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Need help to cope when anxiety gets out of control

(44 Posts)
Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 12:51:35

I just posted long ramblings on the OTBT section but thought I might be brave and ask for some support here.

Am I the only person who is mostly fine, but every now and again anxiety spirals out of control over occasional upsets in life. I have a real knack of blowing things right out of proportion and imagining the worst case scenarios. Once the current "issue" is resolved, I will go back to normal again.

I have been very reluctant to take medication as I am not like this constantly. Tried telephone cbt but didn't engage with it. When I am in turmoil, as I am currently, I just can't be bothered to do anything so suggestions of exercise, distractions etc, although I know are the right thing to do, I just can't. Maybe I need to consider medication now.

I have trouble talking about this in real life due to feeling ashamed, as really my problems and not at all serious. Is the anyone else like this as it would help to get some perspective.

MarthaSF321 Sun 04-Dec-16 13:04:15

You sound just like me! I got so fed up with plunging into despair whenever anything bad happens, I have been taking low dose sertraline and it has helped to keep me functioning. Like you I think of worst case scenarios for everything and it becomes increasingly hard to function. I know if I did things (exercise, hobby, even clean the house) I'd feel better, but like you I just can't. Spend far too much time just sitting on the sofa feeling hopeless (and then guilty for being so pathetic ) My GP said antidepressants don't fix things but they give you a bit more room in your glass to cope with the things life throws at you. I feel like I've got a bit more resilience when things are bad to keep going and not get poleaxed by a problem so much.
I didn't want to take ADs because I was a bit ashamed but its the same as any medication for an illness. And its better then wasting days staring at the wall and crying.

Wolfiefan Sun 04-Dec-16 13:06:35

Watching with interest. I'm having a massive spike in anxiety at the moment. Can't eat much.

Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 13:47:40

It's when things happen that "might" turn out bad, that I have no control over, that's when I start catastrophising. And the longer it goes on, that's when my anxiety gets out of hand.
I used to have a real problem with health anxiety and looking back, that was a control thing as well as I couldn't do anything about the potential illness (it always used to be cancer) but now it's just general life/family stuff and maybe a tiny bit of health anxiety. And tbh the past couple of years it's been mostly stuff involving my kids - teens.

Woollymammoth63 Sun 04-Dec-16 14:58:28

I think it might be worth talking it through with a therapist to see if you have got past unresolved issues now coming out as anxiety or some unhelpful ways of thinking about problems etc smile

Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 15:10:01

Thank you Woolly but I really haven't got any unresolved issues. Great childhood and no real traumas in my life. I've always been a bit anxious so perhaps it's genetic. I've read a lot of self help stuff and I know I need to change the way I think about things but I find it so hard and revert to the "what ifs". And it's not all the time. Sometimes when things happen I just deal with it and move on. Other times I am floored.
I could probably do with therapy but can't afford it. Telephone cbt was a waste of time for me.

Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 16:34:37

I also feel so selfish. There are people around suffering bereavement, serious illnesses and real problems and I am feeling sorry for myself and worrying about something that might not happen. And yet I still fret and it's wrong.

Wolfiefan Sun 04-Dec-16 16:36:44

We don't do it deliberately! I think the key is strategies to cope. I can't use my normal ones and I'm really struggling!

Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 17:32:06

Thanks Wolfie. Hope you are OK. It does help to have a place to vent.
I know what I should be doing and saying to myself but I'm struggling too. I just want to talk and talk and be constantly reassured that things will be OK but nobody is going to do that for very long before becoming totally cheesed off with me. Crap sad

charlotte1982 Sun 04-Dec-16 18:41:53

I'm exactly the same. See everything in the worst case scenario all the time. Everything frightens me, even when the doorbell goes my heart pounds thinking it's something really bad.
Don't know why I'm like this as I never used to be. My dh is the total opposite to me yet it doesn't help me dig myself out of this misery.

Woollymammoth63 Sun 04-Dec-16 19:45:42

I know what you mean too- I've been perfectly fine all weekend, now it's Sunday night I can feel the anxiety starting up- I can rationalise it, talk to a friend, etc but nothing seems to take it away!! Am going to try a film ! X

Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 20:12:58

Charlotte a few years ago I was in such a state over something I used to jump at every loud noise, doorbell, telephone ringing. It's the pits.
Woolly is it a work thing? The Sunday night dread of having to get up and go to work again?
I wish I could speak of the exact circumstances of what I am worrying about on here but I would probably out myself. I'm sure there are people who could put my mind at rest if I did.
Im thinking that maybe it's time to bite the bullet and try medication and see if it stops me from doing this but I am very reluctant.

charlotte1982 Sun 04-Dec-16 20:21:32

It's awful. Even when nothing happens I'm still on edge thinking any minute something bad is going to happen.
I have awful weird dreams almost every night too about random things, but always bad things.

How do you get a grip on things though? I know I need to relax but it's hard. Even now I'm sat apparently relaxing yet my shoulders are tense and I have a banging headache from all the over thinking.
Hate it sad

Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 20:28:15

Sounds a bit cliche but have you tried camomile tea Charlotte? When I was really bad it did calm me down. Tastes foul but seems to work. Are you getting any help?

ClassmateHB Sun 04-Dec-16 20:31:34

Purple, you aren't alone. I'm sitting here with a huge anxiety attack about work tomorrow. No reason, other than a couple of socialising events last week which with my aspergers has really knocked me. And now I'm ticking and trying to calm myself down enough to plan lessons and go in tomorrow. It sucks. And I can't ring in "sick" for an anxiety attack. I don't think. Well, I know I can't, because if I do it once, I'll never go back.

charlotte1982 Sun 04-Dec-16 20:34:41

I have tried camomile tea Op yes but it didn't work.
I know I overthink everything, worry about every single thing. Even when I'm not in the wrong I'll convince myself I am.

Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 21:11:20

I really don't want to go to work tomorrow either. All that putting on a brave face and pretending all is well. Its hard work.
Its a shame the tea doesn't help. Tbh I had a glass of wine earlier. I know its not the right thing to do but I'm sensible with it and don't have more than one coz it can make you worse.

ClassmateHB Sun 04-Dec-16 21:20:50

I've done my lesson plans, so just need to count down bit by bit. I need to get on top of my housework as well, I always feel better then. I'm just a bit overwhelmed by everything, which sounds silly.

Purple, a glass can help. I've used it as a crutch to sleep often :-(

Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 21:51:27

Over thinking is a real problem with me too.

Purplecarpet Sun 04-Dec-16 23:48:31

Example of my over thinking and imagination. Years ago I went through the lights on a stupid complicated roundabout just as they were about to change to red. So what, you might say but me in my sensitive state thought I must have been caught on camera and that I would soon be arrested for reckless driving. I worried for weeks about this. Looking back I can see how ridiculous that was but at the time it was serious to me and I felt dreadful about it.
I'll stop rambling now but thanks for the responses today. Its been helpful.

Middleoftheroad Sun 04-Dec-16 23:57:47

I'm the same. We were on the motorway today and I was convinced we were going to crash (again).
I recently came off my meds as they just weren't working. Stupidly did it cold turkey.
I went for one CBT session, but wasn't impressed either.
Not sure how to manage anxiey now...
Need to think of ways of not blowing every little thing out of control. Thinking the worst of every situation, like being at a gig Sat and looking for exits in case of an attack.
Trouble is, I've learned these responses over 10 years or so. Since I had kids I have responded this way. You're not alone OP - not sure if that offers any reassurance grin

AnxiousCarer Mon 05-Dec-16 11:00:48

I thought I'd had an idylic, happy childhood too (and compared to a lot of people I probably did) it was only several monthscinto therapy that I realised that I did have unresolved issues from childhood. Our parents are only human, they do their best, but that doesn't mean that they don't pass on some of their own issues to us.

I think that different things work for different people in terms of medication and therapy. I also think that 1 or 2 sessions of a therapy isn't long enough to know if its going to work for you or not. I'm currently struggling with anxiety secondary to PTSD caused by DH suddenly becoming ill earlier in the year. I am on mirtazapine which has helped with the anxiety. I have been having councelling and just started to see a psychologist. He has warned me that treatment will be tough and exhausting. I have also seen an nlp therapist, which I would highly reccomend. For me exercise and meditation help too.

gamerchick Mon 05-Dec-16 11:06:02

Have you tried beta blockers? They're an as and when type of med. Just take them when you need them rather than every day.

Woollymammoth63 Mon 05-Dec-16 21:55:26

Yes , a work thing. It's hard when you're anxious at work . Last night I tried something new - I googled how to get rid of anxiety and a list came up and it was about tolerating it and breathing through it instead of what I usually do which is try to fight it. It said its just a feeling like any other feeling and not to be scared of it. It worked a bit, it faded and today I got through my days work- a bit anxious but it didn't become unmanageable.

AlwaysaNortherner Mon 05-Dec-16 22:13:55

This sounds so like me, OP. I'm glad I'm not the only one either. Like you, I feel awful asking for help when there's nothing "really wrong" with me - I don't have cancer or whatever - but it still feels awful doesn't it. I'm having counselling and I think it's helping although only had 3 sessions so far.
I do all the peppermint tea, yoga, breathing exercises, try to eat healthily - sometimes I just feel fed up that after all that effort I'm still not "cured"! Then it's time to ditch the sensible plan and eat chocolate cake wink

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