Panic Attacks

So I am on the end of a panic attack while I am writing this, ironically a few hours after saving an article on panic attacks to blog about tomorrow.  An article on cracked written by someone who actually has them gives the best description ever. Including why exercise and breathing exercises often cause as much panic as the relieve.

I say this is ironic because exercise is what has me on here right now.  I need to get to bed, and I was doing a little bit of running when I noticed my pulse was going very fast, then I thought “What if its a heart attack” and my pulse was through the roof.  I stopped and did my deep breathing, and in about 30 seconds my pulse was down, but now I was panicking.

What if, and then I got a twinge in my shoulder, OMG, arm pain, its a heart attack.  Do I have tingling in my fingers, is there tingling, yes, a jolt in one.  There was a larger, more logical part of my brain saying, yes, you are asking yourself this question 3/4 times before feeling it, even now everything is fine.  I am trying to to keep breathing regularly. When I stop thinking about a “symptom” for even a moment it goes away.

This is what its like with panic attacks, and I was very happy with the cracked article, as it pointed out that exercise getting the heart racing can make you feel like you are having a heart attack or stroke, or dying, and while being in shape is good and makes you less likely to freak out, getting there makes it worse sometimes.  So I am supposed to be sleeping and am instead jittery on adrenaline, worrying that I will die if I go to bed right now.  Resisting the urge to wake someone up to sit with me, or call 811 for health advice, or god forbid google racing pulse.  Because I know all of these things will make it worse.

This is living with anxiety…..

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Hyperventilating

I don’t want this job. I went up a narrow rickety stair case after questionably parking my car. I am literally hyperventilating at the idea of going down the stairs after. They dont meet healtg and safety standards at all. Not even for a house. And possibly finding my car towed, not my ideal circumstances at all.

There arent even cubicles, just six prople sitting dead silent in a small room. The sad part is thisis my best lead right nowand 20 minutes ago seemed pretty great. I guess too good to be true really is a thing…

 

Head or Body?

So I have gotten over the diarrhea, and today have….nausea.  It could be that time of the month, it could be food poisoning, the flu, death.  Or it could all be in my head.  But which is it, and how can I be sure.

It comes and goes, its more so when I am hungry, or gassy, but it disappears when I am distracted by midsommer murders, or hit a good spot in my book. I think honestly it may be a minor actual problem being amplified by my overwhelming anxiety.  I am now overplanning my trip to death, and know in advance that there will be a meltdown tomorrow when I got to pack.  Right now i am actually panicking that I might have E-coli, or Friday I will have a migraine and be unable to drive.

I wish I were one of those people who could, if not enjoy travelling, at least be able to go out get in a car and drive without a week long panic in advance of it.  Will probably be updating again tomorrow as the panic really sets in.  Or at 4am if this go to bed earlier plan backfires.

No Company-Anxiety and IBS

When I get anxious, I have to run to the bathroom….a lot.  I looked it up once, and apparently it is an evolutionary response up there with fight or flight. No one wants to eat something that smells like pee and poop.  Its gross.  Therefore, in the wild, you panic, you go, and the predator is like, ya, not all that hungry now.

There are a thousand things that trigger my rather sensitive digestive system.  This week kicked off with KFC Monday night, Tuesday I thought I was going to die.  I still at popcorn though, major trigger when already having problems. Wednesday I went out for lunch and had caesar salad, and followed up that night with a handful of popcorn.  Still having problems Thursday and decreasing into Friday.  Friday I went to Macdonalds for a Happy Meal, and went out that night fr St-Hubert.  Saturday was okay, but by the time I had lettuce with dinner, I was no longer a Happy Camper.  Now its Thanksgiving Sunday, and I am having corn, and I know tomorrow will be bad.  Tuesday brings a lunch trip out which will be another no no.   Given that I have one more lunch out I wanted to do it early enough that I gave myself a few days to recover before a 9 hour road trip Friday.

All of this has been because for two weeks we have company, which screws with my schedule and has me eating things I usually wouldn’t.

Where does anxiety come in, you may ask.  Well throughout this food gauntlet I have been planning next Fridays trip, which has been going poorly.  Between potential rain, ticket upgrades, and bad info in google maps, I have been freaking out about my trip M-W, F/S.  And its screwed up my sleep cycle at this point. I honestly think its whats pushed my digestion for sketchy into full rebellion. I have most my stuff sorted now, and I am hoping that everything will calm down.

The problem is now all this bathroom running is triggering its own anxiety.  While I can see a list of causes there is a part of me that worries that this won’t stop.  That I have food poisoning, or something more serious wrong, despite no other symptoms.  That I will have to stop too much on my road trip, or have problems at the festival.  That anxiety is only helping perpetuate the cycle, and despite knowing that, I still think, what if I am actually dying?

Atypical-A word stuck in my head

Has anyone else watched the new show on Netflix, Atypical?  While some say it isn’t an accurate representation of autism or complain that their child isn’t like this, I have to say I was very impressed overall. Yes, it is a very narrow view, of a single teenager with an autism spectrum disorder, but thats the thing with ASD and people in general EVERYONE is a little bit different.  A second complaint was that while you got to see the main character interact with his family, therapist, and a work collegue, you didn’t see him interact with other people on the spectrum.

That’s the thing though, every family deals with this differently, and depending on where you are and who they are, you may not have a network of autistic children, maybe he played with them when they were younger and didn’t like each other.  Maybe for his particular disorder this combination of elements in his life worked.

This drama focused not only on the autistic teen, but also his family, as they tried to find ways to interact with the character. A sister who never took priority, a father who never got to do the “normal” dad thing with his son until now, and a mom who sacrificed everything to define her life around a son whose decision to try to be more independent has left her adrift.

While there are some things I didn’t get or experience like the main character, there were a few habits that resonated with me.

  1. Clothing-In the show they are buying a shirt in bulk because of the way the fabric feels.  When the character wants to “redo” his wardrobe to get a girlfriend, dressing nicer isn’t easy.  This has always been a huge difficulty of mine with dressing up.  I recently got the first suit jacked I have ever worn more than once, and then a second, because the materials lets my shoulders move the way I want them to.
  2. Stuck in My head-  He yells Twat. At an inappropriate moment, because its been stuck in his head since he heard it the day before.  I sometimes wander with a word in my head for days before I finally find a way to use it.  I don’t yell it at random, but the word cycling in my head, or often an idea gets stuck there.  Some of my best writing starts as stuck ideas.  Other times, its weirdly specific and inappropriate anywhere.
  3. Sensory Overload- The character is very upset at one point, and then gets on a bus, and the noise and sights on the bus push him into a full meltdown.  While I have never gone full non-verbal rocking, when I am stressed I have had that moment when the sound of the ticking clock, or the reflection off a piece of glass is making me insanely upset.  The moments leading up to this meltdown were a pretty close approximation of how I experience sound and light when I am on the edge of a meltdown.
  4. Lists-The character uses lists as a way to breakdown more complex issue.  He uses a three point checklist to determine if he is in love with his girlfriend.  When I don’t understand something I list it.  Breakdown each points into sub points until I understand them.  I also use them for planning, travel, things I have to do and things I have to buy.

While it was one narrow interpretation, I found overall Atypical was a pretty awesome show.

Travel Panic

So I have booked an oil change, car wash, car inspection, verified my reservation, checked the parking situation, plotted my stops.  My trip is on the 13th of October.  10 days and I have already gone completely crazy. I spent the night tossing and turning with the idea that I might end up getting hurt or sick before my trip.  Or during my trip. So far compulsive listmaking is taking the edge off.

Fun Sucking Anxiety

So the big Harry Potter event I have been both looking forward to/worrying about is coming up on the 13th of October.  I even got a part time job, which I quite after two days because I couldn’t handle it, to help pay for the expense.  I made enough to cover my ticket, gas and hotel share  because I was so anxious about running out of money.

Now its two weeks away and a thousand potential problems have cropped up for me, and its making me so anxious now that there is literally nothing that seems fun. Like I am bored, and nothing seems appealing cause there is a big warning bell in my head going TRIP ANXIETY.  Anyone have a way to deal with this unending anxiety?

Simmered Over

So I have been trying to hold down on the anxiety, but I haven’t managed to find a job.  I have been looking since last September for when I graduated in May.  Its been a year, and everyday people ask me about it, and it causes this frisson of anxiety.  I have noticed more fear of falling down stairs, more fear about spraining ankles, and then last night an all out panic attack about whether my indigestion and shoulder pain was a heart attack.

Note: Stomach upset and arm pain are more common than chest pain in women.  But I also forgot to take my acid re-flux medication for three days and had been experiencing stomach upset for 2.  And I read in bed for an unusually long period of time two days in a row with my shoulder in a funny position.  It was bound to happen, and once that panic sparked, there wasn’t any sleeping no matter how much I could reason it away.

I wish that people who didn’t have any leads would stop asking about my job search.  The second I get a job they will know about it, and in the interim it just causes a slow increase in stress until I manage to have a panic attack.  I have head about 8 interviews so far, and the lack of response leads to enough self doubt about how I am blowing the interviews that I don’t need anyone else asking the question. Ask me about my theory on Harry Potter being a horcrux affected his relatives, don’t ask me if I have a job yet.

Shoulder Pain

So the pain in my shoulder to elbow got worse when bending my elbow.  And I found a spot on my shoulder blade that when gently pressed was agonizing.  Giant knot of a muscle.  Once I realized I wasn’t having a heart attack, but reading induced shoulder pain I calmed down, took a muscle relaxant and by 6:30 fell asleep.  I woke up with no shoulder pain, but I still have a runny nose.  I think I am just getting a cold, combined with my period coming it, and some ill advised reading position and got the perfect storm for midnight panic.

The problem was less in the actual symptoms but in the amplification of those symptoms by anxiety.  The fact the were moving about based on what area I was thinking about made it really hard to focus on what was actually wrong with me. I worry that some day there will be something really wrong with me and I will ignore it because I assume I am just being a hypochondriac.