Thursday, October 16, 2008


Last week Ben was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

This actually comes as a great relief. The whole time I've known Ben he's always been tense, nervous, shy, a worrier. There were times he couldn't let go of things and would focus on negative posibilities. THat's what made him so quiet in social situations - he was afraid. Afraid of saying the wrong thing, afraid of what people would think of him. Worried about normal things that people think about when in new situations, but for him it was something he couldn't ignore or put aside.

Over the past three years our lives have changed a lot. It seemed with each change Ben's anxiety would get worse. Over the past year, and especially since Eli's birth, it got to the point where he couldn't function. He physically slowed down because too much was going on in his brain. He couldn't relax because he was alwys thinking about htings that needed to be done, but he couldn't do them because he couldn't focus on any one thing. He was obssessing over small, meaningless things (like thinking our neighbours were stealing our cat), and couldn't even talk to me anymore.

It was rough on all of us. He would get short tempered with Hana, he couldn't have a conversation with me, things around the house weren't getting done and he was stressed out about work. We would have arguments over the same small things over and over again. They would always come down to the same thing - he couldn't think, he couldn't control his thoughts and everything gave him more reason to worry. Once he realized it wasn't normal and wasn't something he could control on his own he felt a bit better. It sill took him weeks to make an appointment with our doctor - even taking time off for the appointment made him worry.

Knowing what the problem is really is a relief - he is on meds that will help. In the meantime however there are still frustrations. As his wife I need him - I need my husband to pitch in, to talk with me, to show me he cares - and sometimes that just doesn't happen. THen I'm left frustrated, hurt and angry, but with no outlet for it. I end up having less patience with him and with Hana than is fair. It's hard on the whole family.

He has another appointment in a couple of weeks to discuss how the meds are working. So far he's experiencing a couple of side effects - mostly nausia and dizzyness, both normal and should go away once his body adjusts. Already his head feels clearer most of the time, so we're very hopeful we're on the right track. I'm so excited to have Ben back, to see what he's really like as a husband and father without always being so anxious and tense.

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