Friday, October 16, 2015

Anxiety Breaking Point

So, I need to talk about anxiety. It is out of control. It is dominating my thoughts, my moods, my every decision, it's keeping me up at night, it's making me burst into tears ten times a day, it's screwing with my self esteem and future plans and whole life perspective. This is not okay. 

It is a very strange feeling to know that you are suffering from a wonky brain, to recognize fully and clearly that your thought patterns are insane, to understand the fact that this is a cognitive short-circuit.........and to still have fears and obsessions that feel one hundred percent real

At the moment it's mostly little health/body-related stuff (not weight, more like eye/skin/nerve pain/injury/etc.). I freak out anew about the same things every single day, even though nothing bad ever really happens and I can almost perceive these freak-outs as if watching from outside my own head. Very very bizarre. Yet still terrifying.

I have to assume some of this is latent school-/life changes-related stress manifesting as obsessions about physical stuff. But I truly don't feel that stressed about school. I feel a little lonely—just missing old friends, having a regular crew, and a roomie—and am wondering if that is maybe having a bigger impact on my mental health than I realize. No one to distract me when I get home at night and commence obsessing; it's just me and the four walls. Maybe that's taking a toll.

But man oh man this is anxiety like nothing I've ever experienced before. More persistent, more intense, and almost scarier in a way because it feels purely internal; I can sense that there is something very, very wrong in my head, and that terrifies me. And I just feel totally wrecked all.the.damn.time. For the past couple weeks I've had a constantly upset tummy, and sometimes my hands shake. And although I've never been a great sleeper, my current level of insomnia is OFF THE CHAIN. By Tuesday of this past week, I had probably not slept more than 3 hours since Friday, and was semi-nonfunctional (still somehow gave a presentation, took a quiz, and went on a date* though....). Since then I've been taking OTC sleeping pills and doing a little better, but definitely would not be able to do without them. So yeah, basically I feel like crap.

I know that medication needs to be back on the table. I know. And I'm at a point where I'm almost relieved to have the choice taken away from me; it's clear that I probably can't manage this the old fashioned way anymore.

Would love to hear any experiences dealing with anxiety. I am a disaster.

* More on the date later!


  1. Man, I hate that you're going through this. I know what you mean about watching it happen inside your own head but still not being able to shake how real it all feels. Anxiety is very real. It does sound like you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by going back on a med and re-establishing with a psych. that can monitor how you're doing on it. How much do you talk about anxiety in regular therapy? You are probably right about how living alone after being with a roommate for years could be a factor; not having anyone to pull you out of your own head and all that. I am really sorry you're dealing with this. Also, the insomnia could be making your anxiety worse. I know on my worst sleep days mine definitely spikes. Then being anxious makes it hard to sleep; it's a vicious cycle. I really hope things are looking up for you soon. Never hesitate to drop me a line if you're lonely and need to talk or just need to be distracted for a while. Take care, this WILL get better.

    1. Thanks C - so I do talk about the anxiety with Dr. P, though only somewhat recently have I really started to open up about the SPECIFICS of what I worry about most. Mostly because it is all so ridiculous and irrational that I've always been self-conscious about even saying it out loud, but I do think that may be helpful in the long run. It helps that I've been seeing Dr. P for 2.5 years now and am completely comfortable with her.

      Add yeah the insomnia is a vicious cycle. I can't sleep due to freaking the fuck out, then the next day my brain is too exhausted to be rational and fight off the crazy. There is some really interesting research out there about the links between insomnia and mood disorders (e.g. the insomnia may cause the mood disorders rather than vice versa, and that treating sleep problems can help treat depression) that I hope to get around to reading more carefully at some point.

  2. I'm really sorry you've been dealing with this! Anxiety is a funny one like that--it really messes up one's brain and almost feels surreal. The living alone part can be really hard. It sounds like it has really messed up your whole physiology! I hope it calms down soon. I hope you and your team can figure out something that helps you! And as Cammy said, it will get better, even if it doesn't feel like it. I'm always here if you need to talk! Hang in there!

    1. Thanks Alie! Anxiety is HORRIBLE and scary, and it almost makes me wish I "just" had depression....which is nuts. I have put "CALL PSYCHIATRIST" on my to-do list, and will hopefully be brave and do that tomorrow. I am still pretty ambivalent about medication but it seems silly to stay miserable without exploring my options. Hope you're doing well :)