The physical effects of anxiety | Alex’s Mental Health Story | Mind

The physical effects of anxiety | Alex’s Mental Health Story | Mind

So I’m making this video primarily to address
the misconceptions surrounding panic attacks and anxiety disorders, and I should point
out that before I had my first anxiety attack, you know, I had some these of misconceptions
myself. I should point out this started in my mid-twenties, so it can flare up at any
point, and the way it manifested for me primarily was panic attacks usually in the evening when
I was trying to get some sleep. So I’d get about five to ten minutes’
sleep and then, boom! I’d be woken up by a racing heart and tension headache. I should
mention that my father passed away of a stroke at 45, so when I get a pain in my head, I
think, boom! You know, this is it, I think. So if we start with my first experience, one
of my best friends took me to hospital and the doctors were convinced that I was having
a heart attack. They gave me the drugs to treat me for a heart attack. I had various
ECGs, various tests. I had a chest x-ray. All my information was
sent to a specialist hospital in London because they couldn’t… It wasn’t anything obvious,
but when all that information came back clear, that’s when the doctor actually came in
and had a conversation with me and said, you know, I am a fearful, panicky person, to which
me and my friend were laughing because I’m sitting there saying, Listen I’ve done stand-up
comedy around London. I’ve got an acting background. That does
not describe me. But the doctor said, you know, anxiety, panic attacks are going to
affect most people in their life to varying degrees. So the way that I managed, manage
my condition now is through medication, and the way I look at it is essentially like an
asthmatic. They can’t control when their body has an attack. You know, they always
constrict, and they need their medication to, you know, to help them, and it’s the
same for me personally with my mental health disorder. You know, my brain does things that I can’t
control, and that’s what the medication helps with me. And I kind of found this out
the hard way because I neglected my medication for about two years. And at my lowest point,
you know, I wouldn’t even make a decision about what to have for dinner. So things that
I would say are very important is, you know, is you have to notice the little changes,
and it’s very hard to notice that when you’re in the moment because, you know, you feel
normal. So arguably, you are normal when sometimes it’s not quite the case. So I think it’s very important to find a
baseline, you know, and just be aware of your baseline and have a close friend or relative
or someone, you know, you trust who can, you know, just tell you when you’re slightly
off and then you can make adjustments or, you know, do what you need to do to be aware
of that. Because, as I say, when you’re in the moment, you really… You don’t feel
like there’s a problem, and that’s when it can, you know, when it can spiral. And
also be aware that it manifests in many different ways. You know, in that two-year period where I
was neglecting my medication, I didn’t have a single panic attack, but I was very indecisive.
I wasn’t balanced. There was an unbridled fear within me. So it was affecting me in
another way, and I think the lack of panic attacks was one of the key reasons that I
thought I was actually fine when I wasn’t. But I think knowledge is power, and the more
knowledge you have of the condition, you know, the more you can be aware of it and actually
keep yourself nice and balanced. So I’m happy to talk to anyone. I’ll keep
an eye on the comments, but you’ll get there guys, so just stay positive, and if anyone
wants to chat, I’ll be here.



  • Recovery with Miss Williams

    Thank you for this it is very helpful to see others who are trying to deal with anxiety

  • Kim Kitts

    mine are night time. They suck and people don't understand

  • Lucas Bookfield

    Very interesting and relatable.

  • onetimethingokay

    I would love to hear about the different medicines people have tried, and what they've found effective? I've taken various anti-depressants that were supposed to be good for treating anxiety too, but they've unfortunately never worked for me.

  • Dino_sore_asd

    💖💖💖 your so cute x

  • Peter Donovan

    Helpful insight into anxiety's debilitating impact.😦 #worldmentalhealthday

  • DJ Garybaldy

    I've suffered with severe anxiety for longer than I care to mention it never seems to go away… Rules my life pretty much 98% of the time. There's only so many Psychologists you can throw at a problem. People don't seem to realise how anxiety can screw someone's life over.

  • Dare Dom Donate

    Totally relate to this, well done on your openness

  • Sarah Jayne

    Thank you for the video. I seemed to relate on a level I didn't consider before. I had treated my anxiety with therapy and have had a lack of panic attacks which is great, and as you said I feel like I should be feeling much better. But what you mentioned about feeling unbalanced and in fear i seem to really relate, and makes me consider if there may be some things I still need to address. Thank you.

  • Jennifer Adams

    I too can relate to this. Thank you for this and well done for doing it 🙂

  • Ann Carver - Money Mindfulness

    Hi Alex – after seeing my father go into a psychiatric hospital and stay there for the rest of his days I have always feared medication and have tried to manage my anxiety attacks without. I am now 52 and find my self struggling – I still fear medication but have become actively involved with MIND.

  • Chima Nnadi

    People think you are faking. For a year and half I’ve been going through this. It has ruined my life

  • Jenny Snaps

    I just came across this. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have been recently suffering from panic attacks and anxiety.

    For anybody out there who suffers with this condition, I would recommend an app called Head space. I have been recently using it and I must say it's very good! It's really a great app that helps with the mind and body. It really helps calm down my stress and palpitation. You can also receive free positive notifications during the day to help to have a positive thinking pattern!

  • Bob Ross

    I've had so many anxiety attacks these last few days. I went to the ER for palpitations and I was dehydrated and then I went back to normal. But after I started to worry that I would get a heart attack and some moments I would be completely fine and then I would get scared again if one thing happens. Now the Dr. said my chest is sore from my body tensing up and me throwing up a lot.

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