Long time without posting, but it helped me compose some of my thoughts yesterday, so I thought digging up the blog may be useful too. It helped me so much last time I was in a crisis state!
The least fun bit about all of this has not been being alone or missing loved ones, although that utterly sucks. I am quite capable of entertaining myself and maintaining close and loving relationships from a distance; I have had very long spells before of having to do this from hospital//lame and drugged up land!
The worst bit has been my existing ptsd and anxiety going completely out of control, as my brain is trying desperately to identify and react to all of the ‘threats’, even when there are none.
If I cough, or sneeze, or get a sore shoulder – ANYTHING – my brain immediately reacts with panic and an adrenaline rush. Although I have a history of pretty bad anxiety and depression, worsened a lot by chronic illness, panic attacks used to be pretty rare for me, but this last few weeks I have had many. Some days, several. Some days none.
The physical symptoms have also been relatively calm before now, with the mental anxiety taking precedence. Now, right when any physical symptom is causing a feedback loop of terror about this stupid virus, the physiological reaction my body is having to any threat – real OR perceived – has got a little ridiculous!!
This list is by no means exhaustive, but I have managed to tick off every single one now, which I am quite impressed by!!
“Chills or hot flashes
Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
Fear of dying
Trembling or shaking
Fear of losing control or going crazy
Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
Derealization or depersonalization [I get this one very badly 😒]
Feeling of choking
Nausea or abdominal discomfort
Chest pain or discomfort
Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
When someone is experiencing a panic attack, he or she typically feels the need to flee for fear of unrealistic thoughts of impending doom [note, not easy when you have to stay in the house for months!!]. An individual can also feel as though they are dying or in extreme danger when in reality, neither of those things is occurring. These are just some examples of common feelings associated with panic attacks, as there are several different emotions that can be produced through this specific type of anxiety disorder.”
I used to be a lot more open and chatty about having vasculitis – and the physical and mental impact. Having been in a better place has lessened how many serious posts I do, but I know so so many people who are really struggling at the moment. Whether isolating alone, working in a key industry, or terrified for family members, this situation is making a lot of us have to fight our demons to an unprecedented level. I am trying very hard to utilise all of my weapons against this, but one key element has been trying to reframe it as ‘my brain is trying everything it can to keep me safe’ – even though it is really counterproductive… 🤦
So yep. If anyone needs any suggestions for coping methods, or just needs a chat, go for it. I am avoiding news, statistics and negative stuff as much as I possibly can, as they are very able to trigger off a bad spell, but having a chat about people’s feelings does not fall in to this category xx
Some links I used to help me compose the words…