One of my greatest fears when I was in the deepest depths of anxiety and panic was leaving the flat and walking up my local High Street; there were a number of challenges that I faced when doing this, which were:
- I struggled to be around a large number of people.
- Busy surroundings and noise made me disorientated.
- I was afraid of bumping into someone I knew.
The third point may sound strange to some of you, and it has probably been one of the hardest things to get my head around, let alone try and explain to other people, especially my friends. It wasn’t because I didn’t like them anymore; it was a case that I wanted to hide away, almost become anonymous.
When you suffer from anxiety and depression, you need a safe place, and that for me was being at home; for some people they cannot even leave their bed the depression is so bad.
It is amazing how big the world really is until it becomes a terrifying place to be, and you need to make it small in order to feel safe.
It was important that I got out of the flat because I knew that exercise was a key ingredient to getting better; getting out was even more important when we got Leo and I had to take him for walks. But I needed to avoid the chance of making eye contact and having to speak to someone?
So, how did I go about trying to make my world small and safe when I was out? As with most things, solutions present themselves when you use your head, and that’s exactly what I did, I wore hats…..
I have always felt a little self conscious wearing hats (apart from baseball caps), but I soon found that a hat with a brim I could pull down gave me the security I needed when out.
I now never go out without wearing a hat, if I am having a bad day I can just pull the brim down a bit lower (I just have to be careful I don’t walk into people) and it makes me feel better.
Let me know if you have any useful tips for helping deal with anxiety and depression and we can then put a survival guide together for others to use.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.