I've been trying to control things on my own, but havent been able to. One of my major issues and always has been is going to the doctors, so I avoid it at all costs, but have gotten to the point that I have to do something before I become a hermit and my house and loose my job. I have such a hard time even talking about my issues that I decided to write them down to give the doctor and hopefully eliminate some of the time there. My wife and I believe I have some type of anxiety issue, so wanted to see if someone here could review where I am at and comment. Thanks
Below is what I plan to take to the doctors for them to read.
I have always had a fear of doctors for some reason and also have a hard time talking about my issues since I donít like admitting Iím not perfect and something is wrong with me that I canít control on my own, so I decided to right things down. Several years ago, I was in your office for depression and anxiety, but at that time it was mostly depression. I was given a prescription of I believe Lexapro and it seemed to work, but when it was time to have to come back in the doctors office to get it refilled, I didnít due to my fear of doctors and I figured I was better and didnít really need the medicine anymore.
I was doing ok, but around the middle to end of 2009 or so, I begin having more issues with anxiety and panic attacks. Sometimes I would and still feel somewhat depressed, but nothing like it was before. I have always gotten nervous about speaking to a group such as in meetings, but I noticed it was worse to where my stomach would feel sick and sometimes my hands would shake. It also began to bother me if someone other then my wife would touch me. An example was when I was getting a new wedding ring and when the jeweler grabbed my hand to see what size ring I needed, my whole body shook. Afterwards I wasnít really shaking but felt shaky inside and extremely nervous and uneasy. I also found that if I was to get a haircut, my head and body would sometimes shake for no reason, so I started having my wife cut my hair at home so I wouldnít be embarrassed. When she cuts my hair, it still happens but at least only she sees it.
At the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010, the economy began to take its toll on my work and as Vice President of a construction company my job became increasingly more stressful. I began to constantly feel stressed, nervous and anxious. I became irritable, neck always sore and tight, stomach uneasy constantly, hard to stay focused and concentrate, & sometimes my hands would shake.
Around the middle of 2010, I noticed that my hands were shaking more often when I was at work or around people even if they were friends or family. Sometimes they would be fine and if I was trying to eat or drink something around others they begin to shake and embarrass me. Due to this I started not being around people more socially and would not eat or drink anything around people at work. I would also keep my hands hidden or pressed on something so no one would see if they began to shake. If I was alone or just with my wife they never shook, but I still felt anxious, nervous, and worried about everything including this all the time. My hands even began to shake sometimes if I was trying to pay for something at a store.
At the fall of 2010, I began just having problems sleeping. Itís hard to fall asleep most nights and every night I only seem to sleep about an hour, then wake up, takes awhile to fall back sleep, then wake up again about an hour or so later, on and on. It helps if I take an over the counter sleep aid, but still wake up every now and then. My anxiety got worse to the point that in just about every meeting with several people or even just one on one with someone sometimes will cause my hands to shake and sometimes my head to shake. It started happening socially as well. The increase of my hand shakes and my head shakes, I started being around people socially even less than before and would try to avoid meetings at work. I noticed that if I needed to stand still for a picture I would begin to shake and tremble, so I quit having pictures taken. I also noticed that sometimes normal noises seemed to scare me, such as a cell phone ringing and this didnít use to do it.
At the end of 2010, things got worse. Now if I even think about having to meet with someone at work, I get super anxious and hands shake. Sometimes and more often since the beginning of this year, I actually begin to get head and body shakes just thinking about having to be around people, my heart beats faster, sometimes feels hard to breath, and sometimes just begin crying. Around Christmas time of last year, I found that if I drink a beer, I feel more relaxed and less anxious and almost never would shake. Due to this, I started to have a drink before I knew I would be around people such as a party or out to dinner. I would then continue to drink some beers while out, so that I could stay less anxious and hopefully not shake. I couldnít use this method for work though, so my fear of work got worse.
Since the beginning of this year everything has gotten progressively worse to the point that I have begun to not only avoid meetings and interaction with people, but miss days at work. Sometimes, I will wake up in the morning and either before I leave for work or on the way in just have what I would call an attack and not be able to go to work or a meeting. I worry so much that I begin to shake, sweat, feel like Iím going to throw up, heart beats faster, sometimes get a headache, & feel like I canít breathe. Sometimes I can just take deep breaths and it seems to go away in 15 minutes or so, but sometimes it lasts over an hour. This also started happening at night at home after work, so I started drinking during the week. Over the last couple months or so, it is not uncommon for me to have two or three beers just about every night during the week and up to eight or so on Saturdays and Sundays.
I realize that drinking like I have been doing isnít good for me, isnít a real answer to my situation, and I donít want to continue on a path that will end in being an alcoholic. I want to be able to enjoy life again without constantly being worried, anxious, and fearful of everything. I want to be able to function again normally at work and socially.