Journal Day #4

I am very late with this post (was supposed to be Thursday) and I’m late with it for the very reason I decided to write.

If you had unlimited resources, what political or social issue, or area of scientific or medical exploration would you fund? Do you have a cause that is dear and near to your heart that youโ€™d put your time, energy, and money into if you had the means? Tell us about it, along with a bit of background explaining where youโ€™re coming from.

There were a lot of things I could have chosen…I know people who have been afflicted by heart disease and cancer, I have multiple family members who suffer with Parkinson’s Disease. But I am taking a bit of a selfish route with this one.

I would fund more information about anxiety and depression. Did you know it’s the #1 mental illness in America, nearly 41 million Americans are afflicted with it? I unfortunately am one of them. I was recently diagnosed with panic disorder and I can tell you firsthand it isn’t fun. I began having panic attacks after Brian and I got engaged in September – a difficult thing to admit at such a happy time in our lives. Since then I’ve been trying to self-manage – yoga, relaxation, deep breaths, etc. But it has not kept them at bay so I’ve unfortunately had to work with my doctor to get me on a path to feeling better that involves more than the “natural” ways I’ve been trying.

I know there are people who have suffered their whole lives dealing with this…I’ve been dealing with it for 6 months and at times it makes me want to crawl out of my skin. This past week it got so bad that I canceled a business trip for fear that something bad would happen to me while I was gone. That was when I knew it was time to go back to my doctor and have a serious discussion because this is no way to live.

Women are twice more likely than men to be diagnosed with some sort of anxiety, depression or panic condition. It could be the way we’re wired, our hormones, the pressure we (and society) place on ourselves to “do it all”. But whatever it is, it isn’t surprising.

If I had all the money in the world, I’d fund more resources for people like me who encounter this in their lives. There is absolutely a stigma that comes with it, and it’s embarrassing to an extent. I am blessed to have a supportive fiance who loves me, along with wonderful friends and family who do the same. But what about those who don’t? Feeling this way can be so isolating at times and I am constantly surrounded by people. I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who isn’t as lucky as me.

I am hoping this is a turning point. This is a very exciting and fun filled year full of travel for us. I hope to look back on this period as one that taught me something about myself, because I feel like if I can make it through this I can make it through anything.