Hey all! This has been one of the most important things I've blogged about -knowing it's possible many could see it. Well, of course that's what most people want. It took me quite a while to talk about my struggles with mental.health. I will say that anxiety/panic disorder has been what I've spent the majority of my life chasing away, well, attempting to I should say! I've experienced anxiety and panic attacks for as long as I can remember. So I'm saying I've always lived with this. It's also true, I have spent the majority of my life doing anything to not feel this awful, creepy feeling. It goes beyond creepy actually. Not the
Best word to describe it but, it doesn’t matter what you use to describe panic attacks, the end result is just awful. So we have to question, we know that’s what we have, how do we get rid of it? Well that’s the million dollar question. I’ve been seeing doctors about my issues since I finally got health insurance through an employer working full time. Prior to that, I by chance found out about a study being held at the Massachusetts general hospital. One of the best in the country ! I just decided to participate in this study which was a study on panic attacks and anxiety. I remember I didn’t have health insurance at the time because I was a part-time employee. So I figured the study will at least give me an idea if this is really what I’m suffering from or if I’m way off and should be doing something else or who the heck knows until I am actually diagnosed. But I was pretty confident that it was an issue with my nervous system for sure but, what about it?
See when I was young, there was no talk of anxiety or panic attacks. I never heard of these as being actual issues in the mental health family, as a matter of fact, anything mental health didn’t seem to be talked about much at all. When I was a kid, I never heard of ADHD or ADD at all! It’s so common now and is mentioned quite a bit. On local news, national news, etc. So all I’m saying here is these are the reasons I’ve never been treated for my anxiety and panic disorder. First, after the study I participated in at mass general, I was told that I was taking a placebo and the doctors I worked with were confident enough to tell me that I do suffer anxiety/panic disorder/depression. Depression I had an issue with because I didn’t quite understand what that would mean…I didn’t feel depressed. I felt like *hit! Daily! Well little did I know, that was depression I’ve been experiencing. Feeling like crap and not being able to get out of feeling this way, is depression. I have a problem with it being called that. It makes it sound as though someone is in a corner somewhere sad over some specific thing. Well depression is so much more than that. That’s why it’s too bad they couldn’t find a better name for it. Depression doesn’t sound like a serious thing but it is. It is so much more than sitting in the corner, sad. Much more. I had a period where I just couldn’t get out of bed! My whole body hurt, like I had the flu. I also had no interest in getting out of bed or anything else at this time. I had no motivation for anything in my life. I just felt like I wanted to sleep my days away. Well that is depression. I did take anti-depressants for a period of time but had an awful time finding any that didn’t make me feel as if I had a dozen bees in my head. Then I would feel dizzy and whatever else came with it. The reason I was trying so many antidepressants wasn’t for depression, it was actually to deal with the panic disorder I lived with. This, to me, was the worst thing to be living with but it didn’t seem like the psychiatrists I went to were all that interested in helping to provide relief for the panic attacks I lived with. I was told that the reason for the anti depressants was that they showed promise in helping those with anxiety and these medications were better for the brain health of those taking medication than the medication specifically made for anxiety and panic disorder -benzodiazepines. These medications work instantly for the anxiety I live with. But the doctors I went to explained that benzodiazepines are terrible for the brain, especially with long term use. My doctor tells me that our brains are put into a state very much like dimentia, and it is not reversible. So instead I suffered my entire life, worked with a few different doctors over the years because, what else was I to do? I was getting to the point that I didn’t want to go out of the door. I was becoming really isolated as that’s when I was most comfortable. It’s hard to explain the feeling of a panic attack unless you’ve experienced it yourself.
This really did a job on the choices I made for my life. I truly am convinced that my life would have turned out so different if I did t have this nervous condition constantly. Or if I was treated in a way where I could function, but the doctor made that choice for me. Worried about my 20 year old brain. I never abused any of these medications and I worked pretty often with the psychiatrist. Well it doesn’t matter now, I am now 52 years old and I still suffer all of these things. I did, however, figure out how I could have lived differently, significantly enough of a difference in how I lived my life. I have never been able to totally get anxiety, depression and panic disorder out of my life, but I have discovered how to make certain areas of your life better if you’re suffering with this like me. I will be posting different things that I did to make it much more bearable to live with. I hope you’ll read it!