I have many secrets but one is something I feel needs to be uncovered. Reason being is that so many people struggle with this problem and so many of us are afraid to talk about it because we feel other people would think we are crazy.
I struggle with anxiety/panic attacks. This isn’t something I’m proud of and it’s not something that I’m afraid to talk about. It feels good to tell people about it because I learn that I’m not the only one in the world that has to deal with them.
I get so scared when they happen. I feel like I lose all control of my body and I can’t control the thoughts that are flowing through my head. I feel like I could go absolutely crazy when they happen. If you don’t have this type of problem then you would not be able to understand just how bad it truly is. There were some days where I would feel anxious ALL day long. I couldn’t grab ahold of my thoughts to stop the anxiousness… It felt impossible to stop the horrible thoughts.
Today, as I’m writing this, I feel so much better. I’m currently talking with a wonderful counselor, Dr. Misty Smith, M.D. I take 2 types of medicine, which I will get to those in a little bit.
My counselor helped me so much on how to control what I’m thinking. She told me to get “The Shyness & Social Anxiety Workbook”(You can get this book in any of your book stores or on amazon for cheap) and we went over all different kinds of ways to help you cope with the anxiety. I am an extremely shy person. I would have anxiety when I’m out in public because I didn’t want to have a horrible panic attack in front of all different kinds of people. Just from me freaking out over not having a panic attack, I’d have one. This book gives you different scenarios and what you can do to help yourself relax and how you should handle the situation.
In my appointments with Dr. Smith, we would discuss my many symptoms I would have in the middle of the attacks. One of my symptoms was extreme shaking…. It was like I was so jolted with so much energy and it would cause my nerves to just stay on edge which then caused me to shake. Another symptom is that my hands and feet would start feeling sweaty. I remember one time that I couldn’t hold my pen good because of how sweaty my palms had gotten and how bad I was shaking. I’d then start to get extremely antsy because I just wanted to get up and walk away from the situation. I just wanted out!!! I felt like if I stayed in the room I was in or chair I was in, I’d just die. I remember sitting at work and getting very antsy and then thinking “Oh my gosh! These people are going to think I’m crazy because I’m sweating, shaking, and moving a lot!” I felt like everyone in the lobby could see right through me.
My doctor would tell me all the time that no one can see through you… And she is right! In the middle of the situation, you’re so caught up in how you feel and what you think people are thinking of you when in reality, these people will have no clue what really is happening. Deep down, when my counselor said that to me, I still felt like people would see right through me, however; It made me feel a little better to know that they really couldn’t.
FIGURING OUT THE PROBLEM
Before I went for my first appointment to see my counselor, I took some mental notes when I would have my problems. It was a reoccurring problem right before my period and during it. My very first appointment with her, I told her what was happening and the pattern it would happen in. My doctor and I both came to a possibility of what was causing the problems, and that was my hormones.
It’s very common in women to form anxiety issues from their hormones. With that said, if you are a woman and currently suffering from this issue, go talk to your doctor about it.
My doctor advised me to go see the “lady doctor” for an examination if this is the main problem. So, without hesitation, (actaully, there was a lot of hesitation because, you know… It’s the “lady doctor”) I called and made me the doctor’s appointment that would soon be the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
Not going to lie to you people, but I was having a panic attack the whole time I was at the “lady Doctor.” I was really afraid of being prescribed a strong medicine that would make me numb towards different situations. I was afraid of the side effects it would have on me. I was afraid that the medicine would make me go even more crazy than I actually was. I was afraid that it wouldn’t work. I was afraid that he wouldn’t give me anything. I was afraid that he would tell me that it can’t be fixed.
All the dread and worry was for nothing! He talked to me and he understood me. He told me that I’m not the only one that has come to him with this issue. He made me feel better already because of how he was describing what was happening. He told me that I had a “chemical imbalance.”
In your brain, we have neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, which include serotonin, dophamine, norepineohrine, and epinephrine. Basically, if one of these chemicals gets a little “thrown off,” it can cause your body to react a little differently. In my case, most of these chemicals were all a little “thrown off” as it got closer to my period to where it would cause me to have these panic attakcs. Interesting, huh???
After talking to my doctor, he prescribed me (don’t judge me) birth control pills to help the hormones and a antidepressant to help increase the chemicals in my brain. Both of the medincines would help balance the chemicals in my brain to where it wouldn’t cause me to get anxious as I get closer to my period.
The first night I took these prescriptions, I freaked out because I didnt know what the hell was going to happen to me. As soon as I took the medicine, it was instant freak out mode. That was as soon as I started thinking, “Not even medicine can help me. What do I do??” The next day, I felt horrible. I was nauseated and I felt like the world was closing around me… I knew this wasn’t going to help. I took the medicine again and I did better but still felt bad. That day was when I told myself this, “Do you want to be this miserable for the rest of you life? Don’t you want to let the medicine do what it needs to do? Do you really think that Dr. Hudson would actually prescribe you something that would hurt me? Come on Erica. Put on your big girl pants and lets start feeling better.” That was when every single symptom just went away… And now here I am.
WHERE I STAND
I feel so much better now! Every single worry that would run through my head just disappeared. I haven’t had a problem for a whole year now and still counting!
The reason for this blog is to let every sufferer know that you are NOT alone. There are plenty of people in the world that is in the same boat as you. We aren’t crazy people. We aren’t insane people. Never ever think you are a weak person. Always tell yourself “I CAN do this and I WILL do this!” The more you say that to yourself, the stronger you’ll feel to the point where you will do whatever you want. Don’t let this problem control your life like how I let it control mine. Always fight it as much as you can!
I feel so blessed and more confident than ever! Bring on any challenge, because I’m ready!
“The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world; it’s your thoughts that create these false beliefs. You can’t package stress, touch it, or see it. There are only people engaged in stressful thinking.” – Wayne Dyer