Why Am I Having Anxiety Now?
I have often asked myself this question. How can I be feeling well for so long, and then my anxiety symptoms appear out of nowhere?
Anxiety and depression have been a part of my life for longer than I can remember. I have become an “anxiety expert” and have a very good understanding of what feeds my anxiety. Trust me, it has taken me years of severe episodes of anxiety and depression to pin point triggers, and learn ways to manage the symptoms. At times, being able to continue my daily routine was very difficult, and sometimes impossible.
Where to Start
START A JOURNAL! I can’t express the importance of this enough. Writing things down will make it easier to see patterns. Think about past experiences with anxiety or depression. How many episodes were you having each month? What was the duration of these episodes? List specific life events, or anything you feel might be significant to your emotional health during that time. ANY information you write in your journal could be very valuable in determining triggers for your episodes of anxiety and depression.
Journaling helped me see that many instances where I had suffered from extreme anxiety were times that there was a significant change in my life. For example, after I was married and became pregnant, I started experiencing panic attacks. After I gave birth to my first son, I had such severe anxiety that I couldn’t leave the house for weeks. My symptoms would always improve, but they would always return when something else changed. It could be anything from a new job to a illness in the family.
You see some patterns, now what do you do next? Since I know that major changes in my life could be followed by intense anxiety, I can somewhat be proactive. I might talk to my family and close friends to express my concerns and ask for extra support, Talking to a medical professional and possibly discussing a change in medication would be a viable option as well. When pregnant with my fourth child, I was pretty confident I would have trouble with post-partum depression and anxiety after the baby was born. Because I knew my history with these issues, I talked with my physician and discussed my concerns and we went over many options. A couple of months before the baby was due, we increased my medication. This made a world of difference in how I felt after my daughter was born and it was an amazing experience.
There are always exceptions to this. Not all of our life changes can be predicted. Sometimes life throws curve balls at you and can turn your world upside down with little or no notice. This is difficult and my suggestion to you would be to immediately communicate your feelings to family, friends, and a medical professional. I have found that the sooner you get help, the faster you can get feeling better.
I hope this helps you get started with your journal. I would love to hear from you, and learn what triggers your depression or anxiety episodes.