Fear and Loathing in the Homefront

16 Aug

orig. published 6/19/11

As I grow older I begin to understand myself more and more, I discover that
the things that I always thought were normal, the things that my parents told me
not to worry about, that I would grow out of were warning signs of problems that
urgently needed attention.  At 20 I went to a doctor for help with missing
periods, I had no insurance and the doctor recommended tests that I did not have
the money for, I did not have the test done.  The doctor counseled me, listened
to my issues and told me what he suspected was wrong but could not confirm with
out further testing.  He did suggest at that time that he suspected, just from
the short time we visited, that I was suffering from some form of depression.  I
knew that this was true, how could it not be, I had attempted suicide multiple
times since I entered high school, it was just something that I had lived with,
again, under the assumption that this was just the case, normal.  In the years
that followed, research led me to find that not only was I suffering from
Anxiety Disorder but also from Major Depressive Disorder and Social Anxiety
Disorder.

I began treatment for my depression and anxiety two years ago when my
gynecologist prescribed me Cymbalta.  Two year and I don’t feel any further
along or better off than I did three years ago or five years ago.  I know that
it can take years to find the right combination of drugs to make the difference,
I continue to take the Cymbalta only because being off of it is unbearable.  My
life now is ruled by work schedules, I would love to go to the doctor and get
the help that I need but I just simply don’t have the time in the summer
months.

I guess I am just so used to the depression that I have gotten so good at
hiding it, I can fake the smiles and the laughter but the thing that seems more
debilitating than any of the depression is the anxiety.  I avoid crowded events
where I won’t have breathing space, I avoid talking to people that I don’t know,
limiting interaction to simple hi’s or thank you’s, I am only truly comfortable
with people that I have known for long periods of time and if I do have to be
around people that I don’t know I have to have some sort of buffer, a book to
read while eating lunch alone, a friend I am comfortable with that I can focus
on, talk to when I am feeling extremely anxious.  Even with these buffers there
is only one person that I have ever felt comfortable enough with to open up
completely and even that took years and now it seems that he may be going
away…

I recently met some members of my family that I had never met before and in
August one of these cousins is having a birthday party for her daughters.  I
would love to go, its in East Texas, a place where I have always felt at home
at, it would be a wonderful way to spend time with and get to know this portion
of my family that I don’t know all that well and, well, simply put, I am never
going to meet someone sitting in my bedroom night after night and I know better
than anyone that I will never conquer this problem if I don’t confront it.

There are moments that I feel strong, moments that I feel like I could walk
up to some mysterious, attractive man and strike up a conversation but just as
quickly as that feeling comes it goes.  It reminds me of the time that, in a
moment of insanity, I got on the cliffhanger at six flags; halfway through the
line I panicked but couldn’t back out so I boarded the ride and prayed it would
be over quickly.  To this day I still have pain in my back from that ride, it
left me with a pinched nerve from not being correctly secured in the harness.
In either scenario I end up hurt.

Has anyone else suffered with MDD or Social Anxiety Disorder?

How are you living with the affects of it?

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