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A Latina Documented Her Panic Attack And Women Rallied To Support Her

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s clear we’ve never needed a spotlight on this day of observation more. As many of us continue to shelter in place and follow stay at home orders, face unemployment, and the stressors of extended isolation, it’s clear we’re all in need of a little support of our mental health.

To do her part in spotlighting this issue, actress Laura Alemán shared her own experiences with mental health.

In a post to her Instagram account, Alemán shared a video of herself going through a panic attack. In the video, Alemán appears inconsolable and upset. Soon after her post, we asked our users “Have you ever experienced a panic attack? What was it like for you? What are some tips that help you when going through one? If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, we understand. Sometimes people don’t even know they are going through a panic attack.”

In response, Latinas spoke up and out about their own experiences with anxiety and depression and we’re so grateful

And so many of you gave helpful advice based on your own learning experiences.

“I like to do the 5-4-3-2-1 method as I feel it rising. In the past I would burst into them even during Yoga, now with journaling I can read over my thoughts and just let them out really. Sometimes make a chart of what is and isn’t in my control. Then looking at things as this is how it is and how can I work within this new reality.” –sunshinesmileluv

Some of the tips have even included regulating hormones and seeking professional help.

Two years ago I developed panic attacks that became more and more frequent with each day. I wasn’t able to sleep because I would get them when I was asleep. I went to the ER because I thought there was something wrong with my heart. I felt chest tightness and shortness of breath. I felt like I was always on the verge of passing out. All of the medical exams revealed there was nothing wrong with me. That was when I had to accept it was psychological. Funny thing is I studied and researched anxiety during grad school. I understood the neurobiology of stress, and anxiety from an academic standpoint. But it is something completely different experiencing it first hand, and there is no way to understand it just by reading it in journal articles and textbooks. I kept thinking of the HPA-axis, how the amygdala must be overactive and initiating a cascade of signaling molecules from my hypothalamus, pituitary gland, to my adrenal glands in order to release powerful hormones e.g. epinephrine and norepinephrine. Cortisol is released which facilitates a surge of glucose to course through my blood stream in order to prepare my body for “fight or flight”. Once this happens, there’s no stopping it with breathing exercises, you just have to ride it out and know it will pass. At first all I wanted to do was calm myself down and out of it, control it with my mind. But I couldn’t stay still, I had to move. So instead I started to run, I ran as fast as I could to release the energy my body was giving me once the panic attack would hit. This helped me immensely! And the episodes became less and less frequent in a week. But that wasn’t all I had to do. 
I started searching within myself for triggers. I started reading books, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle was a godsend. I stayed away from coffee and anything that was overstimulating. I hope this helps. I have way more to share so if anyone needs to talk about it, DM me.” – ninastrada

Some tips also include grounding yourself in reality.

Panic attacks vary due to the person but for the most part, look like this. A tip I can offer is grounding: see 5 items, touch 4 things, hear 3 different sounds, smell 2 things and taste 1 item. This can help you distract yourself from what you were thinking about and focus on the task in hand. Hugging herself can also help. If you don’t have a pet, you can use a stuff bear/animal.”- cyn_la_malcriada

And others shared that mental illnesses can lead to other physical problems.

“I used to get what my family and I diagnosed as “minor asthma attacks” that we dealt with at home. I had been told by a doctor that stress could trigger my asthma but he didnt understand why someone as young as 12 (at that time) could get “stressed” and chalked it up to sugary and fatty foods because I was a chubby kid. Years later I was made to realise I had serious anxiety, my panic attacks were then causing the asthma attacks. Awareness is necessary, misdiagnosing and downplaying these things causes further problems. Appreciate her bravery.”-ecolina5210

Mum Forced To Shave Head After Attacker Stuck Glue-Filled Hat On Her

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Mum Forced To Shave Head After Attacker Stuck Glue-Filled Hat On Her

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty

A Colombian woman has been forced to shave the hair off of her head after a man forced a hat filled with glue onto it. The attack, which occurred in front of the woman’s son, caused her to also suffer from second-degree burns.

Marcela Tascon was attacked last week by an unknown man who forced a corrosive substance on to her head.

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Quería de primera mano publicar lo que me pasó.

A post shared by marcela Tascon (@marcelatascon89) on

According to reports, Tascon was at her home when a man that she did not know rang the doorbell to her apartment building and claimed to be delivering flowers for her. After the man entered the apartment complex, Tascon opened her door. Before the attack, the man asked if she was Marcela Tascon.

“Once at the door of my house, and in front of my eight-year-old son, he threw the flowers at my feet, called me a “son of a b*tch”, and pulled the hat over my head,” Tascon recalled. “He ran away, my son was shouting, very scared, and I rushed to the bathroom to clean up my head and asked my son to call the police or friends.”

Soon after the incident, Tascon was taken to a hospital where she was treated for second-degree burns to her scalp.

“The doctor told me that this kind of attack is very common in Colombia, where it is called “doing the shampoo,” Tascon told Daily Mail. “It is commonly ordered by jealous wives after finding out their husbands had cheated on them or because they envy the other women.”

Doctors at the hospital were forced to shave Tascon’s head in order to properly treat the burns and remove the glue on her hair.

Tascon is the owner of a beauty salon that is located in the same building as her home. She said that prior to the attack, she received suspicious phone calls from a woman with a Colombian accent who asked to make an appointment with her. Tascon says the woman had called her months before asking to come in to do her hair at the salon and to receive the shop’s location.

‘Two weeks later, I saw a suspicious man in my building holding a mobile phone and I asked neighbors if they were expecting a visitor,’ she recalled.

Moments before the attack, Tuscon says that she received another phone call from someone she believes to be the same woman with a Colombian accent. Tascon believes the man had been sent by the woman to attack her. Police investigations have yet to be made and the investigation is ongoing.

Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

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Latinas Are Opening Up On Instagram About Why They Didn’t Report Their Sexual Assault And The Stories Are Heartbreaking

Drew Angerer / Getty

TRIGGER WARNING for victims of assault.

Recently we came across six stories by women who opened up about why they didn’t report their sexual assault via the account @whyididntreport. Heartbreaking, tragic, and also empowering each of these stories were a reminder that not only do we need to believe women but also support them.

As a response to the posts, we asked Latinas what experiences they had with keeping quiet about their assaults.

See their stories below.

Because it was a family member

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“My mom did not believe me because it was her husband … we would always fight and he would put her against me … that’s why I always say my children will always come first … then anyone … even before me and my own needs.” – soley_geez

Because of the statute of limitations

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I did report. The cop taking notes told me they couldn’t file the report because of the statue of limitation being 10 years. I was reporting 13 years after I was raped. I was 3 years old when it happened. I was 16 when I reported.” – jedi_master_evila

Because she’d been labeled dramatic

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my ex boyfriends cousin and I was intoxicated after a night of partying with a group of friends. I said no over and over again. I never came forward because I was already labeled/seen as “dramatic” by my ex and his friends and figured they wouldn’t believe me.” – love.jes

Because she was punished by her parents

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I was 12. He was 18. My parents found a note he wrote to me. They spoke harshly with him but never pressed charges and punished me for lying.” 0valicorn_rainbow_pants

Because it was someone she thought loved her

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“I had a boyfriend rape me after I confronted him about lying and cheating. He used it as a way to punish me. And I stayed with him a year after the fact. I’m still processing feelings almost 20 years later. I’ve gone through self-destructive behaviors and tried to push others away. I’m forever grateful my husband showed me I am worthy of a beautiful life even after trauma. To all my fellow trauma survivors…we are worthy of good things.” – thebitchyhippie559

She thought she deserved it

@whyididntreport / Instagram

“He was my “step” grandfather. He molested me from ages 5-10, I was having some rebellious teen years and my parents were trying to find out why. I told them, my dad didn’t talk to me for a few days and after that everyone pretended that nothing happened and the rest of my family never found out. I held on to this secret until I told my parents at about 16 or 17 I was always so embarrassed and thought I deserved it.” – klemus09

She didn’t want to ruin HIS life

“It was my boss. At 15 I felt so bad, bc the wife was the only other person working with us and I was more worried about what this could do to their marriage. I thought I healed but typing this was hard.” –dolores.arts

If you or someone you know needs to report sexual assault, please contact the National Sexual Assault Helpline 800.656.4673 or speak with someone you trust.⁠⠀