Mental Health Awareness Month: Anxiety
Updated: 2 days ago
For years, I struggled with anxiety without being able to put a name to my feelings. All I knew was, I was stressed and worried all the time. My life was ruled by perpetual fearfulness.
When my toddler was born, I was constantly afraid that she was going to get hurt. The overwhelming intrusive thoughts made me talk to my OBGYN about getting on medication for my post-partum anxiety.
Although I wasn't diagnosed, I believe I had post-partum anxiety with my older daughter as well. The intrusive thoughts I had when she was little all had to do with her getting kidnapped. When I went on the hospital tour before she was born, they made a point of telling us that no child had ever been kidnapped from the hospital. After that, I couldn't get the image out of my head.
The intrusive thoughts I had with each of my children were different, but the constant fear was the same.
The heart palpitations, the inability to stop worrying, the trouble sleeping, the hyper-awareness. All these are signs of anxiety.
Do you have anxiety?
If you are feeling anything like I do, it is very possible that you have anxiety. It is estimated that almost 20% of adults in the US experience Anxiety. If you are experiencing any of the following, you may want to talk to your healthcare provider.
Feelings of apprehension or dread
Feeling tense or jumpy
Restlessness or irritability
Anticipating the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
Sweating, tremors and twitches
Headaches, fatigue and insomnia
Upset stomach, frequent urination or diarrhea
Anxiety is Treatable!
There are treatments available for Anxiety, so if you are struggling with this like I do, have hope that there really is hope at the end of the tunnel! Some of the treatments available are:
Therapy - with a psychologist or counselor
Medication - prescribed by a family doctor, psychiatrist or OBGYN
Complimentary Health Approaches - such as relaxation techniques
After struggling with anxiety for years, and having it adversely effect my life since I also have PTSD and depression (which can be common for others with anxiety as well), I finally found a therapy center with Wraparound Services.
Wraparound Services can be super important for anyone who has mental health problems, because you get a team of therapists, medical professionals, and advocates to help you navigate the problems with your mental health issues in various aspects of your life.
I love my counseling center (https://www.communityreachcenter.org/ if you are in Denver) because they help me as a team. I got evaluated as a walk-in and had an appointment with a therapist within a week, and a psychiatric nurse within a month! If you have ever had to get a psychiatrist appointment, you know this is really quick!
My therapist works with me using talk therapy, and coping skills for my daily life. My psychiatric nurse provides me with medications to help my problems and to alleviate physical anxiety symptoms. My advocate helped me to develop job skills and find employment as a handicapped person. Now, I also see a second therapist who specializes in EMDR for my PTSD.
The best thing about having all these providers in one center?
They all talk to each other, share notes, and provide complimentary services that work together!
Talk to your doctor today!
If you are struggling with anxiety like me, talk to a doctor today! You can talk to your regular doctor, go to a crisis center, or even go to the ER if it is really a bad day for you! (I have done all of these - and ALL can provide referrals for long-term treatment.)
If you, or anyone you know, is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 800-273-8255
Please, know that you are not alone, and you do not need to suffer in silence anymore!
If you are seeking services, The Recovery Village has treatment centers for Mental Health and Addiction Recovery in Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Washington and New Jersey:
You can also check out my video on this topic.
Please let me know in the comments if you struggle with anxiety too, and what coping strategies have served you best!
For more on what I do to care for my mental health check out these related blog posts: