Panic, Anxiety, Alcohol………Depression??

So it has been a long time since my last blog

Does this mean that I have been Panic and Anxiety free? I would love to say yes, however that would be a lie.

I have had many episodes, all of which I have been unable to share until now but I am not going to bore you all with an anecdote from each one, however I would like to talk about a few things that I knowingly do that have a negative affect on my life living with Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

I have been prescribed medication known as Sertraline and over the years the dosage has been increased and is now at the maximum that can be taken. I have always found Sertraline to be my choice of meds, especially over my past experiences on many different Anti-Depressants. They do stabilise my mood and allow me to function during the day and also cope with the nights. The ONLY issue I have is………. remembering to take them. I hear you shout ‘how is hard to take a tablet once a day’ I totally agree however I still find myself in the trap of not taking them. 90% of the time is due to forgetting. I had originally planned on taking them daily before bed to help with my chronically poor sleeping pattern. In theory, great idea. In practise, I would climb into bed feeling absolutely shattered from previous nights poor sleep and instantly fall asleep without taking my tablet. It was a vicious circle. I was scared to take them first thing in the morning in case they caused me issues at work with drowsiness etc… again this was my imagination causing an instant barrier to a possible solution. I mentioned that this accounts to 90% of me not taking the meds, what about the 10%? Well I simply don’t take them some days because I convince myself I am cured. Yes, as absurd as that sounds, my mind would tell me that because I’m feeling good that I am cured. An error which repeatedly haunts me. Recent days have seen me taking my meds when I first wake up, this seems to be sliding nicely into a routine and I am finding no detrimental affects on my ability to function during the day. Watch this space and long may it continue.

So I am a 37 year old male with a more than decent social life with a wide circle friends. This evidently will throw up social gatherings, nights out etc… This also throws up the lure of a drink, not the soft drink kind but that of the type that seriously affects your inhibitions and functions. Now I’m not a drinker! I don’t drink at home, maybe a glass of wine per week if that!, however when I go out, I sometimes ‘binge’ drink, so I drink more than I should. Why? Well a few reasons. Firstly I spend a lot of time on my own fighting with Anxiety and Panic Attacks so the idea of being away from this and blocking it out is always hugely appealing. Secondly, I always seem to sleep a full night. I’m not going to try and sugar coat this as an excuse but I am also slightly immature when it comes to drinking and find myself thinking I am 18 again. IM DEFINATLEY NOT! So its all well and good going out, getting drunk and sleeping all night however…… The average person with a hangover will experience a bad ‘next day’, me with chronic Anxiety and Panic disorder will experience a horrific ‘next day’ Alcohol seriously affects your thought patterns and cause my imagination to go into overdrive. I am 100% guaranteed to have Anxiety attacks during the hangover period. So why go out and drink? I’m stuck in another vicious circle. Do I not socialise and cut down the attacks or socialise and live with the imminent attacks within 24 hours? Do I socialise and not drink? Why should I? I’m not an alcoholic and never will be, so do I let my disorder control me? This is an ongoing battle to find a balance.

Last thing I want to share is how I cope during my periods of Anxiety, which I’m sure is the wrong way to handle things. Basically I climb into a shell. I need to be on my own. I need my ‘safezone’ which is my home surrounded by my home comforts. However I also go off the radar. This means I ignore everyone, phone calls, messages, social media and anything where people may try and contact me. Is this the right thing to do? Probably not. BUT I have episodes of My Anxiety every other day and do not want to be constantly putting burden on other people. Is this selfish? Probably. I know there is people who are close to me who will read this and initially be angry at this statement as I know they will always be there for me no matter when or where or how I need help. I need to find the confidence to speak to those people when I need too instead of hiding behind a keyboard and publishing sporadic blogs.

But this is me and this is My Anxiety…………………..

P.S This is not Depression and hopefully will never be.