Sunday, October 19, 2008

This blog is probably not going to be funny.

So avert your eyes if you don't want a peek into debbie downer's diary.

As some of you know, I've been wrestling with anxiety and depression since high school. When I do tell people, I usually apologize. Not everyone can handle getting the "D-bomb" dropped on them. I choose carefully who I let in on that little secret of mine, as some people think that anti-depressants turn you into a crazy person. My counter attack? Two words, Tom Cruise.

Anyway. Every couple of years we have to switch the medication up because my body builds up a tolerance to it, and it slowly stops working. For some reason, this year I've already switched meds 3 times. It's been kind of, nay extremely frustrating. When I start taking new meds, I'm usually a wreck for the first week, and then I gradually begin to feel like my old self again as my brain sorts out the new chemicals.

As much as I've willed it lately, my new meds just are not doing it for me. So on Sept. 25th when I had a check up my doc wanted me to try out some new meds, because I was obviously suffering physically from the anxiety overload.

When you have an anxiety disorder, your body can sometimes be running in full on panic mode all of the time. Its like the story where the neighbor see's the guy across the street working on his car, and for some reason the jack slips and the car falls on top of him. The neighbor runs over, and manages somehow to lift the car off the ground all by himself so that his neighbor can escape. During the nano-seconds before reacting, the neighbor's body goes into fight or flight mode. His breathing and heart beat speed up, his muscles tense, and all non-immediate survival functions in his body quit what they're doing so that he can use his muscles in their fullest capacity. Usually, the fight or flight chemicals are only supposed to be released when you're in physical danger. But, they can be released when you're really stressed out. That's why my body freaks out when my meds aren't working. I have a chemical imbalance that induces stress. So my body is always in this sort of fight-or-flight limbo. It interprets my stress as something threatening in the environment, and it adapts accordingly. My hair stops growing. I have trouble getting to sleep. My digestion comes pretty close to a standstill, and I lose my appetite. All these non-immediate survival functions get the signal to cut it out because there's something else I should be worried about. After a while, naturally, in this state of stress I just become completely exhuasted. My body knows its tired, but it doesn't know that I'm not in danger, so persists in survival mode. It can last for a couple days or a couple weeks.

When I'm that exhausted, it leads to depression. There are things I know I should be doing, but I just physically can not do them because hello. For the last some-odd days I haven't been eating enough or getting enough restful sleep to even do day-to-day activities. All you can do is just sit there and breathe because your body thinks you're constantly in danger and has burned itself out. And it pisses me right off, but I'm too mortally tired to do anything about it.

Thank heavens for modern medicine. Most of the time, when I'm taking the right meds it puts my anxiety trigger back into check. Sure, my palms get sweaty before a test and I get stressed out when I have a big paper due, but that is healthy stress. That's the kind of stress that motivates me to get going, because I know that after the test I'll feel better, and after the paper is turned in I'll have a huge burden lifted from me. Stress is a normal part of life. I love normal stress. Its the monstrosity of an anxiety disorder that ruins my day.

So hopefully this explains why I've sort of disappeared off the face of the planet lately. Most weekends I go to Kaysville to hang out with my fam, and most days I can make it to my classes but then don't have any energy to do anything else. I'm not avoiding you, I don't hate you, I'm just doing the best I can until my darned brain stops imagining a car is about to fall on me.

1 comment:

  1. "I choose carefully who I let in on that little secret of mine, as some people think that anti-depressants turn you into a crazy person. My counter attack? Two words, Tom Cruise."

    Ahahahahahahahaaa. For Reals. The D-bomb is scarier than the F-bomb to most people.