Thursday, October 19, 2017

Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder

I was clinically diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder by my psychiatrist. But before that, I was referred to her by our cardiologist. I was already seeing a doctor near our house because of possible vertigo (I was prescribed to drink anti vertigo medicine). It worked alright but the dizziness did not disappear. Plus I was having a terrible cough that time. It was around January 2016 when I decided to go to a pulmonologist to check if there is something wrong with my lungs as I was having difficulty in breathing normally. I even thought that it was asthma.

I went to the best pulmonologist in our city. The doctor is a bit old (hey hey, I'm not discriminating here). He has a secretary that will do the writing and all. They gave me something that I need to blow (up to now, I'm still not sure if that was to check if I have asthma or not as they did not disclosed this to me). They also checked my blood to know if I have allergies that time and alas, I do have. He prescribed me anti allergy (Prednisone) to drink for 2 weeks. I grabbed that chance to ask him about hyperventilation. He told me that he knows that hyperventilation is only a symptom not an illness per se. I came back a week after and asked him to change the medicine as my stomach cannot handle its side effects. He then gave me Montelukast (anti-allergy) which to be taken for 1 week. I only drank the medicine for 3 days as I was shaking so bad and had palpitations whenever I drink it.

Just a few weeks after that, my sister suffered Anaphylactic shock (allergy shock) and almost died. Good thing my mother knows a 24 hour clinic near our house. This was when I had another severe hyperventilation attack that I was rushed to a hospital. Unlike my first hyperventilation episode, the hospital did not inject medicine to calm me instead, they just waited out my hyperventilation and had me take an ECG (electrocardiography). This is when we decided to see our family cardiologist on the said hospital.

Doctor Tan, our cardiologist, interviewed me regarding my illness. I told him all the symptoms I was experiencing, stomach pains, what happened to my sister, my miscarriage and the hyperventilation. He explained to me what hyperventilation is. He also made it clear that the most severe case of hyperventilation can lead to loss of consciousness (yeah I know, it's still frightening, but I was able to breathe freely when he made sure that the attack will not lead to death). He also referred me to his colleague - a psychiatrist. At first I was hesitant and asked my mother about this, and she said that it's okay to go.

I guess it was around April 2016 when I went to see a psychiatrist. Again, I told her everything, all that I've said to Doctor Tan. She prescribed me Xanax and anti-depressant. It was a monthly check up before. All my savings went to the medicines and the doctor's fee. I almost got broke because of this. It actually added frustration and stress but I can say that I'm still a bit lucky that I have parents that are supportive financially and emotionally. I can assure you that this is not an easy battle like what other people say. It's more serious that it was shown on TV - side effects of the medicine, adjusting does, and the anxiety and depression itself. I cannot say I was cured, but at least the attacks lessen and I'm slowly getting better. Finally, after 6 months, she removed the Xanax though I'm still maintaining the anti-depressant. I guess it's to control all the thoughts that I have.

I'm not suicidal, though I think of suicide. There are times that I feel down, times that I need to smile and times that I just want to cry. I guess, it's part of the illness. I'm still fighting this battle and will fight as long as I live. So for people who invalidates us, sufferers of mental illness, please be a little more kind. Your words and actions only adds up to what we already think and feel. We already suffers mentally, physically and emotionally. Please be more gentle.

"Remember that you were given this life because you're strong enough to live it."

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