It’s absolutely no secret to anyone that I’m a worrier. I worry about everything and have done since I was little. My mum has always said it’s because I care so much, which I can kind of understand. But I also spent a lot of my life questioning if I maybe needed a little help in dealing with it.
It wasn’t until last year when I was around 28 weeks pregnant with Izzi that I started to realise that actually, my anxiety was more than just a big heart…
I started to notice that some days, especially days leading up to either appointments or days out etc, my anxiety would peak. I would panic, feel my heart racing and just dread what was about to happen. Other days I would feel fine. I would be relaxed, happy and have no problem with any tasks that the day had ahead.
As my pregnancy went on and more problems arose and caused me stress and discomfort my anxiety grew. Then Izzi was born and for a week or so, I felt better. Normal. I didn’t fear anything and other than the newborn little worries, I was stress free. Then Izzi was diagnosed with cow’s milk protein allergy and it all started to go down hill again.
I want to really stress that at no point did I ever feel anymore than anxiety and because of that I am really lucky.
I don’t really know the point in which I realised I needed more than the kind calming words of my friends and family. I could have been the night I lost my shit at Chris because of his suggestion of a holiday with both girls… Which when I look back I realise was irrational but truth is, I was worried purely because of the recent terrorist attacks and the complete lack of control I would have. I told you, irrational and stupid.
Whenever you google anxiety or depression, the first thing it says to do is seek help. That’s the first step as you’ve admitted to yourself you have a problem, which I never really believed. But honestly, the day I booked my appointment I felt the best I had in months. An instant weight was lifted and if anything, I felt almost excited to go to the doctors.
Anyone who has ever approached a medical professional regarding their mental health will know its daunting and the doctor just tends to sit there and let you talk. I was really lucky, my doctor was really understanding, calm and didn’t once make me feel judged or like I was crazy which unfortunately is the case for most people when talking about how they feel.
I was prescribed some anti anxiety medication called sertraline- the smallest dose and was warned the potential side effects that I may experience in the first couple of weeks. Head aches, nausea, increased anxiety and restlessness are the side effects I experienced. Thankfully headaches and nausea subsided within a few days but the increased anxiety and restlessness was a couple of weeks.
Anti depressant and Anti anxiety medication is quite a difficult thing to explain when it comes to working out how it actually works. But my doctor described it as little boost of endorphins every time you take you tablet. He also described by telling me to imagine a ‘H’ in the front of my head and when you suffer with anxiety or depressing the middle of the H has fallen away. The Sertraline helps build that little line back up over the course of the couple of weeks and after that, if the drug is the right one for you, you begin to feel better and yourself again.
As well as the sertraline I’ve also been researching other methods of helping to control the symptoms of anxiety. I avoid situations that I know carry a risk of making me especially anxious and if I can’t avoid them, I focus on staying calm. I also make time for myself, which as a mum is hard but its important anxiety sufferer or not. excercise and a good diet is also important and despite being two things I’m terrible at, I can always tell when ive been more active and eaten better as my mood is more relaxed and happier.
Not many people know that I have actually been diagnosed with anxiety. Most assume that I’m just a worrier and that’s it. But its amazing just how many people can relate and how many people also suffer with anxiety. There is, unfortunately still a stigma surrounding mental health that means so many people fear seeking help. Unless you experience anxiety, either for yourself or seeing how it affects people you love, you don’t really understand just how much it can affect someones day-to-day life.
Its been 3 months since I first saw my doctor and despite being so much more myself, I still have pretty crap days and I still get worked up about situations that would have once been a walk in the park for me, but I’m better.
If I could give one piece of advice to anyone who experiences anxiety, at any level, it would be ‘Don’t be afraid to tell someone’ I am not a medical professional but I really do promise, you will feel better the moment you talk!
Mumma Of Daughters