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Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

My Dark Night

Posted 05-09-2012 at 12:53 PM by KatieGal


I had a dark night last night, and it just wasnít because the sun was down. I had a pretty good anxiety attack right in the middle of the night. In the last seven years Iíve had close to a hundred anxiety attacks of various lengths and intensities. They usually hit in the night but sometimes they come to visit in the light of day. I remember the first one I had. Like all anxiety attacks, it was as though I were awake in a nightmare. But I didnít know what was going on. I was new to anxiety disorders, consequently the first attack was especially frightening.

Now I know what they are. I know to talk my way through them and wait them out because I know they will eventually pass. The one last night was about a fifteen minute attack of moderate intensity. It was about average, as attacks go. If the attack is in the dead of night and Iím at my apartment, I turn on all the lights and walk around. Sometimes turning on the TV helps, sometimes it doesnít. If someone is with me, asleep in bed, and itís a 2 AM attack, they likely will not know I had an attack until I tell them the next morning. Thereís no wailing or crying-out. And thereís really not much anyone can do for me. I just crawl out of bed and deal with it. Itís an internal storm I have to navigate on my own.


Iíve been told I have a glitch in my brain that causes anxiety problems. A few years ago the same basic disorder made it impossible for me to drive a car. In fact, just being a passenger was traumatic. I had trouble with heights. I could not go anywhere near the edge of a balcony. Simply looking down a staircase was terrifying. These problems were the anxiety disorder in more of an obsessive-compulsive presentation. Except for the anxiety attacks, cognitive therapy has allowed my life to return to normal. Driving can still be difficult from time to time, but I can do it. I recently made the mistake of riding a chairlift. It did not go well. There are some other things that are a nuisance.


My anxiety disorder is very similar to clinical depression. Depression and anxiety disorders are at opposite ends of the same spectrum. Most of the same medications can be used for both. Occasionally people have said to me, ďYouíre young and healthy. You shouldnít have anxiety problems. What do you have to worry about?Ē I suppose itís a perfectly natural, albeit naÔve viewpoint. But I know the person simply doesnít ďget itĒ, and explanations are often futileÖ often, but not always.
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    I hope that you get the right medication, and that it helps you eventually.

    I know what anxiety attacks are, and they can be devestating at times, especially when you take meds that warn you of suicides as I do...

    Proper medication and the right Doctor will fix you up real nice

    I wish you well...

    Jesse
    permalink
    Posted 05-09-2012 at 02:15 PM by woodworkingmenace woodworkingmenace is offline
 

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