Psycho-Babble Psychology Thread 547561

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Winning the Battle one day at a time

Posted by goldenslumbers on August 28, 2005, at 9:44:31

Hi Everyone,

I suffer from Anxiety. I was diagnosed about 6 months ago but I have had anxiety all my life. The difference was this time my doctor recognized it. The chest pains, dizzyness, lack of appetite, weight loss and the worry that I would die any moment were tough to handle and I finally ended up on medication.

The medication (effexor) didn't work well for me. I was more dizzy, sleepless and worrying what the medication was doing to me. After 4 months I stopped taking it. During that time I learned that the chest pains and dizzyness are a normal reaction to stress and I shouldn't worry about them. This made me feel better and I actually had 8 weeks of normal living - symptom free.

My appetite returned and the dizzyness lessened. Unfortunately stress from work got my symptoms active again. I started feeling nausea and my appetite disappeared, then the worrying started and the sleepless nights.

I'm fighting back, trying to eat and get enough sleep - doing my normal things. I don't feel all that great but It's the best I can do.

If this story sounds familiar I would love to hear from you. The more I can learn about this the better I can cope. I know people have beaten this or they have learned to live with it.

Thank You

 

Re: Winning the Battle one day at a time goldenslumbers

Posted by JenStar on August 28, 2005, at 10:05:20

In reply to Winning the Battle one day at a time, posted by goldenslumbers on August 28, 2005, at 9:44:31

hi goldenslumbers,
I'm sooooo sorry you're suffering from anxiety! :( I can relate, because I'm a fellow anxious person. Here's my story, and sorry to all who've heard this too many times already!

I'm somewhat of a hypochondriac, and often think that small physical symptoms of discomfort indicate serious fatal illnesses. I brood over the worry and work myself up into an extremely anxious state over my current "disease" until it's all I can think about, no matter what else I'm doing. Eventually I go to a doctor, who tells me I don't have anything fatal, but I don't believe it at first, and it takes time for me to recognize the truth. Then I'm OK for a while, (weeks, months, years sometimes), but eventually the cycle starts over again. Eventually I will have "real" disease (statistics and age win every time) and this of course terrifies me no end. So for me, anxiety occurs because of 'real' symptoms and also by imaging a scary future.

I've been this way since early childhood. One of my earliest "anxious" memories was crying and shaking in bed all night as a 7-yr-old because I'd watched part of a "Nova" TV show on Channel 11 about a surgery for a young girl cancer victim...who didn't survive. All night I thought about that girl and how I was sure I had the same disease she had. It bothered me for months, esp. at night -- I couldn't get the images out of my head.

All through childhood I 'suffered' from 'illnesses' but didn't usually tell anyone what I was worried about, I just kept it all inside. I knew it wasn't normal to worry about this stuff. But worry I did, constantly! (Of course, I had a good life and lots of fun, too! But there was lot of worry interspersed with the good times.)

As an adult, Lexapro helps me with anxiety. I most recently thought I had MS or another horrible disease. My physical symptoms were real but the Dr. said they were benign and stress-related. After starting Lexapro, the anxiety finally started to fade. I still have the sypmtoms periodically but just don't worry about them the same way, which is awesome! :)

I remember days when I'd wake up in a panic, sweating and just horrified (My Dr. said panic can be worst in the mornings), and basically amazed that I could still function!

So...I completely sympathize with you. I really do. Anxiety is AWFUL!!! For me, Lexapro (with occasional Xanax) has been a big godsend. I know other people have improved with therapy alone. I'm going to re-start therapy again soon to make sure that I stay on top of this. I hope you find the right solution for you!

(((goldenslumbers)))

JenStar

 

Re: Winning the Battle one day at a time

Posted by goldenslumbers on August 28, 2005, at 11:08:44

In reply to Re: Winning the Battle one day at a time goldenslumbers, posted by JenStar on August 28, 2005, at 10:05:20

Hi Jenstar,

Do you lose your appetite ?

It's one of the symptoms I need to overcome. I get a little nausea and bingo - no appetite. Now the fun starts. I worry about not eating and I can't sleep. Then I'm tired all the time.

I know the chest pains and dizzyness are my body reacting to fear and they will go away. I also understand that I worry that I will die someday but it is very unlikely that it will be today or tomorrow and when I do I will be thankful for every wonderful thing I got to experience during my life. Worrying won't change a thing.

Muck like you, the smallest symptom is blown up into a huge problem. I'm getting better at dealing with them but I don't know what to do for nausea and lack of appetite.

I am glad to hear you can have long stretches without symptoms. How are you doing right now ?

Thanks

GS

 

Re: Winning the Battle one day at a time goldenslumbers

Posted by JenStar on August 28, 2005, at 11:30:19

In reply to Re: Winning the Battle one day at a time, posted by goldenslumbers on August 28, 2005, at 11:08:44

hi GS,
when I was in severe anxiety (with the morning terrors), I DID lose my appetite, which for me is crazy unusual, as I'm typically at least 20 lbs overweight and love to eat.

But that's how I knew it was severe anxiety, because I just couldn't eat. At that time I lost a lot of weight (talk about mixed blessings) and got into one of the smallest sizes I've been in a long time. But it wasn't enjoyable for me, and I worried about the loss of appetite, because I knew it was a sign of serious anxiety.

When I started on the Lexapro, I DID gain weight back. But I don't think it was a med side effect, I think it was me just getting back my normal appetite. Once I was able to stabilize my anxiety, everything kind of leveled out again.

Right now I'm OK. I was great for a few months, now I feel that i'm "OK" and possibly trending back towards anxiety. That's why I really want to re-start therapy and keep working out regularly so that I can stay on top of this. Hopefully I can catch it before it gets bad again!

I hope you're able to get to a less anxious place, too. I know you will! I'm sorry you're not eating or sleeping. I know it sucks to "force feed" yourself, but if you can at least get down some nutritious things every day it should help you and the anxiety, too. But I know how hard that can be. :)


take care!
JenStar

 

Re: Winning the Battle one day at a time

Posted by goldenslumbers on August 28, 2005, at 15:31:18

In reply to Re: Winning the Battle one day at a time goldenslumbers, posted by JenStar on August 28, 2005, at 11:30:19

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

I thought I had beaten this but I guess I need to do some more work.

I am having trouble identifying what it is i'm scared of. I have accepted the death problem. Now I guess it's afraid of being sick, and yet worrying about it is making me sick. Once I'm distracted my symptoms go away so I know I need to stop thinking about it all the time. I hope to stay med free and get back to me, and I was there just 3 days ago.

All the best

GS


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