I’ve mentioned that I suffer from depression and anxiety in my “My Mental Health Journey: The Beginning” blog. This is more in depth about how it has affected my life, how I recognized it, and how I sought out treatment. I’ve had anxiety as far back as I remember except back then it wasn’t called anxiety, it was hormones or PMS. I’ve learned throughout therapy that anxiety presents itself in a variety of ways. Emotionally anxiety makes me irritable, angry, impatient, paranoid and short tempered. Physically it’s the tingling or itching in my armpits, the tightening of my stomach and jaw, clinching of my teeth, and shortness of breath.
Anxiety is why I would drive around a restaurant and pull off because there are too many cars in the parking lot. Why I would grocery shop at either the break of dawn or the middle of the night. Why I hated picking up the phone to make basic phone calls such as scheduling appointments or ordering pizza. Why I avoided making friends and immediately disliked anyone new. I thought no one liked me at work and I had to prove that I was valuable. I imagined all of the parents of my daughter’s friends talked crap about me at all of the school events and the person who said they liked my hair was being sarcastic. I had somehow convinced myself that these types of thoughts were normal so I never sought treatment for it.
Depression is another story—depression was easily recognizable in myself and I sought help pretty quickly. I was not feeling anything but dread, sadness, self-consciousness, and worthless. I did nothing right according to myself and I’d go to bed at 6:00 if I could. I showered multiple times a day just to cry and I thought no one was on my side. I shopped excessively to make myself feel better and did things with the kids such as going to the movies or shopping just so they wouldn’t notice the change in my personality. I knew something was off and I knew I needed help.
It was extremely difficult for me to seek out help, not that the process was difficult (it was actually quite easy) but getting over my fears and assumptions was difficult. I was under the impression that I would have to see a psychiatrist in order to be treated– as in I thought that I’d have to see my PCP, be referred to the psychiatrist and wait weeks to be treated. My anxiety was telling me it would take forever, I’d need to get a referral and an authorization and I’d have to tell everyone my business over and over again so it wasn’t worth it. I was terrified, but I also knew depressed me wasn’t fair to my family and they deserved a mother that was present and not sulking in the bed or sleeping because dreams were better than reality. I picked up the phone and scheduled an appointment.
That was step 1 in my treatment process. Now, this could technically be a prequel to my previous blog but it’s also a bit different. I think my next blog on this topic will be more like this one, a bit more in depth especially in regard to the process. Or maybe I’ll do a quick blog on the process itself, I feel like it’s necessary as I know there are others out there suffering from the same reluctance I was in seeking help. But until next time…*muahz*