05-07-2006, 05:11 PM
I said hi last night, but I didn't give my history. I started have attacks right before I turned 21. I was then homebound for 6 months until my parents dragged me kicking and screaming to a doctor. They put me on Imipramine and I was on it for 15 years. I also went through hypnotherapy to start driving again. I started working again and pushed myself into a new hobby, bowling, where I met my husband. I began doing tournaments and getting back to the way I was as a teen. Then, 2 years ago I collapsed and died at mt job. It was a syncopal episode. After going to the ER, I found out I have a rare heart condition that I was born with. It's called Congenital Long QT Syndrome and the imipramine made it worse. So I had to quit cold turkey. I can't take anything but xanax now because most of the meds out there can affect my QT which makes my heart stop. But xanax I had only taken when I needed it and I don't want to become addicted or build up my tolerance to it. Now I'm not working again and I'm having attacks doing basic things again. I've tried that infomercial program by I think Lucinda Basset, it started out OK but the farther I went into it, my anxiety seemed to get worse. I almost feel like my mind doesn't want me to improve. My husband is wonderful and very helpful with my disorder, but I don't feel it's fair to him. Does anyone have some other ideas that I could try? I'm at my wits end.
Sorry to hear your story - it's a bit of a delima, isn't it?
I got agoraphobia in my early early 20's - it pretty much put a halt to the life I used to live and enjoy as a young person - eg. no more clubbing etc. I was put on medication (and have been on it for the past 16 or so years) but got my life back - with a lot of hard work and pushing myself to do things. Went back to work, have a young family etc - just this year agoraphobia has raised it's ugly head once more (I never realised that this was possible - I mean I've always had to struggle with my fears but by no means as much or as badly as when I first got agoraphobia - and here it is again). Anyway I finally pulled my finger out and took myself to the doctors yesterday and asked about the medication I'm on. The Doc said I was on a very old kind of medication and that they use completely different types of meds nowdays, I asked how bad it would be coming off what I am on (Prothiadon) and she said "pretty bad" - so we have decided to stay with what I'm on and then I got a script for Sarapax (the housewifes happy drug) for really difficult outings. I am hoping to just have it in my bag as a kind of crutch that I can mentally tell myself is there if things get really bad. As you probably know it's you that needs to push you, just little things at first and slowly work your way into doing bigger things.
I have a 1.5 year old and a 5 year old and must admit that I find it incrediabley hard to try and be relaxed and stay positive with them yapping away continuously. But on a good note, I have started taking them with me for short walks in the late afternoons - which does make me feel like I have done something (after we get back).
I think it is very important to have a good friend as a understanding support person - I have a friend who mets me at my sons school and walks with us to the classroom and walks me back to the car. At the moment I do the food shopping with my husband on the weekends. I do have to admit that sometimes it does get me down - in that after all of these years and all that I had gotten back in my life has been taken away again, and I have to begin all over again. My advice to you is to get yourself out once a day (at least) every day get a book/diary and write down each day what you accomplish, write down how you felt as you did it and then what you felt after you did it, if you have a bad day then write that down but still try to do something small (everybody has bad days) - after a fortnight look back at your notes and you will probably find that as you face each fear you feel like crap but once you have done it you will feel great. Remember to start with very small fears, baby steps, don't push yourself to hard to quickly but also do not spend a day at home relaxing as it will make tommorrow that extra bit harder. It's like two steps forward three steps back, but if you keep at it you will find that something you found incrediabley hard to do at the beginning of the month is quite a bit easier by the end of the month. Probably the hardest and most difficult step I am at the moment is going it alone. That is my aim - although I did go to the Doctors alone yesterday - so a pat on the back to me for that. (I felt like crap, my face neck and arms went red, and I talk really fast and joke alot when stressing - but luckily my doc knows me and is really nice).
I found a site that had some ideas which I have been following, it's not easy, but you do have to push yourself. So if you have time check out http://www.anxietynetwork.com.au it covers anxiety education, assertion, medication, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, self esteem, relaxation, breathing techniques, nutrition, natural thereapies and supplements. I read these and printed out what sounded helpful and then practice changing the way I think, breathing through my diapraghm, exercise and getting out of the house every day. I have to reread it every couple of days as I can start to feel overwhelmed by it all after a while, and get myself going again. As for you medication situation that's one for the Doctors.
Sorry to blab on so much - I do tend to do that unfortunately. Anyways heres to you - and I wish you all the best. Chin up and keep smiling. :D
05-18-2006, 10:53 PM
Thanks so much for your reply. And everything you wrote I know is exactly what I need to do. I know it in every fiber of my being, but like you said it's that first step that sucks. I'm glad to hear that I can get back to functional again, but it's just so frustrating to know that I feel like I have to start at the beginning again. And I'm so leery of all those new meds out there. Plus I have to make sure it wouldn't affect the Beta blocker I'm on. Words of encouragement always help me out so thank you for your upbeat response. I'll check that web-site.
Thanks again. ;)
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