Today’s Depression: Catalyst for Change guest is Marie Miguel. She speaks about her experience with anxiety and using social media to speak out against mental health stigmas.
When I saw the panic attack clip from “This Is Us,” I watched it over and over. It was one of the realest recreations of a panic attack that I have ever seen. This, my friends, is what anxiety feels like. It numbs your mind, your limbs, your entire life. You feel like you’re floating above your body, and you’re trembling from the fear of the unknown and also what is happening in the past and future. You can’t focus on the present. Your mind doesn’t want to live there. It’s spinning out of control and focusing on thoughts you never imagined would take flight.
You were feeling “normal” five minutes ago, but something just triggered anxiety and panic. It could have been that last-minute report request from your boss. It could be that your significant other isn’t happy with you for some reason. You could be worried about a loved one going through an existential crisis. You could be somewhere that seems to trigger a panic attack every time you are there, causing agoraphobia. It may be caused by nothing at all. You go out of your way to people please because that’s the perfectionist part of your brain telling you that someone won’t like you if you don’t take on extra work or do something you wouldn’t otherwise do.
#ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike for me. I’m a successful public relations practitioner, writer, and photographer who owns her own business. On the outside, it seems like I have everything internally together, but there are times that being in public is excruciating. It’s like I am a vampire who is forced to endure the sun for days on end. I feel uncomfortable and out of my element, but I still commit to professional and personal engagements. I have to. I won’t let my anxiety get me down. I’m a panic attack survivor and the insomniac who has lost hours upon hours of sleep due to worry and perfectionism. My motivation and perfectionism have helped me build my business, but it also threatens to tear it down at the drop of a hat. I am my own worst enemy and best friend, my own Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Stigma Fighters Founder and CEO Sarah Fader’s #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike movement on Twitter is a catalyst for change. As a mental health advocate, I love seeing social media being used for good instead of promoting less-than-savory things. Those with mental health issues are constantly stigmatized, and speaking out about your issues can help people understand that mental health issues happen to so many of us. Like Abbie from Sidereal Catalyst, I suffered in silence for a long while — until I decide that I wanted to reach my own level of balance (if there is such a thing) and speak out against stigmas. #ThisIsWhatAnxietyFeelsLike: surviving to help others.
Get help when you need it. BetterHelp can aid you in speaking with a mental health professional about what is bothering you. Here are some Stigma Fighters resources to help you fight the stigmas and get the help you need.
Marie Miguel is an avid internet researcher. She is fueled by her determination to answer the many questions she hasn’t been able to find the answer to anywhere else. When she finds these answers she likes to spread the knowledge to others seeking help. She is always looking for outlets to share her information, therefore she occasionally has her content published on different websites and blogs. Even though she doesn’t run one for herself she loves contributing to others.