News Copy –
This is the harrowing moment a mum suffers a full-on panic attack – as her children play innocently in the background.
The distressing footage shows Sophie Mei Lan struggling to breath and crying hysterically and as she attempts to hide her anguish from her family.
In the minute-long video, the mum-of-two breaks down, sobbing: “I just don’t want to be here – I just can’t cope.”
The clip was released by ChannelMum.com to raise awareness of mental health issues among mothers.
New research by the parenting site reveals 85 per cent of mums say they suffered from some form of anxiety or mental health issue while pregnant or since becoming a mum – but more than half were never warned this could happen.
Three in ten mums have suffered at least one panic attack and more than a quarter of these have had multiple stress-related episodes.
Worryingly, 23 per cent have had a panic attack when their child was present.
Despite being distraught brave Sophie, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire managed to film the episode to show other parents what the frightening disorder looks like.
She explained: “I wanted to show what mental illness can be like – warts and all.
“Some people may find it strange I picked up my phone, but it shows real life at its most ugly and raw.
“Filming this clip has been therapeutic for me because on paper I am successful, and I look normal.
”I have a loving family, friends, a home and children and yet I still experience severe mental illnesses as it doesn’t discriminate.”
In the video, blogger Sophie puts on a brave face and tells the children she is ill to explain away her streaked make-up and tears.
The ChannelMum.com research reveals half of mums hide their attacks and have never told anyone they suffer.
Distressingly, two in five worry they will be judged for having panic attacks while a quarter fear their children could be taken away if they admit to suffering.
The most common trigger for panic attacks is feeling ‘I can’t cope’, suffered by 48 per cent of mums reporting attacks, alongside 37 per cent who fear ‘I’m not a good enough mum’.
The most experienced symptoms include being unable to breathe, suffered by seven in ten and 63 per cent who broke down crying uncontrollably.
Three in five describe the feeling as ‘overwhelming dread’ with 22 per cent even contemplating suicide.
Sophie added: “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.
“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.”
ChannelMum.com psychologist Emma Kenny said: “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.”