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    Old 12-18-2004, 03:46 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. Id rather die than to let anxiety defeat me again.

     
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    Old 12-18-2004, 04:26 PM   #2
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Go see your doctor. Possibly you can get some type of tranquilizer like valium for the flight. Sounds like you might need something on a dailey basis for anxiety. I know Wellbutrin, Buspar and other can help. Good luck!

     
    Old 12-19-2004, 08:47 AM   #3
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Wow, it sounds like the anxiety is really affecting your life. I think you should really see the doctor (a psychiatrist would probably have a better understanding and be better able to give you the right medication than a general practitioner.) Also, there are books out there that are very inspiring and helpful.

    You might also want to talk to your girlfriend about it, if you haven't already, so that she will understand what you're going through and not take it personally.

    Sorry I couldn't offer more sage advice, but I really wish you luck and hope that you're able to kick it. You sound very intellegent and it would be a shame to let it ruin your life and love. Keep us updated.

     
    Old 12-19-2004, 04:45 PM   #4
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Why can't she come see you here? Then maybe you can both go back to her country together.

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

    Thanks, ive tried welbutrin and buspar, they didnt really help, im currently jus taking prozac and hydroxyzine and valerian.

    I do have great difficulty trying to express to her my situation. Shes young and were vastly different culturally so I really dont know how she would respond to it. Id be more incline to tell her more about these things when im there with her than telling her now and decreasing her already diminishing hopes of ever seeing me in person.

    Sickofeffexor, she cant come here without obtaining a visa and the only way she can get a visa is me going there. I wouldnt put her through all of the travelling she would have to do alone, shes never been on a plane nor anywhere outside her island. But thanks for the idea.

    Lisa I wish it was that easy. I cant find a doctor that would even consider giving me any type of benzo or valium type of medication. I honestly dont know why. I see a new MD on the 22nd but I dont know what he will give me. I just hope it can be something that can help decrease my anxiety to a manageble level. Thats all I really ask. Even now I can feel it and the trip is still 3 weeks away.

     
    Old 12-20-2004, 07:34 PM   #6
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    See enough doctors and you'll find one to prescribe a benzo for you. Sounds like that's the only thing that'll help you with your immense fear right at the moment. Tell them you are only using it to overcome the fear of this plane trip and not for long term use. They'll understand.

    On a different note. I think it could be that you've closed yourself off to the real world, to real situations, with real people too much and this meeting demands taking real action to do something to change yourself and your life. This action probably threatens your inner security and pattern so much that your subconcious fears overwhelmed your rational mind and you experienced what you did when you got ready for the trip. Anxiety and our anxious behaviors is like painting yourself into a corner. The more you avoid the further into a corner you paint yourself. One day you'll just have to not give a crap even if your shoes get messed up walk out the door on the other side and start painting all over again. That really is the road to recovery not just meds, they're okay temporarily but eventually you gotta get off them. For the long term you have to somehow try to overcome your fears and change your thinking and beliefs in order to improve and overcome yourself if you ever want to have a healthy relationship with someone else. Even if you took the simple way out by paying for a plane ticket for her to come here get married and got her citizenship etc. What kind of life and security can you give her without knowing how to conquer yourself and your fears. Forgive me if I sound harsh but this is how I feel about involving others into my own life when I have this condition. My life would be much easier if I didn't have a wife and family and I can run from my anxieties and responsibilities all my life without anyone to give a crap but know what? To be fair to her AND myself I HAD to learn to conquer myself and I had to WANT to do it for the sake of our marraige. Many times I'd ask myself if my family is worth dying for because many times it feels like my anxiety WILL kill me. I eventually got to the realization that yes it IS worth dying for if not for them, for myself. If it's means dying for the sake of self mastery, to be better than I am now, then yes it is worth it. I hope you can learn to do the things you have to do for yourself before jumping into a relationship that most folks even WITHOUT anxiety find hard to hold onto. You said you can't go to school, can't hold a job, can't even go to the movies. If you can't do these things what kind of relationship do you expect to come from this? Do you want to meet someone bring her over here change her whole life then tell her to hang out in your room your whole lives? Think about it please for both your sakes make some decisions get the right help if you have to and go for it.

    -Frank

    Last edited by Frank186; 12-20-2004 at 08:46 PM.

     
    Old 12-20-2004, 09:22 PM   #7
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Last night I was laying in bed and I decided to try to dig into my mind and look for answers and to try to find out what the sources of my fears and my anxiety is concerning this entire ordeal. I layed there with my eyes closed and I dug deep. I envisioned myself on the plane, in the air, changing planes, carrying luggage, I envisioned myself there, with her and her family, then I envisioned her here and us living together. I had a panic attack. I got up and walked into the bathroom and ran warm water over my hands and I just gazed at the floor.

    Your right Frank. Your post is very close what im experiencing. At some point of my life I completely closed myself off from the world, disconnected myself from reality. Whether it was through trauma or depression. I have grown way too accustom to this life I live. Because it is just that, a very secure way of living, free of stress and responsibilities. Anything that Ive ever tried to do in my life that would significantly change my life has been shot down with fear and anxiety. Whether it was going to college, applying for a new job, etc. I think thats what happened to me last night. I think I struck a source in that I ultimately fear change. I fear the aspect of having to live with someone 24/7. Going from one extreme way of living to the next. Having a wife I have to support, having to find another job, another house, not having the free time I have gotten so used to and sleeping as much as I want and doing relatively anything I want. Having someone in my life would indeed threaten my inner security and the unhealthy, toxic way ive lived in the last 10 years.

    But thats ultimately the problem. Im stuck in a dellusional state. Between the life I fear and the life I hate. Last year I ingested a bottle of pills and was rushed to the hospital because I was severely depressed and I had panic attacks constantly. And the reasons was because I hated my life. I was lonely. I didnt want to go anywhere or do anything because if I saw a couple or a group of friends it provoked my anxiety it ignited my panic attacks, its made me go into deep morbid depressions. I would dream and pretend I had a life and had friends and I was destined for it. It was something I desired and wanted. I couldnt bare being lonely anymore. I refused to live life without love without experiencing it, no matter how ugly or fat I was.

    Then I met her and it seemed like everything was clear to me. That this is what I wanted. She is what I wanted. I wanted to have a life. A real job, a wife, a family. Someone to spend time with, to wake up next to, to share life with, to raise a family. I spent 8 months oblivious that wouldnt be able to get on that plane. I was so sure about it, I never felt happier. I felt like my life had meaning, I had a reason to live. The moment I booked my flight, originally it was for 2 weeks. I felt like I was under attack by anxiety. I had no idea what it came from or why I felt that way. I thought, oh maybe 2 weeks is too much so I cancelled the trip and booked it for a week. But I still felt the same. And it just grew and grew and got worse and worse to the point i wasnt looking forward to it anymore, I was more or less dreading the day as if I was about to serve a prison term.

    Thats the tradegy of having a fractured mind. Because what you want and desire can be totally different from what parts of your mind can is willing to handle. I know I want to go there and be with her, but I dont know if the part of me detached from reality, from the world, I dont know if that part will allow me. So what do I do. Do I adapt to it. Well I think I know that answer. I cant. I tried. I cant spend my life alone, isolated and miserable. It drove me to 4 suicide attempts. I know I dont want to do back to the hell I was in before I met her. But I dont know if I can go forward into the life I will inherit with her.

    Stuck between a rock and a hard place and at some point it will all come crashing down on me. Hate the life I know. Fear the life I dont know. I dont have a rational mind. I dont knw what rational is anymore. I just know there are things in life I want to do and for some reason I cant do them because of something that is mentally defective about me. Its just like a phobia someone has. Whether its fear of heights or flying or of spiders. Only this is the largest phobia one can have, a fear of living, a fear of change.

    Yeah the life I live now is comfortable, but its dull, and lonely, and miserable. But there are parts of it Im not able to let go, I think I realized that when I was digging into my mind. Being with someone 24/7. Thats a big leap from being alone 24/7. Yeah I am in a corner. Im cornered by her and a future relationship, or the return to the same old life, feeling myself dip back into depression, and someday possibly hurting myself again. Its like I want to somehow take parts of both worlds, but i can only live in one.
    I think mentally and physically ive become so accustomed to loneliness, im perhaps addicted to it. I probably cant tolerate being around anyone for a extended amount of time.

    Thats what this trip is all about. Ill never know anything unless I go there to her to find out if this is the life I want. If I can take care of her and be with her and if Im capable of living with someone or raising a family right now. I dream of being with someone. I walk around in my room imagining im talking to someone, holding someone, watchign tv with someone. I know I want that in my life. But I also know Im severely accustomed to being lonely, having tons of free time, no responsibilities, noone to deal with, etc.

    The most dissapointing thing about all of this is, when I think of the biggest reasons why I didnt go to school or i hated goign ot the movies or I didnt want to work in public, was because of couples and seeing attractive people, happy and enjoying life. I dont fear going ot the movies, I fear going ot the movies having to sit next to two people holding hands. I dont fear working, I fear having to checkout a couple renting movies at a video store, I dont fear school, I fear having to be around a ton of young people my age who I envy. With her, I can go to school, with her I can work anywhere I want, with her Ill be able to spend time in public, go out to places, because im not alone, I have someone to share my life and time with. But here I am. Fear has come full circle around me. I dug myself too deep.

    Is she worth dying for? Its funny, because I dont know if I can see myself living without her. She saved my life in alot of ways. Before I met her I was near the end, if you know what I mean. Just do a search of my past posts back anytime before April. Theres one thing worst than death. The feeling of dying. And thats what anxiety does to me. Makes me feel like the end is near that Im going to freak out and die and lose all control.

    Im trying to take it one step at a time and not go into this as if this is permanent, that if i get on that plane my life is changed forever. I have to realize, just go there, experience the alternative of what life could be with her, weight it with what my life is now and make a decision. Your right, I wont be much of a husband or boyfriend to her if I cant even get on a plane and go see her. Although the immense amount of traveling time has alot to do with it. I mean this is a 32 hour trip to and forth.

    All I do is think, and think and think. But which part of my fractured mind am I thinking with. I dont know what to think cos what I think contradicts itself over and over. I dont understand myself. I know what I want. I want to get on that plane, have a life, be with her. I dont have to think about that. Unfortunately, what I want is perhaps my biggest fear.

    I hope a Benzo will work. I can never obtain full clarity unless im not under the influence of anxiety. You sound like a psychiatrist Frank. Thanks for taking time. If its not too much trouble, Id like to continue this dialog with you. Seems your experience is somewhat similar. I understand you questioning my ability to be in a relationship. I do as well. But Ill never know anything unless I experience it. I have to go there and find out.

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

    Man Apart,

    First of all, no Iím not a therapist but Iím my own best therapist. I just went through a lot and learned from it. I know the things I have gone through and learned applies to many other folks as well, thatís all. For you I think the way out of this 10 yr toxic life pattern is by first taking baby steps. Your anxious mind is too overpowering for you to make big changes. First things first you need to get out of this message board for now. One of the things Iíve found is that many folks here have this constant habit of coming here just to get reassurance and ask others with the same problem as they do what the answers are. Thatís fine and all but eventually you have to learn to drop the internet for a while and do more. One of my doctors asked me what I did for a living and I said I am in the computer industry. Then I told him that when I came home I go on the internet a lot. After talking to me for a while he said.. ah no wonder you are the way you are. Youíre not living life. Youíre avoiding life most the time and have been absorbed in a virtual life. I found that to really ring true. First Iím always too introspective add to that I am always not really living life, Iím more passing my life away by being into ďstuffĒ like the computer/television/dvdís etc.. One thing that I had to do was to get out there and live life! So thatís what Iíd recommend to you. Nowadays I hardly come online anymore. Maybe you can start by finding help and support through your local medical community by finding depression and anxiety support groups where they actually have weekly meetings. That will first help you talk to others who have problems that you do and help you network to find some good therapists or other resources. Your anxious mind is overpowering right now so youíll probably need some meds like benzoís once in a while but while taking them you should start something different. Like start doing some of your routines a little differently. Change the order in which you do them. Go to a different supermarket, different mall, read some new kind of books, listen to a new type of music, eat a different diet, take up some activities like yoga or tai chi stretching classes. If youíre too nervous then start off by ordering video tapes to learn the basics then go to the classes to show off. Eventually youíll start talking to some class mates and start socializing in these small intimate classes. The possibilities are endless as to what you can do but the thing is you have to start really slow and build up once you get a little confident. Slowly start socializing yourself and eventually youíll find youíre a little different than you were before. The main thing is to not grow content and think this is good enough, keep pushing to be better and better. If you fail, and youíre bound to as we all do, recognize it as a set back and get back to work. We all fail over and over. You have to make your life a project. Not just something where you take a passive roll and expect the next whatever drug to help you cope till the effects crap out on you and you have to find something else to help just a bit. Meds work but they are only meant to help you out of a tough spot so you can learn to cope better.

    Many of us anxious folks are afraid of change. Basically our lives are supposed to happen in stages. Childhood, teenage, young adult, full adult, mature adult etcÖ When we make these life stage changes we need to be able to adapt so that the transitions happen smoothly. Anxious folks canít make these transitions smoothly. We might be physically a full mature adult but emotionally our coping styles with life are stuck back in the childhood stage. We fight not to change but fight damn hard NOT to change! Something thatís impossible, the more we fight to not change the more pain and anxiety we feel. Somehow we anxious people have to learn to embrace the nature of change, to accept change and go with it no matter how uncomfortable we feel. If it takes meds then it takes meds, just as long as when we are taking the meds, weíre engaging in this process of change so that when weíre off of it weíre different and better.

    I know you think that meeting a woman is possibly going to change your life for the better and that gives you a reason to live etc.. You THINK you will be saved by this woman but a woman wonít save you. Only you can save you. They may give you reason to live but you still will be the same unless you know how to live for yourself. Until you learn that you will not truly recover. The possibilities for your life that you imagine with her are actually the potential possibilities that are available to you on your very own. Initially love is a fantasy projection of your own ego onto someone else. Eventually this illusion fades and you get to see the reality, and thatís when you figure out that sheís just another wounded soul who was not you thought she was. This is when the real relationship begins and also when you know that your goal of happiness will not be realized until you know how to fix yourself, but like you said though you have to start somewhere and meeting her is the first step. If you canít do it now, fly her over to you instead and tell her about what you are going through.

    ManApart I know that you became how you are not overnight, it probably took years and years of life development to make you how you are and itís BEEN years and years of suffering how you have been because of this fear of change, so donít you think itís time switch over now to start changing for the better? If you do itís going to take more years and years worth of trying but donít you think youíre worth it? I mean what else do you have to lose? Even if Iím wrong and NOTHING works after years and years of uncomfortable change and you are feeling that you are DYING DYING DYING isnít it worth it to know that you are dying to become better? And not dying because you are fighting to not change? Youíre lost in the ocean right now treading water because your boat sank. You have 2 choices. Keep treading the way you are now or start swimming. What do you choose? You may tread thinking itís gonna work out but you will eventually learn itís just a losing proposition. Itís basically sink or swim. I chose for myself to swim even though I donít know where the shore was and I think Iím just about on shore. I think you should start swimming now. Just remember to be gentle with yourself. Start slow, make little changes, do some new things, if things donít work back off and start again, donít be afraid to feel the fear, embrace the fear, when you feel it remind yourself that this is your motivation for change. Many of us pop the pills because we are afraid to feel, slowly taper off the pills while making the changes to your life and I think that one day you might find yourself in a place you only dreamed about in your mind. I know how itís like, Iíve been there through depression, anxiety, and OCD and now I AM in a place I only dreamed about back then but only due to my own efforts and if I can do it I think all of us can if we think we deserve it. People on this board have told me Iím full of crap before with feel good airy fairy advice, and that many folks with depression and anxiety canít be cured naturally and meds have to be used etc.. but guess what? I bet theyíre still popping the pills trying hard to stay the same treading water in the same ol spot.

    Regards,

    Frank

     
    Old 12-21-2004, 06:43 AM   #9
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    I think that's very good advice, Frank!

     
    Old 12-21-2004, 11:39 AM   #10
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Rod, I don't know what I can say to you that hasn't already been said by all the wonderful replies you've gotten. But I just want you to know that I am here for you and I support whatever you decide to do 100%. I just want you to be happy, that's all I've ever wanted for you.

    I, too, had a bad attack of anxiety during finals week this semester. Nothing as bad as last yeat when I went to the ER, but during one of my presentations I had a bad panic and anxiety attack and it was difficult for me to give my presentation and I just kept apologizing to the class and to the professor. I felt so stupid, I kept thinking "what do my classmates think of me: she can't even get through a presentation without freaking out, how is she going to handle the rest of her life?" The rest of the week was just as bad, I wrote about 40 pages worth of papers and took an exam. I didn't sleep for three days and my body wanted to collapse and die when I got home. Somehow I made it through and I'm home now and I have the holiday stress to look forward to! Haha.

    Anyway, I just want to send my love, I'm sorry I talked so much about myself when this is clearly your thread. Maybe I'll start my own, when I have the energy. Love to all,
    Meredith

     
    Old 12-28-2004, 02:02 PM   #11
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Hi all!

    Frank, I want to thank you for giving such insightful and caring advice to Man. We've been good friends for a while now, and Iíve grown to care very deeply for Man Apart (and also my other friends here.... Mermaid, hi sweets!) We have all experienced a certain amount of rejection and ill-will here on the boards, but we keep together because the positivity and caring far outweighs that other stuff.

    I really relate to a lot of the things you've talked about, particularly the stuff about having a family and asking yourself if it's worth dying for because it feels like the anxiety MAY in fact kill you. And that metaphor about choosing to tread water or swim... that's prime-time, baby. It's so true. We never really know for sure where the shore is, do we? That's what's so hard. But we'll find it or die trying. You live 'til you die anyway, right? Why waste it? And I think that Rod's problems (as is the case with most people) are interrelated for the most part. It's all connected. But beginning to heal all boils down to one thing really. Choosing to live life, not just tread water. Sink or swim. It is scary, but once you begin trying to swim, as long as you pace yourself, you might find it's not as scary or hard as you thought. You might find it quite pleasant at times.

    I really liked the stuff you said about relationships too, Frank, and projection of ego and everything. We must be reading some of the same books, because I find myself agreeing so much. It's very validating.

    Manny-o, you probably notice a lot of people are encouraging the communication with a doctor and getting on meds. It's because the things you describe that you're going through really sound starkly different than normal functioning and usually people do need the help of some meds, at least for a time, to help them get through such hard times. The way you describe it as almost having a life of its own, really sounds like a medical disorder that should be medically treated, though I'm no doctor.

    I'm very glad to see you are meeting with doctors, getting second opinions and taking this stuff really seriously. I've noticed in the past, though, that it seems like you tend to not stay on your meds like you should. You usually have to give them at least a month or so to get a good idea about how they are going to work for you. So be on guard about that. Don't start talking yourself out of 'em before you've really given 'em a good try. Also I want to add my encouragement about trying to get something (at least short-term) to try and help with the flight. I know you can do it!

    Of course there is some truth to the opinions about pill-popping versus actually solving the life problems at their root, BUT some people really do have mental/chemical disorders that require long-term or even permanent medical treatment in the form of drugs. In these cases, it is the same as having any other medical disorder: diabetes, asthma, you name it. I'm going to quote myself from a post I wrote in another thread because this is a very important point:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Genabeena

    One more word about "will-power." Will-power schmill-power. Would you tell an amputee to will himself to grow a new arm? Would you tell a diabetic to stop taking insulin and will themselves to recover from the effects of diabetes? Well it makes just as much sense to tell a person with a mental disorder to will themselves to get better. You might not need the meds forever, but it takes time...time and treatment to heal. Will-power.............utter nonesense. Sorry to be blunt, but that's what I believe, and I base these beliefs on experience and research, not just feelings, assumptions and intuitions.
    There are a lot of other people on that thread who echo and add to that sentiment too in case youíre still not convinced. Itís just that this is sooo important to you. You need to make sure you get the help you need. Not just any help, but the appropriate kind of help. Also, the appropriate combination of healing factors. All the stuff that Frank talked about, but you may need meds, also. Thatís okay. Like Frank said, do what it takes. And it all starts with the choice to live life- to ďswim.Ē

    I have to tell you, I was thinking the same thing about your inner security and pattern being threatened. It goes back to what Enoch was saying about stepping out of your comfort zone, although sometimes it really helps to hear it put another way. And remember the nightmares you were having about the girl coming out of your TV. screen? You thought it was because of the horror flicks youíve been watching. Well, think again. It may be your unconscious trying to answer these questions you have about what these fears are about- why you are having this anxiety. Well it may be a mental disorder, but it is probably also related to some real underlying fears. Many people say they are afraid of success, but when they say that, often what they really mean is that they are fearful of the heightened potential for failure that success brings with it. It really does make sense when you look at it that way, but thatís no way to live. Many people do achieve success and then later lose it to failure, but that is not a good reason not to try. I would definitely go ahead and take the risk. Everybody makes mistakes. Thatís what learning and exploration are. A series of mistakes that show you how not to do something, but ultimately lead the way to the correct method. And if you die trying at least you can die with a smile on your face.

    Thatís why, when my students goof up (Iím a teacher) I never get angry with them. I just laugh and smile and say, ďThatís a good try. Now try again.Ē Some people even make a career out of ďgoofing up.Ē Like my uncle. Heís a computer programmer. He told me point blank, ďthatís what we do. We try something, it gets all bungled up, and then we start all over and try it again a different way.Ē So, donít be embarrassed when you make a mistake. Be proud. Be proud that you tried. Being embarrassed is an even worse mistake than the original mistake.

    Keep trying Man Apart. We are with you. Always. In your heart and mind.

    -Beans

     
    Old 12-29-2004, 06:27 PM   #12
    Man Apart
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    Geena beans, Mermaid, How gracious of you to provide me with your charming and encouraging words. And also thank you Frank for your great advice. Im not sure Belize is speaking to me or not, but if she reads this I want to say i miss you and wish you all the best with "him." Well, So much to reply to. I will try.

    Ok um, to be honest, I cant really explain anything anymore. When it comes to my issues its the only time im really tongue tied. How did I spend 7 months of my life building a dream, believing, saving, sacrificing, so completely determined and god forbid i say, happy. Only have it lead to perhaps the most definigly worst day of my life.

    I don't know what happened to me. Was it all the mental and physical abuse I was subjected to as a child? I dont know. Can fear really be beaten into you? I dont fear getting hurt or death. See thats the frightening part. Its so intense and so powerful that sometimes I feel Id rather die than to face it. Last year I almost succeeded in killing myself because of it. That comfort zone is too comforting. Because when you leave it, that is exactly what you feel, you feel like your dying.

    Maybe I was born with it. I read something about how anxiety starts at a young age. As far back as I can remember I was always this way. Its the exact same agonizing fear as when I was a child. Until 3rd grade I ran away from school constantly. There were days I would go and hide in the bathrooms or outside in the parking lot laying under cars until I heard the school bell ring. My mother had to write a letter to the board of education to get me reinstated back into the school that was in my district because one of the teachers had broken her ankle chasing me. I cant remember how I actually was finally able to go to school regularly. I remember I had this little gray rabbit. I called him fluffy. He was a scruffy little thing but, I was so attached to that rabbit. Cos when I felt afraid I would squeeze him every night, as tight as I could. And I took him to school with me. No wonder the kids made fun of me and threw rocks at me. I put the bullseye on my own back. I just cant remember at what point I was able to just sit still and adapt. It took 3 years of kicking and screaming and crying and running away. But It was the same feelings I have now. Only, it grew. Worse, and worse.

    I dont know whats wrong. All I know is im scared. I dont know what to do. I want to tell Roselyn I cant. And just go back into the comfort zone until the depression and loneliness kills me. Before that day happened, it was such a beautiful 7 months. Every time I heard a plane in the sky I smiled. Couldnt wait to my flight. Now every plane I hear in the sky I cringe. I see a plane commercial on tv and I start to feel it all over again. It doesnt help taking baby steps when you dont know in what direction to step. Im in a maze. I feel like Jekyll and Hyde. One day Im feeling confident, inspired, but most days im anxious, and fearful. How can I fear change when all Ive ever done for the last 10 years of my life is try to change. How can I fear being with someone when all I ever dream of is waking up next to someone.

    My mind will take something so simple as a plane trip and turn it into me feeling like im on death row waiting for my execution. It will find something for me to fear even when I know there is nothign to fear. It will create it. Even something simple as the 30 hour length of the trip, fear of getting lost, switching planes, the discomfort of being at a airport for 6 hours between flights, etc. It builds and builds until it outweights the entire reason for the trip, and that was to spend a week with her.

    I never asked for her to save me I only asked her to love and accept me. I cant imagine I would ever get to a point in life when I would become the type of person that could not love and appreciate someone so loving and caring as her. Ive seen her at her best and worst, I would take a lifetime of her at her worst than a lifetime of loneliness. But there are bigger things happening here than just me and her. That ocean is not the biggest thing between us.

    For the last 7 months ive been swimming. I did everything except get on the plane. 6 hours away from take off, I never fought fear as hard as I did that day. But it doesnt let you go. It doesnt care how hard you fight it. It doesnt care how much willpower you have. Thats why I cant really sit here and beat myself up about not going because I tried so hard. When I started unpacking my bags it was like i was unloading bricks out of my head. Im a 26 year old man. I can walk in dark alley, Ive fought people bigger than me, Ive stared death in the face. That night I had tears running down my face, crying, shaking, like a little child. Thats what it reduces me to. The mental and physically agony is almost violent. Like someone choking you to death.

    Your right. It has nothing to do with willpower. Cos I cant control it. It doesnt give you a option. Its not a character flaw. Im tired of looking at myself in the mirror calling myself weak and chicken, and suck it up and just shake it off and get over it and stop being a baby, etc. Im not weak. Ive fought it all my life.

    Medication really is the only option. I even try to do behavior therapy. Trying to pack early and shop early. I went to drive down to the airport. I got there and just gotten to a point and asked myself, what am I doing. I sat in my car watching people walk around and watching the planes take off. Its just a routine to them. But its like mankind trying to reach the moon for me. And I just ask myself, how did it get this bad. Why do I feel this way. Its frustrating. Im tired of fighting. It doesnt make any sense at all. Its unreasonable and excessive. Im just tired. Tired of being afraid. Id rather die than to ever have to relive that moment again. Im tired of myself. 10 years. There has been absolutely no moment or progress.

    I know Ive never taken a really effective anxiety medication. But Im tired of looking through phone books, spending 50 dollars a visit, feeling humilated and small to these people. Going to them, spilling my guts out, telling them my life story only for them to tell me, theyre sorry they cant help me. Theyre so inaccessible. I ask if I could just leave a voice message and they tell me no, sorry, he cant see you until the 15th. For crying out loud, if you have problems with medication or some type of complication it tells you to contact your doctor immediately, not schedule a appointment a month away.

    Im going to see my primary care doctor tomorrow. I even asked if my mother would go just so maybe this time something actually productive can happen and I can finally get one of these anxiety medications. She probably wont give me anything. Im pretty sure of that. But maybe she can refer me to someone that I can see immediately and whose more accessible and sympathetic. I dont even know if the medication will work. I have no clue what it does or how it helps. I dont want to take something addictive just as much as them not wanting to prescribe it. But at this point ill give anything a try.

    As for my dreams. They can be sensational sometimes and downright disturbing other times. Its incredible how real they can be. The dream I have of the girl coming out of my tv is only from me watching too many horror movies just like you Geena. Its funny, I love watching fear on tv. I love seeing a person react, think, and adapt to a horrific situation. How much can the human mind withstand when people are faced with a horrifying situation. I wish i could be heroic and have courage. I wish I could believe movies were real. I wish I could be like those actors. Overcoming the fear and defeating the monster.

    Thats all for now. Ive ranted enough. I could go on for hours. But no reason for me to. I dont post on the board much mainly because, as someone told me once before, "you cant help anyone, you can only witness." So im tired of people witnessing and being apart of my constant failures. There no happy ever after story from me. Theres never anythign good in my life to share, and im tired of always coming here writing a book of shadows. Ill be fine. Well not really, but what else you want me to say, Im just a nobody with mental problems.

    Even if I could journey the world. The biggest thing I fear is inside me. Its the only monster you cant run from. Cos you realize, the monster is you.

    Last edited by Man Apart; 12-29-2004 at 06:47 PM.

     
    Old 12-30-2004, 11:17 PM   #13
    Frank186
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    Re: Desperately trying to defeat anxiety... Please help

    >>I don't know what happened to me. Was it all the mental and physical abuse I was subjected to as a child? I dont know. Can fear really be beaten into you? I dont fear getting hurt or death.<<

    Actually that is probably a big contributing factor as to why you have this problem. When young children are abused at a young age while their brains are developing their anxious minds/fight or flight mechanisms become more developed and sensetive than in normal brains. If you're especially prone genetically towards mood disorder then an abusive environment probably was the thing that made it as bad as it is now. I was also abused as a child and I believe this has a big impact on how I turned out. How can you feel safe growing up in this life if your very own parents, the ones you relied on and trust the most behave worse to you than anyone else.

    >>Every time I heard a plane in the sky I smiled. Couldnt wait to my flight. Now every plane I hear in the sky I cringe. I see a plane commercial on tv and I start to feel it all over again. It doesnt help taking baby steps when you dont know in what direction to step.<<

    Would you be that afraid if you took a short flight to a neighboring city? Maybe you can try that first. In CBT there is a technique for phobias called exposure therapy. You just get yourself conditioned to do what you're most afraid of. If you start small with a short trip then you can gradually increase the distance to bigger and longer trips. What is exactly you're afraid of the plane ride or the consequence of making this trip? If it's the phobia of flying then that's easy to cure. If it's the other reason then there are deeper issues you must confront and get over before you can move on. Even if you were drugged and shipped over to that far away place another great fear will pop up to replace this flying fear. I know because I had and still have a bit of OCD. This is how anxiety works.

    >>How can I fear change when all Ive ever done for the last 10 years of my life is try to change. How can I fear being with someone when all I ever dream of is waking up next to someone.<<

    You can try to change but without solid efforts and actions to back your desire to change you WILL stay the same. So many people dream and want to be better, so many people WANT to be successful. Why is it so few actually make it? It's because they never really tried and followed through. They never made vows they could keep to themselves and sabbotaged themselves constantly. They made too grandiose plans that seemed too daunting instead of small plans that helped them develop over time. They never really made any real steps and actions in their lives to change EVERYTHING they do in their lives. Not only that but their mindset their core beliefs probably did not change even if they think and SAY they want to. Thus the self sabbotage. Deep down they fear change, deep down they're afraid of risk, deep down they're not willing to change. It's something they hold onto and is a core belief that they cant let go ove to make this change in direction. When I decided to marry I thought the same kind of things you did. Wanted the same kind of things you wanted, and it all happened. I got engaged, married, bought a house, etc.. Over time things deteriorated with my relationship because even though I desired and aspired to be something greater. I had too much baggage to make it work smoothly. I wanted a healthy and strong relationship with someone I love but I couldn't create that for myself because I was too messed up. I had too much self hatred, too low a self esteem, too much doubt, fear, anger, resentment, bitterness, impulsivness, too much...... hurt. In essence too much of the stuff that is counterproductive to a having good relationship. One day out of the blue I had a huge panic attack following a typical fight with the wife, which was followed by years of anxiety, OCD and depression. I thought it was a curse but over the years I've come to discover that it was actually a blessing. It's because of my "mood disorder" that I knew something had to change. Or that it was time to make all that was wrong right. I had to work on myself to build myself up from the ground up. I wont go into all the details of what I did but the key was not giving up on myself. I did not want to lose my family and even if it meant death I'd try everything in my power to change and find the right sort of help, and that's what I did. For the first time I actually DID things different. As I started DOING things different, treating people different, I actually started BECOMMING different. I owed it to them, I owed it to MYSELF. If it wasn't for my wife and family I would have stayed my same crappy self. What I thought was a curse turned out to be my salvation. It's not my wife that was my salvation but this desire and ACTION to change. The wife was just something that I guess made me work harder to be better. Gave me a motive to be different a vehicle for transendence I suppose and I guess that is what you want. I guess if it wasn't for that something else, I wouldn't have been headed on the path that I'm on right now. Looking back now however I know that the changes I've made for HER, I could have very well made for myself.

    but enough of that, here's something for right now. If you can't get the right meds from the doctors you are seeing now you should do what I said earlier about joining some local anxiety support groups at your local medical facilities. Kaiser I know has classes offered to folks who are a part of that HMO OR to outsiders. I think if you are a part of the HMO it's just cheaper that's all. I think that goes for most medical groups. They all have support groups and anxiety/depression coping classes. My point in recommending them to you is not that you might get anything out of the classes themselves but to network with your classmates to find out from them who's doctors are cool about prescribing anti-anxiety meds after class is over. There are bound to be tons of folks who have been using some sort of anti-anxiety medication. Just ask them who their doctor is and if they're understanding of mood disorder. When someone says, "yeah my doc is great he'll give you blah blah blah, and help you with blah blah blah, then you simply get the number and ask if that doctor is accepting new patients. That will save you A LOT of grief and headaches. Just try it. What area do you live in? Most major cities have lots of classes like this.

    Aside from anti anxiety meds have you tried alternative therapies to help lessen your symptoms? Before you give up on yourself try here's a list of alternative treatments that can help you gain more functionality.

    EMDR - desensitizes your fears of phobias and ptsd.

    Hypnosis and NLP - works on your subconcious fears by bringing you to an altered state.

    Accupuncture - helps can release endorphins in your system to help you ease anxiety.

    Biofeedback/neurofeedback - helps you reach deep levels of relaxation and trains you to alter brain wave activity over time. A particularly promising version called LENS neurofeedback is supposed to work really well and in a short time.

    Qi Gong/Reiki/Quantum Touch- dunno about these really but they are supposed to work on an "energetic" level, I've never worked with these but who knows I'm sure they can be of help to some.

    Amen clinic -brain scanning This clinic uses brain imagery to see what areas of yoru brain are overactive or underactive. It's supposed to determine what type of ssri or anti-anxiety med/combo will work best for your type of problem.

    TENS microcurrent electrotherapy- low current is sent through your nervous system and is said to work okay for anxiety. It's a tool usually used by chronic pain sufferers but also on anxiety and depression supposedly.

    Here's a big scary one though, DIET AND EXCERCISE - it's helped me a lot. I know that when you feel the way you feel you barely have the energy to do day to day things let alone excercise but you just have to force yourself to do it. I can't emphasis diet and excercise enough!!!


    These are just some other options you can look into before you throw your hands up and quit on yourself because even if you manage to get your hands on the benzo's you're after you'll eventually have to wean off of them and start to incorporating some other things into your life to keep your anxiety and stress levels down.

    Good Luck,

    Frank

     
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