Before I begin this blog post, I’d like to let you know that this is quite a personal thing for me to write, but I wanted to share this with you as I’m hoping that if you’re reading this as a panic attack sufferer, I may help you in some way. Alternatively, if you are reading this and you know someone who suffers with panic attacks, I hope I can help you get a better understanding and display ways in which you can show support.

Anxiety is an awful emotion to feel, a feeling that cannot be controlled & you are unaware of it creeping up on you. Different levels of anxiety lie in all of us all the time. From a simple thing like “Oh no, I’ve got school/work tomorrow” to something a lot more nerve wracking like a scary job interview or waiting for your appointment at the dentist (I know I’m not the only one). Although anxiety lies in all of us, It affects people in different ways. When we’re stressed, our anxiety levels are much higher and some of us become a lot more sensitive to it. For those of you who are calm, collected and pretty fearless, you will have a much lower anxiety threshold. (I am jealous
of those of you who are like this)

Extremely high levels of anxiety, can, in a lot of people, cause panic attacks, whether you are aware of your anxiety or not.

I’ve suffered with panic attacks for 6 and a half years, and so i’m writing this blog post for those of you who struggle to understand, feel alone, need advice or need someone else to understand.

It’s understandable that not everybody “gets” what a panic attack is. In fact i’m pretty sure more people don’t understand than do, which is really sad. Even some of the people closest to me, struggle to understand exactly how it affects me, or my life, or some decisions that I choose to make. Even after hours of explaining, unless someone has been through a panic attack themselves, they will never truly or fully understand.

What exactly is a panic attack?

A sudden feeling of dread, the sudden urge to push your way through to the nearest exit, the whole room shrinking down around you and everybody staring at you and smothering you. In a split second, without you anticipating it, or knowing it’s going to happen, your body releases adrenaline. This adrenaline is released as your body is preparing for “flight or fight”. Something our brain is programmed to do in a life or death situation. You need adrenaline for a fight in order to be strong, and you need adrenaline for flight, in order to run fast and get away. This would have prepared our cave-dwelling ancestors to fight or run away from danger, but it’s much less appropriate to the stresses we encounter today. Clearly, we are not cavemen any more, and we don’t need to hunt for our food, but this adrenaline is released in situations like tripping over a step, being extremely excited, being on a roller-coaster, being in a fight, In an accident, adrenaline is released into our bodies all the time, but us panic attack sufferers

My doctor said: “You are like the car in the street, who’s alarm goes off with the smallest gust of wind, whereas all the other cars, take a good beating before their alarms go off”, and really, that’s the best way it can be described in the very simplest of terms.

What happens during a panic attack?

Adrenaline is released, thus causing your heart to beast faster, and your muscles to tense. We breathe in more oxygen, which our muscles use to turn sugar into energy (even though we don’t need extra energy for anything), Blood is diverted to the muscles, making you pale and light headed. This also causes you to shake. Our digestive system shuts down, making your throat dry and making you feel sick. Your senses are heightened, you become more aware of sounds and smells around you (It’s like someone turned up the volume, and in a busy place, it was loud enough anyway).
When adrenalin floods your body, it can cause a number of different physical and emotional sensations that may affect you during a panic attack:

These may include:

very rapid breathing or feeling unable to breathe
very rapid heartbeat
pains in your chest
feeling faint or dizzy
ringing in your ears
tingling or numbness in your hands and feet
hot or cold flushes
feeling nauseous
wanting to go to the toilet
feelings of absolute terror
feeling smothered
feeling claustrophobic
being extremely emotional/uncrontrollable crying
feelings of unreality, called depersonalisation and derealisation.

Panic attacks come on very quickly, symptoms usually peaking within 10 minutes. Most panic attacks last for between 5 and 20 minutes. Some people report attacks lasting for up to an hour, but they are likely to be experiencing one attack after another, or a high level of anxiety after the initial attack. This is what I suffer from, If I ever have a panic attack, it will NEVER last 20 minutes, it will always spiral, until I can be alone, somewhere I feel comfortable, which can sometimes be hours away.

I’m not 100% sure what first triggered my panic attacks, although I will explain it below. The only major downfall for me, was that my brain stored this panic attack away so that when I re-entered a similar situation, my body had learnt to react in the same way.

This is the way I like to describe it:

“Imagine that your brain is filled with hundreds of filing cabinets full of different information. You have memories, things you’ve learnt..etc. Well, there is this one filing cabinet that stores every panic attack you have. Where you had it, what happened, who you were with, what you were doing, what you were eating, what you were drinking, everything. When you re-enter the same place, with the same people, or do the same thing, that cabinet unlocks, and releases the same adrenaline, and the same emotion. My brain thinks it’s protecting me, by making me “Fight or flight” in the same situation”

Almost as though your brain has trained itself to react in this way. Which is annoying, and can be undone (more on that later)

For me, this happened in nightclubs, pubs, around drunk people and around alcohol. The reason being that my first major panic attack, was at a house party, in the middle of nowhere, which got completely out of hand. I was with friends but everybody was so drunk that I may aswell have been on my own. I wasn’t drunk, but my then-boyfriend was, and he passed out and fell asleep, leaving me awake, and sober. All my friends were drunk also. Please bare in mind, I was 15, as were most of the people around me, and this was a serious case of irresponsible drinking and drug taking (not on my part i’d like to add). I didn’t know a lot of the people there and I remember this one boy who had diabetes (the more serious type) and everyone was making a massive who-ha about him being VERY drunk. I was trying to sleep in a bedroom with my boyfriend passed out next to me, and another friend had fallen asleep as well, so it was silent, and away from the chaos. The next thing I remember was that I could hear someone violently being sick and lots of people freaking out. The diabetic boy was paraletic, vomming everywhere and needed sugar. Everyone kept running into the room asking me for help, and I didnt have a clue. I remember I kept saying “Give him lemonade, no point giving him food he isn’t keeping anything down”. It was then that I had a massive panic attack. Was it because someone was being sick (I have a phobia of sick – even more so now than back then), was it the chaos and the fact that ambulances arrived or being surrounded by people who were so out of it in a serious situation and being the only one that could see straight. Whatever it was, I lay there from 11.30pm until 5am, having panic attack, after panic attack. Shaking violently. I felt trapped, as the toilet was opposite the bedroom door, and I knew I couldn’t go home because that meant walking past all the comotion and the sick. So I just lay there. trapped and panicking for 5 and a half hours. When it started getting light, and I felt phsyically exhausted (having a panic attack makes you feel like you’ve run a marathon) and I called my dad who kindly came and rescued me.

Now you know why I don’t really drink, and why I’d much rather stay in watching crappy TV than have a night out. Is this how I want to be? No. I’d love to get dressed up, get some heels on, go out and have a few drinks, maybe even get completely sozzled once in a while. This is what girls my age do right?

Even now, when I think back, all those nights I tried my hardest to walk into a club/pub feeling positive that nothing would go wrong, and end up having to run out. I really did try, I tried to put on a brave face and act like nothing would happen & I tried to tell myself it was all in my head
and nothing was dangerous and as long as you don’t think about it, you’ll be fine. But it’s not your choice. I don’t think my friends understood, and in all fairness, I guess I didn’t really explain as I wasn’t sure myself why this kept happening to me. They started off inviting me out lots, and gradually, I’d just end up saying no for the fear of having an attack, until they gave up inviting me all together. This upset me, as I felt as though they probably thought I didn’t want to be there, or maybe they didn’t want me there, who wants a panic attack sufferer as a massive burden on a fun night out? I was missing out, and I hated it because it wasn’t anything I could control.

For a while, I couldn’t even go to a quiet pub for a few drinks. What a boring sod I was. I’d also like to point out, this was around the time we all turned 18 and started “properly going out”. So many things contributed towards my attacks becoming worse. I didn’t want to end up being severly agoraphobic (in serious cases can mean you are affraid to leave the house) so I really did try to force myself, which in some very rare cases, didn’t ever result in me panicking, but then there were always the few incidents where I would feel so much worse, and felt as though I’d taken a back step. My ex boyfriend (different to the first I previously mentioned), used to invite me out with his friends to the pub etc, which I liked, and of course I wanted to socialise with new people and make the effort (being the good girlfriend I am) so I’d go. One of his best friends, who happened to be there a lot of the time, managed to pop himself in my filing cabinet of “things to panic from”. I hope he doesn’t ever read this and feel bad, haha. I once felt panicky, and my ex explained to him that I was panicking (instead of deciding I was more important than a pint and taking me home), and I just sat there, whilst he asked me pointless, patronising questions to try and distract me. (trust me, things like this do not work). I felt like an idiot, like it was some funny game, when really all I wanted to do was leave. That same friend was there on a quiet night out, which resulted in me getting up from the table and walking out without an explanation. The thing that topped it all off though, was the time he got so drunk, he vomited all over himself, then strolled back into the pub for another pint. Again, you will notice a pattern here? Sick. Drunk. Pub. After this, I couldn’t bare to go anywhere with him. He is such a lovely guy too, but I couldn’t control it, whenever he was there, my brain would let me know I was in danger and release the adrenaline.

Something people don’t seem to realise, is that self esteem is seriously dented from suffering these attacks. I still, to this day, think that people judge me, and that they possibly all talk about how weird I am, or how annoying I am for having panic attacks, or even that they may think you make it up, or are using as an excuse. You start to think that you are ruining everyone else’s life around you & have become a nuisance.

I’d turn things down ALL THE TIME, but it’s not because I didn’t want to go, I wanted to go more than anything, I just COULDN’T put myself in any situation where I felt I may have panicked. I’m going to list places I’ve had panic attacks before, as I want to express that they won’t just happen when you anticipate them, but they can literally just spring on you, anywhere…

In bed at night
In a supermarket
In a pub
In a club
In a taxi
On a bus
On a tube
On a train
At the train station
In a restaurant
At a friends house
At a family members house
Boyfriends house
In a car
On a boat
At school
At work

That’s all I can really think of for now, but there have been endless places where I’ve suffered a panic attack. Only when I was at my worst would I walk into a supermarket, or go to someone’s house and panic. More recently, I’ve been a lot better, and I’ve found that I only really panic if I am placed in a situation where I cannot get out easily if I was to ever panic. (Train, Tube, Boat, Work, Club, Bus) More recently, as you will know, I was invited to go on the London eye with GlossyBox, and I cannot tell you how much I stressed over that. It’s my worst nightmare, being inside a glass pod, that’s locked, with lots of people, knowing that once that door closed, I was stuck in there, and if i were to panic, there would be no way of me getting off, and everyone would look at me, and think, what an idiot. Only Louise, and my boyfriend knew how anxious I was about it, but I wanted so desperately to get on it, and to see people, and I did, and I was fine. I was really proud of myself, for not throwing in the towel and missing out on an opportunity, and for doing it anyway. So many people live in fear of ever having an attack, and I think this is what makes life more difficult. For a while, I kept having panic attacks on the tube, and on the train home from London. Being that my boyfriend lives there, this devastated me. WHY WAS MY BRAIN FILING THIS AS A DANGEROUS SITUATION. I would cry, and think “I can’t go. I can’t go and see my boyfriend. I’m scared to get on a train. Why can’t I just be normal“.

One thing a lot of people don’t understand, is that people who suffer panic attacks, DO NOT WANT TO FEEL THIS WAY. We don’t want to get on a train and think “I really hope I get to the other end without panicking”, we don’t want to restrict the way we live because of something we can’t control that leaves us feeling mentally and physically drained for days/weeks/months on end. We want to be normal, and carry on with our everyday lives without any added anxiety. I’d love to be able to say “I don’t worry about anything, besides the normal things”. After a panic attack, I feel so upset, but it’s mostly anger. Angry at myself for not having any control and angry that I don’t know how to make it stop. Then I feel angry because I feel like nobody understands.

What helps me?

When I’m actually having a panic attack, I find the only things that really take the edge off, are going outside, walking away from the place I was and fanning myself (I know this sounds weird, and probably looks it, but when you have so much adrenaline and your muscles are pumped, you should do some form of exercise to use the adrenaline, which is why i frantically fan myself or walk or knock my knees together or flap my arms around – discreet? I think not) Fanning also helps with the horrible hot flushes you’ll experience, and cool you down.

Slow, deep breathing.

If i’m with someone, I need them to stay quiet unless I ask them something. I can’t handle anyone talking to me, or trying to distract me, or working me up. At the time of a panic attack, I don’t need someone highlighting the fact I’m panicking by making me say the alphabet backwards. It’s nice to know someone is with you, but If I’m having a panic attack, I’m already hearing everything 10x louder and need to try and calm down. You also don’t have a lot of energy to speak, as any energy you do have, is being used everywhere else.

In terms of long term treatment, stupidly, for 6 and half years, I put off going to a doctor, because I thought that I’d be able to control them myself. When I started having panic attacks visiting my boyfriend, I knew I had to do something about it, as it was hindering my way of life, and everyday things i really wanted to do, and I got fed up, and decided to make an appointment at my doctors surgery. Unfortunately, this completely destroyed any faith I had as it was the most pointless hour of my life. She sat and explained to me what a panic attack was. Funnily enough, after 6 and a half years of experiencing them, I already had a pretty clear idea. I have also been reading a few books. I’d really recommend the one I have photographed, and even for your partner, family member or friends to read. Have a look on line for self help books, some are a load of tosh, but some are quite eye opening. I don’t take any medication for my panic attacks, mainly because my doctor said “I don’t think we should put you on anything, how about you try some from a chemist or something” I take Kalms, but whether they work or not, I don’t know. In all honesty, I’m not all too pleased with my Dr’s approach, or the NHS. They’ve not been helpful at all. This may not be the case for you, but I think in order to get further treatment I am going to have to go private for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – Re-training the brain) or try hypnotherapy techniques. If any of you have had any experiences you want to share, please do. Not just for me to read, but others reading the comments.

Avoiding Panic…

For many people, the only way they can avoid having a panic attack, is literally sitting at home and never leaving the house. I never want to get this bad, but I can see how it would happen very easily with a lot of people. My panic attacks are a lot worse when I am stressed, or run-down, so I find it’s really important to give myself a break. For many people that means taking time off work or going on holiday. I just make sure I get enough sleep, try to be as organised as possible and don’t rush anywhere. You may think the last one is a given, but for a while, being in “fast-pace” London made everything a lot worse. In the mornings before I’d leave to go home, Me and my boyfriend decided we would get ready slowly, walk slowly and even wait for the next tube if we weren’t there in time (I literally didn’t rush anywhere for about 4 weeks) & this made SUCH a difference.
I also tend to listen to relaxing music before I know I need to go somewhere where I may panic. A favourite of mine recently has been Dianna Vickers’ album (Her voice, I appreciate, could have an adverse affect on some people – but i find it keeps me calm because there are no fast beats or shouty bits) So find something you find relaxing.
I also think it’s important to write down how you are feeling if you feel like you are about to panic. Once when I was on the tube, I started having a panic attack, so I whacked out my phone and started frantically writing how I felt and every time something changed mentally or physically, I’d write it. This weirdly, calmed me down a lot quicker. I don’t know if this is because it distracted me, or because it made everything slightly more logical.
I still can’t really go out and drink with friends but I’ve not been as bad recently. I do find however, that driving (so i know I can leave when I want), or having someone who is prepared to pick me up, makes things a lot less tense. Knowing I can get home if I do panic, puts me at ease. If you were to tell me we were all getting a taxi at 3am an hour from home, I’d freak out.
I don’t like to have set times for things, as I feel a bit trapped. Sounds weird, but i’m sure plenty of you know exactly what I mean. I won’t even book an advanced train ticket any more (even though they are slightly cheaper), I get a ticket which gives me a bit of lee-way so I don’t have to rush anywhere or be stuck to one time.
I think everyone will have their own individual ways of avoiding and banishing panic attacks, it’s really whatever works best for you, but I think “Taking it easy” really is the best advice I can give. You don’t want to overwork your heart, as this may bring on panic.

How can I help someone who suffers Panic Attacks?

I’m going to do a little section here, on how to help someone who is having a panic attack, or someone who suffers them quite a lot. I looked online for something similar to this to show my boyfriend, and I didn’t have much luck. So I’m going to write this myself, in the hope some of you will show this to your partners/friends/family and then they can feel a little more at ease about how to help you. Although it sucks having a panic attack, I can’t imagine standing next to someone feeling helpless feels very nice either.

1. Remain calm. There is nothing worse than being with someone who is freaking out whilst they are, they will never calm down if you are flapping about like a headless chicken.
2. Do not be forceful. Be patient, and accepting. Do not settle for them panicking and being affected alone.
3. Let them do things at their own pace.
4. Don’t make assumptions about what the panicker needs, ask them.
5. Find something positive in every experience. If the affected person is only able to go partway to a particular goal, such as the cinema or out for a coffee, consider that an achievement rather than a failure.
6. Remember that they don’t choose to be this way. Do not show any dissapointment or annoyance when panic strikes or if they don’t feel they can’t do something.
7. In a panic attack, DON’T say:
“Relax. Calm down. Don’t be anxious. Let’s see if you can do this (i.e., setting up a test for the affected person). You can fight this. What should we do next? Don’t be ridiculous. You have to stay. Don’t be a coward. Pull yourself together, Stop being silly, what’s wrong with you”
Instead, DO SAY:
“You can do it no matter how you feel. I am proud of you. Tell me what you need now. Breathe slow and low. Stay in the present. It’s not the place that’s bothering you, it’s the thought. I know that what you are feeling is painful, but it’s not dangerous. You are courageous. Remember that panic attacks only last a maximum of 20 minutes”

8. Do not try to distract them with stupid questions. As I said before, we don’t want to say the alphabet backwards or talk about our day, it just highlights the fact that we are having a panic attack, thus creating more panic.
9. Be supportive & reassuring. After a panic attack, the person can feel down, depressed, angry, insecure and with very low self esteem. It’s your job to help them to feel better about themselves and to let them know you are there.

I really hope I have managed to cover everything, and I hope this has helped some of you. If you’re reading this, and you really feel down and depressed about your panic attacks and the way it has affected your life, please remember…

You are not alone, panic attacks are VERY common, and although terrifying, will not kill you. Don’t let your attacks ruin your confidence or dent your self esteem, you are an amazing person, and you CAN stop them, with the right treatment and techniques. Do not force yourself to go somewhere you don’t feel comfortable, you and your health are far more important than keeping someone else happy. If someone close to you fails to understand, it can leave you feeling terribly alone and insecure, FORCE them to read this blog post and tell them I’ll kick their bottom if they don’t LISTEN and show as much support as possible.

That’s all from me. Please share experience’s and leave comments below, it won’t just help me, but will also help others just like you reading this blogpost.

  • millie moo πŸ’“

    thanks zoe this really helped πŸ’“

  • Emma

    This helped so much Zoey I go through the same thing and it’s really hard for me because everyday I go to middle school trying to get to my classes with out having a panic attack in front of everyone especially the 7 and 8th graders I’ve only been in school for 6 days and already had 4 panic attacks and I really don’t want to have them for the rest of the year what should I do when I get them at school?

    • Sabine

      Aww, i hope you find a way!! Sending you a lot of love!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

      • Emma

        Aww thank you so much😘

  • Becca

    I just had a panic attack that lasted fifteen minutes and I got so scared. I had no one and it’s 3:53am. I remembered reading this when you first posted, so I came back and read it again after watching some of Joe’s videos. I still dont feel 100% and i have school tomorrow and I’m scared it’s going to happen again. I just want to say thankyou for this because it’s helped me a lot.

    • Sabine

      <3 <3 <3

  • Sabine

    Wow Zoe! This really opened my eyes. A panic-attack is so different then i thought… I HAVE SO MUCH RESPECT FOR YOU! It’s so brave of you that you still try going out or going on the tube. Pls never give up
    A massive thanks for writing this, although i don’t know anybody with panic attacks, but like i said it really opened my eyes…. Now i see how brave you are, how brave others with this are. I hooe i can ever help anyone during a panic attack with your tips.
    It made my sad reading it, so everybody with panic attacksattacks: pls dont give up, you are wonderfulπŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ˜­πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜

    • Rhiannon Hughes

      beautiful advice, thank you so much for being understanding. Not many people understand because they haven’t experienced it themselves. I think you are very inspirational for being so understanding and supporting xoxo

  • TheLittleBlogger

    Hi Zoe
    Just too say I think your amazing and you are a massive inspiration to me. I had my first panic attack a few months ago and watching your videos and reading your blog often helps me calm down and relax. So just thanks for always being there and actually posting this as it is quite personal
    Love you soooo much

  • Izzy

    Wow ZOE!!!!

    You and all the others who have/had panick attacks are so brave. You cleared so much up and just opened my eyes to so much more about people.You’re amazing. You inspire me and so many people.
    Love YOU!!! Keep doing what you do-it helps all of us!


  • Loida Arinal Fregil

    Hi zoe! I’m suffering panic attacks Nd anxiety 2 weeks now. Thank you for making this blog and for making me realize that panic attacks could last for 20 mins. Because panic threatends me so much that I just wanna stay at home. I didn’t expect you also suffer this one. But im so proud of you bcos u overcome this! Hopefully i can also. God bless you more! Hoping i could get a reply from you. πŸ’‹

  • Hannah Rolleman

    Thank god I’m not the only one. I went for a long time thinking I was crazy or there was something wrong with me. So I forced myself to keep it to my self. Now I know I’m not insane. It feels good to finally be happy with myself.

  • Maddy

    Thank you for having the courage to write this. I kept quiet and ignored my anxiety for about four years and figured it would get better by itself and sort itself out. Totally agree about the NHS. I went through private healthcare and have had a really good experience – I got assigned to a psychotherapist for CBT within two days and have been going ever since. Hope you manage to get some professional help because panic attacks are so overwhelming and debilitating that it can be too much to do all by yourself. That’s what I found anyway! xxxxxx

  • Alysha

    Only found this now. I am so glad I did. I’ve suffered with Anxiety and Panic Attacks for about 7 month now. I went to the doctors and honestly, they helped a little by taking my blood to see if anything was wrong but after that when it came out clear they didn’t help one bit. I read so much about Panic Attacks and Anxiety, yet I never fully understand it even though I go through it my self. I have counseling in school, which I don’t think is working that much. I’m getting so much out of it, but lately in the past 4 weeks (the weeks I’ve had counseling) I’ve had a total of 3/4 panic attacks. Worse part is they happened in the places I never wanted it to happen. At my clubs at my churches. They place where I thought I felt safe and perfectly happy, turns out to be the same as every where else now.
    I know I’m not the only one who suffers but when I have an Anxiety attack its the first thing that comes into my head because basically all the time there’s no one who’s been through the same as me anywhere around me so I feel isolated. Its the worse. I hate even talking or mentioning it because I need soo much confidence to say it.
    Thanks so much for writing this blog post. I hope it has helped many, many, many more people/

  • Alex-lea

    Thank you for writing this, although I have suffered for years with anxiety I didn’t actually know that I was having panic attacks until I read this. Recently it’s been on trains which is hard because I’m on placement for university far away but I’m hoping to transfer home. I realised that I had the panic attacks because I knew there was nowhere for me to go, I couldn’t get off the train because I’d be in the middle of nowhere and then what. I was on my own and felt embarrassed because there were other people on the train. Thankfully my family understand that it’s not something I want, and my boyfriends extremely supportive I’ve had a week off but I’m hoping to go back to uni and explain and get transferred and get help hopefully CBT and try yoga.. Thank you so much, lots of love 😘❀️

  • Abby

    I’ve been feeling very anxious recently. It’s not quite to the extent of panic attacks, but feeling very anxious and tense all of a sudden, including some panic attack symptoms. I’ve been worrying a lot more recently as I am afraid this might lead to a panic attack. I feel this blog post has helped me a lot about understanding more about anxiety as a whole. Thank you Zoe Ly xxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Laura

    I just wanted to thank you so much Zoe. I am 15 and have had serious panic attacks since I was 10. I totally relate to everything you`ve said, and I am so glad I found such a positive role model. I get panic attacks whenever I feel like I am not in control, like I have no choice to stop what I`m doing and leave. This includes planes, boats, tests in school, going out with my friends, other people`s cars, and even vacations. It`s really hard because my family often tells me that it`s all in my head, and if I go and force myself to try new things I will be cured. But this approach has resulted in some really negative experiences that only added to my anxiety. After reading your post, I now have the courage to speak up about what I can and can`t do. I know that if I do things in my own time, at my own pace, I can work through this. Thank you so so so much!

    • Puppy’s for life

      My parents do the same thing! You should tell them how that is making you feel! I also have the same problem with public transportation! I’m so grad I’m not the only one.

  • Callie Lewis

    i had a panic attack for the first time last month and I’ve been having them quite a lot recently and i read this after a recommendation from a friend it has helped so much xx they have stopped me from doing a lot of things and now I’ll try to make a change because if you have done it then maybe I can too

  • Zoe Imogen

    I have panic attacks every english lesson and i have english everyday i hate it and i dont want to go to school because of it but i have to and i cant tell anyone in my class because they all hate me idk what to do about it

    • Meelah Rose

      If you haven’t let the school know then you should do that. And you shouldn’t worry about your peers, they don’t matter any more than your health!

  • Faheena

    I asked my two sisters to read this because my sisters wedding day she and the other sister both had a panic attack cant believe that happened cause i faint alot and everyone thought something would happen to me lol bu you have such great advice
    Thank you so much

  • Amy Fitzpatrick

    Wow! I think one of the main issues with having anxiety is feeling like everyone is looking at you yet you are so alone. Everyone deals with things differently and people deal with anxiety differently. Me? i have had anxiety for as long as i can remember, and when i say that i mean even Family members telling me they can remember me at the age of 3 being a little wreck. Some people have panic attacks where they stop breathing and going in to PANIC MODE. Me obviously someone has to be different….. i’m sick…. yes sick … not like a tactical chunder or bulimia full on OMG IM PANICKING OMG OMG … VOM.

    Now can you imagine growing up as a teenager … going through your nervous stages… meeting boys… job interviews and all that … when the only place you feel “safe” is …. your safe place. I can remember being 7 in a restaurant and Panicking because the toilets were far away and if i felt sick i would have to run … i got myself that worked up i was sick all over the place! I have literally been sick in the most random of places and have so many stories, helpful tips and ways that have helped me and others, i could write a book about it if anyone would actually buy it! – Hey Zoe Fancy giving me a break and writing a book together?

    The thing that gets me through a bad day is remembering ….. when you think you have it bad someone else has got it 10 times worse. I developed my own tactics/help i read books from “the secret” to listening to women in audio books telling me to be as calm as the trees in the wind and all that B.S. At the end of the day the sooner you come to accept your self for who you are, find something you are good at and feel confident doing you will shine …. and when you shine you feel better…. and when you feel better your Panic buttons don’t get pressed because your body is buzzing with excitement. The hard thing is, getting to this stage. I am now 22, i have suffered from anxiety for years and years- i would say from going back when i was in year 2 so whats that 5? – and i still do, i have been sick in total 3 times today, i have problems eating certain foods …. but do you know what…. I AM HAPPY – well not 100% of the time but who ever tells you they are always happy are on drugs.

    If i have any advise for any of you who are reading this…. essay that was suppose to just say “thanks Zoe!”…. Just breathe, take a step back, you’re not alone, count backwards from 10 (don’t count forwards because thats to quick), think of a colour (trust me it works), put your hands over your eyes, count again. THEN DO THE BIGGEST GRIN EVER AND THE NEXT PERSON YOU SEE TELL THEM TO HAVE A NICE DAY.

    Sorry about the essay- i could go on and on and on. Love you all. Be good, If you can’t be good be careful, if you can’t be careful be spontaneous and if you can’t be spontaneous then don’t do it.

  • Christa Snellenberg

    Thank you so much for writing this ZoΓ«, I’ve been suffering from panic attacks for about a year now and I still feel like I’m not normal. Especially at school they have been getting really bad the past time and most of my teachers don’t understand if I ask them if I can go out for some fresh air. Your story has helped me so much and I now know that I’m not the only one. Thank you for being such a strong person and being able to share your story with us. Thank you so so so much! <3

  • MyLifeAsYas

    Thank you so much Zoe ! I thought i was was not normal. This has helped so much, thank you ! Love you xx

  • Salina

    I suffer from panic attacks, and even though I have watched your video three times this really helped, the thing that I really need help with is that I have no clue how to tell my friends about this. I really want to tell them but I don’t have the courage to do it because I know I will start to cry when I tell them or they won’t understand.

    • Meelah Rose

      You should wait until you are ready, and feel safe. Make sure you know your friends are going to be open-minded about it. Good luck!

    • Nadine

      You don’t need to tell them straight away. In fact, the only friends who know about my anxiety are my close friends that were there when I had my first panic attack. I took me 5 months to tell anyone one else, not even my parents knew. The point is, don’t rush yourself. Tell them when your sure your ready to share this part of you life with them. Good Luck!!! Xxx Nadine

  • Leah Borthwick

    Thank you so much for writing this Zoe, I have had anxiety ever since I was 10 years old and it’s been so difficult, evrytime I walk into drama class to preform I start shaking and it leads up to having a panic attack, I feel weak and worthless but your blog post and video have made me think more about saying yes to things and how much easier it would be just to open up and be more adventurous.

    Thank you, and never stop doing what your doing, you’re am inspirationπŸ’—

  • Nathxx Blogr

    Hey Zoe, recently I’ve experienced something that could be panic attacks and anxiety quite often.. How do I know if that’s the case for sure? This post really helped me <3 Thanks

  • sophie

    Hi Zoe I thought if you could tell everyone your story why can’t I so here it is when I was much younger I fainted in church in front of my entire school everyone was starring at me and I was just shaking wondering what had. Happened I have fainted 2 times since then and because u fainted in front of a big crowd my Anxiety has mainly been about performing or speaking in front of crowds I can’t even walk into class late because I’m scared everyone’s going to stare at me , but your probably wondering when my panick attacks first started , the first time it happen fed was 2years ago and I wasn’t even aware of what a panick Atrack was Anyway my class had to do a assembly and just before it started I couldn’t breathe and I told my teacher I felt like I was going to faint and she let me go and sit in the class room I just cried my eyes out and tried to catch my breathe I didn’t have anothe panick Atrack for 2 year ,okay I know your probably board know but I really need to talk about this to help myself and hopefully others – it started again when I went a knew school and we had to do a presentation on are own in front of the whole class reading and i hate reading out loud Iam deslixes adm when I went up my heart started pounding so hard I couldn’t hear myself speak and I felt like I was shaking but when I looked at my legs they weren’t moving at all / so basically 2days later I had a mini but really scary panic attack so happy to be able to talk about it Thxs everyone hope someone can relate to my story

  • I’m having a really, really bad panic attack right now and when I do, I always read this. It makes me realize I’m not gonna die and I don’t need to worry.

    • Fitstargal

      I hope you’re ok now x

      • Thanks, I am! I’m having help for it as well so it’s going to get better I hope :)

  • Amy

    My god ur not the only one !!
    I get over stressed about everything in life and having read your first book , I know exactly how you feel and I felt happier that I wasn’t the only 1 !!

  • James

    Thank you for writing this, never have I read something about this where I am able to relate so much. I’ve been having panic attacks for just under five years now, it all started for me in a pretty similar situation to you although for me I was the one being uncontrollably sick from alcohol. I was 15 and this was my first NYE party, I was having a great time and ultimately not knowing my limits I drank way too much and was sick multiple times. Never have I felt so bad! Ever since that day the thought of going out and drinking makes me incredibly nervous until I get to the point of throwing up myself. As disgusting as it sounds I’m almost now glad when I’m sick, it feels as if the panicked feelings are leaving my body the moment I throw up. It’s a sort of cycle that goes – Potential situation that I may feel uncomfortable with has arise -> me hoping that I won’t feel panicked -> can’t stop thinking of the situation, I almost big it up to something huge in my own mind -> get to the situation must know where nearest toilets and exits are so I can get out if needed. Prepare excuse to leave -> panic attack starts GET OUT GET OUT!! Alarm bells ringing in my head against the situation –> throw up. All those negative thoughts leave my body -> head back out like nothing has happened and continue in that situation with no feeling that another attack will come.

    Probably important to say now that I have only ever told one person about this, my ex girlfriend. So when people ask me to come out with them and I refuse and make up some terrible excuse about me ‘not feeling it’ or ‘cant be bothered tonight but another night maybe!’. I know they don’t believe me but no one understands or will understand when I say unless they’ve experienced it as well. I tried to explain to my ex girlfriend why I couldn’t or didn’t want to do certain things, she didn’t understand and I could always feel the annoyance from her to me. This was the main reason I couldn’t continue seeing her, I wanted more than anything to continue seeing her I just felt I could no longer give her what she deserved. So as years went on the panic attacks seem to affect more and more of my life. Suddenly the thought of doing anything was too much. I was restricted to the house on my own, in a matter of months I remember feeling panicked about these situations:

    Eating out at a restaurant
    Eating with family
    My sisters graduation
    Going out for staff birthdays/Christmas meal
    Any pre-organised trip to the pub with the boys – I’m sitting here 1st November 2015 already thinking ‘I hope I’m gonna feel okay for NYE and my birthday on the 24th Nov.’
    Going out for the day with friends/family
    Meeting up with friends
    Meeting women and potentially having a relationship. Sex
    and as stupid as it sounds just getting in the car with my ex was enough to set me off. The feeling of being trapped and her just talking to me. Me there saying the bare minimum just wanting her to be quiet so I could concentrate and avoid what I knew was inevitable, I’m still yet to win that battle

    I’ve felt so alone battling this, reading this is one of the first times that I’ve realised I’m not the only one going through this. People do feel exactly like me. So thank you for writing this. I’ll never forget this line from Sherlock no less which said ‘You can’t kill an idea, can you? Not once it’s made a home. {taps forehead} There.’

    Recently my attacks have been less frequent which is great, however my mind seems to be now wired to expect that to change like flicking a switch on when certain situations arise again.

    It’s strange because behind closed doors I feel all of this, I never tell anyone this. Behind a computer screen its so much easier to say the truth. I think if people knew I was going through this they’d be shocked. I’ve got a great mechanism of showing to the outside world how confident I am. Never stop talking, as I’m sure I have shown in all this, I do sometimes think of saying something but never quite have the guts too.

    If you’ve stuck with me reading all this then I thank you. Goodinight


  • Fitstargal

    Dear Zoe,
    I found this incredibly relatable and inspiring. I have anxiety, panic attacks and OCD… your blog and your Q & A’s always really help me and make me know that I’m not alone. I really respect you, and I love you so much and I hope that one day I might possibly be able to meet you and thank you (for how much you’ve helped me and many others) in person.
    Thank you Zoe.
    Lots of love, Darcie x

  • Nikola

    Thank you so much this post has helped me so much and I feel as though I have to live my life to the fullest everyday but be careful with what I do. Thanks again.
    xoxo Nikky

  • Rutu Luhar

    Thanks so much. You really helped me feel better about things. You are a very strong person. I am sure this helped lots of people…

  • Avery Heaver

    I once had a panic attack during an exam and, being in a hall with 200 students, I tried to keep it to myself, but then the teacher called me out on it and everyone turned to stare at me… when we were dismissed I ran out and proceeded to panic for an extra half an hour (two panic attacks separated by twenty seconds of calm) and the only way I calmed down was when a girl I barely knew wrapped me into a really firm, but comforting hug and repeatedly told me that I was okay until I calmed down. Normally I hate being touched but that hug really did help me.

    Another time I had a panic attack at a festival and passed out from hyperventilating so hard – I got pulled over the barrier and when I came around I began to panic again, but a woman stared at me in the eyes and told me to copy her breathing, and it calmed me down in seconds.

    The worst panic attack I’ve ever had, however,was when I was home alone watching (coincidentally) a Zoella video, when I suddenly began to panic. I stood up to go and get the phone so I could call for help, but was so dizzy I couldn’t stay upright. I crawled to the bathroom as nausea washed over me, and got there just in time to be sick. I remember shaking so violently that my head was constantly banging on the toilet seat (classy, huh?) and my heart pounding in my ears at what felt like 1000 beats per minutes, and crying uncontrollably. After about twenty minutes of this I calmed down considerably, although I stayed curled up on my bathroom floor for another two hours, drifting in and out of sleep, until my mum came home.

    Thankfully it is very rare that I have panic attacks these days, although I still suffer from severe anxiety.

  • Hearts for evaaaa

    Hey Zoe I have panic attacks which I now know because of this. It started today in lesson and I had to wait until break to get some fresh air.The only trouble is that all my family think I’m a ‘Zoella wanna-be’ so the only people who believe me are my friends.Pleasee help because I don’t now how to make them believe me!!!

    • Hearts for evaaaa

      It would really help if someone had a tip for me about how to deal with them aswel

    • zoe

      you could always tell a teacher or someone close that could talk to your family. Then they could talk to your family. or go to a doctor.

  • Lois Brakes

    Thanks zoe this really helped!
    My main symptom is depersonalisation and it’s really hard for me to manage! It would be great to finally meet you one day.
    I’ve had soo many counsellors an nothing has changed The other day I thought of your tips when I finally tried to go out the house because I haven’t in ages and they helped! Thanks soo much zoe!

    • Tori

      Lois have you tried mindfulness? It’s really good for depersonalization. I have that too and it’s a living hell. Mindfulness helps, and especially keeping myself busy with projects and such.

  • Puppy’s for life

    So true! I remember, two months ago, I had to get stitches and the whole time I was looking at the boy across from me, crying his eyes out. Apparently, he had just found that he had a brain tumor. (form of cancer)
    The whole time I was getting stitches, I was looking at the boy, he looked about 10. I just looked at him, and thought to myself, many people have it worse than I do. I then cried for the boy, instead of myself. It’s hard not to believe that many have it worse when you watch it first hand. I felt so bad for him, that I forgot I even had an issue.

  • Jillian O’Neel

    I keep telling myself that it cannot hurt me, I try to make it go away, I can’t. It’s been happening since I was 10, I am 12 now. The last one I had was 2 days ago. I think they are getting worse. One time I actually did black out. One time I almost actually stopped breathing. It’s so horrifying. If you or anyone have ANY tips I would be more than thankful. I’m trying to keep my head high through everything. I’m in one of the hardest most stressful years of school right now and want to get it under control. It happens almost once every month, sometimes 2-3 times. It feels so good to get this off my chest. Except not literally yet. Please help!

    • Puppy’s for life

      I’ve had them since I was only nine, I’m 13 now. I know how you feel.

      • Jillian O’Neel

        Thank you puppy’s for life

        • Puppy’s for life

          No problem :)

    • Sarah

      One of the best things I think you could do is learn breathing techniques. You need to practice everyday for a while and do this even if you feel anxious. There’s different places you can learn breathing techniques online you can try meditation or just simply breathing in mouth and out your nose counting to about 5-7 seconds. Make sure you’re eating well and sleeping well too because this can also affect you :) hope this helps x

      • Jillian O’Neel

        Thanks Sarah, I’ll try it. :)

    • Steve Guarino

      Hi Jillian, I suffered from panic attacks also from a young age and know that they can be very upsetting. In fact, I recently wrote a book to help people overcome their panic naturally. the name of the book is Make Peace With Panic Naturally.

      The most important thing to do and this is also the most difficult is to do your best to remain calm (realize that it will not harm you)

      when panic begins to set in. If you need to, do your best to clear your mind by focusing on taking deep breathes into your belly, not just your lungs. Do this slowly and thoughtfully. It helps to count the amount of time that you take to inhale and then also count the amount of time it takes to exhale. Try to do this as slowly as possible.

  • Mimi

    It was only today that I was at home at I started crying and not being able to breath. Do u think this a panic attack or just stress??

    • Tori

      It sounds like it could be stress and maybe some depression. But it depends on what’s going on in your life, to figure out why you’re feeling this way. Consider your social life, anything biological, and anything psychological. You can try to map your moods and when you feel most anxious, then assess what you were doing in those moments to see what’s triggering you.

      • Mimi

        Thank you Tori I will try:-)

  • Mimi

    I also can’t sleep at night and I haven’t been genuinely happy for around 2 years now please what do I do!?!?

    • Tori

      If it was a panic attack you would know. People don’t ask “is this a panic attack?”

  • Jem McKenna

    how do you deal with a panic attack when you are driving? I’m a Learner driver and I had one whilst driving and it was really dangerous….

  • Lauren Jones

    Hello Zoe.

    The NHS are a complete disgrace to me too, they never seem to even know what i am talking about and/or don’t believe me when i say i feel this and that etc. My GP certainly never gave me any sympathy and i found the whole situation really annoying. After that appointment with the GP, i ran out, cried, and had a panic attack .
    I have had Anxiety/Depression since 2012 and yet nothing has been done apart from some Beta-Blockers(which made it even worse) and a 6 month waiting list for counseling which even then i didn’t feel like they truly understood, or could relate. I have an appointment on Monday to once again tell my GP that my Anxiety and panic attacks are worsening, and ask for at least something that will help me have a better quality of life, wish me luck:(

    If all else fails i think i shall go private, to a specialist doctor. Although, after 2 years of trying to ask my dad for a private consultation never seemed to work.

  • Tori

    I got my first attack at 15 and I’m 34 now. This has consumed my life, because I didn’t get treatment in time and became agoraphobic then was in/out of behavioral hospitals being diagnosed with everything you can think of and pumped full of medications. Right now I’m surviving but definitely nowhere near thriving. Life just feels like hell all the time. I do try to get enough sleep, meditate, eat nutritious foods, and go outside. If I’m able to do these things it’s much more manageable. I do wonder if someone drugged me the first night I got the attack (at 16). I’m wondering if something like that may have happened to you too, since you were at a party. I was in a similar situation. The attack started in the middle of the night after everyone went to sleep — and I remained in a dreamlike state for years.

  • mysterycomment

    Hi Zoe, just want to thank you for the helpful tips.
    I know you probably aren’t going to get to read this, but just in case I’m going to share anyway. I’m 12 years old,(yes, 12) and i have had panic attacks since i was 6, not mini ones, full on panic attacks,they would come about here and there but i didn’t have many. This year everything has been absolutely terrible! My panic attacks have slowly begun to take over my life. Now, i don’t only get them once or twice, i pretty much get them every second day. The more i have, the worse they get. At first my heart just started to beat fast and i started to feel nauseous, but now when i have them, i feel dizzy, nauseous, i start to shiver to the point when i can’t even walk, i feel as if i can’t breath and as if the world is closing in on me. i have been to many psychologists and psychiatrists, its slowly getting better. people say that I’m too young to have panc attacks, but as you have said i don’t want them! the just happen! it’s probably going to sound weird, but you are my absolute role-model. when i grow up i want to be just like you! you have really inspired me and for some odd reason after my panic attacks, when i feel all depressed and stuff i go onto your blog, Zoella, and i immediately start to feel better. And this comment is probably very late but it took a lot of courage.
    thank you Zoe for giving me some one to look up to!
    P.S don’t know what happened to the font as i was typing.

  • JJ. Arbon

    i ALWAYS have a panic attack when i go on a plane. i wind myself up so much that i dont look forward to going on holiday, and i would much rather stay at home in my comfort zone. Also, a few nights before i leave to go on holiday, i have panic attacks because i seriously dont want to go.

    im fine in the airport because i can go shopping in duty free and treat myself to a benefit mascara or something but as soon as i enter the place where im about to board the plane, i start winding myself up. ill sit down on the plane and be fine for about 30 minutes and after that im a wreck. I also have a phobia of vomit and travelling makes me feel sick so when i go on a plane i instantly feel sick which then causes me to panic. I have tried so many ways to try and calm myself down, but the only one that orks in going home and getting into my bed (which is of course impossible in this situtation. Can anyone relate? x any help would be HUGELY appreciated

  • Elvia ChΓ‘vez

    so i know this coment won’t be about panic attaks but even though this blogpost really did kinda like opened my eyes. so i dont know if i am really dealing with it but i am too afraid of figuring out because i am afraid of everybody seeing me as a weak girl because everybody is always like how do you have all your life sorted out even though you are 14 and i really just don’t know what to do.
    i always feel so depressed when i get home and i just want to cry myself to sleep everyday because, do you ever get thath feeling that everybody hates you? well i get that feeling every day and i am always like why me?
    imagine, you are with your friends in a classroom or in a coffe shop wherever you want and i am seating right in front of you and someone tells a jike i instantly tink you are laughing at me. i am constantly feeling in a cage and i am always worried abaout things that mabye won’t even happen but i still worry.

    i am araid of telling my parents about what i feel because i am afraid that if i tell them they will think i am seeking for more attention and i really struggle to make new friends and i always loose my best friends (whan i think they are real friends they end up beeing super bad persons) and a friend of mine keep telling me come on i will introduce you a really good friend of mine he is handsome and a really good person but i am so afraid that he will just be like why did you brought this girl and he is just gonna say bad things about me and i saw a video about something called social anxiety thet is practicly socialphobia but i really don’t know if it is a real thing that i have or if it is just in my mind.
    i don’t know if it is a panic attack but i always that i am with a small group of people i am always feeling my face burning and i start turning red and my heart starts beating so fast but i don’t know if it is a panic attack because i can still breath perfectly it is just my heart and my face like when you are talking to a boy or a girl you like you start getting nervous and that is what i feel like every day in school.
    if someone sees this and know how i feel o someone can relate please tell me how to deal with it or what should i do, how do i tell my parents? what should i tell my friend about his friend? please i really don’t know how to do this.
    and Zoe thank you so so so so much for this it has helped me so much even though it is not what i am feeling or at least i don’t think so i love you so much and angain thank you for everything and i will never forget what you said in your vlog 2 or 3 days ago “anxiety is not you is just a little fraction of who you are”.

  • megan

    I’m not sure if I suffered a panic attack yesterday, so if someone could help that would be much appreciated! Basically it was the last day of school before we all broke up for the Christmas holidays and so each year (when this day happens) we have to sit in the gym (everyone in the whole school, including the teachers) and watch some of the pupils and the teachers sing along to carols and stuff like that, it usually lasts for just over an hour. When this day happens, some church (priest?) guy (sorry I’m not sure) comes in and talks about the meaning of Christmas and also about Jesus and stuff like that. So I walk into the gym (everyone is sitting in rows on the floor) with my friends and we sit down. For some reason I felt like this year was way more crowded than it ever has been before (when I’ve been there) and I was just sitting there and then some more people end up having to sit in front of us. This girl in my year sat in front of me, and I actually do really like her and she’s really nice, but she couldn’t move forward due to the fact that there was barely any space for her to, so she ended up being sat right up in front of me, leaving me no choice but to keep my knees up against my chest. This was making me feel extremely uncomfortable, the priest was going on talking and everyone there was laughing and talking back, then there was me keeping my head down because I was just spacing out, I felt light-headed and like I wasn’t actually there?? My friend who was sitting next to me thankfully noticed and kindly enough moved over a little, but it wasn’t helping and I kept on telling her, how I just had to get out and how I couldn’t sit there. Eventually my heart started beating really fast, and I felt a few tears creeling up on me a few times but I didn’t cry. As soon as we left I just broke down, I started crying and because of this it was making me breathe even more quicker which was causing me to overt-think even more, I was scared because it had never happened before and I didn’t know what to do, my friends all crowded around me and hugged me and comforted me, but I still didn’t feel right, they kept on telling me I was okay and it’ll be fine, but I just couldn’t stop. As we were standing outside, one of the kindest English teachers I have in my school walked past and asked if I was okay. I then started explaining how I couldn’t breathe and I felt trapped, she explained how sometimes it happens to her too, she asked if I wanted to come up to have a cup of tea or something but I turned the offer down, I just wanted to leave, eventually I calmed down and she explained how because I told her that what happened has never happened before, she suggested seeing a doctor with my parents,(she also asked if I wanted to go home, I said no though because I knew my parents were still at work), I still haven’t told my mum or dad because I feel like they wouldn’t take it as serious as it actually was?? Plus I’m the type of person that doesn’t really open up that much. Anyways, I would really like to know if I actually did suffer a panic attack??? and also should I tell my parents??

  • Rachel

    hi , thank you for this post I know it is fairly old but it helped me so much and as a sufferer of panic attacks it has helped me to understand what happens to me a bit more, I have not identified triggers yet myself. looking at the comments this has helped millions of people so keep up the good work, PS I loved 24 days of Zoella xxxx

  • sumaiyah

    Zoe thanks for the help. i am an 11 year old girl who suffers from panic attacks. i am in year seven and i have quite as many bullies as friends. i hope they will read this and realise its not who you are its a tiny fraction of you. life may seem hard at first but you have to make it slowly through just one day followed by the next. this really helped me tame myself down during those horrible times i could just play your video or get someone to read this to me and i know i will be fine. thus has inspired me to push myself to things and places i never thought i could do or go. i am not just saying this i do suffer with this and unless you have been or seen someone in this state you wouldn’t understand it you could explain it but they will never realise the true emotion and thought put into your mind whilst in a panic attack i don’t want a life i will regret i hope no one does but if you read this please note that this has really motivated my life i know many people suffer and we all have our different ways of expressing it but the one thing we have in common is one the thing that triggers panic attacks whatever it may be. Life is not about living through anxiety its about sorting it out it is really hard for an 11 year old to share this information but i am writing this on the 25th of December when i have taken many different options and experienced many new things all thanks to this Blog thanks Zoe you have really brought out the true me i am sorry you had to live through that no one wants to but thank you for doing that and sharing that really personal information thank you this means a lotxx

  • Abby Jackson

    Thanks so much ft this blog post it’s helped heaps! If anyone is suffering from major panic attacks go see a physiologist instead of a regular doctor

  • BB

    I am generally a confident person so I wasn’t sure I was having panic attacks but after reading this I am now certain I am. Sometimes when I was at uni but mainly specifically while driving (not ideal or remotely safe!) which I hate as I don’t trust other drivers or myself. I have to drive as I’m only 21 so will need to be driving as I start work in Brighton in January and I live 40 mins away in Eastbourne. However I’ve been using the standard avoidance tactic which is making it a huge scary deal. The thought of arriving on my first day in tears, shaking and barely able to speak or write (I’m a teacher! I know a teacher with anxiety- good one) is the worst thought, making me even more anxious. I don’t know why I’m writing this as no one can help me but myself… But anxiety is so goddamn inhibiting and I would really rather be a super chill logical person

    • Steve Guarino

      Hi BB,
      You experience a common fear, the fear of driving…this was difficult for me as well, especially over a bridge!! Not fun. It is true that you can help yourself but sometimes we can use a little help. Is it possible you can find someone that you trust a great deal to go in the car with you for a drive for a few times until you become more at peace with driving? Having a “safe person” to do this with will help a lot. They can help to reassure you that everything is ok and I believe this will be helpful to you. For some people it is baby steps like sitting in the car for a little while the first few days and visualizing a successful driving experience and then working their way up to driving around the block, etc. The book I wrote on Panic under my name available on Amazon may be helpful to you as it will give you ideas on how to make changes in your life that will bring more peace and reduce your anxiety and fear. Good Luck!

      • BB

        Hi Steve,
        Thank you for the response. Yes I do have a safe person (my dad) unfortunately I cannot have him be my full time passenger πŸ˜› It does help so much just having someone telling you your doing it right and not as terrible as you thought. I’ve started my job but gave up on the thought of driving until it’s at least light in the mornings and am getting the bus everyday. I try and drive as much as I can on weekends though and I’m getting less anxious particularly for routes I know well so I guess I need to get to know all routes ‘well’ πŸ˜› Thank you for taking the time to message me, it’s made me think about it rather than just burying my head in the sand! Xx

        • Steve Guarino

          Hi BB,

          Your welcome :) Glad I could help.
          Good for you to continue driving! It does help to know your route to feel more comfortable.
          You’re fortunate to have a Father that helps and supports you…that’s very important to overcoming panic.

  • Sarahhowley

    Thank you so much!! Iguess im just a normal 12 year old girl that suffers with panic attacks!I started getting very minor panic attacks in summer of 2015 .When I got my first panic attack I was with my friends about to cross a road and fell off the curb luckily the car just missed me .At first my heart was racing and I could not feel my right leg and felt extremely dizzy I just lay on the road for about 5 minutes then u got the courge to stand up and walk home the dizziness ,weakness and heart racing stayed for about ten minutes after that.I have been getting panic attacks ever si centre especially in school and it is the most annoying thing because the teachers don’t understand what’s wrong with you!!I justzone out and eventually it will go !Panic attacks are something I get so I guess I just have to deal with it and move on and not let it affect me !! When I watched your video I was just after having a minor panic attack it helped me so much it makes me feel like I’m not alone


    Recently my panic attacks started getting really really bad and on most times I feel like I’m dreaming because my head got so dizzy,my legs go wobbly like I’m going to fall down,my body feels so weak and I can barely open my eyes. My body sweats more than I sweat when running a marathon. I suffered with panic attacks for almost a year now. Reading your blog and watching your videos helped me a lot. At times I would cry thinking about what is going to happen to my future when I’m just stuck in my bedroom because I’m too scared if I would have a panic attack when I’m outside. But I would remember the advice that Zoe told and trust me I feel a lot better. I started going out more and my panic attacks are decreasing and they’re not that worse anymore. I suffered with panic attacks for almost 3 years now. I started when I was 12 and I’ve never been this better before thanks to a lovely blogger named Zoella. ILYSM. Thank You.

  • teenage girl

    zoe i know you posted this forever ago but if anybody still reads this please can you help me? I panic a lot in school and people look at me weird, how can I make people understand that I can’t control what’s happening to me and if I had a choice i’d give up these stupid panic attacks. i just need somebody to understand

    • I understand, don’t worry. I don’t have many friends, just my two best friends Lauren and Sophie that I can really confide in. It will take time to explain. Just tell them, if I have a panic attack; here’s what to do. You never walk alone, if you ever have any problems talk to a family member or a best friend. Or just post on your blog and someone will help you!

    • Steve Guarino

      Hi Teenage, you are experiencing one of the common emotions of panic, we feel that everyone is looking at us and that they think something is wrong with us. I struggled with this exact feeling for many years during the time I was experiencing panic. I also felt like I was going to pass out and embarrass myself. Have you tried to talk to your best friends and explain to them? It is very helpful to have a support group around you that you can rely on. You can get better, don’t lose hope. If your interested, I recently wrote a book about panic attacks under the name steve guarino on amazon Hope you feel better!

  • I’ve only ever had one huge panic attacks but quite a lot of little ones too. The huge panic attack: I had just came out of my maths lesson, knowing that I had English. I don’t know why but in my English lessons, my mouth goes dry my throat is blocked my hands go sweaty, I just can’t think, I start pinching my leg as hard as can until I stop panicking. It’s horrible. On my way to English that day I was so scared in case I got asked a question. I was In a packed up hallway I could barely move (there are a lot of people in my high school) I could scarcely breathe. I started to cry uncontrollably and ran out of the door, my friend Sophie and florence followed me. They kept asking me what’s the matter. I could hardly speak. People were staring at me. I went to run back to the English lesson to get it over with. I was digging my nails into my palm it really hurt. My friends took me to the school pastoral guidance thingy. My friends left me there and I was on my own. I sat down with a teacher and my knees were shaking and I kept tapping my feet on the ground. I was still crying. She kept asking me all of these questions. She said I had a panic attack because I was putting too much pressure on myself to do well in English as it is the only subject that I really truly love in and the only subject that I’m good at. I kept having to go back every single English lesson and everyone stared at me when I kept my head down avoiding eye contact. I knew the answers to the questions, I just couldn’t speak or function. So I just sat there trying to take it all in and calm down. Everyone became so quick to judge me. Thinking that they had the right to call me ugly, and saying that I could never face anyone and call me a weiro. If they lived inside my mind, and saw the torment in which I have to suffer. They will see that their words have scarred me. If only they could see that. But they never do.

  • Mariana Oliveira

    It’s good to know I’m not the only one who has phobia of sick.

  • Alice

    Hey Zoe
    I just watched your video about dealing with panick attacks and anxiety. The video is just amazing! I’ve literally the same as you have/had. My panick attacks got also to a point where is was no longer able to leave the bed, to go to work or a shop, to the tram or what ever until i broke down completely and ended up in a depression. Two years later now, the attacks got much less and I feel like i can carry on with my life. Just to hear, that i’m not the only one and that I’m not abnormal makes me feel better so i wanted you to know YOU ARE NOT THE OLNY ONE AS WELL. life can hit you hard sometimes but it is ours to decide what to do with it even if we think we don’t have the power to do so.
    Something else that I found out about me and my panik is that it gets more often as I don’t challange myself enough. Challanges are scarry but they also help you to be selfconfident and happy with yourself. A wise person once told me that you have to immagine a bowl in your tummy that is filled with trust in life. this simple imagine might bring you further than you might expect.
    And by the way: exactely this kind of disorder shows that you are a very caring person but don’t feel like you have to solve everyones problems. In the first line you have to be good to yourself and handle your own life not the one of others. imagine you being in a glassbowl, you can accept the other persons problems and sorrows but you cannot solve them!

    A big fan of yours that gets inspired by you a lot <3
    Alice, 22 years old from switzerland

  • ErinLucy

    Suffering from panic attacks is awful and I hate talking to people about the as that just gets me worked up so I think your really brave to have talked so openly about your anxiety both here and on youtube and I admire you so much for it. Listening and reading about how you feel has been really helpful as I have read your really helpful tips and some past situations that I can relate to. I always feel that no one would understand me if I started talking to them about my anxiety and that they would just judge me but reading your post and other peoples comments it feels great to know I’m not alone and I’m sure loads of other people are thinking the same thing. I don’t think someone who doesn’t suffer from anxiety will ever truly understand how alone, trapped and panicked someone feels when having a panic attack but I’m sure that people reading this will have a better understanding of why people with anxiety might not want to do something or go somewhere and get so worked up about it.
    To be honest the future scares me so much and I cant even start thinking to much about without having awful panic attacks but looking at how far you have come and how you are dealing with your anxiety is a massive reassurance that in the end most things will turn out alright. Its amazing to see how much support you get from your friends and family and I just wanted to thankyou for being such an inspiration to me to keep going and not just shy away from things that scare/worry me. You are an amazingly brave person to talk about your anxiety and I know that me an hundreds of others are extremely grateful. Thxs xxx

  • Chloe

    Thank you for your videos. This morning I think I just had my first Panicatack because I was just reading a offensive comments on my favourite YouTube tv review cannel, I did report them to youtube but when i was doing it I had all the symptom you described in your videos. What can i do next please?

  • Curb Anxiety

    Thank you so much for this thorough info! This is so useful for anyone who has panic attacks, and especially for their loved ones. I was suffering from panic attacks for a couple of decades (!), tried all kinds of medicines and whatever therapies but they never really helped. I couldn’t go to movies, concerts, buses, shopping, you name it. Finally I just found ways myself to get rid of the panic attacks and haven’t had them for many years now. Again, thank you for this post, I’m sure it helped many people to understand and handle panic attacks!

  • Isabella courtz

    Thank you. I have panic attacks a lot and rly bad anxiety and this helped me so much that I just want to give you a hug. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    The worst thing is that my 3 bffs are self harming and that made me have one. To me a day is an obstacle I hate my day. All I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry. But you have made me stay alive. Thank you. Xox

  • Natalie D

    I just read this and it means the absolute world to me. I now know how to describe what I’ve been through and how someone can help if I or anyone else experiences one. Mine have gotten bad in the past where I haven’t left my house or I tried to push through a party or social event to make others happy when in all honesty it made it worse or people would assume i was stuck-up and didn’t wish to speak to them. In reality I’ll go to another room to distract myself for five minutes to write or snack on something simply to calm myself down. And you’re right, it definitely does not help when someone constantly asks questions or especially says things such as “talk,” “say something.” “what’s wrong with you,” etc. because that is not support. That makes me feel small and little and like i can’t do anything right….so i hope people who know next to nothing, in fact, i KNOW people who know little about panic attacks, and read this post, will grasp how bad they can be and how to help in case someone around them is having one. Thank you for this.

  • Neko Shiiro

    Hi, Zoella!

    I got to know you by reading your book (which, I must say, was amazing. Penny was not a Mary Sue, though she was sensitive, and the plot wasn’t too difficult to follow, which was great. Such a sweet novel!), and now I’ve found out that I’ve got something else than it in common with you.

    I don’t really know if they’re panick attacks or something similar, but I do suffer from some anxiety. I haven’t been diagnosed, but I can tell from the way my body and my mind react whenever I’m under pressure, or stress, or both. For example, today my mum wanted to go shopping with me, and we did. Everything was okay, until we entered the mall and I saw how crowded it was. Okay, it wasn’t as full as usual, but there were lots of people, and I started panicking. I sank my hands in my pockets, turned my music on so loud it almost hurt, and clenched my fists so hard it actually left a mark. I felt as if everyone was looking at me, and thinking, “Oh, what a weirdo”, but the worst part came when I came across some high school girls, and one of them asked me if I was okay, and if I had been crying. I realized how bad must I look to have them asking that question; I kept on thinking about it, and sinking in a pit of sadness, nervousness and self-criticising, for half an hour. Sweaty palms, shaking body, headache, fast-paced heartbeat -it’s been a living hell!

    I’d be okay with it if it was the only thing that makes me feel like this, but it’s just one of the many situations that I can’t handle. Another huge problem is the people of around my age. Especially boys. Whenever I’m walking down the street and see some teens, no matter whether I know them or not, everything starts to blur, and all I can think of as I frantically press the “Up” volume button is how bad my look is, how much they must be laughing at me, how inferior I feel. The mere thought of encountering someone younger than 30 makes me feel uneasy.

    Even exams have a huge effect on me. Whenever I have some, I have to bring a huge wool neck buff and a good coat with me, no matter how hot it is in the room, and put them on before the exam begins, because heat seems to be the only thing that calms me down a bit. I try to sink my nose in the neck buff and breathe the warm air in there, but I still shake violently, and feel my heart racing. It makes me feel pretty ridiculous, as everyone’s just chatting and I look like some Eskimo freak, but I just can’t help it. One time, a teacher asked me why had I put on my coat and my scarf, if the class was so hot that some guys had opened the windows, and I almost died.

    The worst part comes when I have this pain in my chest, and I can’t breathe. To take the slightest amount of air does hurt a lot, and I can’t even walk without feeling pain. I have to sit down, press my hands against the focus of the pain and try to calm down, sometimes adding up numbers, sometimes breathing warm air if I have my neck buff. And I can never predict when will it strike, just suffer the consequences.

    I can’t even exit my house without my headphones now. They’re like an extension of my body, as music seems to be the only thing that keeps me from running away as fast as I can whenever there’s a situation that makes me feel anxious. It’s pretty depressing. I do want to be normal, and to be able to walk around without thinking that everybody’s judging me, but fear keeps me at home :( I’ll try to follow your tips, though! Now that I know that there’s more people feeling like this, I feel less lonely.

  • lucy✌

    I had my first panic attack today and it was a lot scarier than i thought, I was in a busy shopping center with 2 of my best friends. I still don’t know what triggered it but I felt like was being silly and that i didn’t have anything to be sad about. Luckily it didn’t last long and my friends were so nice about it. It makes me feel a lot better knowing what was going on inside my body while it was happening and I can only hope it doesn’t happen again.

  • Alana

    I also have anxiety my panic attacks are not as bad but my anxiety is really bad it stops me from doing a lot of things like standing up for myself or even the little things like ordering food but to make it worse i suffer from severe depression and its not so easy to wake up every morning knowing that I’m going to have to live another day of my life. I know that you are never going to see this but i want to tell you how much you mean to me and how much you have helped me i couldn’t thank you enough

    • Steve Guarino

      Hi Alana, you’re not alone. Many of us that suffer from anxiety also feel depressed sometimes as well. I can also rate to the difficulty in getting out of bed some mornings when I was suffering from anxiety and panic. Know this, there is hope!

      I suffered a lot and for many years and eventually found natural ways to help myself heal. I recently wrote a book for others that are suffering from anxiety, stress, fear and panic called Making Peace With Panic Naturally. If your interested, let me know and I will send you a copy in Ebook.

  • Jessica Snow

    You are so amazing. Thank you so much.

  • Grace Dawe

    I get panic attacks and this has really helped me ( i think i might get my mum and dad to read it) but i have an issue. i had my first panic attack in school so now i associate panic attacks with school… It makes things difficult as moving school would not help and my parents don’t want to take me out of school. I have a person i can talk to in school but i always feel like i am putting her out of her way if i need to talk to her. I had my first panic attack when i was 8 or 9 and i am now 14 and they have got a lot worse! My head of year always tries to get me back in lesson where i feel anxious from the moment i walk in to the moment i leave and some times I have a panic attack but try to hide it so no one will comment. There is a teaching assistant in one of my most scary subjects (my classmates are loud noisy and rude and my teacher is very angry and shouty) but she is in their for another student and i am in a corner so she doesn’t see me. I find when i am out of school i have less panic attacks but i do have them is there is an issue at school or if i have fillings that need doing (this comes from a fear of injections) I think if you can leave the area where you are panicking and go somewhere quiet and calm it helps massively, especially if it is cold because the cold helps wake me up and bring me out of panic. I know that keeping some tisues is handy especially if you are like me and start crying when you panic (this ruins your mascara FYI)! I found this blog realy helped me :) xxx

  • Dennis Simsek

    Inspiring success story over anxiety Zoella. here’s mine on Facebook that i’m sure will help many –

  • Ruby Abbott

    I recently did a blog post on anxiety. Take a look x

  • Lauren Leigh

    Zoe I just read your blog post on anxiety and panic attacks and I just wanted to say that you are an amazing person the post really has helped me to actually under stand anxiety and panic attacks a lot better.❀️ So thank you so much! I started getting them a couple months ago, and I never really knew what was happening. I figured out that I have anxiety which I get really badly when I’m going into a situation that I’m not familiar with. I’m starting Universety this year which has cause many panic attacks because I don’t know anyone and I have know idea where I’m going which everyone has to go through but it has felt like it been a much bigger ordeal for me and haveing the feeling of being completely overwhelmed by just about anything that is related to it. I have realised that it’s something that I’m going to have to learn to get through and not to add to the anxiety.
    I really appreciate the post so thanks again. 🌸🌟

  • Danielle Hudson.


  • Megan

    Your blog is really helpful . I have been having panic attacks for 4 months now and I know that isn’t long but it feels like forever . I have lost a lot of friends because of this . They don’t understand . I wish they could . I have never really been confident , I am that girl in class that will never put her hand up . But now I am just so scared to do anything . Everyone at my school is talking about me say I should grow up . I wish it was that easy . The doctors were no help they told me I will have to come up with breathing techniques and that it will just be a case of trial and erro . I want to help people understand . I hope to study physiology at A level so that I can help other people like me . Last week was really tuff . I had a panic attack every day :
    During lessons
    On root to school
    On root home
    In town
    In bed
    It’s just getting to the point were I can’t cope . But thank you Zoe for reassuring me that I am not the only one

  • Jess Spratt


  • Jess Spratt


  • Jess Spratt

    wow this is amazing. this acc so so helpful zoe. I can relate to everything in this and has helped me to think of things in a different perspective. ily so much xxx

  • Simply Houston

    Will some help me, give me advice on how to tell people I don’t feel comfortable doing certain things because of my anxiety. Nobody in school understands what I’m going through, the only person I feel I can talk to is my mum, I dont have anyone I can message, I know this is late from when the post got posted but if anyone can help it would be great x

  • Anonymous

    Recently had my first panic attack as I found out through fb that my boyfriend wants to break up with me, partially because he could not understand why I was feeling anxious at parties…feels like a sad inception

    • Rhiannon Hughes

      Your boyfriend is not worth your time if he would break up with you about something which is beyond your control
      my blog:

  • Sascha Krnic

    I recently picked up a proper anxiety disorder 3 years ago. It started when I had panic attacks from the lack of sleep I was getting and how I was having trouble sleeping (I know, stupid right?). Now it’s about everything. I recently had a panic attack when I was running late to an event and everything became too much (which ironically made me more late, making it worse). Sometimes I don’t even know why it happens but it just does. I think back to what my life was like before anxiety and it makes we wish I could go back in time.
    About a year ago, I started watching your videos, and quickly subscribed to your channel. I watched your anxiety q and a’s and I’d just like to say thank you for changing everyone’s view on anxiety and making it not be as scary as it may come across. Before I watched your videos anxiety was a scary thing for me and now I feel so much better about it. :)

  • disqus_uJBQH88gln

    I was trying to read this post or see your video for such a long time. I was afraid that it will only make me trigger bad memories. Although I somehow did it and I’m very happy that I did. When I was 11 or 12 and I was at the camp I broke down without any reason. I was crying over and over (especially before going to sleep and at night), I was shaking and thinking about how much I hate myself because of being so weak. Even though it was almost a two weeks hell of repetitive panic attacks I stayed till the last day and didn’t give up and call my parents to pick me up. People around me didn’t know what is wrong with me, even I didn’t know that then. For next year or two I was trying to forget, I just tried to erase those two weeks from my memory. Since than I’ve been having panic attacks once in a while but not for such a long time. After living three years in fear that something like this will repeat I went to the doctor but only for one visit. I couldn’t do it again because of the panic attack before every visit. I feel like I’m trapped. Can’t stop panicking and can’t see doctor who might help me. Only two of my friends know about my attacks and I live in continuing fear of it coming back. Reading about other people having the same problems and knowing that it’s perfectly normal makes me feel better. So thank you for this post. I really appreciate it, especially because I hide it from everyone – I just don’t feel strong enough to come back to some of the memories. Sorry for such a long post but it is the first time that I say or write it in five years time and I just really think that telling this helps me. What’s more, I’m sorry for my English, I’m not from English speaking country.

  • Rhiannon Hughes

    I have started a blog and will be writing things about learning to love your life even with anxiety. I have had severe anxiety and panic attacks for several years, so I am proof that it can be done. If you want to visit my blog, it is and if you are struggling with anything at all please email me at [email protected]. My twitter is @roohughes111
    Stay strong everybody, it will get better xoxo

  • Rachel MacDonald

    I had my first panic attack at a mall and I’m supposed to go to that mall Tommorrow with some friends it will be the first time I’ve been back there since the panic attack and I can’t get my mind off it and I’m freaking out and want to cancel but I know it won’t help to never go back any advice

  • Zoe Gallagher

    thankyou so much Zoe this really, really helped me. When you describes what your anxiety feels like i was just checking off everything because that is exactly what happens to me. I would just like to say that this made me think “i’m not the only person in this, panic disorder doesn’t make a like an alien where no one else understands, because there’s someone like Zoella, a famous youtuber with millions of people watching that has the exact same thing as me, making it completely ok to feel this way because looking through the comments on this blog post and your anxiety videos, you and me are 100% not the only ones dealing with this” I’m now seeing someone and they are helping me greatly but reading this has really helped me understand that it’s normal for me, a 14 year old girl to have panic disorder and in my opinion, having something a condition such as panic disorder, signifies that i’m strong, and so is every other person that has this, because we go through daily challenges to overcome this an din the end, we do and that makes us some of the strongest people. So thankyou Zoe because you are the person that helped me realize this xx – Zoe

  • Emma Guerette

    I have suffered with anxiety for a long time at a young age. I have advice specifically for Zoella, go to therapy (it helps a lot) and find a new doctor. When you pair therapy and medication it works so much better.

  • Ellie Burch

    I have panic attacks basically every science lesson but they’re like internal? Like I feel all the symptoms but I just keep it in. It’s so hard. Thank you so much for the advice!! I honestly don’t know how to deal with it as I have a huge fear of sick which doesn’t help when I feel sick – obviously most days in science. I’m having CBT at the moment and really hoping it helps!! Xx

  • Shannon Barden

    I recently watched your video on panic attacks and anxiety as lately I walk into a room full of people I know and am friends with yet feel like I am alone and can feel my heart racing. I am going to try your tips and see if they help. Thank you Zoe xxx

  • Taoskier

    I saw your video on panic attacks while looking up a phrase in a book I was reading. I heard about the book in the movie Annie Hall. Woody Allen was obsessed w death, and Dianne Keaton was complaining that he gave her books like Denial of Death. The phrase was death anxiety. And I had feelings similar to yours while my parents were watching The Tonight Show w Johnny Carson. I had just learned about mortality, and everybody on the show was laughing. I thought, you fools, you’re rich and famous now, but you’re really just a bunch of skeletons! You’ll be dead soon–that’s funny? I soon found booze helps, but only for a few years. Then every time you drink you either face a panic attack, or, if possible, come down slowly w sedatives. I quit drinking but kept a few sedatives in my pocket for years. I wasn’t phobic about areas, just some places it’s logical. Like on a ski lift. What’s better? Try to climb out 500 feet in the air, or take a couple of pills? Meds were the only solution for me. However, they are addicting and take too many, they’ll erase your brain. So, I’ll keep 1 or 2 for emergencies, and my wife keeps the rest, making sure I never take more than my MD prescribes. As people, we are liable to die any minute, and that’s not good. Worse than not knowing when is the absolute inevitability of death. I suspect this condition affects smart people more than it does idiots. If religion helps you, great. But I think there’s a little agnostic in even the most devout. I’m surprised the condition doesn’t affect more people than it does.

  • immee ❀️

    This is a very relatable and very helpful post from every angle.
    My panics started when I was on holiday at the Edinburgh Fringe with a couple of girls older than me and we were watching acrobats and I suddenly felt really sick and faint. I was fine but I just couldn’t calm down. I knew that we were going out for the evening after this with lots of people and that I couldn’t get back to the apartment; I continued to feel sick and didn’t eat for days. This totally freaked me out. I also really don’t like planes and so it happened again on the way home. Since that trip its been gradually getting worse. I have a huge fear of feeling sick. And when I go out I feel immensely sick from anxiety which means I panic when I’m out or even when I think about going out because I know I wont be able to get home quickly if I feel sick or am sick but I’m also not a typically sicky person either, like I haven’t been for maybe 4 years, so I’m not sure where its stemmed from. More recently this has gotten totally out of hand and I have had to stop school (a levels as well) and I cant really go out unless I’m having a super good day. None of my friends get it so I am just trying to get on with it but not one really knows what to do including GP and Therapists. Its like running head first into a brick wall. So if anyone has any helpful tips for overcoming emetophobia I’m willing to try anything <3

  • saher |-/

    thank you so much for this Zoe, everytime i feel sad or get a panic attack or am anxious i never know what to do and it makes things x10 worse. no one i know understands sometimes i just start crying all of sudden & i wish my friends understood i want to be happy and this wasnt my choice and i cant just “get over it” i feel less lonely now knowing there are more people like me out there and it isnt something to be embarrassed about

  • Katie McDonald

    I have just started having panic attacks there really scary and I hate them I just shiver and feel sick and from that I have missed out on some things I wanted to do glad to know you can explain this. Xxx

  • ginie

    I have a severe phobia of clowns, and I know this sounds dumb but when I was watching minions on a plane I had a panic attack, as there’s this clown guy who tries to catch them. Most people say, “oh my God, you’re such a wuss, it was just animated”. But I was surrounded by people, and I didn’t know what to do. I ended up being sick into a vase my Mum had bought for her friend. Ever since then, my panic attacks have come more frequently, especially on world book day. A girl went as a clown and she was wearing an exaggerated mask. Well her friend decided it would be a good idea to put on a clown mask and Chase me and another girl with a phobia of clowns, around the playground. Ever since then, I have been even more prone to panic attacks, and I now have a lot of phobias.

  • Blakenie Melluish

    Please reply to this if you feel similar so I can know that someone else feels the same!! Basically I’ve always been a very socially skilled person, ever since I was young. Which is why the following confuses me! I’ve also suffered with going bright red In the face at school if I were to have to answer a question or if a teacher would tell me off! But I’m certain that was just embarrassment! At the end of year 9, my family decided to move to the closer town which I then moved schools too. I had 2 friends that I had made before I had my first day as a year 10 in the new school. Luckily my new friend walked to school with me and was in my tutor too so we could walk into together. She was asking me before we were about to walk in if I were nervous, and I wasn’t to my surprise. I walked in while everyone else was already seated. My friend had found her place and I stood at the front. The teacher asked me who I was as she didn’t know I was arriving which made me knock a few confident blocks over and I started to feel small as everyone was looking at me. I had to leave and go to the office with the other ‘new girl’. We sorted our lessons out there and I headed to my lesson. I cant remember the rest of the day but it wasn’t one where I enjoyed it. My old school was in the countryside and was a remote village secondary school. Most of the students and teachers were really nice and I got on with many people. I cannot say the same for the new school I was at! I started becoming nervous before lessons after my experience in tutor. Girls started to target me for being new and I later found out because I was making friends, many didn’t like it. The friends I had made turned out to be ‘popular’ girls who also targeted me in lessons and would act like my friend at break and lunch. There was certain lessons were I’d really dread going in as they’d hold the most people that targeted me. By targeted I mean whisper mean things about me infront of me and would call me nicknames that I didn’t understand, it later grew to them throwing food at me in lessons but I would turn around and laugh with them despite me being really crushed and upset inside. This happened for about 4 months, I wouldn’t say this was bullying as people who I told would tell early on would tell me it was just girls being girls but at the time-never experiencing anything like this- it felt very much like a form of bullying. I started to become quite down at home, lost my appetite and for about 2 months I’d stay in loungewear as soon as I get home and watch child cartoons. Watching cartoons and happy youtube videos like Zoe’s made me feel safe and comforted. When I was watching these videos and shows I kind of escaped teenage school life. I started to be very quiet at school, hoping that this would take the attention of me. Any time someone would ask me a question or look at me I started to go very red and I wasn’t sure why. It wouldn’t matter what people would say to me I’d feel embarrassed and show this. I remember one of my ‘friends’ threw a skittle at me in one of my most dreaded lessons, and they started laughing and everyone was looking at me while I went bright red. I was so unsure on how to be while everyone looked at me and just wanted to hide I started looking for the skittle on the floor asking them if they wanted the skittle back, which meant more people went quiet. Hoping the teacher would rescue me she also was watching, it was a very awful moment! After this I become more and more reliant hiding in on myself, dreading the thought of a teacher asking me a question which would always make me choke up or go bright red. After many of months being upset at home and racking my brain to figure out why I would feel so nervous in lessons, go red, and have sweaty palms by the end of the hour! I thought I was so un-normal and I started to really hate myself for getting like this, I still do sometimes! At the time I was so confused why I would act like this and taken up some research, I found out I had developed social anxiety through the situations I had been in. I had done multiple tests of social anxiety all coming out with a high score and even asking others to fill it out incase everyone felt what I felt and I was just bigging something up when there wasn’t anything. But there results would always be much lower. I remember doing one and thinking how these questions I had to answer were so perfectly summing up how I felt I was relived! I also felt upset too, to think that I may have social anxiety. I obviously would much rather not have it. I was near to the end of year 10 by now and I started now and then trying to describe my feelings to other people to see if any felt the same. Many wouldn’t and a teacher overheard one history lesson and commented “oh it seems this school has given you a bit of social anxiety” after that I really thought hard on it and done much more research and finding Zoella’s videos and watching them. What confused me is I didn’t understand much about different types of anxiety and thought that I MUST be going crazy and giving myself a mental health issue on purpose as zoe would have panic attacks frequently and couldn’t get on transport whereas I was fine on transport unless people would be looking at me such as the subway or train! I was very confused thinking about how other peoples anxiety storys were so different. I can go to partys, and I do frequently, so i was very confused! I can be around drunk people and have fun-unlike Zoe, admittedly in the car on the way to the party i fully regret my decision and wish i stayed home but remind myself i will enjoy the party 20 minutes into it. At lunch and break times I really was a nervous wreck. I felt I couldn’t speak because it meant all my new friends-I made better friends that are my friends today are have become very close and are lovely!- would have to look at me, and I knew I’d go bright red. When they’d speak to me also I’d find myself going bright red, only if we were sitting down looking at eachother, I was fine if we were walking somewhere and they wouldn’t all look at me! It sounds so strange and I really was confused by it all. I confided in my younger cousin who I’m very close to and who I spent much time with. She’s someone that makes me feel very relaxed to be around and I don’t have to worry much about going red or feeling awkward if she was looking at me. After I told her how I felt and explained it to her and showed her the online tests she told me that she already knew seeing as I when I talk to people I have to fiddle with my hands and move around and not look at them directly in the eye-all signs I hadn’t noticed myself. I have mentioned to my parents(my mum and step-dad) before about it and they both are very supportive. I love them to bits and they helped me a lot within the time of my new arrival bad experience at the school, but I do feel like sometimes they may not fully understand just because they say everyone feels like this, and I’m sure they do! But I’m not too sure that sitting with my friends at lunch shouldn’t be a chore for me, as it takes a lot of effort and force to make myself sit there. As for a while I would sit in the art classroom alone listening to music eating my lunch, although I was very lonely, I felt much happy being there care-free than stressed to the max sitting with a group. I then started to make myself sit with my friends again as it started to get lonely. I only stayed at break for a while and asked if me and a friend could go for a walk round school and outside instead of sitting down. Now, I still ask to go for walks but I can stay for a whole lunch time if I want. I don’t get as nervous. As I know I can always leave if I need to. When large groups of people come past and sit with us, I instantly have to find a escape route-mainly being taking my rubbish to the bin which I save every lunchtime incase this happens- because I get embarrassed when they come over or walk by talking to us, which sounds silly! I still go to lots of partys, one very recent made me feel anxious for half an hour at the beginning as I felt awkward not speaking to many people. I’m determined as a year 11 for this not to stop me going to partys because I thoroughly enjoy them! I’m okay now and still get embarrassed or go red if anyone that I’m not fully comfortable around speaks to me but I am learning that I can’t stop that and I am trying not to let it be a barrier of many things. I just wanted to explain this all and see if anyone else felt the same! please let me know if you do! xx

  • Faye Megarity

    This is the 4th time I’ve read this now and every time I re-read it comforts me a little more. Unfortunately I to suffer from the terror of panic attacks and am still to overcome my anxiety. I have agreed to go to my friends sleepover tomorrow but sleepovers seem to be my panic place. They are the first place and the only place I’ve ever experienced a panic attack. I’m panicking just thinking about it. My best friend Eva normally helps me a lot through this stuff. But my friend didn’t want her to get upset as she wasn’t invited.
    I’m still yet to know who is going to her sleepover anyway. even though i’m really good friends with her and she’s very understanding I don’t quite know if she would understand panic attacks and how to deal with them.
    I don’t know why i’m writing this I guess I am just scared of what’s to come.
    Wish me luck…..

  • Lauren Tomlinson

    Recently, I’ve started to get panic attacks. I really didn’t know how to cope until reading this blog and watching your Anxiety Q&A so thank you so much. I don’t feel like I have anxiety because I don’t get the panic attacks from being anxious? I get them in situations that I don’t know what to do in. Yesterday, I had a really bad panic attack because I couldn’t answer a maths question, which made me feel ridiculous. I felt as if the whole class were watching me and whispering among themselves about how weird and pathetic I looked. I really needed the reassurance from this blog post and that’s what you gave me even though it’s from 2011. I don’t know why I’ve started to have panic attacks because in the past when I didn’t know what to do, the worst that would happen to me would be me getting annoyed with myself. But I’d like to thank you again for being such an inspiration. This post has really been an eye-opener for me.

  • β™‘beauty_timeβ™‘

    well, I’m not sure if that’s exactly what i suffer from. im always scared of people so i don’t really go outside anymore bc the thought of being outside and somebody talking to me or raping me freaks me out.
    and it’s not only that im scared of these situations when im out or so but also when im in my room for example. i actually don’t know why i’m that phobic, my childhood was very nice indeed…
    if anybody knows what might be wrong with me then feel free to tell me.

  • Mim

    I always get anxious around alcohol and I also have slight PTSD. I had a horrible childhood and I can’t remember anything good about it. I always get anxiety attacks when people get really drunk, it just scares me so much and my mind goes crazy

  • Kathryn Green

    Can u talk more about anxiety itself coz I don’t rlly get panic attacks like u but I have anxiety attacks

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  • Michellexs

    Thank you so much zoe.. now it feels a lot more easyer to deal with it :)

  • Adel

    This has helped me with the panic attacks I get at school. I’m 13 and I have bad social anxiety. I always feel like people are staring at me and judging everything I do. This stops me from doing well at school and making my parents proud. I constantly feel like I’m not good enough and that everyone is above me. Anxiety stops me from doing thing’s I want to do and it really gets me down. Thank you for this vlog Zoe, love you bills xxxxx

  • Nony

    I was just told hours ago that I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks as I had one horrible panic attack at school, I was sobbing and I could not breathe at all, I felt like I was going to throw up and faint. It was the most horrible thing and I am really scared. I’m going to the doctor next Monday to confirm it but I really feel so sad and so insecure. I’m 16 and already am diabetic, this makes me feel so less than other people. Please help me, your blog calmed me a bit but I am freaking out.

  • Millie Rose

    I had my first panic attack last night. I’m 13 and it scared me to death. You helped me by me watching your videos and this. At first I didn’t know what was happening to me. Honestly I thought I was gonna die. It went on for 20-25 mins ish