Anxiety comes in many forms for me.
• Social anxiety – the thought of big crowds (more than 3 people) makes my heart race and my hands shake. I fear I’ll do something or say something stupid or I’ll get crushed by the crowd or I’ll have to make small talk. Oh, and phone calls. Can’t do it. Won’t do it. I am so anxious about what they may ask me that I feel like I may throw up.
• General anxiety – little things can set me off; a mean comment, a name from my past, day to day living. I sweat a bit more and the heart rate again goes up. My head gets foggy and my eyes get watery.
• Full blown Panic Attack – it starts like the first 2 but gets worse. My throat closes so it feels like I can’t breathe, hysterical tears flow from my puffy eyes, my heart feels like it will beat out of my chest, I can’t talk, I can’t move, I am crippled and broken and lost. I can’t see. I can’t think. I can’t catch my breath. It feels like a heart attack and you know you have to breathe but you can’t so you panic more. Panic attacks pass quicker than mania or depression but they are scarier.
It is odd that when in a panic attack I am so worried about dying that I get more worked up, but when I am depressed I want to die and when I am manic, I feel like nothing can kill me.
They say depression is about the past and anxiety is about the future. Leaving mania to be about the present?
But sometimes I get depressed about the future. And sometimes I get anxious about the past mistakes I’ve made. And now I don’t get manic because of my friend Lithium.