Mental Health

Then And Now – My Anxiety & Depression Turning Point

Then And Now – My Anxiety & Depression Turning Point

THEN

On April 28th 2019 – I posted this on Facebook:

#Depression #Anxiety #MentalHealthAwareness “So this is Anxiety! As many people know I have been battling anxiety for a super long time and this isn’t my first rodeo of ending up in the Er because of it – My panic attacks started when I was 12 and they have just kinda become part of my life. I always knew how to cope with them, had my tricks that I made up etc etc etc —- it could get bad at times but wasn’t usually life altering and I could push through.

Savannah’s Birth Knocked me back – brought it to the next level – I worked through that and found my way through.

Chris’ accident knocked me back again – I’m working through that now….

Life is good lately, I’m happy and feel like I have been taking good care of myself and appreciating what I have but in the last few months my triggers reared their heads and stuff got dark again….

I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone, not even my Dr, I didn’t tell my friends, I didn’t tell my family, I didn’t tell my therapist (everything) and I didn’t tell my husband – I didn’t want to be a burden. Everyone around me had their own problems and lives going on I didn’t want to add more to their plates.

And that is exactly how I ended up in the ER last night after my latest panic attack – from being fast asleep that turned into tachycardia and sheer panic.

I knew I needed answers, help and couldn’t do it alone anymore.

I got the physical reassurance I needed and guidance for the psychological help I need and I don’t feel alone anymore.

So many of my friends are going through their own forms of anxiety right now and so I want you all to know that you are not alone…. I know how bad it can get, I know how much of your life it can steal and I know how alone it can make you feel… please know you are NEVER alone, people don’t understand anxiety unless they have faced it – well here is someone always here and ready for you to vent, cry, hug you through it –

The worst part about anxiety is it can hit you so hard – then a couple hours/days/minutes later you feel ok so rarely feel like you should get or need to get the help. Anxiety is not something you can work through on your own though, it gets bigger and bigger and bigger the longer you leave it unchecked the worse it can become.

Going to the ER for a Panic attack can be mortifying! It has taken me a lot to post this – But I think that’s just all part of the stigma and the brushing off of anxiety. Last night woke me up to how bad things have gotten for me because I’ve left them unchecked for so long. My anxiety makes sense, the things I have been through sync up almost perfectly. Your anxiety makes sense too, you’re not making this stuff up, and you, like me, need to find the right help to get you through it.

And please don’t feel weak about this, some of the strongest people I know have anxiety and depression.

Please reach out if you ever need to –

I am ok, I got a fright, but I got the help I needed and know it’s there for me if I ever need it again! I made the choice to check out this morning with the promise to follow through on everything and went about my plans today and actually had a lovely day!

Light, love, kindness and hugs everyone, life is tough sometimes 💜🌍🙏🏻”

NOW

I am now 11 weeks postpartum and I was 120% ready for postpartum depression and anxiety to hit me with full force….. It nearly did, but something caught it.

I think of how far I have come from that post, that was rock bottom for me. I never mentioned it at the time but I was being held in the psychiatry department of the ER. All of my belongs, my phone were taken away from me and I was in a terrifying white room with nothing in it. I was held in that room so that I was unable to harm myself. I could hear people having episodes in the rooms around me and it was all so very surreal. It felt very “Girl Interrupted’. How did I end up in there? where was my life and mental health heading? I was there for hours and didn’t understand why? I had, had panic attacks before and didn’t end up in psych.

Somewhere in my panicked state, I must have mentioned the dark thoughts I had been experiencing. Anxiety was ruining my life, it was controlling it. I wasn’t able to sleep because of it and It was sending me into a very dark place, a place where you start thinking obsessively about the quickest and easiest and cleanest way to leave this world because living in my constant state of fear, worry and panic was killing me. Apparently those types of thoughts aren’t “normal”, apparently imagining plans, are drastically “abnormal.” I don’t remember even mentioning any of these thoughts and feelings to the nurses or doctors at the hospital, but at some point I must have, because they were not going to release me until I promised them that I wasn’t going to harm myself in any way. I had been seeing counsellors for the past 2 years, but I needed something different. I was on a wait list, that wait list was 6 months long…. it was within those 6 months of waiting that I started slipping down that dark slope. My breakdown pretty much saved me, because after I was seen in the ER, I all of a sudden jumped to first in line and my counselling began that very next week. It has now just been over a year later of me attending weekly sessions and I don’t even recognize that person, that woman I was. I got through an entire pregnancy with very little anxiety, I have brought a newborn into the world in a pandemic and again I have experienced little to no anxiety or depression. It obviously hasn’t been all roses and sunshine, however the obsessive, dark, uncontrollable thoughts aren’t even tapping on the surface. My thoughts and fears are finally “normal”.

So what changed? …… I got help. My anxiety and depression were affecting my life so badly that I could no longer survive or deal with it on my own. I needed the professional help. I needed routine help and in the end, I needed a little chemical help. I started weekly therapy sessions which included behavioral therapy, mindfulness and meditation. I took propranolol which took care of the physical symptoms that were sending me into panic attacks. That worked for a year but recently, once my third daughter was born, I was prescribed Zoloft. I was given a very small dose, but after years of fighting medication, I am wishing I had tried it sooner. While propranolol helped with the physical symptoms, the mental thoughts were still giving me troubles. Zoloft has given me back, me. I am no longer obsessively thinking about my worries and fears, I hear them but they sort of dissolve off into the distance and don’t penetrate me like they once did. I am continuing with therapy, I am doing really, really well. Anxiety and depression both run strong in my family, It was always likely I was going to have that chemical imbalance, it seems like that small amount of medicine was all I needed just to keep things in check.

Maybe I wont need them forever, maybe I will, what matters is I am doing well today and I just have to take each day as it comes. I took the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EDPS) questionnaire at my daughters appointment the other day and for the 3rd time, I answered everything honestly and it was so positive. I don’t remember that ever happening before, it felt surreal and I felt alive again.

One thing I have learned in my own mental health journey is that once you open up about your own struggles, you start to realize that almost everyone you meet and know is dealing with something similar or have done at one point in their lives. We are not as alone as we think and although the health care system can fail us sometimes there are always numbers and hotlines that you can call. If you suffer from anxiety and depression even slightly, I strongly suggest you reach out for help now before it gets out of control. You could end up on a waitlist and the help will be too late. You are not a burden, your life is important, you are important. I know what its like to truly feel this way. To truly think that the people around you, that the world would be better without you in it. But that is the lie that the dark and toxic thoughts put into your mind, it is clever and knows exactly how to get you to see nothing but the poisonous negative and the sheer hopelessness, but it is a lie and it is a lie that deserves to be and needs to be broken because every life on this earth has meaning, every life including yours is important.

You’re not alone

Confidential help is available for free

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

You’re not alone

Confidential help is available for free!!! <3 always Georgia
April 2019 – Right Before my Breakdown

Me – August 2020.

It’s hard to see the difference …. right?

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