Anxiety Blows

I deal with anxiety on a daily basis, besides the bipolar disorder. I have generalized anxiety disorder including some form of OCD. I take meds for it, and I use a lot of grounding and mindfulness skills to work through the moments of unease and of panic.

The whole process and concept of ECT weirds me out and makes me anxious, starting several days before treatment. I have trouble managing the anxiety. And then I had the unfortunate experience of waking up after anesthesia was administered and before the procedure started to a feeling of not being able to breathe and not being able to move or talk to tell anyone because of the paralytic administered for the treatment. The experience lasted only a handful of seconds but scared the bejeezus out of me. And so now I Really Hate ECT and get super anxious leading up to treatment. Doggone it that it works for me!

This experience happened to me again last Thursday. I talked to my psychiatrist and to the ECT team about my anxiety-attack-level of panic, but it was my therapist the next day who Finally had something sympathetic and helpful to say! My anxiety is normal and doing what it is supposed to do – warn me of danger – he said. And all the coping skills I’ve learned and practiced for mood shifts and crises Will Work for this anxiety too. Now that my mood is stable, I have the opportunity to use these skills for naturally occurring emotions, and to deal with my anxiety disorder.

Hallelujah! Something to tell myself in the moment, as well as “tricks” to try when the anxiety prevents me from being in the moment, such as writing about the anxiety, both to get support from my support system, as well as to sort out what I’m feeling, and get some distance from what I’m feeling. And What Am I Feeling? Vibrating in the center of my solar plexus. Shallower breathing than I should be doing. Thoughts jumping from partially-formed thought to an awareness of panic that stops all thoughts. Fear. Paranoia. Failure.

Anxiety Blows.

4 responses to “Anxiety Blows

  1. There are only a few people I know of that have had success through ECT, I myself (if ever offered) to do ECT would probably have a panic attack at the mere thought of it.
    I agree, anxiety bites the big one… But try will all your might to divert it through means of doing something to keep your mind focussed on something else. I know it’s not easy, but it has helped me with my anxiety… Diversion techniques.
    I’m so terribly sorry you are going throught this. Hang tough, Sweetie!!! ((((Hugs)))

  2. Hearing a story like that makes me really angry… you know anaesthetists can vary how deep or shallow they put you under?
    If you do ever have e.c.t. again, I’d advise you to tell them to make sure they whack you out cold next time!
    From your point of view you’ll just sleep even deeper and longer.
    If you get too unwell to explain something like this — and we’ve all been there – then make sure it is prominently written on your notes that you require an extra large dose so they never EVER let that happen again.
    Anyway e.c.t. or not I hope you start feeling better soon 🙂
    Take care

    • Thank you! I’ve heard a few things about why it happened and how they’d make sure it wouldn’t happen again. But I decided not to do ECT anymore for several reasons.

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