2 Spuds in a Pod

Looking after your mental and physical wellbeing.

Tag: get help

Anxiety go away!

I really wish someone could come up with a quick fix for when my anxiety starts to rear its ugly head. It is so tiring and I spend so much time and energy on something that is out of my control.

Little things

This week the anxiety has been brought on by work. I have had so much work to do, and I do what I do best: just keep my head down, don’t ask for help, trying to get everything done to a to a very high standard, I don’t take lunch and then crash in the evening. I had a chat with one of my managers who told me to stop stressing about things, to not sit at home in the evening getting anxious and worried about the work the next day. As long as it is done to a good standard then that is all that matters. This sounds great but it is easier said than done.

A box for everything

I like things done a certain way. I function best when I know exactly when and how I need to get things done. Knowing that I have a lot of things to get done in a day, at no specific times, with all factors outwith my control, really makes me anxious. Give me a time and a place, and I am happy. When things are fluid I struggle. So much so that the evening and night before a day like that is ruined. I constantly think about how to get it all done the next day. I go to bed thinking about it, wake up several times in the night and this is the first thing on my mind each time when I wake up.

Warning signals

This does worry me as I used to always take work home with me, and never switch off. I think that is one of the problems with working as a police officer, that you never really switch off. You also have such a great responsibility; if you mess up then people could die. It is harsh but it is the truth. But people sometimes die despite you doing the best job possible. This is hard to deal with. It would have been great if the management had recognised this and offered support but that is an area where the police fall down: they are busy looking after the public but do not really look after their colleagues.
It is also a reminder that sometimes you do need to speak up, and ask for help. Tell people that you are not coping well. I find that management will just plod along, thinking everything is good as they have not had anyone say anything different. They rarely use their own initiative and actually ask.
I wish I had spoken up, that I had spoken to my colleagues and manager about this. It felt like it was all part of my duties, which is really ridiculous as I am only human.

Different line of work

What I do now is so different, but to a lot of people it is the end of the world if I can’t fix it for them. I put myself under a lot of pressure to get things done, efficiently and to a high standard. Going back to this week, in the end it all sorted itself out as I got help that day for one difficult job, and this was due to his van having broken down. Had it not then I would not have had any help. So life moves in mysterious ways.

The relief!

When it all just sorted itself out I was so happy. I felt my shoulders relax and thought to myself: why on earth are you worrying so much! Easier said than done. But try. Try not to worry so much. Nothing good will come of it.

I hope you all have a good week, and take care of you and your loved ones.

-Rosita

Anxiety

I am pretty sure that this topic has touched a lot of us in one way or another. It could be that you are an anxiety sufferer. It may be that you have witnessed someone have an anxiety attack. It may be that a close friend or family member has been living with anxiety for years.

From time to time we will all feel a bit anxious.  We may feel anxious before a big test or exam. We could feel anxious that we must drive to a place we have never been to. It could be that you have invited your partner’s parents’ round for tea, and you want to impress them with your culinary skills. All these examples are good ones for anxiety and examples which will last for the time they are there and no longer. What I would like to talk about is someone who suffers from an anxiety mental health condition and who lives with the condition day in and day out.

Anxiety definition

According to the dictionary there are two definitions for anxiety.

One is:

“a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.”

And another is:

“Psychiatry, a nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behaviour or panic attacks.”

Taken from Oxford English Dictionary.

And there you have it, the definitions of anxiety. However, as I have said I want to speak about what it is to live with anxiety day in and day out.

Anxiety everyday

This means everyday you live with constant worry and nervousness. According to the charity Mind there are several triggers for anxiety, and they are:

Past or childhood experiences including neglect as a child, bullying or social exclusion.

Your current life situation including being out of work, working long hours and not seeing family, money issues, bullying.

Physical and mental health problems including living with a serious or life-threatening health condition.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you speak to anyone who suffers from anxiety and ask them about triggers, I can guarantee that they will all be different from each other.

Triggers

The best thing you can do as an anxiety sufferer is know your triggers. This way you will be able to avoid them if needs be or be prepared for them. Obviously, this will take some time to do. It will be very hard if you are in the middle of being diagnosed with anxiety to know what a trigger could be. You may end up going through a few months where everything will be a trigger. This is nothing to worry about (I am fully aware that, that is easier said than done). It is because your anxiety is at the fore front of everything. Once you work at getting it under control it should settle down and you will hopefully be left with one or two triggers. You will hopefully be left with how to deal with an anxiety attack as well.

My main trigger would have to be bullying. I have been bullied both in school and in workplaces. It is the one thing that will rally my nerves, gets me wound up and leaves me feeling anxious. I have worked hard at keeping it under control and I now try to sort bullying out as soon as it starts rather than several weeks down the line.

BBC Anxiety and Me

There was a fantastic documentary on BBC one recently called Anxiety and Me. It was presented by Great British Bake Off’s winner Nadiya Hussain. The programme took the viewer through a journey on what it was like to live with anxiety. It also showed the viewer the realisation that you may need to speak to a professional as well as actually speaking to one. As far as I am aware it is still on BBC iPlayer. I would encourage you to watch it.

What is a panic attack?

So, as you can see anxiety can be a very debilitating condition to live with. The constant fear of what if this is to happen or what if that was to happen. Living with anxiety could also lead to a panic attack.

What is a panic attack and what does it feel like to have one? These are both great questions. Both Rosie and I have both had panic attacks at some point or other in our lives. Being individuals, we also have different symptoms.

The main symptoms according to NHS to look out for are:

Palpitations, sweating, shakiness in the hands, nausea, dizziness or hyperventilation.

For more symptoms please visit the NHS website.

Rosie’s symptoms are:
Pacing, cannot be still, struggling to talk, cannot make any decisions and crying.

My symptoms are:
Fast breathing, facial twitching, shaky legs which could then travel up the body to arms and torso, sweating.

As you can see there are a whole list of symptoms with regards to a panic attack. It will differ to each person.

How to help someone having a panic attack

Now, it can be very frightening to witness someone having a panic attack but it can also be extremely frightening if you have not had an attack before. The best way to deal with one is:

Keep calm. Either on your own or as the helper you must keep calm. There is no point in making a panic attack worse by panicking.

Move away from the situation to a quieter spot if you can. Moving away will help both yourself and the sufferer settle down.

Breathe. Take a deep breath. In through the nose and let it out slowly through the mouth. Keep doing this until you feel calmer. If you are helping someone do this then breathe with them.

Reassurance. If you are on your own then call a friend or a family member who can help you. As a helper reassure the person suffering from the attack. Do not ask them too many questions, and it may be enough for them knowing you are listening without saying anything. They may tell you afterwards what the trigger was, but your priority is to help them be calm.

Panic attacks last anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes. It can be a frightening experience, but it is rare that a person will need to go to hospital with a panic attack.

– Helen

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