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BetsyLu last won the day on July 28 2013

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  1. Three years ago, I suddenly got very physically sick. I didn't know what was wrong with me and the doctors couldn't figure it out. I had crippling depression and anxiety and I legitimately thought I was going to die, by my hand or by my body just giving up. I was in a state of constant panic, not sleeping for days because I was shaking so hard and in so much pain (both physical and mental.) I was on here a lot trying to find some hope. I was worried my life would be over at 21. Fast forward to now: I'm doing better than ever. I haven't had a panic attack in over a year and rarely feel anxious anymore. I finally know what's going on with my body (nerve damage from a neck injury has caused partial paralysis of my digestive system, a painful and frustration condition called gastroparesis.) I'm still sick, but I've found much better ways to manage my symptoms through diet and lifestyle and overall, I've been improving. I still have the occasional PTSD episode from that horrible time in my life, but they are rare and not nearly as severe as they used to be. I think that a lot of people who get better stop getting on these forums, and that paints a picture of hopelessness for those that are left. In reality, there is hope. My quality of life now can't even be compared to where I was three years ago, I'm so much better! I'm happy! I can work again, most of the time! I don't feel anxious and rarely experience depression! I'm off all my meds! I was utterly hopeless when I was in that pit of depression, so I want to make this post to offer some comfort to those still in it. It's a frustrating battle and it took me a long time to figure out what worked for me, but eventually I did. And you will too, whether it is finding the right medication with minimal side effects that makes you feel better, or finding an alternative therapy that will help you get out of that rut. What worked for me may not work for you, but I'm going to mention it anyways: the biggest thing that helped me was neurofeedback, which is essentially re-training your brain to get back to being balanced. Listening to self-hypnosis videos on youtube also helped, and I still do that now when I'm feeling stressed. It does get better. You'll figure it out.
  2. Well, hopefully it passes soon! I found some accounts of contipation from benzo withdrawal online, but none showed any indication of how long it lasted. I'm sure I've experienced it before on other cuts, but didn't figure out to associate them with one another. Yeesh!
  3. Thank you, flasquish. :) Yes, the healing journey is definitely a combination of things. You have to be willing to work at it, and not just depend on a chemical therapy (though that can be incredibly helpful for some.) So much of it is learning about yourself!
  4. I wanted to post this, because it's exactly the kind of thing I needed to hear a few months ago. I hope it helps someone else too. When I look at where I am now and where I was 8 months ago, it's like night and day. Last fall, I had given up. I felt completely trapped by my health issues and my emotions. I thought about suicide constantly, and I had trouble seeing a future in which I was happy and functional. I had almost constant panic-attacks and was unable to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time. For a long time, I felt numb emotionally. I had a hard time feeling any emotion at all. But then, I started feeling and man it was beautiful but terrible at the same time. I cried a LOT. I sobbed so hard I thought I would throw up, which then sent me right into a panic attack because I'm emetophobic. But now, I am happy. I feel fulfilled. I still have a ways to go and life isn't perfect, but I'm able to see that what I went through was a learning experience and I am stronger now than I ever was before. I've learned so much about myself and what I want and need and love in life, and I have really learned to appreciate the beauty that is around me. 9 months ago I felt completely alone, not a friend in the world. But with a couple of major shifts in perception, I have become more generous and loving and in return, got it right back. I feel completely accepted and loved now, and it's beautiful. Some days I still feel overwhelmed and bitter about my experiences, but those days are fewer and further between. I have many, many more good days than bad days now, and I am awash with the richness that is life! It took work to get here, I'm not going to lie. I had to find hope within me, and then I had to hold onto it while I faced my problems head-on. I went to therapy and learned coping mechanisms. I did neurofeedback, which has been INCREDIBLY helpful to me. I listened to relaxation hypnosis on youtube every night until I was able to control my anxiety on my own. When things bubbled to the surface, I dealt with them and let them go (which is much easier to say than to actually do, but it is possible.) I found that by helping other people, I helped myself more than I ever could have imagined... one huge step in my recovery was when I stopped talking to my friends about my problems, and instead decided I'd like the distraction of listening to theirs. Suddenly, people wanted to talk to me. I kept my conversation light and understanding and used it as an opportunity to take myself away from my body and my pain and my fear and focus instead on what was happening in John's life, or whomever's. The amazing thing about giving is that the more you give, the more you get. I firmly believe that I cannot give more than I have been getting these days... and it's been an important and worthwhile lesson. I also had an epiphany that I am NOT weak. For so long I felt like I was broken, physically and emotionally. But then, right around Christmas, I realized that was completely wrong. I have had health issues for years and have done some amazing things DESPITE them. I have worked through more pain than most people could imagine, and I can keep doing it for the rest of my life if I have to and still lead a happy, worthwhile, and pleasant life. I am STRONG. And knowing that I am strong gives me the courage to face what I need to face to beat this thing. Anyways, I hope this helps someone else who is going through what I went through. I don't get on here very often anymore, but feel free to pm me if you would like to talk or have any questions. It IS possible to beat depression and anxiety, and you CAN do it. It takes work and it takes guts, but I bet you are stronger than you believe you are <3
  5. I'm slowly cutting down and tapering off of my xanax, and so far the withdrawals haven't been TOO brutal. I get hot flashes and insomnia and a weird tingly feverish skin sensation, and often have mood swings but these are all tolerable. I also feel pretty restless and anxious, but again I know how to handle it and will be fine. But man, am I constipated. I have a stomach condition that requires me to take miralax to keep things moving, but even that isn't doing much for me these days. I can't eat fiber because of the stomach condition, so I feel a little lost. Has anyone else experienced constipation with benzo withdrawal? How long did it last? How long until things got back to "normal"?
  6. Yay! So glad to hear your good news! Sometimes all you need is a more understanding doctor. :)
  7. I agree that you've been going awfully fast! It takes a long time to adjust to new meds.... sometimes up to a year! Be careful about treating side effects with more medication, as you kind of create a vicious cycle doing that. Give your body some time to adjust! I also couldn't find a depression med that helped me. Most made me nauseated and exhausted and gave me brain fog, some made me very ill, and one made me suicidal. There are other ways to deal with depression if you can't find a med that works for you... but they do take time.
  8. Know that everyone responds to meds differently! I take trazodone for sleep and find it pleasantly sedating at the dose I'm at (1/4 of the lowest dose they prescribe, I think.) If I take any more than that, I definitely get a "traz hangover" the next morning and experience lots of dizziness. I hope you're feeling better now, but if you're still feeling funky you might talk to your doc about lowering your dose and trying that for a while. I'm taking 1/4 of what they started me on and it works great, but like I said... any more than that and I'm a mess!
  9. Just know that the cycle doesn't HAVE to be self-perpetuating! I agree that it's possible you have clinical depression and definitely should take an active role in combatting it however you can, whether through therapy or medication or a combination. Now I'm a total stranger and I'm sure there's lots I don't know about the situation, but I can't imagine battling depression without the understanding and support of my spouse. If your husband is dismissive he doesn't sound like the supportive person you need him to be. The choice is up to you, but know that remarrying will not automatically yield the same results as what happened to your mother. And don't blame yourself for his actions. Your depression did not make him cheat, he did that all by himself. You'll be a happier person if you can work towards letting go of the guilt and worry you seem to have built up and focus on treating your own depression and making yourself happy. Sending good vibes your way! <3
  10. I've had difficulty concentrating for the last 5 years or so. I blame most of it on the meds, which I'm slowly weaning off. Unfortunately I think "brain fog" is a pretty common side effect of a lot of depression meds. I feel MUCH better after getting off of celexa over a year ago, but am still weaning myself off the others. Celexa didn't help my depression, it just made me really really tired and out of it. Be careful not to treat the side effects of medication with more medication unless you absolutely have to. Interactions can be complex and confusing, and the effects can last long after you get off the meds. I think seeing a proper psychologist with a good understanding of these meds is a great first step, and I hope you can find something that works for you! Feel free to send me a message if you want to know more about what has worked for me and why I've decided to go med-free (under the care of a doctor.)
  11. You might revisit the meds you're on and talk about them with your doctor. Celexa made me incredibly tired and absent-minded, I had a hard time remembering anything on it! I'm on another med (topiramate) that I think is making my short-term memory less sharp than it used to be as well. That said, if you're able to exercise, even just a walk, you'll probably feel better. It's great at clearing the head and getting the body in synch, in my opinion.
  12. I have PMDD really bad (due to a severe hormone imbalance, which we're working on. It takes a long time for things to change though) and a stomach condition that flares up when my body is stressed and I'm going through withdrawals of my migraine med topamax and the combination is just really tough... I could use some comforting words. I feel sick to my stomach (normal for this time of the month) and very depressed, but I also have a lot of anxiety and the chills form the withdrawals. I have a general feeling that something is horribly wrong, but I know it's just withdrawal and hormone-related anxiety. What do you do when you're feeling crummy? Especially would like ways to cope with the unpleasant chills and sensitive skin of withdrawals.
  13. Ugh, those happened to me too with celexa. And night sweats. o.O They never got bad enough that I fell out of bed, though, thank goodness!
  14. I hope you've found something to help you by now, RampantLJ. I just have to be devil's advocate and say be CAREFUL with medication. It affects each of us differently, and some people are more sensitive to certain meds (or to meds in general). If you start to notice anything weird going on with your body or mind, talk to your doctor. My experience is certainly not the norm, but the medications I was put on as a teenager have had very drastic and negative effects on my overall health, and my digestive system is still not working properly because of them. Listen to your body and find a doctor you can communicate openly with. And just to state the obvious: never quit a drug without talking to your doctor, and slower is safer than faster when changing doses or medications. Good luck!
  15. I've found therapy to be much more helpful than medication, personally. Medication (for me), has given me a lot of unpleasant side effects and bad reactions, plus switching or going off medication is never fun. That said, I think it's often a good treatment for other people. What's worked for me: getting OFF my meds, working on cognitive behavioral therapy, learning self-care and healthy living practices, listening to hypnosis on youtube, and neurofeedback. I know I often sound like an infomercial about neurofeedback, but it really has completely changed my life. It's expensive and doesn't work for everyone, but it might be worth looking into. Just a thought.
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