Anything can trigger it, sometimes it just comes out of nowhere without any factor to set it off. We all deal with stress differently, it's a natural part of life. However, almost 1 in 5 people have some sort of anxiety disorder. Me? I have GAD (General Anxiety Disorder) and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) with panic attacks. Being as that I do not have the insurance or the money to cover the staggering cost of the medication I need, the only way to block it out is to drink, when I do have a little bit of cash. I've used alcohol to cope with my anxiety problems for about a decade now and I'll admit, it does a damn good job. Honestly, I usually like who I am when I drink. I'm not nervous and I don't feel like people are judging me. We all have our own little coping mechanisms, that's mine.
Why am I talking about this here? Because I was inspired to write this after a blog post by my good friend Alexis that made me realize this is something people really don't want to talk about. 1 in 5 people have some type of anxiety disorder, that's 20% of everyone here in the US so why is there such a stigma attached to it? Why don't we give it the same kind of attention that we give to cancer, diabetes and other issues? Having an anxiety disorder doesn't mean you're crazy, it's not something you inflicted upon yourself, it doesn't make you less of a person. We can talk about some of the most intimate moments of our sex lives with others but for some reason, the workings of our brains are somehow taboo?
I still remember a friend of mine who served in Iraq who had PTSD, it was very obvious when he came back. There were alot of them, Army soldiers back from Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 through 2005. One used to hole up in his apartment for days on end and always carried a number of weapons when he did go out. Another would randomly switch between crying and trying to attack passersby when he had his episodes. The friend I worked with had panic attacks and drank heavily. I had never seen him violent until he came back from Iraq. The following Thanksgiving, he went home to his mother's house and hung himself in the closet. He would probably still be here today if he had received the proper therapy.
I'm not sure when I had my first panic attack, we all have our moments when we are so completely overwhelmed that we feel like it's impossible to move, think, etc. I do remember the nights after my two car accidents, being unable to sleep and the nightmares that came when I finally managed to catch those elusive moments of shuteye. I still panic when another vehicle gets too close to me or when headlights come up behind me quickly at night. There are days, not nearly as frequent as before, when it is nearly impossible to get out of bed and get going. There are some that will say that you just need to push through it, and to some extent, you can do that but it's no substitute for therapy, medication and a support system.
Get help, talk about it. Remember, this is not something that is somehow your fault. If we can talk about sex as openly as we do, certainly anxiety disorders shouldn't be that big of a leap.