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Anxiety just not going away... Please help

(58 Posts)
CharlieBoo Tue 24-Sep-13 13:30:48

Ive been suffering from a relapse in anxiety for the last 2 and a bit weeks. I've never had anxiety like this before. It is really hard to even function at the moment.

I'm on citalopram 20mg, started for a few days on 10mg 2 weeks ago and have built up to 20mg. This has been 2 weeks also with the citalopram and its not getting any better. Do y think the dose isn't right or it not the right drug?

It's also giving me awful insomnia so I'm living with this anxiety 20 hours a day and its crippling, I just want to be back to my old self. I have a review with my dr on Thursday which can't come soon enough. I've been doing the linden method which I thought was good and was helping but it's not.

Please any tips for anxiety, I'm getting desperate.

Oh, you poor thing <hug> I suffer from anxiety, and it is an utter bastard of a problem. It really is crippling, isn't it? Right, as far as the citalopram is concerned, I'd give it another week. My symptoms got worse initially before they got better. I too started on 10mg (although I stayed on that dose for a few months) but am now on 20mg and I feel so much better. You will feel better, too, as soon as the side effects settle down. If they don't, get back to your GP and try another drug. Yes, this bit is rubbish, but it will be worth it I promise. Would you like to say what your anxiety revolves around? You don't have to, but it might help with ideas.

CharlieBoo Tue 24-Sep-13 13:44:08

I suffer from I intrusive thoughts and my intrusive thoughts now are I'm goin mad, I'm loosing my mind and the men in white coats are coming to lock me up...that's it really. I am stressing if I can't loose this anxiety that might happen... It's all part of the anxiety cycle...the thoughts produ e anxiety, the anxiety causes more anxiety and fuels the thoughts. Please tell me in not going mad.

You're not going mad. You're caught in a cycle, and the right medication will help you break it. I can tell you what I do when I'm having a bad episode if it helps? I read a lot. It doesn't matter what, I just read because I find that if I'm reading I can't obsess. I also walk. I can out walk a panic attack by tiring myself out. Try and keep your brain busy doing something which requires focus, it'll give it less scope to worry at your intrusive thoughts. Take some deep breaths and tell yourself 'I will feel better. I am doing something about this by taking the medication, and that puts me back in control. This is a brain hiccup, not reality.' Have you got RL support?

CharlieBoo Tue 24-Sep-13 13:58:28

Yes I need to keep busy and am trying, today is a particularly bad day! Am dreading the school run.

Yes my husbands amazing and my parents are too, couldn't get through this without them. Wouldn't wish this on anyone.

Do you think the citalopram will kick in soon? Thanks for replying.

choice38 Tue 24-Sep-13 14:30:40

Hi CharlieBoo, there are a lot of people who suffer from anxiety. You are not alone. You say that you are suffering a relapse. That means that you have been down and come back up again. You will come back up again. I bet the last time you thought you were going mad as well...but did you? No

No you are not going mad. I remember reading somewhere before that if you are questioning whether you are going mad then you are not. Mad people don't question whether they are mad. They think that their world is normal. I hope this really helps you.
Another thing, meditate. This will relax you.

You will get better. Be patient with yourself and treat yourself well.
Read a book and think about and write down the good things that are happening in your life eg, your family is very supportive. This is very good. It puts you miles ahead.

Please visit

Hugs and kisses

CharlieBoo Tue 24-Sep-13 14:40:33

Thank you choice38. Do you know when I get my kids home from school I am so much better. I love them so much they are my world. My son wasn't that well this morning (just a cold) but I sent him in and have felt guilty all day! My little girl has just started reception and I'm a stay at home mum so its a huge change for me to be 'home al

CharlieBoo Tue 24-Sep-13 14:45:21

Thank you choice38. Do you know when I get my kids home from school I am so much better. I love them so much they are my world. My son wasn't that well this morning (just a cold) but I sent him in and have felt guilty all day! My little girl has just started reception and I'm a stay at home mum so its a huge change for me to be 'home alone'. I think this has sparked my anxiety as well as an intrusive thought that freaked me out! Now I'm in a cycle that I can't get out of, it's as if I'm being tortured. How do I meditate? Xxxx

choice38 Tue 24-Sep-13 15:06:29

Please, please visit headspace and register. They do a free 5 day trial where you have a fellow called Andy take you through 10 minutes of meditation. He makes it so easy. You must try and come back to tell me about it.
When you have more time in your hands then you tend to think about things....
You are doing so well...check your thoughts as you start being anxious...negative talk? Anytime you get a negative talk and notice it, replace with a positive one.
What are you anxious about? (you don't need to say)...think about the worst case scenario and how you would deal with it. Write down and rationalise your thoughts...

For two nights in a row at the start of the year, I couldn't sleep. I was upset about something. But..this started a cycle of insomnia and I lost confidence about my ability to sleep!

If I panic about not sleeping at any time (negative talk ie I will not sleep tonight) ...I tell myself that I can just wake up and read a book. I can cope without sleep. I have before and I will if that is the case. And I end up

Best wishes

CharlieBoo Wed 25-Sep-13 05:55:42

So very little sleep again tonight. I tried the headspace thing... Quite good although I find it hard to relax.

Have just eaten a banana and taken today's tablets. Think I def need an increased dose as they're just not working.

Helpyourself Wed 25-Sep-13 06:22:52

Morning Charlie
It will get better! You've made a great start to today, horribly early as it is. What are you planning? Can you get outside as much as possible? And avoid coffee!

CharlieBoo Wed 25-Sep-13 07:44:49

Got my son home poorly today so I could get in the garden and do some weeding or he has a project that we could do some of if he feels up to it. Had a cup of tea but thats my only one of the day.

choice38 Wed 25-Sep-13 09:32:43

It will get better. Read books or articles online about mindfulness. Keep it moving and soon you will be back on your best. Do not be too hard on yourself. The drugs take time to take effect and at times things get worse before they get better.

Best wishes

CharlieBoo Wed 25-Sep-13 15:36:30

Ok so far day not too bad... Tummy still in knots but got on with things. I'm back on the linden method so theoretically I shouldn't be writing here but I think a little diary to show my progress and write my feelings may help. Back to drs in the morning for a medication review and to chase up cbt. I'm hoping she may increase my dose but have a feeling she may say to stick with the 20mg a bit longer. Been doing breathing exercises today from the linden method and they really help. Just about to take the kids to the park on their scooters... Ds could do with some fresh air. I will get there and I'm going to get better. I just wish I could sleep.

Helpyourself Wed 25-Sep-13 17:48:35

It sounds like you've prepared well for a good night's sleep- some fresh air, company, a plan for tomorrow. Keep going, avoid alcohol and caffeine tonight, and if you do wake up resist the urge to switch a light on or Mumsnet. Rest your eyes!

CharlieBoo Thu 26-Sep-13 06:14:41

So slightly better nights sleep, probably about 5 hours altogether, so not bad! Have woken feeling anxious like I always do. Have come downstairs and had my tablets and a drink. Doing my deep breathing now. This will go away and I'll be back to my old self soon.

Helpyourself Thu 26-Sep-13 09:11:00

It will go away! What's the plan for today?

CharlieBoo Thu 26-Sep-13 11:13:08

Done loads of cleaning this morning and now sat in the drs waiting for my appointment. Then more cleaning before I get the kids from school. Then popping over to my parents after school. They have a huge garden and the kids love it there.

Not so anxious today.. Almost scared to put that though... Maybe meds are finally kicking in??

Helpyourself Thu 26-Sep-13 13:37:17

Charlie it might be the meds, you also sound very positive and proactive- in control, so that's helping too. How are your parents about your anxiety? I hope they're supportive.
How did it go at the drs?

CharlieBoo Thu 26-Sep-13 14:33:29

Hi, I've had a good day today, went to the drs, then went into town for a coffee with my dad and had a pastie from Greggs! Omg it was amazing, I've been off food so much but have felt that much better today that I wanted to eat.

Dr was lovely as always but won't up my dose as she says its early days and can take up to 6 weeks to properly feel the effects. So I'm on 20mg for now and if I still feel anxious in a few weeks she will up it. Fair enough.

My parents are amazing, they are so supportive, been cooking meals, doing the kids their tea after school, and my mums not been well this year with cancer so they are just more an amazing. How my husband puts up with me I'll never know!

Just going to run the Hoover round Nd then get the kids, thanks for listening, it really helps. I hope this is me turning a corner.

CharlieBoo Fri 27-Sep-13 11:14:38

So good amount of sleep last night, about 5-6 hours in all. Ill take that at the moment. Not quite as panicky

CharlieBoo Fri 27-Sep-13 11:17:24

So good amount of sleep last night, about 5-6 hours in all. Ill take that at the moment. Not quite as panicky this morning on waking which is great.

Went to a coffee morning at school this morning, felt a bit anxious there and that threw me, I'm such a social outgoing person normally. Came home had a cry but up and at em! Just put the Hoover round.

Good news that I don't have the horrendous panic in my tummy so much, only if I really panic is it there.

Helpyourself Fri 27-Sep-13 13:38:36

Charlie that all sounds really positive- and you sound positive too which is more important.
I wonder how many of the other parents at the coffee morning were feeling anxious too? Bet you weren't the only one, the trouble is we only see other people's outside and just how we feel with how they look!
So glad your parents are supportive, they sound lovely.

Helpyourself Fri 27-Sep-13 13:39:52

Sorry that just should be judge. We compare others' outsides to our insides and feel bad.

peachypips Fri 27-Sep-13 13:45:40

I have severe, debilitating anxiety and it is hell. However, on meds I am happy and normal. I take Sertraline and Mirtazapine. When I start on them I always feel ten times worse before I get gradually better. ADs also give me insomnia. I find it very hard to get off to sleep, but when I am not taking the drugs I go off instantly!
However, the benefits of the drugs for me outweigh the side effects and I will now be on them for life. Your doc was so right not to increase yet- the lower the dose the better if it is working. Side effects are worse at higher does so you need to be on the lowest effective level.
So glad you are picking up.

CharlieBoo Fri 27-Sep-13 14:28:51

Ok felt freaked put this arvo... More intrusive images trying to freak me out and am now really anxious again. Got a play date this arvo not sure how I'm going to get through it!

Helpyourself Fri 27-Sep-13 15:35:54

One step at a time? Are you hosting? It'll pass. flowers

CharlieBoo Fri 27-Sep-13 16:06:55

Am at play date... It's passed... It's just my imagination trying to increase my anxiety so my mind visualises all these nasty things and thoughts. I know that's what it's doing but I still let it freak me out! My husband laughs when I tell him the thoughts but for me they're scary.

Helpyourself Sat 28-Sep-13 08:37:22

It sounds like it went ok! Do you find it helps voicing your fears? I had an anxious evening- away from home and waiting to hear that 3 teenage dcs were safely home. Finally relaxed into my evening at 11 just as everyone else was winding down for bed!
What's the plan for today and how are you feeling?

CharlieBoo Sat 28-Sep-13 09:52:06

I have scary intrusive images as if I'm in a horror m

CharlieBoo Sat 28-Sep-13 09:55:27

I have scary intrusive images as if I'm in a horror movie... It's my imagination fuelling my anxiety and the only way to get rid of them is to not react to them. It's really hard as my thought is that I'm going mad and that drives me anxiety through the roof!

Hopefully my cbt will come through soon and that can help process things. Off to watch ds play footy this morning then taking kids to Toys r us for a treat.

Do you suffer from anxiety too? It's just awful isn't it! X

Helpyourself Sat 28-Sep-13 18:10:55

I'm much, much better now. Unfortunately or fortunately, as it turned out, I 'managed' my anxiety by drinking! I then had a breakdown and as I recovered from that, and stopped drinking the anxiety lifted. It still comes occasionally, like last night and I notice myself obsessing or triple checking things. I'm really careful of my mental health and triggers. I jealously guard my sleep, now it's good, avoid stress as much as possible (my job is stressful but I 'talk it out' with my manager and colleagues) avoid upsetting situations I don't need to know about etc. I had CBT as well, pretty much as I had recovered but I found the space and tools really useful.

CharlieBoo Sat 28-Sep-13 18:30:22

Sounds like you've been through it, it's a tough road eh? Glad you are better now. knowing your triggers helps i bet. I so desperately want to feel better and be in a good place. My thoughts are driven by OCD and negative thinking. One of the big symptoms of this is thinking your going mad and paranoia. I know all this but I can't stop my imaginations overdrive. I know I'm not psychotic but the doubts plague me and my imagination is trying to trick me constantly. It's truly horrible and I can't believe 3 weeks ago I was absolutely fine and now I'm in this hell! I will get there, hoping the cbt will help.

Helpyourself Sat 28-Sep-13 18:39:46

I consider myself very lucky! I'd rather be where I am now having hit rock bottom and come back than the for years low level but still paralysing anxiety. And like you my parents and dh sells by me. That did wonders for my self esteem.

Helpyourself Sat 28-Sep-13 18:41:00

Grr. Parents and dh stood by me! grin

CharlieBoo Sat 28-Sep-13 18:43:44

It's so important to have the support of a loving family. We are both blessed there then. Xxxxx

working9while5 Sun 29-Sep-13 09:08:49

Hi Charlie.

I have imagery. Mine have always been fantastically gruesome. I've learned though that I am a very visual person and I play out scenarios of all sorts endlessly in my head. Have you ever tried paying attention to the non-scary imagery in your head? It's probable you have mini-soap operas and chick flicks in there too, but these won't draw your attention nor will you imagine they say all sorts of things about you.

I can still see my horror movies. My sister in law recently lost a baby at 20+ weeks and I am pregnant. I visualized every step of her induction, every sad contraction, the silence on his birth, meeting him, sobbing when he was taken away, the heavy emptiness of going home. I could see it all. Happening to her, happening to me. I did this endlessly through my last pregnancy often with vastly gorier and bloodier images. Yet this time my emotional reactivity to it is entirely different. I can see it in all its horror without the desperate endless scramble to push it away, the cold sick creeping horror. It comes into my mind and it goes again. I don't have to work to push it out or even grit my teeth til it goes. It is like a background jingle, the radio in the hairdressers or muzak in an elevator. I know it is there but I don't need to do anything with it.

It is, in the end of the day, just your imagination. I know when you're in it it seems so overwhelmingly powerful that seems almost a flippant statement... but it is. Just an overactive imagination.

CharlieBoo Sun 29-Sep-13 10:05:46

Thank you working9while5. That makes me feel is just imagery but the fact it's there scares me. I know that I need to ignore it but its hard.

Thanks for sharing your story though and I'm very sorry to hear about your sister in laws baby. How awful. Good luck with your pregnancy. X

Helpyourself Mon 30-Sep-13 19:46:47

How are you today charlie?

CharlieBoo Mon 30-Sep-13 20:56:05

Hi, have not had a good couple of days. Was awake from 1 am last night trembling in sheer panic! Went back to the drs this morning as for 3 weeks I've not slept properly and I'm exhausted. She's given me some mild sleeping tablets and pushing through my cbt as urgent. Bit nervous about taking the tablet but I need sleep. Told her all about my intrusive images and she says its all anxiety and I'm not going mad and will get better soon. Looking forward to the cbt and hoping it can break down my negative thinking. Thanks for popping back in to check on me. How are you? Hope you've had a good day xx

Helpyourself Mon 30-Sep-13 21:24:31

I have- I woke up a bit anxious and overwhelmed but it passed as soon as I got going. Don't be nervous about taking the sleeping tablets; I bet she's only given you a few day's worth, hasn't she? Good news about the CBT.
Sleep well.

CharlieBoo Tue 01-Oct-13 07:48:57

Yes funny isn't it I wake feeling like that every day but as soon as I get up and get going it passes. The sleeping tablet didn't work so I will have to take 2 tonight. It said take 1-2 on the box but I just took one to start with but obviously not strong enough. Have a good day x

Helpyourself Tue 01-Oct-13 08:14:29

Sorry you didn't sleep well sad
Keep going today- resist the urge to crawl back into bed like I used to and you'll be set for tonight.
Why are you afraid of taking the tablets btw?

CharlieBoo Tue 01-Oct-13 10:01:55

Even if I got into bed I couldn't sleep. I think the citalopram may be keeping my brain too active and its hard to switch it off. I've never taken tablets like this before so it was a bit scary taking them. Turns out they did absolutely nothing so nothing to be scared of! Haha. Busy planning a wartime recipe for ds to cook with his friend tonight for a school project! Just need whole meal flour. Are u keeping busy today? X

Helpyourself Tue 01-Oct-13 13:04:43

Very! 3 teenagers off- two very short school runs and one journey back to deliver a forgotten pass. Into work via another lost pass hmm and now I'm at work doing some quite close writing.
I'd say I was pretty much anxiety free nowadays, but I had a real panic when DD,17 didn't text to say she was in school (she's a bit upset at the moment- friend stuff). I sat on the thoughts for a while, ran through the likely scenarios- lost or confiscated phone, delayed train, switched off etc. In the end I 'phoned school and asked them to confirm she'd signed in. It was unnecessary perhaps, but I chose to just fix the problem rather than stew on it. Just as well as she didn't switch her phone on and see my messages til just now.
So... do accept all the help you can. I probably rushed through the CBT as I was embarrassed that I was getting help because of my drinking, but you have nothing to be ashamed of.

CharlieBoo Tue 01-Oct-13 13:18:17

Wow you have a big family! How lovely! I can only imagine the stress teenagers bring! I have all that to come. Am pleased you're anxiety free, if a little envious! After a great start this morning I we t on a walk and felt panicky again. My images have died off but I'm so terrified of them coming back its fuelling my anxiety. Still lovely wwII recipe to make with the kids after school. Egg free sponge cake! Hopefully ill feel a bit better, it passes it always does. Xxx

susanalbumparty Tue 01-Oct-13 15:16:28

Hi Charlieboo - I am going through something similar at the moment. I am also citalopram but my GP dd offer mirtazapine which she said was better for helping with sleep. I dont know if this is an option you might want to discuss with your GP? Insomnia just makes everything worse doesn't it and I am sorry you are going through the mill with it. Did your GP offer sleeping tablets?

peachypips Tue 01-Oct-13 19:19:55

I second the Mirtazapine- I felt almost instantly a lot better!

CharlieBoo Tue 01-Oct-13 20:54:54

Yes I have got sleeping pills, only took one last night so will take 2 tonight. What is mitrazapine? I begged mt dr or something else to help with the anxiety but she would only give me sleeping tablets. X

Helpyourself Tue 01-Oct-13 21:08:53

grin all that rushing about with passes and drop offs was for the 3 teenagers.
Sounds like relevant and useful advice about mitrazapine, Charlie

peachypips Tue 01-Oct-13 21:31:44

Mirtazapine is another antidepressant that acts differently and is normally used to augment a normal SSRI antidepressant. It gives you wonderful sleep and slams anxiety when coupled with an SSRI. Very effective.

Helpyourself Thu 03-Oct-13 06:38:38

Morning Charlie-how's it going?

CharlieBoo Thu 03-Oct-13 09:54:57

Hi Helpyourself. Anxiety still there but at the moment am trying a new thing where I let the images come into my head, let my imagination run wild and surprisingly in that controlled environment I'm's when they pop up in the middle of an conversation with a school mum that throws me! Dd is off today as she was up for hours in the night with a really high temp and night terrors, so hardly had any sleep, but lovely to have my little girl home to hang out with. How's you? Xxx

Helpyourself Thu 03-Oct-13 14:22:01

Really good. I spoke to my manager about taking half term off as I was stressing out about working and leaving the DCs home alone- they had a very feral summer. She was very helpful and we also had a reassuring chat about parenting- at her instigation! It was bolstering as she always seems so confident and sensible but she has exactly the same anxieties as me. That thing about insides and outsides matching and us judging ourselves harshly!

Helpyourself Mon 07-Oct-13 08:23:55

Hi Charlie! How are you?

bacon Mon 07-Oct-13 11:25:13

I found ADs made my anxiety worse and you may need to find a different drug that suits you or a even a treatment.

Helpyourself Fri 11-Oct-13 08:32:05

How's it going Charlie?

dingdangdong Tue 29-Oct-13 09:21:50

Hi discussion

For what it is worth, read up about trauma (intrusive thoughts would fit that); we have found EMDR - eye movement desensitisation reprocessing in the hands of a good psychologist to be profound in rewiring responses. It is in NICE guidelines too - it works even if you do't know the original triggers. Anxiety is a symptom not the cause.

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