I have to go to the post office today to mail some paperwork. Normally, I can weigh it at home, put on some stamps, and stick it in our mailbox. However, this package weights about 10 ounces, it’s too heavy for stamps. I really hate the post office. It’s a trigger that causes anxiety attacks. It’s always so busy and crazy. There’s a huge line every time I’ve been there. I’m hoping my husband will go to the post office for me. He’s done it before, maybe he won’t mind doing it again. He knows that it’s a trigger for me.
The post office in the town where I grew up is nothing like the post office in the city here. The longest line I ever stood in at my hometown post office was 2 people. There are a lot of benefits of living in a small town, right now I miss that.
I went to another Coyotes game last night with my husband. We actually left early. He was in so much pain and we forgot to bring him medicine. I told him it wouldn’t be smart to stay and suffer through the next two periods. Also, I was having problems with claustrophobia. The person sitting next to me was so close, it felt like he was rubbing up against me. I took some Valium, but that was only keeping me from jumping off the ledge, it wasn’t helping me feel better like it normally does.
Normally, my husband wouldn’t leave anything early. I’m glad I convinced him that it was the best solution. We listed to the rest of the game on the radio and it was fantastic. It was a nice evening we had together.
I’ve been having a lot of anxiety attacks lately, somewhere between 3 and 6 attacks a day, and I’m not sure why. I feel overwhelmed from everything that’s going on in life. These things are handling life’s day-to-day tasks, but some of those things are not so easy. I worry that I don’t make the right choices, that I’m going to miss something, and then everything will be messed up and it’s all my fault. It’s not just my life, but it’s also my husband’s life that I’m handling.
When my anxiety attacks happen, I can feel my heart pumping in my chest. My chest then feels tight and I struggle to breathe. The dizziness then comes on and my body starts to tremble. Sometimes I have no clue why I’m having an anxiety attack. Sometimes the only reason I know I’m having an attack is because I know my symptoms. My triggers still cause anxiety attacks, but they’re also happening at times that aren’t normally stressful. Does anyone experience this?
My anxiety seems to be getting a little worse lately. I’ve been using more Valium than I normally do. I’m fearful of anything new, anything that I don’t know. For example, I haven’t gotten my hair cut in over a year because I don’t remember where I used to go. Anywhere I go would be new. Having someone behind me terrifies me no matter what they’re doing. I live close to a high school and an elementary school. At the end of the school day, there are always a few teenagers waiting for their rides by my front lawn. When that happens, I can’t go outside to get to my car. No matter what my plans are, I have to wait because I’m too afraid and anxious.
Crowds are a problem because people are all around and behind you. My husband makes it possible for me to do some things such as go to hockey games. I never lose sight of him, he stands behind me in lines so I feel safe, and holds my hand through the crowds. We have a system that works for us in any crowded situation, and he is wonderful about helping me. I’ve been pushing myself to do more such as going to a support group and going to stores I’ve never been to before. I just have to be careful not to overdo things.
Please check out my two most recent article on The International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) blog. The first article, How It All Began, talks about how I first found out about my bipolar disorder and everything that comes along with that. My second article, Know Your Triggers, discusses the importance of knowing your triggers. Please check them out.
You can find my posts on the IBPF website here.
The 4th of July is coming, and that means fireworks. I’m not a fan of fireworks because of the noises they make. In my neighborhood, people started setting off fireworks last night. They will do so every night and they will do more and more each night. They even set them off during the day. I’m not trying to be un-American; I’m just saying that fireworks scare me. Loud noises that come out from nowhere and happen over and over again terrify me. It’s a PTSD trigger.
My dog normally barks at fireworks and never stops barking, but last year I got him a ‘ThunderShirt’. The shirt is like a giant hug and is meant to help keep dogs calm. It works like magic. My dog may bark once, but then he goes and lays down. At least I don’t have to deal with my dog barking nonstop all night long from the fireworks.
The fireworks started last night. One really loud one went off, and I thought it was a gunshot. It’s not uncommon to hear gunshots in my neighborhood at night. My dog barked once and then went to bed. I wouldn’t mind the fireworks if they only happened one night, on the 4th of July. But instead, it’s at least 4 or 5 days of fireworks and loud noises.
I do my best to manage my fears. It scares me a little less since I already know that the fireworks are coming. I can prepare myself for them. Some nights, like on July 4th, I will take a Valium, which will allow me to actually enjoy the fireworks and celebration. Do other people have this same fear and problem?
This depressive episode has me dealing with some depression symptoms that are not normal for me. My symptoms include weight gain, hopelessness, inability to feel pleasure, lack of interest, sadness, extreme fatigue, sleeping more than normal, excessive hunger, restlessness, and suicidal ideations. I push myself to get through this every day. I make myself get out of the house because I know it’s good for me. Just because it’s good for me doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.
I’m trying to figure out why this depressive episode is even happening. Normally, I can pinpoint the reason or trigger for an episode, either depressive or manic. Some of the reasons are medication induced, situational, or emotional. The problem is that I can’t find the reason for this depressive episode. I’m wondering if it’s possible that my recent ECT treatment could have caused this depression. I had already started to feel slightly depressed when I had the treatment, but I have felt so much worse ever since I woke up from it. It feels like ECT was a jumpstart into depression.
Does it even really matter what the cause is for any episode? I suppose the reason to know what triggered an episode is to help for the future. If you know what caused a depressive episode, then you can avoid that trigger in the future. I’ve been doing ECT treatment for over a year, and this is the first time I’m having problems like this. It may not be a trigger for me, but it may have been the thing that pushed me over the edge. Other things I’ve been experiencing that can cause depression are poor sleep habits, poor diet, weight gain, other health problems, and feeling home sick. I wonder, with this such as weight gain and poor diet, which was first. Did they occur first as a symptom of bipolar depression or were they triggers for the bipolar depression?