Break the silence…ANXIETY

Anxiety, PND, Miscarriage, Infertility.

These are just a few examples that are taboo topics that we don’t hear about often.
But why? So much why!!!
Shouldn’t we be joining forces with family, friends and our supporting communities to help eachother through these difficult times?

Mel @mummy_conwell and Steph @mummybloggersydney joined forces on a good ole Friday night (in our pjs, on Insta) to talk about our own real life issues. I think in about half an hour of talking we had learnt so much about eachother.

We asked eachother what we thought was the reason why we don’t tell anyone about our own anxieties.

Steph: People are caught up in their own lives, unless they have experienced it to it’s just wiped from their memory.

Mel: I don’t expect people to understand so that’s why I keep quiet. I think it’s by chance that when people do mention it they might come across someone who’s in the same boat and that is how they connect.

If it was as simple as a broken leg and everyone could see what is wrong, nobody understands what it’s like on the inside.

Anxiety can take form in many different ways and varies from person to person. Some have suffered and dealt with it all their lives whereas for others it comes on later in life.

Mel & Steph are the perfect example of this.

Mel @mummy_conwell has suffered from anxiety from a young age, but her triggers have changed as the years go on. She’s learnt to cope and has outgrown certain things that used to give her anxiety but of course gained more along the way. 
When she was younger it was never really bought to her attention and labelled as “Anxiety” it was more a case of “she just gets nervous”. However for Mel it was nervous to the point of actually vomiting. When you go weeks on end before an event being riddled with nerves, feeling sick, lack of appetite, lack of sleep and the list goes on, something needs to be done. That’s got to be more than just nerves right? 
Yes it was! Many years later after becoming more aware of her triggers she decided to head off to the doctor to find out what was going on. After completing a scoring chart Mel was diagnosed with a moderate/high level of Anxiety and OCD.


“I could probably only list a handful of people that actually know I have Anxiety and that understand, when I say understand I mean fully understand….. They understand how it makes me feel, they give me time to deal with it and of course offer reassurance in every way possible. Telling someone you understand and then telling them in the same sentence to snap out of it is not helpful, it makes everything worse.”

Through our own research (insta poll came in handy 😉) 
We found that 90% of people have anxiety but only 72% of these have shared that with other people.


Why?
Fear of judgement?
Fear of inadequacy?
Lack of understanding?
Lack of support?
Noone should have to go through this alone. 
Noone should be ashamed.
Society needs to change the stigma around Anxiety and Mental Illness. 
It all starts with YOU!


“My main struggle with being diagnosed and medicated for anxiety was coming to terms with being put under that umbrella of ‘mental illness’, being diagnosed as mentally ill and the effect that would have on my future. If I walked into a job interview with a broken arm the employer would assume that it would fix itself and all would be okay, but if I walked into a job interview with my anxiety medication, I probably wouldn’t get the job and that’s what needs to change in society. Mental and physical health have similarities and mental health shouldn’t be looked down upon.” @life.with.lochlan

Anxiety is not something that is visible from the outside but it is still something that is judged the wrong way.

Steph @mummybloggersydney is still coming to terms with her anxiety and trying to understand it herself. 
For her, it only began after she became a mother. All of a sudden normal everyday things that never bothered her before caused her huge angst. 
Driving in traffic or through a tunnel could send her into a huge panic attack. 
The fear of something happening to her husband and her being left alone with the kids would make her ill. 
The idea of being in a situation that is new and where she has no control scares the hell out of her.


“All of a sudden I’ll have a thought or just be going about my normal day life and then something weird happens. I feel hot…then cold…light headed…sweaty…I can feel it creeping up from my stomach, approaching my throat, closing in on me.

I can’t breathe. My heart races. My head spins. 
I’m having a panic attack.” 


Steph’s anxiety is not diagnosed by a professional, (just like another 55% of people polled) but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. She’s learnt to recognise the feeling and like Mel, uses a number of breathing and distraction techniques to calm herself down.

 
However 25% of people (our insta stats) who suffer from anxiety need to take medication to help. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Some people use a combination of many strategies. Everyone responds differently to life’s situations and to medication so each has to do what works for them. 


“I don’t use medicine any more because I got addicted to Anxiety pills in college and literally had to have an intervention from my good friends. Later in pharmacy school I was prescribed an antidepressant for my anxiety but it made me SO depressed I couldn’t get out of bed so I have never medicated again for it. I’ve struggled with anxiety and perfectionism my whole life! I have been biting my fingers until they literally bleed including the skin around them! My panic attacks have recently stopped and my anxiety has gotten a little better. Scripture verses and being outside were how I got myself out of panic attacks. My husband also taught me the importance of mindfulness and meditation” @pharmacy_mommy


How powerful is it to hear another persons experience?! 


95% of people know someone who suffers from Anxiety and 60% of people have a story to share.


So ask yourself,
Who will you reach out to today?
Get in touch.
Ask them if they are OK.
Have an honest, open conversation. 
No judgement. 
Pure support.
Try understanding.
Listen.
Really LISTEN.
And above all…
BE KIND.
You never know what someone else is going through.

Have a story to share or want to chat?
Get in touch
Mel @mummy_conwell 
Steph @mummybloggersydney

Sending you love,

MBS

Xx

(This post was done in collaboration with @mummy_conwell. A HUGE thank you to Caitlyn from @life.with.lochlan and Adrianna from @pharmacy_mommy for sharing their experiences with us.) 

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