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jeffreyd

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About jeffreyd

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  1. @Epictetus, thanks for your reply. I will check out the "Worry Cure". I have been diagnosed with depression as well, although lately it seems the anxiety much stronger. I believe they are related. have been told from my psychologist that I have a very strong "inner critic", that gained power through my childhood. I know I am tough on myself, and need to start defending myself against this critic. Thanks again for your kind words.
  2. Hi @Atra, thanks for the information. I am talking with a psychologist regularly, and will bring up CBT. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I hope it keeps working for you.
  3. Hi everyone. Over the past couple years my anxiety has increased to an almost unbearable level. Some nights I get no sleep at all. It affect my work and social life. Basically any idle time i have I fill with "what ifs", especially around my kids. Both are in college out of state. I start thinking of all the bad things that could happen to them, and it just freaks me out. The more I try to stop thinking about them, the more I do. I worry about accidents, abductions, just anything bad. I also feel like I do not measure up anymore. No self confidence. Even with old friends, I feel a bit out of place, like there is something wrong with me. I basically cannot enjoy myself anymore, I feel inadequate, different, rejected. Can anyone relate? If so, what helps you?
  4. jeffreyd

    The healing road

    It has been a long time since I entered a blog entry. I am not sure anyone will even read this. But it helps to get things out there. I've been seeing a psychologist for almost 3 years. I have tried so many drugs too, none seem to help at this point. I am now realizing I need to start healing without drugs. I had a good run with Paxil (12 years), but nothing has helped since. I now realize there were/are many events in my life that led me to this moment. I do believe brain chemistry has a lot to do with it, some people are more prone to certain conditions beyond their control. But as with many things, I think a combo of nature/nurture form who we are. I was an only child. I was shy, I was bullied. I was rejected. I wanted so badly to be accepted, instead I found cruel rejection. My parents divorced when I was 13. I spent a lot of time on my own. I started smoking pot and drinking a lot. This continued through college, and drinking was a part of my social scene for decades after. I had huge mood swings. Depression, then elation. Anger, sadness, euphoria. When my first child was born I decided to try meds, so I went on Paxil. It was a miracle for me. Mood swings went away, things did not bother me, I could stop my mind from ruminating. Less worry, more confidence, it was great. 12 years later, the effects wore off. For the past 6 years I have tried different meds. Currently on lamotrigine, and trying Paxil again, but I feel physically like crap, and am getting no benefits. I think I might finally be done with meds. With the help of my psychologist, I realize I learned so much behavior from my early years. I learned to fear social interaction. I feared my vulnerability. I felt nothing I did was good enough, felt unliked when everyone else was liked. This turned into shame. I felt I had little value. Felt I did not matter. My inner critic was running wild. As I got older I became my own bully. Unsure of myself, always afraid I was being judged. Now that I am almost 53, and my two kids are in college, the house is empty. I work from home most of the time. I feel lonely and disconnected from people. I was laid off from work twice (due to company downsizing) and this took a toll on my self confidence. I still worry about my value, at work and outside of work. I cannot relax, I am constantly anxious and worried about things. Taking clonazepam but do not want to do this long term, and it does not really help that much. Makes me tired, and feeling dull. So knowing why I am who I am today helps. Knowing events in the past contributed to my thoughts and behavior today. But they are so engrained, its been so many years I have learned this behavior, it is very tough to relearn new behavior. But I have to, if I want to ever see happiness again. I want to be there for my kids, for my wife. My parents are aging and I fear losing them. I am afraid of loss, as I will feel even more alone. So I begin my healing journey with pure willpower, and practice. Work on taming my inner critic, learn to love myself. Learn to understand I am human, live everyone else, and I have flaws, like everyone else. But I have talents too, foster those. Get out and connect with people. See that people are also dealing with issues, empathize with each other, heal together. Start doing things, try thing, see what you enjoy, then do more of it! Believe in yourself, the past is the past, move forward. I do matter, I am valued. Do not be around people who do not value you, life is too short. Of course this is easy to write down. It seems so daunting to do. But it can be done, if it takes years, it can be done. I am on my way... Thanks.
  5. Well, I never went back to it, tried all sorts of other things though, nothing with much success. No I am on lamotrigine and it is not helping that much. I have tremendous anxiety. I may ask to back on Paxil next if i do not get anyway with lamotrigine. I just fear it not working and having no other options. Have you found anything that helps like Paxil did?
  6. It has been awhile since an update. I am not taking only 200mg of Lamotragine, and Clonazepam for anxiety when needed. I ramped up on the Lamotragine and weaned off of Prozac, because I did not believe the Prozac was helping. I am not sure if the Lamotragine is helping yet, maybe a bit with depression, but the anxiety is still ruling my life at this point. There have been some positive episodes, where I think I am turning a corner, but then the next day is hard again. I am seeing a psychologist as well. Much of this started when I lost my job at a startup. My confidence was starting to take a hit. Then with this new job, I feel as though I am not measuring up, even though the feedback is positive. I am in constant fear of not knowing something when I need to know it. But there is so much to know! I am not comfortable there. I lack social connections since I am only in the office twice a week. Also hard to relate to folks because they are much younger. I also am not that busy, which is one reason I worry and ruminate so much. Days I feel productive, like I actually helped people, my mood is better. Then there is home. I underestimated the pain of the empty nest. Our two kids are at college. My son is in his third year, my daughter just started in the fall. My son is a 6 hour plane trip away, my daughter is around a two our flight away. Although they are happy at school, and things are doing well, this is so hard, I am tearing up just typing this. Sitting in a cafe so really trying to prevent the tears (being partially successful). I did not realize how much my meaning depended on them. We had fun together, I love them so much, and that causes so much worry because they are on their own now. I cannot control these things. I just look forward to our visits, and do as much as I can for them now, letting them be independent, but helping as well, buying them stuff for their rooms, making sure they know they can talk with us anytime. This is just something I must deal with, it is a sign we did something right, as they are thriving at school. Just need to find something to fill the void, and work is not it. Then there is the same type of worry about my parents, both in their early eighties. Mom is doing OK, but slowing down, Dad was diagnosed with the start of dementia and Alzheimers My mom is remarried and lives in a RV with her husband. They travel, then stay in Florida for the winter. They seem good. My dad lives alone, as his wife died several years ago to lung cancer. He is hanging in there, but I worry so much, and I am not near him. Thank god he has some good friends over there. I do my best to call and visit as much as possible. I am doing my best to get over these worries, ruminating negative thoughts, and trying to enjoy my life. It is really not bad, I keep trying to remember this. To replace negative thoughts with good memories, gratitude. But this is so hard sometimes. Its what I need to practice according to my psychologist. I will keep pushing, I do not want to feel this way anymore. I do not know if I will ever find a magic pill again like I did with my first meds, Paxil. I cannot depend on finding another med, I must try and work through this with therapy. I continue to stay away from alcohol and caffeine, though I miss them. I feel they are so much of my social life, or were. But if they do not help my progress, I can live without them. I will keep going, no matter what, there must me hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. We only get one life, I want to enjoy it, get though the ups and downs, find meaning. Anyway, not sure if anyone is reading this, it feels good to get thing out there, maybe let others know they are not alone, perhaps someone is in a similar situation, and knows they are not alone. We are never alone. We must remember this, it gives is the strength to keep going.
  7. jeffreyd

    Ketamine and beyond

    Thanks Atra. I just read your journey with ketamine. Very descriptive, that will help many others I'm sure when contemplating ketamine. Glad you are having some positive results. I never really thought about exploring myself more, interesting to ponder. My pdoc really wants me to become an expert in mindful meditation. Guess I'll be looking into that. Still hoping there is a med out there that can help... Good luck to you!
  8. jeffreyd

    Ketamine and beyond

    Been a little bit since I entered anything, Sept 29th actually. I had my first (and last) ketamine injection on Oct 1. It was not the spray, it was an injection. Supposed to do at least 4, maybe 8 sessions. Do the shot, experience the effects, then talk about stuff. My doc had me put on headphones with some playlist he thought would help the experience. And an eye mask. About 3-4 minutes after the shot it hit me. No long description here, but I did wonder if I was dead a few times. Not all pleasant, not all terrible, but not something I care to do again. Felt very sluggish and unsteady afterwards, and very nauseous. No profound revelations. No suppressed memories .Just a weird experience. Took me at least a day to feel completely normal again. Think I may have felt a tiny bit of depression relief for a few hours afterwards? But it was hard to tell because I was still feeling the effects. Read a lot more about ketamine, and decided this was not for me. I can't tell you the thought I put into that, I was really hoping and praying this was some kind of magic bullet. I know I did not complete the series, but it was just something I was not comfortable with. At any rate, now what? I realized today what drugs can do. They can really save your ass, like the 14 years or so of Paxil. Changed my life for the better. Since then, no such luck. Nothing really helping with depression, and then the anxiety kicked in too. There is a drug for everything it seems. Even side effects. I decided to ween off the clonazepam I am taking for anxiety, because I think I am building a tolerance, and do not want to be physically hooked on it. I almost feel like I am already. If I do not take any for some time I get headaches and feel really shitty, plus the anxiety amps up, like rebound anxiety. I also think it makes me more depressed. I can see how people get in this cycle, antidepressants, benzos, alcohol... leads down a dark road. Need to try to clean my head up. I'm trying CBD oil again for now, and weening off clonazepam. Realized one of the odd things is how I used to be more confident, and comfortable being alone. There were days I would love to be on my own, nobody at home. Or have a night to myself. Lately I am seeking companionship, connections. Do not like being alone. Feel like reaching out, having someone understand and relate to where I am now. I am not sure where I am on my journey, hopefully getting better. Running out of med options, and am really trying to get better via therapy. These times have been the hardest I have ever gone thru in my life. Keep going, every day. No matter how much it hurts. Got to do it, for my family. For me. I want to appreciate life again. Just need to find purpose too. Some driving force... something to motivate me that brings me joy. My kids are in college now, so the nest is empty, and that is really hitting hard. I do not enjoy my job, and work from home alone a lot too, which makes me feel isolated. I do not drink really, so looking forward to parties, happy hours, and anything that centered around drinking is not there anymore. Need to work on myself. More self compassion and self esteem. Less worrying, less ruminating. Do stuff, find something that brings you joy. This is my mission. Meds or no meds, it will happen.
  9. jeffreyd

    Time

    Was thinking today, as I do many days, about how i got to this point. A couple years ago I was a different person, but I was on Paxil when it was still working. I think one of the biggest issues is how I feel about spare time and how I feel alone. I used to enjoy spending time alone, and never worry about what to do with my time. I would find something to to, or simply be OK with doing nothing. Now I am a total mess and get super anxious and depressed when I have spare time, especially alone. I'm not sure what I should be doing, and I cannot relax, I cannot take a nap, I just sit and stew in my anxiety and then get depressed about it. Its just so odd how Ive changed, something in my brain is different, and I do not know how to change it. I had to see another psychiatrist to make my ketamine appt, and after speaking with him for only about 30-40 minutes, he thinks I have bipolar 2, and should take a mood stabilizer. My normal pdoc never really thought this, although he did say its possible, he never recommended a mood stabilizer. At any rate, I probably will try it after the ketamine treatments. The Prozac I have been taking seems not to help. My first ketamine injection is Tuesday. I am hopeful but also a bit nervous, because I hear the experience is intense. Not totally sure what to expect, but at this point I will try anything. This is different than the nasal spray, this is a shot, and is more powerful, and you are awake during the experience. Then you talk about it with a therapist afterwords. So its sort of a combo of ketamine and therapy at the same time. We'll see how things go. Cannot take any meds 24 hours before the procedure, that means benzos too, so no clonazepam for me for 24 hours. My anxiety has been amped up, so its going to be interesting. I decided to take the entire day off of work on the day of me treatment, just not knowing what to expect, etc. Just can't shake this weird physical feeling too, like mild chills, aches, headache, fuzzy concentration, irritability, upset stomach. I am even reducing the meds because I thought it could be them. Just 20mg of Prozac now, and about .75 of clonazepam. Hoping its not a clonazepam withdrawal symptom (since I am taking less than usual). Just cannot wait to feel better, mentally and physically. It is so exhaust living this way. Doing my best to keep things going. Work is very tough to get through, but I need to do it. Socializing is hard too. My wife and I just went to a couples house for dinner (first time, new friends), and I found myself a bit uncomfortable. The old self would have loved it, and probably drank 3-4 beers or glasses of wine while bullshitting away the evening. But I felt sick, and after two drinks I felt worse. I thought I would try drinking, just to see what it felt like. It was not even enjoyable, so odd. I've enjoyed drinking for 35 years or so, and now it has a different effect. I know I do not need it, but I would so like to be able to enjoy a couple drinks again. I dunno. As long as I can feel better I can give up all alcohol, I'd make that trade anytime. We'll see what tomorrow brings. Then its Tuesday and my first ketamine treatment. Hoping for the best.
  10. jeffreyd

    Lows

    Why now? What is changing? The last two days have been incredibly tough, depression and anxiety increasing. Just do damn sad. Sad and nervous. Just want to take a magic pill and feel good for a little bit... or sleep for 3 days.... Been off of Effexor for 10 days, wonder if that withdrawal has something to do with it. I did taper off of it though, from 150, to 112.5, to 75, to 37.5, to nothing, over about a 4-5 week timeframe. All I can say now is the 30mg of Prozac does not seem to be doing anything. And this damn clonazepam... trying to take as little as possible, do not want to get hooked, and I read it could cause some depression too. What to do? Today was such a battle, gray skies and rain outside. It was a work from home day. I fought so hard to be engaged, but my mind was so distracted and I could not concentrate. I ended up trying to sleep, but that never works, and usually I get up feeling worse. I know I need to stay busy, stay distracted, but its more difficult lately. I just cannot find joy in anything, and I worry about everything I love. I miss my kids (who are at college). I worry about my parents getting older. I feel like everyone else is happy and I am standing on the outside looking in. Its a lonely and scary feeling. Wondering when I will feel better, wondering if I will... I meet with my pdoc Wed to discuss progress, or lack thereof. I still await the first ketamine therapy... it seems to be taking forever. Until then I push... had a very emotional day, confided in my spouse, a very tearful talk. Trying to relax and focus on the present, be grateful for the good things I have. I do have plenty to be grateful for, why can't I feel happy? Brain chemicals... something is off. Can't find the right med, really working hard to change it without meds... So worried it will impact my job and my personal life, my relationships. I keep doing things though, keep being social, even though it feels different for some reason. The job is hard, no confidence at this point, anxiety about performance, ugh. Need to remember depression and anxiety are liars, like mirrors at a fun house, they do not portray yourself accurately. I keep saying, "I am a good employee, I am smart, I am valuable"... Got to believe this, got to keep it up. Cannot quit, cannot lose my job. It will impact my family, got to find my way through this, one day, one hour, one minute at a time until I start feeling better. Whether that is ketamine, some new pill, or pure will power, its got to continue... Anyway, tomorrow is an office day, two hour commute each way... need to put on the professional face and do what I need to do. Wind and rain coming now... darkness has settled. Some jazz playing now, dog and cat and spouse on the couch with me... Going to watch a little TV then try and have a good nights sleep and face tomorrow... I GOT THIS. Hope everyone else is doing well out there, wishing you the best....
  11. jeffreyd

    Memory

    That was very well written but also very tragic. I hope you realize you are as important as everybody else on this earth, actually you are the most important! Live for you first, make yourself smile. F everybody else for now and take care of yourself.
  12. jeffreyd

    When?

    Waiting, waiting, its so damn hard and tiring. I have tapered off of Effexor and this is my 6th day with none. My 100th or so day on Prozac, 30mg. I have to say this has been some of the toughest days though. I think coming off the Effexor was harder than I thought. I did not think it was working, that is why I switched to Prozac, but each time I cut down on it 37.5mg at a time I swear I felt worse. The Prozac is just not cutting it. Its hard to describe what the days feel like. There is the anxiety always there, the tight chest and shortness of breath, the constant worry, the inability to enjoy things. Some social anxiety too, like I don't fit in anywhere, I'm unsure how to act, what to say, just feeling more alone and disconnected. And the physical feelings too, very weird, like a pressure in my head, almost like a head cold, I do not feel "on it" or sharp, harder to concentrate, a bit remote from the real world. It all sucks pretty bad, but I keep going.... I cannot let it affect my job, I need my job. That creates anxiety in itself. Working from the house three days a week feels isolating too, so I go to coffee shops and work. I have not felt some feelings like this since before I took any meds, pre 2001. Almost reminds my of high school and college. I am more unsure of myself, more wary of others, less trusting, feeling like I am going to get the shaft. Uggh. And the clinic that is supposed to start my ketamine injections is taking its sweet time. I guess they require a therapist on site for after (or during) the treatment, and they are trying to find one for me. My therapist will not come to the clinic, as I expected they wouldn't. So I wait... and hope, that it will give me some relief. Not sure what other actions to take, what other meds to try. I continue to work on it without meds too of course, and always will. My psychologist give me help, I read books, I listen to podcasts... sometimes I get sick of listening to/reading about anxiety and depression though, and just want a break. I kind of sound like a whiner now I guess. I know many people have it worse off... But for some reason sharing this personal stuff helps. The last year+ has been really difficult, and I just so long for the times I felt good. I keep telling myself those times will come again, it may take time, it may come slow, a little at a time, but it will happen. Maybe the ketamine will do the trick, we will see. For tonight, a quiet Thursday night, I took some CBD oil and a melatonin, and am winding down for some sleep. Watched a few episodes of "Real Money", the reality show about Eddie Money, who I am a big fan of, so sad to hear about his passing... Music is a huge part of my life. I wanted (and still do really) to be a musician. Just never had the discipline or confidence. If I did go back in time, I would pursue that dream though. I love my life now though, I really do, I do not like my career, but it has provided my family a decent living. I miss my kids dearly, as both are in college now. I just do not know what to do with myself. My wife is doing her best to make plans for us to keep us busy, thank god. I keep pushing myself to go to these social events and stuff, just like nothing is wrong, in hopes that is helps me get better. That is what they say at least. So tomorrow its meeting some folks for pizza and beer (except no beer for me). I will make the best of it, I need some social interaction... So for now I have made it through another day, a tough one, but here it is again, time for bed. The mornings are usually tough, but I will have a good attitude and hope they get better. Still taking 1mg or less of clonazepam a day for anxiety... mostly in the morning when its the worst. Man I really do not want to grow dependent on it. So for now I wait, and KFG as we say (keep f*cking going)... things will get better. They will...
  13. jeffreyd

    Rough one

    Thank you Bulgakov, I appreciate the feedback very much. Not knowing what to do with yourself is indeed a struggle, the negative thoughts are always there. I made it through the event, now at home alone, finding it very hard to concentrate or get anything done, very hard day today. One dragon at a time, I will heed that advice. Alcohol is out. The struggle continues, but hopefully some progress is made. Hope you are doing well. Thanks again.
  14. I understand. You are not alone. We are out here, battling too. Somedays I am not sure how I will continue to carry on, but I do... It is scary, I am afraid of what is happening to me, like its something I cannot control. Tired of trying one med after another. Its a long road, but there are others on that road, maybe we can give each other a little push ehen needed, a hand when we fall down, to keep the HOPE going, the journey to recovery is hard and takes so much courage and strength. I know you can do it, I know I can do it... One foot in front of the other... keep going... we're all here.
  15. jeffreyd

    Rough one

    Well, its been a rough couple days. Wish I could attribute it to something concrete, but the only think that has changed really is I went from 30mg of Prozac to 40mg 7 days ago. I had to go out of town for a work event yesterday and feel so out of it, heightened social anxiety, which is bad because I need to talk to all kinds of people for my job. I just don't know what to do with myself, back at the hotel now and am anxious about what to do. Also sort of depressed. I just don't feel like doing anything, but sitting in a hotel room is not good either. I just feel stuck. I get sad because I did not used to be this way. The "Paxil years" were very good, I was mostly happy, adventurous, liked to go out and was social. Over the past year+ things have degraded. I just cannot find a solution. Everything new I try seems so make things worse. I am going to lower my Prozac dosage back to 30mg, as I have a feeling the higher dose is contributing to my anxiety. This all just really sucks. I want to enjoy life so bad, and do not want to let others down (like my wife, kids). I want them to see a happy person, like I used to be I'm scared, like I'm sinking into a hole. I've got to keep things together, my job is very challenging right now, and that does not help. I am hanging on... day by day. Forcing myself to do what I have to. I mean, tough times come in life, I understand that, but a continuous tough time with no letups is hell. Nothing to look forward to, no glimpses of happiness. So I sit here in a hotel room, 5:00PM. There are some happy hour events going on for this work thing, but I do not want to go because I do not want to drink. And if I do not drink I do not want to go. I think it would be just some forced conversation, I would not enjoy. So maybe I'll just eat dinner somewhere and watch a movie or something until bedtime. I have one more day of this event tomorrow, then home late tomorrow night. Why is the brain so complicated? There has got to be a way out of this. I will fight on.. I have to.
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