So here goes…
In the past I was always a little naive about mental health due to a lack of know how. Then about 2 years ago I was struck with Anxiety. I say struck because it came out of the blue with no warning signs or triggers.
Initially I had a surge of panic and I felt very unsettled. During the day the intrusive thoughts started to creep in which started to bring me down. I had no idea what was happening and I suppose I felt both scared and confused.
I talked to my wife about it who was great but I suppose I wanted it to go away and I wanted to deal with it myself. I tried to talk to a couple of my friends but they had no idea what to say, which I found amusing, they just bought me a pint and changed the subject.
The best advice and support I got was from a friend who has depression. I’ve never been one for sitting on things and I knew it was not going to go away. So I made a plan and slowly I started to get better.
I’ve always been involved in sport and racing so I started training a little more. Being on top of a hill in the middle of the shire on my mountain bike helps clear my head and gives me focus. I started Yoga and meditation, Jedi training as I like to call it. I also started a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) self-help resource. I visited the doctors but they suggested the self-help stuff I was doing was enough and no medication was needed.
I can honestly say my biking makes a huge difference for me. I had a perfect excuse to buy a new bike as well… My anxiety was not a quick fix thing and it’s something I have to work at.
I suppose you have to find what works for you but having someone you can talk too is really important. I always say a good cuppa and chat can make all the difference.
Looking back now, even though it was not a nice experience at the time, it was a huge learning curve for me. But now I know it has broadened my ability to be able to deal with things much better and I feel a better person for it.
Paul – NTU Student Health Development Officer
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