Photo retrieved from Amber’s Facebook.
For anyone who has experienced a panic attack, this image will resonate with you.
That feeling of your heart racing, shortness of breath, choking, and ringing in your ears is not something easily forgotten. And those are only a few symptoms of a panic attack.
On April 3rd, Rugby, Warwickshire resident, Amber Smith shared what it looks like to live with anxiety by posting an image of herself after suffering a panic attack on Facebook. On top of the brave photo, she posted another that and wrote, “What I showcase to the world via social media. Dressed up, makeup done, filters galore. The ‘normal’ side to me.”
A bold and empowering move, not only for Smith, but for the millions who also suffer, often in silence.
A study published in Psychological Medicine found that across 44 countries anxiety was common in up to 28% of the population. In the U.S., it is estimated that 40 million Americans over the age of 18 live with some type of anxiety. With so many people affected by this disorder it strikes me as odd that people question whether or not it is real. Many do not understand that you can’t just “be happy” or “smile more,” especially when an attack hits and you feel like you’re drowning.
I know, I’ve been there.
In a world where there are over 39 million Google results for “how to hide anxiety,” we are very proud of Amber for shedding light on this illness that so many of us suffer from. There is no reason to be ashamed or to hide your anxiety from the world. If you are affected by this disorder please seek help. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is a great place to start looking. Or, if you know someone who suffers with anxiety, the ADAA can help you learn what you can do for your friend or family member.
Have you ever experienced a panic attack?