I suffered from frequent panic attacks for years, so I drank myself into oblivion to try to keep them away. It didn’t work. I found myself in AA, and am now a happy, sober Mama to three beautiful children. I am still afraid of the panic attacks, but I am not afraid to call on my support system. I also have an amazing therapist.
I have Bipolar II Disorder. I still look back at my behavior in the years before I was diagnosed and wonder why I didn’t, well . . .also, why no one else saw the warning signs. It’s easy to get angry, but I just try to look ahead and focus on my mental health.
I was bulimic all through college and no one knew – or if they did, they didn’t try to help me. I think my binge/purge habits just blended in to the binge drinking habits of my friends.
I am the pastor of a church in Virginia and I suffered from panic attacks and clinical depression for six months before I sought help. It took me three more months to tell anyone – including my wife – that I was in therapy and on anti-depressants. I was afraid that I would be seen as weak, since I am usually the helper, but everyone I shared my struggle with was very supportive. I am still embarrassed to admit that I was so embarrassed to tell anyone about my struggle. I see now that I was just afraid of the stigma –
My oldest sister lives with mental illness. She has all of her life. At first meeting her you would never know, but being her sister…. it’s something that is hard to miss. I blame her childhood and her not ever being able to move past it… I blame my parents for not recognizing
and helping her. It is tough because only she can decide to control her symptoms.. We can all stand by and try not to trigger her symptoms but only she can decide to get the help she needs. It sucks.
There is power in a “Hey, me too.” Thank you, friends, for sharing your stories. The Laundry is still open if you would like to share your story here.