Here are *some* of the answers to my last two relatively cryptic posts. I have had a life long battle with Axieity attacks, mild depression, and ADHD, and I am finally seeking treatment. I have a lot of trepidation writing a post about my mental health. There is a stigma that is different from other forms of illnesses and I worry how it could effect future employment opportunities. While it is essentially illegal to make an employment decision based on this disclosure, I am not naive and I have been in HR for long enough to know it happens. So if down the road I choose to shop my skills around and you Google Stalk me – well first, nice job on getting past the 8o’s actor crap, and second shame on you – the internet is not a reliable source of information . But as I said, I’m not naive, it’s going to happen. So when you do, look at my resume, tenure and promotion track. I have been a rockstar without getting help, things are only going to get better.
I have spent most of my life in denial of these issues. Even the ADHD which I have been fairly candit about, in recent years I have chalked it up the the lifelong sleep deprivation. Don’t get me wrong, it certainly exeserbated the symptoms and Lunesta has changed my life. Since going on it, on average it’s been better controlled than anyother point in my life. But to say it gone is a lie, one I have been telling myself for years. If it was true I wouldn’t be here self medicating with a cigar attempting to collect my thoughts. I’m actually having a flashback of college, plowing through a pack of cigigarettes trying to finish a term paper!
This also isn’t the first time I have admitted to depression. Four years ago I was in a pretty dark place. And then, like with the ADHD I grasped on to some other reason for the depression; anything but me. At the time I was taking a Beta Blocker to reduce my migraines. While the Beta Blocker was seriously exasperating the depression, and when I went off it I came out of the dark place, it was not the cause. It’s always been there, under the surface, whispering in my ear, waiting for an anxiety attack to push me into despair. I am not saying I have had a miserable depressed life. I haven’t. But that fragile balance has been too easy to tip in the wrong direction.
The anxiety attacks are not new either, though I never would have know to call them that. Yeah, The irony of having a background in psychology is not lost on me. Essentially, given the right trigger I can’t shut my brain drown. It goes 186,000 miles a second into often unrealistic and worst case scenarios. Then I feel compelled to try an fix whatever it is that is wrong, often making it worse. My heart races, my blood pressure soars, my rational mind slips away. I don’t hear what is being said to me, only what the dark side of my mind tells me, what they “really” mean. I have always know this about myself, but just accepted that this is who I am. But now I know what it is, and that it can be treated and controlled.
There are a few triggers that tend to set me off. Here is where I admit to a history of issues with intimacy. Yeah I know, A fairly decent number of women (yeah I am arrogant enough to believe they are cyber stalking my blog) just collectively sighed and commented about wasting money on a shrink to tell me something they would have happily shared for free. I have a large number of friends but there are fairly few people I let beyond a certain level of emotional intimacy. But for those who make it past my defenses, whether it is a Romance, Bromance, or platonic girlfriend, I have a hard time copping with the vulnerability. The closer the connection, historically, the harder it is.
So as I said I just started therapy. I am taking an anti-anxiety drug, which from what I understand, is a short term way for me to control the anxiety attacks over the next few weeks, until the Prozac takes affect. I am of course combining this with traditional therapy to help get at the route of the causes, as well as give me better copping strategies.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank a few people for their support; there are many more but these three deserve special recognition. First and for most, I want to thank my wife, Melissa Feldman who has been incredibly supportive since I told her last week I needed to go into therapy and possibly start some medication. She has listened when I have been willing to talk, and not pushed me, when I haven’t been able to. I also want thank her and apologize to her for the countless times we have had some sort of argument (real or imagined on my part) and I couldn’t shut my brain down. I would keep her up talking and talking for hours, well past her point of exhaustion. She always stayed with me until I could find away to bring my brain back to the rational. I love you! I also want to thank Tony Orlando (yeah yeah, I’m Corey Feldman and one of my dearest friends is Tony Orlando, go ahead we have heard them all). You have been there for me, through thick and thin for, pretty much all of my adult life. You helped pick up the pieces after she who shall not be named. You always tell me that I taught you how to be a friend, but you my friend taught me how to be a better person. And Camille Wahl, you have been an incredible friend. Last week, you were sick, your son had thrown up on you at least three times. You were exhausted physically and emotionally. Yet you spent and hour IMing with me, breaking through my defenses and convincing me it was time for therapy. I am sure you spent the entire time rolling your eyes and shaking your fist at the computer screen, but in an hour, you broke through decades of defensives, I will always be grateful. I owe all three of you a debt I am not sure I can ever fully repay. I love you all!
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