Sunday, 26 June 2016

Generalised Anxiety Disorder - My Story so far



I wanted to paste in a post from an old blog. I posted it 8 months ago.

For context purposes I should tell you I was, like I am now, sitting up in the middle of the night & worrying intensely about nothing. For 9 months after the murder of my Uncle I suffered terribly with Health Anxiety and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. GAD has been present in my life for as long as I can remember. I've always been just a little bit too worried about the smallest things, but this particular period of Health Anxiety was literally taking over my life for the 9 months it took it's strongest hold. I made 2 videos about this on my YouTube channel if you'd like to check them out.

At the moment I'm feeling very 'generally' anxious, and writing to help others really helps shift my focus. I hope this helps at least one person realise they aren't alone.









OCTOBER 2015





HEALTH ANXIETY – MY STORY SO FAR…
As a believer that anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorders and mental health in general are issues that are (unbelievably in this day and age) still mindlessly stigmatised and hushed out of everyday conversation I would like to share this page to raise some awareness of a crippling condition I have developed (sometimes extreme, sometime less so) since the life of my uncle was mindlessly taken in June last year.





Please don’t mistake this condition (also known as hypochondria) for the occasional worrying about one’s health, or feeling a bit panicky every now and then. This is constant anxiety. Constant feeling of ‘This is it. I’m going to die’. Constant, and completely unescapable, most of the time.
At least 7 or 8 times a day, I worry that I’m chronically ill. I check my body all the time with out even realising I’m doing it now. It’s relentless. At my worst, I can be awake for 72hours+ because the worry of not waking up is so terrifying that sleep was not an option.
I’ve been convinced I have; a brain tumour, breast cancer, thyroid cancer, bone cancer, HIV, MS – not just a passing thought, but CONVINCED.
In the last YEAR I’ve had X-rays, ultrasound tests, heart and lungs tested multiple times, ECGs, at least 10 blood tests, blood clot tests, heart failure assessments, I’ve been prescribed and taken beta blockers, mood stabilisers, sedatives, anti-inflammatories, codeine. Side effects of my anxiety have been development of nerve sensitivity in my arms, headaches, chest pains, weight gain, depression, paranoia, insomnia and breathing issues. I’ve been laughed at, trivialised, ignored, mocked. The list of effects of health anxiety is almost too long to recall.
Writing this in black and white lets me see how ridiculous it all sounds, I do have a logical part of my mind that’s always hanging around letting me know I’m blowing things out of proportion, but when you are feeling this and your mind is so consumed that you block out and completely miss chunks of your life (I don’t remember October 2014 to March 2015 very much at all – I zoned out) it feels so real. The feeling of the panic attacks that occasionally come with the anxious feelings are true hell. I’ve rushed to A&E twice (consecutive nights, in fact) with the real fear that the sensation of the panic attacks was in fact a heart attack.
This condition, and so many mental health issues like it, really do ruin lives. Wreck marriages and tear families apart through lack of understanding. It’s almost laughable how often people tell me ‘just, try not to worry about it’. It’s like asking a cancer suffer to ‘just get better’. It’s literally the one thing in life I want to be able to do, but can’t.
So please, be aware of your own feelings and the feelings of those around you if you think anxious thoughts are occurring frequently or uncontrollably in you or someone you know. Because worry is a natural and essential instinct in us all, it’s so easy to glaze over or trivialise it. But please, don’t. The mind is a beautiful but powerful thing. If you start down the wrong path, it’s often when you’re way, way down the path that you realise it’s a problem. And it’s a long walk back.
I’m writing this now after I’m having some strong anxious feelings tonight after a fair few months of feeling strong. It’s done a lot for me writing this and setting my story down in words. So thank you very much to anyone who takes time to read it. I hope it helps someone out there to know they aren’t alone.
Just know, honestly, you’re going to be okay.
Share:

No comments

Post a Comment

© Lindsay Davison | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig