Breaking the Stigma, Part 3

I am nervous to write this post.

Maybe someone will read it that I’m trying to get a job from and they’ll think I’m crazy and can’t take care of their kid.  Maybe someone will read it and think it’s garbage and leave a mean comment.  Maybe no one will read it at all.

And that is how the brain of a person with anxiety works.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and so I am doing a series of posts about my own mental health, to help break the stigma of mental illness.  Part 3 is about Anxiety.

Do you every get anxious?  Of course, you do.  It’s a totally natural human emotion that we all have.  Do you ever get so anxious that you are physically paralyzed?  No?  Lucky.

For years my doctors thought I had bipolar disorder, despite my virtual lack of mania.  Then they changed it to Intermittent Explosive Disorder, which is a disorder where one can explode in rage or sadness at anytime for any reason. This also didn’t fit me.  Finally, my current doc diagnosed me with Severe Anxiety.

I don’t like the word “severe,” but I guess it does apply.  I really have been so upset I couldn’t move my muscles.  I have had a panic attack that resembled a heart attack.  I have had disproportionate reactions to small problems, and I have obsessed about everything, always (Pt.4, OCD, coming soon.)  I have spent a lot of my life bathed in worry and fear, and a lot of it has to do with losing my grandma.  I have found, through therapy, that many of my problems trace back to this time.  I have spent years working through it, and I believe I have.  However, I am left with the residual anxiety and depression, and that makes things difficult at times.  I have many irrational fears, I have many worries, and am always thinking of the worst-case scenario.  I would say my anxiety is probably the most annoying of my issues, because despite taking my meds regularly, it can still get out and mess up your day.  Once I had a panic attack on the way to a cousin’s baby shower and threw up all over my dress.  I don’t know why.  Just because my nerves felt like acting up a little.  Another time I was out with some friends and suddenly became so overwhelmed I made my friend pull the car over to let me out, because I couldn’t breathe.  These things happen every once in a while, but leave their mark when they do.

A lot of people seem to claim they have anxiety these days, which I’m wary of, because I wonder if they have anxiety like me, or if they have normal everyday anxiety.  However, the amount of people who claim to suffer from it is so high that the stigma associated with it is changing rapidly.  For instance, despite the second line of this post, I would not worry about a potential employer finding out I have anxiety.  If you think about it, that can be beneficial in a job position.  I will constantly be worrying that your kid is well taken care of, thus providing my utmost in care, that’s a guarantee.  I think a lot of people identify with anxiety because it is a normal emotion.  Most seem to understand that those diagnosed with it just live in an anxious state more than others, and that is true.  I am always worried, and yes, it is exhausting, but I no longer have terrible panic attacks every few days.  I see constant improvement in myself, and that makes me proud.  Every day is a new one with new challenges, and I try my hardest to face them all head on.

As always, if you, my reader, have any questions about life with anxiety, please comment.  It is important to me to connect with others who have suffered similar issues, as well as those who have questions and want answers.

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3 thoughts on “Breaking the Stigma, Part 3

  1. Pingback: Breaking the Stigma, Part 2 – Ham 'N Eggs

  2. Pingback: Breaking the Stigma, Part 4 – Ham 'N Eggs

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