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Thought I would post this in general discussion too to give others a chance to read it: Anxiety.

Igiveupsotornupinside's picture

I am sorry I am posting not totally about a step issue on this topic but more so about Anxiety/Panic and PTSD. If you read my past posts you know how I developed this disabling disease.

Its hard for me to ask or post questions about it but I do on here because I value what people say on here and I don't feel like finding a whole different forum for anxiety when it is all step based to begin with and I have come here about the main issues.

My question is basically to see if anyone out here has the similar situations as me. It helps me to understand and helps me in the way of not feeling so alone in this.

My anxiety/panic is sometimes 24/7. I can sometimes have it a day here and a day there but it always lasts a long time. My symptoms are many but the main ones is the off balance feeling, feeling sometimes like I want to faint. Feeling like I am going to die. Chest tightness, shaking in the hands, hard to breathe. I almost ALWAYS get these symptoms while driving a car, being in a busy place such as a grocery store and I get them every time I shower...yes shower...this is driving me nuts. I feel I have to adapt and I hate it. For the car, I stick to the town I am living in unless DH is with me. For the shower, I either wait till DH gets home for lunch for me to hop in the shower or I do it at night while he is here and then the next day I will just wash my hair in the sink to get rid of bed head. I hate this because before I got anxiety (which came from a combination of dealing with horrible SD19 combined with a tick borne illness) I never had issues like this. The thing that really ticks me off is I used to LOVE driving, so much that one of the reasons I was a police officer for so many years was due to being able to drive for 8 hour shift if I could. I loved driving! Now I cant stand it because of the way it makes me feel. I used to love long hot showers now they are reduced to the minimal just so I can get out. Sometimes I panic so much that I have to get out without shaving!!! This is driving me up a wall. Today it just got to me again.

I have had a big work up and nothing else is wrong with me that they found except that I have secondary anxiety and panic and due to having a ton of symptoms of PTSD, I have that too. I am in therapy. She is trying to teach me to emotionally detach from SD. I have only been to one session so far though. I am on alprazolam .25mg up to 3x a day as needed. I know there are many other pills that would probably be best for me but my doctor tried 5 of them and because I am so sensitive to medications I had to be just given the alprazolam as its the only thing that works for me. I am a weird one, even have to take extra salt in my diet due to too low of blood pressure haha. Ugh. Anyways I was wondering if anyone else has these issues. I know last time I posted I had a lot of feedback. I just want to know maybe because even after 2 years of it and being checked and scanned for everything under the sun medically, I wonder if they missed something. I highly doubt it since most the time I get really bad its because there is a trigger like the other day being warned that SD19 will most likely be at the family Christmas. I haven't seen her since June and don't want to see her. We may not be going. I don't want to get into that though because right now I am more concerned about my anxiety, panic and PTSD and wondering if it will ever go away or if I will be like this forever.

No I am not suicidal when I say this BUT I am thankful God gave me my babies otherwise I honestly don't think I would be here today. The disease hits me so physically even more then it hits me emotionally and mentally...its so physical. The doctor said it is debilitating anxiety and panic. This is killing me, I just want a normal life. Before this I was a up beat happy person who was full of energy. I was pulling a high GPA going back to college, had a baby while being in college and still functioned 100% that is the way I ALWAYS was even if I was going through crap. I was always good under pressure even when I worked as a cop but now I am a mess. I fall to pieces easily and I can barely function. I do a good job of hiding it now for my kids and really doing the best I can. I don't share this with many people in my life. I tend to let everyone looking in think everything is ok. Its not. I live with this horrible thing daily. My kids are what keep me moving and so does DH...we have our issues like a normal couple but he is wonderful to me and I am so thankful for that. Even stands by my side through this disengagement crap with SD19. Ok thanks.

Jsmom's picture

I suffer from anxiety, although I don't have it as debilitating as yours. I lost my husband and my son back to back years ago and get panic and anxiety that comes on out of nowhere. Anti depressants helped when it was at it's height along with Xanax. Thankfully, I did the therapy and have learned to control them as they are not that frequent anymore.

You have to stay in therapy and disengage from your SD completely. That helped me tremendously...

Igiveupsotornupinside's picture

I am staying in therapy for sure, I have started to detach from her already but I know I need more help. The one thing I do have is that I am focusing on just my bio children right now, good SD22 doesn't really need much from me. We are more on a friend level so that helps. My babies though, they need me and that is what woke me up. I just still deal with this anxiety and it drives me nuts with how physical it is. I can have good days and then it just hits! I am so sorry to hear you lost your husband and your son. My heart goes out to you.

TJH100911's picture

I also lost a child and my husband at the same time and feel for you. It's a struggle every day.

Igiveupsotornupinside's picture

Wow it is similar! My doctor had just casually mentioned PTSD but didn't diagnose and when I went searching for a therapist I found one that was recommended by my pastor. She is a Christian based therapist and when she called me I told her about the PTSD and she told me that she can help me with that and when I told her I wasn't officially diagnosed she said it sounds like I have it BUT that its good its not diagnosed, she said it will follow me around if it is written medically. She apparently worked 15 years for the government as a therapist and decided to practice on her own providing therapy. I like that she is like this, she is going to be doing CBT and trying to teach me how to emotionally detach. I had to say this to you because after reading what you said, it made me think of what she said to me. Thank you for your advice and sharing your story. Are you still in corrections? I did a bit of corrections during my 7 years in law enforcement but left to go back to school for social work.

Igiveupsotornupinside's picture

That is exactly what I need to focus on positive thinking. I have always been one to think of the worst case scenario. I still do it. I do like the way my therapist thinks also, one of the big reasons I chose her and even though I only met her once I like her already because she is one that will talk and explain things. The last counselor I saw basically just nodded a lot. I need someone to speak to me lol. I have been applying for social work jobs now and I just applied for one for a prison. I was hoping to get completely out of law enforcement but I guess it never really leaves your blood. I applied many other places too but that was the most recent.

Tranquility81's picture

I suffer from Anxiety, PTSD, and Depression...

It sounds like you have a bit of Social Anxiety and Depression too, if you haven't already explored that with your therapist I would recommend doing so. Social Anxiety treatment can differ from Generalized Anxiety.

Ugh, Anxiety. I was in a Depression/Anxiety group one time and the facilitator asked us what we felt was more crippling Depression or Anxiety and almost everyone chose Anxiety ***Interesting side note, the ones who chose Depression were Bi-polars who felt like life could function better when they were in a state of Anxiety***

Be careful with the Xanax. I loved Xanax and it calmed me down incredibly, however I became semi-dependent on it. Withdrawals from Xanax ( and any other kind of fast acting anti-anxiety drug ) are nothing to mess around with. The best advice I got from a doctor about Xanax was " take it when your body has completely forgotten what a relaxed feeling is, use it as a reminder and try to emulate that feeling without the drug"

I also found great relief with a semi-high dosage of Celexa daily. Takes a long time to build up, but it's worth it. Many side effects though ( ear ringing, restless legs, tired, etc ) But sometimes the side effects are worth it.

I did EMDR Light Therapy for my PTSD. Look it up. It's a left brain right brain thing.

I usually find that if my Anxiety is worsening these things are off:

Eating healthy
Drinking enough water
Exercise ( cliche, but soooooo true )
Any form of meditation or mind-clearing ( to prevent that snowball effect of anxious thoughts of doom )
Retreating from family and friends
Finances ( reckless spending sometimes appears with my anxiety )
Home getting messy and unmanageable

That being said, one of the most difficult things to do when you are feeling anxious is to realize if one ( or all ) of these things are off. That's the part that I need to work hardest on, getting unstuck. I tend to freeze in my anxiety. I usually just start with something small to remind myself a small hike, clean the kitchen, make a date with a friend, etc. It also helps to let your partner know when to "unstuck" you. My DH has gotten pretty good at recognizing when I need a little push.

I totally relate with your last paragraph. Do not let this get worse, because it will. And usually we think we are hiding it but we're not. Our kids, family and even husbands realize that we are not our best selves.

Igiveupsotornupinside's picture

After the work up medically I had I know its not depression, I took the tests in the psychologists office and found that it is more of GAD. The depression only hits for a day and its after I have had a week long of nothing but constant anxiety, I get depressed because of having to deal with the anxiety if that makes sense.

I know all about Xanax that is why we tried the other 5 drugs but it didn't work for me. My doctor will not and I will not let her up my dose. I only take it when I just cant take it anymore. Some days I only take one. My doctor also said after the holidays she would help me wean off if I was ready. I have been on it for almost 2 years. She said that it will take months for the wean off with the way she does it. So I feel safe knowing that she will help with this. She is an amazing doctor. I am aware its a PRN but honestly the only thing that helps to calm me down. It doesn't fully take it away but it knocks the physical symptoms down and that's the part I hate the most is the physical symptoms.

You are right, on the eating right, drinking water and exercising stuff. I need to do that more, I do notice a difference when I do that but I sometimes forget to eat right or drink the water...I know crazy of me knowing that it would help...I just get so damn busy and then at night I think oh yeah, I should have ate this instead or oh no, I didn't drink an ounce of water today. lol.

I have completely taken myself out of SDs life. She is an adult so it is easy to do that...I was doing great for a bit and then I heard about Christmas and its like it all came back. She is a HUGE trigger for me. I need to learn to let it go and just ignore her even if I have to see her, just ignore her...I think I am more worked up because I have been blessed with not seeing her since June 2nd and now I have to possibly see her so this would be the first time I have seen her in months. I think the first time is going to be the hardest. If we do go, I am going to make sure I am never alone so I don't get confronted and I am going to keep my distance. I will be rather cold in front of her. This would be much easier if she wasn't pregnant though. But I keep telling myself that although I loved her like she was my own...she is not mine. I have my own babies and they need me more. I need to make myself look at her as just a family member and not a daughter. I have to do this for my daughters, they need me, not her. She burned that bridge for 4 years in a row and its past forgiveness time.