My Little Noggin

I am so grateful for having the chance to live my life, think for myself and be who I want to be, but with anxiety and depression looming over me this can be much more of a task. I've had anxiety for as long as I can remember, from being a little 6 (ish) year old having her first ever panic attack, to now going through everyday battling and fighting on. Anxiety can take over your life. Every single little thing you do can cause some sort of fear and panic. A lot of people brush anxiety under the carpet... panic attacks are apparently just hyperventilating and shaking... oh how this is soooo wrong! Panic attacks come in all shapes and sizes and affect people in different ways. I've had the kind of panic attacks where I hyperventilate to the point of exhaustion and I collapse, to ones where I feel like I physically cannot move, but I'm not shaking or breathing uncontrollably. I could be having a panic attack and no one would ever know! 
Unfortunately, Rich has only seen the kind of panic attacks where you can physically see I am not ok and he's yet to experience all the others I could have. Nevertheless, he has been my rock these past few months, university has really taken its toll and I've become mentally and physically ill and exhausted; I've pushed myself to breaking point. He stays up with me pretty much every night when I feel panicky or when I have a full blown panic attack. But as nice as this is, my anxiety and overthinking takes over and I begin to doubt everything. Can he handle it all? Am I a nuisance? Does he still love me the same way he did at the beginning of our relationship? Is he going to break up with me? 

My little noggin has a lot of thoughts spiralling around 24/7. Anxiety and depression never stops! Recently, in particular I've really struggled with relationships and friendships. I am constantly doubting myself and questioning every little detail possible; it is mentally and physically exhausting. I've recently heard a lot of people say "Anxiety does not physically affect you, it's all in your head", Yes, it is a chemical imbalance in the brain that is causing it, but that does not mean I can just switch it off and ignore it. It is physically debilitating to the point it can affect my every day life. I've had quite a lot of time off of uni this year due to exhaustion and mental health. I've had nights where Rich has been up with me all night whilst I have a panic attack, and I wake up the next morning without any physical or mental energy to get out of bed and go to uni. To make matters worse, when I do have time off uni, I can't just relax and recover... I'm sitting in bed literally crying and panicking whilst tackling the mountain of work in front of me. It has got to the point sometimes where Rich literally has to tell me to stop because he can see it's affecting my health! 

Which brings me on to my next point. The 'help' at uni for mental health is dire! I do not need a 'Positive Thinking' workshop to 'get over' my anxiety and depression. When is the education system going to take things seriously and treat mental health the same way as physical health? Students who battle with mental health alongside the 'normal' stress of uni, need all the help they can get otherwise it all gets too much! 

I feel like sometimes because I have the most common mental illnesses, I'm not taken as seriously. I'm just following the crowd according to some people. Yes, there are millions of other mental illnesses out there that need the same, if not more recognition and understanding but can some people stop bashing people who are really struggling with anxiety and depression, just because they have a 'common' illness. 
I don't really know where this post is going but I just wanted to chuck a few of my thoughts down... 

People need to stop classing anxiety and depression as the 'norm' and treat it the same as any other mental illness. 

People need to realise that having anxiety and depression does take over your life physically and it is NOT all in my head! 

The education system really need to up their bloody game and help us mentally ill students out! 

People need to understand that anxiety is not just panic attacks, it's self doubt, doubting relationships, questioning everything you do and say, feeling uncomfortable in situations and having a panic attack without any one knowing... the list goes on! 

I'm at the stage where I feel I'm back to square one with my mental health, mainly due to the pressure from university. BUT I know that I will get better, I will push on and my little noggin will be less cloudy one day! 

Thank you for all the continued support on Twitter and on here! You are all lovely humans who I have the privilege to call my friends :) Feel free to share your views and your stories in the comments below! I'd love to find out what you all think <3 

Soph x


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