I think I am coming on here to post, but I end up reading other people's issues, and I don't think I have it so bad. Well, I'm going to let it out this time since I haven't posted for a good, long while.
People are afraid to drive or leave their homes. Others struggle with panic attacks and a myriad of physical symptoms. Not me. I should feel fortunate. I have good people around me and have been functioning for this way for 40 some years. I just turned 50. ME, 50?!! It never seems like it will happen to you, then it does. I have had SAD and GAD for over 40 years. Most all of you seem younger and most seemed to have developed the condition, as opposed to being born with it.
Yes, I am of the mindset that I was born this way. I've had no trauma or crazy stressors at the age of 5 that would have caused this. I was well-cared for and loved by my family. This began when I started kindergarten. My palmar/plantar hyperhidrosis reared its ugly head. Maybe my sweating helped bring on the SAD or maybe the SAD exacerbated the sweating-chicken or the egg. Sometimes I look for answers, sometimes it doesn't matter. Anyway, I am physically uncomfortable when I am in close proximity with people other than my husband or children. I would say none of my acquaintances or even good friends have a clue as to how much of a chore it is to be in their company or make conversation for longer than about 20 minutes.
I have never told anyone other than my husband and sister what a burden it is to be uncomfortable around people and super anxious doing ANYTHING out of my routine. I did tell a psychiatrist and a psychologist, but they are not worth mentioning.
I am afraid of ANYTHING new-meeting new people (shaking hands with sweaty palms), going to ANY appointments (out of my daily routine), driving some place unknown. The physical burden is so heavy when something SCARY is coming up-scary meaning anything outside my comfortable, little world. The weight on my shoulders and the feeling of doom that accompanies it is very sad. It seems so sad to spend your life that way.
I am pretty content when I am working in the yard or engaged in some other mindless activity. The problem is, you can't spend your life never handling any stressful situations. My husband says to just do what I enjoy-don't bring on anxiety-inducing situations, but that creates a vicious circle. I feel as though I have never challenged myself or accomplished anything. Sometimes I equate that with failure. If I'm emotionally in a decent place, I think I am doing the best I can under a difficult set of circumstances; I've done as much as I could while coping with this condition. If I try to break out of my comfort zone, it creates such sickening anxiety. It doesn't feel worth the pressure.
I'm feeling low today because I had a tough day yesterday. I'm sure other people wouldn't have given the situation I experienced a second thought. Of course, I am dwelling on whether I handled things correctly. I don't want people to view me poorly. Sometimes I agonize over what is acceptable because I have extremely high expectations from myself, therefore, I expect too much from others-commitment, responsibility, organization, etc...I was looking forward to a nice day yesterday, but all it brought was a dark cloud hanging over me. I replayed the days' events over and over, now I am left with this emotional hangover from it all.
What also pains me is that my oldest son suffers from SAD. I firmly believe we have "broken" nervous systems. I think Happy Sailing used that term-broken. Our brains' faulty signals and overactive stress hormones definitely play a major role in this. It is in our genetic code. My mom has GAD and hyperhidrosis, her mother had GAD, my sister has GAD and SAD, and now my son. Thankfully, my other two children do not at this point.
I used to wish this away; why can't I be "normal"! After all these years, I have finally accepted this is ME. I have pretty severe anxiety and my hands sweat. I have to cope the best I can. Some things may help-exercise, good diet, sleep, medication for some, but this is what I've been dealt.
I know this was all over the place. I just want one person to read this, so I feel as though I've been heard by someone.