Monday, November 13, 2006

Anxiety/Panic Update

After three trips to the ER and one trip to a therapist, I think I'm finally on a good road. I'm on Zoloft, which takes 3 or 4 weeks to kick in. After my last ER visit, I got a small prescription for Ativan, which gives more immediate relief (in the form of knocking me out completely). I've used the Ativan only once.

The most important therapy, though, has been knowledge. I bought a copy of The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook and have been reading through it from time to time. The important bits of knowledge: panic attacks can't kill me, they are limited by time, and they can't kill me.

Plus, I think I technically have a panic disorder, not an anxiety disorder. The big attacks have all occurred in the morning without any warning. (By "big attacks," I mean my arms and legs get exceedingly cold, and the cold tries to creep in my chest; I also get slightly nauseated and dizzy and very, very pale. Green pale.)

Sometimes I can feel them coming (I get slightly dizzy and hot-faced), and I'm doing a pretty good job staving them off just with some controlled abdominal breathing, happy thoughts, and occasionally singing in the car. Still, I could really use a "happy place" in troubled times. (I'm reminded of Meg Ryan singing "I Love Paris" before the plane takes off in French Kiss.)

A few more therapy sessions to learn some coping mechanisms and I'll gain my confidence back. That and making it through Christmas.

Oh, and thanks to my mom for getting me, among other relaxing things, some "Calming" Yogi Tea, which tastes and smells delicious but is the awfullest shade of green.