A (Not So) Brief PSA About Anxiety

  1. I have anxiety.  Like a full-blown, diagnosed anxiety disorder.  Of the generalized variety.  300.02.  That’s the code the therapist wrote on my bill.
  2. To know me is to experience my anxiety.  I’m sorry. I can’t do much about that.
  3. I try to keep my anxiety at bay because that’s what everyone seems to want me to do.  Really, I imagine they probably just don’t want me to have to experience that anxiety.  In my reality, however, I process that message as the fact that I am more accepted if I am not anxious.  I’ve gotten pretty good at pretending.  Pretending increases my anxiety, though.
  4. To suggest my anxiety is an issue of mind-over-matter is like suggesting a cancer patient think herself well.  My mind will certainly play a role in times when I’m well, but the experience of my anxiety involves a tremendous disconnect between what it feels like in my body, what it feels like in my mind, and what I can see is happening all around me.  When you spend inordinate amount of time trying to “think” your body into physically feeling calm, it agitates you.  Physically and mentally. And thus the cycle begins again.
  5. It hurts when people suggest my anxiety might be my own doing.  I used to believe that statement until I started having memories of early childhood.  Where I was anxious.   Like, “off-the-charts, screaming, panic attacks” anxious.  If my mother is to be believed (and I assume she is) 😉 they started even before I turned 1.  I was scared of Santa Claus.  BIG scared.  I’d say it was a fluke except I can remember numerous other panic attacks from early childhood. It’s just me.  It just is. I’m anxious.  However, this realization is fairly new and so it still stings when people put it back on me because I spent many years trying to figure out how to unsuccessfully fix what I had apparently broken about myself.  I’m learning to let myself off the hook, to believe it’s not all my fault, but it stinks when others take a different approach.
  6. I’ve been depressed.  However, I don’t think depression is my primary issue.  I think it’s anxiety.  It’s been the constant in my life.  I think the experience of chronic anxiety becomes depressing.  Let’s face it – when you wake up everyday feeling like you have to save the world (or at least your family) from imminent danger, you’re eventually going to get tired. You get more tired because you expend a lot of energy trying to convince yourself that there is no imminent danger.  You can see that there’s not.  But that doesn’t matter. It’s exhausting to argue with yourself all day long, day in and day out.  That exhaustion reads as depression, at least for me.
  7. I would love to hear how you/your mother/your child/your best friend/the coworker you eat lunch with overcame anxiety.  Unless it involves giving it to Jesus.  Because honestly?  Jesus seems to have given me this. Or at least let me have it.  And 32 years of attempting to give it back has proven fruitless.  I’d rather learn to make do and work around.   I may be a little bitter.  Or this may be the greatest gift I’ve been given.  Or maybe a little of both.
  8. I thought I was anxious during our infertility experience. I was, but it is nothing in comparison to this.  I’ve climbed the walls so many times in the last 2 months that I’ve basically set up shop on the ceiling.
  9. The fact that my doctor has said there is one (and only one) acceptable medicine for anxiety during pregnancy would be hopeful.  Except I’ve taken that medication and it makes me more anxious. The frustrating part? He doesn’t believe me. He argued with me. And inferred that if I don’t take it I’ll be anxious all during pregnancy and it’s the only thing I can take while breastfeeding so I’ll be anxious then, too.  Basically, I’m doomed.  I don’t believe him. I think there are other options. I’m looking for a different doctor who will give me some.
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  1. I hope that you can overcome this and enjoy where you are.

  2. Good for you for seeking out another doctor! Your doctor should at least give you credit for knowing what a medication does to you.

    I’m sorry you are anxious. I have no solutions, but my heart is with you.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Xander’s Favourite Song =-.

  3. Oh man, I totally hear you on anxiety. I used to get a syllabus in class and read it and FREAK out because there was going to be a FINAL EXAM in 12 weeks. No matter that the teacher had outlined how they were going to prepare me for it. I hated the first day of school.

    I have had to just mentally slow myself down. It is discipline for me. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I think I cause my own anxiety, and sometimes it is definitely caused by hormones and chemicals (uh, hello, diet coke much? I’m a recovering addict).

    I’m so sorry you are going through the anxiety – I wish I had a magic answer for you. I’ll be praying for you! How is little baby cosmo doing?

    .-= Emily´s last blog ..the adventures of ed **UPDATE** =-.

  4. Heidi, Before going to the next doctor, call your pharmacist. No matter what doctors think, pharmacists know WAY more about drugs than doctors do. This will arm you with more knowledge and you can use that with arrogant drs. I hope you can find something that helps.

  5. I’m sorry Heidi – early pregnancy is the WORST. I hope you find something that helps!

  6. My husband has generalized anxiety disorder as well. He, however, doesn’t have to deal with it during pregnancy.

    Good luck.

  7. You know I know what you are referring to. I had no idea you were suffering so badly. I agree…call a pharmacist, look at http://www.kellymom.com and find another doctor.

    Trust your instincts…you know what will not work for you.

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