I have suffered from anxiety, low self-esteem and bouts of depression for as long as I can remember. However, the first time I realised what it was that I was suffering from was when No 1 was very small and I had a panic attack which resulted in an emergency visit to the doctors followed by a course of anti-depressants and beta-blockers.
At least I then had a label for the irrational way that I had been feeling but the treatment only succeeded in masking the problem and it has returned repeatedly throughout my adult life. Thankfully though that was the only occasion that I have had a full blown panic attack and I have the deepest sympathy for people that go through this on a regular basis.
Anxiety is a debilitating condition that is poorly understood by people that do not suffer from it. My anxiety usually manifests itself in irrational fears about my health but I also suffer from generalised anxiety and feelings of inadequacy and there is rarely a moment when I feel completely relaxed. It prevents me enjoying myself in a wide variety of situations as I am constantly plagued by irrational thoughts. There is a social stigma surrounding many mental health conditions, anxiety included, and I have always felt ashamed of my condition and do not discuss it with anyone other than to a small extent with my long-suffering DH. I have also experienced stigma when going to the doctor about the condition and have felt patronised on a number of occasions by the people that are supposed to be there to help. This has resulted in a severe reluctance to visit the doctor for any reason.
I have got to the stage now that I do not want this condition to plague my life any more and I want to be modelling a healthy mental attitude to my children. I need to do something to tackle the underlying problems and find better ways to manage the condition. There is much that has been written about living with anxiety but the advice is of very variable quality and has variable effects. I intend to use this section of my blog in a positive way to record the strategies that I am using to help me overcome this condition and to share what is successful for me and what is not.
I appreciate that a lot of my readers will have little interest in this subject and if you don’t then feel free to ignore these posts but I know that I am not the only person out there that suffers from this condition and I hope that my experiences may be of some help to someone else.