Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Anxiety, My Story. Part One

If you have ever suffered from anxiety you not only should read this article from mamamia.com.au but also the comments. You are not alone and deserve living your life to it's full capacity which you can do with help. For where to go for help look at the end of this post (and future posts on this topic).

I had to comment on the post and did so as soon as I read it. Here is my comment;

Thank you mamamia for articles like this.
I have anxiety that severely impacted on my life to the point where I stopped leaving my house. I’ve always been an anxious person but after having my son it got worse. I would stay up at night having panic attacks about dying and wouldn’t go anywhere in case I got sick or someone judged me about my parenting (when I had pink hair this was rational as I was judged often).
I suffered from stomach migraines. I do get the racing heartbeat, sweating and the feeling of being faint though. The main thing is the instant stomach dropping. I then became anxious of being sick and constantly had to know where public toilets were if I needed one urgently.
Nothing helped; no matter what I told myself, no matter where we went, no matter how irrational I knew my anxiety was, I still felt anxious.
I stopped seeing friends, stopped going shopping, stopped going with my bf and son to the doctors or daycare – I stopped doing everything.
It finally got to the point where I decided I had lived with this long enough. I went to one doctor who told me I wasn’t anxious and just needed to change my diet; pretty much didn’t listen to me. I was hysterical and made my boyfriend take me to another doctor straight away. As soon as I told him my symptoms and worries he asked about medication.
I’m now on Aropax and it has changed my life dramatically. I take my son out for random trips (we sit on a bus till the last stop or go into the city to run around), take him to daycare twice a week and am socialising more than I have since I fell pregnant.
I’ve been told by many people that it is all in my mind and medication isn’t the way to go. Yes, it is all in the mind – it’s a chemical imbalance. Yes, medication isn’t always the right thing to do but as I have an obvious chemical imbalance it is right for me.

I feel the need to be more detailed here on my blog. I'll begin at what I've lived with the longest - Trichotillomania.

Since I've had hair (so from when I was a baby) I've suffered from trichotillomania (simply put; pulling hair out) or as I call it 'twirling'. Basically, if you've ever seen me playing with my hair then chances are I've been twirling - twisting my hair into little knots then pulling them out. 

I don't do it for pain, I don't feel anything when I pull and often don't realise I am pulling. To me, it's all about the knot of hair; the smaller, tighter, harder knots are way better than the big, loose, soft knots. I like the feeling of the knot between my fingers and can fiddle with them for hours.

I pull when I'm not using my hands, so that can be at any time of the day or night. Sometimes I'm aware I'm twirling and other times I'm not.

I haven't pulled since I last got my hair cut and coloured. I find if I'm totally satisfied with my hair I won't ruin it by pulling. It isn't easy. Since I recently began on medication for anxiety it has become harder to resist pulling. I've found myself twirling string, doll's hair, ribbon and even paper. If this medication wasn't so helpful in other aspects of my life, I would stop taking it as the urge to pull is so great.

To be honest (why stop now?), I think it's more a habit then anything. I've been told it's like being born with extra sensory needs. It makes sense. I can't watch a movie or TV without reading, eating or being on the internet, I can't read with my hands free (I read while holding a bookmark at the moment) and I can't eat while reading, watching TV or surfing the net. Is it any wonder why the mister thinks I have ADD?!

So this is one part of the insight to my mental health. It's not completely healthy but it's not completely ill. It's... interesting.

If you need to talk to anyone (they are there for a reason) please contact one or all of the following numbers and talk to your doctor (if you aren't satisfied, use your intuition and go elsewhere):

Remember, your mental health affects your physical health.


  1. I also commented over at Mamamia because i have suffered from social anxiety ( and depression ) in the past. After counselling, and a pyschologist and a few years on medication, i am much better now ( no meds and no doctors ), though i still have the occasional panic attack if i let myself overthink things or get too upset... brava to you for being so honest here. Its not easy!

  2. Wow no meds or doctors - how inspiring!
    I think anxiety is a lot more common than people think. It can be a horrid, debilitating disease.
    You should be so proud of yourself :)

  3. Kudos for being brave enough to step up and say not all is ok. It's such a hard thing for many people (myself included) to do.

    I suffered a similar type anxiousness during my pregnancy and found it quite hard to talk about as those around me couldn't understand where I was coming from as it's not as visible as other diseases.

    You've realised that there is a problem and that it needs to be addressed and that is the biggest step to recovery! You've got loads of love and support around you, in time the feelings of anxiousness will lessen and lessen.

    I'm sure many more will feel compelled to speak up about their problems and issues with anxiety after reading this. x

  4. Discovering ur blog through mumslounge today has been a great moment for me ... That thought of ... I'm not the only one ;) I have been writing lots lately and from getting into reading blogs so much I have decided I should be doing it to - http://whatshidinginhere.wordpress.com/ Reading your words is an inspiration to be able to be open :)

  5. How did I miss this about you.
    Ok you definitely sound like you have some social anxiety going on. Much of what you say is what I have been through.
    The Trichotillomania is something i've never heard of but realise that this is my little sister, who actually isn't so little at 23, and still sucks her thumb and twirls her hair like you said. She has even brough hair extensions and used that to try to not do it to her own hair, and can keep her knots for days sometimes.
    That makes me worry about her, knowing how turbulent my childhood was and how it as affected me, i've often not worried about her knowing that I took the brunt of the domestic abuse in order to protect her, but maybe she was still affected?

    I am glad you have what seems like a good doctor, and that you have medication that's working for you. Do you get some form of councelling as well?

    Fuck all the childhood crap that fucks us up now huh? It's so frustrating because it's not like it's something we can fix or confront, it's just, there. Happened. And we have to somehow come to peace with something that has sat for so long? Bloody hard!


Just like everyone else I LOVE comments and they make me SMILE. I'll reply as soon as I can, but please know that I appreciate and read EVERY single comment. Thanks xxx


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