living with anxiety + panic attacks | an extrovert's story ☆



I'll just let the car go past hello beautiful people is Jamie and welcome back to my channel so if you are a long subscriber here on my channel then this video is going to be a little bit different I normally post things like vlogs and fashion hauls and study with me is on my channel and you see me in my kind of everyday life but you don't really get to see kind of what goes on behind the scenes things that I don't necessarily want to show online and on YouTube in today's video I am going to be talking about my experience with living with anxiety and panic attacks today and the last few days have been quite a struggle for me I am not entirely sure why I think there is something in my subconscious mind which is worrying me and stressing me out and I wanted to come onto this platform and share that and almost let this be my therapy session I hope you guys enjoy this video and I'm sorry that this is not kind of the normal happy bubbly Jamie video that you guys are used to but I still want to share this with you guys because this is a huge part of my life that actually affects me but anyway I'm not going to let this be a pity party I just want to share with you coz what goes on in this brain up here and hope that some of you guys can relate and even if I help somebody just by talking about it today that is all that matters to me and that's all I actually want out of this video now obviously anxiety is one of those mental health conditions that is stigmatized within society I am one of those people that I have not been diagnosed with anxiety therefore I cannot sit here and plainly say I have anxiety I feel in my heart and in my head in what I've been experiencing and the thoughts and the feelings and the physical effects I have been having is that I have been having some form of anxiety condition and I have been experiencing and I have some form of anxiety disorder I just want people to know that you don't have to go to a doctor or a GP and get diagnosed and labeled as having an anxiety disorder or as having panic attacks you can still experience those feelings and still go through what you go through and what I've gone through without being labeled so I just want to put out there if that does make you feel uneasy and uncomfortable and it just doesn't sit well with you because I have not been labeled as such I can completely understand and so I would much rather you kind of turn off the video and respect the fact that this is all my personal experience anxiety when I was researching it I am very interested in the study of anxiety if you didn't know I do English at University and one thing within literature that I love discussing is the idea of mental health and the idea that anxiety is kind of inherent an innate to all of our human bodies so when I was doing research around the condition of anxiety I found various definitions but all of them kind of whittled down to the same thing and that is anxiety is a feeling of unease that is it that is as plain and simple and basic as the definition goes it's just a feeling within us that is a feeling of unease a feeling of worry and it's a fear that we don't know what is going on in our head and in our body and that makes us worry and feel uncomfortable within ourselves there's no point rose tinting it and romanticizing this idea of anxiety because it's not it is something as basic as feeling uneasy which is why there are so many kind of levels and tears and experiences of anxiety and it's very easy to be like oh you don't have anxiety because you haven't been diagnosed with it or you don't have anxiety because you don't do this and you don't have anxiety because you're not feeling this way and it's like whoa whoa whoa anxiety isn't one straight ruler it's not rigid it's not strict in its definition it's not Oh in order to have anxiety you need to have this this and this anxiety ranges from experiences that are deemed normal for example exam stress when anybody or the majority people go into an exam period or the exam itself you have a feeling of anxiety you feel anxious and you worried that maybe you're not going to pass or maybe that you might not remember something everybody who goes through that experience is that same level of anxiety however is the more severe conditions that maybes affect symbols everyday life which need to be not stigmatized because they're deemed as kind of irrelevant or silly and that's what I'm coming on this channel to express today because I experienced exam stress I also live with an anxiety that affects me in my everyday life it affects the thoughts and the feelings I have about certain places it affects my experience about going out about meeting people so when I was doing some more research about anxiety is stated that one in six young people and teenagers have had some form of anxiety disorder throughout their lives or at least they will have now that is a very chilling an overwhelming statistic for me because to think of that many people struggling with a condition that cannot be easily treated because it's very kind of in your head it's not like a physical condition where you've broken your leg and you go to hospital it just doesn't work like that and you know you can easily say I'll just go get help you know go see a therapist for the majority of the time waiting lists for counseling and therapy and hospitalization for mental health can be anywhere up to kind of six months to ten years and that is that is insane you know you were living with a broken leg for ten years that would be almost deemed immoral because it's like hang on a minute I have a broken leg I can't do anything I can't function without this leg and it's like well why is it any different for our mental state and our well-being for some reason within our society we do not put money and we do not put funds towards supporting those with mental health conditions and I think personally that affects us just as strongly as a physical condition I don't have a big following on this channel I only have 375 subscribers which I am so so so grateful for and all your support is incredible so I can't thank you guys enough and if one of you 375 people watched this and I helped with this video then that's all I want to achieve I'm just now going to really talk about my experience dealing with kind of anxiety and anxious events and what triggers me what I do to sort out so anxiety can appear in many different forms so it can appear in the form of a panic attack or OCD which is obsessive-compulsive disorder or something like social anxiety you don't need to be or fit into just one category nor do you have to fit into all of them it is completely dependent on how you experience anxiety for me I experienced quite a few panic attacks and I worry a lot about small small small things and as a result that worry I lose sleep because of it I stress out about small things like what am I going to wear or how am I going to do this now there are certain events that have happened in my life that has caused me to I guess be in this anxious State I've always been a bit of a perfectionist whether that's as a result of wanting to look a certain way or perform a certain way or achieve a certain grade at university or a level or GCSE I've always wanted to aspire to be the best of the best of the best and I've always wanted to you know get those a stars and get those distinctions and I've wanted to be popular and I've wanted to look like these models and I've wanted to have a big big following and not necessarily sometimes for the right reasons that is why my anxiety has gotten so bad because ever since I was young and the emergence of social media and you know looking beautiful and being the best of the best the best has emerged into such a normality within society I have latched on to that and my mental health has suffered as a result and one of the main things that I do experience sometimes daily sometimes every week it completely depends on kind of what's going on our panic attacks so what is a panic attack so for those who don't actually know the exact definition of a panic attack now again all of them are different but here's one that specifically spoke out to me so I'm just going to share that just to give you an idea of the things that I'm kind of feeling and experiencing as I'm having one so a panic attack is a type of fear response so it can last anywhere up to 5 to 20 minutes even sometimes more depending on the situation depending on whether you have someone to help you and calm you down so it's exaggeration of the body's response to feelings of danger stress and excitement so as I said earlier if you are going through an exam stress which is deemed something that is a normal anxiety condition there's some people with a bit more of a severe anxiety disorder experienced it in a little bit of a different way they still have that same underlying anxiety but instead it affects their kind of physical body as well so symptoms include breathlessness feeling nauseous feeling faint – feeling hot and all cold feeling as if your heart is pounding and racing trembling and shaking and sweating so again a panic attack can come in a variety of different forms and it expresses itself in a variety of different ways depending on the person and situation for me I have experienced every single one of these things but in certain different situations so for example I absolutely love performing and I love performance and whenever I go to the West End or to the Broadway or I go see any form of show or cinematic experience so even when I go to the cinema I have a small panic attack I don't know whether this is as a result of stress or as a result of excitement I think it might be a combination of both but whenever I sit down I start to have a racing heartbeat I start to sweat I start to feel hot I start to feel faint as if I'm going to almost throw up or I'm just going to completely faint in the middle of the theater and knowing that that could happen knowing that that can happen and that internal worry then worries me more and that is what speeds up the heartbeat and that's what makes me sweat more and that is what starts the panic attack and that's why for me it takes time for a panic attack to kind of simmer down because as soon as I start it it is an impossible cycle that I can't get out of because once I start it I then start to worry about having it and then it just gets worse and then I know it's getting worse so then it just continues and just rapidly increases and every single time I experience there I need to almost take myself out of the situation but things like to the cinema and going to the theater I just don't want to stand up and annoy people and walk through the crowds with people just to get out and it stresses me out the one I might have to embarrass myself and stand up there when I go to the theater and I am in one seat and I feel as though there are a hundred people around me and I can't just get up and escape that situation whenever I start to you know have that panic attack that internal worry then leads to more intense worrying which leads to almost a greater amount of symptoms happening in my body it is easy for me to stay now you know Jamie you could have just stood up and walked outside nobody would have cared at the time I had such a fear of getting up and disturbing the performance from not only myself but for those around me that I'm like I'll just sit here and experience here and the fact that I don't move and experience there only heightens the anxiety that I'm experiencing because I feel as if I can't escape even though I probably can and I can take myself out of this situation freely I feel as though I can't because I feel as though I'm affecting not only my experience because I don't want to be feeling this anxious like when I'm watching a performance or a film or something I don't want to just miss out because of my anxiety I don't want to let it rule me but I do because I just sit there and experience it and then I completely ruin the performance for myself because I just sit there and it just bubbles and bubbles and bubbles and I know that I'm getting worse but I feel as if if I walk out then I'm just going to annoy everyone and I don't want to annoy everyone with my anxiety because people will just think oh Christ say he's just getting up and walking away it's like I don't want people to judge me like that I don't want people to view me as that person who got up in the cinema or got up in the theater to go to the toilet or something like that that's why it's difficult for me to calm myself down and it's why it's difficult for me to kind of sit there and slowly breathe and things like that because I feel as though I am NOT in a situation where I can do that I am NOT in a situation where I can just sit there and breathe because I'm trying to enjoy a performance and I'm trying to make sure that people on aware of what's going on inside my body so I try and keep it down and I'm like stupid stupid story and realistically that's only making things worse and it's exactly the same feeling when I go to a large crowded space whether that's outside or inside which is why I struggle with things like concerts and festivals because those large spaces filled with crowds and crowds of people I don't want people around me thinking what is this guy doing why is he having an attack like that or oh my god is he okay I don't want sick people to worry about me I don't want people to sympathize with me because I don't want to be a problem to other people which is why again I keep it to myself I know I am my own worst enemy I'm obviously going to preach in this video to obviously talk about it and Express and get yourself out of those situations where you are feeling anxious if you do feel as though you can battle through it then by all means work that anxiety do not let it rule you but unfortunately sometimes it is so overwhelming and so powerful that all you can do is just leave the situation and know that every single time you go you are one step closer to beating the anxiety and that's why I will forever go to London even though it is stupidly crowded that's why I will still go to you know the theater and to the cinema because although I know that there is a potential that I will have an anxiety attack I still want to experience it and I still want to go and prove to myself and to my anxiety that it doesn't make me and that I do want to beat it and it's not going to happen overnight it's not going to be like oh I wait I'm going to wake up and my anxiety is forever gone and yeah because it is part of me so another thing about anxiety and panic attacks that I do want to address is the feeling that it can affect more than just your mental health but also your physical health a lot of the time when I experience panic attacks I experienced them at night so for the last three four years I have been experiencing panic attacks during my sleep and at the thought that I am not getting any sleep which is why I also don't go out and that's why I'm going to be talking about later on in the video so on some nights where I'm feeling a little bit busy or a little bit hectic I struggled to get to sleep and any time passed kind of midnight 12:30 I start to stress I like to have kind of seven and a half eight hours sleep and when I see that time slowly reduced because I can't see because my mind is going absolutely crazy with all the things that I've got to do and because of everything that I'm thinking about that stresses me more out because I'm like I need to get to sleep so I can be productive the next day because I've got this this and this to do but I can't see because I'm worrying about all these things that I've got to do and then I'm like constantly checking the time and I'm constantly checking the phone thinking oh my gosh I've only got five hours I've only got four hours I've only got three hours and in the end I end up having no sleep throughout the entire night which takes you know the next day off because I'm absolutely exhausted and because I know that I don't want to be feeling that in the morning because I want to be productive the next day that stresses me out more and that internal worry which results in my panic attack then affects my physical health because I'm not sleeping at night and because I'm not sleeping at night that means that I'm then further worrying the next day because I've got all of this stuff to do but my head isn't in the right mental space and I think it's very easy for people to say you know I'll use the claw map or meditate and of course everything helps every little helps but again it's not something that happens and changes overnight a lot of people's worries and fears and anxieties are actually subconscious and happen in the back of your mind so when you think or if you think that you're not worrying about them so you're thinking why on earth am I worrying it's probably nothing to do with what's in here in the front part of your head but it's probably what's happening in the back so it can't get to sleep naturally because you've got things that are unfinished and that's completely natural some people you know they can deal with two-three hours sleep but there's also a lot of people who can't and that constant cycle of panic attack not being able to sleep tired the next day panic attack tired not being able to say it's a constant cycle and a constant repetition that is hard to get out of I've been not a lot lady just because I have got lots and lots to do I'm going on a flight to Florida in a week and I absolutely hate flying and in the back of my mind even though the thought of Florida is very happy and very joyous and it's sitting right here and I'm like in the back of my mind there's that worry niggling at me thinking oh my gosh oops go on fly and I hate flying obviously for the reasons as I said before I can't escape I'm not in control that feeling of I am confined and I can't do anything about the situation scares the hell out of me which is why I don't like you know traveling on trains and it's why I don't like commuting and going on planes because I don't like feeling like I'm not in control if that thought nickels in the back of my head cuz I'm like oh gosh I don't want to experience this feeling so I put it off and obviously that is what keeps me up at night because I'm thinking about all the horrible things that could happen on this fly and it gets worse and worse and worse and it's just a repetitive cycle that kind of gets caught up and it's like realistically that's not gonna happen to me but inside because I'm a huge hypochondriac I worry about the worst things and I'm like oh my gosh the planes gonna land and I'm gonna die and it's like realistically Jamie that will not happen but for some reason my head tells me that it's gonna happen which makes me worry which makes my anxieties spin out of control and that is again why I don't go out on university nights out a lot I possibly go on them once a month or something I absolutely love going out as I present on my youtube channel I am very bubbly outgoing fun hopefully kind of person and I love to boogie and I love to dance and I don't drink when I go out most the time I don't drink just because I like feeling like I said I like being in control of my body I like being able to look after my friends to make sure that they're okay and safe but also I put it off I put it off a lot of the time because I don't enjoy going out because I know that I'm gonna get home at 4 o'clock the birds will be chirping the Sun will be coming out and then I won't be able to sleep then I know that I'm not gonna be productive the next day because I know that I've got loads to do and I'm like oh my gosh I can't waste time going out all that panic in side worries me that I'm not going to sleep even before I'm in that situation before I even go out to the club I'm sitting there worrying oh my gosh I'm not going to get any sleep tonight and then that's like well then I don't go out because I want sleep because I need sleep because I've got too much to do to not sleep and be productive I think it's so easy for people to say you know I'll just say yes and go for it and you can battle your anxiety and sometimes it's harder it's harder than just saying yes and it's harder than just saying okay I'll do it and experiencing it because sometimes it is so unbearable physically and mentally going through a panic attack and like I said earlier you know I still go to the cinema I still go to some concerts I still go to the theater because I do want to go because I do enjoy them and I'm gonna get on that flight and I'm gonna do it but there are some things which I physically can't do hence why I don't go out a lot to the club and party because it scares me to do so and I think it's a very common fear and I think especially within teenagers it isn't often talked about because people just label it as something as normal as exam stress but for some people it is a lot worse than that so there are a variety of different ways that you can handle and take back control on your anxiety and it is a working progress but there are apps like calm UK that helps your mind and body and your soul to just relax and to breathe and mind and breathe is another two good apps as well which I sometimes use and meditating itself connecting to your body and your soul and your internal mind does wonders to your mental how things like exercise and eating healthy and going out with your friends and spending time with people that you know do make a difference and do make you feel happy every single little thing helps your mental health it helps your physical body it helps you to sleep at night and I can say hundreds of things which can help you deal and work with your anxiety however is very dependent on the person and for me mind changes all the time sometimes none of it sometimes all of it works there have been a variety of situations where I've tried meditating I have tried the comm apps I've tried listening to music I've tried watching some of my favorite films and nothing seems to work I can't sit here and be like here are the answers this is what happens to me this is how I experience it therefore you do exactly the same and we'll all be fine and happy it just doesn't work like that but again I just wanted to come onto this video and just share with you guys and express my experience I have been experiencing some form of anxiety disorder since a very young age obviously that has changed since I have grown up again it's just making sure that you are connected and that you do know that you aren't the only person experiencing what you're experiencing and it's that feeling that you know you're not alone in this and there are just some anxiety experiences that you won't be able to control and you just got to know that you are going to get through this you are going to battle it and even though it will not disappear forever it's learning how to manage it and learning that there are people around you who care for you and love you and will support you but also there are those people who are experiencing it in the same way and if anybody ever wants to reach out to me or if you ever have any questions about how I deal with there or my experience or you just want someone to talk to then go onto my Instagram and drop me a message in the direct messages drop a comment I am very happy to message and reply to any one of you or all of you if you want to have a chat with me I know it can feel very stressful and I had counseling for three and a half years and although it did do wonders for my mental health again it didn't get rid of it because it is a part of me that will never leave me and although it is a very stressful thing to say because it is difficult dealing with panic attacks and anxiety it is a part of me it makes me very caring and it makes me very compassionate and empathetic because I know what it's like to experience such a horrible horrible condition there are people that you can talk to you whether that's your friends or your family people on YouTube influences that you want to reach out to your dog I don't know other people your teachers there are so many people who are there for you and if you feel like you don't have that physical person there for you there are hundreds of people online I just want to be one of those people who you do feel like you are comfortable talking to I hope you guys enjoyed this week's video thank you very much for supporting my channel I promise I will get back to regular uploads it's just been a very stressful stressful time for me I just want to make sure that you guys are aware that I am here and that I will be obviously my bubbly self and my anxiety does not define me sis my anxiety will never define me it is a part of me and it might sometimes be a very strong a powerful part of me but it will never define me I will still be that bubbly boy inside and on camera and in person thank you very much guys for watching this video if you stuck with me this whole way and listen to my story again if you have any questions drop a comment down below or drop a line to my Instagram smash the like button and subscribe down below and I will see you all in the next video love you babe

2 comments

  1. I subscribed yesterday and you deserve much more subscribers, you’re talented, kind, great at talking, the editing is so good and well thought! 🌸

  2. Well done for being brave and talking about mental health 🙂 I have struggled with anxiety and an eating disorder my whole adult life and have just been diagnosed with aspergers! Keep talking xx

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