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really unwell

(12 Posts)
coffeegonecold Sun 24-May-15 13:31:37

I've got a long history of anxiety, PTSD, OCD, panic attacks, compulsive & intrusive thoughts etc.

After being very stable for 3 years I weaned off my meds last November. Had a few very good months, but started slipping down in March. Monitored it, tried all the CBT stuff for a while. I realised I was too ill for it to help & it was just triggering - went back to GP to restart meds (sertraline which has worked v. well in the past) 2 weeks ago.

The last 10 days have been horrendous - constant mind numbing anxiety, barely sleeping, daily panic attacks. I'm now have valium & amitriptyline as well & a review this week. My mum has my youngest dc for the weekend- this time the thoughts are taking the form that he has cancer & every time I look at him I have flashes of his funeral etc. It is incredibly distressing.

I know there aren't any answers or solutions. I have another three children to look after, dh is away & everyone I know is going through their own difficult stuff & there's nothing anyone can say or do that will help anyway.

I feel like crawling out of my skin.

NanaNina Sun 24-May-15 14:09:29

Oh so sorry you are having such a tough time. I think with 4 months off the meds, it is going to take more than 2 weeks for them to kick in again, and as you know I imagine, we often get worse before we feel the benefit. Is the diazepam taking the edge off the anxiety at all - presumably you are seeing a psychiatrist as you are taking 2 different ADs as well as diazepam and a GP can't usually prescribe more than one AD. I didn't think they prescribed SSRIs and a tryclic together?

I suffer from intermittent depression and anxiety and stopped taking meds that had kept me well for 14 YEARS, did it gradually, but 4 months after coming off them completely I relapsed...........SO wish I'd never stopped them.

You mention a review this week - is that with the GP or psychiatrist. Have you tried therapy at all? Sorry I can't really come up with anything to help, other than to say I know the torment of mental illness and it's a hidden illness (no hacking cough, plaster cast etc) to see and so people don't realise how much we suffer.

Are your older children old enough to amuse themselves or have a DVD afternoon while you hide under the duvet, or failing that under a blanket on the sofa. I know it's no cure, it's just something that takes the edge of the emotional pain for me sometimes.

coffeegonecold Sun 24-May-15 14:26:14

thank you for the reply!

The tricyclic is temporary until the SSRI kicks in - only 5-10mg a night (I have enough for a week) - just so I can have a chance of sleeping. I really really hope that the increase in anxiety is due to the sertraline - though last time I started it didn't have that effect - which they say is quite common. Before I started it I wasn't a fraction as bad as I am now. I took 5mg of diazepam yesterday & again this morning - I have two more 5mg tablets & my appointment is on Wednesday.

I've had a really hard time with therapies - when I'm well CBT can help but a lot of the time it just triggers a panic attack or OCD behaviours. I'm compliant and insightful & function well etc - it takes a while for them to accept how disordered my thinking is ... CBT workbooks & phone 'support' doesn't even touch the surface.

It's so exhausting.

I shouldn't have stopped, I honestly thought I'd caught it before it got so bad though.

NanaNina Mon 25-May-15 13:51:58

That's a very tiny dose of tryclic and can't imagine it will do anything really, but a high dose of diazepam - how many times a day do you take them? I think another puzzle with ADs is that sometimes what helps in one episode, doesn't in another, or the dose has to be increased. What dose of Sertraline are you on now - they often start you on 50mg and my CPN always says this is not a "therapeutic dose" and is really a test dose to see if you can tolerate it, although you've taken it before, so should be ok as far as side effects are concerned.

I've had no success with therapy at all - I found CBT makes good sense when I feel ok but I feel shite, it just annoys me!

You mention PTSD - have you heard of EMDR (you'll have to google) I've heard many people on these threads talk of this therapy in glowing terms and it is apparently especially helpful for PTSD - no going over all the trauma but still very successful. Might be worth a try. There's another one called "re-wind therapy" that works in a similar way.

coffeegonecold Tue 26-May-15 09:11:54

awful awful awful day yesterday.

My MIL has the children now (they think that's brilliant, they are fine). DH is trying to get someone to see me today. I was kind of hoping I wouldn't wake up this morning. I did sleep last night - woke up in absolute panic though, heart racing body on fire etc.

I'm on 100 of sertraline.

CBT is shit imo, I don't have the energy for it & my brain can always come up with a 'yes but what if ...' for every situation. Everyone seems to think it is the magic bullet for all ills. That & mindfulness - focus on how you feel like you are dying right at this moment & how actually you don't think that would be a bad thing. I've looked at EMDR, there aren't any practitioners locally. Assuming I ever feel better than this (in bed with blanket over the head) I should push for something.

When I'm well I just want to get on with my life & try & forget all this, when I'm ill I cant cope with anything at all. I just want to be normal.

ginagslovechild Tue 26-May-15 09:20:18

I can completely empathise coffee there are days when I just want it all to stop and go away. I have similar intrusive thoughts about my kids or even me getting cancer and dying, it's just horrible.
I am on 100 of sertraline at the moment, I've tried weaning down to 50 purely because it is giving me horrible diarrhoea, but tbh I need the 100.
As pp said, the medication takes a while to settle in, my anxiety hit the roof at the beginning, and I still have days when I don't want to get out of bed and live this life.
Nobody around me understands, my DH tries but I guess unless you have had these feelings you just can't know. I try to explain that somedays I just hot a brick wall, I'm sitting on my sofa at the moment trying to talk myself into getting showered and get the kids dressed, I want to go out to the shop this morning but again that seems like an insurmountable task.
Some people take one day at a time, I often have to take one hour at a time.
I too just want to be a normal, happy perso.

ginagslovechild Tue 26-May-15 09:21:55

Excuse the typos I'm using my phone.

NanaNina Tue 26-May-15 12:42:29

Oh coffe and gina - so sorry things are so tough for you just now. I know so well that feeling of wanting it all to end and struggling to even get out of bed and wanting to hide under the duvet all day. Oh and I agree about CBT and bloody Mindfulness - you're right they are both being trundled out as some sort of panacea for everything. It's ridiculous. I've sat in the garden staring at clouds but thinking of suicide at the same time....mental illness is shite.

The thing is both of you have a double load because you have kids to look after and I honestly and truly don't know how you manage - I'm always saying this on MN but I salute you. I really do. I suppose you have to get by the best way you can as there's no option. My kids are grown and long gone and I'm a grandmother, but on very bad days I can't be bothered with the cats let alone kids.

Gina I totally get that people talk of "taking one day at a time" when for sufferers of mental illness it is often "one hour at a time" or sometimes "30 mins at a time, or less" - the inertia can be overwhelming can't it and having a shower can feel like having to climb Everest.

dollius Tue 26-May-15 12:50:33

Hi OP, sorry you are having such a tough time. Have you ever thought about staying on the meds for good?

I have to take 200mg per day of Sertraline and when a psych finally recommended I stay on it for life as I have suffered more than two serious depressive episodes in my life, it came as a huge relief actually. No more worrying about when or how to come off them.

ginagslovechild Tue 26-May-15 12:52:03

NanaNina thankyou for your kind words flowers
I think my kids really are the buoy that keeps me afloat sometimes, if I didn't have them to look after I think I would definitely be in worse shape, but then again having children has been the catalyst of my illness.
I still find it hard to admit, especially to my parents who don't tend to be the most empathetic when it comes to this.

I made it out, got what I needed, we had lunch at a cafe and now I'm home while dd is at preschool and ds is napping. This has been a good day for me.

I often compare living my life with this to climbing a mountain, it seems so huge and daunting, and then once I get the hardest bit out of the way I can generally cope.

I hope as time passes that I can enjoy life again, at the moment it's merely survival.

coffeegonecold Tue 26-May-15 14:33:32

I really appreciate having people to 'talk' too ... I'm sorry that you know what it's like because it's so grim.

I got up, made the bed, got dressed, hung out some washing & spoke to my mum. She thinks it is a reaction to the sertraline ... she's never seen me like this but it isn't the worst I've been. God I'm so tired.

Having children imploded my mental health - I've been predisposed to anxiety but developed postnatal OCD after dc1 & the last 15 years have just been one thing after another. Kids are coming back tonight.

Still trying to get hold of the dr though I guess I'll just hang on for tomorrow now.

Last time I was on sertraline I kind of accepted that it would be for life - I got fed up with being different - med reviews & appointments etc.

Haven't eaten since Saturday either.

Everyone says my thoughts are completely irrational - why can't I see that?

coffeegonecold Thu 28-May-15 14:31:13

well I got my review - carry on 100 sertraline & work on reducing the amitrip over the next couple of weeks. The anxiety is settling, I don't feel desperate just sad & tired.

I'm going in again next week.

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