Panic Attacks. Through the Monsoon

19 Mar

After my son was born and I began having regular panic attacks, I  started a private blog that I called “Through the Monsoon”.  I didn’t want anyone to read it then, and I don’t want anyone to read it now.  I still have that blog and I write very train of thought but it is strictly for my eyes only.

I digress.  Through the Monsoon.

So I heard this song called “Through the Monsoon” by a young German band called Tokio Hotel (kind of a boyband with instruments. I may have had PPMD, but I wasn’t quite immune to the charms of a boyband).

Kind of emo.

And by “kind of”, I mean “completely”.

Perfect for how I was feeling.

I latched on to the lyrics and I played the song over and over, thinking of my kids as the “you” and the “monsoon” as PPMD.

Running through the monsoon, Beyond the world, To the end of time, Where the rain won’t hurt

Fighting the storm, Into the blue, And when I lose myself I think of you, Together we’ll be running somewhere new

Through the monsoon. Just me and you.

Yeah.

Exactly.

So lately I have been having some mad panic attacks. In fact, I am currently in a state of hyperarousal where my anxiety is so profound that I feel every physical sensation very acutely. My entire body is wound so tightly I feel like a an elastic band.

SNAP!

My muscles ache. My jaw is clenched so tight I feel as though I am wearing down the enamels on my teeth. My fists are clenched. I hyperventilate. I feel sick and tired.

I feel sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

The worst part of it? I have no idea why I feel this way.

And that  is the nature of panic.

One of the things that I hate more than anything is that my panic disorder is not particularly situational, rather it is genetic, biological, chemical.

I don’t panic on elevators or airplanes, in crowds or while driving.

I really don’t have a large amount of internal stress at this point in time.

I know that there are times when I am triggered more than usual or times when external and internal stress is high (ie, in the Post Partum Period, returning to work after mat leave, moving to a new house, the death of my mother in law), but overall, there is no real rhyme or reason to my panic and thus nothing that I can specifically do about my behaviour or change about my environment.

Because I believe so strongly in cognitive behaviour therapy, I do a lot of thought records and worry trees in an effort to understand my thoughts and work at getting better. I track my feelings. Sometimes I can identify things like fear of having a panic attack in public or fear of leaving my kids. I read Mind Over Mood again. And again. And again.

I work so hard at getting better that when I’m not better, I just feel discouraged.

And it sucks.

In the past little while, I have had several people say to me in that voice,

How are you? How are YOU? Are you doing ok?

My response is always to smile very big and say,

I’m amazing. I’m actually doing really well.

I am a much better actress/liar than I give myself credit for.

I also really don’t want to have a conversation about it, and when I do, I talk about it to my people.

In the meantime, I look forward to my first massage since Christmas (I think), and a doctor’s appointment tomorrow after work.

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One Response to “Panic Attacks. Through the Monsoon”

  1. Chrissi March 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    I agree with you, Jenn, that cognitive therapy is the best way to go. I had really bad PPD and I worked through it entirely on my own — I took very long stroller walks, stayed in very well-lit rooms for as long as I possibly could, and kept a log for my baby’s schedule (writing everything down, and keeping rigorous track of time just helped me feel more on top of things). Eventually, my hormones rebalanced themselves, and my “natural” methods worked. Keep at it!

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