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Is this an unusual level of anxiety for this situation, or normal? And what can/should I do? Sorry, very long

(14 Posts)
TheChangerOfName Wed 30-Jul-14 17:47:53

I popped into the GPs this morning, wanting to make an appointment with the nurse I'd been told to make. They have one of those systems where the nurse tells you you need to see them in, say, September, so you should go in two months before to make an appointment. It was complicated slightly by another appointment I needed to make and the fact that there was some kind of computer problem, so the receptionist asked if I'd be okay to wait a moment whole she booked people in.

This was fine, but when she started trying to deal with it again, yet more people came in needing things dealt with, so I asked if it would help if I came back another time or went to sit down and wait, which she said was fine. It was busy for a bit, and then quietened down a bit, and this was the point at which I started to become anxious. Lightheaded, sweaty, fast pulse, pain/lump in throat, etc.

I didn't know whether she was expecting me to go back up there the moment it became quieter, or if she was still busy dealing with some of the business (she was typing). I was worried at this point that if I stood up I would faint. After about an hour during which levels of busyness went up and down, I managed to make myself stand up and ask if it would be better if I came back tomorrow, at which point she apologised, said she'd forgotten about me, and sorted out the appointments I needed.

I just about managed to get through it without fainting or crying but when I got out, I had to sit down for a few minutes trying to get my breathing etc. back to normal and had to ring DP to talk to him on the walk back home.

This is abnormal, anxiety-wise, isn't it? Is it worth seeing a doctor for? I've already tried various medications that I can't/won't take any more because of side effects, when I've had anxiety in the past, and CBT/graded exposure therapy. But TBH my anxiety was much worse then - I'm only getting like this two or three times a week for a few hours at a time, so I'm worried it's not going to be considered serious enough to warrant any more CBT (which has helped slightly in the past for anxiety, but I've for out of practice with the techniques).

Anyone have any experiences/opinions? I'm feeling a bit stuck.

TheChangerOfName Wed 30-Jul-14 17:50:06

GOT out of practice, I mean.

temporaryusername Wed 30-Jul-14 21:03:36

Yes, it is too much anxiety for the situation. It is good to see these signs now so you don't get as bad as you were before. Definitely go back to GP, and explain your history in case they have forgotten. Good luck. Are there any self help books that helped you in the past that could you use to get back into the techniques? Maybe someone can recommend one for general anxiety..

sorry to hear you're suffering with anxiety - and yes, that is too much for the situation. The "Overcoming...." series of books have a v gd reputation, hang on...

overcoming anxiety

may be worth a try.

I also find yoga to be extremely effective as a general management thing - helps to reduce the baseline anxiety levels so these sorts of peaks are less common. There's loads around, I'm using this youtube video at lot at the mo - v effective.

yoga video

wishing you all the best

TheChangerOfName Wed 30-Jul-14 21:26:24

Hi temporary, thankyou for answering. I guess I'm just a bit afraid of going to the GP with something for which they're just going to offer drugs/other solutions I have bad experiences of. I have permanent health conditions caused by some of the drugs I've had for mental illness before and am a bit loath to start taking drugs again, and I fear having to acknowledge that there are no good solutions - as long as I avoid going to the GP, I can believe that my anxiety is normal and conversely that, while it's not normal, there are solutions out there if only I were to choose to ask for them.

Queen, thankyou very much for the book recommendation. I have borrowed it from my online library and will have a read of it tonight. It looks like a CBT based thing? Which I've had some success with before. I've never tried yoga, though, so thankyou for the suggestion.

temporaryusername Wed 30-Jul-14 21:42:02

I know what you mean! There are probably always more solutions to try though, so whatever happens you can hold on to that hope!

I'm sorry about the problems caused by the drugs, that sounds like the last you needed. I've taken a few over the years, if you ever want to pm me about trying any feel free, even though I know everyone's reaction is different. It is fair to tell your GP that you want to go a drug-free route, unless you're completely disabled by anxiety they should be supportive of that. Hope the book helps! brew

TheChangerOfName Wed 30-Jul-14 21:52:52

Thankyou temporary; you're very generous with your time and effort. I seem to have been given nearly everything except tricyclic antidepressants (which I was offered but refused for personal reasons) over the years - several SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOIs, several atypical antipsychotics, several old-fashioned antipsychotics/major tranquillisers, beta-blockers, benzodiazepines, different types of mood stabilisers, epilepsy drugs, Parkinson's drugs (for the side-effects)… I got off the drug treadmill a few years ago and noticed very little significant difference smile I hope you're right and the GP will be amenable to avoiding my going down that path again.

TheChangerOfName Wed 30-Jul-14 21:56:12

I should stress these previous treatments weren't all for just the mild anxiety I'm experiencing at the moment - I think if I became as ill as I have before I would be given little choice about whether or not I took drugs grin But as you might imagine I've become very wary of doctors promising improvement via drugs.

You're v welcome. Sorry to hear about the side effects of drugs previously. Exercise does help - if you're able too.... the other thing I forgot to mention is Mindfulness - have you come across that?

Another book recommendation coming up wink


v v v highly recommended.... take care.

TheChangerOfName Wed 30-Jul-14 22:07:18

That recommendation looks interesting, Queen, thankyou. I have to admit I have absolutely no experience with mindfulness at all - but it looks from the description and the reviews like it could be very helpful for me. I'm currently reading the many intros and prefaces at the beginning of the "Overcoming" book you linked to, and hoping they don't go on too much longer grin

Exercise… that's a tricky one, slightly. I walk briskly for 30-60 minutes every other day, on top of normal activities and walking to places. It doesn't seem to help my mood much, but maybe it's not strenuous enough. I do find I get hot and sweaty and out of breath, though, which may gently hint at my fitness levels smile

You take care too, Queen.

That walking sounds v good changer (more than I do blush) but like you it doesn't always improve my mood. Are there any sports/types of exercise that you enjoy? Something different like dance or karate or squash?

Anyhow good luck with the intros!!!

TheChangerOfName Wed 30-Jul-14 22:45:52

Thanks Queen.

Ah, real exercise. I keep meaning to do it grin Walking is great because I don't have to interact with people much, but sports? They have people in them! shockgrin

There's a scheme at our council gym that allows people on certain benefits to have half-price memberships. I should look into it blush

Hee hee... its easy for me to give advice.... I walk and do yoga, but am really going to try and get myself to a dance type thing in September wink

TheChangerOfName Thu 31-Jul-14 11:36:40

Well, good luck - I hope you enjoy it. I have the coordination of a drunken sloth so dancing is out grin but it sounds fun.

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