By Malcolm Ives
Key Themes: key themes
Anxiety and panic are bred into us from our ancient fore fathers. The instinct to fight or run when we feel threatened and nervous feelings when under stress or pressure are all completely normal.
However in some of us these feelings of panic or anxiety are with us all the time when stress from our own lives or the thought of going somewhere strange come up.
Many of the symptoms that people suffer in these situations are fairly identical. The feelings of nausea, tightening of the throat arms legs and chest, breathlessness, dry mouth ,feeling light headed and the desperate need to urinate are the most common physical reactions.
The mental affects are differing in most cases but most common is the feeling of uselessness or the feeling that something really bad is going to happen.
I have read many case histories of people suffering from a panic disorder and the differing occurrences that bring panic on all bring on at least two or more of these symptoms.
About the Author
Malcolm was born and grew up in the Hertfordshire Countryside during the 1960’s. He attended the local village C of E school then went on to the local Secondary school in the next village. Being above average height and below average weight he was a prime target for the local bullies and the butt of many jokes even from some of the teachers.
He suffered his first bout of depression at the age of fifteen mainly due to bullying and a move of house. Hardly attending school during his final year he left as soon as was legally possible.
He worked as an apprentice mechanic for a couple of years then as an upholstery improver and drivers mate for a local family company.
He then went to work for a local brewery as a “fill In” between jobs for a planned period of about six weeks. He was made redundant from said brewery about eighteen years later . But even during this time he still suffered rankling and constant jokes aimed at him about his size and weight. Trying to improve his fitness by weight training and practicing Karate made the jokes even worse.
Two failed marriages during this time put the stress of financial problems heavy on his shoulders plus the extra stress of his second wife being very abusive and at times violent towards him.
He went to work for Sainsbury’s supermarkets in the distribution sector where the constant abuse about his size disappeared and he was never bullied. But a relationship after his second marriage brought back some of the old stresses.
After about five years working at Sainsbury’s he suffered his first really bad anxiety attack . Probably brought on by the stresses in his private life .A problem he still suffers from today.
He is now happily married with a wife that gives him support and comfort and his life is quite settled. But his constant battle with depression and anxiety continues.
I was still having to take time off work due to the panic and anxiety.
I had to go to another meeting with management.
We sat for quite a while talking about my illness and I explained about the course of treatment that the psychiatrist had suggested.
They arranged with me to return for another meeting in a couple of weeks' time.
I did not know what to expect when I sat down to the next meeting, and the feelings of panic were really hard to keep under control. We sat again, going over the minutes of the last meeting. It was now time for the talking to start.
I made it quite clear that I was hating having to take all the time off that I was doing. I explained again that I was going to have to wait my turn for the therapy that I was waiting for.
They offered to help fund the treatment themselves (Sainsbury's, that is). The company was doing all it could to support me, which also helped to lift my mood.
I visited the psychiatrist again a couple of weeks later. During the meeting I turned the subject onto the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy but they just seemed to shy away from the subject after going over funding and waiting lists. I told them that my company would help pay for the treatment but they just seemed to ignore what I said. This was to happen on a regular basis over the next few months.
Finally after many more sessions they told me that there was a space available in a south London hospital; they just had to sort out the funding. Again I repeated what Sainsburys had offered in the way of funding. Again they seemed to ignore me.
They never seemed to quite achieve getting the funding and never did, as it seemed that one health area would put the funding on the other and vice versa.
Even though Sainsburys had offered to fund the treatment I was never to receive it.
There was one big success though; my medication was sorted out to one that fought the illness quite well. I was to take three pills a day, a very strong antidepressant, an anti psychotic and a mild sedative to be taken at night, with an additional sedative, 'Lorazapam' to be taken in emergencies.
This concoction seemed to work very well, even though it had a few unpleasant side effects.
I gained weight and small 'man boobs' from the anti psychotic.
The nightly sedative affected other male parts of my body .
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