Finding the Light at the End of the Tunnel
My name is Daneisha and I'm an African American woman who suffers from severe anxiety and stress. I was around 18 years old when I had my first panic attack. I couldn't breathe and it felt like I was going to die. The room was spinning, and it felt like the room was caving in. My mom ended up finding me and helping me calm down. I was really scared and confused. I never had one before, so I paid no mind. After that incident I noticed I wasn't myself. I started waking up feeling weird. I didn't know how to explain it to anyone. I was angry or sad most of the time.
In certain situations, like car rides I would get super anxious, grabbing on the door handle because I was fearful something was going to happen to me. April 2022 I was at a fair with my cousin and brother, there was a shootout. I have never been so scared in my life. It definitely amped up my anxiety. As time went on, it felt like my anxiety was getting worse and worse. I became very stressed out. I started losing focus on school, work, everyday tasks, and I had personal issues at home I was battling. My health even started to decline. Everything was happening all at once and I couldn't control it. I would cry myself to sleep every night. Wishing that all this pain could go away. I even became suicidal multiple times but never acted on it.
That's when I started looking for help. I found a therapist, I started praying again, and even opened up to my sister and uncle regarding how I was feeling. Therapy has helped me a lot. It helped me identify what was going on with me and to learn what my triggers were. I was able to learn how to deal with my stress and anxiety without letting it consume my everyday life.
Meditation, prayer, and getting outside has made a huge change when I'm feeling unordinary. Having a good support system was a huge benefit. Without my uncle and sister, I don't think I'd be here. I'm still facing anxiety and stress every day and it is not easy at all!
I found ADAA because I wanted to share my story and help other young people who struggle with mental health like I do. Growing up in a black household, mental health is not something that is talked about. Therapy is looked down on, you're not allowed to have emotions; you just have to push through and I'm here to say that is completely wrong! Talking about your emotions is very healthy and if you're struggling, it's okay to get help!
Keep fighting because there is going to be light at the end of the tunnel.