Yesterday was day 1 of panic free! Over the past few weeks I have been exhausting every possible reason for the way I feel. Everything other than panic/anxiety. I have seen neurologists, dietitians, general practitioners, cardiologists and chiropractors. Sounds like a severe case of hypochondria right?...
Well yes and no. I was asked a few weeks ago what I needed to be able to surrender to the anxiety. After pausing a moment I responded by saying "I need to know these physical symptoms are not something bigger, more devastating". You see, for years I have been told I suffer from PTSD. Well not one clinician bothered to tell me why and how they came to that conclusion. No extensive testing had been done, no real investigation other than me sharing my assault and them drawing a conclusion. For four years I walked around feeling like these clinicians have just swept all my concerns under a blanket diagnosis with out bothering to research it or rule out other possibilities. I walked around with a feeling of mistrust in those doctors and a disbelief that something that could never be proven with black and white conclusions could be so powerful.
PTSD or panic/anxiety seems to me to be a ghost. Doctors can't find it in a lab result, neurologists can't find it in brain activity or sleep patterns, dietitians can't pinpoint is due to a lack of nutrients. No one seems to be able to explain where they come from, what trips the anxiety/panic switch. There is no explanation as to why I begin shaking while putting laundry away or singing along with the radio in my car. "It just does" is the only explanation. Well let me tell you, when you are going about your daily life attempting to enjoy it and all of a sudden you are overcome with tremors and a racing heart and cold sweats "it just does" does not help you!
What I think most people do not understand is that PTSD after an assault does not happen only when you are remembering that specific moment. You don't have to be back in the exact location of the beating to feel the effects of it. It can and does happen anywhere, any time, without warning! It rears its ugly head into my work day, it screams out when trying to treat myself to a day at the mall, it paralyzes me from traveling to far off destinations. Even though I am not directly thinking about the moment I was attacked the effects of it haunts me every day.
With all that said my next adventure is to choose to medicate or go the "natural" route...will keep you updated.