According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, nearly 40 million people in the United States experience an anxiety disorder in any given year.
If you have pulmonary hypertension (PH) and anxiety, you already know this struggle. Anxiety affects us in more ways than we ever thought possible. Despite having PH for over 15 years, I have only known about my anxiety for the last few. Before, I thought of these feelings as a mindset — that I must push through the emotions and PHight.
My therapist taught me
My therapist has taught me how much of an impact my anxiety has on my life and my relationships. Because mental health historically has been a taboo subject, no one brought it up when I was diagnosed with PH in 2005.
Anxiety shows itself in peculiar ways
It’s after 2 a.m. and I’m wide awake, so I’m working on my column. I’m wide-eyed, although my body feels tired. When I try going to bed, my mind races with a million thoughts. Yes, I did take my anxiety medication a few hours earlier.
This is one way anxiety shows itself in my life. Worrying about others, finances, health, etc. is all part of the disorder. Yes, this is all part of life, but when it becomes continuous, it is anxiety.
Oh, yes, the mood swings
Decision-making is often difficult for me. Some days, it can be as minor as figuring out what I want to eat. This drives my husband, Manny, nuts. I can’t count how many times we’ve driven around in circles for an hour when we planned to eat. He tends to get “hangry” by this point and usually makes the decision.
Riding the rails of the crazy train
Anxiety is a daily struggle. The addition of challenging times in the world doesn’t help. Last week, I was in a funk and had Alexa play ’80s rock. The first song was “Crazy Train.” Yep, Ozzy and his lyrics, “I’m going off the rails of the crazy train,” hit the nail on the head.
There are days when I am riding those rails right alongside Ozzy. Thankfully, it’s not every day. Anxiety likes to pop in and out, and its many manifestations can be challenging to navigate.
If you’re dealing with anxiety, how does it manifest in your everyday life? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.
If you or your loved one is struggling with mental health, you are not alone. Check out the ADAA website for some helpful resources.
Note: Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pulmonary Hypertension News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary hypertension.
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