Friday, 16 May 2014

My Life with Anxiety

I was diagnosed with anxiety alongside depression about 3 years ago when I lost my job through injury. I was low in mood, found it hard to concentrate on anything as well start getting panic attacks when I wanted to leave the house. I was constantly worrying about money, our home, not being able to find work and this get escalated anything that would of been small into a huge deal to me.

In the end I realised I was sabotage myself in an endless cycle - I was applying for jobs, getting an interview but be so nervous I'd either completely fail it or cancel and never re-arrange. It affected my marriage and my relationship with my friends, in the end I felt I was on a downward slope and wanted a hand before it was too late.

I first of all went to my doctors, spoke about my thoughts and feelings as well as what I wanted going forward. I was set against medication as a first choice, I wanted to try other avenues before going down that road. I referred to NHS Health Minds where I was put on a computer based CBT course as well as regular contact with a counsellor over the phone. Through another charity called Blurt ( I also got a email mentor that I can email whenever I need to.

I started getting really bad migraines this time last year, the worst was losing my memory and being rushed into hospital with a suspected stroke. I started getting them everyday and went instantly to my doctor who gave me  Propranolol beta blockers, which I found out later are also prescribed to treat anxiety too.

The next biggest anxiety milestone was when I found out I was pregnant, not only it was a joyous time but like any new mum I was anxious that I would be a good enough mum for my little one. As my maternity notes had that I had had a history of mental illness I was kept an eye on and always asked how I was coping. I also had a mental health assessment after birth to assess for PND (Post Natal Depression) as I was at higher risk.

I was told however that I was taking motherhood in my stride and in some cases I was told I looked like I had been doing it for years. This did not mean I did not get episodes, there were times where I would cry as I didn't know what was wrong with Beth. I do need reassurance like any new mum, I had to stop my beta blockers when I found out I was pregnant but have now returned back on them. They do help with the migraines and have noticed that my anxiety symptoms are less, however the side effects of nightmares and insomnia will be something I hope can decrease as I take them.

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