A bad hair day can't cause depression but you can notice it starting with one if you're me. I had a week off work feeling run down and like I had a bad flu and no energy before I had a break down and realised something was really wrong.
I began to feel ill on a Friday, I remember it was my day off work and I had booked in at my hairdressers to have my hair dyed and cut. I was really looking forward to it and normally loved having my hair done. I woke up feeling fine and went to my appointment. My usual hairdresser was there, she's lovely and really chatty and makes you feel comfortable and welcome.
I sat in the chair looking at the full length mirror and after a short while felt sick, really hot and overwhelmed. I couldn't quite concentrate and my eyes kept going out of focus as if I was about to blackout. I had sharp pains in my head and between this poorly feeling I felt embarrassed and conscious. I couldn't look at myself in the mirror because what I saw scared me. I saw all my flaws. I looked really different. I began to worry that the hairdresser would be disgusted by my hair and scalp and think I was dirty and judge me even though it wasn't. My stomach started to churn and it almost felt as though I might have an accident. I managed to say "I need the toilet" and when I got in there I didn't need to go. I splashed my face with water and my breath was heavy. I felt dizzy and scared I would pass out so I unlocked the door. I couldn't look at the mirror in there either.
I went back and finished having my foils in. I had a cup of tea and read a magazine while I waited for the dye to take. I felt a lot better but I kept having twinges in my head and stomach. I wondered at first if it was a reaction to the hair dye but had never had problems before. I then started to think I was poorly and it dawned on me I might be seriously ill and not have long left to live- I know how over the top that sounds.
I had my hair rinsed and began feeling ok again. I had my hair cut and dried but kept thinking I should have told them I needed to leave. I was at the hairdressers for 3 hours and felt so strange. That night I felt better but woke a lot through the night feeling like I was choking and slept badly.
It wasn't until a couple of weeks later when I realised that this had been a panic attack. I've not had many panic attacks luckily but when I did they were horrendous. I knew that the triggers were I'd feel hot, sweat, have pains in my head and begin to breath strangely all very quickly. Then I would feel like I was dying and panic more. It felt like the end of my world. My vision blurred and I could hear internal noises like my breathing but everything else around me sounded like I was under water. The whole thing could last from as little as 5 minutes up to half an hour. The pain in my chest, breathlessness and anxious feeling could last hours and I would be exhausted after. If the panic attack was at night I would have a terrible night's sleep, bad dreams, chest pains and wake up feeling drained.
I wouldn't wish panic attacks on anyone. I hadn't found a way to control them or stop them happening but I knew when they were coming after I had 4/5 of them. I haven't had any since September. I sometimes feel anxious but don't have the panic attacks anymore. It may be that they were a temporary thing, I don't know.
I just wanted to share this with you all in case others out there are having panic attacks and wondering if they have the same symptoms as others. I haven't been back to my usual hairdressers but have started going to my friends. I'll be going tomorrow and it does make me nervous because it reminds me of that day but I'll be fine and come out with fab hair!