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Don't know whether I need to talk to someone about anxiety...

(21 Posts)
HeeBeeGeebies Sat 27-Jul-13 17:24:59

I've recently realised that my anxiety levels are a bit high. I have always been quite anxious but I thinks it's worse since my 2 year old was born, my anxiety is definitely more localised since he was born. My main worries are death and health related. I panic about getting on the tube incase someone has a bomb to the extent that I will get off, I don't travel on the tube unless absolutely necessary. I also panic as a passenger in a car and envisage crashing constantly.

My main problem is worrying about death, at least twice a day. Once the thought enters my mind I can't stop thinking about it and it makes me physically tense and slightly hysterical.

I don't know if it's bad enough for me to seek help, or whether these are anxieties that everyone has and just gets on with. I have taken citalopram in the past but didn't like it and I would rather not use medication. Ideally I would like to have psychotherapy but I'm currently unemployed so financially that wouldn't be possible.

I'm just a bit sick of these thoughts entering my mind constantly and causing me stress and physical discomfort.

Tigglettchic Sat 27-Jul-13 17:33:09

Hi, well done for seeking answers.

I have lived with anxiety for 12 years, at times it has been debilitating but when you lerarn that you control it, it does not control you, it makes life easier.

My recommendations are for you to go to the gp, be totally honest, even if you worry they are 'too small' or 'silly'. Ask for some cognitive behavioural therapy or neuro linguistic programming. Both are awesome and effective.

Good luck, remember, when you try to rationalise that your worries are too small or stupid, remember that if they affect your life they are real.

Emx

HeeBeeGeebies Sat 27-Jul-13 17:41:04

Thanks for a quick reply.

I think that I've got to a point where it really is starting to have an impact on my everyday life. Also for the 1st time ever I have had thoughts along the lines of "I am going to die anyway so why don't I take control of that myself instead of waiting for the inevitable", which I know is irrational and I would never really consider suicide but those thoughts are worrying me.

Also there is a history of mental illness in my family which I worry about. My father killed himself when I was younger and I know my little brother has suffered from anxiety and depression.

I have a gp appointment on the 5th for something unrelated but will talk to the dr about it then. I know about CBT but will have a read up on neural linguistic programming too, thank you.

Tigglettchic Sat 27-Jul-13 17:48:20

Oh bless you.

When you have deep, dark thoughts, think of you dc.

I personally would get an earlier appointment as I find, when I start thinking or talking openly about it, I can get worse. You owe it to yourself.

In the mean time, google 'Talking Thaerapy' who are a phone based counselling service.

Good luck and keep talking

Holliewantstobehot Sat 27-Jul-13 21:32:20

Just wanted to say the same thing happened to me after the birth of my eldest. It didn't help that my dad died a year later and was in and out of hospital alot. I used to lie in bed stomach churning convinced i had cancer but knowing at the same time i didn't. I ended up breaking down at the gp and had some couselling. The counseller pointed out that my actual fear was my children going through what i had gone through losing my dad. She also helped me come up with lots of strategies for dealing with my anxiety. Unfortunately my mum died soon after then exh left and i relasped but with more general anxiety and depression. I took sertraline for six months and am much better but still get short bouts of anxiety. But it is not all day everyday like it was. I am hoping to conquer it for good one day. Hope ur gp helps u. Mine was lovely. Say you want to try talking therapies first.

HeeBeeGeebies Sat 27-Jul-13 23:17:51

Thank you Tigg for the recommendations and for replying at all. I will make an appointment with my gp early on Monday.

Hollie, I'm sorry you've had such a hard time. I think what I'm hoping for the most is ways of dealing with these feelings as I know they'll never really go away as I know that I am going to die at some point! I just need a way to deal with them, some sort of coping mechanism. Something like CBT would probably be helpful. I'm glad your councillor was able to give you ways in which to deal with similar anxieties.

I'm sure a lot of new parents have similar feelings, I became so much more aware of my own mortality after my son was born. Although I've always been overly anxious about death, I remember lying in bed when I was about 8 years old and sobbing because I just couldn't get my head around it.

Writing all this down is making me upset but it's also the most honest I've been with myself in a long time.

Tigglettchic Tue 30-Jul-13 15:27:02

Hi, Sorry, I typed along message yesterday and have only just realised it did not post!!

How are you doing? Did you get to a GP tomorrow?

xx

Holliewantstobehot Tue 30-Jul-13 18:30:30

Just wanted to say don't rule out getting rid of it completely. I am now quite ambivalent about the issue and can even watch casualty. I used to have to turn things off/over if cancer or death was mentioned but now I am ok with it. My anxiety is much more general now and also very low level - basically I don't worry day to day but freak out if something happens. My ds flooded the bathroom and it came through the ceiling. It's all fine but I had a bad two days!! Take all the help you can get and believe that it can get better. I hope you have managed to get some help and are coping day to day.

HeeBeeGeebies Tue 30-Jul-13 22:12:24

Thank you both for replying again.

I got an emergency appointment today with a Dr I hadn't met before. I've had a weird rash across my chest for a couple of weeks and used that as an excuse to make the appointment because I was too embarrassed to tell the receptionist why I was calling hmm. Anyway, after wasting time going on about my rash, I broke down in front of the Dr and explained some of whats been worrying me. He was really kind but we didn't get to talk too much because it wasn't a "proper" appointment. He has started a referral to my local psychiatric hospital for "talking therapy" but said he wasn't sure how long it would take. He also asked me to book a double appointment with him in 2 weeks time, when he is back from holiday to discuss my options more. We did talk about whether I wanted to start taking citalopram again but I decided against it. He seemed concerned that I mentioned having thoughts of taking control of my own death and also thinking that I maybe have a genetic predisposition to mental illness/suicide but I feel confident that that is not an issue for me at the moment. He also told me that if I start to feel really awful I should call the local seldoc.

I haven't been feeling great over the last two days, I'm struggling to sleep and haven't felt able to eat properly. But I am functioning pretty normally so I suppose that's good. I just feel so strange. Like I said before, I have suffered from anxiety in the past, sometimes quite badly but it has always been quite general feelings of anxiety, panic etc.. And those sort of episodes were usually triggered by something, eg. I went through a phase of having very bad panic attacks after a break-up and again when I was about to be kicked off of my degree course. How I feel now is different, there is no cause for my anxiety and I'm not having panic attacks. It's almost as if I'm high, I'm constantly sort of bopping up and down and tingling. That probably doesn't make much sense because it doesn't make sense to me and it's a bit scary. I am trying really hard to not let thoughts of death etc. enter my head but it's hard, I was washing up earlier and it all started going round and round in my mind and I had to stop and watch tv for a bit to take my mind off of it. If I'm not feeling like that, I'm just feeling a bit miserable. I'm finding it hard to get up in the mornings and get on with things because I feel physically exhausted which I'm sure is from all the redundant panicking, my head feels heavy and foggy. I am managing to be normal with my toddler though, he is really the only thing making me happy at the moment but I also feel too tired/deflated for him, which makes me feel guilty and horrible.

Hollie, thank you for telling me that. I'm glad that you have got to the point where you can be ambivalent about it. I really relate to the example of watching casualty, I struggle to read the newspaper as every time I see something death related it sends me into a panic. It's ridiculous.

I am going to do some research into other anti anxiety medication as I really have no idea about it. When I was taking citalopram, it was because it was the first thing mentioned to me and I was a bit desperate at the time.

Sorry for such a rambling post. I'm not expecting replies, it is just good for me to get this all down, thank you for your kind replies so far.

koolforcats Tue 30-Jul-13 22:22:03

Hi heebee I'm sorry you're struggling with this. I suffer from anxiety too and am glad that you're taking steps to help yourself. You sound very sensible and self aware. I take sertraline which I think has helped quite a bit. I started with seroxat but didn't get in with that. I also have counselling. It is possible for you to feel better than you do right now, I assure you. If taking a day at a time feels too difficult, just start by putting one foot in front of the other x

HeeBeeGeebies Tue 30-Jul-13 22:53:58

Thank you kool, I'm sorry that you have had to deal with similar feelings. I have just been reading up on severe anxiety and I am shocked by how many of the physical symptoms I have. Ironically these physical symptoms send me into more panic as I misinterpret them to be signs of serious illness. I saw my Dr not long ago because I thought I had an underlying heart condition but he explained that it was probably down to stress and anxiety. That's another reason that I want to get these feelings under control as I know it can't be doing my physical health any favours.

I have been reading about sertraline, it seems to be a common anti anxiety medication. I'm hoping to get as educated as possible so that when I return to the Dr I am able to discuss my options thoroughly.

Holliewantstobehot Fri 02-Aug-13 11:09:22

So glad you have seen someone. Everytime I read your posts I see my own experiences reflected back at me. I too had ongoing anxiety rather than actual panic attacks and I also went to the docs several times with things I thought were cancer related but were in fact stress related (IBS and irregular bleeding). It is utterly exhausting living like that and I really feel for you. Just the daily battle trying to avoid things likely to spark you off. I remember standing in the library flicking through books to see if they were safe to read or whether they would have an illness story line in them and sitting with the remote in my hand so I could turn the tv over straight away if anything came on. Sertraline also was a big help for me. I took it for 6 months and it did work. Don't feel too guilty about your dc, you are obviously trying hard to keep things going for him and that is brilliant. Just do the best you can. I remember taking the kids to school one day and coming home and spending all day crying on the sofa then going to pick them up and trying to get a grip on myself. I don't think I would have asked for help as soon as I did if I hadn't had my dcs. Take care - I will be thinking of you.

HeeBeeGeebies Sun 04-Aug-13 22:22:01

Hi Hollie, thanks for another kind post. I feel like my Drs are probably sick of the sight of me! I went to the GP about 5 times in one month as I thought I had bowel cancer (my FIL was diagnosed with it at the end of last year, he is fully recovered now). I am now fixated on skin cancer and have an appointment with a dermatologist the week after next. Neurological illness also terrify me, I worry that I have MS or a brain tumour. You're right it is exhausting living like this.

I do find it quite easy to push the health anxiety to the back of my mind though. What really bothers me and enters my head way too often, is the thought of my own death. When I will die, how old I will be, what will it be like, leaving people behind etc.. I am not religious so for me death is the end and it terrifies me, I just play it over and over in my head, trying to work out how it's physically possible for me to just stop and never be aware of anything ever again. I feel sick thinking about it. I have now started applying these anxieties to other people, like my mum and son. Which is just awful and makes me incredibly upset.

I have been thinking about it, and while I was not keen to start medication again, I think that it may be a good idea. I'm hoping that medication may at least numb some of the physical side effects of my constant worrying, as I am noticing them more and more and it is starting to get me down. It's encouraging to hear positive things about sertraline and it's definitely something I will talk to my Dr about.

I've felt a bit better over the last few days as I've been quite busy, having days out with my DS and other family. The busier I am, the less likely I am to have horrible thoughts, although they do creep in occasionally. I was very tired last night and went to bed to watch a film, I was about to fall asleep when I just started replaying the same awful thought over and over until I burst into tears.

I am going to keep posting here as I find it much easier to gather my thoughts (and attempt to rationalise them!) by writing them down. I need to talk to my DP about all of this as amazingly he is oblivious to what has been going on in my head. I may wait until I have heard back re my referral though.

Holliewantstobehot Sun 04-Aug-13 22:56:29

Glad youve had a couple of better days. I cant not post because where you are is where i was eight years ago and i have never met anyone else who has been through this kind of anxiety. So now i feel less alone and i hope you do too. Sertraline was good but the first week or so is awful as you feel worse BUT in the long run it was the right thing for me. I hope you can access some therapy too as i found that very helpful. Anyway will be thinking of you. Hope your dp is supportive - funny how you can be in chaos in your head yet seem ok to everyone else! Did that for a long time myself. Keeping busy does help but then being tired used to set me off so bit of a vicious circle really. Just do anything you can to keep yourself going until the help kicks in. I used to read my old childrens books - still do if i'm stressed - i call them my comfort books. Sad but true! But it did help.

HeeBeeGeebies Sun 04-Aug-13 23:57:44

Hollie, it's definitely reassuring to know someone else has been through similar, even though it makes me sad because I know how difficult it is to have to deal with it. And while I know you've said that you still have problems with anxiety, it is so good to know that you have been able to move on from this particular worry. I'm feeling more positive about getting passed this, which is surprising because before I felt as if there would never been any plausible end to my anxieties.

Yes, I think my DP is probably aware that something isn't quite right as I have been down and probably quite irritable. Although he would probably say that I was irritable most of the time anyway!

I totally get the re-reading of old, familiar books. I have been re-watching a lot of my favourite films (I often don't have the energy to read), including things like Harry Potter which my DP hmms at but they are a sort of safety blanket for me. When I first moved out of home I used to watch the same DVDs night after night to help me sleep, sounds so pathetic but it helps!

My DP is out tonight and I have "treated" myself to a couple of glasses of wine so I am feeling relaxed and sleepy and am heading off to bed. Thank you again for sharing your experiences with me.

Holliewantstobehot Wed 07-Aug-13 23:08:05

Hope you are doing ok - just posting to say that really and that i have been thinking of you. Agree with harry potter being good comfort books!

HeeBeeGeebies Tue 13-Aug-13 01:08:22

Hi Hollie, I've been meaning to reply but have been finding it hard to concentrate over the last few days.

I'm ok, I'm feeling very tired. I'm struggling to get up in the mornings but then going to bed in the early hours so it's a bit of a vicious circle! I've been keeping busy, trying to keep my mind off of things but it's hard. I've been worrying about my health, I have a dermatology appointment on Wednesday about my moles which is worrying me. I've also been getting a weird tingling sensation in my chest, it's troubling me but I'm trying to put it to the back of my mind.

I'm still waiting to hear from the hospital, I'm hoping that I'll get a letter or phone call soon. When you had counselling, was it arranged by your gp? If so how long did it take? We're off to visit my grandmother in Wales at the end of this week, I'm dreading it to be honest. She is quite a..difficult woman, but she is also a terrible driver and as she lives in the middle of nowhere we will be relying on her to get around. I'm worrying about it already and have had a few irrational thoughts about crashing etc.

Thank you for thinking of me, hopefully next time I post I'll have heard from the hospital re my referral and have a better idea of how I'm going to get passed this.

HeeBeeGeebies Sun 01-Sep-13 10:25:19

I'm just posting as I've been feeling horrible for the last couple of days and I just wanted to vent a bit.

I have seen my Dr again and we talked about medication but we both agreed that for now I would have something purely to control the physical side of my anxiety. I can't remember what he gave me because we've come to visit my PIL and I forgot the bloody tablets!

I had a horrible day yesterday as we had to go to the place that my father killed himself with my PIL. I always feel panicky when we go there (not often) but this time was worse because my PIL wouldn't stop going on about how awful it was there, how it smelt etc, it's a building in a small city. I got really upset and panicky, then I felt horrible for the rest of the day. I got really upset when I put my son to bed, I couldn't stop thinking about leaving him when I die, it was awful.

Feel exhausted today and just want to stay in bed but have to go for a walk with PIL and then out this evening.

I got a letter about my referral, I had to fill out some questionnaires and send them back. Apparently once they receive them it will take a couple of weeks before I see anyone. I'm worrying though because I had to give information about my son. I know it's for safety reasons but it made me feel uncomfortable and anxious.

ENormaSnob Mon 02-Sep-13 15:45:05

Hi there HeeBee.

I have just found your thread and could have pretty much written your posts word for word.

My dc4 is 5 months old now and I have struggled since he was a few weeks old. In particular being convinced I have skin cancer sad

With hindsight I have experienced this after the birth of each child. Although things are a lot worse this time.

I have seen (my very lovely) GP and have an assessment next week to start CBT. She is reluctant to start me on meds as I am breastfeeding.

How are you getting on?

HoopHopes Mon 02-Sep-13 19:28:44

Hello. Gp's can refer to different things depending in what is available in your area. Some people are referred straight for assessment for a talking therapy which is short term and it is usually quick access. More medium term therapy has longer waiting lists to start as its popular and limited by resource etc. sometimes they refer people to a psychiatric team, often referred to as a CMHT or their pathfinder ( ie assessment team or whatever it is called in each area!) team for assessment, diagnosis if necessary and then they refer on for medication under a psychiatrist if needed and any talking therapy if needed. It all depends on what you been referred to as to how long it takes. If it helps if you had a physical health condition you now have a right to be seen by a dr at the hospital by 18 weeks ( used to be longer and no time limits!!!) so if they are talking a few weeks that is quite quick, if it helps!!

HeeBeeGeebies Tue 03-Sep-13 12:11:49

Hi Enorma,

Thanks for your reply, I'm sorry that you are having similar anxieties. I remember when my son was really small I used to sit there and think "shit, there's no way that something can happen to me now. I need to always be here for him." sad I think that was when the reality of my own mortality really hit me and it has terrified me since.

Have you seen anyone about your skin cancer worries? I saw a dermatologist a couple of weeks ago and they confirmed that all my moles (I have a lot!) were fine and they gave me some information on what changes to look out for etc.. It did put my mind at rest.

I've heard so many good things about CBT, please let me know how you get on with it. From my limited knowledge of therapies, CBT seems like a good option for this type of anxiety.

I felt a bit better yesterday. We went to see my younger sister before she heads of to university, which was nice. I look at her and she is so sensible and "together", the complete opposite of me! I made the mistake of watching the latest Star Trek film with dp and bil last night though. There were a couple of scenes that really upset me and I had to leave the room at one point. It's so frustrating because everyone else was just sitting there watching what was meant to be an action film and I was sitting there traumatised!

Thanks Hoop, I know that these things can take time and the hospital I have been refered to is massive and basically caters for a whole London borough so they must be pushed to their absolute limits!

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