Anxiety runs in my family. My grandmother underwent electroshock treatments when she was a teenager, and my mother has high anxiety with some obsessive compulsive behaviors. My older sister has problems with depression, and my two younger sisters both struggle with anxiety issues. I have had problems with depression since I was a young teen, but I started having panic attacks when I was 18. I have received therapy for generalized anxiety and panic attacks at different points over the last 13 years of my life (I am now 31).
From therapy, self-study, and participating in online support groups I have learned different methods to cope with my panic disorder and live with generalized anxiety so that I can manage my life, without medications, though I did take Xanax and Paxil for a brief period in my 20’s… and I do NOT recommend Paxil. As I develop my blog I will write about the coping methods that I have learned from behavior and cognitive therapy, as well as meditation.
In 2012 I learned that I have a pretty serious hormonal condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which affects the fertility and metabolism of 10% of women and also causes depression and anxiety (as well as other fun symptoms). Unfortunately it is not yet understood what prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs and causes them to release an excess of androgens/male hormones. Other effects of the disorder include insulin resistance and diabetes if a healthy weight cannot be maintained.
I was able to manage my depression and anxiety relatively well during my 20’s thanks to lessons I learned from therapy and from self-study, but the last few years have been really challenging due to my worsening health condition and several upsetting events that have occurred in my life. Over the last three years I have experienced a long period of unemployment, a decision to go back to school which caused financial hardship and strain on my marriage, an international move, learning that my husband has ADHD, a devastating change to my relationship with my youngest sister who is now homeless and caring for two young children, and the recent death of my father. I have been really struggling to manage my grief and severe depression over the last several months while I’ve been job hunting and trying to keep my marriage together. My hope is that writing and developing my blog will help me to cope and force me to be more responsible about managing my mental health, while also supporting others who are facing similar challenges.
If you suspect that you are suffering from depression or anxiety, I hope you will contact a mental health provider right away. These are very serious conditions and if you do not learn how to get help or how to manage the thoughts and mood-swings, you will become even more vulnerable to the fear and emptiness. I hope to support you and to offer as many resources that I can to help you focus on hope, build confidence, regain self-esteem, cultivate peace, and celebrate your accomplishments every day, however small or insignificant they might seem. You can also contact me anytime if you need someone to listen and understand how you feel.
There is a world of help for you, you are not alone, you can create a purpose for your life, and you can heal.