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Hey Guys

My name is Kate, im new to this forum i spent an hour or so reading through some of the topics and thought it would be good to join.

Im 23 years old and suffer from GAD. My mum and my sister both suffer from Anxiety and Panic however they are able to go through their day to day life. It started with me when i was 17. I was selected to play for a soccer team that travelled to the USA. It was not a good experience for me. Couldnt sleep, had to force myself to eat, would hide from the team and cry and i felt like the walls were closing in on me. I can pin point some of those things down to home sickness as well. Despite all that i still managed to play soccer and i got offered a college scholarship to return to the US to study and play soccer. Upon hearing the offer i had an anxiety attack. Since that trip i have never been able to stay a night away from home. I, however, ignored what was going on in my head and continued with my life. I would start a job and quit immediately and i have tried to study twice and have also quit with in the first week. I basically havent been doing anything for the past 5 years. It was only after i turned 23 in April this year that i decided enough is enough. I spoke to my GP and he referred me to a psychologist. I saw her for a while and although she helped me alot in the first few weeks the same feelings would come back. Its got to the point where i am scared to go out and have a coffee with my friends incase something happens to my mum while im out. When im out having dinner i order food take one bite and immediately think there is something wrong and start to feel sick to the point where i get hot flashes. I cant let anybody else drive me, even if i know we are only going down the road for 10 minutes because if something happens to me or my family or i feel sick i dont have an easy exit so instead i take my own car.

If i have a headache or stomach cramps i deal with it naturally. I dont get sick very often so i very rarely take tablets. My GP prescribed me Efexor-xr 75mg. I was stubborn about taking meds for a few months but came to terms with the fact that there is a very strong possibilty that these may help me. I still havent started taking them yet because im scared to. Im scared that they wont help me to get back on my feet and im scared that im gonna get addicted and will take them for the rest of my life but most of all im scared that i may never get over this feeling of constant anxiety with or without medication.

I am generally a positive and happy person but lately i just feel down and out. I really, really want to get over this and get back to the person i used to be. I want to work, play soccer, go away for the weekend etc. I dont know if i have a specific question for you guys i just thought i would share my experience and maybe hear a little about yours and get some advice from you.

Thankyou :)

Kate

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Kate,

I understand your feelings totally about just wanting these feelings to go away. Although I've dealt with depression on and off most of my life, the anxiety only kicked in about a year ago after a hospitalization for an undiagnosed stomach ailment. In 2008 I was hospitalized and almost lost my life to Legionnaire's disease and spent 5 days in a coma on life support. My psychiatrist has implied that my most recent hospitalization may have triggered kind of a post traumatic stress thing from my illness in 2008 (I went through hell, as did my family). I'm here in the coldest part of the US where it's about 20 degrees today which depresses me even more since my only outlets this past year have been getting out to walk my dog or work in the yard. So I retreat to my room and my TV and my computer. I have an 11-year-old so I have to function for him and have been doing well on that aspect but understand the fears of never feeling "right" again. I keep telling myself it will get better and I hope it will. I hope it will for you too. Just know you've come to the right place and you're not alone. Anxiety/depression sucks. No doubt about it. Hang in there.

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Hi Kate,

I'm around your age (21) and I also suffer from anxiety (and depression). I started having panic attacks in school when I was in high school and that led to my really withdrawing from life. I used to feel really uncomfortable doing "normal" things, like sitting in class or standing in line to buy something at the supermarket. I managed to get into a good university, and my anxiety has lessened, but unfortunately I'm so used to avoiding everything (in order to avoid the anxiety) that I haven't been doing well in school and haven't made any friends. I'm very unhappy with this and I'm trying to fix my poor habits.

I also feel really hesitant about medication and have yet to find a therapist I connected well with. I completely understand the fear of dependency on drugs and yes, the fear that if they don't work there won't be anywhere else to turn (though many people have to try many different medications before finding one that helps).

Anyway, know that you're not alone. Best of luck to us both!

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(((Kate)))

I had my breakdown about 3 years ago and probably had anxiety my whole life before that without really knowing it. Since then I've been through various treatments and trying to do things on my own. Some things help, some things don't, but I've made great progress and I'm happy for that. I still have my bad days but for the most part I'm back to being "me" again.

I understand your fear of medication, but please understand that anti-depressants don't cause addiction. I was on Zoloft for about a year, and I tapered off just fine. It was a great med for me and helped me in many ways including lessening that anxiety and helping with my insomnia. When it comes to anti-anxiety medication, specifically benzo's like Xanax and Ativan, it can lead to addiction, but most doctors are very careful and only prescribe you short term on these medications. I've been on Xanax this whole 3 years and only use it very sparingly. When I need it, it can be a life saver. You just have to know your own limits and work closely with your doctor.

Right now since I'm doing well without meds, I'm seeing a pdoc and learning to accept anxiety, and also learning to retrain my brain to stop it automatically going into an anxious state when something unexpected happens. I've been anxious for so long that my brain is set on "auto anxiety" mode and it takes time to unlearn this response.

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Hi Kate! I'm also 23 and suffer from anxiety, but not GAD. I have this weird awkwardness around people, even my friends, that started when I was about 17, went away when I was 18-19, then came back, went away for the most part when I was 21, then came back when I was almost 22 and I've been suffering ever since. I also am not too keen on taking medication for this issue, since I don't want to become addicted and have to deal with any side effects. It just doesn't seem very safe. But I think what helps is trying to meditate and doing deep breathing exercises when you feel a panic attack on the rise. Breathing deeply into your abdomen instead of your chest does have a calming effect, so I think you should give it a try if you haven't already. I'm not sure which came first for me, the anxiety or the depression, but I know both run in my family so they go hand in hand. I also have a hard time studying for school and if I have my way, I don't even leave the apartment unless I have to. I refrain from situations that will cause me stress as they drain me completely of all energy and leaves me feeling extremely tired and depressed. But even so, I believe talking with a therapist will have a positive effect when the appointments are regularly kept and you don't miss them. Anxiety is a tricky little "disease" but I wish all the best for you...and everyone else who suffers with it too!

xo

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Thankyou so much for your replies. I know that Anxiety is not uncommon but i feel so much warmer knowing that i am not alone and there are people who know what im going through. I am able to hide my anxiety very well in social situations i have almost become the master of excuses and people wont know what im going through unless i tell them. It just makes me feel awkward telling people. Im glad i have found a place where people understand and make me feel like there is hope so i have to thank you guys once again. I appreciate it.

Just an update, i have an appointment at an anxiety clinic at my local hopsital which was highly recommended to me by a few different people. Fingers crossed.

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(((Kate)))

So glad to hear that talking with us had made you feel better. Also glad to hear that you're going to the anxiety clinic. Definitely keep us posted on how it works for you. Usually once we get help in learning how to manage our anxiety, we can learn to cope and live with it. Then we can truly start the process of getting well and learning how to stay that way.

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Hi Kate! I am 19 and I suffer from panic attacks mainly in situations where I cannot leave. These only started in August and were very unusual for me. It gave me such a fright when I had my first ever panic attack. It happened while I was in the airport waiting for my flight from Spain to home. I always loved going on planes and they never bothered me before. Suddenly in the airport I started feeling really anxious. By the time we were boarding, I was sweating and shaking and then once I was on the plane I started to cry and vomit because I knew that once the plane took off I was trapped there until we landed. For the whole 2 hours I had this. Since then, I have had regular panic attacks in many situations similar to this i.e having to go to exams where I know I cannot leave until the first hour is up. I am on 40mg of Citalopram. I hate the idea of taking antidepressants to help "fix" me but I do really believe that they have helped the anxiety and panic a lot. I feel that I am not anxious every day and it is only the odd time that I would be like that. So I really do think you should try them and see if they help you.

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