Thursday, September 24, 2015

Anxiety.

I've always been an anxious person.  I can remember having anxiety attacks as early as middle school- although at the time I didn't know what they were.  As I got older I had them less frequently but they did happen from time to time during stressful situations like when my mom was sick or any time I've traveled.

Through all of those years I had never been on a daily medication or antidepressant for anxiety.  I had a prescription for Ativan to use as needed.  And I only took it when I was having a panic attack. 

I didn't have much anxiety after the initial hormone craziness when Emily was born.  I managed to stay pretty calm but I did have issues if I didn't sleep well.

Then I had Gavin and shit hit the fan so to speak.  I had PPD from his birth and surgery.  I was put on three different medications- 1 for sleep, 1 for anxiety and 1 for depression.  I had a horrific month of trying to get my body used to being on these drugs and I spent most of my days in bed, away from my kids feeling like a totally different person.

After about 6 months I was weaned off of the sleep medication and that went well.  Then I started using less of my anti-anxiety medication and everything was good.  I stayed on my antidepressant for over a year and then felt like I didn't need it anymore.  I talked to my doctor and we started the weaning process.  I've been off the antidepressant since March and I feel fine....most of the time.

My biggest issue- and this has been an issue since having kids- is PMS.  I'm talking the worst PMS I have ever had.  It starts after I ovulate and continues until I get my period and then poof I'm back to normal.

During this two week period I don't recognize myself.  I have zero patience, I am irritable, angry, just the biggest bitch- and I can't control it.  I yell at Steve & the kids for the smallest things.  I don't sleep well and I get anxious very easily, especially at night. 

Ten days ago I had a panic attack when I woke up on Sunday.  It was during PMS time and I didn't sleep well so I didn't think much of it.  I got myself through it with a phone call to my sister, a phone call to my aunt, a walk and a nap with the kids.  After the nap I felt pretty much back to normal.  Then it happened again the next day and every day since then.  It is awful & so debilitating.  I can't do anything.  I can't go to work and I can't take care of my kids.  Mornings are by far my worst time and by afternoon I can usually start being around the kids and doing things around the house.

Last Sunday it was so bad that I called the doctor that originally prescribed my antidepressant and I had his answering service page him.  He called me in a prescription for a different anti-depressant and I've been taking it since.  But the antidepressant isn't a "quick fix" at all.  It makes me tired, nauseous, irritable and I have a dull headache all day every day.

I met with a functional medicine doctor this week and I am hoping that she can find the root cause of my anxiety and PMS issues because I have a strong feeling that they are related.  After spending two hours with me asking questions and doing an exam, she feels there could be a number of hormone/dietary/supplement deficiencies that could be contributing to my problems.  She has ordered a lot of tests and she's checking for a multitude of things.  I've also started therapy and I've been to acupuncture a couple of times.

I just have such a huge feeling of guilt that this is happening.  I feel guilty that my kids schedule has changed and they can't stay home with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I feel guilty that my husband is taking on the extra stress of everything I do on top of his own work and school. I feel guilty that we are spending extra money on doctors and tests.  There is just so much guilt.

I've gone back and forth about posting this but I've decided I need to get it out and get it off my chest.    And maybe one of you out there has been through the same thing and has a suggestion that will help me.


5 comments:

  1. Hugs. I can't imagine how difficult this isnfor you to write, and most importantly experience. I think you are so brave and strong, and the steps that you are taking to get help ate really great. Keep blogging and talking about this. Text me. You know I am here for you. I'll text you tomorrow, girl. Love you. Hang in there!

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  2. Oh Bridget, I'm so sorry you're going through this. I do believe there is something out there that will help you. Don't have first hand experience, but crazy hormones can wreck havoc in lots of ways. And don't worry about spending money on getting yourself better - for goodness sakes you didn't choose this!! Good to hear you're doing acupuncture. I went weekly for years while going through infertility - I do believe it has a place in balancing our bodies. Hang in there and keep trying different things until you find what works!

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  3. Oh Bridget, I am so so sorry to hear you are going through this. I know it must have been hard to write but I am glad you did because we are here for you in anyway we possibly can be, even if that is just listening. I actually opened this as soon as I saw it in my feed because I spent hours last night 'googling' about anxiety at night which is something I am currently struggling with (with no solution at this time). I wish I had some good advice or way to fix this for you, but I know that everything you are doing will help and none of it is anything you should feel guilty about. You are surrounded by an amazing family who love and care about you and your health so much and just want you to feel better. It does sound as if the PMS and recent anxiety attacks are probably related so I hope they are able to figure out something that helps with both. Oh Bridget, big big hugs. Let me know if there is ever anything I can do at all. xo

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  4. Gah - pretty lady, I'm SO sorry you're going through this. I'm glad you decided to write, b/c whenever I'm in a low or dark place, writing helps and it reminds you how much you are loved.

    I don't have any answers, but I do support you. I understand guilt - mommy guilt, wife guilt...all guilt sucks.

    Take care of yourself and the rest will come.

    HUGS from Buffalo!

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  5. No big advice here, but I'm super glad you're strong enough to know it's time to ask for help. Don't worry about the money (easier said than done I know) - it's 100% worth it for your quality of life and quality of parenting if you can get things leveled out and back on track. Best of luck to you.... ((HUGS))

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