Anxiety Galore – OCPD, Panic Disorder, PTSD and more!

To date I have been diagnosed with more than just a few Anxiety disorders. These are as follows:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalised Anxiety
  • Social Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Medically Induced Anxiety

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

So OCPD is quite like OCD except that it’s a personality disorder so I have it for life and I have to learn to deal with it.  Psych Central characterises it by the “preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness and efficiency”. This basically means I have extreme control issues and have an obsession with perfection. Which is why most people with the personality disorder tend to develop some form of eating disorder . The level of anxiety is so overwhelming as you can never actually achieve what you’re trying to get to. Perfection is so dangerous and I actually used to brush my teeth 6-10 times a day and brushed away the enamel on my teeth. For me, it meant that my assignments and exams were never good enough – that’s actually a common phrase for patients as nothing is good enough. I am very organised and clean and parts are good but it does take up lots of time. Three facts about the disorder:

  1. OCPD is characterised by extreme perfectionism, order and neatness
  2. OCPD is mistaken for OCD but they are different disorders
  3. Men are twice as likely to be diagnosed

Panic Disorder

A panic disorder is shit. That honestly is the only way to describe it as it hurts, whenever my anxiety whether social, general whatever it leads to a panic attack and that is exactly how it sounds. I know people experience panic attacks in different ways, like a family friend of mine will fart a lot and that actually makes him more anxious. Psychology Today characterises a panic disorder “by spontaneous episodes of intense gripping terror accompanied by heart palpitations, dizziness and smothering sensations”. For me, my heart races and I will shake furiously after getting really cold. I will stop breathing and start sweating and I honestly feel like I’m going to die. My panic attacks last about 15 minutes but I will continue to shake up to 30 minutes after that. It is not fun and I hate it so much. Three facts:

  1. 2.7% of people (15 million) in the US have been diagnosed
  2. Women are twice as likely to be affected
  3. Very high comorbidity rate with major depression

Generalised Anxiety

This was actually the first anxiety disorder I was diagnosed with. And that actually is most likely to happen to anyone. I started seeing a psychologist and she couldn’t believe what kinds of things would make me anxious and that’s why she gave me this diagnosis. Since then I have had more specific diagnoses’. I take anxiety medication to help this (currently 60mg Lovan (fluroxitine) as GAD is the most treatable anxiety disorder, surprisingly. Generalised anxiety is more complex as it can be triggered by genetics, brain chemistry, personality and life events. Three facts:

  1. Affects 3.1% (6.8 million adults) in the US
  2. Women are twice as likely to be affected
  3. 1/2 of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety

Social Anxiety

Some people can’t decide whether this is a phobia or not. I don’t know why no one can decide. This kind of anxiety is the extreme and irrational fear of being scrutinized and judged by others. This is not SHYNESS. Okay. I am not a shy person, nor do I hate people. People just terrify the shit out of me. It took me 14 years to find any friends and 15 years to be in my first relationship (then he raped me – fun times). When I started seeing a psychologist I changed about 3 times – although in my defence my first therapist told me I was too broken to be fixed… But I changed because I didn’t trust them enough. The two that I have now took me a really long time to even open up to them. Three facts:

  1. 6.8% (15 million) of the US population are diagnosed
  2. Equally common among men and women, begins around 13
  3. According to a 2007 ADAA survey, 36% of people with social anxiety report experiencing symptoms for 10 years or more before seeking help.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Ah, PTSD. Fucking hell this is just a pain in my ass. This particular disorder develops after exposure to extreme trauma. Ahaha! Woo for assault! Some of the symptoms I personally experience are flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, and what my boyfriend and I call flips which I’m pretty sure is just a form of disassociation response. I also have difficulties with sex  which is a whole complicated shit load cause I honestly don’t understand what that means. Three facts:

  1. 7.7 million people in the US suffer from PTSD
  2. Women are more likely to be affected
  3. Rape is the most likely trigger of PTSD: 65% of men and 45.9% of women who are raped will develop the disorder

Medically Induced Anxiety

This is probably the most simple form of anxiety which comes from the stresses of medical based issues common with chronic disease and the chronic use of medication. I take a lot of pills and spend a significant amount of time with doctor and in hospital which causes a specific kind of anxiety.

 

So there you have it. Me and my anxiety issues.

A Recovering Survivor 

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