We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
From the Editor of The Atlantic, Surviving Anxiety - I've tried therapy, drugs, and booze. Here’s how I came to terms with the nation's most common mental illness:
I wish I could say that my anxiety is a recent development, or that it is limited to public speaking. It’s not. My wedding was accompanied by sweating so torrential that it soaked through my clothes and by shakes so severe that I had to lean on my bride at the altar, so as not to collapse. At the birth of our first child, the nurses had to briefly stop ministering to my wife, who was in the throes of labor, to attend to me as I turned pale and keeled over. I’ve abandoned dates; walked out of exams; and had breakdowns during job interviews, plane flights, train trips, and car rides, and simply walking down the street. On ordinary days, doing ordinary things—reading a book, lying in bed, talking on the phone, sitting in a meeting, playing tennis—I have thousands of times been stricken by a pervasive sense of existential dread and been beset by nausea, vertigo, shaking, and a panoply of other physical symptoms. In these instances, I have sometimes been convinced that death, or something somehow worse, was imminent.
Even when not actively afflicted by such acute episodes, I am buffeted by worry: about my health and my family members’ health; about finances; about work; about the rattle in my car and the dripping in my basement; about the encroachment of old age and the inevitability of death; about everything and nothing. Sometimes this worry gets transmuted into low-grade physical discomfort—stomachaches, headaches, dizziness, pains in my arms and legs—or a general malaise, as though I have mononucleosis or the flu. At various times, I have developed anxiety-induced difficulties breathing, swallowing, even walking; these difficulties then become obsessions, consuming all of my thinking.
It's a vivid description of what we used to call Anxiety Neurosis but now term Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Stossel says that nothing has helped him except for moderate use of Xanax and/or alcohol. He has concluded that he just needs to live with it, if not to embrace it.
So, is that how things are out there in the big cities? The small-town folks I know are too focused on working jobs, raising kids and paying off the mortgage to wallow in self-pity like this guy. I almost emailed this to my brother, a former Recon Marine, so he could see what "real" PTSD looked like.
I pretty sure this guy sat around in his pajamas today, drinking hot chocolate and talking about Obamacare....
My wife has it, and it can be crippling at times. I don't know that it's a mental illness, but it sure doesn't look like fun from where I sit, and about all that's helped is some therapy. She doesn't drink, and none of the usual meds have done much.
Still, she forces herself to do those things that she feels must be done. She doesn't wallow in self pity, she works hard at not giving in to her fears. She works full-time at a job that she's good at but worries constantly that she's not good enough or doing enough.
She has an difficult time making friends [because she feels she's not "good enough" for anyone to want to be her friend] and mostly can't enjoy parties or company that she doesn't already know.
She works very hard at overcoming this liability but never feels like she's doing enough.
I love her very much, and if I could I would take some of the pain and stress she feels, but that's impossible.
Please understand that I wasn't saying the problem is non-trivial. I know there are those such as your wife who suffer mightily. Though, your comments re "not feeling good enough" gives the impression, somewhat, that the anxiety your wife suffers is just a symptom of different issues than those in the article. Very similar sounding to my wife, actually.
yes, anxiety is quite real. Just like depression and hypertension.
Sadly society still to a massive degree stigmatises those who suffer from it as "lazy", "unwilling to face reality", "loosers", "weaklings", "unwilling to take responsibility for their actions", etc. etc. and casts them out as a result.
Which means loss of friends, family (who more often than not stops dealing with them because they don't want to be associated with loosers", jobs, and eventually they end up homeless or living in squalor off of handouts and charity without anyone taking their symptoms seriously at all.
And that more often than not leads to suicides, hidden statistics in the anals of failed opportunities to help people who were until not long before productive members of society, but were pushed beyond their limits by a system that doesn't recognise that people have limits to what their brains can cope with when it comes to stress and shock.
JorgXMcKie- is your wife an "oldest"? I am, and resemble her quite a bit in my forms of anxiety. I blame it on my Mom ;-))) since she was an oldest, also. Any anxieties she had transferred beautifully to me.
The answer (& comfort) I received came "out of the blue" quite literally - I started reading St Julian of Norwich, and the way Christ "with us" is presented in her narrative was something I had never perceived before in all my 63 years! - I have a whole new perspective on Christ and on myself and my "reactions" (?) to everything - This has damped down my anxiety to a level that seems more like everyone else's.