Managing anxiety, PTSD shutdowns, meditation with movement, bipolar. Caronavirus, COVID-19

My name is Xanthe Wyse. I have been diagnosed with bipolar 1 disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (mainly presenting as avoidance & shutdowns), social anxiety disorder.

I have made dozens of videos about mental health and also how my creative process is therapeutic and helps me manage my conditions.

Anxiety is something that is nearly always with me, but I have some relief when I am moving to music and doing some form of creative expression which also doubles up as processing trauma and grief very gently.

The key for me is music (which I choose – some songs may trigger me, some may speak for me), improvised movement (some people call it stimming), and some form of creative expression (improved dance, improved art – all my art is improvised – make it up as I go along). It is like meditation with movement. I go into a trance with my art and dancing and it is relief from anxiety.

Anxiety increases for me when I sense everyone else’s anxiety (I am very sensitive) and there are factors I cannot control. But I can control what music I listen to and have relief to help manage my mental health. I am also on medications but movement to music is still a key part in managing my conditions.

Shutdowns are actually more stressful than meltdowns. I may seem ‘calm’ on the surface but underneath there can be a massive hyperarousal energy. Music and movement help me to cope with the anxiety and also to process the trauma.

When I watched this video back, some of my improvised hand movements looked a bit like playing the piano which I haven’t done so for a long time (as trauma trigger). But I am wanting to try again. I used to go into a trance improvising patterns on piano.

Source: Youtube