Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Woman receives surprising text from co-worker after they witness her panic attack

anxiety text.jpg

With statistics from the Mental Health Foundation indicating there are at least 8.2 million cases of anxiety annually in the UK alone, you can never truly know what someone is going through behind closed doors.

However things are changing – and for the better.

It used to be rare for someone to speak publicly about mental health issues. But now, thanks to the likes of Fearne CottonSelena GomezRyan Reynolds, and countless others in the spotlight, it has become more acceptable and, more importantly, this increased dialogue has paved the way to better understanding and empathy – a fact which has been made abundantly clear by former waitress Julia Glass’ recent blog post for The Mighty detailing a co-workers reaction to her panic attack.

Read more: This before-and-after photograph of a haircut has gone viral

Recalling an incident where she had suffered a panic attack during a shift at a restaurant in North Carolina, USA, Glass said: “The room spun, and every sound intensified, then muffled together into a loud ringing noise.”

Unable to control her breathing, and on the verge of tears, Glass rushed to hide in the restaurant’s walk-in refrigerator (the only private place available). On the way, however, she passed a colleague, who noted her agitated demeanour and asked her if she was OK.

“I nodded,” said Glass. “I’m always OK, especially when I’m not.”

I made some comics about depression and anxiety on sow-ay.tumblr.com (bio).

A post shared by Sow Ay (@sow_ay) on

Glass spent some time alone, working on steadying her breathing and regaining control of the situation and later returned to work as if nothing had happened.

However, when she finished her shift and went home, she found a text on her phone from her colleague.

“Don’t worry about tonight,” it read. “If you ever need a hug or anything when you’re stressed, just let me know. I got you, baby girl.”

Read more: Selena Gomez’s speech about her mental health battle is so powerful

A simple enough message perhaps, but Glass read the text several times and soon found herself overwhelmed by the sentiment it.

“I don’t know if Kendahl [my co-worker] even gave much thought to the text,” said Glass. “She didn’t have to. To me, that text meant everything.

“She helped me feel less weak, less embarrassed, less stupid. She made me feel less alone. She built up my confidence after I kept telling myself my co-workers all thought I was a pathetic attention-seeker…

“She told me if anything ever happened again, she was there for me. I’d always wanted someone to say that to me.”

The post is a firm reminder that anxiety does not work to our timetables: the symptoms are difficult to control, inconvenient in how they affect day-to-day life, and can be utterly all-consuming.

The most upsetting element of all, however, is the way that anxiety can make you feel isolated.

As Glass points out, a simple message of support, kindness and acknowledgement – however small – can go a long way towards reminding anxiety sufferers that they are not alone.

Read more: The importance of having a creative outlet for your mental health

Anxiety symptoms are often hard for sufferers to put into words; there is usually a sense of danger or threat, of not being able to cope with what might happen – a “nameless dread” that provokes such physically real symptoms that it can be debilitating.

The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person, and can include:

  • Restlessness
  • A sense of dread
  • Feeling constantly “on edge”
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Panic attacks
  • Heart palpitations

Read more: These mental health greeting cards will remind you that you’re not alone

It is now the most common form of mental illness and highly treatable. If you suffer from anxiety, experts advise that you visit you GP to explore the number of treatments available.

You can find out more information – including a series of approved self-care tips – on the Mind website.

Images: iStock



Scientists say this is the most effective way of calming anxiety


This photograph of a haircut has gone viral for the best reason

gemma correll anxiety picture.jpg

Meet the kickass women perfectly depicting anxiety on Instagram


Why anxiety makes it harder to follow your intuition

It can have a paralysing effect on decision-making

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

“Why all men must work to stamp out sexual harassment and abuse”

In wake of the Weinstein allegations, one writer argues why men need to be counted

19 Oct 2017

Drinking alcohol can help with foreign language skills, study finds

Anyone for a dash of Dutch courage?

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

Muggles can attend the Harry Potter Yule Ball in the actual Great Hall

You even get your own wand!

by Megan Murray
19 Oct 2017

Walking for just 17 minutes a day has a dramatic effect on your health

Want to prolong your life? A bit of gentle exercise is better than none at all

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

SATC writer admits the team argued over Carrie's unrealistic lifestyle

“I like my money where I can see it – hanging in my closet”

by Megan Murray
19 Oct 2017

WhatConsentMeansToMe hashtag sparks vital conversation on Twitter

“No matter what I wear, no matter what you think – no means no”

by Anna Brech
19 Oct 2017

The Netflix shows you’re most likely to devour in 24 hours

You, my friend, are a ‘binge racer’

by Nicola Colyer
18 Oct 2017

There’s a psychological reason you’re in love with Starbucks’ red cups

It’s not just because Christmas is coming

by Gemma Crisp
18 Oct 2017

Have a wonderfully macabre Christmas with this anti-advent calendar

Bah humbug

by Megan Murray
18 Oct 2017