Hannah Wolfe shares her story coping with anxiety
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Can you walk us through what it’s like
to have a panic attack? You just get very uncomfortable, your
heart rate goes up, your heart is going really fast, you feel like you’re going
to pass out. The strongest feeling I’ve ever felt that I was going
to die because you you can’t control what’s
going on with your with your heart and your brain, so it’s both your body and
your brain is telling you like, “Something is wrong, you gotta go to the doctor.” And
I actually took my first ambulance ride about a month ago when I was started to
feel bad at the end of the work day and I was really having trouble breathing
and I just could not get a good breath at all and I just thought I was gonna
stop breathing which is not logical so I went to the urgent care and I said can
you just check my oxygen to make sure I’m getting enough I checked my pulse and
she said my oxygen was fine but she suggested I could go to the ER to get a
lung x-ray because this was a new symptom shortness of breath that I had
never it had never been so bad and constant because it was like days of
feeling I just can’t get enough air so they took me to the hospital did a long
x-ray, did a EKG they asked me a lot if I was on drugs you know I kept saying no
I’m not on drugs And you don’t have depression and anxiety it is
specifically anxiety is that correct? So what did the doctor say? What do you
hear from doctors? I’ve been checked out a lot because it’s a lot of health
anxiety where I think you know something has to be wrong with my heart because
otherwise why would I be feeling like this? So I’ve been to cardiologists and I’ve had MRIs and they say, “It’s just anxiety,
everything is fine” Last year I ended up doing partial
hospitalization which is like a day program for this type of thing it was
helpful because dialectical therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy it’s all
trying to change the way your mind thinks about things which in the moment
sometimes you can’t do it because if if it gets far enough you know the only
thing you can think about is dying taking Xanax helps I take them when I
need them. Talk to me about how this impacts your life. I’m lucky because my job is very flexible, you know if I need to work from
home a day I can, it’s more here. Nighttime is very hard for me, being
alone sometimes I’ll have to stay at somebody’s house or I’ll have to have my
dad come stay like I’m a child because I can’t make it through the
night by myself. I got this sun tattooed because after
that program because I just hated the nighttime so much. So when did you first
start noticing anxiety was an issue? I had my first panic attack in 7th
grade and it was just like the switch something was happening, I ran upstairs
my dad was sleeping on the couch and I said I need a doctor so we drove to the
hospital and at the triage and she said, “You’re okay, I think you’re
just having a panic attack.” Since then it it goes up and down and
each time it comes back a little differently and a little bit stronger. What about your parents? My mom understands well cause she goes through it herself. So your mother has panic attacks too? What about your sister? My sister does. I don’t think my dad does. Is there a trigger? No, there’s not. It’s totally random it made me mad for a long time. Some days
you don’t want to get up and do anything not that you don’t want to it’s that you
are just scared because what if you get your heart rate up and then what if it
just keeps going up and then what if you know you get trouble breathing and can
feel really scary just accept it and just survive it, till the next one because there’s always a next one. Has that been an issue for
in terms of relationships or? It’s definitely prohibited me like from
wanting to really date you, don’t want people to see you have a panic attack
you know want to have to try to explain it to someone. What would you like people
to know about what it’s like to be a person living with anxiety? Well for me sometimes I feel guilty, it can be lonely. It’s hard it’s tiring because your body
is it’s always wanting to fight or flight. Not think less of someone if they
have that issue because it’s real. I’m not ashamed or anything and everybody’s going through something you don’t know what it is but..

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