Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Panic Disorder

Today I would like to talk about panic disorder.

I have it.
At one point in my life it literally consumed my entire world.
I could not get a hold of it and I would spend a great deal of time in utter and complete panic.
I don't consider myself an unreasonable person......well no more unreasonable than most.
But during those dark panic stricken days/months I was completely engulfed in unreasonable thoughts.
I am lucky enough to be a person who does not take themselves too seriously.
I love to laugh at myself and I don't think there is any shame in being different.
It is because of my sense of humor that I survived this terrible time.
While gripped in the panic I would be fearful, sad and dare I say crazy.
Now don't get all high and mighty on me here if I wanna call myself crazy.....well than I will. 
Anyway.....after the panic released its grip on me I could always laugh at my behavior.
Laughter is the best medicine.
I would like to share with you some of my more awkward moments.....feel free to laugh!

I stopped eating because I thought food was getting stuck in my throat.
Everyday at lunch I would chew my food until it was practically disolved and then slowly swallow.
I would then grab onto my sister's arm.....she works with me.....and she would say your fine.
This didn't help I would end up drinking so much water to force down my food that I wouldn't be able to eat any more.
I actually thought an M&M was stuck in my throat one day at work and made someone look down my throat with a flashlight to see if they could see it.
I am not kidding....this really happened.

I had been brought into the local emergency room so many times that the ER Doctor opened the curtain looked at me and said..."Jennifer you really need to get another hobby"

One day while driving home from work I thought I was having a stroke.
I made a quick turn into the nearest firehouse parking lot and blared my car horn.
Firemen came rushing out saw me and threw my door open.
I told them that I was having a stroke.
They called an ambulance while checking my vitals.
They asked if I was taking any medication.
I told them yes in fact I take medication for panic disorder.
they cancelled the ambulance and I had to call my brother to come and pick me up.

Those are just a few of my greatest hits.
I know this is a serious subject and trust me I feel awful for putting my children through my drama.
But I can not help but laugh at myself.
If you knew me in real life you would know that I don't embarrass easy.
I am not one to shy away from attention or shrink from an awkward situation.
Usually I try to make a joke out of it....the old laugh with them so they won't laugh at you philosophy
 I guess.
This philosophy is what got me through that terrible time.

I still suffer from panic.
If I get overly hot or get put under extreme stress I will have an attack.
I am not one for medication but I do have a small supply of Xanax which I keep with me.....just in case.
Sometimes just taking that bottle out and holding it in my hand helps. Because I know if I can't get my breathing controlled or relax my thoughts I can just take a half of one of those lovely little pills and I will get relief.
As part of the panic I also am a hypochondriac
If you have something well then I am definitely going to get it.
If I read about something or see it on TV.....yeah I have that.
If I have to take medicine for anything.....a cold or pain or whatever.
My husband removes the side effects warnings because.....you guessed it I will have those side effects.

This is as much a part of who I am as my love of reading and writing is.
I am not ashamed in fact I like being a little crazy!

Have a Terrific Tuesday!


Anonymous said...

When you have your next panic attack just say "serenity now". It really helps.

Andrew Leon said...

Writers are supposed to have something... of about them. At least yours is something you can take meds for. As far as I know, they haven't come up with anything for a huge ego yet.

Unknown said...

I have it, too. I had some pretty rough times, I'm not sure I'm ready to laugh about them yet, though I agree with you about laughter being the best medicine. You should talk to my daughter, it's the food in the throat thing w/ her, too.
I used to be a total hypochondriac, just like that. I remember once I watched a movie about the Plague coming back. A week later I got a cold. I was convinced it was the Plague and it didn't matter what anyone said.

It's life, people take it way too seriously some times. Great post!

Muriel said...

Poor you ! It sounds awful. I actually hate doctors, hospitals, etc..which means that I tend to play down everything in order not to call a doctor. I once had some sort of flu and passed it on to all my colleagues because I came to work. We all have our flaws. One of mine is to be a serial weeper. Nobody is perfect.

Jennifer said...

Thanks guys for making me feel like I am not the only nutty writer. And to my anonymous commenter I know who you are and we will make millions with our new app.....hahaha

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