Being a teenager is tough; being a teenage girl is even tougher and being a teenage girl with regular teenage anxiety and an anxiety disorder, and life can seem unbearable. This is Molly’s Story.
My teenage anxiety started in November, 2016 when my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. I just remember a blur of events – sitting in a restaurant, getting a message from my dad that he had been for tests and getting the test results the next day. I had no idea anything was going on with my father’s health, so all of this came to me as a shock. I began feeling a weird sensation inside of my as I wandered outside for some fresh air. It was then, as I stood leaning against a wall trying to take in everything that was happening, that I experienced my first panic attack.
Throughout his cancer journey, my anxiety continued to get worse and worse. I found myself having attacks more frequently and even began to avoid social situations that I used to see as fun opportunities to mingle with my friends. However, I was still convinced that whatever this “teenage anxiety” thing could be handled by myself; that I could do it alone and didn’t need any help. I was wrong.
Come May of 2017, only a year after my father was diagnosed with cancer, and my dad lost his battle with cancer. From then on, my mental health really took a turn for the worst. Not only was my continuous feelings of anxiety terrible but I also began experiencing other issues such as derealization, depersonalization, depression, and insomnia. I began to feel like my dad’s death was beginning to take my own. At the very least, it was definitely killing my spirit.
When I Knew I Needed Professional Help
On one particular day, I had the worst panic attack I’ve ever experienced. It got so unbearable that I finally made the decision to get help. I knew I needed to seek professional help from a therapist and although it took me many attempts to actually put my foot in that door, it’s what eventually brought me back to life. Today, I work with an amazing therapist and am excited about continuing on the road road to recovery. I have learned how to control my panic attacks and emotions, which alleviated my depression creating a full-circle of healing.
Now, I’m in no way an expert at controlling my panic attacks all the time but I have certainly gotten much better at it with the help of my therapist. Take a look at my top three tips that I use to overcome those difficult times:
Tip #1. When you begin to feel your anxiety turning into a panic attack, focus on your breathing.
When people used to tell me to breathe when having an attack, I would ignore it as I couldn’t imagine that something as simple as breathing could have such an impact! I was wrong. Today, I rely on breathing to control my anxiety.
There are many incredible breathing techniques out there. Personally, I really enjoy and recommend the breathing bubble on the Calm app which is 100% free!!
Tip #2. Speak positively out loud
Try talking over your negative thoughts. Breaking that silence can help disrupt your anxious thought patterns. At the very least, speaking out loud in a positive way can help tone down the negative thoughts.
Tip #3. Always remember that the feelings will pass
Something I learned from my therapist is that every feeling is triggered by a thought, so I discovered that it was my thinking that was ultimately creating the anxious feelings. Realizing this has helped me drastically. However, it’s equally as important to remember that the feelings will pass, even thought it doesn’t always feel that way in the moment.
Most importantly, I highly recommend getting professional help. You can tell yourself time and time again that you can do it on your own, but why struggle when a therapist is sitting there with open arms, willing to help you get through whatever it is you’re dealing with?
I would go as far as saying that I believe it’s impossible to get better without professional help, and I believe the quicker you make the decision to try to find a solution, the easier it will be to tackle the problem.
I hope these tips help!! Thank you for reading,
Follow Molly’s progress on her Instagram account and if you have a story you’d like to share, contact us.
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