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The worry that it's not anxiety/depression

(26 Posts)
Milkhell Thu 07-Nov-13 14:41:12

I've been battling 'something' since the birth of my son 2.5 years ago. I've been told time and time again that it's anxiety, even by an NHS psychiatrist.

I've had a DD since who is now 7mo and I've been even worse and had a couple of nervous breakdown (outdated term I know).

Anyway my health anxiety is a particular issue and I can't accept that this feeling which takes so many different forms is anxiety, which fuels it further. I'm convinced there is 'something wrong' with my brain - brain tumour, cognitive decline, brain damage. Something.

I know this sounds silly but it's debilitating. Does anyone else struggle with this?

Milkhell Thu 07-Nov-13 17:15:54

Anyone :-(

pertempsnooo Thu 07-Nov-13 17:23:37

What form does your anxiety take?
Panic attacks? Or low level and more constant?
NHS have been pretty good with me (when I finally got assessed, which they don't hurry unless you are in possible danger). Have you been offered CBT? I got hold of a 'dummys guide' to this recently as my mental health worker friend recommended it and as I'm doing ok now I can't justify being on a list for it.

Milkhell Thu 07-Nov-13 17:28:14

More constant pertemp. I just feel 'weird' and 'strange' all the time and no one can come up with anything other than anxiety. It's ruined my life.

Milkhell Thu 07-Nov-13 17:29:43

Yes had CBT, have had counselling, can't take ADs as I had an adverse affect.

I'm just always so worried it's something else the matter with my brain. I know that sounds vague but it's killing me.

pertempsnooo Thu 07-Nov-13 17:51:20

Sorry to hear this. Anxiety can be deadly serious horrific stuff though can't it? Its awful when they can't diagnose something more accurately but I guess sometimes it's just the case. You have to find a way round /through this, it may seem impossible at the moment but you can. How was CBT? Did it help? Can you be any more specific than weird and strange, like an example or two? Hoping others will be along soon as not sure I can offer much helpful advice except you are not alone!

dontrunwithscissors Thu 07-Nov-13 18:50:35

Sorry, I can't help much, but if you want pursue meds there are many types of ADs and also non-AD meds for anxiety.

LEMisafucker Thu 07-Nov-13 18:56:31

I am so sorry you are gong through this - i know, its horrible but it doens't have to go on ruining your life. None of the things you have describe sound like a bran tumour. Anxiety is a physical thing, so you are going to feel physically weird - you would be surprised, ive experienced everything from nausea, headaches, palpitations, pins and needles, its all anxiety related.

What ADs did you take? What was the reaction?

If you look for the village thread on here there are lots of ladies who can relate to what you are going through and you will recognise alot of what you are going through on there, take a look.

The reason no one can come up with anything other than anxiety is because that is what it is.

Milkhell Thu 07-Nov-13 23:48:08

Thank you everyone. I know I sound like a broken record but the feeling takes many different forms mentally and isn't always the same - it just feels very unpleasant and I don't feel like me. I know that sounds vague and wifey waddy but as hard as I try and verbalise it I can't. It's just awful and I can't escape 'it'. The physical symptoms are in fact preferable to me as then it's more tangible - like headaches, nausea, dizziness etc etc. It's just the emotional (?) side of it I really struggle with and because I'll never fete anyone able to tell me 100% that what I'm feeling is within the realms of normal that's what makes me panic I'm 'mad' or have something wrong with my brain etc etc etc etc.

I'm sorry for the ramble. Helps to get it down.

Milkhell Thu 07-Nov-13 23:49:45

* wiffy waffy!!!
* have not fete

wontletmesignin Fri 08-Nov-13 21:24:01

Yes yes yes. I have been down the route you are describing.

Have you found that you spend more time looking at illnesses you fear you might have. Rather than the one yoy have been told you do have?

I found denial is huge in anxiety. It was for me anyway.
Google anxiety symptoms and no other illness.
The more aware you are of it - the easier it is to manage it.
Awareness really is the key to anxiety.

Anxiety and depressikn feed one another. So the more aware you are of your more prominent issue. The easier both will become.

Anxiety is extremely draining, and very time consuming and mind consuming. Ofcourse it is goinf to make you feel depressed. You need to be aware and acknowledge it in order to fight against it.
The more you do, the easier it gets.

Good luck OP :-)

wontletmesignin Fri 08-Nov-13 21:27:02

Just to add - what you describe inyour last post is conpletely typical for an anxiety sufferer.
I suffered mostly with the emotional side rather than the physical. Although the physical was present. I think the mental side of things were so strong i barely noticed the physical effects. Apart from hyperventilating

Milkhell Fri 08-Nov-13 23:02:35

Wonlet: YES

My spare time is spent Googling illnesses. It is all I do in every spare second. It detracts from fun times with my children. It detracts from everything. Ugh ugh ugh ugh.

Thank you for answering me. Yet more reassurance that I'm sure I'll forget about and again convince myself I'm in cognitive decline. X

wontletmesignin Fri 08-Nov-13 23:14:35

Ok. Listen. Stop googling. It is very important. I understand how strong that overwhelming urge is to open the google page and intensely read through the results.

Distract yourself when you feel that urge.
I found that mine came in whay i describe as waves or spikes.

I would be plodding along nicely with anxiety. Then something stressful would happen, and i would dip. Anxiety would take over and before i knew it i was diagnosing myself with all kinds of things again.

You have to be tough with yourself. It helps greatly when you stop googling. After a couple of days of resisting the urge, it will be gone completely.

wontletmesignin Fri 08-Nov-13 23:16:23

Not saying you will be cured. But you wont want to google for a while. Unless somethkng triggers you again.

But then, you will be more aware of how your anxiety makes you react and so more prepared to counteract it.

It really is all about being aware.

LEMisafucker Sat 09-Nov-13 00:16:18

Totally agree, google is not your friend! My dad used to say that a little knowledge was a dangerous thing and he was right. You just have to stop - its that simple. I have a biochemistry degree which had qutie a medical bent to it so i had a basic knowledge of illnesses and my anxiety would fill in the gaps - horrible horrible horrible, its cost me jobs and ruined my life really, it nearly cost me my relationship with DP. Knowing that its anxiety and that its a condition in itself was almost a turning point - I still suffer from anxiety but not health anxiety, wont allow it - I do get flashes but i just say "im not having it" i don't try and rationalise it and say, "oh well it can't be a brain tumour because" I just wont allow the thought into my head - it doesn't always work but most times it does. I had to seek medical help and found that medication really helped me, for me the turning point was when i went to the doctors absolutely hysterical thinking that my tonsils were tumours in my throat, i was actually trying to scratch them out of my mouth blush It was the practicse nurse telling me that i wasn't well that pretty much saved my life. I had got to the point where i couldnt live with the fear of dying, if that makes sense.

Sometimes my anxiety totally addles my mind - shopping is a huge trigger for me, several times recently i have been mid shop and just ground to a halt and not been able to compute what I was doing, had to phone DP to get him to come and find me and help me fnish the shop. The other day i put all the stuff through the till (self service) and just walked off and left it there - its like the stress shuts my brain down. I sometimes can't find the right word for things - i could probably convince myself I have some sort of dementia, but its not that its anxiety, its "just" anxiety.

Maybe talk to your doctor about medication again, there are lots of meds for anxiety and they don't all suit everyone, but there will be one that suits you i am sure. Also, the first few weeks on anti anxiety medication is hell on earth, the side effects are terrible they don't start working straight away so you feel worse, but after about two weeks, you do start to feel better and that horrible pit of your stomach feeling disappears and you are able to not go into meltdown at the slightest thing.

Milkhell Sat 09-Nov-13 10:53:23

How lovely to 'talk' to others so similar to me. Much of what you both so is so, so familiar.

Wont - the spikes thing! Yes it's like a physical addiction. Googling actually calms me down sometimes as I Google anxiety symptoms and when I hit on someone with the same it's like a release. When I can't find anyone though it makes me so much worse.

LEM - your post really hit home. I am really struggling to cope with life because of the seemingly ever imminent threat of death. My fear of it is obliterating my life, which is silly but debilitating. I've been in many 'states' like you describe both at the doctors and at home.

I'm off to a party with the kids but coming back later to chat :-)

kerstina Sat 09-Nov-13 13:23:26

Try reading Self help for your nerves Claire Weekes it is an old one but still relevant. When I suffered stress and anxiety about 16 years ago I was convinced there was something wrong with my heart as I was getting pains in my chest. I could not believe it was just anxiety but I am still here. Still suffer but it is more under control and seroxat cured me at the time with the aid of the book.

Stardust123 Sun 10-Nov-13 18:31:24

There is lots of 'crap' on google about anxiety from people/doctors who have never been through it. Stop googling NOW, it's not good and confuses your brain. The best book is 'Anxiety No More, Paul David'. He has a website, he suffered for many years and is very well respected. If you read the book, the blog etc, you may recognise yourself ! Good luck. xx

Milkhell Sun 10-Nov-13 21:17:15

Thank you :-) I have read other of those book and they are really helpful. I think it's time to revisit.

Hyperhelpmum Sun 10-Nov-13 21:26:38

Hi just wanted to say I have exactly this too. I just feel 'odd' in the head and then get intrusive thoughts non stop saying 'what's wrong with me?' 'Am I mad' 'will I ever feel 'normal' again' . The last one is the worst and sets my heart racing, feel shakey etc etc. I have suffered with anxiety since 2005 but i think I was always prone to it. Mine always rev

Hyperhelpmum Sun 10-Nov-13 21:35:49

Hi just wanted to say I have exactly this too. I just feel 'odd' in the head and then get intrusive thoughts non stop saying 'what's wrong with me?' 'Am I mad' 'will I ever feel 'normal' again' . The last one is the worst and sets my heart racing, feel shakey etc etc. I have suffered with anxiety since 2005 but i think I was always prone to it. Mine always revolves around my health/ going mad/ dying. I actually ended up seeing two psychiatrists and was so convinced I was mad and they would give me electric shock treatment I almost refused to go. It's terrifying. I never believe its anxiety and spend hrs reassuring myself by googling anxiety symptoms and forums. I have had very effective CBT which got me over the worst patch (I had to give up my job and move back to my mums aged 26 as had anxiety disorder all based around this feeling 'odd' and not like me). I had it again more mildly after DC1 and 2 and found citalopram a saviour. It makes u feel rotten to start with but did work for me after a month or so. My advice is; try not to google as this reinforces your doubt, try not to keep asking others about anxiety (I find both these near on impossible!) but apparently they reaffirm the anxiety. Try to tske time out to actively relax (hard with kids but a warm bath before bed, no tv) try not to drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks. Anything to lower your general stress levels. I found a book on depersonalisation/ derealisation helpful as it explained my odd/ detached/ not me feelings and made sense that this was actually anxiety. Sorry for essay but hope it helps! You are not alone! I know how hard it is to believe but it is anxiety and it WILL pass!

Milkhell Sun 10-Nov-13 22:24:55


Wow! Thank you! I know this is my classic reassurance seeking but your anxiety stuff really, really is very similar!

My whole family are sick of me and my bloody 'I don't feel like me' 'I don't feel right' 'I'm going mad' 'I've got dementia' 'there's something wrong with my brain' etc etc etc (you sound like you know the script...). They've had so much patience and it does sound silly but it's actually terrifying.

Yep - my mum has literally been my carer recently which at 32 with two kiddies is rather embarrassing. I did used to be a together girl but this thing has just crippled me for so long now.

How are you now? Do you think hormones play a part?

Milkhell Sun 10-Nov-13 22:25:58

Yep: health, going mad, dying...

Hyperhelpmum Tue 12-Nov-13 06:33:56

I'm fine now. I recovered ell after CBT and meds and only had blips after my two DC. Having my third today by c section so won't be on for a while but good luck and do try and get some CBT or talk to GP about meds if your life is on hold. Best wishes.

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