Sabina | Interview 2
Fave colour: Blue (more like cobalt blue)
Fave fruit: Melon
Fave author: Patrick Ness
What mental health do you suffer from?
I haven't been tested yet, which I need to go to the GP first and do that but I believe I have anxiety. It's getting worse and worse and worse since the beginning of the university so I've started to think about it and note that I should go out and get tested or checked out because sometimes its meh and it needs help. I don't think I have a big case but it happened for no reason. One time I was chilling at Sunday night, looking at my laptop and suddenly I felt like I was dying for no reason. I didn't know what was going on but I knew there there was no reason for it to happen and there was nothing that should have caused it but it was there in my room. My heart was pounding.
Have you ever had a panic attack?
Yeah, it sucks. It's not great. Something I remember is when I was in my second year at university, I was doing a project and it was so easy and there was nothing that was going on, it was great. Then suddenly, I had a panic attack and then I thought I was going to die. I didn’t know what was going to happen. It all went dark like it was a black out. I didn’t know what happened until my teacher talked about it later. Nobody told me before. Like in Romania, it’s not a topic that you talk about. Anxiety? No it’s not, you’re fine, it’s nothing. Panic attack? Depression? No it’s nothing, you are fine! So do talk about it, don’t think it’s something that is a disease or that you can’t deal with or that you can’t be treated for. Just you’ll get over it somehow just not [easy]. Nobody told me what it was so. Later when at uni and people used to speak about it, I’d asked what that was. I was like “oh, I’ve had that before”. And then I realised it was something that wasn’t just going to go away and that it was very common. It’s not me, it’s not my fault but hey.
What do you do to help with your anxiety?
Well, everything I learnt was from online like breathing so breathe in for 4 seconds, hold it for 1 second and breath out in 2 seconds or something like this. Doing this for a few times actually helped, especially when I was panicking. Also, because I am a logical person, I know that it shouldn’t happen so I’m trying to tell myself, talk myself out of it, and that I should calm down and that it’s nothing and I’ll be fine. You’ll get over it; I’m usually breathing and telling myself that because I know that it’s not my fault that this is happening, I’m not going to die right now.
What is it that you’d like to see happen differently, whether its in society or your country or anywhere else regarding mental health and what we can do about it?
Awareness of it because I didn’t know about it or what it was until I came here. I didn’t know what was going on - it was like me having a panic attack for no reason, it was like me being wrong but it was not. So I didn’t know anything. The other thing would be to take it seriously. Like with depression, proper [clinical] depression, nobody cares about it, they think that you’re ‘crazy’, “you’re fine” or “don’t worry”, “chill”. It’s not treated with importance, none of them are anyway. Especially, in - where I live anyway, my family. They won’t stress on it if I say something, they’re like “you’re just exaggerating, it’s fine”. So, this is what made me not want to talk about it. So I thought, like last year I realised that it’s ok to talk about it and understand what it is. I don’t have ADHD but I might have it.
Is there any advice you’d give to other people?
Don’t give up, like, because I know that its very easy to give up and then, go to the extreme in your life or think everybody hates you or whatever. But if you can find one person who loves you and, I can be the one who loves you, like don’t give up, and continue to fight through the worst because its worth it and if it’s not, then come to me, a stranger, and I’ll tell you its worth it and then stay with me, for me. Like, there’s somebody out there who loves you so its worth fighting for it [survival] and not give in to anything that might push you over the edge and do the ultimate [suicide] or other stuff. And talk about it to people. The more you trust, the better because then you can share it with someone else and you’ll feel better.