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Thread: Help!

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Help!

    Hi everyone,
    I'm new to this site so please bare with me. Im 27 and I've struggled with panic attacks and anxiety for 4 years now. It came on out of the blue. Me having no prior knowledge whatsoever on panic attacks or anxiety i thought i had developed some kind of sickness. That could be made better with medications. None of my family have experience with anxiety and panic and i found them to be of little support. They believe it is something that is in my head and i have control over. I have been taking fluoxetine 40mg for almost 3 years which had worked fine. Within the last 2 months my anxiety and panic is back with a vengeance. Im feeling very depressed and like all hope is gone of a normal life. My everyday life has become a nightmare. Im terrified majority of my time just by the thoughts of insanity. That im finally going to lose my mind and that i could harm myself just so the feelings subside. My doctor has upped the dosage to 60mg. The idea of having to up the dosage felt like a step back instead of forward. Ive spoken to therapists and multiple doctors. Im beginning to lose hope and wonder if ill ever be normal again. Please any advice, input would be appreciated im sorry for the very vague account of my situation. Im just highly distressed.

  2. #2
    Hi Jaylaree, thanks for posting.

    I am actually at work right now and don't have the time to tell you everything I want to at this moment, but I read your post this morning and can relate to you on so many levels - I too am 27 years old and have struggled with anxiety disorder with panic attacks for four years. I too spent years of my life worrying that I had developed some mysterious illness, and that the doctors must have missed something even though i had several different tests done and several medical opinions. I went to four different psychologists, all who were no help. I tried medication, but the side effects were so intense, having the disorder without the medication was about the same in terms of how it impacted my life. My family and friends were of little help too. Most people do not have a full understanding of what anxiety disorder is and what it isn't.

    I understand what you're going through and your struggle. Anxiety disorder is very powerful and can make you feel powerless, hopeless, lost, confused, and a million other feelings. Only about six months ago, I wanted to end my life because the pain and day to day struggle was getting beyond debilitating.

    I want you to know that there is hope and you CAN recover, with the right help, information, and support. I have found my answers after years of searching and am in a place now where I feel better than I have since first developed the disorder. I am starting to finally feel normal again and the symptoms are diminishing. I will be writing you a lengthier post when I get the time, hopefully this evening.
    Last edited by RoadToRecovery; 02-03-2017 at 07:58 AM.

  3. #3
    First things first you need to take a step back. You are panicking about panicking. Anxiety has a way of doing this to us but as soon as you realize the cycle it will reduce its effect.

    Was there anything in specific that happened within these last two months that caused it to spiral out of control?

    I would highly recommend taking the time to follow some guided meditations for now, when you give us some more info hopefully I can suggest something further.
    My Mental Health Blog - www.fixmybrokenmind.com

  4. #4
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    Thankyou so much for your post RoadToRecovery, I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate it. Fixmybrokenmind Hi and thankyou for replying to my post. My health is the culprit of my anxiety. When i was younger i was hospitalized for Meningitis. I had no idea i was near death and simply put it down to having a headache. Now when i feel new sensations or anything different in my body i panic. I worry about the fact it could be something more serious. When i see a doctor they reassure me im fine. Which leads to more worry because i think im losing my mind. The cycle continues. I feel very helpless. The forum was a last resort. Which i regret not joining sooner.
    Last edited by Jaylaree213; 02-03-2017 at 11:15 AM.

  5. #5
    I had cancer when I was younger and underwent chemotherapy. In my early 20's I experienced chronic fatigue (near bed ridden). That being said my anxiety has greatly revolved around my health, anytime I get a common cold, headache, or even feel excessively tired I begin to worry.

    A couple of tips:
    1. Stay off google. Anytime I google a health issue I am dealing with, it blows my anxiety out of the water leading me to believe it is something more than it is in reality.
    2. Recognize symptoms. If there is something you have worried about in the past which turned out to be nothing, recognize it when it returns. For example when my anxiety is present I very often get a racing heart, before I identified it as anxiety I was worried I had a heart problem or something. Recognizing that feeling for anxiety stops me from worrying about a heart issue and allows me to move on with my life
    My Mental Health Blog - www.fixmybrokenmind.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Hi Jaylaree and welcome

    I've been on and off (mostly on) SSRIs for severe anxiety/depression for over 20 years. I've found they help initially and have got me out of some serious depressive episodes, but the anxiety can easily come back and upping the dose has never done much for me. I just stay on 20mg fluoxetine now. I also take nitrazepam (benzo) and oxycodone (opiate) which are both very addictive but they keep me from drinking and get me through the night.

    I used to have the same fears of going insane and doing terrible things but that's mostly subsided with age (I'm 43). It's a beast of a thing though and I'm sure it's getting more and more common as our culture declines. I personally think if you don't feel anxious and depressed with what's going on in this world you must be stupid and/or in denial.

    Hang in there,
    Gypsy x
    Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, are given a chance to climb. They refuse, they cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is. —Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, Game of Thrones

  7. #7
    ***Jaylaree213, and anyone else who is reading this post - bear with me. This is a very lengthy post, but I think there is something here for anyone struggling with an anxiety disorder. If you can have some patience and read through it, it could possibly change your life for the better***

    Most of what you have described has been the story of my life for the past four years, since I first began struggling with severe, debilitating anxiety and depression. Most days I truly felt like I was losing my mind, and it was horrifying.

    I have experienced a litany of symptoms since I developed the disorder, to name a few: rapid heartbeat, sweating for no reason, frequent urination, panic attacks, severe brain fog, dizziness/feeling like I'm going to pass out, depersonalization, difficulty concentrating/understanding, tingling in my feet, feeling on edge for no reason, things that should feel good would feel bad, no sexual desire, difficulty performing sexually (to the point to where I feared it), isolation from friends/loved ones, extreme fatigue that would shut me down physically and mentally, no desire to do things I once enjoyed, and many, many others.

    Hands down the worst of my symptoms was the crippling brain fog. I nearly lost my job because of it. I work in a high stress job at a local bank where I have to give presentations to our board of directors sometimes (the people highest on the corporate ladder). I had times where my anxiety was so high, I would forget what I was saying in the middle of speaking, or struggle mightily just to form a coherent sentence. I would be asked questions at work and my mind would go blank, or I wouldn't be able to comprehend what they're saying, and just stutter and babble. Our president called me out in the middle of everyone about my anxiety once. It was really embarrassing. Then I would worry about losing my job because I was constantly underperforming at work and failing to meet deadlines because I couldnt get it together in my head.

    It got so out of control, most days I would struggle to understand even the most basic of sentences. I would struggle to understand what I was reading. Someone could say "the cat ran across the road", and I wouldn't understand it... it got that severe, which is crazy because I did well in school. I graduated at the top of my class with honors in college.

    It got so bad where I couldnt even talk to my wife or friends hardly at all anymore, and when I did, I was extremely nervous. I became a prisoner in my own mind. I would sit next to my wife and would be filled with fear, trying desperately to think of something to say, but I would usually sit in silence. It got so bad, I can barely even recall my own wedding last year, because I was so filled with fear and distracted. What should've been the happiest day of my life turned into one that I was horrified throughout the whole thing.

    Through my recovery I learned that anxiety can cause severe brain fog and my memory problems have reversed SIGNIFICANTLY since I learned how to recover.

    I tried medication once, which landed me in the ER. I had a bad reaction to it and nearly passed out at the wheel. It gave me bad insomnia and made doing anything sexual painful. It didn't make me feel nervous anymore, but my brain fog got twice as bad. I decided to stop taking medication and tried to overcome the disorder without it.

    These past four years have been the hardest of my life. Hardly a minute went by where I wasn't thinking about it or its or the symptoms weren't impacting me in some fashion. I devoted nearly everything I had trying to find a way to beat it - running several miles a day, I dramatically changed my diet and read books and hundreds of pages of material regarding diet, I changed my eating patterns to Whole Foods, healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, eliminated my caffeine intake and most sweets, memorized hundreds of biblical passages, prayer, positive thinking, five different psychologists, medication, vitamins, tons of doctor visits with several expensive diagnostic tests (which all came back negative). I tried EVERYTHING I could possibly think of.

    While some of those were helpful, the anxiety and terrible symptoms would always would come back after a week or so, and I hit rock bottom in June of 2016. My anxiety and depression got so out of control, I couldn't even function hardly anymore. Our new house we bought was going down the tubes because I couldn't do the work needed or remember how to do it. I was having panic attacks regularly (sometimes in church out of all places). And often times I would get the panic attacks without even worrying about anything. They would just - boom - out of nowhere hit me. I felt that my body had turned on itself.

  8. #8
    Work got harder and harder, and completely overwhelmed me. I would come home crying most days, feeling defeated. I could not hold a simple conversation, let alone think critically like I needed to at my job, and my boss and co workers were starting to get angry by my lack of production and participation. And my beautiful wife that I've been with for seven years told me she didn't know how much longer she could be with me if I continued to act this way and I couldn't get better somehow. She told me she felt so alone and depressed because of my absence. She was exhausted from putting up with me for four years and only seeing me decline further and further. I had not been there to talk to her because of my severe brain fog. I couldn't be there emotionally to support her. She would express her feelings to me, and I couldn't understand what she was saying, let alone know how to respond to her. I rarely ever talked to her out of fear and my symptoms. She felt so lonely, having moved hundreds of miles away to be with me and having no other friends here. She turned to escapism through video games. She played them with her friends back home to help her cope and escape our situation and the sadness she felt.

    While your own situation is unique and I don't claim to have experienced everything you've went through, I have an understanding of what you are going through... it is absolutely debilitating and terrifying. It can drain you of hope and make you feel like giving up. I certainly thought of this many times because everyday was such a struggle, filled with pain, and miserable. I started to forget what feeling normal and being able to think normally was like.

    However, and this is a BIG however, I also want to tell you this - I am at a place in my life now that is 1,000 times better than it has ever been in these past four horrible years. I'm finally seeing the light. I'm starting to genuinely smile again. My brain fog and other symptoms are lifting in ways that I have never experienced in these past four years. After years of searching, I finally found answers to overcoming this horrible monster that is anxiety disorder, and I want to share it with you and anyone else who is reading this post.

    First off, I want to explain what anxiety disorder is NOT, in case you are afraid of this. It is not caused by a "chemical imbalance" in the brain. It is also not an illness or disease you contract or inherit. There is a great deal of confusion in the community regarding this. There are absolutely no medical tests you can get that show this "chemical imbalance". This is a myth that has been propagated by the pharmaceutical industry. One of the first articles I ever read that led me to the beginnings of my recovery was this one:

    http://www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety...mbalance.shtml

    It is a lengthy read, but I assure you it is worth your time if you have this fear. It will open your eyes and will give you an understanding that the chemical imbalance theory was never true. I think this would be a good read for you, as it addresses medication in depth, and could possibly give you a greater understanding regarding your medication.

    On the flip side of the coin, there are certain underlying medical conditions that can mimic anxiety and depression symptoms. It is always a good idea to get a thorough examination by a doctor, and perhaps a second or third opinion. If they observe that this is caused by anxiety/depression, and not an underlying medical condition, you can have confidence that it is just an anxiety disorder that you have, and then take the steps needed to recover. Also understand that underlying medical conditions causing these symptoms are very rare, and should be considered the exception, not the rule with anxiety disorders.

    Here is the great news: Anxiety disorder that is not caused by underlying medical reasons can be cured 100%, and you CAN return to normal, medication-free health with the right help, information, support, devotion, and patience!

    I know hundreds of people who have recovered from this disorder and returned to normal, medication-free health. One person I know had a severe anxiety disorder for 12 years and has been fully recovered and hasn't been on medication for over 25 years.

    I understand why you went to medication. As I said, most people do not fully understand anxiety disorder, and many believe that it is some sort of sickness that can only be resolved with medication. Some are exhausted and have tried every other avenue they know and have been unsuccessful. I have been there and was desperate to find a solution, so I tried medication for awhile. But as I explained, I had a bad reaction and made the decision to try to recover without it. I believe medication is like a band-aid that covers the wound, but does not truly stop the bleeding.

    Anxiety disorders and depression are caused by our behaviors, NOT our biology. I know it is probably hard to believe because the symptoms are so intense and convincing, but they can truly make you feel horrible, as you can see with my story.
    Last edited by RoadToRecovery; 02-04-2017 at 08:21 AM.

  9. #9
    People develop anxiety disorder by behaving apprehensively too often for too long. When you behave apprehensively, your endocrine system sends stress hormones to various areas of your body that produce an array of physiological, psychological, and emotional changes. This is commonly known as the "fight or flight" response.

    When we behave this way for too long, our brain and nervous system can become "hyperstimulated" and start reacting even when we aren't thinking in anxious ways. This often develops into a downward spiral that looks something like this:

    - Body involuntarily produces anxiety symptoms

    - we worry about what is going on with our body. We may even think there is something seriously medically wrong with us.

    -worrying causes our body to release more stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol, etc)

    - our bodies produce more symptoms due to the increased stress hormones in our system

    - We worry more as the physical symptoms multiply and intensify

    - and so on, and so on

    This was the case with me, and seems to be the case with you, as you state "Im feeling very depressed and like all hope is gone of a normal life. My everyday life has become a nightmare. Im terrified majority of my time just by the thoughts of insanity".

    Also understand this: you are NOT going insane and you are NOT losing your mind. I know it can feel that way, believe me, I have certainly been there. Stress hormones are very powerful. Also remember this: "crazy" people don't worry about going crazy because they don't think anything is wrong.

    Even though it may FEEL like you are about to lose your mind, snap, lose control, or go crazy, you won’t. The worst that can happen is that you become afraid, and that’s it. There is NO link between being fearful and losing your mind.

    When you experience these heightened fears and thoughts, remember that this is how the body responds when grave danger is perceived, that you CAN’T lose control, and that as the nervous system calms down, your thinking patterns will return to normal. You are ALWAYS in control of your actions, no matter how "out of control" your impressions may seem.

    Moreover, when the body becomes stress-response hyperstimulated, the change in brain functioning can persist. So as long as the body is overly stressed, it can experience any symptom of elevated stress, including this one, even long after the initial stressor has passed.

    Another thing that is helpful to know is that the body and mind are closely linked together. For example, when you are feeling exhausted, it affects your mind (makes it difficult to think/concentrate)

    On the flip side of the coin, your THOUGHTS can influence your physiological state. For example, say you are at truck ralley and trucks are racing each other. One of the workers is out on the track for some reason, when all of a sudden, a truck comes racing around the corner at full speed, spinning out of control, and heading right towards the worker, who has his back facing the truck and doesn't realize it's getting ready to hit him. The fans in the stands see this and instantly, their minds become filled with fear/worry. They may jump up, their heart rates may increase, sweat, HOWEVER, the worker does not and remains perfectly calm. Why? Because the audience in the stands were THINKING in fearful ways, and the worker wasn't.

    Another example of our thoughts influencing our physiology: say someone is dead tired, feeling lazy, and has no energy whatsoever. Then all of a sudden, their wife calls and tells him she just won the lottery! Instantly, this person jumps up, starts screaming in excitement, and becomes filled with energy. Why? His THOUGHTS caused physical changes in his body.
    Last edited by RoadToRecovery; 02-04-2017 at 08:23 AM.

  10. #10
    Anxiety disorders are caused by unhealthy ways of thinking for far too long. In your case, it seems that a fear of death has certainly been one of the instigators. This is quite common. In fact, it was one of the main reasons I developed my disorder. My older brother was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma at age four and had a 1/4 chance to live. He struggled with the cancer for four years. I believe this had an impact on my thinking patterns and contributed to me developing the disorder later in life.

    Also, understand that the majority of our personalities are already developed by the time we are eight years old. Our experiences leading up to age eight play a large role in how we perceive the world. Many people who struggle with psychological disorders often state that they had various negative things happen to them when they were younger (e.g. Physical/mental/sexual abuse, overprotective parent, over critical parent, etc). The root of overcoming anxiety disorder is to resolve the underlying factors associated with it. At the same time, there is a physical side to recovery as well. You need to be relaxing your body daily, such as meditation, light to moderate physical exercise, passive acceptance of your symptoms, and try to use your free will to limit negative and apprehensive thinking as much as you can. Over time, the hyperstimulation of your nervous system and brain will calm down and will stop producing symptoms.

    Above all else, you have to be PATIENT. Many people are hoping for quick fix cures they can do, but the problem is that recovering from anxiety disorder is usually a process, not an event. Depending on the severity of your disorder, it can take many months, sometimes 1-2+ years to experience a full recovery. It can be accomplished, but it takes patience, faith, and time. It also depends on how hard you work at your recovery. It definitely will take effort on your part.

    Finally, I want to share with you how I found my answers and what led me to recovery. That link I shared with you above is from a website called anxietycentre.com. I honestly don't know if I'd be alive right now were it not for the immense help this site has given me. Most of the knowledge I have on anxiety disorder has come from this site and the wealth of self-help knowledge contained in the members area of the site.

    I would highly encourage you (and anyone else reading this post) to check out anxietycentre.com Their information has been so very helpful for me to understand this beast of anxiety disorder and what I could do to overcome it. Most of it I had never known before. There are HUNDREDS of testimonials on their site from people just like us who have overcome debilitating anxiety with their help. If you would like to see what I mean, follow this link:

    http://www.anxietycentre.com/testimonials.shtml

    And the testimonials you read on that page aren't even half of them. There are a ton of others on the members only portion of the site. I highly recommend you (and all other sufferers reading this) to get a membership there. It is only 9 dollars a month and fully refundable if you aren't satisfied. It has changed my life. I'm starting to smile again and feel a peace I haven't felt in years.

    One thing that i love about the site is that the founder, Jim Folk, and every other therapist on the site has had anxiety disorder, AND has overcome it as well. Jim Folk is actually the one I was referring to when i mentioned the person I knew who had the disorder for 12 years and overcame it.

    These people have overcome anxiety disorder, and they UNDERSTAND it. I don't know about you, but that was my biggest problem with my doctors and psychologists I saw before discovering this site. My psychologists were knowledgeable with a host of psychological ailments, but I never felt they truly understood what I was going through. They told me things that I have since discovered were incorrect and harmful to my recovery. Doctors are highly intelligent, and mean well, but most simply do not have a full understanding of anxiety disorder. Since they are trained from a medical perspective, their biological bias leads them to believe anxiety disorders are caused for biological reasons, and they treat them accordingly. However, as I have said, anxiety disorders are caused by our BEHAVIOR, not our biology. And since doctors are not trained in behavioral/mental health issues, their approach to mental disorders, in my opinion, has many times caused more harm than good.

 

 

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