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Not sure I can go on

(83 Posts)
ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 11:49:44

Hi everyone, I've posted on here before, quite a while ago, under a different name.

I have generalised anxiety disorder. I have been feeling so awful the past few days that I feel like I can't cope anymore.

I'm coming to the end of my PhD and need to find a job. That has got me worried, but now it's not so much the situation that I'm worried about, rather the fact that I'm having a relapse. I can't stand this feeling. It's horror. I get so anxious about being anxious.

I have left DH alone at home today and come into my office so I can be alone. I feel awful for doing this. When I'm this anxious, I smoke a lot and DH hates it. He feels it's a sign that I'm not fighting hard enough, that I'm just letting the feelings get me. I used to smoke a lot more, but have been wearing nicotine patches at weekends and when we're on holiday, and doing pretty well. DH is the kindest man - he was so gentle with me yesterday when I was having panic attacks, but this is too much for him. He has such a stressful job and really, really needs the weekends to rest. So I had to get away - to be alone, to smoke. I feel like scum.

I've been on several different meds - I'm on Sertralone 200mg now and I thought I was getting better. I hate this cycle of get better for a while, then get worse. I've been doing mindfulness meditation and thought it was a game changer but I let it slide during the Christmas holidays and feel like that might be related to how I'm feeling.

DH is 38, I'm 28. We so want to have a baby. We knew we had to wait until my PhD was over and I thought I was really getting better. Now I feel like we can never have children, because I'll never get well. If I crack up or smoke during pregnancy, it would hurt the baby. And I'd be a bad, unwell mother. And smoking will kill me one day.

I wish I'd been born to a horrible family and never met DH, because then nobody would be hurt if I killed myself. He bought me a juicer for Christmas. We were meant to have a nice day making juice today. But I've just been throwing up, smoking and now all the fruit and veg he bought me will go bad. I'm a horrible person and I feel like I just want to die.

I'm sorry for the ramble, I just needed to get this out.

lastnightopenedmyeyes Sun 05-Jan-14 11:56:42

Hi. I'm sorry I don't have much of use to say but couldn't read and run. I just wanted you to know that things can get better, and although it feels impossible now none of your problems are insurmountable.

I recently lost my sister to mental health problems, she took her life. I have also struggled with severe depression so I can see both sides.

Anyway, I'm just here to hold your hand and hoping someone wiser and more knowledgable comes along in a minute x

lastnightopenedmyeyes Sun 05-Jan-14 11:58:00

I see you are on meds, do you have an appt set up with your doctor to discuss options if you feel it's not working well? Have you considered counselling?

ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 12:00:25

Thank you for the hand holding, lastnight, it means a lot.

I'm so sorry to hear about your sister and your own struggles. I've had 3 lots of CBT and quite a lot of counselling, but nothing seems to have helped in the long run. I feel so tired of changing meds only for them to fail again after a while. And I know there are issues with taking meds in pregnancy/BFing. I just feel like such a waste of a life.

lastnightopenedmyeyes Sun 05-Jan-14 12:07:15

Oh don't ever feel you're a waste of life thanks You just haven't found the right treatment yet, it's hard work for anybody but when you're so down you can't think straight, it seems impossible. I know.

lastnightopenedmyeyes Sun 05-Jan-14 12:11:58

If I may also say, your DH sounds like mine and I know how it feels when you think you are a burden, but he loves you and is there for you so if you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope - please go to him. For both your sakes.

LastingLight Sun 05-Jan-14 12:20:39

I have the same problem with meds as you do (depression, borderline bipolar) - they work for a while and then stop working, or they don't work at all and cause terrible side effects. I understand feeling like a horrible waste of space. Hang in there. When you finally find the correct combo of meds, and you will, it is an incredible relief. I've been stable for more than a year now and it's incredible to feel human again. You have to speak to your doc about this asap.

Congratulations on your PhD. I've been a part time student for 11 years now and it's very tough. Don't underestimate how much it would have taken out of you. What did you study?

As for the baby... I've never been pregnant so I haven't had to stop my meds. There are some meds that are low risk and you can continue to take while pregnant. My dd is adopted and that is perhaps an option you can explore? Discuss this with your doc as well. My illness has meant that dd has had a hard life at times but kids are resilient, they get through it.

I agree with lastnightopenedmyeyes, don't shut your DH out. Mine is my rock and I would not survive without him.

Here's another hand for you to hold.

ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 12:30:16

Thank you lastnight and lastinglight - DH is a great person but I just feel that I can't go back to him right now. I'll be smoking, and in such a state and he can't stand that.

I feel like I can't go to my house because everything around me reminds me of anxious episodes and it's all too much.

LastingLight Sun 05-Jan-14 12:39:11

Hmmm... I don't know how your medical system works in the UK (I'm South African), but if I felt as bad as you did I would consider contacting my doc or whichever psychiatrist is on standby. You could also go to A&E. You are ill, it's not your fault, and you deserve help.

lastnightopenedmyeyes Sun 05-Jan-14 13:02:09

Yes I second that. I really don't like the thought of you sat at work alone and unable to go home.

ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 13:05:45

Thanks LastingLight - my GP is closed today and I don't think I could manage the wait in A+E on my own, but I'll call my GP first thing tomorrow.

LastingLight Sun 05-Jan-14 13:13:29

Don't go on your own, get DH to go with.

I'm fairly new on MN and hugs seem to be frowned upon but you are in need of one: ((HUG))

LastingLight Sun 05-Jan-14 13:14:06

BTW are you being treated by a gp? With your history you should be seeing a psychiatrist.

ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 13:36:02

flowers LastingLight, a hug is very much appreciated right now. I was having CBT last year but was discharged. I didn't feel it helped very much, but I saw it through to the end.

MN can be so great. It makes me feel less lonely in all this.

lastnightopenedmyeyes Sun 05-Jan-14 13:39:02

Hang in there. I'm checking back as often as I can,I have a 3 year old DS with a nasty cold. And I'm 38 weeks pregnant - so I'm here all day and will keep checking back in case you need to chat. X

ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 13:42:07

Thank you, lastnight, and I hope your DS isn't feeling too poorly. x

ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 14:55:53

I miss my DH. I miss his kind, lovely face. I miss the times when we've been happy together, when I've not been like this. He can't be happy when I'm like this. I feel like we can never have the life we want because of this bloody curse of mental illness.

lastnightopenedmyeyes Sun 05-Jan-14 15:41:26

With his help and support you can get back to that, but you have to be honest with him about how you are feeling. thanks

LastingLight Sun 05-Jan-14 15:44:08

ProfondoRosso imagine for a moment that it was your DH that was ill rather than you. Would you want him to try and cope on his own or would you want to be there for him?

lastnightopenedmyeyes I hope your ds feels better soon. My dd is visiting her grandparents on the other end of the country and I miss her.

ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 15:49:40

I would want to be there for him, Lasting. I really would. But he just can't handle me when I'm like this. He has so much stress at work. He says sometimes that I obviously care about smoking more than him. And I don't. I love him so much. It's just this horrible bloody anxiety and my stupid behaviour that goes with it.

I tried saying to him this morning that this 'me' is still a part of me right now and, though I want to change that, it's very, very hard. But he just thinks I'm giving up and not fighting.

Preciousbane Sun 05-Jan-14 15:54:52

Your stress levels while writing up will be through the roof, hence feeling very unwell. I lived through the write up of my ex boyfriends PhD and he being just about the most stable person you could ever meet found it hard to cope. I remember him crying a few times, seriously it was just so out of character.

I think you need a review by a medical professional and be totally honest with them.

ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 16:00:16

You're right, Preciousbane. The stress of writing up really doesn't help. When I'm feeling good, I think how good it will be to have the thesis done and hopefully find some work that's more structured, less introspective.

Preciousbane Sun 05-Jan-14 16:09:30

How far through your write up are you? Would you consider counselling through your University? As it will be free.

Do you think the worry of him being irritated by your anxiety makes you more anxious ? bit of a vicious circle situation.

Your only 28, just put the thinking about having dc right to the back of your head for the moment.Writing up a thesis and pondering the next huge step is too much for anyone, anxious or not. I think with anxiety, which I have had myself you question your every move . You know what though at huge crisis points people without anxiety also question themselves. It has taken me a long time to realise I am not as odd as I think I am. Sorry I hope that makes sense.

LastingLight Sun 05-Jan-14 16:11:10

I'm sorry your DH finds it hard to cope with you not being well. It can be so difficult for people who have never had a mental to imagine what it is like. Would he be willing to see a counselor to work through his feelings about your illness and come up with a strategy for helping you?

What is the subject of you thesis?

ProfondoRosso Sun 05-Jan-14 16:16:40

I'm very nearly finished, Precious - I should only be another few weeks at most. You're right - the effect my anxiety has on him makes me feel a lot worse. I've ruined a couple of his birthdays since we've been together because I've been in the middle of an episode. He says it's OK, they weren't ruined, but I can't get rid of the guilt.

He had a bad childhood, and was actually in a psychiatric hospital himself in his early 20s - he was diagnosed bipolar but thinks it was a mis-diagnosis because he's so much better now and hasn't taken meds in years. So when his birthday comes around, it can be hard because he only has bad memories - family not caring, feeling alone as a child. And I just go and make it worse.

Lasting, him seeing a counsellor is something to think on. I think he can't understand why I can't just work hard at getting better, like he did. My thesis is on French cinema.

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