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Social Anxiety getting out of control (no surprise there then)

(21 Posts)
Paranoid1stTimer Mon 31-Aug-09 12:09:17

I have still not been to the GP about what I am sure is Social Anxiety Disorder. I had hypnotherapy but could no longer afford it as therapist price went up to £50 an hour and I basically don't even have enough money to cover the bills at the moment.

Anyway, DP had a go the other night because I complained that a bunch of "hoodies" scared me n DS away from the football pitches the other day (they weren't doing anything, just loitering around and since it is kinda secluded at footie pitches, I picked up DS and came home n played in the garden instead). DP is convinced all we do is sit in the house all day every day since I don't go to mother n toddler or playgroup as basically I can't handle meeting new people and if I do actually go to a new club, I only go once since I don't want anyone else to find out what a weirdo I am, that I am shy to the point of not talking and that I have no real friends or hobbies...

I am going to make appt to see GP but I am terrified of going on meds. I really would like to try for CBT but GP don't really appreciate their patients telling them what to do and anyway, my anxiety means I will either go to docs and cry and tell them everything then just take meds if they offer them or cancel the appt the day after I have made it and not go at all...

What would you advise those who have been through it?

MrsEricBanaMT Mon 31-Aug-09 12:17:36

The doc will give you meds and put you on the waiting list for CBT. JuDon't be afraid of meds. They will help you feel better and will help the CBT work quicker. Just do it.

But also don't underestimate the negative impact of this condition on your loved ones. Do whatever it takes to get well before all your lives get sucked into this black hole.

MrsEricBanaMT Mon 31-Aug-09 12:19:01

Also look at this. We hand these out to patients www.gp-training.net/pal/mentalhealth/doc/shade.doc

LittleMissNorty Mon 31-Aug-09 12:22:52

I suffer in a similar way and you need to go to the GP and take the meds. Why are you terrified of taking them....they will make you feel so much better. When you feel a bit more normal, you can begin to fight it by doing the activities that atm scare the life out of you. Does your GP surgery offer counselling? I have always asked at my surgery for it and done it in conjunction with ADs with positive effects.

A little while ago, the thought of going around Sainsburys with my DD on my own was enough to give me a panic attack (as I coulldn't get out easily without making a scene if I felt rough....which guarateed that I would feel rough IYKWIM)....now I can do it with DD and my baby DS and I don't think twice. There are still some things I can't do, but I can only begin to tackle them whilst on ADs.

HTH and good luck xx

Paranoid1stTimer Mon 31-Aug-09 14:34:13

Thanks for the replies. I am terrified of taking meds in case I get really bad side effects and end up falling apart. I have obviously only read about the awful side effects people get on ADs and not the positive ones for some reason.

Thanks for that guide. I will print it off and have a read through. Hopefully this time I will actually get some help...

Thanks again

MrsEricBanaMT Mon 31-Aug-09 14:40:35

The side effects are not nearly as bad as the symptoms you are experencing now. And there are many many drugs to take. My SIL has just started taking fluxetine for depression and social anxiety which has gotten so bad she was on the edge of a total breakdown. She switched to fluoxetine after a week on another, as the other upset her stomach (though her IBS is in part caused by her anxiety) and she has become totally transformed by fluoxetine. They are amazing drugs.

Paranoid1stTimer Mon 31-Aug-09 16:40:41

Wow. I am actually feeling quite up about getting some help now. I guess I just have to hope that my GP is sympathetic and knows a bit about what is suitable and doesn't just do what my old GP did which was to say "So you think you are depressed. Here... This should sort you out" and give a prescription for I think it was valium back then to calm me down... I didn't get the prescription and just felt worse for revealing my problems and making me feel like such a pathetic hypochondriac.

I have made an appointment directly from your advice today MrsEricBana. I can't go on like this. thank you so much for replying. You seemed to say something that really made me actually do something about this horrible situation. I just want to be me again you know?

Thank you so much

MrsEricBanaMT Mon 31-Aug-09 17:33:35

The thing with depression and anxiety is that it does, in effect, start speaking for us, to the point where you feel you cannot distingush where your personality ends and the depression begins. It is a 'bodysnatcher' in that sense.

Once you start to be able to discern the difference between your own voice and that of the imposter depression, you take the first step to managing this condition.

It is the depression that says you are scared of meds, that it is pointless even trying. The only way tyo counter this is to act positively and not give in to endless procrastination - which I know from expereince.

We live in a very privledged time where drugs like Prozac and other SSRI's are available and help is there. If your GP is not sympathetic - and most are these days thankfully - get a second opinion.

But in the first instance just be honest. Tell your doctor tha that this condition is in danger of runing your, and your famnilies lives. That you want help. That you want to get better. That you, as you put it, want to be you again.

It won't happen overnight and you will have to put in some work as the meds are a prop to ease symptoms while you tackle the underlying issues. But a good counsellor and CBT will help you do this.

I'm always around too. The futures bright

MrsEricBanaMT Mon 31-Aug-09 17:37:56

and crucially just take it a day at a time. Theres no rush. The good days soon mount up and as long as your not counting them, the day you wake up with more good days than bad days behind you takes you by suprise. A very happy one.

Paranoid1stTimer Tue 01-Sep-09 21:54:23

I am starting to panic and think about backing out of the GP appt by the way...

Do you think it would be ok to write down what I have been feeling and ask GP to read it or will that just make me look like a total weirdo?

Also, I have had nightmares about my little one being taken off me cos I am crazy. Is this my mind trying to stop me getting help again?

Sorry. I feel like a total idiot and am really starting to think "Do I really need to tell anyone about this..."

Also, I posted a thread about being too short to drive OH's car and have taken huge offence to some of the replies. How stupid is that? Think I am on overdrive tongiht.

MrsEricBanaMT Tue 01-Sep-09 22:58:40

Yes, absolutely write it down. And white down why you are writing it down - as you don't trust yourself to be able to communicate everything accuratly in the moment. This will not make you look weird. It is a very good strategy for overcoming social anxiety and if your GP is experienced they will have come across this before and will know this.

A good metaphor is to keep reminding yourself that these thoughts are the depression - they are not you.

You will not have your child taken off you. Don't listen to that devil on your shoulder. That is the depression. Once you can identify it, you can begin to tell it to f'off and consider more rational perspectives. The ad's will help you do this. It is essential you take the meds.

You're not an idiot. You are under stress. This is a big thing you are doing - very brave. This is much harder than just giving in to the depression, but it is worth it in the long run.

Its normal to take offence at some things. You may be right, you may be wrong to. Thing is, you aren't really in a position to know just now as you are so sensitive about everything possibly. Just try to be phiosphical about things and not get drawn into arguments. Time is your friend here - you will always have time to consider things after the moment has passed, when you are in a more rational state of mind. But really, don't do second guessing yourself now. You will learn these skills in CBT.

MrsEricBanaMT Tue 01-Sep-09 23:00:28

don't go second guessing yourself I mean

When is your GP's appointment?

Do you want me to hold your hand through this?

Paranoid1stTimer Wed 02-Sep-09 11:04:29

Gp appt is on Friday morning. I have to go about blood pressure anyway so at least that way I will definitely go to the appt. I can't get a babysitter so have to take DS which is making me feel like not mentioning the way I am feeling in case I really break down in front of DS (only 18 months but still seems very inappropriate).

I was lying awake in bed last night thinking "I don't have to tell them about the anxiety..." then I started to feel panic and wanted to cry so I think my mind is kind of relieved that I have actually made a decision to talk to GP about it cos when I though "no I wont bother" i nearly had a panic attack so... I will talk to them. Its not like it is going to make me worse is it?

I would like someone to hold my hand TBH. I haven't talked to OH about my appt yet cos he is a bit fed up of me at the moment. He pretty much said so at the weekend as he is under huge pressure with threat of redundancy (along with the rest of the population) but I have absolutely no one to talk to about this in RL...

Sorry. Didnt mean to bang on again

MrsEricBanaMT Wed 02-Sep-09 13:20:58

Write it down if your DS will be there. It's suprising what they pick up, even before they can talk themselves, and yes, you don't want to break down in front of him.

And your not going on. These are small steps but you are taking them. Pretty soon you will have gone the first mile.

And don't feel too bad about your DH. Sometimes your loved ones, the ones who care for you the most are the worst ones to discuss this with - it scares the shit out of them primerily, and fear does strange things to people. Just remember he is your partner, not your carer. smile

GooseyLoosey Wed 02-Sep-09 13:35:52

Paranoid, I suffered from crippling health anxiety. It had got to the point where I actually felt that I could no longer live with it such was the constant state of terror. I have to say, my GP was great and completely understood that I was not a loon but had a real problem that needed treating. My anxiety also means I cannot have a proper conversation with my GP, I solved this by writing down everything I wanted to say and then just giving it to the GP and explaining that I found it too hard to say what I wanted to.

I had always resisted taking anything but it was so bad, I would have done anything. I tried Sertraline for 4 months. That did not work so moved on to Fluoextine (Prozac) and hey presto! It was not an immediate thing and there was no sense of everything suddenly being better and normal it was more a case of the anxiety gradually ceasing to dominate my life. After 18 months I stopped taking anything at all and so far am feeling fine. You can stop taking them whenever you want to and if you get home and decide that you do not want to take what you have been prescribed you can do that too.

The anxiety has not gone completely and I am not sure that it ever will. However it has got to the point where I control it rather than it controlling me.

Paranoid1stTimer Thu 03-Sep-09 11:48:48

Thanks GooseyLoosey. It is nice to hear a positive story. I usually read about people having awful side effects on the ADs they get put on and I panic that I am going to feel worse.

I just can't go on like this. I don't want my son to be stuck in the house with no social skills just because I wouldnt get help.

Thanks again MrsEricBana - I have had to tell my depressive thoughts that are trying to get me to not mention anything to the GP to f*ck off basically. I am going to write down the main issues, tell myself there is no need to cry at the docs and especially not in front of DS and just hand it over when she says the usual "So... What can I do for you today..."

MrsEricBanaMT Thu 03-Sep-09 21:59:50

Don't worry. There is no need to cry. But it's okay to. Even if you do cry in front of DS - the important thing is to let him see its somehting that passes and than everythings okay after. It's not taboo, it's not 'bad' - sometimes its good. Just tell him you felt upset about something (don't say sad) but you will be/are okay now. That's healthy. For both of you. Endless crying - talk of being 'sad' (he will worry about you and this will make him 'sad' and think the world is 'sad') taboo issues or endless drama and instablity are the thinsg to avoid.

Slow and steady. For him stablity is the key. He needs to know his world is not one step away from falling in. I know you might feel like it is sometimes, but he doesn't need to know this. And it isn't anyway. Breath through it and the moment passes. Don't undersetimate the power of slow breathing to get you though a moment. Just do it discretely.

I'm at work tomorow (at GP's) so won't be on here until after 3. Post anyway. I'll catch up later.

No need for good luck. You have already made the first step here. smile

Paranoid1stTimer Fri 04-Sep-09 11:22:57

Ok... So I went up to the GP surgery with DS in tow since I defo couldnt get anyone to babysit. He happily played with the wooden balls n wire thingy that he has NO interest in outside of the doctors and pointed at the lights n pictures on the walls while I handed my prewritten issues to the GP. I did crack a little since she did have to ask some basic questions like "Have you ever felt like harming yourself" and such like.

I basically wrote down the key issues that I felt I couldn't talk about without completely breaking down like my Mum's death and feeling like no one understands and that I am a complete failure. She was soooo understanding and gentle about it all. She said she thought I should be commended for having the bravery to do something about it and understood how difficult it must have been to even get to the appointment.

She advised some counselling to start to talk things through and get started on some self help since it doesn't seem that I am depressed so much as suffering from severe anxiety so doesn't want to "jump in with medication at this stage". I have an appt to see the mental health team counseller and GP wants HV to come and see me at home. I don't really like HV - she always comes across as self righteous and know it all. She is very condescending but I don't knowif maybe - again - this is just my mind trying to stop me connecting with people.

Anyway, I feel so much better that I have actually done something about the way I am feeling and actually feel quite positive about things. I was just worried that I would be sent away wit AD's and no follow up (like kind of what happened that last time I attempted to get any help which was probably over 12 years ago now!)

Thanks MrsEricBana. You really helped convince me that I should just do it and not let my mind talk me out of it. I am disappointed in myself for crying a little because I KNOW it is just stupid but I suppose it is just because it has all been suppressed and bulding up for so long that it is just so tense. The deep breathing did help thanks. Slowed my heart rate down and managed to get me calm so I could talk without sounding like a bubbling wreck.

Should I let go of your hand now

Thanks so much. I hope you know how much you have helped me - a complete stranger! - you give me faith in humanity again.

MrsEricBanaMT Fri 04-Sep-09 16:15:31

Thats so fantastic! Things have changed alot in 12 years. Your GP sounds fab too.

And do not feel disapointed in anything. Your GP is right. This is a huge brave step. Crying is perfectly normal and natural.

Save this thread and remember the tips. Give me a shout anytime. My 'real' name is Monkeytrousers (MT).

smile

MrsEricBanaMT Fri 04-Sep-09 20:58:24

And remember, baby steps. There will be hiccups. But you get stright back on the horse.

Hows that for mixing me metaphors!?

MrsEricBanaMT Fri 04-Sep-09 21:02:47

...and if they offer you meds - please take them. I will be on and off them for the rest of my life. I feel mightily privledge to have such a resource. I would have simply turned into my toxic, spiteful, desperatly unhappy mother without them.

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