This is incredibly hard for me to write, but I know writing helps me acknowledge the truth about certain things that are happening with my mental health. Often these concerns are facts that I am not really ready to deal with emotionally. But, sometimes facing the truth is better than hiding behind it and pretending it’s not happening.
I have started having minor panic attacks. This might not sound like much, but it shows a huge regression in my condition, and that’s bad because I honestly thought I had been doing really well. I thought that despite my recent bouts of severe depression, that I was actually improving mentally.
I’ve suspected for a while that I have been developing some form of social anxiety, I’ve been avoiding people, staying in bed longer than I should and not wanting to go to work. But today, for the first time I truly realised the severity of my “new” condition.
When I was younger, I can’t pinpoint the exact age, Sometimes, when I was surrounded by a lot of people, or I had to talk in front of the class or even sometimes just randomly for no reason I would suddenly feel like I wasn’t ok and that I wanted to be at home lying on the sofa with my blanket and a milkshake. I used to refer to it (in my head as I never told anyone about it) as the “milkshake feeling” (I used to drink nothing but strawberry milkshake from about the age of 3-12) I hadn’t had the “milkshake feeling” for a long time but yesterday I had it twice.
It doesn’t last long, but it makes me feel like I need to get away from things, I feel like I want to go and lie on the floor, and curl up or hide, I feel scared, like I’m going to lose control and start crying and all I can think about is being in the one place that I must assume is “safe” my sofa. With the things that made me happy as a child. Is this a panic attack? I don’t know, but what I do know is that sometimes this is accompanied with a breathless feeling and worry and it is panic induced.
Today I was on the bus, I sat down and suddenly I became breathless I was worried because I thought people were staring at me and thinking I was weird and then I started to worry that I was going to collapse on the bus because I wasn’t breathing properly so, I tried to stop hyperventilating which of course made my breathlessness worse until eventually it subsided. And all the time during this, I kept getting that milkshake feeling. I didn’t want to be on the bus, I didn’t want to be at work. I just wanted to be at home, alone on my sofa. I wasn’t even breathless because I was panicking! I had just become randomly breathless.
I think the “milkshake feeling” is a nostalgic feeling of being content. It reminds me of when I would have a sick day from school and I would lay on the sofa (with my milkshake) and watch TV. I guess I felt safe because I was indoors, happy because I wasn’t at school and looked after because I was a child and my mum was there watching TV and making sure I was ok, of course, this is different now and I wouldn’t expect her to drop everything and look after me if I threw up a few times. It’s that feeling of safety that I guess is my brains go to juncture when I really start to panic.
I think maybe I should have taken those days off of work when they were offered me by my doctor last week. But then again, maybe not. Work distracts me and that is something I really need, but also I think if I had time off of work, I would get used to it and then I would become too anxious to go back. My mental health is a vicious monster sometimes.
The Elephant in the Room