Anxiety is a real thing for me. When an anxiety attack begins to unfold, I feel dizzy, my heart pounds, I feel like I might throw up, and most of the time my breathing becomes all too rapid and I hyperventilate. The earliest memory I have of anxiety attacks dates back to when I was about 8 years old. I think my parents called me "excitable"... No one ever really diagnosed it as "anxiety attacks" until I was an adult. Very few times in my life have I had anxiety attacks in front of other people. But recently, it happened...
One of my closefriends is a therapist and has been one of my confidants during some recent struggles. We were talking one night and TaDonn began asking me questions which really cut to the core of an issue I was having. I felt like they were hard questions and I didn’t want to evaluate myself as closely as he was trying to get me to. I felt dizzy all of a sudden, and my heart began to palpitate. I did not want to admit the things he was pointing out were correct. I actually picked up the pillow from his bed and covered my face and said something to the effect of “I don’t feel good. You’re making my head hurt.” I couldn’t focus at all on what he was even saying. I was not able to continue the discussion. All I wanted to do was crawl under the covers and tune the world out. My breathing became rapid and as he pulled the pillow from my face. I felt that his words were “fighting words” perhaps even a little critical. I suppose the truth hurts sometimes, and sometimes I "can't handle the truth!" He helped me direct my breathing and asked me if I often had anxiety attacks. I admitted I’ve dealt with anxiety since I was a child. Obviously the anxiety attack was the consequence of my unchecked emotions. Being a therapist, my friend was able to help me formulate a mental checklist to quiet the noise and steer back to the subject at hand.
Most of the time, my anxiety is managed; I am in control. However, there are times when something tiny will set it off, and it seems to worsen during pregnancy (which isn't a factor anymore) or at times when I am already stressed or extremely tired. It was weird to have an anxiety attack in front of someone. At first I didn't realize that it was even happening. I mean, I knew I felt dizzy, and obviously I knew I covered my face with the pillow to hide. But, I never realized MY ACTIONS IN REACTION to the anxiety until then. It was definitely a pivotal moment for me.
I had learned a long time ago, there are several "disorders" that fall under the same umbrella of "Anxiety". If I remember the pamphlet my Dr. gave me, it included things such as "anxiety attacks", "panic attacks", "depression", "OCD", and most "phobias". The Dr. also told me that most of these are hereditary and mostly affect women in the same family. It all made sense to me when she said that. I could link something to every woman in my family.
What about you? Does any of this resonate with you?
I thought this was shamefully funny: RatMonkey recently posted this on his FB wall, "What kind of mental patient would kill themselves? That's just crazy..." **snickers**