Genuine fear: The realities of living with anxiety – Úna


See Change ambassador Una recently put pen to paper on the subject of anixety. 

Read Una’s original blog entry on


My breath quickens and it’s hard to slow it down, every question and every possibility seems to crash down on me. I start to panic.

For me a lot of the time it’s impossible to actually pinpoint when something is going to trigger an attack or what’s causing it. It could be the stress of something that’s looming or a conversation just had, but whatever it is, it’s genuine fear.

Most often than not, the “problem” is actually quite easy to fix but the stress is so immense that you can’t see it for what it is.

Like depression, oftentimes looking for a way out is incredibly murky. I could actually feel sick to the stomach with worry and burst into a blubbering mess because of the stress.

So what do I do? Honestly, these days I’m just glad I’ve a small support network of family, close friends and an amazing other half – but there are days when I’m alone that I just want to not deal with the issue and never wake up.

During attacks I feel weak, pathetic and worthless where it seems that nothing will go my way and the rest of the world is caving in.

My thoughts jump immediately to “everything is going to collapse, you’re the one that caused this, there’s nothing you can do – you will fail”. I become a social recluse, unable to voice what I’m going through and become tongue-tied and rambling.

The thing is, the majority of the time when I do face up to the problem and cast my anxiety aside the problem wasn’t actually a problem in the first place – not even an issue.

Both anxiety and depression have prevented me doing a lot of things over the years, too many to mention and too many I’m even embarrassed to admit.

It’s hard to lose the fear but I don’t think it’s impossible to push it aside. You need to find something to ease you out of strain that works for you. Saying I suffer from anxiety seems almost too easy – doing something about it, now there’s a challenge.

My motto for now is: Keep searching, keep looking and most importantly, keep breathing.

You can read about my experiences with depression and stigma here. Never be afraid to talk, if you’re not feeling the best and need someone to chat to, the Samaritans are there 24/7: Call 116 123


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