Monday, April 23, 2007

Anxiety is real, dummy

So I got back from taking him to the physician where he was carefully examined and x-rayed.

His breathing issue is restriction of the throat that has a fancy name and is a symptom of anxiety. My earlier response of wanting to tell him, "It's just anxiety! Relax!" is somewhat akin to telling someone else, "It's just depression! Cheer up!"

It is clear that we have to get him into counseling again so that he can learn more stress management techniques and learn how to respond to anxiety symptoms early on so that this does not happen.

This particular anxiety symptom is a real b*tch because it feels like you can't breathe which, you know, tends to make you anxious.


I've asked his psychiatrist and counselors in the past if they thought that doing foster care was part of the problem. They have looked at me like I had said something like, "Do you think it could be because we have too many cats or because of the colors I painted the house?" So I will trust that this is just who he is and get him the sort of help one needs to get when one is subject to anxiety attacks.

He will be wearing this thing on his finger all night tonight that will measure his blood oxygen levels. Though everyone expects that to come out fine, it will absolutely rule out any sort of airway obstruction the x-ray could not detect.


  1. I was trying to figure out a way to post something about how "psycosomatic" really just tells you about the root cause, and that the symptoms are still just as real. Sadly.

    A thought I had was that you could try to have him practice the techniques that are used (e.g.) with asthma sufferers who are having an attack - when I was learning first aid we discussed helping them focus on their breathing and try to regulate it, slow it down - one trick among others is to breath through pursed lips (like sucking on a straw). It slows down the breathing rate which helps everything fall back into place. There are other tricks too.

    Not sure if this will be helpful, but I figured I'd put it down for you just in case. Hope he figures it out - poor kid.

  2. any tricks or tips you have, I want. Please and thank you!

  3. Anxiety can have such physical manifestations. Brian's has to be pretty darn scary, though. I'm sending good wishes your way.

  4. Yeah, anxiety can really build on itelf. It doesn't seem fair.
    I really hope everything works out for y'all!

  5. Loved your analogy about depression and cheering up!
    so apt!

  6. Poor guy, as one anxiety sufferer to another, it is a B*#T@&. Mine doesn't manifest itself that way, I get the heart racing and the fidgeting.

    I wish I had some words of advice but I just make it through myself some days. I've learned to try and seperate the "anxious" feelings from real feelings. This usually helps but not always.

    Lots of good thoughts everyone's ways. I'm glad you talk about this. Hubby has been a real trooper with me over 12 years now. As much as there is written about people who suffer from anxiety and depression, people seem to forget those around us who deal with it as well.

  7. Carrie6:43 AM

    When I worked in EMS, this was a really common reason the ambulance was called. The anxious person tends to hyperventilate, which is is why the stuff that Parodie mentioned above worked. I was taught to put my head next to theirs to help them focus and have them try to match my breathing to slow it down. It usually worked pretty well. Plus, just knowing that's what was causing it, and not something that would kill them, helped to calm them down.

    My brother has severe anxiety too, while mine is there but not as disabling. It really is just the way some people are built.


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