Wednesday, 4 January 2017

A bloody big panic attack

It happened on Monday afternoon, and was the worst one I'd had in a couple of years or so. The last time I had ones like this was when David and I were going through all that drama at Centrelink when it took them a month to get him on Newstart (from nothing) because of hold ups by his old work with paperwork, and Centrelink rules that have about the same logic as their present debt debacle. 
During that time incidentally, was when all we had was the rent money paid for by my partnered pension, as when David applied for Newstart we did it as a couple. Thing is, before they'd gotten David sorted out getting Newstart paid to him, they cut my pension down from the single rate to couple rate straight off. So suddenly all we had was rent money whilst Centrelink plodded through with their procedures. They back-paid but it took them a full month before David got a cent. So we went a month going to charity for food and help with bills, or paying rent on the credit card to eat and live. That month I had about two severe panic attacks, of which this one on Monday was like. BTW, that was when I was forced into bankruptcy as at the end of the year there was no way to even make a minimum payment on the thing.

Monday I started feeling quite strange in the late afternoon. Thought maybe it was all my pills as sometimes I get nauseous from taking 13 of them. Started to sweat and feel dizzy. Laid down for a bit and got up again, tried to watch a movie on telly. About half way through it I was feeling so bad I had to go lay down again, but barely made it to the bed I was so dizzy and sweating. Held on to the bedroom door for a minute before finally getting to the bed. My hands and feet felt numb, and lying there all I could do was try and breath OK. Could barely move, just lay there motionless sort of half breathing. The traffic outside the open window sounded distant, along with the TV from the lounge-room. Felt like I was being gripped tightly, almost suffocated. Went on for about 20 minutes before things started to settle a bit. David was very good through it all of course.

Saw the psychologist yesterday who said sometimes anxiety can be there without you realising it. Christmas and new years are a bad time for me (and David), perhaps more than I realise. Long stories there. He also said all this stuff going on with Centrelink at the moment may also have contributed to anxiety without me realising it. Whatever the case, it was unexpected and overwhelming physically and mentally. That's what's so scary about panic attacks like that is because you have no control. It takes over your whole body and mind and you just have to wait for it to pass.

Makes me wonder if Centrelink has played any role in it for me, what else is going on around Australia with vulnerable people getting these bullshit debt notices? There's a very good reason why some of us end up on the DSP, and being threatened with jail (or even the prospect of being threatened with jail) by two monolithic and seemingly unchallengeable gov departments would have huge mental health consequences for the most vulnerable among us.

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