Dec. 21st, 2011

plumerri: (pic#256937)
I want to talk about my anxiety disorder today. It's a disorder because I'm sure normal people (by normal, I mean people who don't suffer from this disorder) don't suffer from it. Oh look what just happen there, I made a circular argument. Anyway. This post might be triggering, I'm not very sure. I'm still making discovery about my illness and trying to treat it.

This post partially sprung from the thing that happened during my first Simpang trip. Viv's friend came, and one of them mentioned that she takes the same meds as me but only when she's breathless. It's xanax, and I take them every night because I can't sleep. (More symptoms here) The really scary thing about panic/anxiety is that you really have a fear that something will go wrong -- and it's not just a fear that you can talk yourself into making it go away. It's the kind of fear that will make you stay up the whole night because you just can't bear to sleep because you're afraid that if you sleep, then your biggest fear will come true. I can only sleep if I let it go (meaning I try to forget about it for a while, and then hoping that I sleep within that short while) or I tell myself to accept my biggest fear.

It's hard. And it's trying. But the medications keep me sane and make me feel that I'm in control of my life. Or least certain aspect of my life.

You tend to do repetitive things because you do not have to worry about their outcome: they will always be the same. That can calm you down a lot. You keep a list of things that trigger you, but even though you know that they are triggering, you still think about it. It's like the pink elephant. Don't think of a pink elephant. You just can't. You tell yourself to keep calm, and then carry on, and let everything just happen naturally but you can't bear to lose control. It's hard to lose control, because you feel that everything will just spiral down and you might not gain control and you might just regret.

The numbing feeling you get in your limbs is reassuring sometimes, because at least you know that it's your brain fucking you up and not some other parts of your body. We need all the reassurances we can get. And sometimes, it's not just enough to say to yourself, "Keep calm and carry on". Because how can we carry on if we can't keep calm?

Some links: NIMH on anxiety
Stress and Anxiety on NYT


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