Everyone gets anxious from time to time, it’s pretty normal. But when the anxiety starts to control your life and worrying plays on your every thought then there is a problem.
Depression and anxiety often creep in when suffering from a chronic pain condition or chronic illness, they did for me. I say it in that way as to not confuse the fact that the chronic pain was there first and then the depression and anxiety developed, and not the other way around like a lot of medical professionals like to insist. ‘You’re depressed that’s why you are in pain or ill all the time’ No! That is not the case for so many of us and it angers me when medical professionals try to insinuate that.
That wasn’t the case for me, before I got sick I was a happy, almost care free, outgoing, normal teenager but chronic pain took that from me and I became depressed, angry, anxious and miserable. I didn’t like the person I had become but I couldn’t see any way out to get back to the person I use to be and I never thought I would get back there. I did though, well almost, I wouldn’t say I was ‘almost care free’ anymore, I still have a lot of worries and I’m far from being a normal teenager, heck I’m not even a teenager anymore. But when I got sick and eventually the depression engulfed me I never thought I would get back to feeling like myself again, but now I feel more like myself than I have in years, and I still have chronic pain.
Anxiety with chronic pain is common, when you are in pain all the time there seems to be so much to worry about.
‘Will the pain be bad today?’ ‘Will I be able to get out of bed and do something?’ ‘Will the plans I’ve made for tomorrow have to be cancelled because of the pain?’ ‘Is this all my future has in store for me? To be bed bound for the rest of my life because of the pain?’ ‘Will these meds work?’ ‘Will I get horrible side effects from them?’ ‘How will I have money to live on if I can’t work cause of the pain?’
They are just some of a few things people in chronic pain/illness worry about daily. Sometimes it feels like you have so much anxiety going on to do with the pain that they take control of you and make you feel even worse emotionally. I know sometimes when my anxiety is high I feel sick and on edge and I have thousands of worries going around my head just thinking and over thinking them. In the past I took anti anxiety meds but like every other med I’ve tried they didn’t do anything either, except help me sleep away the day so I didn’t have to face it, but that is no way to live your life.
I think the best thing if you have anxiety is to try and take it day by day and not worry or over think about things too far into the future, but just living in the present and taking it day by day, which is actually how I try to cope with the pain now. Though it is easier said than done and I get that because I still find it hard too.
Right now it is under two weeks till I start college. I’m feeling very excited, nervous and scared all rolled into one but I’m trying not to over think which is what I so often do and not let my anxieties about it get the best of me. I’m looking forward to starting a new positive chapter in my life.