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    Old 03-12-2011, 12:41 PM   #1
    tammyalfie
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    Severe anxiety

    Anxiety (and depression) has ruined my life so far..... I have suffered since the age of 13 (40) now, and i really feel tired of the constant battle at times.

    I think depression and anxiety go hand in hand. I am unable to work as the anxiety is so severe I struggle to mix with others and at times leave the house, i cant answer the door or the telephone and really struggle to mix with others. I am a kind genuine person that would do anything to help anyone, but I feel isolated, sad, guilty, abnormal, at times I feel it would be better if i wasnt here at all. The guilt and feelings of being a burden are terrible. I cant sleep, i have bad thoughts about things that go round and round in my head. Medication has never really helped me....maybe just kept me alive, as i was suicidal for many years and still am at times.

    Its ruined my relationship, i;ve recently split up from an 11 year relationship, mainly due to my odd behaviour, panic, anxiety about doing anything, which is debilitating and draining, and people JUST DONT UNDERSTAND! Horses and animals are the only time i can get a break and sometimes even they cant help. I am just generally sad, low, flat, dont enjoy anything and cry a lot.

    I;m on medication, and have tried literally loads. Shock treatment has been talked about but I just dont know anymore. I;ve not had children purely in case pregnancy, birth makes me worse, and also in case the child inherits the terrible unbearable dispair I have felt. Could go on for ever, why is life so so hard, xxx

     
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    Old 03-12-2011, 06:35 PM   #2
    stnimmo
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    Re: Severe anxiety

    Tammy,

    I read your post, and as much as I wish I could tell you I have the magic answer to how to find your cure, I can't. But, I really felt compelled to tell you that I do know exactly how you feel.

    When I was a young pre-teen, I think around 12, but maybe 13 or 14, I started experiencing bouts of depression and anxiety. I tried to tell my mom that I needed help, but my parents didn't believe in psychiatry. They accused me of just trying to get attention, so I never told them or anyone about it again until I was about 22. I tried several types of antidepressants, but after a year with no improvement and alot of side effects that were worse than the condition, I gave up. I have ADHD, and began taking meds for that about 2 months after I stopped the antidepressants and anxiety meds, and honestly I felt alot better for a while.

    Then 3 years ago, my mom died. When I was dyeing my hair one night, about 2 weeks or less after it happened, I had the first panic attack I'd had in years, except this time, it didn't end. I fluxuated between acutely feeling like I was dieing, my throat was closing, couldn't breath, having a heart attack, shaking violently and uncontrollably, (the works) when it was "bad" to basically sitting very still trying to control my breathing (but happily with the presence of mind to realize I wasn't actually dying, I just felt like it) when it was "good", but I never stopped shaking for even 1 minute of any day. My pupils stayed dialated all the time, palms stayed cold and sweaty, I would jump and usually screem when anyone walked into a room. I even had attacks in my sleep where I would feel myself paralyzed, unable to screem, and be just awake enough to FEEL and believe my heart start to slow and I would know it was stopping. I couldn't identify anything that would bring it on, because, no exaggeration, it never went away no matter what I did. I went to a phychiatrist after 2 weeks of that and he started me on xanax xr, which truly does help.

    Before, I literally wan't able to get out of bed or off the couch, I would just sit there with my arms wrapped around my ribs and shake. Then I would get a worse wave of panic and jump up and pace for a minute because I felt like my throat was closing and my lungs might collapse. I was actually able to take a job about a block from my apartment with the meds, and for a while, I seemed at least better in some ways. Unfortunately, after about 5-6 months, I started developing other fears. I became afraid of the dark first, then afraid to be home alone, especially after dark even though every light was on. Then I started getting to where I couldn't bring myself to answer the door or phone unless I was already expecting someone. Don't get me wrong, if my husband was home or with me, I could still go out places with him, and he would answer the door for me, but those feelings were very troubling. I started not being able to sleep next. I've always had nightmares, but that dream suffocation/paralysis was becoming more frequent and the nightmares got worse. after several months of greatly reduced sleep, I started getting paranoid. Just when I was home along, and pretty much only after dark, but I would hear wind or water dripping and it would somehow sound like whispering to me. I actually became convinced our apartment was haunted, then a couple of months after moving, I was convinced the new house was haunted even more so than the apartment.

    Now, I told you all that so I could make you understand that there is an end in sight. It's important to take your meds, even if you think they might not be working. Anything a doc gives you for your condition will have at least some positive effect even though it wont cure it. Meds alone wont do it I don't think, at least they didn't for me. But what did help me so very very much has been to actively change my thinking and habits. I'm still a work in progress. I still feel depressed pretty often, but not nearly like I did before. I still have high anxiety sometimes, but those other irrational fears are gone completely now and I have more of an ability to make myself stop and calm down when it starts happening.

    My first recommendation is to find a yoga gym near you, and I would recommend Dahn Yoga specifically. I didn't buy it at first either, but the practice of Dahn yoga focusses on openning your pressure points that hold the most tension, meditation, stretching, etc. Doesn't have all the crazy positions that other types of yoga do, it's basically the "healing" yoga. Once those muscles start loosening, you'll notice that alot of that heavy feeling in your chest and discomfort in your sides, neck and back will be gone. After doing yoga for at least 2 months, you should get to a gym and do as much cardio as you can and gradually start lifting weights. keep at it, several times a week, and I promise that after a few months, you really feel like a whole new person. It's not a miracle cure, but the production of endorphines when you work out, plus the release of tension in muscles you didn't even realize were tense, and the weightloss all women love to see will change things for you.

    Don't give up. I still struggle, and honestly, there are times that I just sit down and say "I hate my life" and "I just can't do this" but then I say to myself that it's not true. I hate certain circumstances in my life maybe, but I love my life, my husband, family and friends, and puppies. I'm certain there's something in your life too that you love, and that's what you've gotta focus on when it gets bad. Well, this was a novel, I'm sorry about that. I just felt very moved when I read your post. I really hope you'll take my advice, because it's not like it could hurt or anything, and I hope it helps. And if not my advice, I really hope you find something that can bring you peace.

    you're not alone.

    Last edited by ms_mod; 03-13-2011 at 06:18 AM. Reason: Broke post into paragraphs for ease of reading. Ms_Mod

     
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    tammyalfie (03-13-2011)
    Old 03-12-2011, 11:15 PM   #3
    Jagraal
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    Re: Severe anxiety

    Just lettin you know, Tammy, you're not alone. i'm 40 and have had anxiety since i was probably 13, too. i also lost my marriage, one big reason being my anxiety. i have my animals, my cats, and they give me some comfort. No kids here, either. Lots of stuff you mentioned sounded familiar.

    Hang in there. i think Stnimmo has some good ideas. As in her story, i lost my mom recently and it really made the anxiety explode. i've been having a tough time, but each day i try to think of things that are possible to do and keep my mind as occupied as possible. Even if its just setting up a schedule to do dishes, laundry watch a tv show go out for a walk, come back and take a bath.

    Sometimes just going through the motions of a semi-"normal" lifestyle, eventually makes things a little better. May not seem like it for weeks, but then things shift.

     
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    tammyalfie (03-13-2011)
    Old 03-13-2011, 11:22 AM   #4
    tammyalfie
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    Re: Severe anxiety

    Thankyou so much for taking the time to write to me about my anxiety and depression and its a comfort to know i am not alone. The feelings are truely terrible arnt they. The only way I cope is through physical distraction which is so odd that you have said that about exercise and weights. For many years i lifted weights as my strong body made my mind feel strong. i did bulk up a bit too much (looked like a body builder)!! And having a thing about my size aswell, i know i'm not that big but have been through the eating disorders, bulimia anorexia, excessive obsessional exercise everytime i ate something. Now i try to eat healthy, have plenty of outdoor exercise, i have horses and they really have saved my life! A lovely dog and cat. My anxiety around people is so crippling. I have learnt to act and if i am put in a situation i appear to be ok, but inside i am so bad and often cant breathe properly, and go dizzy so i cant see. Even to go to the super market, has to be planned and i get in a state about it. Why am i like it?? I suffer from terrible guilt, i have wasted my life with illness that i couldnt control. I am now 40, i feel about 15 inside, vunerable and scared and my WORST fear losing my parents. It will be the end of me. I feel i am only still her for them. When I was younger I had suicide attempts and spent time in psychiatric ward. I feel the medical proffession have written me off. I feel so sad. I keep trying to do things when i have a brighter moment and then make myself ill with anxiety and panic that i then spend the rest of the time cancelling what I have let myself in for. I feel i do it to myself. I keep putting more pressure on myslef. I worry about xanxa as its so addictive isnt it? i;ve been on it for so many years but only really take it at night so i at least get some sleep. Everything seems so much worse at night, alone, and tired. The back head and neck pain is terrible aswell, i have started doing pilates but will definately look into the yoga...thankyou....if I dare go!!!!

    Its such a debilitating illness and to outsiders we look so normal. Just keep struggling on i suppose, until i cant no more. xxxx

     
    Old 03-13-2011, 11:33 AM   #5
    tammyalfie
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    Re: Severe anxiety

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jagraal View Post
    Just lettin you know, Tammy, you're not alone. i'm 40 and have had anxiety since i was probably 13, too. i also lost my marriage, one big reason being my anxiety. i have my animals, my cats, and they give me some comfort. No kids here, either. Lots of stuff you mentioned sounded familiar.

    Hang in there. i think Stnimmo has some good ideas. As in her story, i lost my mom recently and it really made the anxiety explode. i've been having a tough time, but each day i try to think of things that are possible to do and keep my mind as occupied as possible. Even if its just setting up a schedule to do dishes, laundry watch a tv show go out for a walk, come back and take a bath.

    Sometimes just going through the motions of a semi-"normal" lifestyle, eventually makes things a little better. May not seem like it for weeks, but then things shift.
    Thankyou....It does give a little comfort to know other people do feel the same although I wouldnt wish the feelings on my worst enemy. I am so sorry to hear about your mum. I honestly dont know how i would cope with it. Animals are a very good comfort and distraction and they need us! And like you, some days just to get up, feed the animals, go for a walk is a massive achievement feeling as we do. I feel i will be alone as no one understands and my behaviour is so weird to others. I dont actually know what the fear is? The only way i can describe it to someone is that every time i leave the house its the intense feeling of your very first day at school. Sick with worry. My worry is constant about everything and everyone. I often cant get terrible worries and thoughts out of my head. I have a big feeling of failure, but know i;ve got to try and not be so hard on myself and recognise even the small things i achieve. I hope i can find peace of mind I really do.....you too...and others suffering xxx

     
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