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Stress/anxiety/depression/just having a rough time...what is wrong with me?

(5 Posts)
BornToFolk Mon 22-Feb-16 11:42:52

So, for about the past year, I've been having issues with what I've been calling "anxiety". It's mostly been brought about by a relationship that started in Jan last year and ended in Aug. It was a really rough relationship. Without going into too much detail, the guy had some fairly signficant mental health issues himself which took their toll both on the relationship and me. He's recently started seeing someone else which has triggered another wave of whatever it is for me.

My symptoms are a tightness in the chest. I feel as though there's a bowling ball lodged just above my stomach which makes it hard to eat. I lose my appetite. Even though I'm hungry, I can't face food. I have difficulty sleeping. I usually drop off fine but wake up around 4am and can't get back to sleep because my mind is racing. I'm irritable, find it difficult to focus and am just generally very distracted. I just feel tired and listless. My head is always somewhere else...usually thinking about my ex...

I saw the GP last year who recommended doing some Mindfulness stuff which I have been doing on and off since last spring and it does help when I can face doing it. I've also been taking St John's Wort which again I think helps. I've also really, really been trying to take care of myself by doing lots of exercise, seeing friends, eating well etc. So, I have been doing OK but it's definitely felt like I'm managing something that is always there, if that makes sense?

Last week, I was thinking I was doing really well. I felt in control of my life, had lots of nice social things planned etc. Then I found out about my ex and his new girlfriend and I feel shit again.

There's a history of depression in my family and I had some post-natal anxiety after DS was born 8 years ago that I basically managed to pull myself out of through strength of will!

I really don't know if I'm just a bit stressed and if this is all a perfectly normal reaction to a relationship breakdown, or if there's something more going on. And if there is a something more, what it is and what I should do about it.

NanaNina Mon 22-Feb-16 17:21:25

You are describing anxiety and it's horrible. You don't need me to tell you at you are well rid of this bloke (and you describe the relationship as really rough) plus his mental health issues. The girl he is with now will also be having a "rough relationship" so she's more to be pitied.

Do you mean that you didn't have this anxiety before you started the r/ship - if so it does seem that was the trigger.

I think you need to see the GP again and get some meds - a lot of the ADs work very well for anxiety. I'm not sure how helpful it is for you to try to analyse what is going on because you really are describing classis anxiety. I am no medic by the way but have suffered MH issue for many years and gained knowledge along the way. I wonder if your self esteem is a bit low given that you fell apart when you heard about the ex and the new girl friend. Could you afford to pay for some private therapy to talk about the issues that are troubling you. If so look up www.bacp.org.uk and you will find someone in you area.

BornToFolk Mon 22-Feb-16 18:36:23

Thank you NanaNina.

I did wonder if it's anxiety as I don't have specific worries, if that makes sense?

No, I didn't have it before this relationship. I'd say I was quite stressed in some ways though, there were a few things bubbling under...single parenthood, crap ex, crap job that meant I wasn't 100% happy. But the relationship was definitely the trigger.

I know I am well rid. He's a good bloke, honestly but his issues make him hard to be with and it was never going to work for us. I know that rationally but...

My self esteem is pretty good, I think! I am dating (well trying to..decent men seem thin on the ground!) and I know I'm a good catch.

I should also say that I feel much better now than when I wrote that post this morning. But that's how my anxiety is. I feel worst in the morning, slowly pick up during the day and then feel quite chipper by the evening. Which makes me think that it is something more than just stress because whatever is stressful is still around in the evening, I'm just better able to cope with it mentally, if that makes sense?

I don't think I can afford private therapy but I will see about going to the GP. When I saw her last year, she did offer me ADs but I was reluctant as I worry about coming off them again...

NanaNina Tue 23-Feb-16 13:48:37

Your pattern of anxiety is exactly the same as my depression/anxiety - bad in the morning and slowly picking up through the afternoon and fine by evening. Well that's on a good day - sometimes I can be crap all day till evening. It's a very common pattern for depression/anxiety, so I wouldn't attach any importance to this pattern. Incidentally some people are better in the morning and low in the evening.

BornToFolk Tue 23-Feb-16 14:15:14

Oh, that's interesting....that it's a quite common pattern. I definitely prefer being down in the morning and gradually improving during the day...means I know when I wake up that's as bad as I'm going to feel and things will only improve.
I only mentioned it as I thought it pointed towards how I am feeling being an actual "thing" rather than just feeling a bit crappy, if that makes sense?

I think I would benefit from talking to someone though. Will try and make an appt with the GP.

And thank you for posting, I appreciate your help!

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