Health

Woman’s Shocking Before-and-After Pictures Reveal The Truth About Panic Attacks

by Tod Perry

September 26, 2017

Last week, Amber Smith from Warwickshire, England, revealed something about herself that many of her Facebook friends didn’t know: She suffers from crippling panic attacks. Smith shared her story by posting two completely different pictures of herself and the powerful imagery has been shared over 7,500 times.

“Top Picture: What I showcase to the world via social media. Dressed up, make up done, filters galore. The ‘normal’ side to me.”

via Facebook

“Bottom picture: Taken tonight shortly after suffering from a panic attack because of my anxiety. Also the ‘normal’ side to me that most people don’t see.”

via Facebook

Smith’s full post:

God knows why I’m doing this, but people need some home truths..

Top picture: What I showcase to the world via social media. Dressed up, make up done, filters galore. The ‘normal’ side to me.

Bottom picture: Taken tonight shortly after suffering from a panic attack because of my anxiety. Also the ‘normal'’ side to me that most people don't see.

I'm so sick of the fact that it’s 2016 and there is still so much stigma around mental health. It disgusts me that so many people are so uneducated and judgmental over the topic. They say that 1 in 3 people will suffer with a mental illness at some point in their life. 1 in 3! Do you know how many people that equates to worldwide?! And yet I’ve been battling with anxiety and depression for years and years and there's still people that make comments like ‘you'll get over it’, ‘you don’t need tablets, just be happier’, ‘you’re too young to suffer with that’

F*** YOU. F*** all of you small minded people that think that because I physically look ‘fine’ that I’m not battling a monster inside my head every single day.

Someone actually said this to me one day ‘aren’t you too young to be suffering with anxiety and depression? What do you actually have to be depressed about at your age?'’ Wow, just wow.

I’m a strong person, I’ve been through my fair share of crap in life (the same as anyone else) and I will be okay. I have the best family and friends around me and I am thankful everyday that they have the patience to help and support me.

To anyone who is going through the same, please do not suffer in silence. There is so much support around - Don’t be scared to ask for help.

This is why I can't stress enough that it costs nothing to be nice to others. Don't bully others, don't put others down and the hardest one of them all (as we have all done it at some point) don't judge another person. We’re all human regardless of age, race, religion, wealth, job. So build one another up instead of breaking each other down.

Peace & love guys

Smith’s before-and-after photos perfectly symbolize how panic attacks feel, because they often come on without any warning. People suffering from attacks can experience shortness of breath, heart palpitations, trembling, hot and cold flashes or myriad other debilitating symptoms. According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, over four million Americans suffer from panic attacks, and although they are emotionally debilitating, they can be overcome through cognitive/behavioral therapy. According to Thomas A. Richards, Ph. D, “Today, panic attacks and agoraphobia can be treated successfully with a motivated client and a knowledgeable therapist.”

 

Update: This article originally appeared on ​April 14, 2016.

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