Colleen – My Story

Colleen – My Story

I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt I was alone and I was the only one suffering with so much worry and panic. I felt as though I just needed to accept that constant gut feeling in my stomach for the rest of my life. I finally went to the doctors after my anxiety began putting a strain on my relationship with my boyfriend who I hope to have a future with. I was referred to the wellbeing hub in Rugby where I began six weeks of one to one sessions.

I was so nervous to begin with as I have never received help and not many people know I suffer with anxiety, my parents are aware of it but I have never opened up to them about how bad it had gotten. After a few sessions I finally felt relaxed and looked forward to attending them each week.

I regularly go to the gym and attend exercise classes and I never associated these with helping my anxiety, I had a car accident a few years ago which has now created masses of anxiety when I drive, one day I had an incident when I was driving home from the gym which would of usually caused me to go into panic mode, but because I’d just been exercising and felt good I didn’t worry and simply shrugged it off. When I mentioned this in my session we talked about going for longer car journeys after I go to the gym and I even revisited the roundabout where the accident happened. I even go for short walks with my iPod on me which helps to clear my head and so I forget what I’m worrying about. Exercise simply isn’t encouraged enough when it comes to mental health, everyone associates exercise with getting fit and losing weight and not that it can improve your mental health.

Since my six week sessions I now feel more relaxed and I now know I am not alone, social media has also helped me to see that I am not the only young person who suffers with anxiety. I’ve also gained more knowledge into things I can do to help my anxiety if I ever feel panicked like breathing exercises which I never knew about before.

Attending these sessions has also helped me with my future, I am now going to begin a college course in September on counselling so hopefully in the future I can help others with mental health problems. The wellbeing hub has truly helped me in realising I am not alone and there is help out there.