Living With More Than One Mental Illness
How it happened to me
All of my life, I have been a little quirky and nervous. In the last six months, however, I was diagnosed with panic disorder. At first, my diagnosis was simply "panic disorder," but in the last month it has been changed to "panic disorder with agoraphobia."
Panic disorder is not my only diagnosis, though. I was diagnosed with severe adjustment disorder in 1990 and chronic PTSD in 1992.
Until six months ago, none of my disorders had been treated. I went to doctors and therapists, but they just brushed over my diagnoses.
Two years ago, I had a massive heat stroke and suffered gas poisoning for the second time. The incident made my mental health much worse. I spent a year and a half trying to figure out why I was having catatonic spells or shaking spells—to no avail.
At the beginning of this year, I had a psychotic break and thought I was a teapot for a few hours. I laugh about it now; however, it was not fun feeling like my brain was stretching like a rubber band until it snapped into several pieces. I sought help once again, and this time I lucked into a great facility that operated out of the local hospital. I am now continuing therapy with a private therapist and doctor.
I have had a few experiences where I would have a panic attack in public, and people look at me as if I am an addict of the worst kind. When the PTSD is triggered, people just look at me like I am crazy. Awareness needs to be raised about mental illness and how it affects those who suffer from it.
I can no longer comfortably leave my home, and sometimes I can't even leave my bedroom. Feeling stuck in fight-or-flight mode every single day is misery. I have applied for disability; however, I am having to appeal the denial. With panic disorder, attacks can come on randomly and for no reason. I cannot keep a job; I have tried.
I am looking into work-from-home opportunities, but lately, even talking on the phone to people I know and love makes me feel anxious enough to need my emergency meds.
I vlog and write to help keep myself occupied and as recommended therapy; however, neither brings in income to pay the bills. Every day is a struggle, and I know there are others out there like me. I want them to know they are not alone.
© 2017 Kym LaFever