Trying to get diagnosis, Dipolar with Anxiety & Stress issues

Discussion in 'Say Hello and Tell Us Your Story' started by Crafty, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. Crafty

    Crafty New Member

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    Hi,

    I found about the forum on twitter, not sure if my Anxiety & Stress counts as you seem mostly to focus on Phobias. I do have some mild tendencies & symptoms towards possible social phobia but also not gotten any real diagnosis yet of anything since more then 10 years ago when I was supposedly diagnosed with depression & panic attacks. I was put on meds for depression which then started symptoms dr's believe show signs of bipolar.

    My main symptoms now consist of bipolar type symptoms along with extreme anxiety and panic attacks. All my symptoms basically have me afraid to try to communicate with people as my symptoms etc & past experiences have me believing that no one really wants to talk to me due to various reasons mostly related to my mental health & behaviour, topics I talk about etc.

    For the most part, I deal with my stress and anxiety issues by focusing as much as possible on my daily tasks, in my case housewife & motherly "duties". On the side, to reduce my stress & anxiety & to try to pamper myself when possible, I try to ensure that I never give up on my art & craft activities along side other popular hobbies like listening to music etc.

    I made a promise to myself to try to keep myself on track and to re-focus my mind and emotions by making a deal with myself to try to use my experiences and knowledge to try to help and benefit others as well as myself. I make it almost like an extra duty to myself to try to continue posting information online about tips, tricks & activity ideas on how I deal with my stress and symptoms in hopes that it may actually benefit & inspire others if they try to use similar methods. It makes me feel better about myself and usually helps with improving and maintaining my self confidence to better levels to think that I am at least "trying" to help others.

    I allow myself to be as eclectic with my arts/crafts as I chose without worrying that it'll confuse anyone, the main aim is to keep my hands and mind busy with more "positive" & "creative" endeavor's that help to distract me from any un-necessary worrying or obsessing and therefore helps to reduce my overall stress. I try everything creative that takes my fancy from art & junk journalling, sewing clothes or fabric toys/adults teddy bears, quilting. I mostly focus these days on junk journalling or art journalling as they seem the hobbies/arts that I seem best at and therefore help me best to feel good about "myself" and therefore the "world".

    The main idea is to find something that you do agree yourself that you are at least "somewhat" good at, as long as you are able to really appreciate the end result yourself and not care too much about what everyone else thinks, that's what you should focus on.

    I still have panic attacks, I can go for several weeks without making anything art/craft or not post on my blog or anywhere else. I push myself as soon as I am feeling well enough to continue creating and posting no matter what, even if I seem to have lost readers or viewers I don't give up, because it's what keeps me going.

    During my worst panic attacks I'm unable to get out of the worst panic for some time, sometimes there's not much that you "can" do but to allow yourself to go through the emotions/thoughts. Unfortunately we can't always stop or distract ourselves from panic, sometimes "trying" to remember to breathe and wait for the calm is all you can do. While having an attack often that is all you can think about until you start to calm down, and that's ok. If you need outside help from a loved-one, as long as you do have at least one person you can vent to, or ask for a holding hand or hug, try not to avoid asking when you do need it, even if it's just someone to listen to your complaints online, it still helps to feel like you are listened to...

    I "try" to remind myself as soon as the haze of panic starts to fade even a little that it will keep improving and I will calm down soon. Sometime's there's nothing I can do while at my worst, but I try to keep posters/quotes etc as visual reminders for that time I need it most that all panic etc will pass...

    Once I am able to breathe and think more normally, depending on how bad the trigger was etc, if able to, I try to push myself to do something creative to help reduce the rest of the tension/stress that I still feel. If I still feel pretty bad & can't focus on anything, I simply watch inspiring Youtube videos for ideas on what art work to try later when I do feel good. When at medium level & I can focus enough, as long as nothing has to be done for the house or our son, I try to do small steps of painting a background on a piece of paper to use later. Anything simple that doesn't take too much skill or concentration, swirl paint around on the paper or use any other colour method, even something simple like pastels, pencils or simply cut out pictures from magazines etc to put away for later use.

    I hope this does help at least a little, it'll also be a reminder for myself later on when I have another bad panic I can read back on this to give myself reassurance also... Sorry if I have repeated myself or anything, hope everyone is doing ok.
     
  2. Mark

    Mark Active Member

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    What a great post and obviously from the heart.

    I think many people will relate to panic attacks and how much of an impact they can have on your life. I have suffered from these myself and after one I feel absolutely shattered and ready for a sleep - both mentally and physically they have a massive impact on me. Thankfully like you now I can feel a panic attack coming on and then try to divert my attention elsewhere and hopefully avert a full blown attack. It is not easy, I tend to suffered more when I am tried already, but to read your description makes me realise I am not alone and there is hope. I think that is one of the greatest fears of panic attack, anxiety and phobia sufferers, being made to feel different and often feeling very very alone.
     
  3. Crafty

    Crafty New Member

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    Yes, it's like a cycle, because we don't want it, trying too hard to avoid it can actually make it worse... Yes, I definitely also agree about it being worse when you are tired, I think it's why medical professionals are so careful with mothers after birth (staying awake or waking up too often to feed baby etc)... Definitely if I haven't had enough sleep or good enough sleep it's always much worse on emotional/mental health symptoms... Avoidance or distraction won't help for the worst times but it can help sometimes, like start of tension or stress during a stressful day, helping to make the symptoms or feelings a bit less at least by doing something fun or creative can help vent the feelings or reduce at least a little and then it helps later on if you do panic etc it may be less. Any help to reduce severity is usually great!
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Active Member

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    While each of us is different there is no doubt that distraction techniques can help many people. The brain is such a powerful thing but if we find a way to use this power to deflect phobias, anxiety and other similar conditions, how much better would that be :)
     

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