Thursday, July 29

Something you might want to know about me...

So you know I have anxiety. (well if you didnt know before, now you do.) I have been clinically diagnosed with Anxiety and a stress disorder, so much so that I get panic attacks, causing me to either shut down or completely freak out, or to revert to drastic measures because I feel threatened.

So I want to explain to you something that might help you understand how I work, and why I react the way I do.

When I react in an adverse way, where I say "I give up" or something of that nature-- or where I respond with the most drastic response possible, "just break up with me" and so on, its not ever because I dont care, but instead its because I dont know how else to respond. Each time that we fight or I fight with my mom or I meet a new person or I am faced with a pressing or challenging situation, I have a panic attack. Sometimes theyre minor, like when I meet someone new, where my palms just sweat and I have sweat beads run down my back. But when I get into fights, my whole body trembles, and my muscles clench and I cant think clearly. I think in only the extremes, and I begin to hyperventilate. Youve seen it happen before. (Think: when we had that huge fight freshman year (the slut one,) or the one more recently where you thought I was leaving for good.) And I can't control it to the fullest extent-- sometimes I can, but usually its completely uncontrollable. And yes there are ways to medicate it, to make myself gain better control over the attacks by taking prescription drugs, but you know how I feel about prescription drugs and doctors. And how I feel about medicating society, becuase basically I could look at it from this angle: You could medicate me for my OCD (I am extremely compulsive about books. They have to be aligned and neat, with the spines all showing and arranged by height. Also, about writing. I am extremely compulsive about writing and things of that nature-- heck look at what I'm doing right now. I am also compulsive about hygene, food preparation and so forth... germs in general. But you knew that part,) for my Anxiety, for ADD (I was once diagnosed with ADD, and I still do have it-- its lessened with age, but I am entirely unable to focus on one thing at a time. So thats just the tip of it. Throw in the eating disorder and the self-image issues, and wow. Youve got a winner.

Youre dating a defective person. Ive said in the past that I should come with a warning label, disclosing my pitfalls and my follies. But Ive yet to actually generate that label.

Now you can look at this all as an excuse as to why I act the way I do, and as to why I get into this mode, where its always so drastic. And I've worked on it a lot-- it used to be a lot worse. But I hope that by you understanding this, you can better understand me, and what I write and how I react.

 
For the most part, what I do with you is called "fight or flight" syndrome.  And since youre all into the technical aspects of it all, I figured Id post some of the info about it here for you.

"Fight or Flight is a physiological/psychological response to a threat. During this automatic, involuntary response, an area of the brain stem will release increased quantity of NOREPINEPHRINE which in turn causes the ADRENAL glands to release more ADRENALINE. This increase in Adrenaline causes faster heart rate, pulse rate, respiration rate. There is also, shunting of the blood to more vital areas, and release of blood sugar, lactic acid and other chemicals, all of which is involved in getting the body ready for fighting the danger (a tiger, a mugger), or running away from the threat. Feelings of dread, fear, impending doom, are common. "[From: http://www.panicattack.net/description2.htm]
 
A good site on information is this: http://www.panic-attacks.co.uk/panic_attacks_1.htm (Dr.Preston reccomended it) Below is an excerpt from it.

"That is why the mind of a human being can trigger a panic attack fast and unconsciously. This is highly important. People who suffer panic attacks often report that "they come from nowhere" and this is an essential part of the fight or flight response"
 
"What happens during a panic attack?
Well, several things happen as your body alters its priorities from long term survival to emergency short term survival. In response to the release of hormones such as adrenaline, your blood pressure increases and breathing speeds up preparing you for muscular effort."

 
"Blood is shunted away from the stomach to the major muscle groups where it will be used during an emergency. This is why people who experience regular stress often have digestive problems: blood is constantly being pumped to areas other than the stomach." (When I was diagnosed with anorexia, I was told that my anxiety had a direct corrolation between my eating habits and my lifestyle. It still continues today, which is why I dont eat as frequently or as much-- its a combination of my stomach shrinking and also my constant anxiety.)

"Panic Thought 6: Losing control
When having an anxiety attack, it can feel like you have lost control. In fact, all that has happened is that control has shifted from your conscious to your unconscious mind, so things are still being regulated, just differently. "

 
"Part 5 : The Brain and Panic Attacks: 'Emotional Hijacking'


When you have a panic attack, or become very anxious your emotional response can actually bypass your 'thinking brain'. The red dot in the diagram is the amygdala, which is involved with creating a 'faster than thought' panic attack. It is very difficult, or impossible, to think clearly when highly emotional because the part of the brain you think with is inhibited.
This is a very primitive part of your brain, designed for survival, rather than problem solving in complex situations.
The most common comment from people who have panic attacks is 'It's totally irrational', which is quite right. It's not the rational part of the brain that deals with panic attacks. This is why people often find it hard to make decisions during a panic attack. "


 

Now I dont know if this was a good idea for me to post all this, for me to tell you about it all. I talked to Dr.Preston about it today, more in regards to my response to my Mom and our fights, but I realized its also completely applicable to my relationship with you. I hope you can understand that what I do, I dont do with malice or the intent of sabatoging our relationship, but instead to protect me, and to protect you. So I'm sorry that I am the way I am. And I'm sorry I had to explain this all, that its even something that has to be adressed. So please forgive me. I do love you, and I do regret putting you through all this, and putting us through this. I swear, I am working on it, and will continue to work on it. I just hope that you wont give up on me by the time that I get to the point that I can manage all of this. Im sorry. I love you.

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