i wish i could explain what anxiety disorder is like. what a panic attack is like. what having such depression that all you can do is stare at a wall with a numb feeling. but i can't. i can't compare it to anything. i've read a lot of book and websites and the only thing that comes close to explaining a panic attack is this:
imagine you are standing on a highway facing north. the traffic is going south. you see this semi coming at you. your heart starts racing. you start to freak out. you are numb. you want to scream but you are so afraid you can't. you shake. you sweat. you don't see anything else around you but that semi that is coming at you full force. you stand in place because you have no where to go. both sides are there to go to but you are lost. you are blinded by the lights coming at you. you think you are going to die. the way your heart is beating scares you more than that semi. the way your legs are so weak you can't run, walk or crawl. then all the sudden, right as it is in front of you it goes right around you. you live.
afterwards you are numb. you are scared to get on that road again because what if there is another semi that comes at you? what if this time it doesn't move and hits you? you are tired and want to take a nap because your body has just been through so much. you can't walk because you are tired. you felt like that semi literally hit you.
so one day you come to that highway. cars are going by. trucks. your heart starts to race. you start to get shakey legs. you start to sweat. you are afraid that a semi will come around the corner. so you turn around. you can't find out of a semi is there. it was too scarey going through what you did. i mean, you could have died. that is what a panic attack is like.
once you have one and another and another, you get to where you can't go to where you were because of the intense fear you feel. you don't want to feel anything that made you panic. no rapid heart beat. no sweating. no loss of breath. you avoid all the places you went that "made you panic." you blame it on those places. "well the mall did it. going into walmart made me panic." deep inside you know it wasn't the person, place or things but your mind doesn't. your has learned that those are the bad places. we can't go there because it will happen again.
once you have had this happen many times over half of your life, you just give up. the fear is higher than anything you want to do. the fear of another panic attack stops you. even your son so sick that you don't know what will happen can't even make the fears go away. the fears grip every being of your body. you have no control over it, so it seems. you are paraylized. what you once could do, that is so simple, you can't. you can't take a chance of dying on the highway. of dying in the car. of dying in walmart. you won't die but it feels like it. you think you will. the fear is intense. if i avoid it i will be ok and nothing will happen....bam...agoraphobia.
there is so much to explain but it so hard to. unless you have ever seen someone have a panic attack or had one yourself, you will never understand or know what they go there. do you know what it is like to go through chemo if you have never went through it? do you know what it is like to have to give yourself shots each day to keep your blood sugar normal? do you judge those people that lose their hair because of the chemo? do you judge the people that check their blood in front of you to make sure they are where they should be? then why judge someone with a mental illness? i would never expect myself to know what it is like to go through chemo unless i have to. for the ones that go through chemo or are diabetics, i would comfort them and let the know that even though i have no idea what they are going through, i am here for them 100%...even though i have no idea what they are going through. i would never say "oh you can't be weak because you just had a treatment...come on let's go." that is what people expect me to do though. they expect me to just pack up and go even though i have not left town in many years.
i had a very bad first marriage. i didn't realize my ex was verbally abusive till a therapist told me. i put a lot together and i am working on it. i am 100% better than i used to be but i am not completely healed. it's like a huge tumor that needs to be shrunk down. that takes time. that takes many steps, many rests, many tests, my ups, many downs but when you are finally healed, you are able to be you again. there was a lot that happened that i am getting over. he yelled at me when i was traveling. if i had a panic attack in the car he yelled at me. it doesn't go away fast. over the years you start to feel like you are nothing. that you don't matter to anyone. this was a good 10 years. you know how many times i cried myself to sleep thinking i didn't matter? it doesn't go away over night.
i could go on and on but i will end here. i just hope that one day people with anxiety, panic and depression are never judged on how they feel. that one day people will open up and accept them just as they are: a person just like them. we all have our faults. some just needs that extra love to get them to the person they need to be. have faith in them. believe in them. pray for them. love them.