I suffer from an anxiety disorder called Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I also suffer from depression. It's all part of the same chemical imbalance in my brain which I normally take medication for. I've been stepping down my medication because of being pregnant. Pregnancy hormones + heightened anxiety symptoms = hard times, lots of tears and a not much sleep.
This is a pretty good simple description of GAD:
GAD is a particularly difficult disorder to live with as it is constantly on the sufferer's mind – there is no respite as the anxiety is not tied to a specific situation or event (it is for me ie. to do with family members, friends or stressful situations). It can cause problems with sleep, ability to maintain a job as well as impact close relationships.GAD is a difficult thing to explain. People think I'm unreasonable or causing drama and I've been called crazy. I've been asked "what's your problem?! why do you care?!!!!". I don't want to care about the irrational things I worry about. But I can't seem to help it. I think there have been times when my dear, sweet, gentle, kind husband has wanted to shake me. Some of my worries can start out normal. But they escalate. Worries start out small but can get huge and life consuming to the point I can not escape the intrusive thoughts. There can be a constant stream of thoughts causing me to suffer from physical symptoms. At one point recently I actually pounded my head with my fists begging the thoughts to stop. That was the worst it has ever been. I can be besieged by thoughts that do not feel like my own. My attempts to deal with those thoughts impact those around me.
I worry about future events mostly. The "what ifs". They kill me.
The other side of the disorder is that I find things that could normally be a bit stressful INCREDIBLY stressful! Like packing to go away...that's a bad one for me. British driving lessons...I quit because I got so frustrated with myself. Dealing with bills...ooooh man. I had to avoid the supermarket for a while at one point because people not obeying my rules of personal space and shopping etiquette was too overwhelming - I've worked on that one, it's ok again - so don't you worry!
It can be really tough. I'm very, very lucky to have a loving and caring husband & patient friends who see passed my anxiety and don't take it personally even when it is personal.
I've just been through a very, very bad patch that lasted a couple of months. It is a huge relief to be on the other side. I'm trying my best to learn to relax for my little Rosebud's sake. Mr Woo and I have had a lovely few nights in lately which have included lots of laughter. A very good medicine you know. I think I will have a bubble bath tonight and do some knitting. I've been thinking about maybe making my own cot bumper, maybe a patchwork one, so maybe I'll start sorting through my fabrics tonight too. That all sounds a lovely way to relax to me.
My Dad used to say "Let go and let God". It was sort of his mantra. I am trying to learn to let go. To release the thoughts that lead to anxiety. I am learning to release. I am learning to have empty hands. One day I'm going to be great at it. Until then I must do my best.