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MarkintheDark

Panic/depression - I need your help

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My lifelong struggle with depression has become debilitating since May, meaning I'm in bed all day/night.  But the past couple of weeks I've also had the worst symptoms of panic I've ever had.  I wake up and I can feel the adrenaline coursing through my shoulders, chest and arms.  The worst physical symptoms I've ever had.  I can't begin to describe how unnerving it is not to have any control over it.  I may ramble, but bear with me please.

I've somehow managed to drag myself out to get help from an agency for my long term HIV that's included meds to treat some infections (in addition to my regular HIV meds I've been on for a few years), I've seen a therapist weekly for over a month, I filled a script for Zoloft (100mg).  The PA suggested I increase it to 200mg but I've held off until I can see their psychiatrist in mid-Sept.  The only mantra I've been able to manage (years of practice) is, "I'm ok."  I've done A LOT of work and feel like I'm seeing few results for the effort except that my lung infection seems to be slowly subsiding.

Financially I'm on the edge and have barely enough to pay utilities and rent by the end of the month (I was late on my electric last month for the first time in nearly ten years).  I'm relying on credit cards for food but my caloric intake is down to <1500/day.  A small victory is that a period when food didn't taste good has probably passed.  I watch TV to distract my thoughts and get through the day.  Despite stifling southern heat/humidity, I manage to mow/trim the yard every couple of weeks and, despite having to take a few breaks to finish, it helps.  And, yes, I've tried the breathing exercises at the top of this forum.

In short, despite all this work I feel like I'm on an uncontrollable spiral.  What I need to at least survive the next few days is being able to check in on this thread for whatever words of encouragement you guys can give me.  I don't know that I'm looking for yet more suggestions that would overwhelm me.  I think some validation would be more useful right now.  I'm feeling all alone in all this.

 

Edited by MarkintheDark

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Hey there,

I just want you to know that you are not alone. I'm 29 and have suffered from anxiety and depression for about 15 years or so. Much of that time the severity has been controlled with AD. I am 20 weeks pregnant with my 3rd little girl and have fallen into a deep dark place. This pregnancy has been really rough on me and I had to quit my job that I love. My hips and pelvis are extremely loose from the pregnancy hormones and I can barely walk which forced me to quit my job. I quit taking my antidepressants a few months ago but I've now found myself in a horrible downward spiral of anxiety and depression and it is scaring the out of me. My doc just prescribed me zoloft which is suppose to be safer during pregnancy. I'm on day 8 and my start up side effects are horrible! How long have you be on the zoloft?

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Hi Mark, gotcha on sleeping all day and night as I'm back on that depressive cycle again myself. Only thing that I can offer is a big hang in there. When you're at your lowest you did the right thing, we're here for you 25/7. Aways have, and always will.

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Thank you for responding so quickly Linzee.  At this point, just knowing someone is reading the post helps.

I've been on the Zoloft for three weeks.  Hadn't occurred to me I might be experiencing side effects.

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I like the 25/7 T.  For me right now, just hearing from one other person that I'm doing the right thing means A LOT.  I'm sorry you're stuck in that cycle again.  fwiw, I'm glad you were able to be here for me despite your struggle.  Thank you.

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Yeah that's why I asked because I've read many posts about people who have just started zoloft and their depression/anxiety worsened at first. That's where I'm at as well! I'm just hoping I will find some relief soon!

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I can't begin to imagine all the feelings you've been experiencing as a mom and mom-to-be Linzee.  It sounds like far more than I could possibly endure.  That you would take time to reach out to me is remarkable.  Thank you.

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Hello Mark,

I'm glad to hear you are doing better today! During our most difficult moments it helps to hold onto a word, phrase or promise that reminds us that we have victory. I've had a few depending on what I was going through. The first was "I'm not alone." Honestly, it was God who spoke to me. I had just lost the person I loved most in a motorcycle accident. The one I'm holding onto now, while being unemployed, is "He is faithful." It doesn't mean the tears don't flow. It doesn't mean that I'm not going to hurt, or be uncomfortable. It means that He will see me through. I'm so proud of you for reaching out! Don't give up. Keep fighting. You WILL see results. You already have. Change takes time and happens in layers. Take each day step by step, and CELEBRATE the VICTORIES!

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Mark, I hope you are ok today.

I have so much sympathy for people who deal with anxiety, when I started an antidepressant recently I had anxiety as a side effect and it was terrible.

As a side note, my unofficial mantra is from the movie What About Bill? it's "baby steps." When feeling so overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings, simply focus on each small step of something, complete it, then complete the next small step, thinking "baby steps to the door, baby steps to turn the handle, baby steps to open the door, etc"  its silly and the movie is silly (and hilarious) but it has been strangely helpful when needed. It helps to keep you in the moment. 

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I get panic attacks.  Cancelled therapy today because my throat was closing up.  Hang in there.  I take the Ativan 3times daily even though i dont want to but is only way to get fast relief, under my tongue.  Also download ed sleep sounds on my phone and got dollar earphones I don't lay in bed and obsessively worry as bad. Good luck, prayers to you.

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Thank you for all the good thoughts and sharing your experiences, as this consistently repeating physical anxiety is new for me.  Only having a small attack this evening - as I write - so your timing was right on.  I'm now four weeks in on the Zoloft and don't have any particular immediate financial worries (the usual trigger).  That's what's so baffling to me, unless it's just residual.  A couple weeks yet until I can see the pdoc and I'd like to get a handle on this.

Edited by MarkintheDark

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HI Mark!

I was thinking about what you said regarding your small attack, and how it baffled you since your usual trigger didn't apply. I've learned from my experiences with anxiety that our bodies have to adjust to not being under constant attack. That it is somewhat residual. Like how someone who is used to getting hit flinches when someone raises their hand or makes a sudden move. We have to learn how to turn off survival mode and embrace a new normal. Have you seen a pdoc before?

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Hi mark just to let you know you are not alone. I'm here in Queensland Australia thinking of you. It is so hard isn't it. But we have to keep trying hey. I agree with the post above we have to somehow calm ourselves and our nervous systems down. Have you heard about a book called hope and help for your nerves. I found this book very helpful in doing this. Anyway best of luck mate. Thinking of you Joybell 

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I was thinking a number of things on the "why".  Residual is one.  Zoloft adjustment is another...though the anxiety was full bore three weeks after starting.  And I've gone through a period the past couple of months during which I've lost my appetite.  Food hasn't tasted good (nor the thought of it, even chocolate chip cookies and milk! :dontgetit:) and my caloric intake/weight is down.  It's been improving slightly with conscious effort, but still <1500/day.

The appt. in two weeks will be the first time I've seen a pdoc in many years.

Appreciate the responses to help me hash this out.

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I have also had dangerously low caloric intake lately due to lack of appetite. I went to the grocery store the other day to buy dry meal replacement powders (to add to milk) but they didn't sell them anymore! Only bottled Ensure, which is too expensive for me. I bought peanut butter instead ... 1 tbsp has 110 cal, quite a lot for its little size. Maybe you could try that?

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