I was going along today, no bad mood, no sudden mood shifts, feeling decent…And I happened to read something on line, and BAM! Panic attack from hell set in. Pounding heart, spinning room, twisting stomach, rapid breathing…Logically, of course, I knew I was not going to die. Of course, what the experts fail to mention is that panic disorder is a big bully and won’t occupy the same room with logic. Makes it like shooting fish in a barrel.
Now, you might ask, what did I read that could evoke such a response?
In this particular case, it was about food stamp fraud. I’m not proud of the fact I get food stamps, but considering the situation I was left with and that her father hasn’t been held accountable, sucking up my own pride seems a meager price to pay for my kid’s well being. I have, to the best of my knowledge, disclosed everything to my case worker in charge of the benefit case. I think I even told her when my car got hit and I got another one. I provided her with print outs of my debit card, my car title, and the total of what all my stuff would bring if I sold it.
So why would I panic? I have been completely honest, I have done nothing wrong.
Panic says, “Screw you, logic, this is something NEW we can freak out about so we don’t get all cocky and start feeling semi happy and relaxed!”
People say if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear.
They really need to meet panic disorder.
For two years straight, I avoided anything remotely resembling news, on paper or on line, because of certain articles setting off panic attacks. Whether it makes sense or not, there it is. I have just this year gotten to where I can read on line again without needing a stay at the wacko shack. Today, it all started coming undone.
Over what? I’ve disclosed all income. Stated all assets. No one but us lives here. The donor has not been around in two years. So why would this one article set things off?
But it isn’t just this article or today. This is something that happens many times in the year’s course.
Panic and paranoia reject logic. Totally reject it.
I am driving down the street, a cop is behind me. I have my seatbelt on, all license and registration is current, car is insured, not on drugs, not drinking, not on the phone….But scumbag brain says, “Ohgodohgodohgod he is gonna pull you over!”
Walk by a group of people laughing. Enter panic. “They’re laughing at you, they are going to try kick your ass, run run run!”
I read an article today about some country that wants to assign every child there a social worker, make sure they have a fit home, et al. That got me nervous. How long before the US decides to do that? And what would these powers that be say about my housekeeping which isn’t horrid but probably isn’t up to snuff for them?
PANIC!!! “They’re gonna take your kid away!”
Article about bipolar person?
“It’s directed at you,personally, freak out, they’re a threat, freak out, ohmigodohmigod!”
So the premise that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear is utter rubbish as far as panic disorder is concerned. There is always something to fear even if nothing is to hide.
People demand logic to understand such things but this is one of those things where logic simply doesn’t apply.
I spent two years convinced I was pregnant and panicking on a daily basis, with no actual proof. No missed periods, no physical symptoms aside from weight gain, but I was just convinced. No amount of doctors appointments put me at ease. I was living in terror and constant panic. After my kid was born and I went on Depo Provera, my sanity went on vacation. There was only the distorted thought processes telling me these like “you’re pregnant” in spite of numerous negative pregnancy tests. My husband had a vasectomy, and we still used condoms, and still, my brain said PREGNANT.
I finally got that one conquered, then paranoid brain moved onto, “You’re belly is too bloated, you have cancer, you’re gonna die in the next six months!”
The natural progression of whatever happened to my brain post pregnancy hasn’t gotten any worse, but it’s not gotten any better, either. Throw panic attacks on top of rampant illogical paranoia and delusional thoughts…You get the trainwreck that is me.
I do not share any of this with those around me. They wouldn’t understand.
Maybe no one who reads this will understand, either. Perhaps I really am just insane in the membrane.
But this is my reality and talking about it makes it seem less like packing a boulder up a hill. I may look nuts or foolish or stupid but it is what it is.
I see the shrink tomorrow. I want to tell her everything is hunky dory. The worst part was the monthly thing, it’s done, I feel fine. I’ve never really confided the worst of the distorted thoughts to her because she insists I am not paranoid and does not find panic disorder to be all that crippling. So I focus on the bipolar, because it seems to be the only thing she focuses on.
Maybe I will go back to Lithium.
Maybe it will help. Maybe it won’t.
My life is a lot of maybes, except when it comes to panic disorder.
That particular facet is constant and it is insane.