Mother releases harrowing footage of her suffering a panic attack while her children play innocently in the background to show the ‘warts and all’ of mental illness
- Sophie Mei Lan can be seen struggling to breath and hysterically crying
- The mother-of-two claims she ‘doesn’t want to be here’ and ‘just can’t cope’
- She shared the footage to raise awareness of mental health issues in mothers
Harrowing footage shows a crying mother suffering a panic attack while her children play innocently in the background.
Sophie Mei Lan, from Wakefield, can be seen struggling to breath and hysterically breaking down while attempting to hide her anguish from her family.
In the minute-long video, the mother-of-two sobs: ‘I just don’t want to be here – I just can’t cope.’
Ms Mei Lan filmed her panic attack to show other parents what the frightening disorder looks like.
‘I wanted to show what mental illness can be like – warts and all,’ she said.
‘I have a loving family, friends, a home and children, and yet I still experience severe mental illnesses as it doesn’t discriminate.’
‘Some people may find it strange I picked up my phone, but it shows real life at its most ugly and raw,’ Ms Mei Lan said.
‘Filming this clip has been therapeutic for me because on paper I am successful and I look normal.’
In the clip, which was released by ChannelMum.com, a distressed Ms Mei Lan tells viewers nighttime is the hardest.
She then explains how she has to put her daughters to bed and plans to tell them she is crying because she does not feel well.
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‘Panic attacks are hard to control or predict. They can happen out of the blue or if I feel tired, ill, upset or like I have let someone down,’ Ms Mei Lan said.
‘When I have an attack, I’m engulfed in a toxic mixture of guilt and feeling overwhelmed.
‘I want to be in the present for my children for them but sometimes it’s hard and I feel like I’ve failed them.
‘I’m responsible for looking after my children so I can’t walk out and get help – which all mums will recognise.
‘The attack has to pass and filming it will help others realise that your attack will eventually end.’
Sophie Mei Lan can be seen struggling to breath and hysterically crying while attempting to hide her anguish from her family. Sobbing, she says: ‘I just don’t want to be here’
Claiming she feels unable to cope, Ms Mei Lan then says she will have to tell her daughters, who can be heard playing in the background, she is crying because she feels unwell
WHAT IS A PANIC ATTACK?
Panic attacks are a form of anxiety that occur when the body overreacts to danger, stress or excitement.
There is often no obvious trigger but many find wide open spaces set them off.
Symptoms can come on very quickly and include:
- A pounding or racing heartbeat
- Feeling faint, dizzy or light headed
- Being very hot or cold
- Sweating, trembling or shaking
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Struggling to breathe or feeling like you are choking
- Feeling like your legs have turned to jelly
- Feeling disconnected from your body or surroundings
During an episode, sufferers may be afraid they are going to lose control, faint, have a heart attack or even die.
These usually last for between five and 20 minutes.
To help them cope, sufferers should focus on slowing their breathing by inhaling and exhaling while counting to five.
Stamping their feet on the spot helps some control their breathing.
While focusing on their senses, such as a taste or texture, may also be beneficial.
After a panic attack, sufferers should rest and tell someone they trust who can then be aware of the signs another episode may be coming.
Research by ChannelMum.com reveals 85 per cent of mothers claim to have suffered from some form of anxiety or mental health issue while pregnant or since becoming a parent.
But more than half of the mothers surveyed were never warned by doctors this may happen.
The research also found three in 10 mothers have suffered at least one panic attack.
Of which, more than a quarter have endured multiple stress-related episodes.
Worryingly, 23 per cent have had a panic attack while looking after their child.
And half have hidden their attacks and never told anyone they suffer.
This is due to two in five worrying they will be judged for having panic attacks.
And a quarter even fear their children may be taken away from them if they admit to suffering.
The most common trigger for panic attacks among mother is feeling like they ‘can’t cope’, according to the research from the parenting site.
Some 37 per cent also fear they are ‘not a good enough mum’.
The most common symptoms include being unable to breathe, which affects seven in 10, while 63 per cent claimed they cry uncontrollably during their episodes.
Three in five described the feeling as ‘overwhelming dread’.
Some 22 per cent even said the disorder has driven them to contemplate suicide.
ChannelMum.com’s psychologist Emma Kenny added: ‘Anxiety attacks are absolutely terrifying for the person experiencing them.
‘They can leave you feeling helpless and out of control with both physical symptoms and frightening thoughts.
‘But you can begin to manage them and control them with the right support and mental health training.’
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