Thursday, September 9, 2010


My symptoms are mostly in the area of depression, however, I will also mention that I have problems with anxiety. This has somewhat lessened after being treated for the bipolar, however, I am still pretty anxious. I've always had this fear of someone sticking a needle in my foot. There are probably several reasons for this, but on is that I stepped on a sewing needle when I was 4 years old. This may not sound that traumatizing to a normal person. But for a child who was very tiny for her age, this needle went a good way through my foot and was a pretty wide needle used for embroidery. Then I had some traumatizing experiences when I was around 11 and so on for a few years with a sadistic dentist. I hate needles. Somehow this connected together in my mind. I can't sleep if my feet aren't covered. When I was on Zoloft, I had managed to work my way into wearing socks instead of having a blanket over them (this was preferable since my bedroom is so hot). But now I feel the familiar pangs of anxiety again and the socks aren't enough. I hate for my feet or anything else to hang off the bed. I have this sensation that I'm going to feel pain at any moment, so I yank it back up. This is horrible for when I'm just sitting there trying to read or work on the computer. Sitting with my legs up can cause problems with my circulation, so I hate to do it. But the anxiety over the needles is way stronger than my desire for adequate circulation.

Another of my fears is of doors being open. If I can see darkness in the closet at night, I'm always afraid someone is hiding in there waiting for me to fall asleep. It doesn't matter if I check there a hundred times before I try to sleep. If that door is open, I will not sleep. This has escalated to cabinets and drawers, although I know no one can hide in there. But I can't stand seeing that darkness inside. At first, I wasn't sure I could sleep in this bedroom because there isn't a door to the closet. Really, I have anxiety about it all the time. I take melatonin to help me sleep, but this is sometimes not enough. There are times when I resort to promethazine (which is given for severe nausea), which is a really strong tranquilizer. Even if I only take half the tablet, I will be groggy the next day, even if I manage to sleep well. I hate to take it, but being sleep deprived is worse.

The other major issue is my hand or something else touching the wall. Mainly this is at night, which is when my anxieties are strongest (although the social phobia can be at any time). But I've always been afraid of bugs crawling from my hand onto the bed. This could be that I've had this happen numerous times, including from ants, which I despise (especially the big ones we get here in TX). I had the window resealed, which helps, but the ants still get in sometimes. Any bugs are gross to me, so I really don't like them in the room. I actually have a very strong phobia of these nasty bugs that are usually associated with disease spreading, but which I cannot even write about because I hate seeing the word written down. I can't stand seeing cartoon ones, even. This may be a type of neurosis, which is much worse than a phobia. It's a phobia taken to a much higher level. Even worse, is that here in TX, these can be quite large and sometimes they fly. I will seriously freak out and scream and cry and generally panic. I'm just lucky that I haven't had too much experience with scorpions in my apartment, although that happened once. I've been other places where they were just everywhere but just not in the apartment. We did live in a house when I was little where there were black widow spiders in the garage. We knew this, but our toys were in there, so we were forced to go in there if we wanted to play with them. I'm sure my parents would have been horrified if they'd known. However, we had a tendency to exaggerate, so maybe they wouldn't have believed us anyway.

These are the main fears that I have although, obviously, not the only ones. I will speak to my new doctor about this because, so far, the treatment for bipolar disorder has not helped my anxiety much at all. Will probably relate more as it develops...

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