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desperate for help with anxiety

(13 Posts)
Sonflower Sun 03-Jul-11 00:16:56

I suffer from terrible anxiety.
I have reasons why this is the case, but I won't go into them now.
I wake up every morning with the most awful feelings of fear and dread and trepidation. Negative and worrying thoughts take over my mind and often I feel compelled to kneel down over the toilet and wretch as if to try and purge the thoughts away. I equate this compulsion to a form of self harming. as I just get some sort of relief (albeit temporarily) from doing it.

I work 3 days a week (paid) and 1 day a week I do voluntary work,
On these days, although I feel like this, because I both enjoy my work and am a very responsible person, I always manage to go in, and am usually fairly ok when I am there. Sometimes I can't concentrate very well or make decisions but for the most part my work hasn't really suffered too much.

At weekends however, I have great difficulty doing very much unless I have specifically planned something.
I feel so overwhelmed with anxiety on these days that I can't even watch TV or read a book sometimes.
The most mundane of tasks seem insurmountable-such as making a phone call, tidying up, sorting out paper work etc.
Without a specific thing to do, I tend to act like an animal in a cage- wandering from room to room sitting on the sofa like a zombie, or feeling the need to lie down and try to sleep to get away from the negative and pervasive thoughts that grip my mind and physically incapacitate me, de-motivate me. If the phone rings I panic.
The anxiety usually begins to subside by the evening when my energy enthusiasm begin to return. I must admit I drink about half a bottle of red wine every night which is clearly a factor in my falling anxiety levels
In the evening I can make plans in my head and feel like I can live a normal life- but each morning on waking the terrible monster in my brain returns to taunt me making me feel impotent and incapable again, and physically exhausted.
The reason for posting now, is that I work for a college and have at term time only contract. In one week?s time I will be starting my 6 weeks holiday while the college is closed.
Most people would be anticipating this with excitement but for me it is creating even more anxiety than ever.
I am terrified that without a reason to get up (my job) I will end up spending the whole summer wandering around my flat like a lost soul incapable of doing any thing but the barest minimum to survive.

I am not currently on any medication. 2 summers ago I went to my GP who diagnosed me with depression and prescribed anti-depressants. I tried 2 different ADs (Citaltrapram/Mirtazipan) but both exacerbated the anxiety and gave me panic attacks, so I stopped taking them.
I have been seeing a psychotherapist on the NHS since January, which has been great in some ways but has not really helped with the debilitating anxiety I experience so far.
Valium works wonders, but understandably my GP will only prescribe occasional small doses.
So. the main reason I'm posting is to ask if anyone has got any positive experiences of medication that has worked for them with regard to chronic anxiety, or any other remedies/ tips that I could try.
I am really so scared and desperate about the coming 6 weeks summer break. I also feel so guilty that my DS (13)has to deal with a mum like me.
I am a lone parent, and my DS (13) has no siblings nor grandparents, so relies heavily on me.
Our relationship is very intense emotionally (part of the problem tbh) and I feel so bad that my mental health issues prevent me from giving him a more noraml and joyful life full of wonderful memories and experiences
Thanks so much for reading.

BeckleinDisguise Sun 03-Jul-11 00:58:12

I'm sorry I have no advice but I'd like to watch this thread with interest as I've just been diagnosed with anxiety. I also have OCD (not the mad-hand-washing kind but the straightening-things-so-the-world-won't-end kind) which is linked to anxiety. Or the anxiety is linked to the OCD.

Your thoughts and feelings and the way you act sound so much like me, although I only have it mildly and am not as aware of my thoughts as you are. I am a zombie in the daytime when I'm at home. I sleep, I watch cbeebies, I can't be bothered to do the simplest of things, I think "I'll do that in a minute" and before I know it an hour has passed, then another, then its school pick up time and I've not even emptied the dishwasher. In the evening I feel much perkier and often stay up late to do things which then doesn't help with the sleepyness in the daytime I guess.

I started taking Citaltrapram today, nasty little tablets, the information leaflet made me really anxious but I'm so desperate to feel better I'll try almost anything!

BeckleinDisguise Sun 03-Jul-11 01:00:10

Oh, and your DS loves you. He will love you whatever and I doubt very much he ever feels that he has to 'deal with' a Mum like you, he just loves you. I can tell you this from experience as my Mum was very ill for a time with what I now know to be a total nervous breakdown/anxiety. I was about 12 and there were days she was so low she just didn't get up (or even wake up), she was a single parent so I would sort out my younger brothers, we just got on with it, Mum was Mum and we loved her just the same when she was well and happy as when she was down and sad.

GRW Sun 03-Jul-11 17:44:08

I'm sorry anxiety is having such a massive impact on your life. I think you should make an appointment to see you GP, and share everything you have said here. You may need a referral to a psychology service- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be very successful in treating anxiety, and it can be overcome.
The fact that you can cope well when out at work is a positive sign that you can learn to cope in other situations. Do you have a holiday planned for the school holidays? It may help to plan things that you can do with your son, though I know at 13 they are often out with their friends.

Sonflower Sun 03-Jul-11 18:12:44

Thank you both for taking the time to reply.

I have been to my GP and explained all this on numerus occassions over the last few years- and that's why I am now recieving pyschotherapy once a week.

While it is helping, it is a slow and long process and I just felt that I needed something urgent right now to help me with the immediate problem of getting through the next 6 weeks.

I know medication would only ever be like putting a plaster over the cut, but if it would temporarily help me manage some of the debilitating symptoms of the anxiety than I would grab at the chance to take something.

Does anyone know of any really effective drugs that might help me?
I've heard Beta Blockers can help-does anyone have any experience of using them for anxiety?

OrangeHat Sun 03-Jul-11 18:25:54

I suffer from anxiety with a similar pattern to you - able to function very well for things that I have to do eg work, getting the children up to nursery making their lunches etc etc. But when there's nothing I have to do it's reverting to sitting on MN / total lack of motivation and plagued by difficult thoughts. Very withdrawn from friends etc.

Anyway I started seroxat (Paroxetine) last week and am feeling an awful lot better already. It's strange, I am still having the thoughts (although even they are lessening) but when I have them I don't get upset about them - I am able to just shrug and ignore them. They have lost their power to affect me, it seems. They just don't illicit an emotional response.

I just thought I'd post that FYI and to say I'm sorry you are having such a hard time smile

ItsMyTurn Sun 03-Jul-11 18:28:56

i am you - but on not such a sever scale. I know exactly why my anxiety has arisen - again won't go into that now but I don't know how to del with the utterly overwhelming feelings. I am a widow (14months) hav two dc's 13 and 4 and SAHM. I keep myself busy but sometimes I struggle to get over it. I do my best and my dc's love me totally and are completely unaware of my angst. It is wretched and horrid and I hate hate hate hate it. The thing tha tscares me most is that it is in my head so it cannot be removed and repaired iyswim. I will get better, habve been to docs and got prescription for citilipram but am too scared to take it. I am on a lst for CBT amd am ringing a counsellor tomorz. Sometimes I can keep a lid on it or just kind of ride it out but it is getting more overwhelming. I do find that if i just 'let it happen' - it passes far more quickly though (still lasts hours but not all day) hoe you get some peace - I hope we all do

Sonflower Tue 05-Jul-11 09:11:11

Thankyou OrangeHat and Itsmyturn for sharing your experiences.

I totally get when you say it scares you, Itsmyturn, because like you say it's in your head and cannot be removed- I think my wretctching is in some way symbolic of trying to get it out!

I tried citaltrapam last summer and unfortunatley had to stop as it actually magnified the anxiety and gave me full on panic attacks. It may be different for you Itsmyturn- I hope so and wish you all the best if you do decide to try it.

As for seroxat OrangeHat-I'm wary of all ADs tbh- the two I have already tried both made me feel much much worse. Brilliant to think they have aready had such a massive and positive impact on you though, in stopping the thoughts overwhelm you.

I made an appoinment with my GP yesterday- which in itself has made me feel a bit better- and will discuss the options when I go next Monday.

I'll let you all know how things pan out.

Good luck to all of us suffering with this dreadful illness.

Take care

ItsMyTurn Tue 05-Jul-11 09:23:34

Sonflower - hello again. I have not taken teh AD's yet. I am so scared that the anxiety will escalate! Ihave an appt with a counsellor today. Feeling v v anxious but trying so hard to let it wash over me and live my day - but it is very hard. Ikeep getting glimpses of normality and it is wonderful but they are momentary sad. I hope you get on OK wiht yhour gp. When i saw mine on Friday I jsut walked through the door and burst into tears. he did look a little taken aback!

OrangeHat Tue 05-Jul-11 18:01:52

I am sorry for your loss itsmyturn sad

I hope that the appt with the counsellor went OK smile

ItsMyTurn Tue 05-Jul-11 22:52:31

there's a biot more to it than a loss orangehat - but thankyou smile The counsellor is going to work wonders. Starting to make sense of it all I think. Sleep tight

LesserOfTwoWeevils Fri 08-Jul-11 13:16:39

I have tried numerous ADs for anxiety/depression, some of which made me feel worse, and most of which had no effect at all. I've finally been given one which seems to help a bit. So don't give up just because or two don't work.
Are you up to exercising? As well as helping with your anxiety, scheduling it into your day would add some structure to your holiday time. Yoga or walking are gentle but effective if you can't handle anything more strenuous.
Try to cut down on the drink, too, as alcohol is a depressant and is really making things worse.

luckywinner Fri 08-Jul-11 13:26:02

Sonflower you might find ads helpful. I wouldn't say they are a sticking plaster, although I do know what you mean. Don't forget that you are looking into the root cause of your anxiety and that can be very hard. You are a very courageous person to do that. Think of the ads as crutches to help you move about while your leg waits to heal, iyswim!

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