Talking to my Mom about Anxiety

In my attempt to be more open about my life, I want to share a story from a few conversations I have had recently.

If you do not experience anxiety or know someone who experiences it, you may roll your eyes when someone talks about their life and their attacks. It is funny as we hear the word anxiety more and more but we really do not know all that much about it. Sadly I think many self diagnose their problems and throw the term around like it is nothing. When in reality it is quite serious and we all experience it differently.

For the most part.

I was getting my hair done the other day and somehow my stylist mentioned she has anxiety. She immediately started down playing it and seemed somewhat embarrassed until I said to her that I too have experienced panic attacks and the crippling fear of anxiety. She immediately was relieved.

You see, we live in a small rural town and many of the people here are somewhat sheltered and older. The kind of people who bottle everything up and really do not talk about their lives or feelings. It was good for me to talk to another mom, a woman my aged with similar life going through the same as me. We compared notes and shared stories. Both of us felt a bond that strengthened our friendship and a sense of relief knowing someone else close by was dealing with the same. Somehow just talking about it was helpful and freeing.

For me I thought my anxiety came out of nowhere when I hit 40. Hubs had been super concentrated on our future and our retirement. I felt like my life was half over and most of my children were getting older and leaving the nest. Mix those feelings in with hormones, stress and the scary stuff going on around the world. I had a real rough year. So much so that I winded up in the emergency room thinking I was dying on more than one occasion. A few times I could not leave the house and just laid in bed crying. I was not me. I was a mess and I hated feeling like that. Finally one day I posted on Facebook what I was going through and the support and similar stories from my friends flooded in. Reading what all these people had went through was so helpful in my journey to better mental health. Since then I have spoken to my Dr and have educated my family about anxiety and panic attacks. I have made it my goal to talk more open about my anxiety, panic attacks and occasional depression. I consider myself an assertive person who is pretty outgoing. If I am experiencing these things, others who are a bit more shy may be afraid to ask questions about what is happening to them. Like my mom.

My mom was gifted a cell phone a couple months back. Since then she has been texting me more and more. Often her texts are random and small bursts about her fears, feelings etc. A couple times they concerned me and I have called to talk direct to her. Her and my dad are getting older and have a few minor health issues. My dad has had some major issues but they are under control now. Both of them no longer have their parents around and have had siblings pass away. This past winter was tough on them for weather and finances. She lives close to my sis but across the country from me. So she does not have as much family around as she has in the past. Plus her sister is feuding with her for who knows what reason.

All of this as well as her living area that is very secluded is starting to take a tool on her mental health.

When I talked to her on the phone I could hear the panic in her voice. She said she has been having attacks and a few times thought it was a heart attacks. She said she had not experienced this since many years back. A time I was actually out with her and an ambulance was called. A time where people still did not talk openly about mental health. I encouraged her to talk to her Dr and reassured her she would not be put in a padded room. This was actually a fear of my own when I went to my Dr. I told her to breath and to talk to someone about all that is bothering her. We also discussed possible medication and support groups that could help her with her anxiety and attacks.

A couple days later she called me so happy. She went to the Dr and felt 100x better. The Dr told her to take a vitamin daily as many experience the winter blues. As well she prescribed her something to take for her anxiety. She sounded so much more like herself. This was the happiest I had heard her in months. Just talking to her Dr as enough to lift some of what she was experiencing. It is amazing how talking and realizing you are not alone can help.

I am not saying this is the solution to your problems. All I am saying is it is a good place to start.

My mom grew up in a time where you did not share your woes with others. Being able to talk to me then in turn talk to her Dr has changed her life. She said my grandma experienced panic attacks in her later years. But the family never really understood them and did not know how to help her.

For me managing my anxiety is being aware of my triggers. I do my best to avoid things I know will cause me stress. I also am being more active and have cut out coffee as it was making me shaky. This is what works for me.

If you experience anxiety Dr panic attacks, keep note of what is happening and what may have triggered it. Talk to your Dr and stat taking care of you. After talking to my mother about anxiety as well as my friend, I am confident that I need to continue this conversation. Being open and honest about my struggles is going to help someone else with theirs. These two ladies are examples of this!

We all want to live our best life! Sometimes we just need a little love and support to do so.

I know it is hard to open up and share your stories. But I am willing to bet when you do, you will see there are others in your life experiencing the same. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing! 29 years since diagnosis here. You are not a lone either 🙂 I feel for your mom. Glad she has you who understands & relates thus she can trust you to support her. That trust makes all the difference.

  2. I’m so glad you are opening up and writing more about your life and what you go through with your anxiety. I was diagnosed in my 20’s but have dealt with this the whole life being I have bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. The anxiety and panic come with it. What I’m grateful for though Kim is that my son is 11 and he was diagnosed with anxiety and bipolar and having people like you opening up make it okay to talk about it instead of allowing a stigma to be attached. So thank you!

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