Adventures in Zombieland: Triggers, Therapists, and A(nother) Diagnosis

Hi everyone!

Lots of ups and downs today. I started out absolutely and completely happy (mostly because yesterday was beyond wonderful), and I was hoping that would last for awhile, because you know how rare those kinds of days are. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be - my state of mind sort of got worse and worse as the day went on and I don't even know what is going on with my brain right now. It's not in dangerous territory or anything, but it's one of those times where I just feel really inadequate for no particular reason. :/

Many things to update you guys on, though - it's been some time since we last did Adventures in Zombieland, so, firstly and most importantly: I HAVE IDENTIFIED SOME TRIGGERS AT LAST!! If you recall, I'd been struggling with that - my counsellor and I had been combing back through all the panic attacks and the sadness and everything else and trying to figure out if there was a common thread, and, hallelujah, we've finally found a few!

It seems there's an alarming prevalence of three things when it comes to panic attacks: very loud noises, very bright lights, and very large crowds. I hate crowds in general, as I've said before, but I'd never connected them to the panic attacks (and, er, now that I'm thinking about it, it's kind of obvious, really. Oh well, I suppose I'm allowed a few oversights when it comes to such choppy waters, no?).

I'll probably write up another post going into more detail on this, but it's slightly surprising how quickly I've been able to adjust my radar to look out for and avoid those things. Although it doesn't always work out (case in point: the Chinese New Year parade), I do hope it'll decrease the volume of panic attacks - or, at the very least, help me figure out when one is about to happen so I can get to a safe space and calm down ASAP.

As yet, no triggers identified for the sadness itself, and we've run through quite a few possibilities - it seems to be totally random at this point, which is so not helpful. :P

Back to the panic attacks, though: there may be something more than depression afoot there. My counsellor has informed me that these things are mostly connected to social anxiety rather than depression (and that I am, apparently, exhibiting symptoms of that, as well). She hadn't been sure enough about it to talk to me earlier, but now... well. It's looking more likely that I have both.

So that's just great.

Again, still not entirely certain about that, but as with all things, we'll see. And in the same vein, I'm being "transferred", which is a nice way of saying that whatever this is, it's too specialised for what my current counsellor deals with and I have to go see another therapist. She gave us some recommendations, so I'm going to do interviews - trial runs, so to speak - with two therapists, one tomorrow and one on Friday.

(I feel a little like a beach ball here, you guys. Or a hopeless case. Or somebody who belongs in an insane asylum. None of the above are particularly pleasant sensations, as one might imagine.)

So yes, that's the news: one very good development and two not-so-good ones. First therapist meeting is tomorrow - I really have no idea what to expect, considering I don't exactly have extensive experience in these fields, but I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!

love, Topaz