May 04 2009
It first appeared when I was 21 years old and my dad was dying. I had no idea what was happening. I felt, emotionally, as if I was dealing with everything quite well when all of a sudden I was gripped with a severe dizziness, the room was spinning, and my chest was so tight I could not grab a breath. I thought I would pass out
After many doctor’s visits, everything else was ruled out and I was told it must be anxiety. I started a nightmare of time that involved every type of medicine under the sun and then more medicine to combat the side effects of the medicine.
I don’t know how to describe it to you. I can be living my day in a regular manner, with nothing troubling on my mind and all of a sudden, out of the clear blue, I will be struck with a sudden vertigo, my lips and hands go numb, my chest hurts, I struggle for breath and I feel as if I am choking. Inside, my mind starts railing wondering why I feel all of these things. My mind says, “What is happening?” “What is this? Am I going to die? Am I going to pass out? I need to get help! I need to get out of here!”
This doesn’t happen because I want attention. This doesn’t happen because I am a hypochondriac. I don’t know why this happens. To be quite honest, I don’t think Science with a capital S knows why this happens. They try to treat it with anti-depressants. But I don’t feel depressed. They say you must be an not know it. Even though my personality is anything but depressed- that’s the prescription.
I go to counseling. For years- counseling. I’ve tried tapes, programs, relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, groups, everything.
It goes away- it comes back. I don’t know what to make of it.
I think that anyone would be afraid if they were just sitting still or focusing on something and all of a sudden this physical crisis hit them.
So… I hope none of you understand this. I hope you never do! But I realize that probably many of you know exactly what I am talking about.
It has greatly affected my life. It has affected decisions I have made- both small and huge. It has limited where I can go, and what I can do. I have missed vacations, work, time with the kids, and time with my partner.
People with anxiety don’t want to be a victim. They want freedom.
Hopefully, science will uncover the cause and a real, focused treatment that solves the problem.