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Punx Who Panic
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While We’ve Still Got the Strength To Move

My name is Lindsey and I have a literal fuck ton of mental health issues.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Depression
  • OCD
  • Bipolar II (my psychiatrist is in the process of evaluating me)

That’s the list of issues I’ve been struggling to deal with for the last decade. I’m sure the list looks familiar to a lot of you because I’m convinced everyone on this planet suffers from at least one of the above mentioned. How do I cope with all of these conditions you might ask? The answer is that I don’t.

Well, I don’t so much anymore at least. Years and years of full blown panic attacks out of nowhere started to become second nature, and at a certain point you learn to calm yourself down on your own. That used to be the case for me.

I’m not sure what happened in my life that made everything feel like it turned to shit, but I wish I did. It would probably help me get better a lot faster. Maybe then I could answer every therapist’s burning question of, “Where do you think your depression and panic stems from?” Like, fuck I don’t know. Aren’t you supposed to make me realize that during our fourth session? In all seriousness, therapy actually has done wonders for me and I would recommend it in a heartbeat. I’ve been in consistent therapy for the last fifth years and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be here today without it. Unfortunately for some people, therapy by itself just isn’t enough. That’s definitely the case for me.

Even with therapy I still struggle more often than I’d like to admit. About two months ago I hit rock bottom. I was positive that there was no point in continuing my life because the constant symptoms of anxiety and depression were becoming overwhelming. I was going to kill myself unless I stopped fighting the extra help I so desperately needed. The feeling of wanting to kill myself was literally painful. Every time the thought would pass, my body would start to ache. I was so ready for everything to be over. But I decided to reach out to my partner, which was the best choice I made. I blatantly told her that I felt like killing myself. It’s definitely not an easy conversation to have; especially because part of me was terrified she’d call my parents or dial 911 and have me taken away. She didn’t do any of that. Instead she just listened to me talk. In hindsight I think I could’ve reached out to any of my friends and they would all have the same reaction. As cheesy as it sounds, that night I learned how much people really do care about my life, even when I don’t.

It took me a few weeks of feeling like a worthless piece of shit, but eventually I reached out to my health care provider and set up an appointment with a psychiatrist. For those who don’t know, a therapist (psychologist) cannot prescribe any medication to you. After our first meeting, my psychiatrist made a recommendation for an antidepressant. I’m honestly terrified of all the side effects I might feel, but in the end I know my mental health is worth more than a few hiccups.

I guess what I’m trying so say is mental health issues fucking suck, but it’s so important to make sure you do whatever is right for you to get help. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone when you are feeling down. Talk to someone you feel comfortable with or try to see a therapist if that’s more your thing. I know a lot of therapists work on sliding scales so even if you don’t have insurance, there’s still a way for you to get help. Lastly, if you’re reading this know that I care, even if you don’t.

  • JB

    I know this Lindsey and I love this Lindsey. Her honesty is awesome and her ability to express it even more awesome. I do care and I know that you can continue this fight against mental illness which I agree we all have to some extent. I know exactly where in my case my mental inabilities came from and it still does not make it any easier for me. But I do know it’s not my fault and I do not feel sorry for myself for it and do not expect anyone else to help me. I believe reaching out is also very important but in the end for me I have to navigate through my own living hell to get the joyous other side. Until the next hurdle comes and then it all repeats. But it is all worth it. love life, love yourself, love each other. I love you Lindsey and Amanda!

  • Mel H

    MEL:
    Panic Disorder
    Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    Chronic Depression

    I know this Lindsey and I was this Lindsey. At 25 I’d been experiencing panic episodes that lasted 10+ hours at a time for 4 years straight. The only thing you should do for 10+ hours suutraight is sleep a hard sleep or trip balls near a river with a hoola hoop and a Mogwai album. But I was staring at the ceiling, shaking, wondering if my cat was real and if my heart would eventually stop. Then I sat up, walked to my then husband, and said, “I’m going to kill myself- take me to the hospital.” That was likely his worst breakfast EVER but it was the day we chose life. I checked into the psychiatric ward and stayed for 8 long fucking days. I saw rape victims, soldiers with PTSD and paranoid schizophrenics come and go in less time (our mental health system is a whole other issue) but I stayed in the safety and sanctuary for not a second less than I thought I needed to feel safe again. Safe with my thoughts, safe with sharp objects and safe in a bustling urban shot show where everyone’s auras were weighing me down. I’m 34 now and have had the same supportive psychiatrist for 9 years, a complementary medication regimen and an insightful voice that will tell anyone who asks or is listening about the challenges they will ultimately face with mental illness but that with the right cocktail of proactiveness and perseverance they can be a bad ass mother fucker like the one I am today. There is no cure and it’s ok to not cope sometimes but be like Lindsey and just tell one single person. It’s amazing how many people are willing to cope for you.

  • negicore

    Wondering about something, and if others are in a similar position. I suffer with a few of the above mentioned issues, along with a couple not mentioned, and I think a few def tie into each other. But they can be crippling, debilitating, and affect those in my life, and I know therapy is what is best. But when it gets better, and I am so busy and doing better, I don’t make the time to seek help. When I can physically do something, I can’t make the time. A vicious cycle of doing better, but too busy, to not able to get myself up to do anything about it….Sometimes I feel as crazy as I am afraid of being.

    • Lindsey Collins

      It’s very easy to put off getting help ESPECIALLY with mental illness because a lot of the time it comes and goes so quickly. If therapy is really something you’d like to seek, I think setting a date just to call and get information on a therapist might be beneficial. You could set a date on your calendar for a couple weeks or even a couple months ahead. Maybe even track how you feel leading up to the day. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a therapist or psychiatrist before, but your first appointment always consists of an evaluation. In my personal opinion the evaluation was even more motivation for me to continue to seek help.

      In the meantime, I’m always here to talk if you’d ever like to reach out.

      • negicore

        Thanks, that’s good idea. Tracking myself is def a good idea, I did that as a kid, when I was seeing someone that was very helpful as well. Another part of my hesitation, is that I feel like so much, esp the roots, is so complex. And I have done a pretty good job sorting through, I hate the idea of going back, “wasting time” going over to get someone up the speed on where I am. If that makes sense.

        • Lindsey Collins

          I know the feeling exactly. I saw my last therapist for a good 4 years until I moved. I just started therapy with a new psychologist about a month ago and it has been a little frustrating having to explain stuff from the beginning. I even catch my self saying stuff like “well my last therapist said…” It kind of feels like I’m dating someone new.

          The positive aspect is that my new therapist has a different outlook on a lot of things I talk about. I’ve only seen her 3 times so far and I’ve already realized an a trigger I have that I never knew existed before.

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