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About fortress_of_solitude

  • Birthday 01/18/1985

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  • Interests
    Rock and indie music; going to gigs
    Baking: I like to make (and especially eat) cakes and cookies
    Pub Quizzes
    Arts and Crafts- I have taught myself to knit this year which is probably one of the only good things to come of 2013
    Yoga and Meditation- I've finally connected with the idea of mindfulness and try to practice it every day to calm my anxious mind, most of the time it works...

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  1. How are you? Have you started the Sertraline- anxiety is horrendous and there is nothing wrong with taking meds to get your brain back on track! Has the vibrating thing eased yet- I get a bit fed up of that, feels like a weird buzzing, like there is something pulsing through my veins. The Sertraline will take a while to have any effect on your anxiety so don't expect too much too soon!
  2. The dizziness will be because beta blockers lower your blood pressure- did you find it helped with racing heart? I appreciate you not wanting to go onto SSRIs again. I wish I could manage without them but whenever I come off them my brain stops working! I am in the process of switching my antidepressants and have some anxiety whilst starting on the new one, grrrrr (anxiety is such a pain). How long have you had the anxiety for? Is there something stressful going on in your life that could be contributing or has it just come out of the blue? The feeling of trembling is due to the high levels of adrenalin buzzing around your body- I get that too. Exercise is really good for burning some of that excess adrenalin off, I find it really helps my anxiety levels when I have been out for a run and got my heart pumping. Even going for a brisk walk whilst listening to music helps dampen down my anxiety. Meditation I also good for quieting the buzzing mind, although its really hard to do when you are very on edge! I do a bit of mindful meditation, can manage about 10 mins at a time and I have to have some mellow music on in the background or it doesn't work- if my brain is buzzing too much I need something for my mind to latch on to, I tried doing it in silence but couldn't hack it! PS 20yearsandcounting, I love your signature quote "'Religion is for people who are afraid of going to hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there.'
  3. I have experienced this too- it is truly horrendous. Are you waking up in the morning with it or in the middle of the night? A lot of people with anxiety experience this. Are you taking any antidepressants or is this a new thing for you? What is your anxiety like during the rest of the day? Beta-blockers are good for the physical side effects of anxiety- stop the racing heart and such. Don't be too afraid to try them- they don't have many side effects and are safe to take; plenty of people are on them for physical illnesses such as weird heart rhythms, high blood pressure... Exercise is also great for burning up some excess anxiety and cut down on the caffeine as that will make things worse.
  4. I really feel for you Wrenn- I get terribly anxious when having to wait for things like that. It must be even harder what with coming off some meds too. I'm like you- I pick and chew my nails and the skin around them and it gets so much worse when I am stressed/anxious. The only thing that works for me is to wear false nails but I can't for work so have to keep that for the holidays. There is a medical term for the habitual biting/manipulation of the finger nails and their surroundings (onychotillomania) I came across it a few months ago and the photos are what my nails look like. Just another thing I can put down to my mental state.
  5. I am doing okay, thanks Lauryn! The Cymbalta is working really well for me. I am still having some night sweats, which are worse just before my period. Feeling quite calm, stable and level headed, occasional anxiety but its very manageable and nothing compared to what it was when I first started Cymbalta. I am keeping track of my anxiety/depression and see if it relates to my period as think that I have a few worse days when I am premenstrual (I've never had PMS before the Cymbalta...) I hate feeling of acid reflux, I get it when I am stressed (or eaten spicy foods) and then having the heart burn makes me more anxious so there is a vicious circle! Haven't had it for a while now, instead get very irritating heart palpitations when I am stressed- there is always something going on in my body to remind me that I am stressed/anxious about something! I have always had vivid dreams on antidepressants, Cymbalta is the same. I only get them when I sleep for longer than 7 hours at night, so sometimes try to get up a bit earlier as the dreams can make me feel a bit out and disorientated in the morning! Doesn't always happen as sometimes I am just too tired. Keep going with it guys and I really hope you all see some positive benefits soon. I improved quite quickly on Cymbalta but I know of friends who have found that it took a bit longer. We both had worsened anxiety at the start which eased off at about the 2 month mark. I have found that yoga and meditation really helped with the anxiety I felt at the start. I have been quite naughty and not done any for a couple of weeks now as I am quite busy and now that the anxiety has gone I forget that I should be doing it! I am doing some jogging/running which also helps any anxiety I have. After I have gone for a good long run I often come back and feel like I have taken some diazepam as I feel so much more relaxed/chilled!
  6. Hey LaurenJcat, I hope you are doing okay? I have been on Cymbalta for just over 5 months now. Started on 30 mg and now on 60 mg. Its definitely an activating med for me too. When I started it I was only sleeping 6-7 hours and waking up easily (normally I can sleep like a log for 10 hours). I also had more anxiety at the start and had a few panic attacks at night. The lower dose didn't help the depression enough so I persuaded my psychiatrist to up the dose (he didn't want to as thought it would be too activating for me) but I have found the 60 mg to be a bit less activating and my mood isn't dropping so low (and no suicidal thoughts for a good while now!). I still have the odd feeling of being to 'charged up'- like I have had several cups of coffee (I don't drink caffeine) but I am sleeping like a log again and it takes several alarms to wake me up, but I am not too sleepy during the day which is helpful for work! Other side effects- appetite increased (which is good for me as always had poor appetite), occasional night sweats, some constipation and also had anorgasmia but that seems to be wearing off now (Cymbalta is also used for stress incontinence as has some effect on nerves for that area in the spinal cord, so that may be related to the anorgasmia...) I am also taken 30 mg Mirtazapine at night (possibly trying to wean off this) and 150 mg Lyrica twice a day for anxiety. So far the Cymbalta is good for me and working for the depression/low motivation. I also don't feel nervous any more e.g. when talking in front of a group of people, which I used to dread; although I do get a general feeling of being 'on edge' a lot of the time rather than anxious... (I have just decided to put up with that for now and hope it wears off!) Fortress xxx
  7. I hope you have an amazing day! : ) ღ Lindsay

  8. I have sent you a private message. I think it would be a good idea to move our conversations to there instead- I've explained why.
  9. Hey- Sorry been a busy day- can't believe its nearly 4pm. I am going to go for a run before it gets dark and then I will reply to you properly
  10. Dear Michi, You are doing so well, you just have to keep taking it one day at a time. This hell won't last forever. Your brain needs time to adjust to being on the Cymbalta and coming off the tranquilisers. It just that it takes too long, especially when you are in such torment everyday. Its hard for your family too, seeing you suffer so much- I know how much you want to get better for them. Depression doesn't just affect one person, its a huge toll on the whole family, just as it is with other serious illnesses. The problem with depression is that it magnifies all your negative thinking. You worry endlessly about being a burden on your family, that you shouldn't be depressed as other people have it worse than you. You need to remind yourself that its not your fault- you are not choosing to be depressed. Your brain is exaggerating all your negative thoughts and feelings (and minimising all the positive ones) so each time you worry about something remind yourself that it is not as big a deal as you think it is. Many people with depression worry about the fact they they have no right to be depressed, that starving people in Africa (or the current situation in the Philippines) have it much worse. But depression doesn't choose who it inflicts and you cannot think your way out of it. Try not to think too much about other people right now- remember that anything bad/sad/worrying in the news will cause you more grief than normal because of how your brain is working right now. There is nothing wrong with taking this time out and say screw the rest of the world, I am going to look after myself and my brain until I am ready to face the world again. Remember in Shoot the Damn Dog Sally was the same- she had to avoid the news at it would upset her greatly. Once you have got through this and feel better you will be able to look after everyone else again. There's not a lot you can do to make Jonathan "happy" right now- its okay for him to be worried about you, that's normal as he loves you. He is also responsible for his own happiness/peace of mind, you can't take on the responsibility of making him happy when you cant do the same for yourself. You will both get through this. Have you managed to get washed and dressed and do any jobs? You are doing so well for keeping going. I think that Suzanne's death has really been difficult for you and given those hopeless thoughts stronger voices. I'm sorry for that :verysad3: . But you have to have to keep reminding yourself that you are not Suzanne. There is always hope, just because it has gone on so long doesn't mean its not treatable, there are always options. Suzanne may have got better too if she had not died, we don't know that the meds wouldn't have worked for her in the long run. Find all the hopeful words/quotes that help you, write them down somewhere and pin them on a wall for you to read when you need a boost. Play a lot of relaxing music, all the time, the kind of stuff they play at spas- it helps to calm the mind. Also, you could try doing some yoga at home- just put on some relaxing music and sit/lie on the floor and do some basic stretches/moves that feels comfortable for you. And sit and practice deep breathing for 5-10 mins (in for five, hold for two, out for five). Its quite effective if you really try and concentrate and do it properly. Do it several times a day. Thank you, I slept better last night but ache today from my run! I have yoga tonight which will be nice. I have bought my long socks today. I also have a hot water bottle. I'm surprised you need to sleep with three- I have one and get hot very quickly with that!! Have you had your thyroid checked!! Exercise is very good- I hope you have managed to make it outside to see the sun. I know how hard it is- just try and get outside, even if its just 5 mins of standing outside in the garden to get some fresh air. If you can go for a walk that will burn off some of the extra energy and help you sleep at night. I live in Lancashire- its often wet and cold here so I am used to it by now! Lots of love and hugs, Fortress xxx
  11. Hello, I am glad you managed to get through the afternoon. I know how hard it is to do things that you normally enjoy and to feel like you have to just 'get through it'. It just highlights how ill you and you start to lose hope that you'll ever feel normal again. But there is hope! What you're feeling won't last. I've sat through several 'meetings' with my friends trying to hold back the panic and ignore the strong suicidal thoughts reverberating around my brain. But now things are better and I am can enjoy spending time with my friends again like I used to. It'll be the same for you. One day you will be able to look back to today and then be so glad that you made it through and are able to enjoy things again :Coopbeach: (this is you relaxing in a b e e r garden!) I went for a run this afternoon, I think it did me a lot of good- got the blood pumping round and blew away some cobwebs. I feel tired now, in a good way. I think I'll sleep well tonight The fire sounds very cosy- our heating has just come on and its so nice to feel the warmth- I always get very cold when I am depressed Its very grey and rainy here too- I haven't seen the sun at all today. I also got a nice surprise from the council- they've finally been able to see this years student list and that three of us living in this house are students so don't have to pay any council tax. I was thinking that would mean I would get the 25% discount for single occupancy but because I am on benefits I don't have to pay any council tax at all and will be getting a rebate for October as I paid the council tax then. So that's a little extra money- I've decided to treat myself and by some of the sweets that I really like and am also going to buy some nice long socks to keep my legs warm as we head into winter. So that's my 'big splurge,' socks and sweets, I really am the last of the big spenders!!! German bakes sounds delicious! I am already looking forward to it (well you telling me what you have baked). I know how much of a big chore it is- I remember trying to do food shopping and just standing staring at the shelves wanting to cry and scream. Its ****** hard work, you just have to do the bare minimum each day until you get back to your full strength and can be the domestic goddess again. I am glad that you know suicide is not an option- it helps to remind yourself that every time you start to feel like you can't take it anymore. Plus, I would be very cross with you if you left me here! Love and hugs, Fortress xxx
  12. For some reason I didn't sleep well either- it took me ages to get to sleep. Anxiety wasn't too bad but felt quite low when I got into bed, felt scared about my future and whether I will get depression/anxiety that bad again :verysad3: . I think I am still quite traumatised by what has happened this year and feel very scared of feeling like it again. So I couldn't really sleep. Instead I sat up in bed and played games on my phone and after an hour or so the fear/dread eased off. I wasn't that anxious with it, just felt low. By about half two I started to feel sleepy again and fell asleep at about three. I got up at half ten this morning and feel quite exhausted today!! I think I will go for a run this afternoon to tire myself out so I'll sleep tonight . I hate that awful anxiety/agitation where you try and go back to bed to sleep through it but can't relax and just lie there feeling worse. I'm sorry the quetiapine isn't doing enough for you. Well done for getting up and dressed, I know how much of an effort that is. I hope you are able to enjoy your friends being round. Well, I know that enjoy is not really the right word, I mean that I hope that they provide a bit of a distraction from the anguish you are feeling. That cake sounds pretty good, but unfortunately I really don't like anything with nuts in it so I wouldn't be eating it I'm afraid!! I lean more towards the classic Victoria sponges and make a mean chocolate and orange cake!! I am also partial to a bit of lemon drizzle... You are doing so well, my shining star. I wish I could take your pain away and give you a break. Feeling suicidal and agitated is a horrendous place to be. But I know that you have the strength to make it through this. Please hold on. Every time you feel suicidal remind yourself that it will pass. You will not feel like this forever- time is one of the most important medicines we have. Remember that if you did take your life then that pain and anguish will not disappear, it will be transferred to Jonathon and Rosie- this is not something you want to give them. Rosie would end up at increased risk of depression/anxiety and of committing suicide herself too. You have to survive this, suicide is not an option, no matter how much it hurts now. I know this sounds quite harsh to say but I want to give you something to fight for- not just you ultimate survival but the happiness and life of those you care about. Whatever happens, you will not feel like this forever- it is an overwhelming pain that you will get through- just keep breathing. Love and hugs, Fortress xxx
  13. Just realised its nearly quarter to one in the morning- I'm sure it was only half eleven when I sat down in front of my computer!! That serves me right for waffling on and on!! I'm off to bed now, see you tomorrow xxx
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