Monday, May 07, 2007

Unhinged Duckling

Well it's official. I've gone a little nuts. As in "on meds" nuts.

Professionals don't call it "nuts" of course. I'm experiencing an anxiety disorder.

I guess it was earlier this year when I first started to notice that my brain was going a bit wiggy. Normal, innocuous things would give me a momentary panic. For example, my "you have a new email" message would pop up while I was working, and I'd get a surge of adrenaline as if someone had jumped out at me with a knife. But, I wouldn't actually feel emotionally frightened. I would wonder, "WTF, body? Calm down. It's just an email." Over time, these strange startles would happen more often, and it would take longer and longer for me to calm back down.

In the last couple of months I started waking up early in the morning, an hour or two before my alarm would go off. While I was lying there, trying to go back to sleep, random thoughts would occur to me, such as, "I should probably water the plants today." And that would be all it would take to panic me. I would get a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach, and my heart would start to beat faster, as if I just realized that my neglect of watering the plants would have terrible consequences. Every little thought that popped in my head would cause this reaction until it felt like being shocked over and over by electricity. My arms and legs would be tingling with adrenaline by the point it was time to get out of bed.

In more recent weeks, I have been walking around with an almost constant sense of worry and dread. The simplest tasks at work seemed completely daunting, so I started avoiding them. I was taking random sick days and spending too much time surfing the internet instead of facing what needed to be done. Of course, that just made me fall farther behind and heightened my stress. All I wanted to do was hide. I was starting to lose my ability to function.

My regular yearly check up was last week, and I discovered I have one of the best doctors in the world. I'm swathed in a paper gown, and she comes in and asks how I've been doing. I told her, "...well, I've been better." I was so reluctant to bring up this big issue about how I'm crazy and all when I was just supposed to be having a check up, but she sat right down in a chair across from me and said, "Let's talk." Relief just washed over me as I finally said out loud what a hard time I'd been having, and she told me how common this issue is and that she could definitely help me feel better.

So, hopefully some drugs and a shrink will do the trick and I can go back to feeling like a normal person again instead of a paranoid tweeked-out spaz.


Laurentina said...

Big kudos on opening up to the doc. That's really brave and wonderful thing. Best of luck!

SerenitySprings said...

This sounds a lot like what I went through before I was diagnosed with OCD. If you ever want to talk, just let me know.