Woman pens list to help her partner better understand her anxiety struggles

Anxiety is a mental health condition that affects a lot of people [Photo: Getty]
Anxiety is a mental health condition that affects a lot of people [Photo: Getty]

People are sharing their techniques to cope with anxiety thanks to the intimate list a woman wrote to her boyfriend.

YouTuber Kelsey Darragh suffers from anxiety and panic attacks. As a way of helping her boyfriend better understand her mental health condition, she penned a list of 15 practical things he can do to help her through a panic attack.

“I have panic & anxiety disorder. My boyfriend does not… but wants to understand it so he can help me. SO I made him this list! Feel free to share w ur loved ones that need guidance!” she wrote on Twitter alongside images of her hand-written list.

From finding her medication to encouraging her to breathe, Darragh also encouraged other mental health sufferers to reveal what helps them through when they’re feeling anxious or mid-panic attack.

And users were quick to add their own coping-techniques to the inspiring discussion.

“If you’re somewhere inside then go outside and try stabilizing your breathing. Fresh air will always help,” one user wrote.

“Focus on something, preferably a bright color and continue to focus your breathing.”

“I use the 54321 method to pull me out of panic attacks/dissociating. Find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, two things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste. Works in all but the most serious cases,” another user added.

“I always tell people to tell me to slow down…,” yet another sufferer added. “My panic attacks are accompanied with a level of mania that if someone just brings me into the moment to slow down, I can hold off the worst of it.”

Quite a few suggested trying to be mindful and focus on what’s going on around you.

“I try to focus on the physical world around. So I name something I can see, hear, touch, taste and smell,” one sufferer offered.

Anxiety is a term that’s thrown around in every day conversations, when you’re stressed, worried or concerned you’re not getting nearly enough ticked off your to-do list.

But for nearly a fifth of adults in the UK, anxiety or depression can be a very real, very debilitating disorder.

And according to a review published by the University of Cambridge women are almost twice as likely to experience anxiety than men.

But despite anxiety being one of the most common mental health conditions, people don’t always recognise it as such.

A recent survey by the mental health charity, Mind found that only half of people polled agreed that anxiety could be a mental health problem.

In fact, nearly one in twenty people currently experiences anxiety on its own and one in ten has mixed anxiety and depression.

Because anxiety is often not recognised as the mental health condition it is, people can also find it hard to understand the seriousness of it all. And this has the knock-on effect of leaving people confused about how to act when someone close to them is suffering from a mental disorder.

So Kelsey’s list and the resultant coping-mechanisms from other Twitter users is a must-read for both mental health sufferers and anyone close to them.

Well done for kick-starting the conversation Kelsey!

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