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Personal Story: Managing my panic attacks

Explore personal experiences and effective strategies for managing panic attacks. Gain insights into the symptoms, triggers, coping mechanisms, and professional support available to navigate panic attacks and regain control over your mental well-being.

Personal Story: Managing my panic attacks

I was 26 when my Dad died of suicide. He was the ‘strong’ one in our family, so who knows exactly how long he had been struggling for. I was so young when I had to deal with the funeral, emotions, lawyers and mortgages. After the shock had passed, I started to have regular panic attacks, I couldn’t sleep, I fought with my partner, drank too much and my work suffered.

I finally saw a psychiatrist after my anxiety manifested itself as severe hypochondria. She asked me to do 3 things. Cut down on alcohol, increase my exercise and spend time outside. Sobriety helped me so much. However, my anxiety was stronger and I finally decided I was ready for medication. I never want to go back to the way I was. I completely understand why people can’t function and end up taking their own lives. I just want to live; I did everything I could to stay alive.

I still fight it, almost every day. It’s like a small voice. Some days I’m stronger, other days she takes over. Wellness is possible but it takes a lot of work. There’s no magic pill but you can find a formula, a process and new skills to live a better life. It’s possible, I’m a living example of that.

#BeautifulMinds is a series of raw and honest stories from people sharing their lived experience with mental health in New Zealand. Published with permission. We hope these stories capture the diversity of how mental health affects different people and you can be inspired by their journey towards mental wellbeing. Clearhead’s mission is to destigmatise mental health through raising awareness and encouraging people to feel it is ok to seek help early by giving them the tools to do so. Sign up now to use the platform, it is free to do so!

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If you are not in immediate danger but require crisis support:  mentalhealth.org.nz
Suicide Call Back Service
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal. Call 1300 659 467. — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Lifeline provides 24-hour crisis counselling, support groups and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14
, text on 0477 13 11 14 (12pm to midnight AEST) or chat online.
Beyond Blue
Beyond Blue aims to increase awareness of depression and anxiety and reduce stigma. Call 1300 22 4636, 24 hours/7 days a week, chat online or email.
Kids Helpline
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free 24/7 confidential and private counseling service specifically for children and young people aged 5 – 25. Call 1800 55 1800.
MensLine Australia
MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online counselling service offering support to Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours/7 days a week, chat online or organise a video chat.
Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling
Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides 24/7 free and confidential counselling to anyone who has served at least one day in the ADF, their partners and families. Call 1800 011 046.
If you are not in immediate danger but require crisis support:  healthdirect.gov.au