I can’t recall which day it was, but shortly after getting my prescription of beta-blockers, I tried one while relaxing one evening, as per my doctor’s instructions. No bad side effects, I might have felt slightly swimmy-headed for a short while, so I don’t think I need concern myself with whether or not to use them in future.

While talking with my wife about anxiety the other day, I was describing a particular scenario, quite a banal one, and how my thoughts were spinning off in all directions, running through all the possible negative outcomes that could occur. Her response was ‘Really?!? You actually think all this stuff?’ It’s this sort of conversation that reminds me that the way anxiety is so embedded into my thinking that it is kind of normal for me. Normal, it most definitely ain’t, but having lived with it for as far back as I can remember it’s easy to forget that for the majority, this is not the way they think.

When I originally went to the doctor in 2019 he screened me for Generalised Anxiety Disorder, and if I can put it this way, I passed with flying colours. Because I’d gone to see him originally about social anxiety and that was what my CBT was specifically for, I somehow didn’t quite take on board that my particular version of anxiety was broader than that. I think as well that I tend to think there must be so many people with it far worse than I have, that I’m not sure whether I have the genuine article. I mentioned this to my wife and her response was along the lines of ‘we all know you have it bad!’

Talking to my doctor the other day, I described a period about 18 months ago where I felt worse. He asked what did my family think of where I was at with it all at the time. I told him that they had really noticed my irritability had reared its head again. It’s not the first time I’ve heard of a doctor asking for the opinion of family members on the state of a loved one. I guess that medical professionals know that those close to someone with a mental health condition have a perspective that can sometimes see with a greater objectivity what is going on than that of the person with the condition. At the end of the day, as a result rather than a cause, a distorted perspective is arguably at the heart of most, if not all, mental health conditions.

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