Health concerns are very scary. I would argue that they’re even scarier, or at least harder to cope with, when you have panic disorder.Continue reading “Fighting Health Panic”
It’s like I know what to do but I just can’t do it. It reminds me of Kylo Ren in Star Wars.
In my journey with crippling anxiety, I feel like I’ve seen it all; every tip, every trick. I refuse to mislead my readers by saying these are “new” techniques, but they are things that I haven’t taken seriously enough.
As cliche as it is, it’s 2020 and I’m sick of having this dark cloud and fear attached to me even when I’m supposed to be happy. These will hopefully become habitual for me.
I don’t even know where to start.
I guess the crippling panic attacks are a good start off?
So a little background information– after a huge hurricane decimated where I was living in 2017, I moved 2 hours away to move in with my dad. Life altering already, right? So I tried online classes since I obviously wasn’t going to school on campus anymore, and failed because I’m just not the online class type. I worked and worked and said I’d go back to school, but I was stuck in this bubble of fear, comfortable where I was. I didn’t want to go back to where I was living before. It was crazy, uncontrollable, and unstructured. I liked my peace and quiet working for $8/h at a coffee shop. I was engaged. Got a dog who I adore. I was happy.
Finally, a year and a half later, I found myself back at school because “it’s the right thing to do” and whatever. “It’ll be easy,” I thought, since I went there for 2 years already. *Record scratch* “Wow, I was fucking wrong,” I thought, 2 weeks later. Being in that hell hole away from the life I had started in my quiet little town was killing me. I was alone, stressed, and miserable. The only good thing about my dorm was that I didn’t have a roommate bothering me and I could decorate however I wanted to. I was taking 6 or 7 classes, wasn’t working so I didn’t have any money, and once again, was alone. I’m introverted and very picky, so reading this and being like, “Smh, dumb, why didn’t you just ~make friends~,” is pointless. I don’t wanna; that’s why.
So I think it was the first day of trigonometry that I got my first panic attack of the semester. I didn’t realize it at first because I thought my body was trying to make me faint, which in hindsight probably IS what was happening. Naturally, I called my mom: “Hey, I think I keep trying to faint. What do I do? Is that normal? I’m not dehydrated.” I don’t remember the whole conversation, but I ended up being fine, I think. Ah yes, I was shaken and called my old, local friend who I currently don’t speak to anymore, lol. So it was a great first day, right? It only got worse.
Pretty soon, I was textbook panic disorder. Emergency room with my heart rate at 150 in March, avoiding situations that would give me panic attacks (Sadly, class. *waves* Hi parents.), mild agoraphobia, etc. My first really bad panic attack happened in February and I was shaking– more like thrashing my body– uncontrollably and puking for three hours. I got extremely sick around April and my hypochondriac ass got panic attacks on top of that because obviously I’m fucking dying if I’m that sick. Not just sick, but sick and dying. For some reason I’m still avoiding therapy, too.
Flew to Vegas in the middle of this somehow, lol.
I don’t want to spill all the beans because I respect myself a liiittttttttle bit, but jeez I’m so stupid sometimes!!
Everybody: “No, Jaedyn.”
Jaedyn: *Loses hearing and judgement*
If it weren’t for my ONE friend, I probably would’ve died. I purposely have not looked up what the hell would’ve happened to me the day my heart rate was 150, but if I were truly all alone, truly friendless, maybe I would’ve died. I don’t know. I don’t wanna know. But- it’s a scary thought.
Usually I’m a straight-A student. Always have been, and I thought I always would be, but panic disorder has been one of the hardest blocks in my life so far. It’s truly crippling and terrifying. I bawl my eyes out in fear of it. I’m so scared to go back to school next semester. I’ve been crying more and more lately in preparation, I guess. Last semester I did alright, passed, but could’ve done better. “Hey at least you didn’t flunk out of school because of it,” yeah yeah but I have standards for myself. It’s hard to do amazing in a class when you avoid it.
Overall, this is a vent, a rant, and advice obviously doesn’t help me or I’d be fine. I guess I wanted to get this out for me, and also share this in case someone else with panic disorder reads this. It sucks, it really does, but I’m better than I was in the beginning.
Something that really helped me was joining the panic disorder subreddit. Knowing that there are other people that go through what I do, and that some of those people are almost “out” of it, made me feel less alone and more hopeful. If you’re going through this and need someone to relate to or, hopefully in the future lend advice, feel free to comment on this. According to a random Google search, panic disorder affects 2-3% of Americans. So while we’re few and far between, we should help each other when we can.
Alright, try not to judge me too harshly for this post.
It’s no secret that Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. And yes–I think I like it even more than Christmas presents! In the spirit of my favorite holiday I opened a new line on Natural Essentials with 2 special products.
Aphrodisiac Blend ($6, 1 mL)
- Definition: “an aphrodisiac food, drug, potion, or other agent that arouses sexual desire.” So I guess this falls under [love] potion? Spooky.
- Diffuse this at sexy time so you and your partner associate the aphrodisiac scents with getting it on. It’s simple science and psychology.
- Fun Fact: Cleopatra used essential oils as aphrodisiacs
Rose Essential Oil ($18, 1 mL)
- This oil is so friggin’ expensive! *rolls eyes* What better way to celebrate V-Day than smelling like roses? Rose essential oil is also good for correcting blemishes and mood lifting, so it’s not just for Love Day.
- Keep a look out for discounts on my blog posts if $18 is just too steep for you.
As a psych major I love learning new things about psychology or seeing interpretations of mental illness that aren’t cheesy classroom videos. Mental health tends to be on display in the media, especially TV shows. I’ve put together a list of shows that personally remind me of psychology.
The United States of Tara
Tara has dissociative identity disorder; known in the past as mutli-personality disorder. Tara is a mother of 2 and a wife, which makes her DID complicate her life. I’ve only seen a few episodes but my step sister loved it.
Not all of the show is centered around psychology-based topics, but one of the main characters has bipolar disorder and they show her manic episodes and explain them. The actress who plays Silver, the bipolar girl, is really good at not making bipolar look like something it’s not like other media interpretations. On the other hand you get to see the social psychology amongst teens and young adults such as social comparison, cognitive dissonance, etc. It’s a really good show and I cried when it ended.
This is a new show and it isn’t mental illness that’s being showcased, but superpowers. David, the main character, reminds me of schizophrenia, PTSD, and DID. In the show he was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a child. The Loudermilks are literally joined together, reminding me of DID. Kerry lives inside of Cary, and only ages when she comes out. It’s a totally complicated show (it makes my head spin) based off of Marvel but it has almost nothing to do with the comics.
I’ve seen some of the old episodes, but apparently everyone is raving about how accurately mental illness is depicted in the new episodes. Emily and Lorelei go to therapy and the general disarry of their lives feel relatable to many with mental illnesses. Some even reported in engaging in downwards self comparison to the struggling characters.
Our main character of this Marvel show, Jessica Jones, has severe PTSD. The scenes where she has flashbacks are intense. She has life-like, interactive flashbacks triggered by visiting the areas where her and her “ex” (it’s more complicated than that) visited. There are crazy events that take place where she has to face this ex and her PTSD gets in the way.
Orange is the New Black
Lolly has schizophrenia and Crazy Eyes has not been officially diagnosed but a plethora of symptoms have been seen on the show. Lori Petty, who plays Lolly said, “It doesn’t mean you can’t be funny or smart just because you have paranoid schizophrenia.” The actresses and creators of the show are obviously dedicated to making this show be an accurate portrayal of mental illness. I have not watched season 2+, but I may now!
My best friend EATS. THIS. SHOW. UP. I was reading articles for this show and I think this article on Revelist puts the basis of the show the best, “Her obsession with rekindling their teenage flame is the lens that unveils Rebecca’s spiraling anxiety and depression. “This is what happy feels like,” she often tells herself, though her reality is completely opposed to that mantra. Those decisions — ditching her medication and upending her life to pursue a man who’s already in a relationship — unfurls the ferocity of her mental illness.”
First off all Blair had/has a bulimia nervosa and she is definitely narcissistic. Eric van der Woodsen is impatient at a mental health facility because he tried to kill himself in the first season. Some would argue that Chuck and Lily are also narcissists, and I definitely believe that Bart is a sociopath. It’s very easy to see all of the social psychology and psychology of personality in these characters, which I love.
Revenge shows the main character’s PTSD through flashbacks and how she plans to avenge her father.
First off , I’m not going to go on some monotonous rant about positivity that you’ve read/heard 8,000,000 times. I know how difficult it is to stay positive when you feel completely, utterly, indescribably horrible. I personally struggle with depression and a roller-coaster of a life so trust me- I understand, and these are some things I do to keep myself semi-sane.
- I’m the kind of person that needs support. It doesn’t matter if it’s from one person or 80- I need somebody that I feel like I can talk to about whatever is going on. I usually lean on my super awesome and very supportive boyfriend of 3 years. He listens to me and will offer advice if I ask for it. If you are looking for somebody to talk to; parents, siblings, grandparents, significant other, teacher, adviser, friend… Anyone you deem worthy. I just suggest not keeping everything bottled up and then exploding.
- I pour myself into my work. Whether it be homework, blogging, planning my day, cooking, running errands- whatever. I pour my mind and body into what I’m doing. It helps me stay distracted while providing me with my need to feel productive.
- Depending on how bad I feel, sometimes I need to do something completely unproductive to clear my mind. Today for instance, I received very bad news. So, I played the heck out of Star Wars Battlefront and watched a ton of 90210 episodes. I focused on Naomi’s event planning and blowing up imperials with homing missiles instead of the news I received.
- I actually acknowledge my feelings. It’s okay to cry, and if that’s how you express your sadness- cry. Know that you’re sad and why and just accept that you’re a human being that has emotions.
- I try to maintain my yoga/fitness schedule. When you’re stressed out and sad is when you need it the most. Focus on your breathing instead of your problems, and don’t let your body go to $#!& because you’re sad.
- I take time away from everybody else. It’s hard for me to be around people when I’m hurting, so I stay away. I’ll go play a game or write; that’s what I’m doing right now. If you can stand it, take one of those pamper yourself baths. (With Jaedyn’s Natural Cosmetics- as soon as it launches!)
- I try to find someone that is going through the same thing, or better yet, someone who did and got through it. I’ve been wanting to talk to these two guys I know that are going/went through some of what I’m going through now. I feel like they can offer advice that will help me to stop free falling with my emotions.
- I avoid things that will trigger negative emotions. I try to steer clear of anything that will make me feel worse.
- I maintain my healthy diet because it sucks to feel mentally ran over and physically ran over.
- I do things that I know will make me happy. I’ll buy myself something small, or go eat some ice-cream loaded with hot fudge.
What do you do when times are tough?