Senior Member (male)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Dallas, Tx
Re: Please help....am I losing it??!!!
amberil, I've never taken meds, so I can't comment on them, however, I can certainly comment on scary, intrusive, unwanted thoughts. You mentioned that in the past during times of panic, the thoughts would tend to present themselves more, therefore, I would tend to say that its not the Lexapro that's causing the thoughts. Its possible that the Lexapro caused you to wake up feeling panicky or anxious, but then your mind took over from there. During moments of anxiety and especially panic, the mind tends to start bringing up all the negative stuff that's scared us in the past and thus forecast the worst case scenarios.
A physical example of this, to help make my point, is when a person thinks that they may have severely injured their arm. At the very moment that the possible severe injury occurs, their mind may start racing and thinking of all the worst case possibilities for the future, i.e., "what if I can't go back to work? And if I can't work, then I can't pay the bills. And if I can't pay the bills, I will lose my house, car, etc... And if I lose those things then......on and on their mind goes. They may work themselves into a panic and it turns out to be a false alarm......the arm is really not as badly injured as they had suspected. As it turns out, sometime in their past, they had actually severely injured their leg, and actually couldn't work and eventually lost their job and almost lost their home. That past trauma causes them to become sensitized to future injuries, thus the anxiety and negative racing thoughts the very moment their arm became injured.
The same thing can sometimes happen when our sensitivity level is high when it comes to past unwanted, scary thoughts. During a moment of anxiety, we become more vulnerable to these scary thoughts from the past intruding in on us, which causes even more anxiety, thus they intrude even more.
Something that can be extremely important to practice is to put the mind in a bit of a concentrated state during those vulnerable moments, and literally not allow the mind to move in the direction of these thoughts until the vulnerable moment passes. If one of the thoughts does comes to mind, then switch your mind back over to something else as best that you can. Don't dwell on any of the thoughts. If you have to keep switching your mind back many times, then so be it. With time you'll get better at it. The better you get at it, the more your confidence will grow, and as the confidence grows, the less anxiety you'll feel throughout the day. You eventually become less afraid of these thoughts simply because you know you can keep your mind off of them when you make the effort. The less afraid you are of them, the less often they'll intrude and with less force. Everything starts moving in a very positive, upward direction.
I know about this first hand and have made tremendous improvements. There was a time several months ago when things seemed virtually hopeless and I was very close to going to the doctor for meds, but started practicing what I said above and now feel no need for them. I'm certainly not against meds though. Hope some of this helped.
By the way, I also know about being scared as hell and thinking that I may be losing it, and as a result, not having an apetite. Trust me, the worst that's going to happen is that you can make yourself very uncomfortable with all the fear and forecasting. I can't tell you how many people, who have anxiety and panic issues, who have those same fears, which many times is their only fears, yet when they look back at all their many, many years of feeling this way, they see that the worst that ever happened was that they had made themselves very, very uncomfortable. They never "go crazy" or "lose it". Some FINALLY realize this and their fears lessen or go away as a result.