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  1. Loneliness

    Well said. I feel the same, and battle it every day. We are soldiers, who will fight another day. Wishing you success in battle.
  2. 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...
  3. 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 :)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Hey

    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.
  8. One of the difficult things about having depression and/or anxiety, is trying to describe the feelings to others, or yourself. There are many days when I look around me and think, man, I have nothing to complain about, I should be happy. The sun is out, I am around friends, its a Saturday, etc, etc. Yet there is this feeling, some dark and gloomy feeling, that is always there. Like something bad is going to happen. Like I'm not really part of what is happening. Maybe there is a little paranoia as well, thinking my friends don't really care if I'm here or not, and they would forget about me the moment I leave. It is hard to pinpoint what the feeling is, other than being stuck in my own private cocoon of loneliness and worry. Does anyone else feel this way? How do you describe it? Is there a way to feel more connected and really part of what is going on? I hope so.
  9. You Aren't Alone

    Thank you, this is an especially hard time for me right now, and I am not sure when it will end. Every day is a battle, and its hard to continue. Just hearing your inspiring words gives me strength, and something to build on. All the best to you and everyone else needing some hope and strength.
  10. I was on Paxil for about 13 years after it finally became ineffective. For the next three years I have tried other meds, but none were as successful as Paxil. My psychiatrist said that for some people who went back to Paxil they found it was effective again. So I am trying it, but after about two weeks I feel like it is doing nothing. I am not sure how long i can keep with it, as my depression and anxiety are pretty high. Just wanted to see if others had ever tried going back on it after a break.... thanks all.
  11. Hello leafonWind, very sorry for what you are going through. Sharing your experiences takes courage, and that is admirable. I just found this forum a few days ago, because I felt like no one could relate to what I was going though. I have found there are many people struggling with similar issues, and having a place to share and encourage others feels good. Every days seems like a battle to me, seems like there are many, many lonely soldiers out there fighting every day as well. This is a place we can come together and help each other get stronger. Welcome.
  12. Agreed, a combination of medication and psychotherapy can be very helpful, and is what I am doing now. In some cases it seems the meds can help the therapy be more effective. In my experience, psychiatrists tend to focus more on the pharmacology of mental health, and how different meds affect the brain, and psychologists focus more on giving you coping mechanisms and non-medical methods to help yourself. In the long run, its whatever helps you, explore all options, until you find something that helps!
  13. Viibryd Side Effects

    Hi there. I tried Viibryd after 13 years on Paxil. I got to 20mg daily for about a month or so before I wanted to change to something else. Viibryd helped with depression, but it wound my up something fierce, it felt almost like speed. I was too spun up, and with that came increased anxiety. I could not relax at all, the anxiety was just too much. It also gave me stomach problems. I switched to Lexapro, then back to Paxil which I am on now.
  14. Tolerance after 7 years?

    I was on Paxil for about 13 years. I gradually increased the dosage until I was at 40 or 50mg, I can't remember, but I know it was the max the psychiatrist allowed. I was told your body does start to get used to it (it loses its efficacy) after time, hence the increases in dosage. The doc did add Wellbutrin (Bupropion) towards the end, as it can help boost the effect of some SSRIs. I felt it was not working that well so I switched to Effexor, then Vibryd, then Lexapro, and now I am back on Paxil again (25mg) for two weeks... I was always cautious before increasing my dosage, as I wanted to take the least possible. So I would see how long the current feelings lasted. If they went on for a few months, I knew I probably needed to increase the dosage. There are some normal ups and downs in life, so I wanted to make absolutely sure I thought the drug was becoming less effective. 7 years is a decent amount of time, so your body may be used to it. But as the other person said, make sure you talk to your doc before making any changes.
  15. Hi there, sorry to hear what you are going through. Have you seen a medical doctor recently to make sure you do not have a medical issue that may be contributing to this? I think I would start there to be safe. It does sound like acute anxiety with panic attacks. I have found that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help. It teaches you how to interrupt the anxiety attack before it gets bad. It takes practice, but does work. Closing your eyes and deep breathing while counting is a start. Focus on your breath and your counting, and let everything else pass over you. Anxiety can be like a snowball, it starts with a small trigger, but gets bigger the more you think about it. You can stop it before it starts rolling down the hill. It sounds like school starting is also a trigger. Can you see a psychologist? I recommend a psychologist as they have lots of training. They can help you with CBT and maybe find out what is at the root of the anxiety, and why its worse with school starting. Identifying the trigger points is good, and forces you to be honest with yourself. Hope this helps some!