October 17, 2011

Anxiety: Depression’s Evil Twin

Some times I have to reverse engineer a bad day to figure out how my anxiety gets the best of me.

Today was a tough day. My oldest child is six years away from college and yet I had a near panic attack worrying about how to pay for her college tuition. I worried about how we are going to pay for braces for my youngest two...not to mention theircollege tuition.

I worried about what my family would do if something happens to me. I have insurance, but is it enough?

Today was not unlike most Mondays, actually. I don’t do transitions well—and I’m not talking about my writing style.

The transition from the weekend to the work week is always a struggle. The transition from home to work in the morning and then work back to home at night is hard some days, too.

Change causes anxiety for me. And as I’ve written before, my problems controlling anxiety only aggravate my depression.

My doctor just today decided to increase my dosage of Abilify, because the progress I’ve made since some really dark days this summer has stalled.

(That paragraph is a good example of a bad transition).

In searching around for information on anxiety and depression tonight, I found some helpful informationon depression and anxiety from the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. It explains that depression and anxiety disorders are different, but some of the symptoms are the same. They include nervousness, irritability, sleeping issues and problems and trouble concentrating. Sound familiar? Does to me.

I have never been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, but I don’t need to be. I know it’s a problem.

So how do I reverse engineer my day? Looking back, I realize I should have done something helpful when the negative thoughts occurred. I should have written down an action item, like figuring out a way to set aside a little additional money for the kids’ college funds. Then I should have stopped worrying about it.

If you are like me, that’s easier to say than it is to do.