Not many people know this about me, but I have been admitted to a mental hospital six times in my life. I feel it is important to tell you guys that because it provides context on the story that I am about to tell you.
I was suffering from a well of depression for about six months. I was right in the middle of it too. I was attending HACC Lancaster at the time and I was taking a Philosophy class. The professor talked to me one time at length due to a reason I would rather not disclose yet. He recommended a book that was very old, but helped so many people who took the time to read it. That book was Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
This books insight’s on life were just what I needed. I won’t bore you with the details. (I want you to buy it for yourself!) The book gave me a new insight on life in general. I was able to appreciate life. Not just material goods or statues, but the miracle that life is. I am not going religious on you don’t worry, but whatever started all of this made sure the human mind was capable of finding this everlasting peace.
That peace that I have has helped me drastically. I am able to approach people and talk to them. I know a lot of people take that for granted, but imagine waiting in line at the galley, for you Millersville University students, or any line for that matter. When your in line and approach the cashier your barely able to talk to them and it makes everyone feel really awkward especially you.This is how I was for a very long time.
After reading Meditations ten or so times I began to become better socially. Which is really hard for someone with Autism. I playfully refer to myself as an autistic extrovert. That aside, I think that anyone suffering from mental illness, such as depression or anxiety, should really get this book. It helped me a lot and I hope it can help you!
Here is the link to the Barnes and Nobles website if your interested at all!
OK, like I promised is a short look at panic attacks and how I personally deal with my daily panic attacks.
A panic attack is, according to the American Psychological Association is, “a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. It is far more intense than the feeling of being ‘stressed out’ that most people experience.”
For me personally, I feel like my heart is pounding so hard that it is going to break out of my chest, I can barely breathe, I gain an overwhelming amount of unwarranted fear and I tremble, and shake. That sounds awful, right? I think it is. Especially when I experience them all the time. It is hard to get used to them. I have been having them since I was 14 and I am 24 now.
I do, however, have ways to combat my panic attacks. I have become very good at literally stopping them. The way I do that is I have a sort of intuition that I will have one.
I do the following things when I feel like I am about to have a panic attack
- I ground myself using a coping skill that works really well. Such as reading a Star Wars book, writing, playing video games and listening to music. Just something that I have to do with my hands.Something that distracts me.
- I let people around me know that I am having one. Now this one isn’t always true, but if I am around people I trust I am able to do that.
- If there isn’t people around you that you trust to help you, call someone, or talk to someone of some authority and have them help you.
- I keep a log of my panic attacks, or in this case near-panic attacks, and that, surprisingly helps a lot.
Keeping a log of your panic attacks helps you stop them from happening more often. I haven’t found a sure-fire way to get rid of them completely, but some prevention is better than no prevention.
When I am having a panic attack I do the following things:
- Sit down. This can have more benefits than other ones in my opinion. It literally grounds you.
- Get something to drink that is very cold. I have found that if I drink something cold it lets me focus on the drink and the flavors of the drink. Basically another way to distract yourself.
- Distract yourself; do not think of the panic. This one takes a lot of practice, but once it is mastered panic attacks are not nearly as bad.
- Play music loud in your room or on headphones. Let the music envelope you and think only of the music.
- Write. It doesn’t have to be about anything; just write something down. Or draw, paint, create art. This always relaxes me. This is probably my best way of dealing with a panic attack.
- Play a game. It doesn’t have to be a video game, maybe a board or card game. Thinking about the strategy of the game really helps.
Hopefully what I do can help some other people with their panic issues or anxiety issues in general. I am signing off for today, please let me know if you need advice or someone to talk to who has been there.
Well, today’s panic attack toll has hit 2. It must be the heat. It sucks having panic attacks, but I have them so often now I hardly care. They are just an inconvenience for me. I think that people should be made aware the signs that someome around them is having a panic attack. With that being said, I am going to post a panic attacks helpers guide tomorrow. I really hope it helps someome out. Also, on Sunday, I will be discussing a favorite book of mine called Meditations. Do you know the author? Anyway, that is all for today!