled into a huge depression but this time i knew the signs and got help quickly. My GP shrugged it off as the baby blues but i knew different and persisted until they helped me. Then 2014 i had my 2nd child and again the same thing happened. But i kept telling myself that ive been there before and i can get thru it again. Im definately in a better place now but on occassions i still suffer. When im in the shops if i can see either the door or the window im fine otherwise i start to panic and have to get out. I used to worry what people woulf think of me as am legging it out of Asda and hyperventilating outside, but from researching i found im definately not alone in this. As hard as it may be to do, try think positive and keep telling yourself thst u can do this, maybe not right at this moment, but you will 😚

  23. Kane
    January 8, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    Hi Abbie.

    I can relate to so much of what you’ve wrote. I too had health complications due to anxiety. I postponed my original uni application. When I finally made it to uni, I had to withdraw from the course after a year due to my anxiety. I too lost a big circle of friends and vibrant social life.

    Since then, I took things back to basic. I’ve lead a simple life of routine, slowly taking steps forward and expanding my comfort zone. I would urge you to keep trying new things that might make your condition more manageable. I was lucky to meet a therapist with who I really connected (working with other therapists had proved unsuccessful.) Similarly, I found a medication that helped me to control my panic attacks. Since taking beta blockers, I’ve made huge progress. Again, this was a process of trial and error, I’d had no success with other medications prior to this. I’m not sitting here and writing this pretending to be fully healed and reformed, far from it. I still haven’t recaptured my social life and there are certain ‘demons’ I have not conquered. However, I do things now that I couldn’t do a few years ago. I still have symptoms but less frequently. Sometimes I’ll think I’m ready to take on anything only to be knocked backwards by an episode of panic. But that’s okay, you get used to the ups and downs. All in all, I’m proud of my progress. I’ve learned to see the positives in certain situations. For example, although I’ve lost touch with many friends, I have grown closer than ever to my best friend. Although, I go out far less than I used to, I appreciate it more when I do get out and about. I appreciate everything so much more, I am thankful for life.

    I wish you the best of luck on your journey. If you ever need somebody to talk with, it would be my pleasure. Over the past 7 years I’ve read, learned and experienced so much. I’d be happy to share the lessons I’ve learned with anyone who needs support. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  24. Ellie
    January 8, 2016 / 5:00 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. especially with people who have “diagnosed” themselves with an illness. Depression and anxiety nor any type of mental illness are/is not beautiful. They can destroy all friendships, aspirations and control your life. I was diagnosed with sever depression and social anxiety about 6 years ago, Ive had countless therapy sessions and all different medications all did little to help me. I started to self harm and am now covered in scars all over which will remain forever. I’ve lost all of my friends, and find it almost impossible to leave the house most days.

    But im slowly getting better, and I’ll keep going. I wish everyone fighting a mental illness the strength to carry on. It’s tough now but it will get easier!

  25. Gary Topley
    January 8, 2016 / 5:25 pm

    Hi Abbie, I have read this and posted the link in a small anxiety/depression group I run on Facebook. I would love to link up with you. I have had my own struggles too and it is still something I believe needs to be highlighted more. Well done on speaking out, and I hope to hear from you soon x

  26. christine calderon
    January 8, 2016 / 6:09 pm

    Thank you for being braver than me and being able to write this. I also suffer from clinical depression and an anxiety disorder eventually diagnosed at 18 after horrible teenage years suffering in silence. Im now nearly 26 and recovering from a second breakdown/relapse and I’ve had to leave my job due to it becoming unmanageable. Honestly wish you all the best and everybody commenting with these horrible illnesses too. XX

  27. Jade Gargano
    January 8, 2016 / 7:05 pm

    It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one suffering a mental illness alone, I’m glad you were brave enough to be able to post this, I’ve always wanted to raise awareness of what the reality of a mental illness is like but I’ve never been able to put it into my own words. Over a year ago I was diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder which is also an anxiety disorder and I also have slight social anxiety which doesn’t help, I was only 15 as well at the time and since then the illness has only got worse and worse, this year of school has been absolute hell as I can never get out the door without spending 7 hours doing my makeup perfectly and usually a lot of the time resulting in me not making school as it can cause anxiety attacks which are very distressing. There’s been many times I’ve just not wanted to be here anymore because of how depressed I have felt, I go to therapy every week and after I leave I feel a lot better and positive but the minute I’m alone it just all goes wrong again. This time last year I had a very big group of friends, never short of plans for the weekend and I gradually watched them all disappear as my illness got worse which I think hurt me the most because they knew my situation but still decided to abandon me basically, I now only have one friend and that’s because she has OCD and can understand my struggle. I never ever imagined myself to be like this when I was a little girl I never used to care but now I’m on anti depressants hoping I can get the grades to leave school and go to uni like I’ve always wanted to do but it’s not looking bright at all. Thank you so much for posting this, maybe it will help people open their eyes, if you ever want to talk I’m here x

    • January 8, 2016 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your story X

    • Kirsty
      January 8, 2016 / 7:42 pm

      I’ve recently just been told I have social anxiety I didn’t know what to do because I just thought I was just this abnormal person that no one seemed to like or want to be friends with. I’m slowly coming to grips with but Ithaca ruined a lot of things for me . I just want to feel normal, decided to do a blog myself, in the progress of it.

      • January 8, 2016 / 7:44 pm

        Thank you for sharing. I’m going be holding a Q&A to do with advice and personal experience. If you have any questions feel free to ask me on Twitter @_fabzz or when I post on my Instagram @abigailnicolex

  28. Ainsley..
    January 8, 2016 / 7:24 pm

    I can really relate here, I’m always in bed I’m always crying I can’t deal with what would be a simple task to anyone else because I am both physically and emotionally broken, its been close to endind my relationship but I won’t let it beat me these past few weeks I’ve drove myself to kick in to gear and do small things at a time in the hoped that I can find a balance and get on with life, were all fighting a battle !

  29. Christie
    January 8, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    Abbie, I have been where you are, with the help of some amazing books and some really hard work I’ve managed to overcome the worst of it and I’m a completely different person. Anyone who is reading this I promise you you can get better, please don’t ever think you’re stuck, please don’t ever give up on yourself. I’ve actually gotten to the point now where I really value the experience I had because of how much better I am as a person today. Before I was a very vulnerable and had no confidence, and wouldn’t be who I am now if not for the very difficult time I had.

    The most helpful books I had were:

    Stop Thinking, Start Living by Richard Carlson (the title is a bit self-helpy but the content is actually amazing)

    DARE by Barry McDonagh

    At Long Last Life by Paul David (great website too http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk

    Panic Diary by Dr David Carbonell (anxietycoach.com)

    All of these are fantastic resources and will help enormously. Please read them openly and don’t be afraid to abandon any bad habits. You will get better 🙂

  30. January 8, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    I like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll.

  31. Sonia
    January 8, 2016 / 9:04 pm

    I can relate to you… every day life is just so exhausting. I just recovered from nervous breakdown I had in March last year, trying to get my life on track. But everyday feels like a war. How can I explain to my friends I don’t wanna see them, I don’t wanna come to their birthday? They don’t get it. They think I don’t like them and I don’t make an effort. They call me two faced because apparently it explains why I never meet anyone and don’t wanna talk. People don’t think it’s a big problem because most of the teenagers say they have anxiety and consider it ‘cute’. IT ISN’T. Throwing up cause of stress isn’t cute. Not washing for weeks cause you’re so down isn’t cute. I wish they spend a day with anxiety. They could understand how fucking exhausting it is. How even talking to your parents makes you over think. I hope you’ll manage to overcome it. Stay strong.

  32. January 8, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Abbie,
    Thank you!
    It’s so refreshing to see something talk this way. I’m also a blogger and I have bipolar disorder and have been on mood stabilisers and antidepressants for 7 years now.
    I also wrote a post last year about my journey on my blog and just writing it all down somehow felt like a release, and I love that you’ve spoken out too.
    I hope you’re happy days out weight the down and that you’re starting to feel like you again most of the time. I know what it’s like, it’s a whirlwind and not in anyway glamorous or fashionable.
    Go girl.
    Thanks again.
    Charlie xo
    http://www.styledbycharlie.com

    • January 8, 2016 / 9:15 pm

      Thank you so much it means the world to me X

  33. C
    January 8, 2016 / 10:16 pm

    Thank you, i couldn’t have said this any better, and I’ve been trying to sum it up for years, i’m now 19 and have lived(to use the term loosely) social anxiety since about 15, you talk about so many things i experience and it’s refreshing to get the views of someone that actually suffers with this instead of those who share things on Facebook about them having it when they can live their day to day lives and go to the shops to get the basic things to survive, if i didn’t have my parents, god knows where i would be now. Sadly people don’t get that you can’t just leave the house, but when i start to feel guilty about being unable to talk and see my friends, ill send them this. I always felt like i was the only one with this, even though i knew deep down i wasn’t and you have given me that reminder , so thank you for sharing your story.

    I wish you the best of luck on your future journeys and life

    C

  34. Sharone
    January 8, 2016 / 11:04 pm

    It’s a bit comforting to know I’m not the only one like I often feel I am.

    It’s so great that you’re able to openly talk about and receive such great support. In my family “there is nothing wrong” “get over it, you’re causing this to yourself” “go to the gym and you’ll feel better” kind of support that I receive. I suppose they mean well.

    Anxiety and depression is hard for many people to understand.

    I’ve read a few quotes online that really moved me and was somewhat able to put my chaotic emotions into words.

    “To have anxiety is to care too much, to be depressed is not to care at all and to have both is hell.” -not sure who quoted it (might have mixed up the words a bit) but it’s true, it feels like hell inside.

    Hardly ever able to make decisions or be in social settings without overthinking or bashing myself.

    I have had a hard childhood growing up, although my aunt who raised me did her best I still couldn’t help hating myself for my family’s failures. I kept pushing myself by repeating to myself “it can’t get worst, the best will come, keep going, it can’t get worst..” Until my brother died suddenly and unexpectedly not waking up from his sleep (not suicide).

    Every day is a constant fight and struggle with myself.

    I hope one day people are more supportive and understanding.

    But for now I do what I can, some days are good and some days are bad, the point is to take each day at a time.

    Sorry for my long post, I guess it really touched me and I felt like sharing.

    Wishing you all the best ❤️
    Stay strong !

  35. January 8, 2016 / 11:56 pm

    Found this through a Facebook friend, and I got a lot out of reading it. I’ve not long started to suffer from these kind of symptoms & it’s been increasingly difficult for me to deal with them on top of everything else going on in my life at the moment.

    It’s a comfort to know I’m not the only one feeling the way I do. Thanks for helping out!

  36. L B
    January 9, 2016 / 12:24 am

    This was such a different read to the usual stuff where people are shouting all over Facebook that it’s like a fad to have this “disease” that’s what it felt like so much so I was ashamed and kept it secret even from my family until I had my mental breakdown and couldn’t cope with the panic attacks the loss of control over my own mind and body where the stress and panic had affected everything I would worry about by next meal because I had developed a fear of food now I know what your thinking that’s anorexia no this was different I was frightened the food I put in my mouth would kill me I felt untrusting I literally felt mad until the doctor finally referred me and it’s nice to see that there’s more people than those who constantly brag about having anxiety and panic attacks as if it’s good and cool no it’s really not! I still have side effects today certain foods I refrain from eating and such anxiety is a lifelong disease that you have to overcome because you still have those days where think . . Here it comes! Thankyou for sharing this!

  37. Mandy
    January 9, 2016 / 4:10 am

    Thank god iam not alone xx hope you get better x

  38. January 9, 2016 / 8:54 am

    Abbie. Thank you for sharing this with us, so many people suffer with Anxiety and Panic attacks and unless you are unfortunate enough to experience them for yourself you simply cannot understand how disabling and life changing they can become. I first started to get Panic attacks at the age of 18. Often just 1 or 2 a day, sometimes they just kept coming like waves all day long or maybe just little wobbles and other times they would be so bad I literally could do nothing but shake and cry. I am now 38 and still have a constant anxiety, shaking hands, nervousness. I was placed on Beta blockers then Seroxat and now finally Citalopram. The panic attacks seem easier to deal with but maybe that’s just because I tend to avoid the things that trigger them? I have trouble eating in front of people, I don’t like traveling as I feel confined in vehicles and I have never been abroad as I just can’t face getting on a plane. I wish you all the best, sometime the feeling that you are not alone is a fantastic help. Never be afraid to have a good cry and tell people how you really feel. Lee

  39. K
    January 9, 2016 / 9:18 am

    You have just described me! Stupid things I’ve said years ago still go through my mind even though I’m sure the person I said it to probably has forgotten all about it! And I can sit doing nothing all day but wish I was doing something worthwhile with my life. I have this constant feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach that just won’t go away! I must come across as so lazy but I don’t want to be this way…

  40. January 9, 2016 / 9:55 am

    Last December I was abused after a student night out in my first year of uni, for a month or so I acted recklessly and went out loads trying to cover up how I was actually feeling but after I sort of crashed and now I’m absolutely petrified to go out clubbing, I haven’t been since early February, bit that’s not a problem, I hated it anyway. In September I moved in with some course friends that I had never lived with, they love going out and I would always say no, they pushed me into telling them why only to be told ‘everyone gets touched up by a guy’, it’s not that, I was sexually abused by this man. Eventually I just shut myself away in my room sparking off comments about how much of a selfish bitch I am, how everyone has problems and I need to get over it and how I shouldn’t ruin uni for everyone despite me his leaving them to it. It got to a point where I couldn’t go to uni, the little support my ‘friends’ provided me, lead me to doubt everyone around me and all I could do was cry and shake all the way home from uni and anywhere else for that matter. I ended up moving out and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression triggered by traumatic events. I’m much better now though with the support and counselling I’m receiving and the support from my boyfriend who I met in my block of flats in February last year. I’m grateful for all the help I’m receiving but not everyone has this support system in place and I can only imagine how horrible that is. These are debilitating illnesses and often, because we can’t see them, we forget how severe they really are. They’re not fun, romantic, exciting, glamorous or however else social media represents them.

    I wish you all the best in your recovery, you’re a very brave soul x

  41. Matt
    January 9, 2016 / 10:01 am

    Hi Abbie,

    I’m writing to you as somebody who has seen the light, and I’m not for a single moment saying it’s easy or gets easier. The matter of the fact is it is YOU who has control. Do not let it take over your life. I’m 25 now and suffered with this pretty much since I left school at 16. I always thought there was something more to the illness as I would wake up heaving, constantly battling whether or not I was going to be sick. I managed to struggle my way through college and university and ended up working for a company in a role I always aspired to.

    Part of my improvement was down to the fact I chased my dreams and proved myself wrong. I found the doctors to be, ultimately, a waste of time. They just wanted to palm me off on counselling and medication, I found the tablets to be more damaging, and ultimately felt less supported. I took it upon myself to find a curative hypnotherapist and I still to this day do not know how or why it helped but I felt a massive improvement within days of seeing my therapist.

    Along side this, I started playing football again and cycling – the physical exertion helps get rid of any anxt and helps let off some steam. As cliche as it sounds, it helps. I also drink decaffeinated tea and coffee and stopped drinking alcohol entirely for about a year, I drink more moderately now and don’t drink in excess. Whenever I have a night out with friends, or if I ever drink more than one caffeinated drink I always get the anxiousness back!

    There are still times I go straight back to the worry, self-pity and mind overdrive when things get a little too much but I always remind myself who is in control and it soon dissipates and I can carry on enjoying my life.

    I wish everyone who is in your position the best of luck and hope for a better quality of life – If you take control, it gets better.

  42. Karen
    January 9, 2016 / 10:33 am

    Hi Abbie,
    Thank you for sharing this. So important. From someone trying to support a friend that suffers from anxiety how do I best let them know I’m here for them?!

  43. Grace James
    January 9, 2016 / 10:35 am

    Hi Abbie,
    My name is Grace and I’m a HLTA in a Therapitic School, the only one currently in the UK, and I work with Mentally Ill children as well as pupils needing some love and tlc after family grievances and other very serious cases of abuse.
    I’ve never suffered for an extended period with a mental health problem. The only time I suffered from feeling mentally low was when I was undergoing cancer treatment which took up a whole year of my life so about 2 including all of my recovery.
    Because my students can be very young, I do try to give them hope. I always give them time and space; we are located practically in a forest so there’s plenty of beautiful wide open spaces. I listen a lot and let them talk about whatever they feel comfortable with. But I always tel them that I didn’t ask to get cancer and they didn’t ask to become mentally ill. I try to get them to believe in themselves because I do every single day. I have to get them to understand that we are the first step on a pathway to them having a life they’ll be happy with. Not pain free but still something that makes them happy.
    I read an article in the New Scientist which in fact argues that mental health is our brains beginning an evolutionary process to attemp to wire our brains better, the brain just hasn’t quite got it right yet.
    I’m really interested in what you said concerning not telling people they have hope. Would you be willing to elaborate on this? This is not me criticising but I’ve read your post and LOVED it because I watch kids struggle to vocalise what you said and I want you to tell me if there’s any other method that has maybe worked for you? The kids I work with, indeed any child, deserves the best support to begin their life and I’m not doing my job properly if I don’t try and give it to them. I have a much older grandmother who lived through the war and a great grandmother who lived through both. The attitude has always been we will support you and love you and be sympathetic but we all get up and get on or life goes on without us so up and in the shower. I try to get my pupil to see this (obviously much less bluntly and with a lot of sympathy and slowly slowly build their understanding and help them vocalise their problems) but you are living with this. Would this attitude where I do believe that putting a little of bit of sparkle back and being positive can start the healing process? Is there anything else you would perhaps suggest I say?

    I was enraptured by your post and I truly wish you everything in the hope that things can get easier for you. I loved your post and will be following your blog to see if anything else you say can help me with my beautiful pupils at work.
    Love and best wishes
    Grace
    grace1995james@gmail.com if you want to contact me although I appreciate you probably recieve a lot of these requests X

  44. S
    January 9, 2016 / 11:43 am

    This has helped me so much. I’ve had several episodes of anxiety but my most recent, still going on started December 2014. I also had physical illness too, a month before an operation I stopped going to work, stopped seeing friends and my boyfriend and just hid away. I left my job afew months later after id used all my sickness for my operation. It wasn’t until August I realised I needed help. Every time I left the house I would feel so terrible, so nauseous, and I have a phobia of being sick. It got so bad that I would barely eat incase I felt sick. So everytime I felt like this id just run home. In October I got back into work, started off small alongside therapy, anti depressants and beta blockers. It is now January 2016 and I haven’t missed one day of my job, never called in sick. It was hard at first but now I don’t take beta blockers before work, I’ve been going out a lot more, I went to London for New Years, and I was fine. I still have off days, but I’m getting there. And your post has made me realise it’s not stupid and it’s not ‘all in my head’. It’s a real issue for alot of people. And alongside this one of the most helpful tools, being told that the reason you feel sick, is because your brain thinks you’re going into survival mode so switches off anything that isn’t essential to keep you alive, to preserve energy. And your stomach is one of them. It made me realise there is an explanation and that I’m not stupid for feeling a certain way.

    Thank you so much xxx

  45. BD
    January 9, 2016 / 11:54 am

    Nice job – this is an incredibly accurate and articulate description of exactly how I and so many others feel. Every. Damn. Day.

    I struggle explaining it to loved ones who haven’t experienced it themselves, so I will use this. Thank you for sharing.

  46. January 9, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    I think you are very brave to do this and its such a positive way to start proper recovery and maybe help others along the way too……I can feel you speak from the heart. I have suffered anxiety issues on and off since a teenage girl but only now I am older I recognise this. I have had various counselling over the years for various reasons but none had a lasting effect. It brought me to living in the present for a while but with insecurity issues you attach when things go wrong which mount up and then ‘bang’ you are back there battling again. The turning point in my life was last year when my son left home and the doctor diagnosed me as having ’empty nest syndrome’ which I believe to be true but I was there again attaching other stuff which made the whole episode longer and scarier. I was referred for counselling and had the most amazing lady. She got me connecting to my inner child and talked me through and felt me through every process. This was the start of me taking responsibility for my own life. The present day is all we have and all we will ever have. This all sounded a bit of cliche once upon a time but after I was able to connect to my inner being I was able to connect with really living a life as through anxiety and depression we are only living in the past or afraid of the future. Shortly after this I came across the teaching of Ekhart Tolle and ‘The Power of Now’ that has helped me take hold of my life. I can only signpost you the way which showed me the way and anything is worth a try to really live as you are only doing that if you are living in present moment…completely conscious. All the best for the future 🙂

    • January 9, 2016 / 1:00 pm

      Thank you for your kind comments and thank you for sharing your story X

  47. January 9, 2016 / 1:38 pm

    I hear you so much.

    I don’t ask for pity – just understanding. And it can be difficult to know when to be truthful because I don’t want to be accused of being an attention whore but at the same time keeping it within can make me feel even worse.

  48. January 9, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    A very eloquent post which made me gasp out loud with recognition. Just before Christmas I went into hospital twice because of this ‘thing’. I don’t want to die, I want to live, but living seems so empty at the moment. I’ve had BDD, depression and an eating disorder over the years (I’m now 36 so far too old for all this!) but this dread and panic was something new. I have lost relationships because of this, got myself into trouble and now I fear I have lost a friend. The misery and daily dread is so hard to describe and I loathe myself because of it when I have no reason for feeling like this. I have no worries or problems whatsoever.

    I now have psychological and psychiatric support; with these I am for the first time glimpsing hope that one day I’ll get back to being who I was before this took over my life. I urge anyone in a similar situation to seek this assistance – it IS out there and you can get better. You don’t have to live this way.

    Thank you for putting this into words and I wish you, and anyone else dealing with this, much happiness and contentment in the future. I know it’s possible. Keep believing.

  49. Mom~feeling~helpless
    January 9, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    Mom of 15 year old daughter that suffers from social & generalized anxiety, depression, & ADD. I want to start by saying I love my daughter very much and have made sure that she has had and is getting all the support available to us. It started when she was 13 yrs.-7th grade and school became her worse nightmare!! Long story short, she is now a freshman and it hasn’t gotten better for her. I guess what I am looking for is someone’s opinion, who also deals with this daily, to give me your perspective on how I can help her as her mom and friend…
    Thank You

    • Mary
      January 9, 2016 / 11:25 pm

      Hang in there! My daughter, my granddaughter and I all sufferer with depression and anxiety. my granddaughter is worse going through puberty and middle school. I remember feeling the same at that age I slept most of my freshman year. I know now I was depressed. Once my cycles regulated I was able to cope much better. I am hoping the same for my granddaughter who is 11. My daughter is looking in to a charter school were she will be freer to express her art. Many of us suffere the ebb and flow of these disorders but life is still beautiful for those of us who are highly sensitive people. PS down time quiet time is essential for me to cope with all the stimulus which is in the real world. My granddaughter too needs to just read or listen to music alone daily before reconnecting with the family. I hope this helps.

    • Lise
      January 10, 2016 / 1:25 am

      A talk worth watching: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IvtZBUSplr4

      I struggled with anxiety and depression for years, and ultimately discovered that a big part of it was actually due to the way I related to and treated myself. I still have my challenges, but to a much smaller extent than before. Can also recommmend the book by Kristin Neff called “Self compassion”. It is a wise and comforting book, and explains things very well.

      I wish your daughter all the best, and all the kindness and motivation she needs to get back up on her feet. I know it is possible! Xxx

    • Why my lovely girl !
      January 10, 2016 / 11:06 am

      Hi

      You are also not alone.
      Very simular story my daughters school years from year 7 -11 were a nightmare to. Constant bullying in the early years. (to which she kept quiet about). Also she has dealt with family bereavement. I felt very helpless at times. College have diagnosed her with aniexty issues and she has social issues too. They have given her a counsellor to help which is fantastic. I try my best to help and understand what she feels, i do worry and i hope that she overcomes this as she is a lovely pretty girl – why her i say, im sure you have said the same! Im glad i have seen this review today.

    • Chris starling
      January 11, 2016 / 1:27 am

      Be there that’s all you can do people who don’t have it honesty don’t understand how horrible this is actually fighting yourself every day feeling useless because you can’t do the simplest activitys like seeing friends or going to a movie without feeling like a mess, people look for some miracle cure like if they help it will magically go away and the worst one is “don’t think about it it’s all in your head ” like people like us can just shut it off with the help of tablets if you want to help some1 with anxiety like we have it’s not to help them it’s to be there for them when they need you and understand the chaos that they go through everyday it’s not a choice we have it’s a invisible problem that people can’t understand I’m sorry if I seem rude but personally that’s how I feel and prob so many other of us feel as if this mental health problem can just dissapear with the help of treatment like it’s a infection of the skin the more you understand what we go through the more you can help that person and look at it in a different view

  50. January 9, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    Big respect to you for writing this blog. I’ve always suffered from anxiety and depression and it’s such a hard thing to deal with. Alway’s constantly looking at other people wishing I could be as happy as them. I’ve recently made some big changes in my life to make me happier and it is working.

    I read this last night and just wanted to post a comment today to say well done for posting this blog, takes a lot of guts to explain how you feel, especially on the internet. This will help a lot of people, as many people will have gone through similar.

    James
    x

  51. January 9, 2016 / 5:33 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this. x

  52. January 9, 2016 / 5:38 pm

    Inspirational. I’ve recently set up a blog about nutrition and mental health (as well as general health). I am a bipolar sufferer and, like your experiences, depression has ruined my life over the last 10 years. I have wanted to share my blog on social media, mainly to help others understand nutrition and to share my recipes. However, family have discouraged me as they think ‘people won’t understand’.
    This is a part of me. If people don’t understand, that’s their problem. The stigma around mental health must stop.
    You have inspired me to speak up, and for that I thank you! May I share a link to this post on my blog?

    My web address is http://www.eatfreshfeelwell.com
    I hope I can be as helpful to everyone out there as you have been to me!

  53. Lucy Dewsnap
    January 9, 2016 / 5:44 pm

    This is so valuable. Thank you. X

  54. January 9, 2016 / 9:37 pm

    I will never say I can ‘understand’ what people feel when they have these kind of mental health problems, and that’s because I haven’t experienced them myself. But I will say this; your account helps me to understand ‘why’ the aftermath happens. It’s an invaluable account that needs to be heard more. Plus, it really indicates how well you’re doing if you’re able to share it.

  55. January 10, 2016 / 4:45 am

    Great post. It’s absolutely a difficult topic to allow yourself to be vulnerable with.

  56. Suzii
    January 10, 2016 / 5:07 am

    I have so much respect for u <3 i suffer with anxiety and depression and every day is a struggle. Thank you for not romanticising it like it is seen online. I hope u can keep building and getting stronger, and i wish u the best luck for the future!

  57. Jen star
    January 10, 2016 / 5:53 am

    I suffer from GAD and also PTSD… I have my good days and I have my bad days. Overtime I was also pushed to breaking point and then placed on lexapro for 12 months. I was pretty lucky in that it actually did help me considerably and I was able to come off it. My dark path eventually shone some light.

    Now, I still suffer from anxiety when I’m either tired, emotional, immune system is down, had a few wines and learnt that eating a clean diet and reducing alcohol was a big factor also.

    Reading your blog made me feel I’m not the only one who has this battle. I understand what you mean by when you say you have all the support but you feel so alone… I too had the same lost feelings.

    There is light for us sufferers- I now exercise , yoga , meditation, eat well and avoid alcohol and can manage my anxiety much better… I soon know when I’m out of balance.

    Take care and know you don’t share this journey alone x

  58. Paula
    January 10, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    I’ve suffered from anxiety & depression 4 nearly 13yrs now it’s the worst feeling there’s some days that u feel so low & that no1 is there 4 u & don’t understand how u feel when u tell them wots going on in ur head u mask ur feelings so much so u don’t get judged (even though ur not being judged). I’ve also suffer with bad health & very limited on movement that my anxiety has hit me very hard

    Well done 4 speaking out ur so brave 4 doing so I wish I had ur courage 2 do the same xx

  59. Holly Tudor
    January 10, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    I have had anxiety many years. It’s ruined my life until I came across a book called the Thrive Programme. I’ve tried to get it aired on Lorraine show but no such luck. It will change your life. The book is £25 on amazon and it will show you how to change your thinking pattern and allow you to live just a normal life. I urge people to buy this book and follow it word for word. It’s changed my life. I no longer call myself an anxiety suffer. Please look into it. It’ll be worth every penny to you and your life

  60. January 10, 2016 / 5:50 pm

    I have trouble trying to find the right words to say. I get frustrated with myself and end up saying nothing. Here you’ve managed to put down in black and white almost exactly what I have been wanting to say. Thank you x

  61. Michelle
    January 10, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Candid and spot on. I am so sorry for your suffering. I to have struggled all my life, and there is nothing glamorous about it. Thank you for sharing! I guess I just wanted to message to say you are not alone!

  62. January 10, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    I wrote something similar post on my wordpress blog romaetsuko.wordpress.com not long ago because I’m sick of everyone thinking anxiety and depression is something we’ve all got and its not! We all get anxious and sad yes. But for me there never is a real reason. It catches me off guard and I am different month to month. Life’s good. And over thinking? ?? Omg I am the queen. I think about something days later that has happened that others would have brushed off after it happened. I over think everything I have no real self confidence. But everyone thinks the opposite since I do smile and joke a lot. People find me funny and comical even when I don’t try.. because it’s just my front . It’s tool 6 years of battle to manage to stable myself out. But I still suffer slightly more often the oast few months. It’s shit. It makes everything grey tone even when you know there’s nothing to be down about. Which makes you more frustrated and more down. Anyway I agree with you. Fucking Facebook quotes labeling anxiety and depression as sadness and worry.

  63. Concealer of Feelings
    January 10, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    Thank you for verbalizing how I feel. We far too often see the glamorisation of mental illness in the guise of breaking stigma around it. This is well for those it helps but it makes those of us in the closet of depths of anxiety and depression feel worse. Mental illness should never be a fashion topic or popularity contest for character building. It can shape you for the good and bad. If you don’t suffer just accept that you will never be able to express the “I know how you feel” line to them because it is simply never true from their eyes. Each will find their own way. Just offer non judgemental support and encouragement and with a bit of time and luck they’ll find a life worth living again

  64. January 10, 2016 / 11:51 pm

    I really loved this post!! One of my pet hates is people using ‘anxiety’ as a get out clause and for attention when if they seriously suffered from it the way others do, they’d do their upmost to barely mention it & spread it every where they can!

    So sorry to hear all of this and that you’re still recovering and trying to get to grips with it all. I hope you find your way to deal with it and your own way in which to cope! Anxiety never leaves you but you can have days where you don’t let it rule you or your life! I certainly did after a few very bad patches! As for your depression, I hope that gets better too, I really do! Hopefully when one improves the other will along side of it.

    Keep going, keep positive & thankyou again for this post and sharing it! Wish you all the best X

  65. rosie
    January 11, 2016 / 10:12 am

    Thankyou this is me all over although i do go to work few days a week i put on my face . I have had this illness for many years now but this past year it has got to be the worst it has ever been i thankyou from bottom of my heart it is hard to try and explain when it started and why god bless xx

  66. Leah
    January 11, 2016 / 5:01 pm

    I feel the same right now. I’ve had clinical depression and panic disorder for 4 years now and I’ve just had to leave school halfway through AS Levels because I can’t cope anymore. It is just as you have described it, makes you feel lifeless, you feel shit for doing nothing but always feel shit when doing something/too shit to do anything. And I’m wasting an opportunity I looked forward to for some time, to move schools and do my AS there. Every time I see people who likely haven’t experienced anxiety or depression sharing silly glamourised posts about it on facebook I get nauseous and upset. Thank you for giving me somebody to relate to and I hope that things pick up for you, you deserve a good life.

  67. Alex
    January 11, 2016 / 5:54 pm

    Well done for saying it how it is, it takes some guts to publicise it! No one will truly understand that axiety isn’t just a posh work for been nervous untill they suffer from it!
    I’ve recently found my self in a better place and I hope you do too!
    well wishes xx

  68. M.u.f.c
    January 11, 2016 / 8:43 pm

    The linden method. I think is the best way to go about getting rid of your anxiety or reducing it a lot.. it is ment to be proved for eliminating anxiety disorders. And is an accredited goverment approved mental health help system. I suffer from ptsd and gad but I can say if i hadn’t have came accross this method I would be absolutely lost. This is the way forward. I know im on the road to recovery. It’s all in your head people. It can be done. . I know some days you can feel absolutely hopeless I’ve been there, but even on those days The linden method makes you feel immediately better. Give it a go it can not make you feel worse. . And there is hundreds of real testimonials from people who have been cured. I couldn’t recommend it enough. Good luck 👍

  69. Sarah
    January 11, 2016 / 10:38 pm

    Well put! Anxiety is no laughing matter. I’ve gone from being quiet a strong person to someone you probably wouldn’t recognise. Self confidence is the key, I lost mine and the anxiety crept in. I tried to ignore it, thinking it would go away, this just made it worse. Your mind tells you to pick yourself up and get on with your normal daily routines. But then makes you rethink/overthink everything you do, say and anything anyone else says to you. til you believe yourself that your no good, and the laying awake til the small hours causes exhaustion, which then adds to the paranoia. The physical symptoms of anxiety stop you in your tracks. It’s something in your life that’s knocking Your own self belief. I found my route cause and I am now on the mend. It’s been a tough journey. I don’t suffer from depression. My heart goes out to all of you that suffer with both. I thought anxiety was too hard to bare.

  70. Lauren
    January 12, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    What an inspiration and so brave to have put a hyperthetical pen to paper to share with others your experience.

  71. adrianna adamska
    January 12, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    I was about 20 and in my second year of uni when I had my breakdown. I had to drop out and went from the promising and popular, “one to watch ” to, what I thought, was a complete failure. Several hospital admissions and lots of medication turned me into somebody I didn’t recognise. But although I could detail for you what all that was like I’d rather focus on something else.
    I am now 45 years old. Last year I married the man of my dreams. I enjoy my work and have pastimes I am passionate about.
    If anyone had told me back then that I could ever be anything even close to happy again I would have thought them crazier than me. All I can say is, you would be amazed at a human being’s capacity to grow, to heal, to recover and to learn from such an experience. I’ll be honest, it took a lot of searching, for help, self understanding, techniques and regimes to manage my illness, deep spiritual questioning and seeking, to the point where 25 years later I’ve found myself stronger, more enriched, with empathy for others suffering I never had before. It’s been a humbling experience but one observation I want to leave you with is this. When I read your account of your experience, one thing stood out. That in the mist of all your suffering, you still felt the need to reach out to other sufferers, to make a bold move to dispel the myths, and fight the trend of mental illness for fashion. And to be honest, it’s that aspect to your character that makes me confident that you will be OK. Because it’s that quality, a very noble and heroic quality that will ensure that you, not only recover, but go on to great things. Not everybody has this in them. It’s rare. But I can see it in you.
    God bless you my sister x.

  72. Ciara Brady
    January 12, 2016 / 11:00 pm

    thank you for this, you’ve pretty much described my life thus far haha

  73. January 13, 2016 / 3:43 am

    You are a lovely human being. Great respect for you. Thank you for being honest and vulnerable here…I think I may be one of those people who ‘puts stuff on Facebook’ about this, without being a true sufferer (if that makes sense)? But thank you; I want to be more compassionate with my words either way, so raising awareness and being true to your experience online has really opened my eyes a bit to watch what I say and not glamorize these very serious illnesses. Hang in there. <3

  74. January 13, 2016 / 1:03 pm

    Amazing post. So honest and I understood every word. As a sufferer of anxiety myself, I found myself agreeing with everything you have said.
    Lots of love

  75. Jim D.
    January 13, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    THANK YOU, DEAR ABBIE. It is clear from you post that you actually know and understand my pain; Your difficulties and story so closely mirror mine. But you have done a better job than I could ever have … when it comes to explaining the hurt, despair, misunderstanding, and isolation that inevitably accompanies severe anxiety and depression. I will be sharing your “gift” with my loved ones, in the hopes that they will gain a little better insight into what my personal journey (living hell) has been like. There is a world of difference between sympathy and empathy, and I am confident your story will actually allow people to better connect and relate to what it really is like … to attempt to fight this battle, on a daily (if not hourly) basis. Thank you for giving my pain a voice that might be heard. Stay golden! J.

  76. jackie
    January 13, 2016 / 6:34 pm

    It Is so hard for people to understand how you are feeling. I burst into tears at work over minor things and have been off sick now for over a month!!

    I feel useless, no confidence, tired, overthink everything, worry that something i said may upset people, worry what will go wrong – basically just worry!!

  77. Lu
    February 9, 2016 / 10:52 pm

    Ah man had a little cry reading your post, brought back loads of memories of trying to deal with similar issues throughout school and college. Can relate to many of the things you write about here particularly social anxiety, i was also diagnosed with General anxiety disorder when I was 14 and still have to deal with elements of this today (now 27) although I now have a great therapist who’s been super helpful. When I started having anxiety problems it was still a pretty taboo thing to talk about which was quite isolating I remember feeling like a total weirdo for such a long time! I think the best advice I can give anyone suffering these problems is just to try to open up about it, since doing so I have become really aware of just how common these problems are and many people I’ve spoken to about my struggle with anxiety have in return shared similar problems they’ve had. It can be quite a reassuring thing to realise you’re not alone. Thanks for being brave and sharing this, really inspiring and I’m sure it’ll help a lot of people xx

  78. February 11, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    Such a heartfelt post completely agree! Anxiety is something that is just said so lightly on social media, when it’s such an awful thing to have. Although I myself do not suffer with anxiety, I have supported my partner of 10 years who suffered really badly with severe anxiety and this developed on to him having agoraphobia and not being able to leave the house for three years. He still suffers on a daily basis. Everyday is a real struggle, also for myself to see him struggle. You are truely inspiring such an honest post!x

    • February 11, 2016 / 1:45 pm

      Thank you! I wish you and your partner all the best and hope you continue to deal with it so well X

  79. lucie.
    February 24, 2016 / 1:44 pm

    how did you go about contacting your doctor? like i have been feeling really really low lately as have a lot going on and i watched your q&a and i very much am suffering from pretty much all of the symptoms. i’ve been getting headaches literally every day, i’ve lost interest in literally everything, i have been so so tired and don’t feel up to leaving my bed,i always thought it sounded silly as i explored more into anxiety but how do i tell a doctor i think i’m ill because im tired and cant get out of bed? i want to book an appointment but what do i say it’s for and when i’m there where do i even start 🙁

    • February 24, 2016 / 2:48 pm

      Just call the doctor surgery and ask for a normal appointment and when they ask for a brief reason all you have to say is it’s to do with anxiety. When you go to your appointment just tell the doctor everything you just wrote here and how it effects you, they’re used to hearing it and will be able to help you X

  80. August 12, 2016 / 2:57 am

    You are very brave and you are inspiring other people who are in thesame situation. Thank you for sharing.

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