By Aminta Zea
Unis Middle School
Many Americans have to deal with anxiety and panic attacks on a daily basis. Dealing with anxiety can be a struggle most of the time, but there are solutions and ways to cope with it. Having anxiety myself, I strongly believe that I have some marvelous tips on helping you deal with chronic anxiety and panic attacks.
I first would like to address what anxiety is. There are many types of anxiety disorders that include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and a generalized anxiety. I have a generalized anxiety disorder which makes me worry about the smallest of issues for no reason. This can often cause me to have a panic attack. According to Wikipedia, a panic attack is a period of intense fear or apprehension that has a sudden onset and can last minutes to hours.
The first thing I like to tell people when it comes to dealing with anxiety is to learn to live with it and accept it. There are many people who are in denial about their anxiety. Learning to accept it can be one of the most relieving things you can possibly do and it puts you on the right track in learning how to cope with anxiety.
Some tips from Psychology Today state that one way to deal with anxiety is to stay busy all day by doing some sort of task to put your mind off your worries. Tasks can be gentle forms of exercise like walking and yoga. Or you can spend your time relaxing by painting, going online, or doing some sort of hobby that you enjoy. Not only will this help take your mind off of your worries, you can get things done, too.
I also recommend focusing on where the feeling of anxiety is in your body and keep your attention there. Most of the time anxiety can cause some sort of headache, back pain, or chest pain. Centering your attention on the pain will help you identify where your anxiety physically hurts you. Sometimes, if you focus long enough the pain will soon dissolve and you will be feeling better in no time!
If you have some sort of faith, I strongly recommend using it when anxious. Believing that things will get better can sometimes make things better. Whether you do this by believing in God or just by keeping hope, I can almost guarantee things will get better. Having hope can make you have a sense of optimism, which can sometimes help when coping with anxiety.
I will strongly state that anxiety will grow if not treated. I suggest talking to someone who needs a helping hand and vice versa. I also recommend going to a doctor.
When I began to get anxious over little things in the seventh grade, I thought it was no big deal. I honestly thought that it was something that happened to everyone. But then I was hospitalized for a moderate panic attack. This was my first panic attack and I can easily state that it was the most terrifying moment in my entire life. It began with my heart racing and a severe chest pain. Soon after, I had trouble breathing and I slowly felt my belly begin to go numb. This was the point where my dad rushed me to the emergency room, which was 10 minutes away.
Those were the longest 10 minutes of my life. As we rushed into the car, I curled up into a ball and I slowly felt my arms go numb. The numbness soon crawled down to my hands and legs to the point where my hands were paralyzed and curled up. My upper body was unable to move and at that point I thought that I would never be able to move again. This lasted for about 25 minutes.
Many people believe that they are the only people with anxiety. But let me tell you that you aren’t alone. Another student who has a mixture of panic attack disorder and social anxiety disorder says, “I’ve had anxiety since the beginning of sixth grade. I recommend not taking medication because it always ends up making the symptoms worse. When I have a panic attack I like to sort out my thoughts, clear my mind, and try to control my breathing.”
There are also many people who have close friends who suffer from anxiety, like Tahani Smidi. She says that having a friend with anxiety is scary because you never know when they’ll get a panic attack. Smidi likes to cope by treating it as something small until a panic attack occurs. Luckily, Tahani has never experienced someone having a panic attack but she did get one when her brother passed away.
There are also people who aren’t very familiar when it comes to anxiety like Heba Elsayed. When I asked her what does she thinks anxiety is, she said, “I think anxiety is the panic of the brain?” She said that, if she had attacks, “I would avoid things that would cause anxiety.”
Overall, while anxiety can be a difficult thing to cope with, it is possible even though one might face many trials and tribulations. Things will get better over time.