Mental Illness Poem

Agoraphobia, Anxiety And Panic Attacks

Anxiety is a demon most can't see. Every time I left the house I would have constant panic attacks until I returned. This poem is about the first two hours of a day. I refer to Anxiety as a demon because they are similar in many ways. It's impossible to understand the feeling of your own mind turning on you until it happens. Medication can cure symptoms or create them. My Agoraphobia was the result of a particular combination of medications. When I was taken off one, my symptoms went away.

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2 Hours

Brian E Pardee © more by Brian E Pardee

Published by Family Friend Poems November 2017 with permission of the Author.

Anxiety rips me out of my sleep, a shock to my system like a bucket of ice water.
I open my eyes to see a demon hovering near the ceiling; fighting it will lead to my slaughter.

These demons cover the Earth like the oxygen we can't see.
One look into their eyes assures you several hours of misery.

I pull off my covers and step to the warm floor.
My teeth begin to chatter, sensitive to an elusive vibration that I've felt before.

Every muscle contracts; I notice the blinds are closed, yet a small beam of light still gets in.
They spy on us through the sunlight; it's hard to fight a battle that you know you can't win.

I quickly stumble to the kitchen to take my medication, hoping today's the day it starts working.
Tunnel vision increases the terror, knowing that the beast is somewhere close lurking.

I eat the fastest meal that I am able to find,
Then brush my teeth twice, because I always throw up after the first time.

I quickly get dressed; with my head down I walk toward the car.
Hyper-vigilant to something you cannot see, aware of the fact that I must appear to act bizarre.

Each day is like reliving a bleak dream, every 24 hours repeating exactly the same.
When the tension becomes too great I'm forced to distract myself with a different form of pain.

I get into my vehicle, driving to my monthly psychiatric appointment as fast as I can go.
The night before was a bad one; I took a hammer to the side my face to make the pain show

I walked into the building, trying to cover the side of my face that was black and blue.
I quickly sat down, noticing some of other patients could see the demons too.

Some people think we are terrified of other people, but that simply isn't true.
I'm terrified of the demon that is standing between me and you.

It only took a few months before this doctor stopped pretending to care.
It's always the same questions, just wanting my new medication so I could get the hell out of there,

So I can race home, splash some water on my face and take a deep breath,
Because that was only two hours and there's still twenty two left.



I started writing inside a mental hospital when I was 18 and I guess I never stopped. Most of my writing has been about mental illness but in recent years I branched out into other topics I'm familiar with. If my poetry had one central message or theme it would be understanding. Once a person can understand another's mindset they tend...

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