I am participating in the Mental Health Giveaway hop, hosted by I am a Reader Not a Writer and Reading in Twilight because it is a topic that is near and dear to me. I’ve been dealing with anxiety disorder pretty much since I was a teenager, although looking back I think it actually started much younger. I also suffered from adolescent-onset clinical depression, something that I really didn’t conquer until my son was born. I know what it’s like to freak out over things that “normal” people would consider silly.
For example, I’m afraid to drive on the highway because merging gives me the sweats. When I first met my boyfriend’s family, I don’t think I spoke the entire night. New people freak me out. I almost pass out from confrontation. When someone yells at me, I go into immediate “fight or flight” response. As a result, I try to please everyone even if it makes me miserable, just so they don’t get mad at me and force confrontation. I lay awake all night most nights berating myself for mistakes I’ve made 20 years ago. Minor mistakes that everyone else has already long forgotten about. Sometimes I panic over absolutely nothing at all. I live life walking around on eggshells of my own creation.
So yes, I know what it’s like to have mental health issues. According to NIMH, I’m not alone. About 18% of adults suffer from anxiety disorder. The average age of onset is 11 years old. Wow. I know I started having some major issues with anxiety around that age. That was the age that I lost my childhood dog, too, which was incredibly difficult for me.
Long-term medicines don’t help me. In fact, most made me go totally off the rails insane. When I was 18, a psychiatrist put me on Prozac. He was convinced I was bi-polar, despite the fact that I’d never been manic. Well, when you’re not bi-polar, taking a medicine for it can induce a manic phase. I almost put a screwdriver through my head, I was that suicidal and that far around the proverbial bend from it. Over the years, I tried a few other medications. They either make me feel sick, more anxious or like a zombie. I take Xanax for really bad panic attacks, it’s the only thing that works. The rest of the time, I just deal with it the best I can.
Reading has actually been the best medication in the world for me. I read to escape. When I was a teenager and in the early years of my issues, I read a lot of books about other teenagers dealing with mental health problems. Take a look at a few of my favorites (obviously they are affiliate links):
Mental Health Giveaway
Enter below for a chance to win one of the above books of your choice plus a $20 Amazon gift card so you can purchase books that make you feel good! Whether you deal with a mental health issue daily or just have bad days, we all need a mental health break! Giveaway is open to US Residents age 18+. It ends on March 27th.
Be sure to visit the other blogs in this giveaway hop: