Thursday, 17 May 2007

Thoughts on a common illness

So throughout my trip around South America my battle with depression and anxiety came back to bite me on the ass a couple of times.
I have had it under control pretty well lately what with good meds and some excellent therapy.
However traveling for me brings it all back, the lack of a comfort zone, the uncertainty, the lack of routine and it makes me all a bit fearful and stressed, which is hard to control still.
Dealing with someone who didn't know me very well while I was going through this really opened my eyes. I try to explain a panic attack to people to be rather like an asthma attack – certain situations will bring it on (for me, being in a crowd, feeling nauseous in a public place, turbulence etc) – and that there's nothing to be done until it passes. For those who don't know what a panic attack is like, for me I go really cold, I just want to get out of wherever I am, my heart beats really fast and your mouth goes dry. Afterwards you are utterly exhausted and just want to sleep.
I had around 3 panic attacks while we were away and spent most of the time going to all efforts to avoid more.
My traveling partner could not understand this at all. After one particularly nasty one he said he was freaked out by the whole thing and couldn't handle it. He didn't want to have to deal with it.
This really made me think. I can't help the fact that this happens to me. I will probably deal with it my entire life. I had always been very open around him about this problem. I can't really understand that this sort of thinking still goes on. I respect his honesty that he said it does freak him out and I could definitely see why. But it worries me as do I from now on have to keep it a secret from future partners? Or will other people be more understanding? It is another thing to worry about.
Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated.
Aims x

No comments: