Wednesday, 27 April 2016


Hello all - firstly a HUGE thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

My aim is to create awareness for Mental Health - and to attempt to break down the ridiculous taboo that we seem to have in discussing it. So please SHARE my blog, comment away, get in touch with me, or just simply go and start a conversation with someone about mental health and not be AFRAID to ask about it, discuss it and most importantly to stop IGNORING it.

A Background

So for anyone who doesn't know me, I am a 22 year old, trying to make life as an actress. A crazy career for someone who suffers so profoundly from anxiety you may think, which is a totally valid point, and something which often crosses my mind! However, pursuing my passion for acting and using that passion and determination to find ways to deal with my anxiety and my panic attacks, has helped me a tremendous amount. More than I can possibly express, and without it, I would probably still be that teenager refusing to leave the house.
I am incredibly open about my anxiety, I don't try to hide it and I'm very happy to discuss and answer questions about it. So please don't be afraid to get in touch with me if you feel I can help, or even if you're just curious, please tweet me or comment and I would be delighted to chat.
For more background on my symptoms, feelings, past experiences feel free to read my previous blog (

Back in the Loop

I have realised it's been almost a year since my last blog - and a LOT has changed for me.
When I last blogged, my anxiety was absolutely at it's peak. I had a very difficult time last year. I was living in London and rehearsing for two shows to take up to the Edinburgh Fringe. I let my anxiety get completely in the way of my enjoyment and being able to attend these rehearsals, so consequently I had to give up my part in one of the shows. It was an absolutely gut-wrenching decision to make, but one that was completely right at the time, and fair to those I was working with. 
I was able to perform in my one remaining show in Edinburgh, and had an incredible time up there and one I would not change for anything. Of course it was a struggle at times, but I was very well supported and did what I needed to do to support myself which others were very understanding of.


I have turned a HUGE corner. Of course my anxiety is still a very big issue. It always will be. The day to day things of leaving the house, going to work, getting on a train - that's all incredibly difficult still. But I have learnt the ways that I best deal with these things.  I just do what I need to do, no matter what anyone else thinks. The most important thing I have learnt with anxiety is that you have to put yourself first and not care about what others may think about you: your coping mechanisms, your routines that you must stick to, your need to take yourself away for some quiet time...and somehow, that is something I have only just come to realise.
Since coming back from Edinburgh (which has been about 8 months now), I can only recall having 2 MAJOR panic attacks. That is a HUGE DEAL for me, and I can't quite express how I feel about that and how alien that is to me. 
Yes, I still suffer panic attacks on a daily basis, but if you've read my previous blog, you'll know I get major ones and minor ones. The minor ones happen daily and I have learnt to deal with, the major ones used to happen at least once a week.'s been 8 months and I can only recall 2 which is an incredible, almost unbelievable turn around.

Honestly, I can't pinpoint EXACTLY what has changed. Maybe it's because I've become more confident. Maybe it's because I'm putting myself first and not caring what others think. Maybe it's living back at home. Whatever it is, I know it's mostly because I'm still pursuing my acting, the one thing I'm truly passionate about. I'm currently rehearsing for a play (Table by Tanya Ronder...shameless plug...). Right now, I am putting all my focus entirely into that which makes me concentrate on something other than 'how I'm going to convince myself to leave the house for work the next day' or 'what happens if I can't get to sleep tonight', which would previously be things I would sit contemplating over for hours. Whenever these thoughts cross my mind, I can grab my script, and divert all attention there. Or learn a monologue. Or read a play. Or do some research. Or watch some INCREDIBLE acting on TV. Sometimes it's forced. Sometimes my brain says 'no I want to sit here for hours and worry about these things'. But the key is to just DO IT. Who cares if you have to force yourself, and have to argue with yourself, you just need to do what you KNOW will help.
So anyone struggling with anxiety right now, by no means am I an expert, but my advice: find something you are truly, truly 100% passionate about and can put your heart and soul into. Whether that be art, or reading, or walking, ANYTHING, find that one thing and use it to distract yourself. Use it to get you through the week. Use it to get you through the day to day tasks that you find so difficult. Set yourself challenges. Find what works for YOU - some things work for others, and that doesn't necessarily mean it will work for you. It's trial and error, but you don't know until you try everything.

I know I'll never get rid of my anxiety disorder. I think this is another problem I had when I was first diagnosed, I wanted it to GO AWAY, for me to get rid of it and be 'normal'. I think people spend too much time thinking about how to make it disappear, but that's not what its about. It's about finding a way to ADAPT to it. 
Something my doctor said to me a few months ago has really stuck with me. I was discussing the idea of attempting to wean myself off my medication I take for anxiety. He said,
'If you were low on blood sugar, I would prescribe you insulin and if you attempted to take yourself off it, it wouldn't help. I prescribe you this medication because you are low on serotonin in the's exactly the same thing'.
And he's right. Mental health problems are the same as physical health problems you just can't SEE it. So why should I rush to get myself 'cured' of anxiety? And why should I try to hide the fact I take medication to help? I shouldn't, and neither should any of us. Let's stop this silly difficulty we all have in talking about mental health. It shouldn't be this much of a taboo, but unfortunately, it is, and that is something I DESPERATELY want to put an end to.

Help me to put an end to this taboo. Go have a discussion with someone about mental health. Please SHARE this blog or similar blogs. Social media is a fantastic tool in spreading awareness nowadays. Feel free to leave a comment, drop me a message, give me any ideas for other blog posts, and don't be afraid to get in touch if you feel you want to chat or share your story.
Twitter - @suzydavenport

Thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the time to read my blog. Whether you're a fellow anxiety sufferer, a friend, or someone who's just interested - THANK YOU.


Suzy x

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