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Thread: Anxiety

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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    3,926

    Default Anxiety

    Does anyone here suffer from anxiety (or at least anyone willing to talk about it?) I have been having a lot of anxiety for the past year and half, occasionally having attacks that leave me almost unable to function (I had a doozy last week where I pretty much had to flee the office). I've tried everything (meditation, exercise, deep breathing, etc.) and while it has sometimes helped me cope in the short term, the anxiety always comes back. What is frustrating is that it is generalized anxiety and not caused by any one thing that I can put a finger on. Any reason will do.

    I'm finally throwing in the towel and admitting I have a real problem here that is not going to just go away by itself. Yesterday I spoke with a counselor on the phone for an hour. And I'm going to see my medical doctor tomorrow.

    I'm concerned about medications, if I decide to go that route. One worry I have is that they'll prescribe a medication that could change my personality, or have bad side effects. I don't want to become dependent on a drug to function each day, and I don't want my creative energies sapped away. My thought is, I didn't need anything to get through some of the roughest parts of my life, so why should I need something now when I don't really have any major problems to worry about? But, I think it was this attitude that prevented me from looking for help in the first place.

    Anyway, if anyone out there wants to talk about their experiences with anxiety, anxiety attacks or anxiety medications, I would really appreciate it--particularly if you've found something that helps. This isn't the kind of thing I would discuss with my poker buddies in person but I feel like I'm able to open up to the members of this board.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    PA, USA
    Posts
    4,137

    Default Re: Anxiety

    Yes. I used to. I would actually run out of a meeting. And so obvious, because I thought I could speak and it would build and build as it got closer to my turn. I would take off when I was next up. errr.

    I did take some meds, helped just a tiny bit. I don't take anything any longer. I don't have it as bad - or maybe my situation is different. But it was terrible.

    Wish you well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    2,210

    Default Re: Anxiety

    Okey dokey.

    Frequent exercise, even 20 minutes of fast walking, will calm you down.
    Breathing exercises will help, too.
    If you want to avoid meds initially, get your butt into therapy and start talking. You might not know where to start, but *any* place is a good place to start. You will be surprised when you start peeling back the layers what's revealed. That's when you have a great opportunity to solve, accept, make peace, and move on.
    If a physician deems you chemically lacking, then meds are needed. I wouldn't worry too much. Just remember that they're trial-and-error, because no two people react to the same med in the same way at the same dose. You can tinker with kind of medication and dose to find the proper "fit". Over time, as you work things out, I bet you get off the meds for good.

    Finding a therapist is the tricky part. You have to feel comfortable with whomever you find, so if you don't, move on and try another. The whole point is to talk, and if you don't feel okay opening up, you'll never get to the bottom of your anxiety and learn coping mechanisms and how to most effectively deal with it.

    You will be fine! Recognizing that you're fragile is a good thing. Taking action about it is indeed *very* brave.
    We love you, Feefster.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    3,847

    Default Re: Anxiety

    I have not, but my husband has, as have several of my friends. Medication helps. Also ... I'm going to PM you a link.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    south
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    4,200

    Default Re: Anxiety

    Have had anxiety. Certainly no fun. I took meds for awhile. But I found a therpist that helped and haven't had anxiety attack in quite sometime. I wish you the best of luck. Different things work for different individuals.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Anxiety

    I suffer from anxiety/depression pretty significantly. I haven't yet gone to a doctor because I haven't gotten in my insurance card.

    I'm at the point where I am barely functional. I tried vitamin D3 supplementation, just to see if that would help in the interim. It hasn't, really.

    I used to self medicate with alcohol (one or two fifths a week kind of thing). I don't do that anymore-actually that is not entirely true. If I've had a really crappy day I'll cave and get a six pack. Of course then it is a challenge for the next month to not keep getting six-packs or something stronger. My husband is the only reason I stopped drinking. He doesn't drink, so it is easier not to.

    I can give you a relavent example to my broken thoughts processes: I haven't had a job since last May. We are fortunate that my husband makes enough to support us (for the most part). At first I sent out dozens of applications, and then I stopped, because the wedding, and then I kept it stopped because my mom and having to leave, and now I have no excuses, but I've only sent out a few feeble feelers. Why? Because I am so worried about what it will be like to be the new person who doesn't know that they are doing I can't bring myself to do it. I am so worried about f-ing up and putting myself in the exact same position I was in when I got fired that I can't quite bring myself to open up to those relationships.

    I have no real marketable skills, and my last job I did for 4.5 years because it was easier to stay then start a new, even though I was miserable. I hate working retail; I suck at customer service and am not particularly good at relating with co-workers. I also have a really broken tendency to have absolutely no respect for bosses I feel are dumber than me...I can't even fake it. I have an Associate's degree, and a lot of knowledge about caring for fish and other animals. Not getting me super far. So I've been putting out a few applications here and there to jobs that sound like they don't totally blow. Unfortunately, I've also been crazy depressed for a couple of months, so just about everything sounds like it blows. Office jobs pay the best and have the most stability for the most part, but they sound terrible. I like working with animals, and I like doing some labor. Why don't I just get a job working with animals? Because a big issue at my last job was the fact that I have contact eczema and had to wear gloves. I don't want to start a new job with that hanging over my head. Gah, I'm just full of excuses, aren't I?

    I was on one medication once for anxiety, and I stopped taking it when I was at the Art Institute. It will probably be unsurprising to hear that I proceeded to flunk out afterwards. When I get anxious, I get depressed, and then I get apathetic and then I get anxious about being apathetic and ad naseum. My husband is a doll, but I know it is really hard on him.

    Sorry I turned this into the atomicinchworm show, but it does kind of feel better just to put it out there.

    The biggest thing about anti-anxiety/ anti-depressants that I have found through research and through people I know, is have an open relationship with your doctor. Not ever med works for every person. Give it a couple of months and if you don't see an appreciable change or you feel weird or your sex drive is crappy, give your doctor a call and try another one. There are a ton of them out there. I know you are worried about changes in personality (I was worried about this too), but frankly, at this point, would a change be for the worse? You are still ultimately you, whether they make you a more aggressive you or a happier, more focused you, they aren't going to change your basic personality.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    2,709

    Default Re: Anxiety

    I don't know if I can call it anxiety. But sometimes if I get some big thing to take
    care of in work that they left on my responsibility. I can get a sort of a panic attack and start to
    wander around to think if I am able to take care of it. And just to sit down for a while take a deep breath and
    think just think use to help in my case. But cause we talked about different things don't know if it has anything to
    with the anxiety.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Atlanta GA
    Posts
    10,280

    Default Re: Anxiety

    Quote Originally Posted by fushingfeef View Post
    Does anyone here suffer from anxiety (or at least anyone willing to talk about it?) I have been having a lot of anxiety for the past year and half, occasionally having attacks that leave me almost unable to function (I had a doozy last week where I pretty much had to flee the office). I've tried everything (meditation, exercise, deep breathing, etc.) and while it has sometimes helped me cope in the short term, the anxiety always comes back. What is frustrating is that it is generalized anxiety and not caused by any one thing that I can put a finger on. Any reason will do.

    I'm finally throwing in the towel and admitting I have a real problem here that is not going to just go away by itself. Yesterday I spoke with a counselor on the phone for an hour. And I'm going to see my medical doctor tomorrow.

    I'm concerned about medications, if I decide to go that route. One worry I have is that they'll prescribe a medication that could change my personality, or have bad side effects. I don't want to become dependent on a drug to function each day, and I don't want my creative energies sapped away. My thought is, I didn't need anything to get through some of the roughest parts of my life, so why should I need something now when I don't really have any major problems to worry about? But, I think it was this attitude that prevented me from looking for help in the first place.

    Anyway, if anyone out there wants to talk about their experiences with anxiety, anxiety attacks or anxiety medications, I would really appreciate it--particularly if you've found something that helps. This isn't the kind of thing I would discuss with my poker buddies in person but I feel like I'm able to open up to the members of this board.
    I really appreciate this post and this thread, ff. Thanx. My experience with anxiety goes back to adolescence, the hypothesis being that puberty did a number on my brain chemistry, as I don't remember having emotional issues prior to puberty, not that knowing physiological causes, especially hypothetical ones, is necessarily helpful in understanding or resolving any disorder. I recently had a curious experience which caused me to realize that I apparently have a tendency toward anxiety and even anxiety attacks, an experience which caused me to remember experiences during my adolescence, the memories of which I may have suppressed. Since I wasn't used to an "attack" I didn't know what was happening, only felt a kind of creepy, fearful reminiscence which I later realized was a feeling from adolescence.

    My recent experience was like yours in that I had to flee--an excellent way to word it.

    Kudos to you, ff, for having a counselor, and for making plans to pursue treatment. I'm going to assume that counseling will be as helpful as any part of any course you take. As for medications, your doc should be able to ease your mind about them not being addicting, either psychologically or physiologically, though you may need to consider using them indefinitely. Hopefully the doc will let you know if any you start taking you must not stop taking all at once. Ask about side effects and google the med(s). You may find you have a temporary issue, and may during counseling come to understand any triggers or causative factors, if they exist. As for why is it happening now when everything is fine, I assume that since anxiety is fear, and since all humans have fear, that anxiety does not require a cause. It's already there, just in some people flares up, or something.

    I wish there was more I could say or do to help but the subject is still a mystery to me, though I realized that both my parents were worrywarts. Maybe there's a genetic factor, maybe an environmental one, maybe both. Perhaps down through the years I've avoided dealing with answering the question for myself. Maybe I've been afraid to. Anxiety is about fear. Maybe some are subject more than most to the emotion of fear. The important question isn't why it is but what to do with it. Your attitude, ff, is positive and healthy, so I trust that you will make good progress.

    Keep us posted.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX *USA
    Posts
    1,918

    Default Re: Anxiety

    I had anxiety for many years. I did have a chemical imbalance at one point. I took Prozac for that. Therapy helped the most though. Lily Sawyer's post offers excellent advice. I too feared my personality to change for the worse, become one of those uppity know-it-alls, maybe all my old coping mechanisms might have to be forsaken, my relationships with friends and relatives might take a nosedive, or I might get dependent on some drug that I would eventually find myself not being able to live without. The reality is my life improved drastically and I find myself anticipating simple pleasures with great enthusiasm. I learned how to be happy again. Whatever does work for you, I hope you find it soon. Meanwhile please know I hold you in my thoughts and prayers, fushingfeef, and with lots of love.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Falmouth of the Mighty BlueGrass State and Commonwealth of Kentucky
    Posts
    5,859

    Default Re: Anxiety

    Anxiety has been my constant, um, 'friend', for about as long as I can remember.
    I say 'friend' only because it has, I believe, saved my life on a couple occasions (natural nervous Nelly's can tend to pay a little more attention and jump a wee tad bit faster, we can be like the four winds just blowin' is what I'm sayin'), but then it didn't just sneak up on me, its probably always been part of me since I popped out of the oven, it's part of my personal mental chemical makeup, I gather, rather than developed, and so I'm more likely to be in tune with living with it...can wear ya plumb out, can't it?
    Now mind I ain't recommending it, well, not really, but weed/pot/ganja/herb/grass/Mary J. Wanna, it generally works for me (I don't really do pills, never a fan, well that, and my insurance lapsed goin' on a quarter a century ago, so ya make do with what ya got), but it really depends on the strain...never no nasty side effects like anal leakage or liver failure though, some just set my anxious teeth on fire and makes a small order of a bucket of chicken, most however, thankfully, take away the edge and center my thinkin' to what's at hand, instead of developing a whirlwind of confusion of what to do next, of course making said anxiety attacking me, worse...though I can't recall ever having a "classic" anxiety induced panic attack, seen 'em, and um, WOW!
    I do highly recommend Chamomile tea (no foolin' them Eyetalians got that stuff goin' on, make it a habit and you won't regret it, way tres' tasty too) and breathing exercises, seriously, just breathin' can make a world of difference.
    I can drop my blood pressure big time in just a couple of minutes, you know, well, or rather hopefully not, when I'm feelin', hmm, 'tight' sounds about right, just doin' my breathin' thing...first I tend to get a little lightheaded (some people say potato, some people say hyperventilate, whatevah), then it kinda feels like instantaneous sobering up.
    Know we're rootin & 'tootin' for ya fush, I'm sure this'll be nuttin butta a chicken wing in the road (there's a joke there I just know it), you'll see

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