The difference between ‘Your Nerves’ and Depression!

When I was a child, I would often hear people whispering about ‘so and so’ suffering with her nerves. I didn’t really know what that was. I suppose I thought they were very nervous people and would eventually have to go and see the doctor or go into hospital. Indeed the person did seem to behave nervously and their hands did seem to shake.
When I had my first quite scary panic attach three years ago, I was in my local Mall for my usual weekly browse around. I had just ordered a coffee in Butler’s coffee shop when my legs went numb. Then the numbness spread up through my body. I had no idea what was happening, but I had heard a lot about stokes and assumed that was what was happening to me.
I sat down beside a woman on her own at a table and said I needed help, I was having a stroke. My heart was racing and I was terrified. And I’m sure the poor woman got the shock of her life too!
 But she held my hand while the lovely young staff ran around getting me help and calling an ambulance.
When the ambulance men had me secured in the ambulance, they ran some little tests of their own, to assess the urgency. One of the paramedics asked me did I suffer with my nerves?
I looked at him surprised, ‘no, I don’t think I suffer with my nerves.’ Was I nervous? I didn’t think I was.
That was the first time that I had to acknowledge my mental condition.
They brought me off to the hospital where I underwent the usual standard tests for heart attack or stroke, which of course all came back clear. I realised after seven hours in the hospital that my stroke was indeed a panic attack. I was amazed firstly that I had a panic attack and secondly that my panic attack came in the guise of a stroke. Thirdly, I was amazed that the hospital staff didn’t tell me it was a panic attack and send me in the right direction for help.
So I went home. The following day my body felt completely weak from the experience, so although it came from my mind, it drained my body as well.
It took three more ambulance experiences for me to finally get the message. I was suffering with panic attacks and now I needed to find out the root cause and control them. Panic attacks are scary because you don’t know when they are going to strike and it can be very embarrassing. They can also make you afraid to leave your home.
So, I had a lot going on in my life. I knew I suffered with depression, as I always had post natal depression on each of my children but it never seemed to go after I had my last child (10 now).
With my depression, I was very low. I could barely function. I could do the basic duties as a mother and then I’ d head to the bed. I couldn’t communicate with anyone. And I couldn’t look at my phone for messages. I was scared of what I would read, bad news that I wouldn’t have been able to cope with.
 I also had a lot of worries with my husband, my children, our finances, my family, my failed career. I was full of fear. I suppose you could say that all of this together made me nervous, anxious.
 Nervousness and anxiety left unsolved will more than likely result in panic attacks. So in this case I guess I did suffer with my nerves! I was surprised to figure that out about myself.
So you can see, I suffered from depression and nerves.
 Two separate conditions of the mind, but yet so importantly connected. The nervousness and anxieties in myself were a main cause of my depression!
That may not be the case for everybody. A person in the early stages of worry or nervousness may not be suffering with depression just yet.
When I began to identify each of my issues, I was able to work on them. And I soon saw signs of my recovery. My panic attacks stopped! And I can honestly tell you, that every other area of my mental health is on the right road also. I now take care of my mental health by identifying any new issue that comes up and dealing with it straight away. I now know what I can do in life and what I can’t do. I am not restricted by no means, on the contrary, I can do much more now, but it is everything that is good for me; I haven’t worked in the work place for three years now but I have been writing and I feel this is my right path which will earn me an income one day; I Walk my dogs, swim, spend time with my kids.
I am blessed I have been able to make this discovery about my nerves and my depression.
Who knows where I would be otherwise?
xxx Jean

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