Do Symptoms Really Come Out Of Nowhere?

A lot of us feel like MH symptoms, or worse – crashes, hit us out of “nowhere.” That’s how I’ve described my own crash in the past.

At 35, at the height of my career, just having started a new position, it felt like I was cut down at my knees, falling directly on to my face, w/o warning. 

Looking back, however, that’s not 100% accurate. I’ve never shared this stuff before, & not bc of shame, but bc I must’ve blacked it out, till I was ready to fully remember it all from childhood. 

Yes my brother was sick for many yrs, yes multiple friends passed away all too young, but the way it “felt” was like all these things hit me, & I just was blindsided by the build up. However, there were signs, as a child, now that I connect the dots & am able to look back.

I believe my symptoms I lived through at young ages, came abt first, from the anxiety I felt, worrying abt all the “what-ifs” as an immediate fam member struggled.  As I’ve learned all too well speaking w many of you, hearing from ppl at events, on emails, over the phone, anxiety can manifest itself in so many diff ways. 

So many unique symptoms. It’s possible some of these will resonate…it’s possible some will make me seem “weird”…however what I want you to know is, anything LIKE this can happen w any child, & it’s important to check on them.

My symptoms manifested in what doctors thought were neurological complications. Remembering back, despite my parents essentially living in the hospital w my brother, they were looking out for me in a big way, taking me to doc after doc, to get some answers. 

Here were my symptoms: 1) floaters, all the time, in my line of sight. I would see these amoeba-looking, clear, but patterned floaters all the time – looking in the sky, at a piece of paper, etc. Something we now know is associated w anxiety/depression. 2) Ringing in my ears – which I later found out had a name; tinnitus, also very common w anxiety. 3) Maybe the weirded one – the ground I walked on would feel “tilted” like I was walking downhill ALL the time. Best I can describe is like when a plane is descending, imagine feeling that ALL the time. Not fun when you play goalie in soccer & feel like you are falling down a hill, & have to still keep your mind in the game. 4) A fascination w the earth spinning on its axis, & getting sick thinking abt how we are always moving, always spinning, always in the same direction. Couldn’t get it out of my head.

I share all of this bc while I told my parents abt these things, no teachers knew. No coaches new. And docs thought my symptoms were 100% related to my brain/inner ears & overall balance. Back in the 80s/90s, MH wasn’t even brought up…& wmy teachers & authority figures would never know bc we just didn’t share back then if we “looked” ok. So thinking back, this is how I’d be in class, on the field, in my own head, as I tried to be productive w whatever was in front of me.

Hopefully this info makes you feel less alone in whatever you experience. Hopefully it helps you in what to look out for in your kids or even what to ask them abt.

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