Monday, November 9, 2009

Is ignorance really bliss?

I am an anxious person. No doubt about that.
I wasn't always though. I guess I was never a person who threw caution to the wind all the time but I was certainly never the anxious,worrying person I can be now.

About 7 years ago I had a very stressful job and a complicated personal life. I worked very very hard at both my job and my personal life and overall I had some great times.
It was difficult though and above all,very hard on my mind and body. At a time where things were their most stressful, and had been for quite a while, my body packed up and I had a number of weird symptoms like weight loss, rashes, and patches of numb skin. It really scared me and I was investigated for things like MS and brain tumours and that scared me even more. Terrified me , in fact.

Well, that was the start of anxious me.

Everything improved and I have been fine for ages and ages now. In retrospect, I did not look after myself in any way, shape or form for a very long time and...that was the end result.

So, that was in 2003 and here I am now.

As I said,I have suffered from anxiety since that time. I think I went to a place of fear and dread I had not been vaguely close to before and I thought about illness and death. I thought about my life and what I had not achieved and what it would mean to me and those I loved if I wasn't a well person. Or if I wasn't around.

Obviously, many many people have experiences like this and mine was quite miniscule in comparison to what others go through. All I'm saying is, that that experience brought me to where I am today.

I've never had physical anxiety attacks. No sweats or palpitations or any of that stuff. It's all in my head and from the outside no one would have any idea that I am struggling to stop my head from exploding!

I've become much much better at getting through the anxious moments and talking myself down from the giddy heights of sheer panic when it occurs. I've talked to my GP, I tried meds once for three weeks but I felt nothing. No anxiety but unfortunately nothing else either. Not a way to live really!
Acupuncture and a healthy lifestyle ( ie; not living on cigarettes, cheese on toast and alcohol as I did back then) seem to be the way to go.
Actually, I must write a post on how much I love acupuncture. It really has changed my life. But that's another post.

ANYWAY, back to my original question. Is ignorance bliss?
At this point, I am very much leaning towards a general answer of Yes.
Lately, my anxiety has been noticably worse and I feel sure that it is because I have been listening to the radio more,watching TV more, and reading more newspapers, internet etc. I don't go out as much ( due to being preggers) and I am quite a nosy person so I love current affairs, politics, any kind of news in fact.
I seem to have inadvertently bombarded myself with information and I think I might have overloaded my brain a bit. No, ALOT.

I'm now acutely aware of my breast cancer risk, ovarian cancer risk, and the risk of eating too much salt. I know that 1 in 20 Australians will get melanoma. After listening to ABC702 for a couple of hours, Helen Caldicott informed me that most of the imported food we eat from Europe is radioactive, eg - apricots from Turkey.It will be for another 600 years by the way. I know that our country is coming increasingly divided about climate change and the fact that there are desperate people sitting on an Australian boat waiting for our government to DO SOMETHING. I know my husband needs to checked for prostate cancer each year after he turns 40.I know that I must ensure I get enough folate while I'm pregnant, but if I have too much then I will give my baby asthma. Actually, that's what one study shows, they aren't 100% sure yet. They thought they'd put it on the news anyway.
I know that even though the economic crisis seems to be on the improve, unemployment is getting worse. I know I should not even entertain the idea of eating processed food and I need to make absolutely sure that I get enough Vitamin D because it is intrumental in prevention of a number of serious illnesses but I really should not go out in the sun. You know, because of the melanoma thing...

Could someone please pass me a paper bag to breathe into?!

I suppose I should be happy that I have made the connection between information and my anxiety but now I need to work out how to remain informed (because a true blue Gemini like me MUST know what is going on out there in the world at all times! )
while remaining sane.

Any tips?



Kristalee said...


I would highly recommend doing a calmbirth course before you give birth. I had a heap of anxiety when I went into labour with jackson which inhibited my labour. I did a calmbirth course when pregnant with millie and I had a dream labour. What I learnt then also got me through Lola's labour and has helped with all my anxieties since. Not sure if this is what you were after but even if it isn't I still think calmbirth would be worthwhile!

megs said...

Thanks, that sounds like a great idea! Will look into it.xx

Sharnanigans said...

You sound a lot like me. When preg I read waaaay too much and I have 11 month old son and only now calming down.
I think we can make ourselves really anxious from bombarding ourselves with news.
Why don't you keep in touch with the news via the internet only. That way you can choose which headlines etc.. you want to read and feel you are 'in touch' and steer clear of ones you don't. You choose the news, unlike TV and radio ..... a thought....

Kate Too said...

Hi Megs! I agree with Sharnanigans - avoid TV and radio news. The spoken word/images can traumatise far more than reading, in my experience. After I had my little girl I found it almost impossible to cope with the news in any form - I was struggling with out of control anxiety about her safety including hallucinations, it was just awful - but like you I need to know what's going on!I even thought about setting up a website for people like me, and getting someone to filter the news so that major world/national stuff was accessible but nothing in the murders/child abuse/tragedy department.

Maybe you have someone in your life who could send you an email everyday with clippings from the news? I bet you somebody would be happy to do it. A personalised update for Megs! My lovely husband used to act as my censor and go so far as to ring me on his way to work and say 'no news for you today at all' if there was something particularly nasty.

One more tip - something I still do - if people insist on launching into stories you find upsetting, just say immediately sorry! going to have to stop you there, can't hack that stuff. Cheerfully but firmly. People with anxiety issues do NOT need horror stories related to them.

Good luck hun x