Anxiety, Depression, Scary Obsessive Thoughts..It's all in your head.
by Stephanie Carey
My name is Stephanie, I am 24 years old. I've had anxiety since my first day of school. I was bullied all the way through school and it led to depression along with a negative home environment. When I was 19 I was put on medication for clinical depression. In the last 5 years some unforseen difficult life experiences have led to my symptoms of anxiety worsening to the point where I lost hope and faith in life and God. I started to have awful panic attacks, lost control, started to fear myself and my scary thoughts, and I started to fear God. Everything became surreal, I thought I didn't exist, I thought that I had some sort of mental disorder and that everything I saw, felt, heard was made up; unreal. These feelings were "REAL" though, to the point where I believed I was insane; it's a scary place and a dark place to visit. I was scared of breathing, thought that everyone I knew were just people that I'd somehow conjured up in my imagination...this was my imagination. I was trying to escape from reality...make sense of it all and this is what my imagination came up with...it was worse than reality because it is all internal. The loneliest place I've ever been to was inside my own thoughts, inside my own imagination, scaring me. The physical symptoms; I've had them all, shaking, panic, palpitations, ringing in my ears, oversensitivity of the senses, overwhelming awareness of my existence of the world, of people of good and bad...everything; analysed to the depths. I was taking 3 xanax a day and an antidepressant. I was afraid of the dark, of the light, afraid of being lonely, afraid of being around people. I was completely lost, collapsed into nothingness; the depths of despair. I went to my family and friends; they helped me, I was a nervous wreck; shaking. I have two daugters; I wanted to be rescued...for them. They helped me. I pushed myself to keep going...tried to face all of my fears; the world. I learned how to play the guitar and bodhran; distracted myself from my scary thoughts, it works. Talking about them works, no matter how weird, scary...if its scary sexual thoughts, scary blasphemus or agressive thoughts. I've had them all and have spoken about them all and it helped alot. It proves how stupid they are when you say them out loud to someone and they laugh. Sometimes you will get to the point where you're so distracted that your body will give up caring about these scary thoughts as you are using up adrenaline whilst thinking them and when the physical symptoms dissipated I felt less scared. My next step is to tackle the anxiety that has created all of this. When I'm alone the symptoms creep back in, mostly in the evening but regardless of the symptoms...no matter how unpleasant, remember that they are NOT important, they are irritating and useless, don't give them the satisfaction by allowing yourself to be concerned or worried, lower the level of their importance and they will become less and less overtime. Desensitise yourself from them. For anyone suffering like this, my heart goes out to you but please believe that you will get through it and when you do, you will be stronger and more wise. Take it as an experience that you know everything about and then help other sufferers to overcome. More people than you think are suffering in the exact same way as you, you are not alone in this. You are never alone. I pray at night, I picture angels in my mind and their safe light, I say a rosary for someone that I know that needs help and it calms me to sleep...because I'm thinking of them and not me. Sometimes I'm asleep before I finish the rosary. Take the first step in tackling the issue by going out and getting a hobby that you will truly enjoy and be good at. challenge yourself and be brave. You are brave and you are strong. You have a purpose in life and you are gifted. Find your inner gift and utilise it. Live your purpose. Tell your negative thoughts to F*** off when they enter your head. They are not important. LIVE Your life and LOVE yourself. You are very special!
Thanks for reading.