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  • Just my story, for those that have an hour to read it :)



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    Old 08-20-2006, 05:01 PM   #1
    Graciecat
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    Wink Just my story, for those that have an hour to read it :)

    I have to warn you, I don't post often but when I do it tends to be as long as a Stephen King novel

    So many times I come here to read the posts and I see people asking for success stories, or stories from people who have recovered.

    I'm sure I've posted my story somewhere along the line, but I've been coming here for several years and if I have posted it I'm sure it was some time ago.

    I'm in my late 30's and have suffered on and off with Panic and Anxiety for as long as I can remember.
    I say off and on because for some reason it seems to run in cycles for me and those cycles seem to be seven years on and seven years off, right now I'm in an off period.

    I should mention that I also suffer from OCD...that has no on and off cycle it's always there and like the Panic and Anxiety has been with me for as long as I can remember.
    As odd as this might sound, I don't think I could function without the OCD the rituals, counting ,sorting, touching, cleaning are so much a part of me that I don't know how I'd live without them.

    Okay, now that I went off on my OCD train of thought I'll go back to the Panic and Anxiety.
    Like I said I've had it for as long as I can remember and when I was a very little girl I didn't even realize that I was "Different" from everyone else.
    I thought everyone was like me.
    I thought everyone was scared, but didn't know what they were scared of.
    I thought everyone worried about their health and the health of their parents, siblings, extended family, friends and pets....I know everyone worries about those things, but not to the point that it becomes all consuming in their lives.
    I thought going to the movies scared everyone, but my siblings didn't seem scared...but in my little girls head I thought "They're older and they're just hiding the fact that they're scared"

    First grade was a nightmare for me, I cried myself to sleep every night and cried every morning before I had to go to school.
    I was so scared, I just wanted to be home where I felt "safe", where I could breath, where my heart didn't beat out of my chest, where I didn't feel like I had to vomit every other second, where I didn't have to run to the bathroom twenties times a day, where I didn't feel like I wasn't good enough....that was a biggie for me...feeling like EVERYONE was better than me.
    Then there was also what I now know was derealization...you all know what I mean...feeling like you're not real or like you're in a movie or something.
    I never told my parents how I was feeling....I never told anyone....they just thought I didn't like school.

    Second and Third grade were bad also, but starting with Fourth grade my life was a bed of roses...so much so that I put all those bad feelings out of my head completely and never thought about them again...that is until right after my 16th Birthday.
    It all came back and it came back with a vengeance.
    My boyfriend...now Husband...was at my house and I was doing laundry I was taking clothes out of the dryer and all of a sudden I was scared to death, but again, like before I had no idea what I was scared of.
    In my mind it was one of two things, either I was dying or losing my mind at that very moment in time I didn't know which would be worse.
    I won't go into everything I was feeling, but if you read the post at the top of this board that lists the symptoms of Panic and Anxiety I had them all and then some...but the worst by far was the feeling of not being real, I felt like I was made of mist and if I touched my arm that my hand would go right through it.

    I somehow walked to the living room and told my boyfriend that I was sick and needed to go to bed.
    He asked if I was sure that I didn't want him to stay, I said no...after all I didn't want him to see me lose my mind
    Two days later when I was still feeling the same way and had not gone to school, in fact I hadn't left my bed, he came to my house and would not leave until I told him what was wrong...so I finally told someone how I'd felt off and on for all of my life....the most liberarting words I ever spoke!
    I thought he'd run the other way, but he didn't...and he still hasn't all these years later.
    We talked to my Mother and she made me an appointment with her GP.

    The first thing I said to him was "I think I'm losing my mind or dying"...he said he doubted very much if either of those things was happening.
    He told me there were several things it could be...none of which was going to kill me...and that's when the test began...blood work to check for high or low blood sugar, thyroid problems and a host of other things.
    Scans, X-Rays, heart tests...all where normal.
    Then and only then did he tell me that I suffered from Anxiety Disorder, Panic Attacks and OCD.
    On a side note...if you go to a Doctor and tell him how you feel and he tells you that you have Anxiety Disorder without running tests, run don't walk out the door and find another Doctor.
    Yes, a lot of the time it is Anxiety Disorder but it COULD be something else and everything else should be tested for and ruled out first IMO.
    Notice I didn't say that it might be "just" Anxiety?
    It really gets to me when someone says "just" Anxiety.....I've lived it...as most of you have and I'm sure you'd all agree, there's no "Just" about it...this is a very debilitating illness for a whole lot of people.

    Off the soapbox...my Doctor gave me Xanax....if you have a problem with that drug that's fine and you're entitled to that opinion but please didn't tell me how wrong I was for taking it...it was MY choice and I made it and I'm here to tell you that I'm glad I did.
    I took it... one quarter mg. twice a day for seven years.
    Woke up one morning and I felt different...the Panic and Anxiety were gone again...just like they'd gone before.
    I went to my Doctor and he set up a weaning schedule, I got off the Xanax and felt fine.

    Then one day almost seven years to the day, they came back.
    Yes, it scared me but this time I knew what it was and I knew I beat it once and that I could beat it again.
    So I went back to the Doctor went back on the medication at the same dose as last time and just like clockwork seven years later they were gone again!
    Weaned off again and that's where I am now...I'm about three years into an off period right now.

    In all the years in between I got married, had four children and lived my life.
    Yes, it's hard to live with this disorder...but it can be done.
    For some of use medication is the thing that helps us, for others therapy is what helps us and for others it's a combination of the two.
    Some can just do it on willpower alone, while others can't.
    I tried other medications and therapy but for ME that wasn't the answer, but it might be the answer for you.
    I wish everyone could understand that some people choose medication and others don't I will never understand why if medication is the path you choose that there are some who will do their best to tell you how wrong you are.
    In the end we all suffer from the same thing, how we choose to get better shouldn't be the issue..supporting each other no matter what our choices in our quest to get better are should be.

    I don't want to sound negative but IMO I really don't think anyone is "Cured" of this disorder, to me it almost seems like more of a remission.
    I think sometimes the "remission" lasts a for the rest of your life, and sometimes it lasts for shorter periods of time...like me and my seven year thing.

    I guess my point in writing this "Novel" is to just say....that there are success stories out there, that you can get better and if you do and then somewhere down the road it comes back, don't beat yourself up...you didn't do anything wrong...Anxiety and Panic have a mind of there own and sometimes it just comes out of nowhere to test us...but we all have minds of our own too and our minds are stronger than we think they are.
    I hope this post helps someone in some way, even if it is just to make you say "I thought she'd never shut up"

     
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    Old 08-20-2006, 05:16 PM   #2
    bynobody
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    Re: Just my story, for those that have an hour to read it :)

    You know, you are right. About 17 years old I had a really bad anxiety complex going on. It was at a time in my life where I had little confidence, where I didn't know up from down in terms of my body changes, I was searching out who I was inside, etc etc etc, and when I found myself, this went away, the thing is at the time I did not realize it was anxiety, I just had this strange scared feeling all the time and I just kept trucking and didn't question myself and I eventually mastered my emotions. So here I am again, at a crossroads in my life...24 and there's so much more (Neil Young) and I truly am 'coming of age' and realizing what I believe and what values I hold and that the anxiety is coming from this little identity crisis, this turning point in my life where I put behind me forever my past and my mistakes and my failures and I look forward only to the future while LIVING here in the present, and I know that one day when I master myself I will be master of my emotions and my thoughts and as a result anxiety will no longer be a problem in my life...much the same as it went away before.

    I look forward to that day but I also relish the present and thank the Lord God Almighty for all my problems because without them I would be just a sad failure instead of a masterpiece in progress.

    You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, and this lesson is being taught to me as we speak.

    Thanks for reading.

     
    Old 08-20-2006, 05:22 PM   #3
    Wynslett
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    Re: Just my story, for those that have an hour to read it :)

    Thank you for posting your story. I'm newly dagnosed with GAD and depression, brought on by the sudden death of my father 4 months ago. I've never felt like this in my life, everyday is a constant battle, a battle with myself and the people around me. I take an occasional xanax, and it's the only thing that "get's me through" My Dr. doesn't want me to become addicted and has suggested other therapies. I have an appt. this week, will see how it goes. I also have my 2nd session with a therapist this week, so I'm trying so hard to get well and find me again. Thanks for your post, it gives me hope.

     
    Old 08-20-2006, 05:41 PM   #4
    Marconis
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    Re: Just my story, for those that have an hour to read it :)

    It's really nice to read success stories. And I mean reallyyyyy. I got over my anxiety for about a year and half and then it came blasting back at me when I found out I had two physical problems in February. (Scoliosis and Chiari 1 Malformation) I try to get over it day and night, but it seems to get worse everyday, even though I know for a fact I can stop worrying. Reading success stories is a great boost of encouragement for me, so I thank you.

    Last edited by Marconis; 08-20-2006 at 05:42 PM.

     
    Old 08-21-2006, 06:53 AM   #5
    Leela_C
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    Re: Just my story, for those that have an hour to read it :)

    Graciecat - Thank you so much for posting your story. It almost made me cry. I'm so glad you are feeling better. I have suffered with anxiety and OCD most of my life, just not realizing what it was until lately. I'm with you, I probably couldn't function without the OCD, but I sure could drop this anxiety!! Right now it is health (mainly heart) anxiety that I am struggling with. I can't imagine living like this for the rest of my life. You post gave me hope. Thanks again!!!

    Last edited by Leela_C; 08-21-2006 at 09:41 AM.

     
    Old 08-21-2006, 08:48 AM   #6
    Graciecat
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    Re: Just my story, for those that have an hour to read it :)

    You're welcome, Leela_C

    I'm glad it gives you some hope.

    I'm also glad someone else "gets" the thing about not being able to function without the OCD.
    I told my Husband that one time and he just laughed and told me that there was an upside to it because we have the cleanest house on the block

     
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