Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Have you gone mental (IX)

As I'm almost certain I mentioned before, I have awakened with anxiety since early this year. It is a sense of dread, appoaching danger, and fear. There is often a tightening in my chest, difference in breathing, and shortness of breath. I do not think this constitutes a panic attack because it happens with several of these symptoms each and every day. These episodes occur at one level of intensity or another each day and they are not acute.perhaps better described as chronic.

Because of their duration and regularity some have called them "anxiety attacks". This is basically accurate, but to my knowledge anxiety attacks are a layman's description, not a formal diagnosis. Nevertheless "anxiety attack" works for me.

Fear is an immobilizing emotion. It seems to be at the heart of anxiety. Most of my fears are non-specific. There are some circumstancial sources, but these do not attend me consistently.

I do not suffer from paranoia. My anxiety seems to attack me; having a mind of its own, as I'm sure I said before. It is interesting as well as painful to sit up, and as my feet hit the floor, I am overcome by this emotion. I pick up my medication packet I have prepared the night before. This sits on my night stand. I proceed to the kitchen, pour a glass of milk and swallow several pills. One of which targets this anxiety, another a mood stabilizer.

As mentioned before the dose of medication is not a cure, but a mask or barrier between the disorder and my pereception ... for a brief time. At lunch time another anti-anxiety pill is introduced to my body as it is again about 6:00 (most days I take three of these) ... Daddy's little helper?

Don't get me wrong I need this medication and regard it seriously. If I feel ok and my anxiety is low, I do not take the third dose. Some days the afternoon mood stabilizer provides enough relief.

I have often dispared of life itself during times of anxiety, but a bumper sticker I saw a few weeks ago provided some solace. It said, "Don't be Afraid - God".

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