3 words –> I have anxiety.
Seriously, though who doesn’t? The first time I had an anxiety attack, I was in grade 12, thinking about going to university and wondering how I was going to afford it. I stopped breathing, and legitimately thought I was dying. My chest burned and I couldn’t move. For about a week I had constant anxiety/panic attacks and could not figure out what was wrong with me.
My mom took me to a series of tests and I got blood work taken along with an endoscopy and an ECG scan. Doctors concluded that I wasn’t dying and prescribed me a puffer to help with breathing. This puffer was a life saver. I loved how it felt and I became addicted to it. (LOL who gets addicted to puffers?- I am so hard-core.) Needless to say, my prescription didn’t get renewed.
At the time, I didn’t know I was having panic attacks. I didn’t really process or analyze anything or reflect on what was happening around me. Eventually, the attacks just went away. Over the years, I had smaller attacks and eventually learned that the symptoms I had were because of stress and anxiety.
In more recent years, I am comforted by knowing that anxiety among young people is at an 80-year high.
Why are we so anxious?
The New York Post offers these explanations:
- Millennials have an overwhelming amount of options
- Millennials are the first generation raised with Internet
- Millennials are the first generation to experience “helicopter” parenting
- Millennials are constantly exposed to social media
- Millennials are faced with a shit economy
We are also faced with low paying jobs, high student debt, and precarious employment.
Panic attacks suck. But I am getting better at noticing a build up of symptoms. I check in with myself and know when I need to take a break. I know what makes me happy and I try to do those things. I try to give myself a break when I fuck up. I try to not be too hard on myself, and I try to remember that the world is not ending. For anyone having a hard time, keep your head up. This too shall pass. xo