One of the hardest things for me is to see someone who is suffering from anxiety and is not trying to do anything about it. It physically hurts me to watch it happen. I know this sounds really mean but it is just the way that I feel about it. Over time I have had to really adjust my perspective on this because I have been reminded time and time again that not everyone has had access to the same type of education or mental health care that I have had all my life.
I think one of the biggest problems that people who suffer from anxiety, PTSD, and depression face today is the stigma that comes along with having those diseases. Recently I worked for an office that required me to do a rather extensive background check, they went so deep into my background that they required me to wave my HIPPA rights. For those of you who do not live in the United States HIPPA is the act that prevents anyone but you to have access to your medical records and/or medical diagnoses.
There was also a section of the application that I had to fill out where I had to answer questions honestly about my medical history. I had to relieve when I was diagnosed with my anxiety disorder and how long I had been on medication. This was hard because I actually did not remember exactly when I stopped and started Effexor. Secondly, I knew that the fact that I had an anxiety disorder might raise a flag on the investigation.
I talked with one of my co-workers privately. I trusted him because I knew that he had worked in military before and that he would have respect for the diagnosis that I had been given. He told me not to actually put down my official diagnosis. That I should only list the fact that I had been on the medication and when say that I was being anxiety disorder. Since that was the truth and my current treatment was only for GAD that is what I did. My co-worker said that as long as I was getting treated for it that it should not be a big deal and that I should not mention my PTSD or panic attacks to anyone else.
The reason I bring this up though is that I think there are some people who are out there who do not get treatment because they are afraid of all the labels that come along with being diagnosed. That was something that I never had to worry about before in my life. I knew that I was depressed, that I was having panic attacks, I wanted them to stop. The only way that I knew how to make them stop was to go to therapy and use chemical therapy.
This background check that I had to do happened about a year and half ago. It was not until I was filling out the paperwork that I ever thought about my diagnosis being a bad thing, or something that would negatively impact my ability to get employment. I was being treated for it after all. The fact that I was being treated is what allowed me to pass the background check. If I had knowledge of the diagnosis and was not being treated that might have caused way more problems.
Now I try not to judge so harshly when see other people out there who just are not able to get the help that the need. I think that there has to be that breaking point for everyone when you say to yourself, I do not want to be like this anymore, I’m done with this; or something like that. You may not have to hit rock bottom before you get there, maybe you do.
However, in order to get better, in order to start your recovery process you have to be willing to commit to it. It is not an easy road. Going to therapy and taking medication is not going to cure you. Some medications do not work for people. I had to try three different medicines before I finally found one that worked for me. My therapist actually made me switch to another therapist because we had hit a wall that I was not able to get over with her.
There were times where days where I felt like I would never be able to get a handle on my emotions. On days when I have panic attacks and cannot find my trigger I feel absolutely lost. That I have done all of this work and it is for nothing because I still am having a panic attack.
You can’t give up after those days. You can take a few days to recover. That is what I did after I had my awful doctor’s appointment. I really thought all the work that I was doing was not helping me. That I had no busy to be doing this blog because clearly I am not as healed as I thought I was. I felt like a failure. I’m not gonna lie, I wallowed even.
But I have picked myself up and I am going to keep going. So if you ever need help to keep going and keep working on your recovery feel free to message me for words of encouragement. We all need to stand by each other.