A Moment of Weakness

I’ve mentioned a couple of times before on my blog that I have an anxiety disorder and panic attacks.  Most of the time, I can see it coming when I’m about to have one, and in many ways I’m able to stave them off until I can get home and hopefully relax, or if nothing else not let anyone else see what happens. Thursday night, I had one and I wasn’t able to hide it until I got home.  To quote the show Scrubs, it was a moment of weakness and not one that people are supposed to see.

The part I referred to starts about 1:50 into the video.

I’m not going to get into the details of what happened that night, but I am going to do a bit of an analysis of myself.  Talking about it to another person, and having them listen and ask questions really led me to analyze it a lot more than I have in the past.  And basically, here’s what I’ve come up with.

While I’ve been able in recent years (after studying Psychology) to identify that what I’m having is a Panic Attack, thinking about it more I realize that I’ve had them at least since high school, and possibly before that, but there aren’t any that I can think of before then.

I’ve said before that I could probably be diagnosed with Paranoid Personality Disorder and Panic Attacks.  But more accurately, I should probably be diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder.  Here’s the problem with an anxiety disorder.  You start to feel anxious about something, and you start to worry that you may have a panic attack, this causes you to feel more anxious and more likely to have one.  When the spiral starts, it’s very difficult to stop.  Sometimes I can, and sometimes the best I can do is delay it so that I don’t explode in public.

Part of the problem, and part of the ongoing process for me, is to learn what my triggers are.  There are some things that I know will trigger my anxiety, but then there are times when I can’t explain what happened.  Two of the more common things which trigger it for me are counting things and making sure that doors are locked.  It’s strange because there are times when it doesn’t bother me at all, and then there are times when I can just walk away, but then there are times when it just won’t leave me alone.

General Anxiety for me, leads to other problems.  At times it leads to Paranoia, Obsessive Behaviors, and Agoraphobia.  This is a large part of the problem with many Psychological Disorders, one can lead to others and the rate of co-morbidity is extremely high.

Lastly, here is the reason why it’s so hard to talk about.  This is a problem that I have to deal with, it’s rare that someone would be able to help me with it, and I often don’t want to talk about it because I don’t want anyone to treat me differently because they know about it.  Because I know about what I’m dealing with, I would say that 99% of the time I’m able to function perfectly normal in society.  And of those few times when it does bother me, I’m often able to adjust what I’m doing or how I’m thinking and get through the day.

So while having a breakdown in public was a moment of weakness that people aren’t supposed to see, I’m going to try and find the positive.  Maybe the willingness to talk about what’s happening and the willingness to publish this post is a moment of strength.  I’ll always be dealing with this, and hopefully it will get easier as time goes on.

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2 Comments

  1. Congratulations on finding the courage to post it here in a public forum. And the Scrub clip makes such an attack real in a way that words alone would have a hard time doing.

    Reply
    • Thank you as always for your kind words.

      I love Scrubs, I’ve argued that it’s the best TV show that’s been on for quite some time, arguably the best show on TV since M*A*S*H. It’s rare that a show can be funny for 2/3 of the episode and then immediately switch gears and flip around and have something as poignant as that scene come up.

      Reply

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