Panic Stations (or ‘How Worried Should We Be?’)


I have had panic attacks in the past, fortunately they have been rare.  Until now.  Has a perfect storm of circumstance conspired to create this sudden anxiety, or is it something more than that?  Although I haven’t experiencd a drawn-out and heart-crushing low for some length of time, nor a wildly excitable high, I have noticed that my mood changes more rapidly and more often than it used to.  My symptoms are more chronic than acute.  You would think this would be more manageable, but in some ways I had learned to live with those longer, rarer episodes.  I knew what to expect. Now I am spinning out between moments of existential despair and lively chipper-ness.  I’m finding it hard to deal with.  I think this is partly the source of my anxiety – will tomorrow be one of those inexplicable on-the-verge-of-tears days?  Will I be bouncing around like tigger?  Or will I have one of those delightful, peaceful ordinary days where everything is just-so?  The big question is – does this mean my symptoms are getting worse?  Am I more bipolar than I used to be, or is it just that some unhappy events have given me a bit of a shake-up?   What I should do is think about it less and do the job in front of me, whatever that might be of a day, but characteristically I have let this become a great big worry when only time will truly tell what the deal is.  And I’ve become a bore about it, I talk about it because I am trying to think through it, find a solution but what I am actually doing is saying the same things over and over.  *Yawn*  The trouble with panic attacks though, is you start to fret that you’ll have another until you have an attack simply because you’re worried about having one.  Meh.  I don’t do a job where I can take myself off and breathe into a paperbag.  That’s a worry. There is a lot of pressure right now to be at my best, and I’m not, which I hate.  I’m worried that I’ll reach that point where I throw everything up into the air and damn the consequences.  That would be really, really stupid.  But I have been known to do this.  I wonder if I even have an illness, whether I am not simply irresponsible, or selfish, or a bit-of-a-washout.  Or all of the above.  Maybe I am focusing on my mood swings because they are proof that I am struggling against something beyond my control, rather than just being a flake.  Wow.  So many thoughts, no wonder I’m in a panic.  The terrible thing is, life is good in the main and all this anxiety and dread could ruin it.  Again.  Maybe writing this will help get my thoughts straight…nope, never mind.  Perhaps I should try acupuncture…