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About jeffreyd

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  1. I seem to have hit the trifecta for stress. I used to never stress that much. I always suffered with depression. I have been on Paxil for about 13 years, then tried others until I settled on Lexapro for almost the past year. But this year, after a sales job was failing, I was hit with anxiety like never before. Constant never ending thoughts of failing, I obsessed. I always had a tight chest and beating heart. Funny thing was, after a couple months, I disappeared after a very long night of sleep. Well, fast forward and I got let go of that job, and just got a new job and the anxiety is back double hard. I constantly doubt myself on whether I can handle it. I even left on my 5th day there because of the anxiety. Then I get a call that my mom is in the hospital having tests for her colon, and my dad is losing his cognitive functioning and my need a caregiver soon. This piled on me like of ton of bricks. I thought there is no way I can go to work tomorrow, or again. But I need the money, and am afraid if I leave then finding another job will be more tough. It just feels so STUCK, no way out. So I turned to some meds for help. First was Xanax, but it was not that affective and did not last very long. Now its clonazepam, which this is my first night with, and propranolol (a beta blocker) to help reduce the physical symptoms of the anxiety. I have not slept for a few days, and am hoping this allows me some sleep tonight. I am afraid of having a breakdown, which I am not sure what that looks like. But I think about going to the hospital and just getting sedated for a few days, hoping when I wake up I am somewhat better. Not sure what a breakdown actually looks like, other than I think I am getting close. Also so worried about the affects on my wife and kids, so more worries pile up. Really do not what what to do next. I think I may stay home again tomorrow, but that could lead to another day of dwelling and worrying about everything. Guess I am stuck...
  2. Hi Chris. I am very sorry for what you are going thru. I can relate, and maybe we can get some strength from each other. I have had depression for 20+ years, and have been on Paxil and most recently Lexapro. But this year the anxiety came raging in, not sure what the trigger was. The pain in my chest, fast beating heart, could not relax, no appetite, no focus. Then it was gone as fast as it came. But, it came again just a week ago or so, when I got a new job. It is all consuming, worry, cannot shift away from thinking I am going to fail at the job. This was all in my first week, then I get a call that my 80 year old mom is in the hospital with stomach issues. We are waiting for lab results. Then just a few days later I get notice my dad is losing his cognitive abilities, and will need a caregiver soon. The combination of the job, and parental health is too much to bear. I am not sure how I am going to deal with it, especially a new job when I am worried about my parents now. My doctor prescribed Clonazepam and propranolol to get me thru, as I cannot sleep at all. This is my first night on them and I can feel my tight chest relaxing a bit. I feel sort of spacey too, which may be a problem at work. Just looking for some relief. Whatever can help get you thru this hard time. Thats that it is, a hard time, not forever. Things will get better, its just hard to see that form here. I will be leaning on my family and friends for sure, and the meds, until I feel I can start to stand on my own and recover. You are not alone in these feelings, there are many of us out here like you, I hope this brings you some comfort hearing our stories and how we choose to cope.
  3. jeffreyd

    Real life is tough

    Well said.
  4. This is good, thank you Natasha.
  5. Thanks Natasha. I am meeting with a psychologist almost once a week now, and it does help some. I like your idea of getting something to do each morning, and trying see the light each and every day. I will keep trying things until I succeed. Must stay diligent! Thanks again...
  6. Hello all. I'm still pretty new to these forums. I have read and empathized with many members. It has made me realize how many people are affected by mental health issues. We just don't see it day to day when passing by people on the street, or at work, or at the store, etc. We all try to do our best to put on our happy face. I am going through a very tough time right now. I think it is a combination of things. I was on Paxil for about 13 years for depression and some social anxiety. It worked very well, but eventually I felt the effectiveness was fading. In 2014 I started by journey to find a replacement. I tried, Zoloft, Effexor, Viibryd, and Lexapro. Zoloft and Viibryd did not agree with me, and did not last but a couple months. I was on Effexor for about 2 years, and thought it may be good for the long run. Then some life events started. I got laid off from a job, my cat died the day after. My son was diagnosed with bipolar type 2, and just graduated high school and was going to college far away in the fall. I did not feel comfortable on Effexor anymore, and tried Lexapro. Basically since then, I have not found a good "base" or something that I feel helps. I had found a new job and was at it for a little over a year, but left for another opportunity I thought would be better. Well, it has not been. It's with a small new company and the pressure is terrible. I am not handling it well at all. I'm not sure I will still have a job in a month, as it is sales oriented and we are not doing well. The social anxiety is back, and I've completely lost my confidence. I fear visiting with customers and performing my job duties. The anxiety has grown so much it consumes me 24/7. I worry constantly, about everything. My job, my son, my daughter (junior in high school, doing well), my parents (getting older). I think all this stuff is triggering how I feel. I feel isolated, cut off socially, even though I do get out with friends. I feel that everyone else is happy and has their stuff together, and I am alone and left behind. Its almost a paranoid feeling, like I'm always being judged be others. I just want to enjoy things again, and not be so nervous. My chest is always tight and I have to take deep breaths to try and calm down. I have been taking .25 of Xanax on bad days, which are frequent now. It helps some. I am also interviewing for a new job with less stress, but I am so nervous about the interview. I did not used to be this way, and am scared. Just so sensitive to things too, I could cry almost instantly. I'm leaving to visit my son today, to spend two night with him with my wife, and want to just take it all in and enjoy it, but I am so worried. All I can focus on is the negatives. How short the trip is, is he OK, will I seem normal to him, etc. Anyway, this ended up a rather long post. I keep working on improvement daily... there's got to be a light at the end of the tunnel somewhere?
  7. Hi Samantha. Glad you are here! I am definitely not a professional or anything, just someone that can relate to your story. I have been taking antidepressants for almost 17 years, and now am taking xanax to control my anxiety, which has peaked in the last few months for some reason. I have days where I do not think I can work at all. I have been working with a psychologist recently, and this is helping. I am to the point where I am like a cornered tiger, I am fighting for my life back. I will try anything, and stick with it until there is improvement, any sort of improvement. I have learned that I myself place a lot of pressure on me, and I need to be more patient and kind to myself. Life is not about trying to meet others expectations, its all about you. Everyone is unique, you offer something to this world that no one else does. Accepting who you are is and recognizing how special you are takes practice, at least for me. To become comfortable with myself, flaws and all. Believe me, everybody has them. I know changing how you feel takes time. I used to think meds would be the silver bullet, but unfortunately they stopped working like they used to, and now I am changing my brain myself, out of pure will. So I do not set big goals, any little sign of improvement is good for me. That could be going to one social event for 30 minutes, or feeling relief from worry for even a minute or two. These are improvements. Over time, they will grow. I worry and fear everything lately. So I am working on living in the current moment. No thinking beyond now. What am I doing now. I am OK now. If I can get better at this, over time, little by little, now become later. Things can build on themselves too. I spiraling effect. So I work on interrupting this spiral, stopping it early when I can. Breathing deep and focusing on something simple, like the sound of my breath, or a airplane, distance voices, etc. Having a psychologist/therapist to talk with weekly is very helpful. I chose a psychologist because they have more training than counselors, etc. I usually feel better after leaving the session. It is very hard to describe what you are feeling to others who cannot relate, I totally understand this. I hope you find these forums helpful, there are many of us out there listening who care. Remember you are a gift to this world, we are all different. I hope you can become kinder to yourself, and be self-compassionate. What you are going thru is tough. My psychologist told me to pretend I had a friend who was feeling like I was, and to write that friend a letter. Would you be angry and put them down? No, you would probably be very compassionate. So be compassionate to yourself! You deserve it. Hope this has helped some. Good to have you here.
  8. jeffreyd

    Does anyone else cry most days?

    Hello ericincalifornia, I am so sorry you are going thru this. I have dealt with depression and anxiety for 30+ years as well. I find there are ups and downs in the intensity, some of that depends on the current meds I am trying, or certain triggers and life events. Just recently I have started crying more lately, and wondering what has set this off. I noticed that when I start recognizing what I am going thru, or start to try to communicate it to others, that is when the tears start flowing. Its almost a self-compassion thing I think. Its hard to say what it means overall, but I know sometimes it helps. I cry a lot during therapy, but feel better afterwards. It may help the healing process. I also agree with epictetus, the people in this forum are some of the bravest and strongest people on Earth. Sounds like you are doing the right thing, which is to keep trying new methods to deal with this illness, and to never stop until you are feeling better. So stay strong! These forums will help too.
  9. jeffreyd


    Well said. I feel the same, and battle it every day. We are soldiers, who will fight another day. Wishing you success in battle.
  10. Hi everybody. I've just gone thru a pretty rough year or so, after being on Paxil for about 12 years. It stopped working, and I've been trying to find a substitute. Tried different things, currently on Lexapro (20mg). Been on it for about 8 days. It does not feel like it is doing much. I did notice it was from a generic manufacturer Aurobindo. I do remember once on Paxil when my pharmacy switched to a different generic company without my knowledge. All of the sudden it was like I was not taking Paxil, even though I was. The manufacturer they changed to was Aurobindo. So, wondering if this is a coincidence, or there is something with this company and their generics? I know different people have different results with different generics, but wondering what others out there using generic Lexapro have experienced? I just switched today to a generic from Cipla, we'll see if there is a difference. I sure hope so...
  11. Hi mag61. I'm glad to hear you found it useful :) Yes, the exercise boost does not last that long, but it does get me out of the house and in shape (to some degree). Self-esteem is a tough one, as my therapist said, after learning and practicing this behavior for 50 years, its going to take sometime to unlearn it. Its become a default behavior, to beat myself up, compare myself to others (unfairly I might add), and just expect too much out of myself. Self-compassion become important. That part about pretending you have a friend feeling like you do, and say what you would to them, but say it to yourself! You deserve some compassion. The more you begin to feel comfortable with yourself again, the social stuff will fall in place easier too. You should never have to feel uncomfortable being yourself, remember that. Now I must also practice what I preach! So I am going to write my journal entry for the day, and recall some positive moments I had today, and be kind to myself :)
  12. jeffreyd

    Can't do anything

    Hi AshleyClicksForever, welcome. I can relate to what you are feeling, as many of us on this forum can. We are all trying to help each other and figure these things out. I have had social anxiety almost my entire life, and used alcohol as a way to get around it for a long time too. Lets say that was not a good coping strategy. I've tried many meds, the one that worked best for me was paroxetine (Paxil), which I was on for 12-13 years or so. I am now taking Lexapro. I tried Zoloft and it was not for me. I am struggling at work as well, as I need to be very social sometimes for my job. Each day is a battle, but I am determined to win. Two things that help me are breathing/grounding, and self-compassion. When the anxiety flares up, I close my eyes and do deep breathing, focusing only on my breath, for at last 10 breaths. i tell myself I am not in mortal danger, I am not threatened, and I am safe. I also try to be compassionate to myself, like I am talking to a friend going thru a hard time. We are our own worst enemies sometimes, as we would not be tough on a friend going thru this, so why are we tough on ourselves? I hope you find these forums helpful, and know that there are always people like us out there, willing to listen.
  13. Hi mag61, when I read your post it reminded me of myself. Depression since being a teenager, daily anxiety, low confidence at work, needing to work for income, supportive spouse, etc. I have been on and off again with a therapist for years, and started seeing a psychologist recently. This definitely helps. She helps me with some "tools" to use on a daily basis to cope. After some time, these tools should become easier to use and eventually change the default thinking patterns of my brain. I am almost 30 days into using these tools, and there is some benefit already. But it does go up and down. Two steps forward, one back, etc. One tool I used was to pretend I had a friend going thru what I was feeling, and to write them a letter. This letter is actually to myself, but its supposed to be as if I was helping a friend. It is to show some self-compassion. We tend to be the hardest on ourselves for some reason. Give yourself some credit. I am always comparing myself to others too, creating artificial low self esteem. Other tools were mindfulness, which takes practice, but if you can simply focus on the current moment, even for just a few seconds, this is a start. When living in the moment, this brings peace. Another tool was gratefulness. I write a journal entry daily now, and stop to think about the little things that i take for granted, and write them down. Socializing it another. This one is hard sometimes because I just do not feel like it. But reaching out to people and connecting has had positive effects. I do not feel as isolated, and also realize everyone has some kind of struggles in their life. Also exercise. This is probably the most effective at the moment, although it does not last all day. Getting my heart rate up for a while starts to change my negative thinking. I start feeling more confident and I can feel the anxiety letting up. It usually lasts for many hours after the exercise. I hope some of this helps. The important thing is to always keep at it, always working to change your default brain behavior. I tell myself I will improve, no matter how long it takes. Its my mind, I want it back! And remember, you are never alone, this forum has shown me that.
  14. jeffreyd

    Disconnection and isolation

    Thank you all for your input, it is comforting to know people are listening out there. I have talked with therapists and more recently psychologists about my life. We have only begun to explore my childhood and more recent history to see what may have contributed to these feelings I feel now. I believe it is a combo of things, like genetics, health habits when we were young (I drank a lot), our social network (or lack thereof), etc. I know my brain chemistry is not ideal, and I take SSRIs and most recently anti-anxiety meds, and am working on CBT as well. The mind can be scary, as sometimes I feel as if I do not control my own mind. It scares me to realize that I can choose to look at life from different perspectives: one extremely cold and scientific, that we are all just organisms, flesh and blood, and that will die, and be forgotten in this infinite universe. The other is once of emotion and personal connection, and love and beauty and all that. The negative outlook is very strong and overpowers the positive outlook. I try and force myself with sheer will to snap out of these isolated and dark feelings, but some days it seems impossible. The medications help with that. I do not understand, but want to, what why I feel this way. And why it come and goes. What is going on inside my head? All I can do now is keep working on it, day after day, hoping that it becomes easier over time. Maybe I can learn from my own experiences and help others, as I would never want anyone else to feel like this.
  15. jeffreyd


    You are not alone here! I also struggle with depression and social anxiety, and have for many years. I found this forum just recently and have already found some comfort in it. Just sharing with others in a similar situation can help. Hope you find some peace here as well.