Let’s Talk… My Mental Health

Hello Internet! It’s been a while! If you follow me on Facebook (which why don’t you?), you know that I had to take a break for my mental health. However, since I have this platform, and the opportunity to talk about it, I wanted to talk a little about my mental health as I know it (especially since I use you all as a type of therapy). Let me preface by saying that I have never been formally diagnosed with anything. I have been treated for panic attacks and migraines, but I have never been diagnosed with a chronic mental health illness. With that being said, I have suffered from panic attacks as early as 13, I have shown depressive symptoms since I was 12/13, and I have suffered from migraines since I was 19/20.

My panic attacks are normally caused by social situations. I will have panic attacks before an important day (like first day of class or work, or an interview), when I feel like I am a disappointment or failure, or when I am in a tumultuous situation. My panic attacks feel like there is someone or something sitting on my chest, making it impossible to breathe. In my fight or flight response, my eyes begin to water, and I begin to hyperventilate in order to get the required oxygen my body thinks it is not getting. In order to calm myself down, I start counting breaths. My panic attacks also affect my stomach. I will get that butterfly feeling, and sometimes the stress is enough that I will actually get sick. For about 6 months or so in college, I took a very mild form of anxiety medication to try to help this situation. I ultimately got off of it because the weird feeling I had on the medication didn’t feel worth it for the amount of panic attacks I had.

Depression is a difficult one for me to talk about. I never was formally diagnosed or treated for depression, so I feel uncomfortable labeling it as such, but I have had symptoms since I was a kid. My symptoms are something that I am very insecure about, so I choose not to talk about it that often. But I do feel like I need to mention it just to cover all the bases (can you tell I’m feeling really paranoid about talking about this?).

Migraines are very much a part of my life. I am light sensitive, so driving at night is often a scary concept for me. I don’t get migraines often enough to be chronic, but I did receive medication in college to try and help deal with them. My migraines are either right above my left eye or right behind my right ear. I can’t really focus on anything but the pain when it happens, so I try to find ways to minimize the pain until I can sleep, which is my universal cure for migraines. I will use Excedrin migraine (not sponsored but feel free to send me some), ice, heat, or a mixture of two or more of these in order to get asleep.

For the past two weeks, I have been suffering from normal headaches that have prevented me from reading at the level I normal do. I took a step back and focused on myself and my mental health, which was the reason for the break. I have been reading and listening again and discovered that those headaches are not coming back for now so I am going to keep going and see what happens from here. I am going to be planning posts out a little better so that I have some type of idea as to when to post, and what to post, while also giving myself some breathing room if for whatever reason I’m not reading as much.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I will see you all in the next book!

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