When General Anxiety, PTSD, and Social Anxiety Collide

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Trixie

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#1
As if I wasn't stressed enough about everything else going on and specifically about the doctor's appointment I had this afternoon (oh, yesterday, now; it's after midnight), my car wouldn't start when I got in my car to leave for that appointment! Thankfully, the ex-boyfriend was still home; so he checked it out and gave me a jump-start since, for whatever reason, my battery was dead. Also, thankfully, I still made it to my appointment on time.

Anxiety is a holy terror. The combination of general anxiety over my car and PTSD anxiety with regard to the "female exam" pushed me over the edge.

By the time the woman at the intake window called my number, I couldn't think straight. Her questions sent me into a full-blown panic attack! Hyperventilating, tunnel vision, heart racing, panic to flee, dizziness, actually answering the voices in my head out loud (!) with, "We need to get out of here!," and somewhat lashing out (verbally) at the poor woman behind the glass who now was staring at me with confusion and impatience, telling me she just needed a rough estimate of how much financial support the ex-boyfriend gives me since I live with him.

Deep breaths... focusing everything I had in me on a kind of salt-rock-lamp thing on a partition behind her, hoping I wouldn't pass out, she finally sent me through the doors to another waiting area to fill out paperwork while waiting on a nurse to take my weight and BP. The nurse checked my BP twice, in both arms, because it was so high. The doctor checked it a third time before I left. I'm so glad that exam is done and over with. I have to go back next week for a fasting blood draw which is almost as bad, but I'm more mortified over my behavior than anything.

Why am I such a freakin' basket case?!
 

Petal

~*Mod Extraordinaire*~
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#2
You are NOT a basket case. Anxiety is an illness just like diabetes or pneumonia,....an ILLNESS.

Say you are sorry if you confused them or upset them but explain to them how it was an anxiety attack that you had very little control over. I hope your appointment goes well but remember you are normal, you're not insane you just have an illness and reacted badly to the panic attack as most people who suffer from them do, do. I hope it goes well and bear in mind you need this female exam, its very important and has to be done. You can do this. We've got your back :)
 

Trixie

Well-Known Member
#3
You are NOT a basket case. Anxiety is an illness just like diabetes or pneumonia,....an ILLNESS.

Say you are sorry if you confused them or upset them but explain to them how it was an anxiety attack that you had very little control over. I hope your appointment goes well but remember you are normal, you're not insane you just have an illness and reacted badly to the panic attack as most people who suffer from them do, do. I hope it goes well and bear in mind you need this female exam, its very important and has to be done. You can do this. We've got your back :)
The exam, thankfully, is done and over with. I do have to go back for the blood work next week, and I will go back. I knew I was feeling overwhelmed before I even left the house. Every time I go for a doctor's appointment, I feel severely anxious. That's nothing new. The fact that words completely fail me in that state and that I pretty much lost control in a very public setting really bothers me, though. It's so frustrating when that happens and makes me feel like such a bad person.

I really struggle to accept that this is an "illness," not some character flaw or personal weakness. I've had my ex-boyfriend telling me for the last 11 years (and so many other people, as well; particularly the 12 Step Program seriously reinforced that belief) that I just need to get over it and move on, deal with my problems, invalidating the very real struggle to maintain my mental health. I could seriously kick my own butt for allowing him to convince me to leave treatment back in 2008 because the repercussions of leaving treatment cost me the only source of reliable income and emotional support I've ever had. Even now that I've sought help again, he tells me, "What's that going to do? That's not doing anything about your problems." Lately I've been thinking, this whole relationship has been kind of like Stockholm Syndrome. I'm experiencing so much confusion right now about everything going on in my life.
 

Human Ex Machinae

Void Where Prohibited
#4
As if I wasn't stressed enough about everything else going on and specifically about the doctor's appointment I had this afternoon (oh, yesterday, now; it's after midnight), my car wouldn't start when I got in my car to leave for that appointment! Thankfully, the ex-boyfriend was still home; so he checked it out and gave me a jump-start
Damn. He might be the dumbest piece of crap who ever reared up on two legs, but I would give my eyeteeth to be able to fix a car like that.
 
#5
Anxiety is a holy terror...Why am I such a freakin' basket case?!
You are NOT a basket case. Anxiety is an illness just like diabetes or pneumonia,....an ILLNESS.
And no wonder it terrorizes saints and sinners alike; given anxiety is really fear—fear that goes on and on, instead of abating when the fireworks are over, as normal episodes of fear do. And yes, if persistent, or present without a good reason (e.g. I get an eviction notice from the landlord, say), it is the symptom of an illness, an illness in which those jabbering neurons in your amygdala intone in unison, “Immediate Threat! Threat! Immediate Threat!” alongside the klaxon and the flashing red lights—yet there’s no threat, or such danger as might reside in the situation is greatly overestimated. Physicians can measure the cortisol flooding from your adrenal cortices as the brain instructs them, and your body, to prepare for self-defense.

Every whisker in our being is primed for action, yet it’s like gunning the accelerator at a traffic light with the brakes on. Enough of that grinding and a body will give up its ghost. We live in a world of abstract stressors for which fight-flight responses aren’t too adequate in the first place, plus we got Mack Jack dialing the tension up to max on every little niggling source of worry.

Doctors and psychologists are developing a better knowledge of anxiety so they can treat it effectively. I hope you do avail yourself of such resources. You deserve the best life has on offer. ;)
 
#6
... the 12 Step Program seriously reinforced that belief...
One other thing. Twelve-step fellowships, by tradition, consider psychiatric care an outside issue they neither endorse nor oppose. If someone in the rooms is leaving you the impression it is wrong to make use of therapy, either in lieu of, or as adjunct to, attending a group, then I am afraid they must be mistaken. Perhaps they do not need additional therapy outside the group, but many do. Most mental health practitioners, in turn, support a client’s decision to join a 12-step group. They complement one another—groups cannot provide treatment, but they offer support from friends between treatments. :)
 
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