Saturday, 22 August 2015
Panic Attacks and Chronic Pain
Overwhelming sadness is threatening to engulf me every moment of every day.
Pain is ridiculous, and it is so powerful that it literally brings me to my knees. Trigeminal Neuralgia is nasty, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. The severity of my pain is impossible to express, but I only have this condition 2 years. What will the pain be like next year? Or the years to come?
The panic takes hold and I am paralysed for a while. I have pain all the time, but when a bad "attack" comes, I can sense it. The knowledge that horrific pain is only moments away is terrifying, and I am powerless to stop it! I am trying constantly to calm down a little, and meditation is working for me. I go to my bedroom and light a candle. I sit down on the floor and try and empty my mind which is a really hard thing to do. When I am in the midst of a really bad panic attack I focus on the animals on my wall. I have put up loads of pictures of my favourite animals, because I need something positive to focus on. My family are on another wall, and even if I am alone, I don't feel it.
The panic that the pain brings is almost as bad as the pain itself, and it is something that is commonly overlooked. We are given a cocktail of medication to try and combat the pain, but what about our mental health? I am beating it, but it's a daily battle.
With all the work that I need to do to simply function, it's a wonder that I am able to get dressed in the morning. I have also learned to give myself a break. I was so hard on myself, I need to cut myself some slack.
Panic attacks are no joke and they can be so debilitating. There are so many reasons for them and they cannot be overlooked or ignored. You can't "snap out of it," that is the worst thing to say to someone. I am stubborn and I choose not to go and see someone about them yet, but if they get any worse I will. There is no shame in seeking help. We all need help sometimes, and that is another lesson I have learned. There are fantastic support groups out there to reach out to.
Dealing with chronic pain is a full time job, and if our mental health is hurting, that is overtime without any pay or benefits.