Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nightmares and Anxiety

Big problem with me is anxiety. I know my dad was diagnosed with OCD when I was a kid, but he probably had some other problems that were never diagnosed. I know my therapist thought I had social anxiety disorder (I'd buy that. I didn't talk to anyone except my parents and my twin sister until I was 7 years old). But I know I've got other anxiety problems as well. I probably have some symptoms of OCD, although I don't do the usual ritualistic behaviors that my dad does. I just have general anxiety and obsessive thoughts associated with it. When I first started on anti-depressants, it helped a lot. I started being able to do things I'd never been able to do before, like sleep with a door cracked open or with my feet uncovered. I could talk to people I didn't already know. It was nice. But it seems like my anxiety symptoms are coming back. Actually, even on anti-depressants, I was still shy, just not cripplingly shy like before. But lately, I'm back to checking the doors to make sure they're all closed and covering my feet, etc. It bugs me that my closet in this apartment doesn't have a door, so there's this big black yawning space staring at me all night and it freaks me out sometimes. I have to sleep with the TV on (it lights up the room, but is dimmer than having the lamp on, so I'm still able to "sleep").

Sometimes my anxiety level gets so high, that I'll get nauseous and start throwing up over and over again and I can't stop (which is why I have promethazine tablets in my house). I'll start having tremors (probably tardive diskenesia ). I once became so short of breath that I thought I was having an asthma attack, but it turned out to be that there was no medical reason for it, so they blamed it on anxiety. I started having panic attacks shortly before my last trip to LA (no scarlet fever this time, yea!). I really did believe I would die if I got on that plane. Really, there was no doubt in my mind that it would happen. The only bright side I can see to that is that at least it was unappealing to me to die. So, the only thing I can think is that this must be somehow related to the bipolar disorder somehow, because my anxiety symptoms seemed to get worse as I got more depressed. However, on the Lamictal, I feel like I'm already not as depressed. But my anxiety has yet to get any better. I've been having nightmares every night for the past week. It's always something bad happening to a loved one. Last night, it was that my mother died and had probably been murdered. I woke up devastated and couldn't get back to sleep in my grief. I just couldn't believe it was just a dream. I was so relieved when I heard her wake up and walk her dog. I just dread what I'll dream tonight, if I can even get to sleep at all. Since I haven't been sleeping well, I've been groggy and unable to get anything done (well, less than usual anyway). I did, however, make an attempt to vacuum my bedroom, because they were "inspecting" our apartments the next day, only to find out that the vacuum is broken. Ugh. So, nothing has worked out lately.

My mom and I were going to go out to eat today (spending money neither of us actually had--but it's been months since we actually went out to eat that we felt like splurging--and it's finally gotten down below 100F). I had won a $50 gift card for this local wine bar. Neither of us really enjoy wine, but it's also a restaurant and somewhat reasonably-priced at lunchtime. So we've eaten there a couple of times. I still had $5 left on the card, so we'd have gotten a discount if we ate there today. We get to the restaurant, and I pull on the handle only to find the restaurant locked. They were totally closed and have discontinued lunch service altogether. Well, the place is too expensive at dinner, so I guess that's it. Goodbye, $5. We thought we'd see a movie then, but nothing was showing at the decent theaters that we really wanted to spend that much money on (already saw "District 9" a while back--it's really awesome, for those of you who haven't seen it). So that didn't work out either. I mean, we never do anything together and we so rarely go out that it was really disappointing. I did manage to pick up a "birthday cake" for my baby, but it took all my spending money for the week (no, the cake was not that expensive--I just really have that little spending money). I guess maybe it was good that we didn't see the movie or I'd have ended up putting it on my credit card (yet another bipolar topic altogether--already have one bankruptcy and don't want another). Anyway, it's just really hard to de-stress and relax when things have been the way they are. I know I should exercise, but it's 85-87F in my bedroom. It's just too hot to do it in there. Luckily, today it's only 81F since it's only 75F outside. I'd go hiking in a local park, except that it's also raining. Normally, that would make me feel bummed out, but we've been in a drought and we needed that rain sooooo badly. We've lucked out this summer in that there weren't any wildfires even though it was the hottest and dryest summer on record. But, it's not like I want to go traipsing around in mud, so no hiking. There's no mall near us. I just don't know what to do. I just feel like I never get to do anything fun and I'm always doing what everyone else wants me to do instead of what I want to do. I never get to make my own decisions it feels like. Well, I do have a bankruptcy, so maybe I can see why no one trusts me with money. Ugh. I just don't know what to do. I miss shopping. : (


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CJ said...

I've tried sleep aids and none of them have worked for me. I tried Ambien as well as some others, with the side effect of worse insomnia than before. After a while, I just dumped them out because I was afraid I'd OD on them in a weak moment, as my suicidal urges were pretty strong at the time. I take melatonin instead, although I'm still a light sleeper and I have excellent hearing, so the slightest noise will keep me awake. Earplugs don't work either. None of them fit me, and the foam ones are just uncomfortable and don't work very well. Don't know what to do.

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