So, I’ve just finished reading a booklet on Panic. It was very interesting and insightful and has given me a lot to think about.

If I can start to apply some of the strategies, that would be beneficial.

It pretty much explained quite well why we Panic and what causes Panic Attacks. It’s like the acronym for FEAR.

F- False
E- Expectations
A- Appearing
R- Real

If that makes sense. So what is happening with panic is, it’s like we have an alarm and alarms are generally good, but it’s like we have a somewhat faulty or over-sensitive alarm. Think of a smoke alarm, that goes off from the slightest smoke or a car alarm, that goes off due to the wind or a house alarm being set off by the cat.

None of these things are a threat, but these alarms are perceiving them as threats. It’s a bit like that with our anxiety and panic. We’ve got a faulty/over-sensitive alarm system. Where we perceive threats which aren’t really there. Which can be due to many things, like stress, some medical conditions, trauma, or unresolved issues.

Our panic attacks can come about either out of the blue or as a response to the above factors.

So, what we have to do is learn/practice strategies to lessen our anxiety or panic and gradually, our mind and body will come to understand over time, there is no threat.

We have to teach ourselves/prove to ourselves that nothing bad is going to happen or does ever happen as a result. That is where, out fear, anxiety and panic come from. Us perceiving there is a threat to our lives or safety or that of those around us.

The reason for our panicked state is a natural reaction to perceived threat. Fear is there to protect us and gear our bodies to ‘fight or flight’. It’s just with those of us with anxiety and panic attacks, we are on high alert much of the time and our body is geared to respond appropriately to the perceived threat. Which for us, is generally not a threat at all. No wonder we get fatigued as a result of anxiety and/or panic. As our body is working over time!

The booklet outlined a few techniques. Such as: breathing, distraction, challenging/questioning your fearful thoughts and proving to yourself or reminding yourself of the fact that nothing bad ever happened as a result of your panic. Such as, you are still here, still alive, still standing and you didn’t faint, choke or have a heart attack, which are a few things you might fear happening as a result of your panicked state.

Anyway, today I went to Compass Health in town for an assessment. It was 1 hour long. Had a really long, thorough chat to the lady there. She asked lots of in-depth and thorough questions, which was good. Explained a few things about anxiety and how it drains us quite a lot. And did a K10 assessment(well I think that’s what it’s called anyway) and the results were: mild to moderate depression and moderate to severe anxiety. Not all that surprising. But thing is, I do actually feel good after having that appointment and reading the booklet on Panic. Has cleared and explained a few things to me.

So, I’m back on antidepressants. I was put on Escitalopram(loxalate) 10mgs. I was given anti-nausea tablets to counteract the nausea. Though in saying that, though the nausea is less, it’s still quite severe. I have been struggling with trying not to throw up each morning. These antidepressants are making me feel somewhat like a Zombie. They seem to be very sedative. And I have now learnt the difference between fatigue and sedate. Fatigue I can handle and I almost in comparison to feeling sedate, say fatigue seems like energetic to me, compared to my current state.

So I have gone from being anxious and depressed and fatigued. To feeling sedated, depressed at feeling sedated, still anxious, horrible nausea and my sleep is terrible! I have gone from sleeping through the night before I started on them, to now waking up to 6 times during the night and morning. And I just feel tired ALL DAY! As in, even if I nap, I still feel tired and I can barely even nap. I feel like resting or sitting or laying down all the time and I can’t get a good sleep at all!

I was curious as to why I stopped taking Escitalopram the last time. So I read my initial blog posts from when I started blogging. And it seems, even after 3 months of being on this one, the side effects were still a big issue and didn’t go away at all. As generally, they are supposed to last 2-3 weeks. Not 3+ months. So I am now thinking, though Venlafaxine(Effexor) made me nauseous and fatigued, they have nothing on these crappy side effects I am currently experiencing.

The reason I wanted to get back on to antidepressants is due to the severe anxiety I have with driving and motorways and heavy traffic. As I need to go up to Otaki to see my older daughter Sophie, who is up there at camp. And my fear or driving all that way was making me highly anxious and panicky. So I thought, right, get back on antidepressants and I should be sorted to calmly drive up there. But now, I am so sedated most of the day, I do not even feel safe driving on the motorway for any longer then 10 minutes. As I feel not quite with it and my reactions are slowed. Therefore, I have decided, at least for the short term, to stop taking them. As I can not be a danger on the road, to myself or anyone else and I need to be able to focus and be alert, to drive for nearly 2 hours up there and then back.

My doctor and the lady from Compass Health, have both put a recommendation through for me to be assessed by a Psychiatrist, so I can find a better antidepressant for me. And they have both recommended seeing a Counsellor or Psychologist who deals in CBT(Cognative Behaviour Therapy) and DBT(Dialectical Behaviour Therapy). Which are both proven to be great techniques for people suffering with Anxiety Disorders.

Feeling good about that plan. As I have a lot of respect for CBT based therapy.

On the subject of all these things. I felt very good about one of my answers on that K10 assessment. Which was to the questions: “how often do you feel worthless?” and I responded “not at all”. So that makes it clear to me, a lot of my issues are just my brain and the way it’s wired. As it’s clearly not my attitude or self talk or any kind of negative self image.

I was also quite happy to hear from the lady who assessed me, that she feels I am very self-aware and quite good at picking up on my warning signs, regarding my mental health. Yay me 😀

I was thinking on something else today. I was thinking, I am probably lacking the spiritual parts of me being nourished. As I’ve not been to church for a while.

I just get put off, when it’s about subjects I am not exactly obeying and then I feel guilty, as I don’t plan to obey them and therefore I stay away from church.

Anyway, that’s all from me.