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    Old 12-18-2004, 03:44 PM   #1
    Man Apart
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    Unhappy Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    On November 7th I had the worst anxiety attack in my life. It never became more apparent to me how severely ill I was until that day. Its frightening. My anxiety was spawn from the fact that the next day I was suppose to board a $1300.00 flight to the Philippines to meet a woman I fell deeply inlove with and known for almost a year now. I spent 8 months saving and sacrficing for this trip. Trying to believe in myself. I felt like it would be a life changing experience that would lead to something greater. But that day became the worst day of my life. I lost her, the money, hopes, dreams, everything. I couldnt even pack my clothes. The anxiety was so immense. The fear overcame me.

    Its unfair. But life isnt fair, I know. Its like something apart of me I cant change or control. How can it be so severe. I dont know why it happens to me. I cant explain it or describe it. Even thinking about the trip unnerves me. I don't have a fear of flying. Dont have a fear of meeting her and her family. Dont have a fear of being in another country. I dont fear getting lost. Maybe the length of the trip bothers me, or becoming homesick, and also maybe a fear of change in my life. Because she will drastically change every aspect of my life. A life of isolation, avoiding anything that causes fear and anxiety. But overall I know theres nothing really to fear about going there. Its like a fantasy trip. Going to a beautiful island to meet a beautiful girl. But I couldn't. Even despite my love for her and my desire to be with her. I coulnd't. The fear and anxiety strangled me.

    I rebooked my flight for Janurary. Ive never wanted to do something so badly than this. The hardest thing I ever had to do in my life is listen to her cry when I told her I couldnt come that day. She forgave me. And after that, I got a surge of confidence and determination. Tried to set my mind that I wouldnt let the anxiety defeat me and tried to put that day behind me. But last night, it came back. I feel it again. The same feelings I had leading up to the day of my flight. I remember now how intense it was. And now I fear I wont be able to make it in Janurary. I promised her, and I dont want to give up. But I dont know how to fight it. I dont want to hurt her again.

    It doesnt help fighting it does it? In essence you cant. My love for her is great. But fear is perfect it seems. It comes and goes as it pleases. Was I born this way? As far back as I can remember Ive always had theses feelings. It has destroyed my life. It came to me again last night. And I feel it today. The anxiety. It has a firm and dominant control over me, my mind, emotions, thoughts, and life. Anytime Ive ever tried to make a big decision or take a big step in life, its always there. It never fails to show up. Its always on time. Everytime Ive applied for a job, or tried to go to college. But I cant hold a job. I cant go to school. I can barely go to the movies or grocery store. Its crippling. It makes decisions for me. I can only escape it when Im here, in my little room everyday away from anything remotely stressful.

    What will it take? What can I do? I have to get on that plane in Janurary. But nothing has changed. I know itll be there waiting for me. Consuming me. And once again defeating me. What a awful illness. The mental and physical symptons are so extreme and excessive. My stomach just goes haywire. Its like having a billion butterflies in there. The anxiety is overwhelming it takes your breath away. I remember trying to pack my clothes and I was doubled over my bed crying. Picking up my clothes and putting it into the suitcase was like trying to shovel bricks. It was like being beaten down and beaten down until I let go. Until I let go of my dream. Until I let go of her. Until I let go of my ticket. Until I let go of everything. I dont understand it. It just got worse and worse. The moment I gave in the death grip it had on me loosen. I just dont understand. Why. Why is this happening to me. It doesnt matter knowing consciously theres nothing to be afraid of. Of course I know there isnt. But somehow the anxiety puts the fear in you. And worst of all, it doesnt tell me what I fear, so I cant really know what makes me feel this way. Its not really anything specific. It just makes the whole trip in some way in my mind turns it into this burden, or doomed event. To the point where im so filled with anxiety it makes the trip feel like something I dont look forward to and just want to get over with, than something beautiful, and exciting, and something I cant wait to experience.

    The biggest hurdle is getting on the plane. I feel like once Im on the plane Ill be fine. Maybe. But even that Im not sure of. I remember when I went to college, my first day, I was a nervous wreck. But once I got there and sat in the room, I was fine. But somehow the monkey finds its way back onto your back. Cos I lost every memory of the fact that there was nothing to fear, and I never went back another semester because of the anxeity.

    What can I do. I wish there was something. I have a month to perform a miracle. I would do anything to get on that plane. But when your being physically and mentally attacked and your body is riddled with anxiety, it has nothing to do with having strength and courage or the will to fight it. I can't. Or I just dont know how. And Im hoping against hope that someone can help me. I have to do this. I cant let fear and anxiety possess my life. I cant let it dominate and degrade my existence. Flushing out every goal, dream and aspiration I have. I love her. She saved my life. She took me out of the darkness I was in before. Love is a powerful emotion, but so is fear. And fear is always close and convienant. I should fear hurting her more than fear getting on that plane and making her happy. But, thats the funny thing about fear, its perfect.

    For the next month. I dont know what I can do. I dont know what to do. I dont know what posting this will help. I just need people to talk to. I just know that there are people out there that have been where I am, and some are there now. I need help. The quality of my life has been destroy all because of anxiety. If anyone can help me for the next month, I will be in debt to you for life. I know Im asking for a miracle. I just need advice, help, strategy, anything. Mentally I think Ive made it bigger than it really is and worse than it should even be. But I cant turn back the time. I cant change it, its there. I need to defeat the anxiety. Right now its hard for me to even think about Janurary. But Im desperate and I want to get on that plane. I have to. Everything depends on it. {REMOVED}

    Last edited by msmod; 12-18-2004 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Inappropriate comment.

     
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    Old 12-18-2004, 07:36 PM   #2
    kali23
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Man Apart, I really feel for you. I am only 23 years old, and I have struggled with anxiety and panic attacks for several years now. The terrible thing about anxiety is the fact that it does have the power to take over your life and send you into a downward spiral. It is obvious that you care about this woman more than anything, and it is extremely important for you to go to her. The important thing to remember is that you CAN do it. You can pack your clothes and get on the plane, and you won't die. The key is figuring out how to manage your anxiety up until that day and then afterwards...

    Have you considered taking any medication? Because of your level of anxiety, any logical MD would perscribe you anti-anxiety medication. I am currently taking Lexapro as well as Clonazapam (Klonopin) for bad attacks. The Klonopin is a fast-acting and powerful benzodiazapine that could calm you down enough to be able to get on the airplane. I think you have already made an important first step by posting your story on the boards. There are many people who feel the same way as you do, and I hope we can provide you with some support. Have you ever considered therapy or support groups? My anxiety recently became out of control where I could barely get out of bed and go to work. My husband has had to coax me many, many mornings to convince me that I will be okay. I have decided to try out an anxiety support group. It is free and a place where people with similar problems can come together and talk about it. Talking about to someone helps, I think.

    You will make it through this. You are a strong and determined individual who will find a way out of the spiral - I know you will. Your determination is evident in your post. I strongly recommend going to the doctor. It took me a long time to realize that I couldn't do this by myself. Please let us know what you decide. We will all jump for joy for you when you tell us how the trip went, because I know you can do it. Good luck my friend.

     
    Old 12-18-2004, 10:08 PM   #3
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    to man apart
    a seriously large dose of any valium type med would have made the plane ride easy, with more taken on board
    I suspect you already knew this{REMOVED}

    many of us dont like taking meds but realise that we simply cant begin to get better without them, some are too proud to take meds and suffer needlessly

    you dont conquer anxiety, you cant beat it by fighting it, instead you learn new ways of coping with it and overcoming it{REMOVED}

    Last edited by msmod; 12-19-2004 at 05:55 AM. Reason: Inappropriate comments.

     
    Old 12-19-2004, 05:16 PM   #4
    Man Apart
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Thank you Kali23, I know I "can do it" physically. But the mind is everything and controls everything. I know im not going to die or get hurt or get lost changing planes even. I can break down every aspect of this trip and nothing about this trip is something that would seem problematic, except maybe discomfort and boredom from travelling a whole day to and forth. Its basically the general capacity of the trip and the fact that ive never done anything like this before. Ive never been on a plane. I havent been out of my own city in 10 years. The anxiety has no reason or excuse. It doesn't explain itself. Its just there. I agree, I may never be able to completely rid myself of it, but I need to learn how to manage it to a level where I can function and it wont be so mentally and physically debilitating.

    Hry33, there lies my problem with my bout with fear and anxiety. I can't find a doctor or MD or psychiatrist that would even consider giving me any benzo or valium type of medication. And these appointments they give me are so few and far between. I go into great detail about my anxiety and how crippling it is. Ive been on every single SSRI made probably. I take Prozac currently. The only anxiety medication they are willing to give me is Busphar and Hydroxyzine. Bushpar does absolutely nothing. Hydroxyzine makes me sleepy and thats about it. So all I can do is try to fight this somehow on my own. Ive went to druge stores and tried valerian, kava, st johns worth, passion flower, hops, inositol, vitamins, everything under the sun. Ive been to group therapy, dozens of counselors, pyschiastrists. Im constantly changing MD's. My last MD told me, "Everything Ive given you has either made you sick or not worked so I cant help you, go somewhere else." I said what about Xanax, or Ativan, or Clonazepam, or any other anti-anxiety medication. And she told me, "I gave you Hydroxyzine and Busphar, they work just like the others except theyre not addictive but you seem unresponsive to them so I cant help you." So I said, well that doesnt mean nothing can work for me. So then she told me, ok Im going to prescribe you something called "atarax." Before I went to get the prescription filled I went home and did a search on Atarax, and its basically Hydroxyzine. I went back to her office and told her and the last thing she told me to look for was something called Benadril. I did that but from what Ive read all that does is help you sleep.

    I see another MD on the 22nd. But I have no reason to be optimistic about it. Im paying alot of money for a bunch of nothing. I dont know why the doctors in my area have such a issue with perscribing certain things. Is it because Im young, im not that young, i just turned 26. I hate to bring this up even but is it because Im a black person? Do they think I will deal drugs? Is it because of my insurance or something, I dunno. If they expect me to come into the office shaking and crying and acting crazy im not. Im not going to fake anything. My anxiety is severe but It doesnt cause me to be severely disfunctional because when Im talking to them Im very clear, coherent and precise about what im going through. And I suppose that they only prescribe benzo's or valium to people who lean towards being a little disfunctional or something. So I guess im not. I just dont know. Theres this discomfort or bias towards certain drugs it seems. Lately Ive just experienced very unsympathetic, unreasonable and perhaps illogical people in the medical field. I dont know what to tell these people anymore. Im growing anomosity towards them. I just hope the guy I see on the 22nd helps me. Im not really looking forward to taking something thats addictive, but for her, for this trip, Ill take anything and do whatever it takes. I just hope hes willing to prescribe it.

    Hry33, Im not too proud to take medication. I realize I need to be medicated. Like I said, it never became more apparent to me how much so than on the day before my flight. I wanted medication to be a last resort but for the last couple years Ive taken medication willingly. If there is anything else I can do I would greatly appreciate the help.

    Kali23, how was your husband so successful at coaxing you to work. I think another problem I have is Im alone, I dont really have any friends or family who is understanding enough to be able to provide me with support. My family think im a lazy and unmotivated. Im determined. But it doesnt take much strength to make a phonecall and rebook a flight thats 3 weeks away. Once the date is closer and closer, all the strength and determination just washes away. Right now, Im gonna set aside a day and pack my clothes, checkout some books, buy some music cd's and snacks, new clothes, etc so it wont be such a huge hurdle for me later. And maybe in a week or two Ill actually take a drive to the airport. Ive never been there. Maybe thatll help, i dont know.

    Thats for your posts, I know im grabbing at straws but Im desperate and willing to do anything I can to get on that plane. But I agree with hry33, you cant really fight what goes haywire in your mind. If I feel anything like I did last time, I know i wont be able to go. I can get on a plane being a nervous wreck, but when it breaks you down to the point you can barely breathe, walk, and dizzy and stomach turning, its really nothing you can do.

     
    Old 12-19-2004, 05:37 PM   #5
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Hi,
    I feel for you. I hope you get what you need to make it on the plane. Like hry33 I also do not think that you can fight anxiety. The more you fight the worse it gets. I have learned--not that it helps too much--to just give in--if I die - I die--if I collapse in public someone will call an ambulance. Last year I went with my family to Disney World it is a 2-3 hour plane flight from where I live--and over a week of loudness, screaming kids (including my own), long lines, heat, and being crammed into 2 rooms with my husband, daughter, sister, her boyfriend, mother & father. Just thinking about it made me nervous. I hate being anywhere with out a car (an escape car I should say). I feel trapped. Well, I talked to my Doctor and she gave me xanax. Did you talk to your primary care doc--sometimes they aren't as difficult. I would swith primary care doctors if this one won't help, find a new one make an appointment explain your fear of flying without too many dramatics and hopefully you will get what you need.
    Hang in there! It sucks! Once you learn to stop butting heads with it and just come to terms with fact that its there and it isn't leaving life will hopefully get better. Sometimes that is the hardest part, at least it was for me. You keep waiting to get your life back instead of just accepting your new life.
    Good Luck
    Jen

     
    Old 12-20-2004, 08:08 AM   #6
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Anxiety can be debilitating for sure. I would suggest breaking this big chunk up into little managable bits. The whole picture can be overwhelming, but broken up it can be managable. Concentrate on one thing at a time, accomplish that and you will feel empowered to move to the next thing and conquer it. One day, make it your goal to pack. The next day make it your goal to simply drive by the airport. The next day actually park and go in the airport. The next day watch planes taking off and landing. Then when it is time to fly, go there knowing that you have done it before and nothing bad happened. Get on the plane and break the flight up into segments in your mind. Don't worry about how you are going to get though the whole flight. Just concentrate on getiing through one hour at a time. Read, sleep, watch DVD, listen to music. Say to yourself, "By the time this CD is over, another hour of this flight will have passed." Keep visualizing the end result: getting to your destination and being with the one you love. Don't settled for living an unlived life.

    Also, keep trying different doctors until you get one that helps you. Someone out there will; you just have to keep looking until you find him or her.

    Good luck!

     
    Old 12-20-2004, 01:07 PM   #7
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    to man apart

    an antidepressant that works will help a lot but the dose often needs upping to get it working properly, what is your prozac dose, also there are several other types of antidepresants to try if the SSRI type wont work for you

    yes perhaps the docs do think you are a drug addict or are selling the valium that you get on the street, who knows? anxiety sufferers can appear calm and relaxed when seeing doctors, you have had bad luck with them. Do you have a history of being addicted to valium that they would know about?
    valium or similar in large amounts is basicly what you need for the plane, maybe try a doc in another area, are there any local anxiety or agoraphobia groups as they would know docs who are helpful, am surprised the psychiatrists wouldnt give you any, theres much hysteria against valium at the moment, some say its promoted to sell more antidepressants for anxiety

    buspar is a different type of tranquilliser that generally does little, atarix, vistaril and benedryl are antihistamines that do calm and relax most people and a large dose would be better than nothing

    I agree about going to an airport and looking at the planes and the people getting on and off them, this should gradually desensitise you of the fear

    stay with us

     
    Old 12-21-2004, 03:32 AM   #8
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Man Apart
    Thank you Kali23, I know I "can do it" physically. But the mind is everything and controls everything. I know im not going to die or get hurt or get lost changing planes even. I can break down every aspect of this trip and nothing about this trip is something that would seem problematic, except maybe discomfort and boredom from travelling a whole day to and forth. Its basically the general capacity of the trip and the fact that ive never done anything like this before. Ive never been on a plane. I havent been out of my own city in 10 years. The anxiety has no reason or excuse. It doesn't explain itself. Its just there. I agree, I may never be able to completely rid myself of it, but I need to learn how to manage it to a level where I can function and it wont be so mentally and physically debilitating.

    Hry33, there lies my problem with my bout with fear and anxiety. I can't find a doctor or MD or psychiatrist that would even consider giving me any benzo or valium type of medication. And these appointments they give me are so few and far between. I go into great detail about my anxiety and how crippling it is. Ive been on every single SSRI made probably. I take Prozac currently. The only anxiety medication they are willing to give me is Busphar and Hydroxyzine. Bushpar does absolutely nothing. Hydroxyzine makes me sleepy and thats about it. So all I can do is try to fight this somehow on my own. Ive went to druge stores and tried valerian, kava, st johns worth, passion flower, hops, inositol, vitamins, everything under the sun. Ive been to group therapy, dozens of counselors, pyschiastrists. Im constantly changing MD's. My last MD told me, "Everything Ive given you has either made you sick or not worked so I cant help you, go somewhere else." I said what about Xanax, or Ativan, or Clonazepam, or any other anti-anxiety medication. And she told me, "I gave you Hydroxyzine and Busphar, they work just like the others except theyre not addictive but you seem unresponsive to them so I cant help you." So I said, well that doesnt mean nothing can work for me. So then she told me, ok Im going to prescribe you something called "atarax." Before I went to get the prescription filled I went home and did a search on Atarax, and its basically Hydroxyzine. I went back to her office and told her and the last thing she told me to look for was something called Benadril. I did that but from what Ive read all that does is help you sleep.

    I see another MD on the 22nd. But I have no reason to be optimistic about it. Im paying alot of money for a bunch of nothing. I dont know why the doctors in my area have such a issue with perscribing certain things. Is it because Im young, im not that young, i just turned 26. I hate to bring this up even but is it because Im a black person? Do they think I will deal drugs? Is it because of my insurance or something, I dunno. If they expect me to come into the office shaking and crying and acting crazy im not. Im not going to fake anything. My anxiety is severe but It doesnt cause me to be severely disfunctional because when Im talking to them Im very clear, coherent and precise about what im going through. And I suppose that they only prescribe benzo's or valium to people who lean towards being a little disfunctional or something. So I guess im not. I just dont know. Theres this discomfort or bias towards certain drugs it seems. Lately Ive just experienced very unsympathetic, unreasonable and perhaps illogical people in the medical field. I dont know what to tell these people anymore. Im growing anomosity towards them. I just hope the guy I see on the 22nd helps me. Im not really looking forward to taking something thats addictive, but for her, for this trip, Ill take anything and do whatever it takes. I just hope hes willing to prescribe it.

    Hry33, Im not too proud to take medication. I realize I need to be medicated. Like I said, it never became more apparent to me how much so than on the day before my flight. I wanted medication to be a last resort but for the last couple years Ive taken medication willingly. If there is anything else I can do I would greatly appreciate the help.

    Kali23, how was your husband so successful at coaxing you to work. I think another problem I have is Im alone, I dont really have any friends or family who is understanding enough to be able to provide me with support. My family think im a lazy and unmotivated. Im determined. But it doesnt take much strength to make a phonecall and rebook a flight thats 3 weeks away. Once the date is closer and closer, all the strength and determination just washes away. Right now, Im gonna set aside a day and pack my clothes, checkout some books, buy some music cd's and snacks, new clothes, etc so it wont be such a huge hurdle for me later. And maybe in a week or two Ill actually take a drive to the airport. Ive never been there. Maybe thatll help, i dont know.

    Thats for your posts, I know im grabbing at straws but Im desperate and willing to do anything I can to get on that plane. But I agree with hry33, you cant really fight what goes haywire in your mind. If I feel anything like I did last time, I know i wont be able to go. I can get on a plane being a nervous wreck, but when it breaks you down to the point you can barely breathe, walk, and dizzy and stomach turning, its really nothing you can do.
    Oh my gosh your story is so sad. I'm sure you'll be fine this time .. do not give up .. you will regret as much as you probably did the last time. I know exactly what you're going through but you can do it

     
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