Welcome to ‘Anxiety Stories!’ I (Laura of The Mindful Mom Blographer), started Anxiety Stories after I read Brene’ Brown’s book ‘Daring Greatly’. In the book, Brown talks extensively about shame, which is something I think many people who suffer from anxiety feel – as well as feeling alone.
We all know there is a mental health stigma in today’s society. So how can we remove that stigma? By removing people’s shame, and let them know they’re not alone.
Anxiety is a lot more common than people realize – I know this from all the comments and DMs I get whenever I get vulnerable about my anxiety experiences. Yet still, the stigma!
My hope with Anxiety Stories is that we can normalize anxiety by showing people’s stories from all walks of life. I ask that each person who conducts an interview be willing to be a little bit vulnerable, and each person who reads these interviews holds the interviewee in a loving space, knowing they’ve put themselves out there for a good cause.
*If you are dealing with anxiety or another type of mental illness, please talk with a
There are some great resources on how to get help below:
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- National Alliance on Mental Illness
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Online Resources and Finding Help
- Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741 (US number) to be connected with a trained crisis counselor.
- Finally, this is a great page from ‘Everyday Help’ with a ton of resources for mental health assistance such as financial help for therapy and medications, support groups, etc.
Last but not least, please note that I nor my interviewees aren’t medical professionals, and the resources and tips are not to replace professional medical advice. We are simply sharing our stories and what we know from working through our anxiety with professionals in our own life. If you are feeling any type of mental health symptoms, please seek medical assistance.
I hope you enjoy the interview.
Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who are you? Where are you from? What types of things do you enjoy doing?
Hi – I am Carissa, a 37 year old SAHM to two boys, ages 12 and 7. I have been married for 15 years and we live in Mississippi. I am a small business owner and my passion is to share the importance of self-care with the world. I love to blog, read, plan, and nap!
What does the anxiety you experience look like (obsessive thoughts, extreme worry, intrusive thoughts, anxiety disorder, etc)?
My journey with anxiety is not your typical journey. For the longest time I didn’t even know what was going on was anxiety, and the doctors didn’t pick up on it either.
My first real experience with anxiety was right before a trip to the mountains with my family, I thought I was having a heart attack a couple nights before we left. I ended up going to the clinic the next morning and being diagnosed with indigestion and given medication for that. The trip itself was awful, I kept having episodes which I now know were panic attacks, and I even ended up in the ER there and spent the night being monitored for heart attack and possible pulmonary embolism issues.
I ended up getting on medication at home to help me calm down while we tried to figure out what was going on, and the medication helped tremendously. Fast forward a couple of years and I thought I was great and could come off them. I ended up sick for a MONTH thinking I was dying and had multiple tests run only to realize that it was my anxiety back rearing its ugly head in full force. I stayed curled in the fetal position with my stomach hurting so bad I couldn’t eat and I lost 40 pounds. I was having multiple panic attacks with unknown triggers, even happening while I was driving and sleeping. Needless to say, I will never try to come off my med again.
Do you see a therapist/psychologist?
I see a counselor once a week.
Do you take medication for the anxiety?
I currently take Lexapro 20mg.
How long have you been dealing with anxiety?
Really knowing it was anxiety I was dealing with, probably 5 or so years.
What are some triggers for the anxiety you experience?
This is a hard one for me because I really don’t know. I would be in the movies with my kids and start having panic attacks. It’s something I am working on with my counselor, though.
Have you ever dealt with the dreaded anxiety spiral?
No, I don’t think I have experienced an anxiety spiral. I do have night time panic disorder while unmedicated, though, and it is horrible. Waves and waves of panic attacks that seem to be unprovoked.
Do you experience panic attacks?
I do have panic attacks if I am unmedicated, but while I am on Lexapro I do not experience panic attacks.
What are some things you do while you’re having a panic attack or are in an anxiety spiral to help pull yourself out of it?
Slow down my breathing, count each breath, and make sure to take them in super slow. Being held really helped at night, but that can’t always happen during the day.
What are some preventative measures that you take to help prevent the anxiety you experience?
I have made a major shift into self-care and making sure I am taking care of ME. I pull away when I need to, I have a lot of quiet activities I enjoy, and I don’t feel ashamed when I need to just escape and be alone.
What are some of your favorite anxiety resources (websites, books, etc) that other people could reference if they’re struggling as well?
I have several friends with anxiety and mental disorders and we all lean on each other. I have bought a couple books recently I hope to read this summer, but I mainly just Google articles that other people have written to help me cope when I need help.
Why do you think the mental health stigma exists? Why are people afraid to talk about their mental illness?
Unfortunately we still live in a world where weakness is frowned upon, and having anxiety or any mental issues is considered weakness. I have the opposite opinion, though, and believe that anyone who lives with anxiety and still manages to get up and get through life is a beast! I wish more people would talk about their mental illnesses so other people woudn’t feel so alone. I can’t help people if I don’t know what they are going through.
A huge thanks for Carissa for sharing her story!
Want to read more Anxiety Stories? Check out the other interviews here.
Want to share your own anxiety story? Check out the guidelines here!
Carissa is the blogger behind Posh Life. She is a 37 year old stay-at-home mama to 2 boys, ages 7 and 12, and she has been married to Kyle for 15 years! They live in Mississippi with their 3 cats and silver lab, Sadie Belle.
Three years ago, she bought a box of products so she could get a lifetime discount. Soon thereafter, she fell in love with sharing the products and connecting with other women. She found a passion for self-care, and wants to make sure that everyone knows how important it is to fill their cup.
She has made it her mission in life to spread self-care awareness and the need for women to slow down and recharge. As women, we are so busy all the time – whether it be with work, motherhood, hobbies, or all of the above. It is so hard to just stop and take a minute for ourselves. Hopefully, through her site she can help you understand that self-care is NOT selfish – it is 100% necessary for not only our well-being, but for the well-being of everyone else in our lives as well.