I often think that Anxiety suffers from being less high-profile than depression. Its often found with depression and it can be slipped into a ‘stress’ diagnosis or dismissed as shyness or something that can be treated with encouragement and self-confidence classes; but in reality its complex and various.
A quick internet survey shows a series of different diagnoses related to anxiety but more importantly that it affects people in a lot of different ways – from complete withdrawal to panic attacks, sleep problems, appetite disruption..
Anxiety and I have an odd relationship. I don’t remember quite how the fear of failure made leaving the house so hard..The panic attacks creep up, some days I can predict that because I’m on edge I might lose it but some days it hits me out of the blue. For the most part I have it under control at the moment, its just a vague nagging fear in every part of my life.
However, the real daily struggle I have is with the wife’s anxiety. In the early hours of the morning she wakes in fear; going out, shopping, working – all often enough to make her physically ill; when she is stressed she has more seizures, her stomach plays up, she has more headaches, forgets more, loses more things and assumes I am angry with her more often. My problem? I can’t stop blaming myself. Its ok that she is having a rough time, its ok if there are things she can’t manage (as long as we keep trying to improve things) – but why can’t I help? why can’t I soothe it away or make each day easier or offer sensible advice? I know that this is ridiculous.. I do.. but at 4 in the morning its hard to be rational.
So plans? Well I want her to talk more seriously to her Dr about dealing with the anxiety – right now I’d settle for tranquillisers if it weren’t for her principles – but more seriously how do you make breathing exercises or a diary regular practice when you are tired, stressed and dyspraxically bad at organising?
Meanwhile I guess I should head back to the Dr.