Today at work was a bit rough, ran into a bit of bad anxiety, especially when I went out and weed wacked a bit… I am not even sure I know the exact definition of anxiety.
I never gave much thought to depression or anxiety, and while I was spending afternoons venting in my car and getting madder and madder over all the little things in life, I thought that was stress and anger, never thought depression or anxiety had anything to do with. I didn’t think I had anxiety until I had the physical symptoms…. which just one day I started having all this tightness in my chest and it lasted all day everyday…
That was when my quest to cure my mental problems really began… in fact not long before I started to have chest tightness is when I really started to consciously try and get my stress under control.
So, the chest tightness wouldn’t go away, and I started to think it might be from anxiety, but I wasn’t sure, but I certainly wanted to get rid of the pain, so I made an appointment at the doctor… they did an ekg or whatever because the tightness was on the left side of my chest and wanted to make sure I didn’t have a heart problem, protocol, but that didn’t show anything bad. Then, I was talking to the doctor and at first I think he was a little skeptical that I may just be after drugs or something, but when I answered his questions and told him the tightness was all day every day, his attitude seemed to change to sadness for me and wanting to help. In fact he made the first mention of doing breathing exercises to me, and I just let that go right through both ears like it was a bunch of hoopla. I figured I was getting magic pills that would make me all better all by themselves.
So, the journey to cure my anxiety was under way… and at first I felt a little better initially, but eventually the tightness and everything came back, I thought I could just take the pills and not have to change the way I was thinking… but the way I was thinking was really the problem.
I eventually decided I should do a little investigating online about how to fix anxiety and trying to figure out why I was having the physical symptoms. Which, I came across an interesting article that theorized that the reason you have pains from anxiety, is that your brain is trying to focus your attention on something else. So, instead of thinking your normal negative thoughts, you are focused on the phantom pain your brain is causing. It, is essentially forced mindfulness, part of mindfulness is focusing on something in the present moment, not thinking about the past or the future or anything else. Which, why you are focused on the pain, the brain is subconsciously figuring out how to deal with your problems you are having (which, I will get into it later, but I think your mind gives itself a bit of electric shock therapy: Part of what it does anyways).
So, I embraced this concept, and started seeing results, while I was getting somewhat worse and different sensations all over my body, my thinking was getting better. It was a rough go of it, my brain might make my face numb or feel like I was having a stroke, tightness, numbness, all sorts of things all day everyday… I even went to the emergency room a couple times to make sure there was nothing wrong, but they would just tell me it was anxiety. A problem I ran into early before I didn’t understand the physical symptom side of it, is that I thought higher doses of the medicine would get rid of the physical symptoms…. Which I was wrong, it made it worse, in fact it got to the point where is felt like my own mind was going to kill me in order to get me to stop thinking negatively… It got written off as an allergic reaction, but I think it just made my mind work too hard to fix itself to fast, I think I was getting way too much seratonin… which I have a theory of why some people may die from extasy, I would argue that they might be severely depressed and when they get too much seratonin, there mind essentially kills them to try and get them to stop thinking negatively. I mean, my mind was literally choking me to get me to stop thinking bad thoughts…
Eventually I kinda figured out what was going on and found a drug that to me, seems like an extremelly low dose ssri. I actually think the physical symptoms means your brain has plenty of seratonin, because it it trying to fix your problems. But, if you find the right dose, you can try and find the optimal to try and speed up the process but is not more than you can handle. I am prolly close to the edge with the amount I want to have. I still get the physical symptoms when my mind is trying to correct itself, and the sensations can be a little severe for my liking. My balance can even be off, or any number of different things, my brain has a whole arsenal of sensations it uses to get the reaction it wants from me. It even seems to threaten to knock me out sometimes if I don’t do what it wants. My own mind made me it’s little b*tch for quite some time (excuse my language). Still does.
I also read a couple great books about anxiety which I will mention later (think they are the 10 Best things to treat anxiety and the Miracle of Mindfulness… or something like that). But, those books were about breathing exercises, thought stopping, mindfulness, and some other useful techniques… which have changed my world… I swear by them. They say in the book that you have to treat breathing exercises like medicine and have to stick with, and much like anti depressants, you may not start experiencing the effects for a month or so. I personally started to even have side effects from breathing within a week, it was amazing. Practicing mindfulness is also such a great thing, especially when using thought stopping at the same time. They were life changing books.
One of the worst things… is that I thought I would get better way faster than I did. Your brainhas plasticity, but it takes years it would seem to really change, I have been at it for years and still getting better. And getting rid of the depression, negative thoughts and venting takes a long time, and you have lots and lots of setback, but you just have to stick to the program and keep getting back on the horse and fighting… it starts with such little changes… maybe at first you only feel better a half or an hour a day…. after a while you may start having a good day or two, and eventually a good week here and there and so on and so on… But it is a very hard battle and you have to fight tooth and nail to get better… But it canbe done.. I am living proof.
But back to where I began… today while doing that stuff my brain started making feel like in a haze, at work is where I still have a lot of anxiety and depression… which anymore a lot of times my brain is getting ahead of the game… before I even think negatively at all consciously it will start using its different techniques to divert my attention. So, I had to take a little break and do some breathing and get myself relaxed. Still have problems with physical or tedious manual work. Getting closer and closer though!