I have struggled with anxiety all of my life. I’ve had a good life, and I have achieved many things, but these came at a cost. Anxiety was always a problem, yet I never told anyone about it.
As a male, I did not want people to think I was weak or guess there was something wrong with me. I always hid my anxiety and pretended everything was fine, which inevitably led to problems.
At age fifty, I began having panic attacks.
They became so severe, my life just about stopped. For a short time, I was not able to venture out past the front door. My mental state became so low and troubled, depression and dreadful thoughts started going through my head.
I suffered three months of intense panic attacks followed by another three months of extreme anxiety and minor panic attacks.
During this time, I saw my doctor regularly and I was referred to a psychologist.
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I needed professional help–I know I could not have done it all on my own.
The psychologist pointed to my youth as the start of my problems. I had always been a bit skeptical about those theories, but now I am a big believer. Nine months after my first panic attack, I underwent hypnotherapy, which also showed my childhood was the source of my problems.
My youth was not much different than the childhood of many other kids who were raised in the ’60s and ’70s. I had a father who had a bad temper and he punished me regularly. I was educated at a strict Catholic school from ages nine to fifteen and have no good memories from my school days–I dreaded them. I was a very slow learner and violence and humiliation was, at the time, seen as a remedy for slow learners.
Apart from my childhood, I think the biggest reason for my anxiety and panic attacks was my inability to love myself.
All my life, I looked back at my youth with anger and resentment. As a child I was insulted and humiliated many times by teachers and my father, but I must take responsibility here – it happened many years ago. As an adult, I used those same insults on myself. This led to the panic attacks. When I was struggling, I was relentless with my own verbal self-abuse.
I am now living a great life and I have not had panic attacks for six years.
The anxiety is ninety-nine percent gone, which is fine with me! As a fifty-six year old I have some advice for people who suffer with mental illness like I did–learn to love yourself. This was a hard thing for me to do because I was raised to put everyone else first.
Mental illness comes from the brain, so first learn to love your brain because this is were the problem lives.
After you love your brain, then you can love yourself. After you love yourself, you can begin to love others and love life.
From my own experience love is the answer to mental illness. I hope many young readers will see this. Do not wait until it is too late in life and you have a mental breakdown. Start loving yourself now. And if you can’t, then you must work out how to do it.
I know that panic attacks are a thing of the past for me. And minor anxiety occasionally is a part of life. I am now living a life of mental peace and it all began with loving my brain, as this is where the problem began.
I am now mentally peaceful, panic-free, and loving life.
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