The worst part about mental illness is that doubt that you have it
The worst part about mental illness is that doubt that you have it. Like yeah I have a professional diagnosis and I get panic attacks and anxiety attacks for no reason and yeah I sometimes can’t even function enough to get out of bed in the morning but what if I’m just faking for attention??
Oh ye gods, that’s so spot on.
I’ve been thinking about writing about this particular subject but I’ve been hesitant for whatever reason.
I’m diagnosed with social anxiety/social phobia. I’ve been more or less functioning in society until the past few months when my body suddenly started telling me “no more” by acting as if I had a constant panic attack for nothing.
I’ve spent most of this autumn on sick leave in some capacity (I’m still not fully back at work) and it’s been one hell of a roller coaster.
As a bit of a background, last year I started the process because I felt like I was sinking back into depression, my old depression habits were coming back and I had a hard time fighting them. I got myself a psychologist and spent around four months before I got the diagnose and was sent on my merry way with “I can’t really help you any more”. I felt a bit lost at that time as I still felt I hadn’t really gotten any help in handling my emotional imbalance (not quite the right way to put it, but I don’t have a better way to explain it).
See, the thing is, I know what happens inside my head whenever I get a panic attack, I know what triggers it and I always try my best to lessen the brunt of it or avoid the trigger. But with me working in retail that doesn’t always work and in addition I can’t stop the panic attack once it starts, no matter how aware I am of what’s happening. Reasoning with myself doesn’t really help, because I always KNOW that I’m reacting without any real basis for it, and I can try to reason with my body as much as I like, it’s not gonna stop.
So, these past few months I’ve spent trying to force my body to calm down and while I’ve been doing that I seem to have lost the grip on whatever small floodgates I had built up over the year since my time at the psychologist. Small, insignificant things can set off a crying fit and I can just sit down and feel like there’s nothing left for me while at the same time I’m mentally shaking my head wondering what the hell I’m thinking as I have more awesome things to do now than I ever have.
And then there’s the crippling fear that I’m just faking it, that I’m not really sick, that somehow this is all just me being an attention whore.
Which doesn’t help. At all. Especially when I constantly have to fight and tell everyone around me that YES, I AM sick even though it doesn’t necessarily show.
I’m just a big mess of feelings going all sorts of directions right now, but in the end my body is telling me that I need to change all this somehow, I can’t keep going like this. So, yes, I’m sick. And I have to somehow allow myself to be sick and figure out a way to let other people know that while this isn’t optimal, I do need the time off to be able to change this around.
Shaking off mental illness isn’t like shaking off a fever. And it’s not as apparent as a fever.
…I’m not even sure where I’m going with this, guess I just needed to get it all out there.