Living with a Panic Disorder and Everything in Between

by Emma coughlan about a month ago in coping

A little glimpse into my life, coping with a mental illness.

Living with a Panic Disorder and Everything in Between

Living with a mood disorder has been the hardest "obstacle" in my life; I say obstacle because that is exactly what it is. My disorder blocks my way and prevents me from making progress within. Throughout my teenage years I always had a gut-wrenching feeling that something was wrong with me, I didn't believe my thoughts were normal and it scared me; my mindset was in shambles and I had no idea how to cope.

It was all very confusing, I didn't know why I felt and acted the way I did, I even started questioning and doubting my own sanity. The simplest tasks became unbearable, I could no longer get out of bed in the morning to work on my schooling; nor did I want to. I felt so many emotions all at once and I couldn't handle it; every little thing became too much. I wanted to be the cheerful, outgoing girl I used to be, unfortunately that wasn't me anymore.

For the longest time I have always felt like an outcast within my peer group, I had been convinced that I wasn't worthy enough to have people that cared about me. I was oblivious, stuck in a delusion that something was better than it actually was. People mistreated and belittled me badly until I couldn't fight back anymore; my mental health was dwindling and I had no one left. I felt achingly alone and it drove me insane. I despised being alone. When you're alone, you are left with your thoughts, which continued to haunt me. When I was alone I often had thoughts about how life would be if I wen't away at that very moment, I often questioned if anyone would actually notice or have a care.

It was then that I knew that something was very wrong, it's not normal to have those thoughts everyday; it's not normal to think about harming myself in order to cope. I desperately needed answers and wanted to help myself, I couldn't take it anymore. I went to a doctor and explained how I was feeling for a long time daily and the struggles I continued to have: the deep feeling of sadness and worry that wouldn't go away, damaged self-image, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, etc. I felt a sense of relief after telling someone, I was one step closer to bettering myself. I was diagnosed with depression, panic disorder and a mood disorder. It was a lot to take in and I was scared that I wouldn't be able to handle my emotions and do what was right for myself in order to cope; it was a daily challenge with multiple highs and lows.

Overtime I found myself within and began putting my feelings and concerns first, focusing on myself was the best decision I finally made. I learned new healthy ways to cope and it helped me tremendously, for the first time I actually felt like I was going to be okay. I had such a negative and distorted perception on life and everything in between, it had taken be a long time but I opened my eyes and changed my perspective.

Focusing on your wellbeing is very important, you are important; it's okay to put your mental health first and focus on what is critical. Your mental illness does not control you and your life, I know it is hard but don't let it. You can do anything you set your mind to, even among the struggles and setbacks you have. Don't give up.

Emma coughlan
Emma coughlan
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