|An apology/explanation, and some helpful hints...
||[Nov. 22nd, 2003|02:50 am]
I'm sure many of you who interact with me in person have noticed me being less social, more testy, and overall, just less of a person than I normally am. There's a reason for this:
My panic attacks are back.
Having no health insurance, and not enough money to pay for the Zoloft myself (man, I need a new job...), I've been relying on a friend who's a doctor to get samples for me. Unfortunately, her co-worker/boss has been taking all of the Zoloft samples recently, and so I've run out, and am back to how I was before going on medication. Way before. I'm in a near constant state of anxiety, and having full blown attacks at least once a day. It's a vicious cycle, where I'll notice some small issue with my body (say, my stomach bothering me), and I convince myself that it's a major problem, and I'm going to die. So, I start to panic. Well, one of the symptoms of a panic attack is nausea/stomach distress, so it gets worse, and that convinces me all the more and they just feed off of each other. The attacks have been keeping me up at night, so I'm not getting as much sleep, which makes me more sensitive to any problems I have, which makes panic attacks more likely, which means I get less sleep...Whee.
Now, I know some of you may read this and want to sympathize/empathize with me, or express some other form of condolences or pity for my condition. I ask that, especially in person, you don't. I've found from experience that talking about my panic attacks when I'm in this kind of position just makes things worse. So, here's some dos and don'ts to help me out:
- Don't constantly ask me how I feel, especially if it looks like the answer will be anything other than "Great!" Focusing on my body too much is how these attacks are caused, so I don't want someone to ask me to assess my current condition, because that will make me focus on my body.
- If I appear to be having an attack, don't ask if I am, and don't put a consoling arm on my shoulder/back/whatever body part happens to be convenient. All that does is make me feel that my condition is obvious to everyone, which means that it's even worse than I thought.
- Dowhat you can to get my mind off of things. Try to chat with me about something that makes me think about things. The best time recently for me was when I called Seth to talk to his roommate, Renee about Pages' Feaste (an AOKP event), and ended up chatting with Seth for half an hour or more about various AOKP issues and storylines.
- If you read this, and do any of the "Don'ts" as a joke, do expect to get punched in the face. This is a serious issue for me, and I will not find any humor in using this as something to mock me about right now. Once I get back on medication, that will probably change. I'm usually pretty open about jokes being made at my expense, but jokes on this subject are crossing a line between poking fun and just being mean...