So this would be my first blog since I was in middle school, I am not normally comfortable with talking about my feelings, but I have recently been unofficially diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I know that I need to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist soon to discuss the details of the issues that I have been having for years, which I have thought about separately for so long, but now I am able to pile them together as symptoms of the same issue.
There is so much information that I need to write down to track any progress that I have or will make that I am not sure where to start. I am about to graduate college and find a first job in my first career, so of course my nerves are a little more shot than normal, but it wasn't until about two years ago that I realized there was a real issue with my anxiety. I had moments where I could not pull up my bank account information. Now, to preface this, I have always liked to be the micromanager, taking care of all of the facets of my life and those who immediately surrounded me for years, or at least until I was old enough to have a job at 16. But I remember that moment, when I was actually scared to look at how much money I had after bills, even though I knew it would be roughly the same amount that I had every month before that.
I went to my doctor soon after that and told him about what was going on in my life (I was working three jobs and going to college full time) and told him what had happened, so of course he started me on SSRIs – Prozac and Lexapro. I absolutely hated them. It didn't matter whether or not I took them in the morning or at night, even after two months of taking them, they made me too tired to be able to do what I needed to do during the day.
I stopped them for a while, discouraged from what I had experienced with them, and just attributed the reaction that I had to me not needing them in the first place and that it was just a fluke. This was before I realized all of the daily issues that I was having was due to GAD.
Then, one morning, my apartment was flooded with water and smoke from a close by burning apartment in the same building. My roommate and I lost almost everything that we had, along with the three cats that I loved like children due to smoke inhalation. I watched everything happen across the street and was not able to enter my apartment to save them. I was devastated, and still have trouble talking and thinking about it. I quickly went back to the doctor, and was put on Ativan.
It didn't necessarily help me cope with the feelings that I had, but it did away with all of the moments of pure panic. In moments where I had normal moments of panic, which I had grown accustomed to and overcame, such as checking my bank account, I didn't even worry about those issues. It allowed me to quickly and easily do what I had to do to get us a new apartment, new furniture that was donated, and to cremate the three cats that we had lost. It was then that I knew there was something that I had been dealing with long before this time of rock bottom.
Since then, I have rebuilt what was lost, for both me and my roommate. However, I still had those daily issues once my Ativan prescription was up. I constantly chew the inside of my mouth, tear my lips until they bleed, tear my fingernails and hangnails until they bleed, I have frequent heart palpitations with no cardiac abnormalities,I cannot sitfor longer than 30 minutes unless I'm sleeping, I drink almost daily to numb my brain, I'm struggling with my smoking cessation to get my job that I want… the list goes on. I did not realize that my daily headaches and constant sighingwere due to my anxiety. I have been able to function, there is nothing that I will let my inhibitions get in the way of when it comes to things that I have to do for school, work, socially, etc. However, I still constantly have these moments of panic about a wide variety of things that are not worth that type of worry.
I was prescribed Buspar about three months ago. I can tell that it is helping, but I still have Ativan on the side for those days that I wake up and don't want to leave the house. I have had to increase the dose of Buspar once, which I did about two weeks ago, and I might have to do it again. I know that it will not completely take all of my anxiety away, but I am still searching for the right medication for me. How has everyone else found it? How long did it take?
I have found throughout the years that the best way to stifle a violent reaction from my overloaded stress, as I call it, is to rest my head on something, close my eyes and breathe deeply for about 30 seconds. I have to do this a few times a day, but I am still dealing with these peaks of anger. Does anyone else feel these moments of intense irritation, frustrationand anger daily?
I guess I just want to learn more about what I'm going through, and to know that I am not alone with these issues that I have been having for way too long.