Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: rather not say
Help Suggestions please!
Hoping someone can point me in the right direction as I am at my wits end.
Long ago sad to say, I had a great job and was heading in the right direction. Suddenly I was stricken with panic attacks so severe I could barely leave my house. I felt like I was in my worst nightmare, just going to the store.
Money was hard to come by. I took crappy jobs, and slowly struggled to get back to my place where I was in my career. I was on a fast track moving from company to company, and early in my career - so noone wanted to hire me.
Unfortunately, it has been too long and noone wants to hire me now because I just don't have the former experience.
So, I struggle - and have finally broken back into things 6 or 7 years later as a self employed person, but eventually want to work back into a NORMAL lifestyle where I can handle working day to day on a schedule and routine predicated by others, and where I don't have to be worried or feel horrible each day doing so.
My issue is, each time I get panic or anxiety attacks, they keep me from doing what I want to do for months. They scar me bad. And they are real intense.
The girl I was dating and still am, was getting fed up with me not coming to see her. In fear that I would lose her, I would drive and get off at each exit on the highway breathing heavy feeling like I was going to die, then when I would settle down JUST enough, I would continue. Sometimes digging keys or something else equally as painful into my legs would help me forget about my anxiety a bit enough to continue on.
The sad thing is, I would also pop 3 or 4 xanax before hand and on the way, so couple that with the adrenaline from the trip and the xanax - I was basically DEAD tired and a zombie when I would go to see her.
I was doing 'ok' at the crappy job I had, I had alot of stress but it was just busy stress...not the overwhelming or helpless feeling type of stress - so that job was working out decently.
I'm not sure what to do as for about a year I have been self employeed. I had issues at my last job on occasions, but toward the end I kept having REALLY bad chest pains when I would get too stressed out and at times would break out into panic attacks. Many times my issues would subside simply by taking a break and reminding myself this was just a crappy job and there would be another around the corner, and not to worry about all the issues.
Anyway - things have been pretty decent lately. For the most part. I've been able to goto the jobs I am contracted for. I do the work great and my customers really like me. However the work is only part time even though I spend ALOT of time preparing for it and doing the paperwork afterwards etc for billing and taxes. SO I really want to get back into the day to day corporate work force. I was thinking that maybe I was finally 'wearing out' of this whole panic/anxiety thing when today - BAM...on my way to a job I started freaking out. I felt like I just drank 400 cups of coffee and I had to stop to wash my car at the car wash just to have something active take my mind off of things so I would get worse.
When things get bad..they are real bad. All I can think about is rushing home and hiding basically. Even then that doesn't work that great but it's at least better. I can take xanax but that doesn't help until REALLY long afterwards.
I've been lucky in the past few years. I haven't gotten so bad that I felt like I was lifting out of my body and DARN sure I was going to die right there of a heart attack or go completely nuts.
I get these episodes that are moderate about once every few months. Especially when I feel trapped into doing something like in a car with another person going somewhere that I don't know that well, say for a meeting. Or on a plane or , on a long trip with the family where turning back would just be really hard on everyone and ruin their day/week.
My REALLY bad attacks happen out of the blue usually stemming from the situations from above repeated often throughout the week...I finally 'snap' and have a really bad episode and end up in the hospital.
I've had many tests done years ago when they were REAL bad. I could barely hold down crappy jobs, and finally things were looking a bit better and, I have been doing ok. But like I said, it looks like it's just my ability to stay away from these triggers that has been doing it, and that I'm not doing that great.
The odd thing is, when it is really sunny out - or really warm...I seem to have these moderate episodes MUCH easier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why is that? All studies show the opposite.
I am at my wits end. I see friends with half the experience, education, and ability that I; making an enormous amount of money, living great fun lives...while I flounder day by day wondering if I will even get an ENTRY level job back in my field some day, AND be able to do things like go hiking or biking or .......TRAVEL ..... somewhere! Travel is NOT an option with me, and I've been finding more and more that I am having a VERY difficult time and feeling overwhelmed trying to keep up with my career learnings, while others seem to enjoy it as their foundation of knowledge is solid and unshaken.
I am not sure why I am ranting in here, I'm almost to the point of just giving up and becoming a hobo or worse. I am feeling very depressed today and feel like I am the biggest loser.
I'm a pretty nice guy to most people I know. I do whatever I can, whenever I can for perfect strangers. I don't use drugs, and recently quit smoking. I do however still chew for the nicotine and drink coffee.
I have tried to remove those things from my life when this all started years ago, and 6 months later I was none the better.
I've been on lexapro, and about 2 others I can't remember. At first the lexapro seemed to keep me 'level', but after year I started having bad bad episodes. THe doctor doubled my dosage and it seemed to get worse. I took myself off meds totally and felt like I was getting better. I keep xanax handy for weeks or months where I may have issues and have to carry it EVERYWHERE just in case....although it's more of a security blanket as it really doesn't help when needed.
EVEN IF THERE IS NO HELP TO BE HAD, I could probably live a somewhat normal life with sleep problems (takes me 2 hours to fall asleep), anxiety attacks etc IF THERE WAS AN INJECTION FORM of xanax out there!! Or SOMETHING that would stop my bad anxiety attacks from happening so I could function and show up at meetings or even go to work if I get real real bad.
Not sure what others will say. I went to a head shrink once and he seemed more screwed up than me. Talking about my political views were screwed and that I probably had a heavy conscious. Nice eh?
Anyway. Someone give me a suggestion.
I've heard some say allergies could be the cause. I seem to be constantly worried that I have some other health issues since this all started. For the last 4 years I keep getting these soar throats couple with bad headaches and earaches. I went to an E.N.T specialist who told me to just have my tonsiles out. They keep giving me antibiotics but NOTHING works. I also have chest pains randomly, even when I am not stressed out...that make me dizzy.
EVERYONE THINKS ALL OF THIS IS JUST IN MY HEAD, but these pains are SO real. And doctors dismiss me because of my anxiety/panic past!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What the hell do I do? Especially if the doctors keep blowing me off? I had a friend die from a cancer in his throat and I'm worried about that. My pains are real, and my anxiety definetely isn't JUST IN MY HEAD as if it were, doing something else or keeping my mind on something else would help right? Well it never does, in fact I start down this long dark spiral that makes me feel like everything is horribly bad and dark. And I start thinking of all the bad that can occur from that positive thing I am thinking about trying to take my mind off of the anxiety attack.
So, what should I do?
Sorry about the rambling and horrible sentence structure, my fingers are tired from typing - but I am hoping that someone , somewhere will read this and give me something that MIGHT help. ANYTHING. I am so desperate I would do anything at this point. Even major surgery! ANYTHING!