Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Anxiety

This is my little nephew wearing the hat that I knitted for him quite a while ago now.  He is just a gorgeous boy, so happy and full of fun!  He makes me happy along with his brothers and sisters.

I have been feeling down lately and have been noticing how many people I know dealing with anxiety, including myself.  I don't always talk about it here on the blog, although I am honest when things are wearing me down or problems arise.  After I had my daughter 11 years ago now I suffered from post natal depression which got really bad.  I think it was after watching the bombing of the towers one night whilst feeding her around 2am and thinking I was watching a movie, but then realising that it was real that the nightmare of anxiety and panic attacks started.  It really is hard to deal with and having mornings where you cant get out of bed, cant cook anything or eat anything, or feeling as though you are suffocating and cant breathe is very scary on a daily basis.  I ended up going to see my doctor about it and getting medication hoping it would fix things and having some counselling through Panda which helped a great deal.  After a few months I could actually drive the car again without panicking and could actually eat properly again.  I lost 23 kilos in a matter of weeks first off as I couldn't eat anything and therefore my energy wasnt right, and I couldnt sleep at night.  I struggled to go out with friends and family anywhere.  Eventually I got better and stopped taking the medication for about a year and then the Bali bombings happened and it started all over again.  I vowed to stop watching the news about bad things happening as it was really starting to filter into my life and bringing back the anxiety.  Fast forward to about 6 weeks ago now and I was starting to feel much better thinking that I didnt need to take so much medication so on my doctor's advice I lowered it.  3 weeks ago I could tell it was coming back as I wasnt sleeping properly, and then the big one came when I had to drive over a bridge that was big and I freaked out pulling up on the side of the freeway making my partner drive over it.  I felt awful and felt like I was suffocating but was hoping it was just an off day.  Yesterday I had panic attacks whenever I had to drive over a big hill or over a bridge, and of course I stopped the car and panicked over it wishing I didnt have to do it because it was paralysing me.  My partner got home last night and all I did was cry wishing it wasn't me that had to suffer through this all over again.  That is the worst part knowing that this is a lifetime thing for me and I will always have to take the medication so I can function properly.  I know that in a few weeks' time I will be able to drive normally again and hopefully sleep better too which helps a lot and get out of this bubble thinking it is only me suffering when in fact it affects my whole family.  I know there are lots of other people out there who suffer from anxiety in different ways but I just thought I would share my story in the hope it will help someone else who may be going through the same thing and not realise.  Anxiety is a real disease which needs to be managed by help and medication and you may not always know when someone is suffering from it.  Even people getting angry or upset over little things is a sign of anxiety so please be careful and remember that not everyone walks the same path as you, and their lives can be a lot different with things to deal with too.

Stay happy and healthy!

11 comments:

Kate said...

So sorry your anxiety is bad at the moment. Take care of yourself xx

karen said...

I have anxiety/OCD but it's mild and I mainly focus on my health. I've done it since I can remember. Lucky for me I can squash a thought or minimize it. It appears to be in the family as well I have many relatives at different degrees of severity. I find the best thought to have is to accept yourself for who you are. Some people are diabetics, some have heart disease...well you get what I mean. I hope you feel better soon and this was a thoughtful post, thanks for sharing your feelings.

LeslieA said...


Hi Sue,
Thank you for sharing your story.I can relate to it,as I suffered from postnatal depression after the births of both my children and have suffered from bouts of depression and anxiety most of my adult life.Panic attacks can be very scary and those who have never suffered from them don't always understand just how debilitating they can be.
I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling down and hope that the sun will soon be shining for you again.
Hugs,
Leslie

Alison said...

Sue, sorry to hear that things have not been good for you. At least you can recognise the problem and are taking action, but mostly you have an understanding partner.

My partner suffered for years with depression and never realised. When he finally received help his world changed from grey to colour.

Remember you are loved and not alone.

Miss Prudence said...

Hi Sue - I blog about this often. I too have an anxiety disorder, have for most of my life...but I manage it and work hard at it, it is there always but in varying degrees. I do want to share with you, that practicing Mindfulness has really helped. I am also a mental health worker and many of the people I have worked with have found major relief and sanctury in the practice of Mindfulness. If you send me your address I will send you a CD - on of the best I have ever come across.
Thank you for sharing your story, it is very brave to self disclose in such a public forum. You go girl!

2paw said...

Dear Sue, I have anxiety and depression and I am taking drugs to help me too. I like to think of it as a medical imbalance that needs treatment, just like any other long tern disease. I take other drugs for my bone marrow every day too.
It is so hard to cope with everyday things and I feel silly sometimes when I feel proud I can do a simple thing, but it is just hard sometimes. It is a real thing and well done for talking about it so well in your post.
May you cross many bridges and surmount many hills in the years to come!!
Love the hat!!!

Gillian said...

Dear Sue, I wish I was there and could pop round for a visit now and then as you did for me when I needed it.
Take the medication carefully, even if it feels it isn't necessary now and then. Better some pills than such dreadful fears.
Thinking of you
Gillian

Michelle DeWinter said...

Sue,

I love the hat!! I hope that you're able to get help..be that medication or talking with someone. I know quite a few people struggling with this right now & I know how absolutely overwhelming it can be.

Just know that you are loved. You are strong, and this too shall pass. <3

Teri said...

So sorry to read about the suffering you are enduring. I suffer from only mild anxiety, and that is bad enough. I can only imagine how difficult it is when it becomes more severe.

Sue H said...

Gorgeous, and so is the hat.

Jan said...

Sue, it's been a while since you wrote this, so I hope you are feeling better now. Yes, ongoing. My son is bipolar and went off medication. He now realises ho much better he is back on it and his new doctor hit on the right stuff for him first time. It will be a lifetime thing too.

Sending you hugs and kind thoughts.

Jan