Monday, March 28, 2011

Anxiety, how it feels.

I suffered from severe anxiety when I was 22.  I'm not sure what triggered it, but it was possibly due to a traumatic event that had happened to me a few years prior.

It crept up on me very slowly.  I was very happy initially.  I had moved to Brisbane, meet a wonderful man (now my husband) and had a great job.  I started having the occasional anxiety attack.  Within a few weeks I was having continual anxiety attacks to the point that I could not do or  even wear certain things because it brought on even more anxiety attacks.  These were a few of the irrational behaviours I exhibited.

  • I couldn't wear black
  • I could ONLY listen to classical music.  If I drove anywhere with my husband who listened to popular music it was excruciating.
  • I could not watch the News and most of the time I could really only tolerate watching Friends, or other very flippant sitcoms.
  • When I was having an attack I got to a point where I could only get through it by singing "Don't Worry Be Happy".
  • I couldn't see certain friends as their way of life (which was as simple of having fun, going out, drinking, etc - like most young people do) confronted me and caused attacks.
  • I could not go to bars or nightclubs.  Again when I did I spent much of the time in extreme fear.

I kept this from everyone, even though I had a very close relationship with my parents and my husband.  I thought I was going mad.  I actually contemplated suicide in the bath one night.  I though if I just put my head underwater and stayed there this pain and fear will all be over.  It was very lucky that my husband was in the bath with me or else I am pretty sure I would have followed through.

Although it was emotional the pain was extreme and at times unbearable.  I hid it so well from my parents and husband that they had no idea until years later when I told them what I went through.  There was one person that saw through me though.  

I was quite new to my job and although I was good at my job and so far the illness hadn't effected my ability to work, most of the people that I worked with thought I was very weird and I didn't initially make many friends.  This one person though saw that I was struggling and gave me a newspaper article on anxiety.  It was life changing.  Instead of thinking I was going mad I could put a name to the problem.  I immediately started researching how to cope and now I look back and think I should have gone to the doctors straight away, however I choose to try St Johns' Wort.  For me it worked like a charm.  Within two months I was free of anxiety attacks and was back to my normal self.

There are many other treatments for anxiety and if you do suffer from it the best thing to do is go to your GP straight away.  Hopefully this story helps someone who may be going through something like this.  Don't feel embarrassed to talk to someone about it.  It helps.


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