For those of us suffering from Depression and Anxiety life can seem pretty lonely. For me it was a nightmare, the more it progressed the lonelier I felt and the lonelier I felt the more depressed and anxious I became. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy if you will. First of all, you have to take into account that I had no clue what was going on. I had no knowledge whatsoever when it came to depression and anxiety so when things started to happen I actually believed I was sick or even worse, I thought I was dying.
I had had periods of depression and anxiety as a kid and teenager but for me things really began to spiral out of control after I had my first panic attack at the age of 26. Can you remember yours? I can remember being at home on a Saturday evening watching a movie when all of a sudden my heart began racing, my hands were sweating and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Though I was in great shape at the time from years of working out, I began to freak out. I thought I was having a heart attack. I went for a walk to get some fresh air hoping that would help. After an hour or so I began to feel better but by then it was too late, the damage had been done. From that day forward I became obsessed with how I felt. The following day I went to work but I could not focus on anything other than my physical symptoms. I began to have chest pains and shortness of breath; again, I felt something was seriously wrong.
I decided to leave work early and head to the emergency room. In hindsight I’m not even sure how I was able to drive myself to the hospital in the panicked state I was in. Upon arriving they checked all my vitals, conducted a full blood workup as well as an EKG (Electrocardiogram). The doctors were not able to find anything wrong with me, this in turn only frustrated me more. I kept thinking that they must have missed something. There was no way I could feel this bad and be perfectly fine. It just didn’t make any sense.
Things didn’t get much better after I left the hospital. I made at least two more trips to the emergency room as wells as a visit to my family doctor in the next 10 days following my first episode. They never did find anything wrong with me but were all quick to tell me that I needed to just relax, “I was much too young to be so obsessed with feeling sick”. None of them however, diagnosed me with anxiety disorder at that point. The fact that they couldn’t come to any conclusion only left me feeling more Isolated and hopeless.
Maybe if I had someone close to me at the time that had dealt with this before and could provide some direction I probably could have lessened the degree to which my symptoms progressed. This is why it’s so important that we all come together as a community and support each other. By being there we can potentially spare someone else years of pain and suffering.
I created this forum so others can share their stories and have a community to turn to. I would love for you to share your stories, thoughts and opinions. I welcome your comments.