Mental health

blah day

Everlane top – Uniqlo pant – Dries Van Noten shoes

I left work early today for mental health.

Since my dad died and now my mom is alone to deal with all the shit she’s been through I’ve had severe anxiety issues. I’ve not had them this bad in a long time – at least ten years. I know it’s severe when I have angina attacks. Angina can have several causes, but in my case it’s due to severe anxiety and stress. The muscles constrict so tightly it reduces blood flow to the heart and causes pain similar to a heart attack. I freaked the fuck out the first time I experienced it while in college. I went to a doctor when I started experiencing the pain, thinking I was having a heart attack. The doctor told me what it was and it was due to anxiety and stress. Many years later I experienced it again as a reaction to a medication so I knew not to take it ever again. But now it’s back and it’s mostly due to me thinking about my mom’s situation all the time.

I’ve had two attacks in the past week.

After the pain finally subsides, which can take upwards of an hour, I feel as though someone used my chest as a punching bag. The first time last week the pain was so numbing afterwards I felt sore all over and couldn’t do anything the following day. The second time was in the middle of the night. I hadn’t been sleeping well and it made me even more awake at 5 am.

I couldn’t sleep last night and could tell I was feeling the anxiety tension build up. The tightness in my chest becomes unbearable and then the pain stabs and doesn’t let up until I’ve figured out how to calm down or take lots of medicine. All morning at work my chest felt tight and I was extremely emotional. A coworker immediately noticed and pulled me into her office to talk. She’s had angina before so she could relate and knows what’s going on with me as well. The other day she said she was amazed how calm and controlled I can look under the circumstances, but I’m really not. I feel like I’ve been cracking lately. Today was one of those days where nothing could keep it down. I went home and screamed and cried and went out for a run, which did help briefly.

I’ve got a doctor’s appointment later this week. I know I need medication for this while I’m in the thick of it and until my mom’s situation is sorted out I may be on meds for a while. I really hate taking medications and I know the line of drugs anxiety meds falls  under can be harsh on the body. Anxiety/anti-depression drugs are very easy to get addicted to and the side effects and withdrawals from them can be monstrous. I know about coming off anti-depression drugs from when I was in college, so I’ve never been keen to go back on anything like that. However, I may have to suck it up and take it now if I’m to get through a day of work or even get a decent night’s worth of sleep.

4 thoughts on “Mental health”

  1. Hi Jenker, I do think there are times when medication is helpful, particularly to get one through a difficult time. I hope you get some relief from your angina. Take care, Tania

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    1. Thank you, Tania. It’s not easy to talk about these things, especially with strangers, but there is something cathartic in simply throwing it out there. I used to be on medications and thought myself the better for kicking myself off them and trying to deal with it, but clearly my body is telling me that my mental and emotional state is really having a hard time of things so that’s why it’s reacting in this way. I have to accept that and know: ok, time to take care of this – even if just for a little while.

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  2. Jenkr! I wish there was something I could do to help. And that doesn’t help. I look at your outfits every time you put another one here.

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