Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bring it on . . .

I confess, I have learned a bit about my mother in the past few months. You (the only possible readers of this right now) may remember my mother as a relatively nice lady with a tendency to drink too much. I have come to learn the reason why she drank too much. Anxiety attacks. Yes, as frightening as hell on earth anxiety attacks. Guess what? They are genetic and just this past January I became the next victim in our family. I literally thought I was going crazy or losing my mind. It happened one night after the rest of the family had gone to bed and I was working on a jigsaw puzzle. From out of the blue this brick wall called anxiety hit me. I was scared to death but managed to get in bed and fall asleep about 45 minutes after it passed.

The next morning I called my mother and asked her if she ever feared for her mental health. Very cautiously she answered, "Yes . . . why?" I told her everything that happened and she confirmed that the same thing happens to her every few months and has since she was about my age but never said anything to anyone!!! Uuggghh! A little warning would have been nice. Then I called my sister and guess what else? Yeah, you guessed it. She has been having them since she was well, about my age! Again, uuggghh! I really wished someone had just mentioned this to me.

This past Friday I encountered my 3rd round of attacks (they come in waves and last a few days because of the overwhelming fear and thoughts of having another one) and though mom has lived with them for 30 years, 6 months have passed and I am saying "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!"

I visited my Dr after the first one and she gave me a presciption for a low dose of xanax (sp?) which I filled and have yet to take because 1) I think it will only mask the problem, not get rid of it and 2) addictive personalities run in my family, so I tend to stay away from anything that can be addictive - except the computer!

I found a "self-help" ebook program that is supposed to help break the cycle of fear of having another attack and thus diminish the body's tendency to have one. The principle is based on "demanding more" of the horrible sensations of the attack while in the midst of having one until you trust that nothing bad will actually come of it thereby reducing your fear of another and lowering the general anxiety level so that you don't have another (or at least if you do it is just a minor wave to ride out). I don't know if this will work, but what have I got to lose . . . my mind? lol

Kidding aside, this has consumed the better part of my life for the past few months. So, I write this to ask for prayer and to open the door if anyone else is suffering. No one mentioned it to me before it happened and oh, how I wish they had. Since I'll be trying to demand more to get past fear my new motto is "Bring it on" - which I can't say without thinking of blonde cheerleaders but then a little comic relief could be a good thing!?!?!


MommaJen said...

Oh Mary, I'm so sorry - I had my first one in August 2004 and thought I was dying. they are the worst thing ever! I'm so sorry. I'm so glad you reached out - I think I will write my blog post about this very subject. No one likes to talk about these and yet I've learned lots of people have suffered. I would encourage you to take the meds, even if it's just a few months - they provided quite a relief for my blog for more of my story, but I'd love to talk with you -

circus of love said...

Mary- I am sorry to hear about this too. I have had my own issues with bouts with depression that lead to something similar to an anxiety attack...very dark moments. NOT fun!!! I took meds for them for about a year and I noticed a great difference within about a month. It is funny I do better when I am pregnant so I haven't been on meds for a while now. I am gonna try to get back on an exercise and eating regimen here and see if I don't have to go on them again. I understand your concern with the addiction issue. John didn't understand at first why I needed to take a pill but did admit that healing comes in many different forms. Sometimes it is a physiological issue we can't deal with mentally. I will be praying for you. SO glad to hear that you have had 24 hours of relief. Hope it continues. I love you girl!!!

Brandy11 said...

Oh yes, panic attacks. I had my first one when Eliza was about 7 months old. I had to leave her at home with Daddy (whose a wonderful man) and start working retail in the evenings to help out. Atleast that is what I think triggered we ever really know? I battled with depression and occasional anxiety attacks for about two years before I decided I needed help. I started taking an antidepressant and stayed on it for three years. I just made the choice recently to stop taking it to see how I'd do...and I'm happy to say I seem to be okay. Which for me isn't saying much but hey, it's a start! I think you are taking all the right steps in prevention and trying to understand what causes them...I just wanted to curl up on the floor with my kids and let them play around me, anything to not think about it. You and your family are always in my thoughts!