Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Anxiety Sucks and Depression Blows

What kicked it all off for me was a physical problem.  I was in a restaurant with my one year old and the room started spinning and I couldn't get it to stop, which is called objective vertigo.  Subjective vertigo is when the person feels like she is the one spinning.  Both are equally barfy.  There is no better word that describes the emotional part of that first vertigo experience than PANIC.  What do I do with my baby?  How am I going to drive home?  I am going to throw up! What if I am driving and the vertigo happens again?  24 years ago, my life changed in an instant.

Repeated vertigo episodes led to many doctor visits, all kinds of tests..... some that made me dizzy on purpose to test the inner ear, and I felt like I was being tortured...... sickening.  And no answers and no medication could prevent these attacks.  Can you see why anxiety sank it's claws into my head?   I was 26.   I slept less than 2 hours a night, was eating everything in the house, but still lost way too much weight.  Turns out, doctors said all they could do was to treat the extreme anxiety that developed over the next six months as a result of the dizziness.  After years of trying this and that, there were a couple of meds that ease the nervous system that also eased some aspects of my dizziness.  Until it didn't.   Rinse and repeat like a cheap shampoo.

I am sure there are some doctors and therapists who can really help a lot of people with anxiety and depression, but I've never met one that I wanted to stick with.   Ones that I am stuck with, yes.  Laughing.  There's a difference.  Whatever.  Over the years, I have been tempted to tell them to keep the prescriptions and use it on themselves.  Or shove them where the sun doesn't shine.  Maybe it would help their condescending natures.

What I came to realize eventually was that I had suffered with undiagnosed postpartum depression.  I don't know if being treated for it would have prevented the vertigo episodes in the first place, but it may have helped me deal with not feeling what I thought I was supposed to feel as a new mother.  I loved my baby, but  major trepidation at keeping a tiny human alive and well weighed heavily on me.

 I had a wonderful pregnancy, but a very difficult delivery.  I have two words for you:  back labor.   And one more: merconium.  And a post delivery fever of 102 for mom, and an infection for the  baby.  Oh, and sign these papers for the neonatal specialist to do a spinal tap mere hours after your  baby is born.  It all just became too real too fast. My baby spent a week in intensive care, but she was the little fatty of the neonatal unit at 10 pounds. She also had as much hair on her as a monkey, and the nurses loved putting bows in her hair.  Without my permission.  Laughing.  If you know me......you'll know I had to grow into the  bows..... major jock here........ Over twenty years later, she doesn't have an athletic bone in her body and I wouldn't want it any other way.  She's very talented in her own right.

I'm old enough to remember when mental health was a huge stigma...... and I have thought for a long time that it shouldn't be any longer and that the younger generations are doing a much better job at identifying and accepting than mine ever did.   I don't know what the average age of most bloggers is, but I know those that are willing to talk about their own experiences with mental health deserve my respect for sure.  It isn't comfortable for me to share this stuff about myself, but it's the truth, it's part of life for millions of people, and maybe it will help someone understand what dealing with mental health along with  physical health issues is like.

What I am good at is escaping and that helps me mentally and emotionally.  For many years, reading played a primary role in my being able to just get out of my own head.  It still does, but to a lesser degree because I am working on finding a balance between writing, exercising, FISHING, golfing, homemaking, communicating with close friends and family, watching movies, my faith, and spending time with Storm which includes vanilla and spanking times!

Anxiety sucks.  Depression blows.  When you're in deep with one, you long for the other.  Sick.  It all makes you feel crazy, but you're not.  If you suffer from the same, then I encourage you to keep reaching a balance in your life.  Get the help you need, get quality sleep...... take care of yourself.  I'll do the same.

 Mental Health #358
I'm writing part of my personal story in support of Mental Health Prompt #357

16 comments:

  1. You are so right, talk about mental health is much more open now than it was when we (I am 52) were younger. But not only that, it seems like the young people nowadays are more in touch with their sexuality too. I wonder whether Internet and all the things you can read there might have something to do with this?
    Thank you for sharing your experiences!

    Rebel xox

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    1. Hi, Rebelle! I think the internet has a lot to do with it, yes. I feel it's still kind of risky to talk about, but it's time that we all just get real with it and face it together. Kids see dumb things on Youtube all the time, but they also see things like gay vloggers coming out to a parent, personal stories of bullying, and sharing about their struggles with mental illness. I believe this has gone a long way in educating the younger generations on how to be sincerely sensitive to social issues. Thanks for reading and for hosting this prompt. Hugs, Windy

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  2. I'm sorry you've had to deal with the deadly duo of Anxiety and Depression for so very long, Windy. We have dealt with it for several years in our family, as you know. I am lucky to have only experienced depression twice - once was postpartum and the other when the couple of years death and dying of those close to me finally brought me down. I can't imagine having to deal with either as a chronic condition. And yes, you are right, sometimes the cure (meds) is worse than the disease.

    I hope you continue to seek balance in your life (and if you don't, that Storm will find some type of spanky balance for you :>)) and I also hope hanging about here with all of us, helps in some way ... hugs! ... nj

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    1. Hi, NJ! A & D have really disrupted most of my adult life especially in times of physical illness, both my own and loved ones. We have better learned how to manage it individually and as a family. It's incredible to me that a family as close as mine still has to do things like seek professional help, but it's the truth, and we've got to do whatever healthy thing works whether it is uncomfortable and embarrassing or not. Yep... working toward that balance. I'm sorry for the times depression has swooped in on you, but I am happy to know you have bounced back. My best to your family, always. Hugs, Windy

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  3. Windy,
    Thank you for your insightful sharing. As you and I have talked, my family has mnetal health issues and in fact, if we are honet, all families have mental health issues. Seeking professoinal health is essential. Receiving the support and encouragement of loved ones is essential. I am sure Storm was your rock as you tackeld it. Like the stages of deployment, people can retrace theri mental health episodes prolonging the hope that good health is right around the corner. I am one of your best cheerleaders here. I will always cheer for you.
    Meredith

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    1. Meredith,
      Thanks for reading because it's very important to me and coping with my health overall is a big part of my life. Obviously, you are aware of some of what I have shared here, and your love and support has been helpful in practical ways and emotional ways. Yes, Storm is my rock and I did know that I didn't write about him in this piece but I decided to leave it that way because anxiety and depression is still a very lonely road at times despite the care from loved ones. However, leaning on (and now leaning in) Storm was crucial in times of desperate recovery. I both hear and feel your cheering me on, Meredith. Thank you. Hugs, Windy

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  4. Windy - this is so well done and unfortunately, I can relate. I think may of us deal with various forms of anxiety and panic attacks, depression and adrenaline dumps. On another note, what a great prompt and place for people to start the conversation that should have been had for the past 100 years! I want to start writing these prompts along with you and NJ. I did a small post to dip my big toe but don't think I did the button link right and am not sure I'm supposed to be posting something without joining first... please help me! I'm sorry it took so long to wake up and jump on board... have been sleeping much too much of my life away, waiting, always waiting for Eric to return home.
    Amy

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    1. Hi, Amy! Thank you, and I know you can relate from what you have so bravely shared on your blog. There are writing prompts that appeal to me and some that don't, but that is the beauty of having options on the internet -- there is something for most. And then we read what appeals to us and skip what doesn't. Then there are issues like mental health where so many people jump in, share both painful and joyous parts of their struggles, and shed light and make it more comfortable for others to ask questions and educate themselves. I do think you'd do great with many writing prompts as some are therapeutic in nature, others are just fun, and some a little bit kinky. Thanks for reading and adding your valuable insight here, Amy. Keep writing! Hugs, Windy

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  5. Hi Windy, thank you so much for sharing your experiences with anxiety and depression. That can't have been easy and I applaud you. I agree too, mental health is spoken about far more now days which is a good thing.

    I'm sorry you have personal experience. I think most of us suffer anxiety and depression to varying degrees at times or have family members dealing with depression.

    Hugs
    Roz

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    1. Hi, Roz! Thanks for reading on this challenging subject that can be hard to swallow sometimes. I'm glad more people are willing to talk about it.

      Yes, I believe most people to have some kind of personal experience with mental illness for ourselves or our families..... we may as well help one another out by talking about some of our experiences.

      Please know that I am okay... I am taking care of myself and when I don't, Storm is lovingly (and spankily) on my arse! haha Hugs, Windy

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  6. This was so well written, Windy. You described this state of mind with clarity. I just followed the link and read a bit. I understand more of why folks have chosen this topic to post. This condition is so hard to treat even when you do seek professional help. Even if you can sleep, morning holds no promise that anything will get better. It's the most alone I have ever felt.

    I am not as afraid of depression as I used to be. Don't think Sam would let me fall as deep ever again.

    Ella

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    1. Hi, Ella! Thank you. I'm sorry to hear that you fell into depression deeply in the past. I find it worse than anxiety sometimes.... it's awful. GAH! I'm glad you have Sam right there to help recognize early signs and help you out of it before it consumes you!

      There are some heartfelt and informative stories in these links and I am happy to hear that you found them and read them. There are other kinds of stories out there on different subjects that do not appeal to me (and I'm sure some of my writing or my ttwd set up here doesn't float their boats either)....... but I just go where I feel comfortable and avoid where I don't.

      Thanks for your support here, Ella. You have mine as well. Hugs, Windy

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  7. Windy, that sounds absolutely overwhelming. I remember those 2 hours nights, heck, I'm lucky to get 4-5 now. lol I am so glad that you felt you could share this with us. It helps us get to know you a bit more, and I know that it will help people who may feel alone in their struggle. I have a deep respect for the mental health field, but I too found in my post partum, after our son, we didn't really find who could help me. By the time the right person was found, a referral that look a long time to go through, and man, she was fantastic, I had already healed, and so we only had one visit. I hope more people find ones that can help them quicker.
    Hugs, EsMay

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    1. Hi, EsMay! Sorry to hear that you can identify with this topic as well. Oh, and the lack of sleep thing is UGH! No fun that you couldn't get the help when you needed it.... so common in the mental health area that it is awful! But, I am glad you got better on your own.... you already healed.... that is WONDERFUL though! Thanks for reading and contributing your important experiences here and thanks for your support. Hugs, Windy

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  8. Strongest people in the world are those with A and D. So grateful that it is "ok" to talk about it. I actually think it is the "new normal." I am glad you shared to help take the stigma away. It runs in our famiky as well, but we take it one day at a time and learn strategies to cope.

    Just remember you are stronger than you think!

    Boo

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    1. Hi, Boo! I think it's still uncomfortable for us to talk about, but something about the younger generations is helping to change that. It doesn't have to become everyone's problem to solve because we all face our own challenges, but at least we are generally more aware and less afraid to go get the help we need and encourage others to do the same. Thanks for your support. Hugs, Windy

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