Sunday, 10 February 2013

Anxiety

A little something serious in between good old Manchild ;)

A few months back I was told that I have Anxiety Disorder. I haven't told many people that I suffer from this because it's been hard for me to understand whats actually going on when I get an anxiety attack. It's quite normal for most people to get anxiety attacks from time to time. Everyone suffers with stress and get a bit panicky usually before a test or faced with a problem or making a difficult decision.  It's often handy if you are in a situation where your 'fight or flight's kicks in as you get a rush of adrenaline.  Anxiety disorders are very different though.  For anyone diagnosed with anxiety disorder fear and worry are overwhelming, constant and can be paralyzing.

There are several types of anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and a few more. I suffer with 15 out of 18 of the following symptoms..

* feelings of panic,fear and uneasiness

*uncontrollable obsessive thoughts

* repeating thoughts or flashbacks to traumatic times

*nightmares

* ritualistic behavior, constant washing of hands etc

*problems sleeping

*cold or sweaty hands

*shortness if breath

* palpitations

* an inability to stay still

* dry mouth

*numbness or tingling in the hands or feet

*nausea

*muscle tension

* dizziness

*irritability

* a fear you're going mad

* feeling detached from your surroundings

They class Anxiety Disorder as a mental illness. I guess that's why I didn't want anyone to know. There's a stigma attached I guess. Many doctors agree that these disorders are caused by a number of factors including changes in the brain and environmental stress. I've always hated living in the city .I used to live in a place in Ireland called Drogheda. And as much as I hate to admit it , I miss living there. Life seemed a bit less hectic. Its got a slower pace to life or something. Dublin is so busy and noisy.

Ive done all the usual stuff, cut out caffeine etc but when I get an attack it's horrible. I got 2 today which is what prompted me to do this blog. I may as well try to describe what happened. So I got up earlier and I felt fine. Went to the shop,came back had something to eat and went on my computer to download some graphics programs. Then I went to my room to play a bit of PS3. Michael came home from work and I was chatting to him for a bit and then decided id get something to eat as we arranged to play Borderlands2 that evening. Then suddenly out of the blue I got an overwhelming sensation over me. All these horrible thoughts were entering my head and I tried to control it. But I couldn't. I started breathing so heavy and got so cold. My hands were like ice and my body was twitching uncontrollably. My head was just static and I became paralyzed by everything. I wanted to disappear and couldn't see past all the thoughts. I was so fearful about everything and everyone,every situation. I was overwhelmed with worry about every little thing. I felt like im not good enough for anyone or anything. My mouth kept getting dryer and my hands were hurting me they were so cold. I just wanted it to stop but it wouldn't for nearly an hour. Its like mental torture. It's exhausting and frightening. It's happened to me outside too and I've become nervous about going out. I just had the same thing happen to me in the last hour. I am mentally exhausted and hoping that tomorrow will be easier.

It's been an incredibly difficult thing to live with the past few years but only in the past couple of years it got much worse. For the most part I kept everything hidden from everyone around me. Making excuses not to go places, that kind of thing. I become panicked if im too far from home and not feeling too good. I get panicky meeting new people,often worry about what people think of me, I can't handle say for instance, been at a party and  I dont know anyone except who I went with and get anxious if im left alone. I can talk the ears of anyone in a one to one or very small gathering (but that has to do with my fibromyalgia too. It's hard for me to concentrate when there's a lot of people or a TV is on)  I constantly wash my hands and hate shaking peoples hands that I don't know. Even in games I play, if there's something to collect, like say 12 jewels but you have to escape I HAVE to get them even if I die several times. If I cant get the 12 it has to be in 2's. An even number. It's so annoying but I have to do it. I also avoid watching the news as much as I can. I worry about the world, if I have kids would this be passed on? Michael leaving me for been crazy, my friends thinking im a loser or a freak, my family thinking im aimless or lazy. People thinking it's all in my head. Im starting to panic again.

It's a horrible cycle. It hasn't happened in a month or do and now 3 in one day. It always floors me and makes me feel isolated. Alone. I have extremely low self esteem I know. When I need to explain something it always comes out better when I type. When im face to face I just can't say what I need to. I listen to music to calm down mostly or I'll draw something but a lot of the time I just dont have the time to do any of that as it overtakes me and brings me in a nightmarish ride. I am seeing someone now and have an appointment in a couple days again. I really hope it helps me because I dont know if I can handle these anxiety attacks for the rest of my life. Only time will tell.

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