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severe anxiety for 3 months now very depressed and don't know what to do

(69 Posts)
kaylasmum Sun 28-Aug-11 13:47:52


I posted here a couple of months ago due to the anxiety i was suffering. I have health anxiety and it all started off when i was convinced i had anal cancer because of a pile. I was reassured by many gps but my ibs was flaring up really bad so i then started to fixate on bowel cancer.

I've been having cbt for 2 months now but not finding it paerticularly helpful. I've been signed off my work for 9 weeks now and my level of anxiety is as high as ever, i'n also feeling very depressed and struggling to function on a day to day basis. Just want to stay in bed all day.

My ds was meant to start nursery last week but i put it off till next week cos i can't face it. My stomach issues have improved but i'm still having the odd problem. I'm completely obsessed over my bowels. My therapist is conviced the anxiety and bowel issues are connected as does my gp.

I saw my gp on monday and she prescribed propranolol as i had been taking diazepam and she was concerbed about addiction. I've not found them to be particularly helpful.

I really don't know what to do, i've never been so miserable. I'm failing my dcs terribly.

YummyHoney Sun 28-Aug-11 14:24:06

I'm sorry for your situation and I'm afraid I'm no expert, but I do think you need to focus on your DC rather than your bowel problems.

Please turn your attention to your DS. That's very early to be starting nursery - most children don't go back to school until next week, but, regardless, it should be an exciting time for your DS and a big step going to nursery. (I'm assuming he's been with you up until now).

Try and thing of him and what he needs and, either insist on seeing a consultant/having a more thorough investigation of your bowel, or accept what the gps are saying to you.

Hope I don't sound harsh.

NanaNina Sun 28-Aug-11 14:24:59

Oh you poor love - I am wondering why the GP is not prescribing an AD as it certainly sounds like you are depressed (takes one to know one) and almost everyone in this state just wants to stay in bed all day - it's a way of withdrawing for a life that you can't cope with. You are not failing your dcs - you are ill, with both anxiety and depression who usually go hand in hand.

I too think the bowel issues and your anxiety is connected. It is likely that when the bowel issues subside you will get fixated on something else (I know I've been there) and it's a horrid state of affairs and it took me a very long time to believe that the health stuff was a symptom of anxiety and depression.

Did you tell your GP how miserable you were, unable to function on a day to day basis, wanting to withdraw etc., cus if not you need to go back and tel her/him all this. Do you have any RL support, H or P or family/friends.

I too had CBT and found it made sense when I was feeling ok but when I was feeling crap, it was much harder to put into place. I think the important thing is that you feel safe and comfortable with the therapist and if this is not the case it probably isn't going to be the best thing for you. If however the therapist is ok I would stick with it a bit longer.

Sending warm wishes and remember that these horrid feelings will pass.
There will be brighter times ahead though I know you won't be able to believe this at the moment.

kaylasmum Sun 28-Aug-11 14:54:48

hi, yummyhoney,

I do think you were a lttle harsh. I'm in scotland and the schools went back 2 weeks ago.

I wish it was easy just to pull myself together but unfortunately its not that easy. My therapist thinks that going for testing will make my anxiety worse. My kids are my life and i feel so guilty about this.

Hi nananina, thanks for your kind words.

I'm on citalopram but i don't think its working for me anymore. My dp tries to help but does'nt really understand.

I'm emotionally worn out and desperately unhappy.

BooBooGlass Sun 28-Aug-11 15:08:12

Stick with the CBT, it will help. Fwiw, Citalopram sent me even deeper into anxiety, I had to go onto a completely different anxiety medication (trazodone) and the effect was pretty immediate. I was able to function again. From your op I assumed you were a lone parent. Why on earth is your dp not helping at the very least with getting your son to nursery? You need to ask him to help you with that, even if it's just the drop off. Once your son is there you can't very well just leave him so it'll give your day more focus- you have to be up at X time to go and collect him. I understand how crushing depression and anxiety can be. With the help of my CBT therapist I came to see it as seperate from myself iyswim. And I got very angry that I was indulging it. Anxiety wanted me to stay in bed all day. I wanted to get up with my children. I found that approach very helpful. I think you know there's nothing wrong with your bowel, but it's a safer thing to fixate on that the real problems in your life. Mine were the complete lack of control I felt after the birth of my second child. My CBT started a year ago. I am completely better and you can get there too. You just need to decide to kick anxiety's butt.

BooBooGlass Sun 28-Aug-11 15:12:10

Incidentally, has your GP suggested you may have OCD? I was very surprised by that diagnosis but for me it was true. And I'm not talking about obsessing cleaning or any other cliche. I'm talking having safety behaviours that I just had to do. Rules. Checking things. Your health is what you're obsessing over. The only way to beat anxiety is to face the very thing that makes you anxious. I think the bowel worries are a cover for something deeper. I know I had habits that were the reason I went to the doctor in the firts pace (mainly hiding at home and not opening my mail). The root cause was actually my feeling of being out of control. By stopping these habits (in your case worrying about your health) you'll see that actually, nothing bad will happen if you stop worrying. At some level, you believe the worrying keeps you safe. It doesn't, and it's keeping you a prisoner. It is very very hard to face your fears. But once you do, they'll no longer have power over you.

kaylasmum Sun 28-Aug-11 15:52:53


Thanks, i've been on citalopram for 7 years now. 2 months ago i was put up to 60mg from 40mg, i saw a different gp last monday and she said that the high dose was probably making my anxiety worse and to cut back down to 40mg with a view to get down to 20mg.

I had cbt 2 years ago and found it very helpful. I have a huge cancer phobia and always imagine the worst case scenario. I've convinced myself over the years that i've various cancers and also that my dcs have cancer too.

My therapist does'nt think i have ocd but i she agrees that i am being obsessive over my bowels. My dp works so is unable to take my ds to nursery. Have to take my dd to school so i am getting up and getting on with it but its a massive struggle. When my ds starts nursery i have to stay with him for the first couple of days and i'm worried about that incase my stomach plays up, the more i worry about it the more chance of it happening. Its a vicious circle.

I've had a lot of tough times in my life, my mum died aged 45 when i was 8 months pg 2 weeks after my dad had a heart attack, i've had 3 mscarriages, my 26 yo dd and my 25yo ds have both been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and have struggled so much over the years, my dad had multiple sclerosis and i helped look after him until he died 8 years ago. I'm not saying all this looking for sympathy but to point out that i managed to keep myself together through all of that but now i'm falling to pieces and feel that i have no control over my life.

NanaNina Sun 28-Aug-11 21:14:02

Hi Kayla's mum - I think yummyhoney has probably never suffered from mental illness, and yes I think the post implied "pull yourself together" - if only. I also think that trying to diagnose on these threads isn't helpful and we all to a greater or lesser extent tend to think that what helped for us will help others. The problem is really that so little is known about brain disorder that there is no consensus amongst the medics, so it leaves us the sufferers in an impossible place.

You certainly sound like you have been through some dreadful times - did you mean your 26yodd and 25yods or your sister and brother. Just wondered, not that it really matters because trauma is trauma . You certainly don't come across as someone looking for sympathy - you obviously have a great deal of resilience but maybe things have caught up with you and you are now really struggling. You say 7 yrs on citalopram - did it work for you in the past. The thing is as I'm sure you know that what AD works for one person doesn't work for another and what has helped in one depressive episode, doesn't work with subsequent episodes. Wonder if it's time to change your meds?

I assumed your dp works so cannot take LO to nursery, and like mine I'm sure he tries to understand, but it is something that you can't really explain to anyone how awful the depression and anxiety feel can you. It somehow defies description.

I too have obsessed over various illnesses in the past (and stil do at times) but I have had to learn that this is all part of an anxiety state, and once we have stopped worrying about some part of us, then we will worry about another. In my time I have been convinced I have had MS, throat cancer, M.E. (and that went on for months and months) to name but a few and drs telling me I had none of these things didn't help, I just thought they were wrong. It is such a powerful thing isn't it. Anxiety and depression are deceitful illnesses and make us think things about ourself that aren't true.

Keep posting and hang on in there (well that's what people say to me when I am having one of my interminable "blips") but you can't really do much more can you. Maybe in 100 years time there will be more understanding about the the meantime take each hour as it comes and think about another visit to GP maybe to change meds. Have you been assessed by a consultant psychiatrist at all? It's just that they know more about meds than GPs usually but it is all trial and error isn't it. I am on a very old fashioned AD (imipramine) and it keeps me well for some of the time. Take care of yourself as much as you are able.

jardy Sun 28-Aug-11 22:06:36

My heart goes out to you.I have had chronic OCD in the form of obsessive worrying.My worrying goes on for years and years,never months.AD`s have made me worse in the past,so I just try and live with it,but it is very difficult,and very lonely.I have however managed to keep working fulltime,as well as looking after a severely disabled son,a dh with serious health issues and a daughter.My OCD is in the form of worrying about breaking rules,not health,but there are similarities.I cannot live with uncertainty.On a positive note I am known to be reliable,and resilient.It helps so much to know that I am not alone.It is a mental illness and should never be regarded as something that can be got over-if only!

NanaNina Sun 28-Aug-11 22:23:36

jardy - is there any kind of treatment for OCD - I had no idea how horrendous it can be until I came on the MH threads. I thought it related only to repetitive hand washing etc - a common myth I think.

YummyHoney Sun 28-Aug-11 22:32:22

I believe that posters on here are 'enabling' you, rather than helping you.

The only way to overcome your anxieties and depression is to focus on someone/things other than yourself - if you choose to interperet that as "pull yourself together", so be it.

Clearly the medical profession have been unable to help you - you can either carry on what you're doing, or try to help yourself.

As another poster said, I have not suffered from "mental illness" but have suffered from depression (maybe that's the same thing - I don't know).

I do know that I followed my advice and it worked - that was about 20 years ago - and I have not suffered since.

The posters who are 'enabling' you are still struggling with mental illness, so I would say, are not best-placed to advise you.

jardy Mon 29-Aug-11 11:50:43

nananina,google ocd and there should be lots of information.Cognitive behaviour therapy really helped me.Keeping busy,having hobbies and structure takes the froth off.Yummymummy yes it helps to focus on things other than yourself,that is excellent advice but for me it is a strand.My underlying difficulties are always in the background,I am sure like many other sufferers we have tried everything.It is a bit like anorexia,very very hard to understand if you are on the outside.

kaylasmum Mon 29-Aug-11 13:48:01

hi nananina,

Its my dd and my ds that have bpd. My ds has self harmed over the years and taken overdoses. His arms are covered in scars. My dd was so ill that she was unable to look after her ds. He stayed with me for over a year and has just recently returned home. I really wish i could pull myself out of this but its so hard. I,m really not a selfish person but i feel like i'm being really selfish just now.

I have a 20yo dd aswell and she told me the other day that she misses the "old" me. My eldest dd told me that she's worried about me and that i seem to be withdrawing from everyone. I don't mean to but its so hard just to speak to people sometimes.


You have a lot to cope with, it can't be easy. I wish i had your strength. I need to stop the negative thinking and start to help myself, just don't know where to start..

jardy Mon 29-Aug-11 14:29:09

kaylasmum-you ARE a strong person,please believe that.If you weren`t you wouldn`t have got this far.You write eloquently.I could write your posts,I really could.I become very depressed and fixated,the mornings are just bluhhhhhhhhhhhh Try to force yourself out of bed and take each day in bite size pieces.Could you get hold of a copy of `Self Help for your Nerves` by Claire Weekes.Also,get a timer that pings and do a few jobs and when it pings that is your reward time,to put your feet up,go on the Internet or whatever.You are NOT selfish,you are a good caring mum and grandmum.Things like `you are not yourself` and `I miss the old you` can hurt very much.I know people don`t mean it,but sometimes you can feel very self conscious when people say those things.People say them a lot to me.Just keep going -how irritating if you were upbeat all the time,and also remember that people like us have a lot of empathy for others with mental health or challenging situations.Please don`t expect too much of yourself,it can take months or years to come out of a bad patch or maybe you might have to adjust to how you are,it can be done,for the time being.You say you are currently obsessed,OK,you are currently obsessed.I know all about the lack of sleep,the headaches,the comments,the whirling thoughts.Give your brain a little rest,even if you know it is only temporary.Go a big walk,garden or do something physical like swimming.Then it will help your sleep.Don`t expect the thoughts to stop,go with the flow,this will help,and remember you are not alone

NanaNina Mon 29-Aug-11 20:01:03

Hi Kayla's mum - I think I was a bit confused as you mention a 2 yr old and one slightly older at school, so didn't realise you had grown up children too. Look love you are not selfish - you are ill, and at the risk of repeating myself depression and anxiety are deceitfull illnesses and tell us things about ourselves that aren't true and make us think there is something we should be doing to get better. These are symptoms of depression. We don't feel like this with physical illness do we. and you talk of trying to "help yourself" and yes we can do little things (like getting up and having a shower and forcing ourselves to do a few jobs and maybe a short walk) when we are at our worst, although sometimes even that isn't possible, especially leaving the house. At my worst I have been unable to get out of bed, panicked when the door bell or phone went and had stopped eating and more or less stopped drinking. The thought of leaving the house was out of the question.

I have suffered 2 major depressive episodes (one 15 years ago) and 3 months in a psych ward and one last Easter and another 3 months on a psych ward, both times with very strong suicidal thoughts. I am not fully recovered and still have blips as the medics call them.

You say you don't know where to start helping yourself - don't you think a visit to the GP to discuss change of meds might be a step in the right direction as citalopram don't seem to be helping - have you ever been assessed by a conslt psych - if not I think you should be and you could ask your GP to refer you. I honestly don't think GPs are that knowledgeable about MH especially the older ones, as a lot of the newer ADs were not avialable when they were training. Also I understand that MH training for medics is minimal whilst studying for their degree in medicine.

Don't compare yourself with others love, we all have different diagnoses and get better at different rates - yes jardy has a lot to cope with, but so do you and I think you need more help than you are getting at present.

NanaNina Mon 29-Aug-11 20:20:15

Yummyhoney - I am a little staggered at what I perceive to be your arrogance, with your talk of "enablers" and not "helpers" - I think you are doing a lot of potential harm to sufferers on these threads with your inference of "pull yourself together" - a nursing assistant in hospital said this to me and I told the Ward Manager who took the matter very seriously and assured me that the nursing asst would receive a written warning as this was the 3rd time that she had made a comment like this to a patient. It is people like her (and you) that perpetuate the myth that all sufferers of MH need to do is to "focus on someone/things other than yourself" when this is quite simply not the case.

May I ask why you see yourself as an expert on depression, and what exactly do you mean by us sufferers as "enablers" and therefore not the best people to help others. Well goody for you that you only suffered some kind of MH problem and "followed your own advice" and have had no trouble for 20 years. Don't be too complacent though - I went for 15 years without trouble and was in hospital with people who had gone in excess of 20 years without further episodes.

I can honestly say that this is the first time I have encountered someone with your views on the MH threads. The only people who understand are people who have/are also suffering and that in itself is tremendously helpful, as often we feel we are alone with this aweful illness. These MH threads have seen me through some of my darkest days. We can hear the sort of things that you are posting from many people in society, and it is potentially harmful to sufferers, so I suggest you stop posting on MH threads.

catx2 Mon 29-Aug-11 20:37:51

We have talked on here before and I'm sorry you still feel like this. It deffinately sounds like you need some more help. I'm not experienced in this at all so don't know what to suggest.
I recognised myself so much when you wrote about how you coped with the loss of your parents so young and your childrens mental health problem without feeling like you do now. I didn't experience that but have had a pretty tough life.
I grew up with my dad as my mum is mentally ill. I had to deal with as a young child her being quite horrible, ringing up saying things like she was going to commit suicide. I then also had to deal with living on my own from 15 as my dad stopped paying the bills and we lost our flat. He moved in with his new partner and I got a council flat by myself. I managed to stay strong and carrying on with my education and then work. I fell pregnant with twins at 23 and had a great pregnancy not worrying about a thing. What I'm trying to say is that I stayed strong and calm through all this but after a health scare last year I have been very anxoius and believed I have all sorts of things wrong with me.
I think you just get to a point where you just can't stay strong anymore and you just want someone to put it all right again for you.
Is it just your bowel problems you are worried about or is it other things as well? I think for some people counceling seem to work but for others you just need to have it proven to you that you are not seriously ill.

catx2 Mon 29-Aug-11 20:45:02

Must also say that I agree with NanaNina's comments to Yummyhoney.
I'm no expert on mental health and we might not be able to advice each other as we are all different but it deffinately helps to talk about it.
It is no good saying "pull yourself together" because believe me if we could we would, who would choose to feel anxious/depressed?

jardy Mon 29-Aug-11 21:14:42

I agree with NanaNina,the wrong sort of comments can make someone spiral downwards.I too was very surprised to read the comments,we are trying our best to help this poor lady.People who have `enabled` me by not been sympathetic or trying to get me to snap out of it have not helped.Cognitive therapy has helped me and the support of individuals have helped.There is nothing worse than been told to focus on your children instead of your mental illness,that is not the nature of mental illness,we desperately want to do those things.It just adds to the isolation you feel.Kayla`s mum,please do take care,you are a great example of courage x

kaylasmum Mon 29-Aug-11 21:39:40

hi jardy,

Thanks for your lovely post, its much appreciated.
Yeah the mornings are hell, i've never been a "morning person" but now its so bad. I did manage to get some things today in the house and let the dcs play at the park after school, i normally try to get home asap. My eldest dd came rounnd this evening and told me that she was crying today cause she's so worrried about me. She also said that i seemed better this evening, but this is how it seems to be, i start to relax in the evening but it all starts again in the morning.

it sounds like you've been through such a hard time over the years, i hope things are better for you now. I do feel to blame for my dcs mental health issues and worry that my younger dcs are going to be affected by this. I do try hard to hide things from tem but don't really think i'm doing a good job.
As far as the anti-d's are concerned, i did mention changing them before to another gp but he said i should stick with the citalopram.
Hows things with you? I went through a spell where i thought i was improving but unfortunately it was short lived. My ibs has improved but i'm obsessed with it which is the problem. I need to stop fixating on this but its so hard when its the first thing i think about as soon as i wake up. Looking at it rationally i can see its not a big deal, i go on average 2x a day and almost never after lunchtime. So i know in my logical head that there is unlikely to be a serious problem as when i'm relaxed there's not really any bother with my stomach. But as any ha sufferer knows logic is'nt something we have in abundance.

home asap.

YummyHoney Mon 29-Aug-11 21:53:23


1. I never said "pull yourself together".

2. Unlike you, I have not been rude or insulting to anyone - nor have I called you arrogant just because I disagree with you.

3. Just because you disagree with my POV does not give you the right to tell me not to post.

4. This is a public forum and not a Mental Health Advice Centre.

5. I never purported to be an expert. The OP posted and I responded to her because no-one else had at the time I'd started typing. I didn't want her post to go unanswered and so I responded.

6. I gave what I believe to be the correct advice.

6. Nonwhere in the rules does it state that you can only post on Mental Health if your point of view is the same as NanaNina's - THANK GOODNESS!

kaylasmum Mon 29-Aug-11 22:40:20


You did'nt tell me to "pull myself together" but the implication was there. I have 5 dcs and they are my life, i have felt terrible guilt that i've been so ill with this anxiety and the thought that my dcs might be suffering because of that only compounds that guilt. I'm doing my utmost to focus on my dhildren but unfortunately its an ongoing struggle.

I think its great that you were able to fight your depression and win, you're very fortunate.

I don't want to burden my family with my problems, thats why i posted here and because i knew that i'd find someone who could relate to how i'm feeling.

I'm sure you meant well but you do seem to be lacking in empathy.

NanaNina Tue 30-Aug-11 00:10:06

Kaylasmum - well done for managing to let your children play in the park after school. I agree mornings are hell - I am at my worst then but seem to improve in the evening and this is why I stay up late, but the fear of how the next day is going to be is very real isn't it. Sorry I keep going on about a change of meds but maybe you could ask why the GP wants you to stay on citalopram when it isn't really helping any more and then discuss other options.

Keep posting if it helps Kaylasmum - cus it helps me, especially when I am having a bad time (like now) and that is one of the real benefits of MN that we can say what we don't want to burden our families with, knowing that others will understand us.

Yummyhoney - I don't intend to hi-jack this thread by continuing to "debate" with you. There are at least 2 other posters who are in agreement with me about your comments and lack of empathy and I think your last post to me says more about you than it does about me.

YummyHoney Tue 30-Aug-11 11:41:52

Kaylasmum I have already explained that the reason I posted, was because I didn't want your post to go unanswered.

You posted at 13.47, asking for help, and by 14.24, nobody had replied.

I thought you sounded distressed and didn't want to 'walk away' and leave you 'alone'.

If you'd said you just wanted a sympathetic ear, I would have given you one, but you asked for advice, saying you don't know what to do.

I took time out to answer you as best I could because when someone is in distress I cannot just walk away.

The fact that your DC self-harm is disturbing and my final piece of advice to you is, get professional help.

Strangers on public forums are certainly not best-placed to help you.

kaylasmum Tue 30-Aug-11 14:13:10

hi yummyhoney,

I was looking for some support when i posted here as i was feeling very lost and lonely (still am).

I just did'nt expect anyone to tell me i need to focus on my kids more. I am very well aware of that. As i've mentioned before my kids are my life, and although i've always had low self confidence in most aspects of my life i've always thought that i've been a good parent. Though of course now i don't feel like that anymore!

My ds started to self harm 9 years ago when he "came out" as being gay. It was a very tough time for him as he found it difficult to accept that he was gay. Thankfully he overcame that and is now settled with his dp. as i said before he has bpd which continues to give him problems.

This is a mental health thread and felt it perfectly acceptable to post here about how i'm feeling.

I just feel that if you don't understand or empathise with people who suffer MH issues then maybe posting on here is'nt for you. I don't in any way mean to be insulting.

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