anxiety, depression, Husband, support, Uncategorized

I Often Grind My Teeth At Night

I always thought of anxiety as panic attacks with heart palpitations, extreme feelings of fear or worry with a bit of hyperventilation mixed in. I think most people are under that impression.

This is why I never considered myself to have anxiety. I have only had, from what I recall, one full blown panic attack as described above once. This was when I was 19 and on my way to meet my husband’s parents for the first time – this was while we were still dating and hadn’t even discussed marriage yet. I wasn’t going to just meet them, I was going to spend Christmas with them after only dating their son for about a month at that point. Needless to say, I chalked the event up to stress and unusual circumstances. far be it for me to self-diagnose an anxiety disorder after only one panic attack. That is hardly a trend.

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Now, 15 years or so later, I am rethinking that stance. I saw one of those PSA type memes on social media recently about anxiety symptoms that most people don’t know about. several of them struck a chord with me, so I decided to do some research on the topic. Turns out, not everyone deals with anxiety the same way or has the same symptoms.

A lot of it made so much sense to me and explained so much about myself. All of my sisters and I have some form of mental illness, currently diagnosed or not. As you are quite well aware at this point, I’ve dealt with depression for many, many, years. There is a range of issues, including one of my sisters having a diagnosed anxiety disorder – hers, from what I understand, being what one might think of as “traditional” anxiety. Fairly typical in what one would assume as outlined above.

I read that anxiety often goes hand-in-hand with depression, so clearly that peaked my interest. Turns out, there are also several symptoms that cross over to both disorders and they both basically stem from the same part of the brain.

So I looked even further into anxiety itself. There are over 100 symptoms associated with it in which several could be an occasional symptom for me – but here are the ones that stood out to me. The ones that shouted out from the webpages at me.

  • Sudden Irritability, check
  • Muscle Tension (neck, back, and shoulder pain), check
  • Chronic fatigue, check
  • Usual craving for sugars and sweets, check
  • Feeling “wrong” or “strange,” check
  • Frequent urination, check
  • Feeling cold/chills, check 
  • Startle easily, check
  • Weight gain (or weight loss), check
  • Brain fog, check
  • Deja vu, check
  • Short term memory loss, check
  • Difficulty thinking, forming thoughts, check
  • Nightmares, check
  • Feeling spaced out, check
  • Feeling trapped in your mind, check
  • Feeling angry and having a lack of patience, check
  • Frequently being on edge or grouchy, check
  • Depression, emotionally numb, check
  • Frequent upset stomach – Gastro issues, IBS symptoms, check
  • Teeth Grinding, check
  • Eye tricks – seeing things out of the corner of your eye that isn’t there, check

The main thing on this list I want to focus on is irritability. Apparently this is a very common anxiety symptom. Of course, I read about this mere days after I flew off the handle with my irritability last week. I was in Walmart with my family, it was super busy and crowded… and I got extremely on edge. I became very impatient, angry, short, and downright bitchy with my family even after we got into the car. Hubs calmly told me I needed to chill and all I could respond was that I just needed to get home and have no noise, then I’d calm down. At least I was able to recognize this time that the too-many-people was the main cause of my freak out. I said so when he asked me what was wrong, but at the moment I don’t think he understood what was going on with me. I barely understand it myself… These feelings seem to pop up out of nowhere and they’re difficult to control. Luckily, though I’ve started at least recognizing when I have these freak outs in the past few years. I used to act out like this without even realizing what a heinous bitch I came off as to my family. bitmoji-20180606015719

Now, usually, I can control this behavior to an extent. If I can recognize what’s happening, I can at least minimize the impact. Especially if I catch myself starting to feel off from the start; then I can sometimes focus and breathe in time. Usually… This last time was pretty bad. And honestly, I can’t say I like myself much when I act that way. My husband, though I don’t think he quite fully understands, has also started to understand how much I need the quiet/alone time and assist me in getting it by keeping the kids away from me when I am starting to get to the agitated.

When I was a kid/teen it was so much easier to deal. I always had my own room, thank goodness, and I could and did go spend a lot of alone time in my room. I’ve never liked being in crowds. If I’m prepared for it ahead of time, it makes it easier to handle – but in general I don’t like people being too close to me.

I think I must have been dealing with anxiety in my own way pretty much my whole life. I don’t think it’s a newer condition. I just think I skated by a lot more/it was a lot easier to overlook when I was younger. I think it also, at least in part, affected my often stony exterior and the walls I built up around myself.

The frequent urination is a big thing that I’ve dealt with since I was young. Friends of mine would think it odd I went to the bathroom so much. Brought it up to a doctor when I was in my 20s and he just said I probably just have a small bladder. So I grew up making sure I knew where bathrooms were at all times and going whenever the opportunity arose just in case I’d miss my chance, especially if I am travelling.

I worked through feelings of fear when I had to start calling businesses and dealing with my own shit as a teen – i.e making my own appointments etc. I got over that eventually so it doesn’t bother me to do so anymore. Then I started having similar feelings of fear when I’d have to bring up something even remotely serious with a male partner, which I believe started because of first abusive boyfriend – though now I’m not sure. Maybe I was just born with a touch of anxiousness. I’d have to work myself up to it, convince myself to act brave. This bled over to my relationship with my husband as well for many years. I’ve been working on it, and for the most part it’s been working. This last year or so I have made some huge strides in this area.

As for these other symptoms – I often grind my teeth at night, I’ve told y’all about some of my nightmares, I have a consistent set of knots in my shoulders no matter how many times the hubs helps me work them out, I eat a ridiculous amount of sugar because I have a feeling I NEED it – and I’m an emotional eater in general… and while my current gastro issues are tied to my gallbladder removal, pretty much my whole life I dealt with IBS like symptoms. I would usually be in the extremes of either constipation or diarrhea. Always in a cycle going back and forth. Ugh.

Anyway, needless to say, I think I need to delve into this a bit more and look at talking to my doc/getting a diagnosis. I’m tired of feeling this way about myself.

 

 

18 thoughts on “I Often Grind My Teeth At Night”

  1. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) while seeing a counselor for some unrelated issues in the summer of 2015. It answered so many questions for me! I’ve noticed that anxiety can manifest itself in different ways – The people that I know who have it, including myself, have varying symptoms. I definitely have troubling relaxing, and I have significant muscle tension. I see my chiropractor once a month for massage therapy and an adjustment – Without it, I’m in trouble. It’s made a huge difference. I don’t think I grind my teeth in my sleep, but I definitely clench my jaw and I have my fair share of nightmares. Good luck. Seeing a professional, whether a doctor or a therapist, is always a good start.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I clench my jaw too sometimes… I wish I could afford regular professional massages. It helped a lot when I’d go occasionally in Australia. I don’t have the same kind if expendable cash now unfortunately. I used to go every 3ish months and get full body sport massages. Hubs is good at working out those knots in my shoulders at least – seems to be where I hold most of my tension. I need to call my PCP and see if she can help me out or at least refer me to someone

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know if I grind my teeth but I have a clicking jaw now that wasn’t there before. Having children exacerbated my anxiety and now I know the signs. It was so hard to admit it at first. Now I see it was there for years.
    I found your post totally open, honest and I can empathise. Frequent urination? God yes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, it’s like… how did I not notice this before? I just got so used to my little idiosyncrasies that I didn’t realize they were an actual symptom of something specific like anxiety! Glad you liked it – I suppose I SHOULD be embarrassed to talk about my urination, but oh well LOL

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      1. I no longer care what others think about my need to run go the loo constantly. I just Don’t care anymore!! 🎈 freeing in itself.
        It wasn’t until I became a teacher I could clearly see how I overthought everything in life and obviously spent my youth in a constant state of anxiety. No wonder I want to sleep all the time- it must have been draining. Xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s good that you have recognized this and worked this out so you can do something to help yourself. It’s also good that now you can explain it to your husband so he can understand you a little better.

    Although, I have quite a few of those symptoms and I am pretty sure I’m not feeling stressed or anxious. I guess you need a large number of them together to count as anxious??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I dunno. Clearly I think some symptoms can be attributed to other causes such as weight gain or loss… that could be overeating or bloating from a certain food… brain fog and fatigue could be from multiple sources including just overworking oneself… but I’d think anxiety just manifests itself in different ways for different people. It may be you don’t have any axiousness, or possibly you occasionally are anxious or stressed and don’t realize it. But of course that doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem or disorder… everyone gets anxious or stressed at some point!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I was under the same assumption as you regarding anxiety symptoms. I had no idea that there were so many other symptoms. Anxiety also runs in my family and several members have been treated for years now, which has helped their health tremendously. Good for you for researching and being an advocate for your own health. I will be sharing this post so others can hopefully become aware of the “hidden symptoms” of anxiety. A wonderfully informative post. I hope you find some peace soon! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And those were just the ones that were common for me! I don’t think I even listed every single one that I have… There was a ridiculous amount of symptoms related to anxiety that I found! Glad I could be of help, if your relative doesn’t end up having anxiety at least maybe this would help to rule it out 🙂

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