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Old 02-06-2014, 08:55 PM   #1
Flasch186
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Anxiety

So Ive got it bad. My brother has it and is on an RRSI. My mom lovingly passed it down to us. It is a horrible thing that eats from the inside out. My guts suck and when I start cycling on something its so hard to get out of it. I'm paralyzed with work meaning there is something I should be doing right now and I cant. In my family its 100% finances which Im in control of by mutual agreement. i try to insulate my fears from my son of 4 yrs old but its awful to be almost 40 and feel a vice on your chest at times. I have an appt 2/20 to get on an RRSI. My bro recommended Lexapro but that stuff (mood altering meds) scares the crap out of me.

thanks for listening. Just doing a brain dump.
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Old 02-06-2014, 09:56 PM   #2
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I have dealt with it in the past, mostly when flying and stuck in traffic. I actually take extended release Xanax for it now, though I feel the biggest factor in controlling it is the amount of exercise I do.

I have been good for several years now, but feel chained the damn Xanax, which I really don't think I need anymore and have never abused. Still the long term use will mean I will need medical assistance to wean off of it.

Wishing you the best Flasch and hoping you find a method that controls it for you.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:05 PM   #3
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Tried to post a comment earlier but the board chose that moment to go wonky.

I wouldn't overdo the worry about "mood altering drugs" in a case like this ... 'cause when anxiety (or depression or whatever) starts to interfere with productivity or even the simple ability to enjoy life then we're talking about moods that NEED to be altered.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:08 PM   #4
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i got this really bad in my early 30s im almost 40 now,i have two uncles that are dentists an I didn't know this at the time,but they have a lot of medical knowledge as well,they both told me to cut out caffeine entirely an I don't know if you drink ginseng drinks,but that stuff really kicks it in,anyway long story short,cutting out the caffeine made a huge difference,i still get it from time to time,mainly when flying,but it is no were near the crippling feels like your having a heart attack epsiodes I use to get,i also found that focused breathing specifically going outside even for a few minutes regardless of weather eased the episodes as well

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Old 02-06-2014, 10:10 PM   #5
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:16 PM   #6
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I have nearly crippling anxiety as well, and also have a great desire to stay away from the psychotropic meds. I managed to find a sympathetic MD who advised that I try changing up my diet before going the RRSI route, and I've had pretty good results. There are plenty of links for anti-anxiety diets, but generally they're along the line of avoiding the obvious culprits of sugars, alcohol and caffeine, as tramel mentioned above (and as BYU mentioned, lots of exercise is also always included in that recommendation).

This here's the specific book my doc recommended, for whatever it's worth to you. Aside from just plain ol' food changes to your diet, it advises taking a TON of dietary supplements as well, which turns some folks off. I hope you find some relief Flasch, whatever solution you may chase.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:19 PM   #7
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Find a good therapist who specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy. It won't get rid of anything but has a good chance of reducing your symptoms
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
Tried to post a comment earlier but the board chose that moment to go wonky.

I wouldn't overdo the worry about "mood altering drugs" in a case like this ... 'cause when anxiety (or depression or whatever) starts to interfere with productivity or even the simple ability to enjoy life then we're talking about moods that NEED to be altered.

Coming from someone who was clinically depressed as a teenager and took years to realize this for myself, 1000% this.
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:54 AM   #9
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I've had anxiety attacks most nights since the fall started. I've noticed that cutting out caffeine as much as possible helps (disappointing as that is).

I've also noticed that despite being in job-hunting mode right now, the intensity of the attacks has dropped significantly since I'm not teaching this semester, and the frequency is slightly less as well.

I'd love to get on Xanax to be able to cut back even further on them, but the no insurance thing kind of kills that idea.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:52 AM   #10
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Brutal night. One of those nights where you seem to be chasing sleep but arent sure if you ever fell asleep. I mean, I cant imagine I laid in bed awake for 7 hours but it sure seemed to feel like it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:52 AM   #11
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I'd STRONGLY recommend against Xanax... it is one of the most addictive drugs out there and I've never prescribed it in my career and never will. In fact, I recommend avoiding all benzodiazepines. I'd highly recommend seeing a therapist who specializes in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.) If that doesn't work (or you want quicker results), I'd highly recommend talking to a doctor about the pros and cons of an SSRI. Lexapro is just as effective as any of them and works a bit quicker. They are relatively safe. Good luck whatever you decide to do.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
Tried to post a comment earlier but the board chose that moment to go wonky.

I wouldn't overdo the worry about "mood altering drugs" in a case like this ... 'cause when anxiety (or depression or whatever) starts to interfere with productivity or even the simple ability to enjoy life then we're talking about moods that NEED to be altered.

Well said.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Flasch186 View Post
So Ive got it bad. My brother has it and is on an RRSI. My mom lovingly passed it down to us. It is a horrible thing that eats from the inside out. My guts suck and when I start cycling on something its so hard to get out of it. I'm paralyzed with work meaning there is something I should be doing right now and I cant. In my family its 100% finances which Im in control of by mutual agreement. i try to insulate my fears from my son of 4 yrs old but its awful to be almost 40 and feel a vice on your chest at times. I have an appt 2/20 to get on an RRSI. My bro recommended Lexapro but that stuff (mood altering meds) scares the crap out of me.

thanks for listening. Just doing a brain dump.

I take Paxil 10mg and Lorazepam .5mg once a day and it seems to take the edge off of my anxiety. I won't take anything stronger unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:39 AM   #14
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I'd STRONGLY recommend against Xanax... it is one of the most addictive drugs out there and I've never prescribed it in my career and never will. In fact, I recommend avoiding all benzodiazepines. I'd highly recommend seeing a therapist who specializes in CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.) If that doesn't work (or you want quicker results), I'd highly recommend talking to a doctor about the pros and cons of an SSRI. Lexapro is just as effective as any of them and works a bit quicker. They are relatively safe. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

I understand that, and it's excellent advice. It's just that for me personally, SSRIs either don't work, or have side effects that aren't worth it, and I've been on three different ones at different points in my life.

Whereas when I took Xanax, it not only destroyed my anxiety pretty much instantly, my memory and concentration improved.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:50 AM   #15
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Anxiety is waking up this morning to find that my car won't start and I have to get to college and take a Math test

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Old 02-07-2014, 08:32 AM   #16
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A lot of good advice in the thread.

I had a bout of anxiety last year in which I went over a week with barely any sleep and the doctor put me out of work for 3 weeks and gave me klonepan (think that is what it was). That seemed to help. Unfortunately the person that she sent me to see didn't help (had a Zen approach which only ticked me off more and made the anxiety worse).

I still wonder if I am going through that (or something like ADD) as it seems that I have more and more trouble concentrating and it is a major effort to try to keep my mind focussed on projects at work.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:06 AM   #17
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To clarify my earlier post, I am not saying CBT and meds are exclusive. In fact, all of the studies say anxiety responds best to a combination of an SSRI and CBT.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:05 AM   #18
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Apparently it runs in my family as well. I'm 20 years old and I went on Paxil at age 18, currently taking 20 mg per day. I really hope I can eventually get it under control and not have to take any meds. Working 2 part time jobs that add up to an average of about 37 hours per week, plus full time school I think gets to me as well as a few other projects I work on a daily basis.

Paxil has made it all manageable, for the most part I don't walk around with butterflies in my stomach all day.

Good luck Flasch, I hope you can get it under control and get on with your life in a productive manner. There are a lot of things that certainly help with anxiety, I'm hoping you find one quickly.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:47 AM   #19
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I had problems with anxiety for about two weeks after my mom passed away, and also a little bit during some bad times in my last relationship. I can't imagine what I was going through compares to some of what I am reading here, but for me personally, it completely sucked.

My heart goes out to you guys suffering from this, and I pray it gets better.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:04 PM   #20
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I had a 2-3 week bout with anxiety a few years ago, and it really came out of left field. Crippling is a word you used, and I think that fits the bill perfectly. I don't envy you right now, but I think one of the most calming thoughts is knowing that it will end. Anxiety attacks/phases are temporary, and despite the helpless feeling that comes with it, there is actually quite a bit you can do.

Cutting out caffeine has been touched on several times, but yes - this is a big one.

Eating healthy is another one. If you're gobbling down 7x your daily sugar recommendations (as most Americans are), then this is actually a bigger problem than the caffeine.

Exercising is huge. The natural chemical euphoria that comes from 30+ consecutive minutes of exercise is irreplaceable, and if you can get one of these in every day, I can almost guarantee your anxiety will begin to fade twice as fast.

Lastly, you may want to look into your state's MMJ laws. A small amount of Cannabis just before bedtime can help squash your sleep woes, and can also keep those "oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit" voices at bay. I'm not much for chemicals that doctors cook up in a lab, either. I'd rather inhale the smoke of a naturally growing, clinically proven to be harmless plant.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:42 PM   #21
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I need a financial advisor and kind of a Suze Orman should I do it sort of person on standby. Preferable with the omniscience of God. That'd be super helpful. In the meantime I stare at spreadsheets and play games and hypotheticals in my mind and on the spreadsheet. In the meantime, didnt eat today but did drink water so that's good.
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:45 PM   #22
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I need a financial advisor and kind of a Suze Orman should I do it sort of person on standby. Preferable with the omniscience of God. That'd be super helpful. In the meantime I stare at spreadsheets and play games and hypotheticals in my mind and on the spreadsheet. In the meantime, didnt eat today but did drink water so that's good.

I would definitely echo what others have said. If it is getting in the way of being able to perform daily duties maybe medication could help.

I know it's easy to say from a distance (and you already know this already)but you need to eat something.
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Old 02-07-2014, 06:22 PM   #23
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I know it's easy to say from a distance (and you already know this already)but you need to eat something.

This to the umpteenth degree. Not eating leads to low blood sugar, low blood sugar can make you feel light-headed/dizzy, and feelings of light-headedness/dizziness can trigger anxiety attacks. Rough cycle, but one feeds on the other.

Try to stick to the basics. Bananas, rice, bread with butter. It may be worth taking some vitamin supplements to help off-set the lack of nutrients your body (and brain) need to even itself back out.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:37 PM   #24
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Got some toast down. I think ill be able to sleep tonight. Lots of makeup work to do over the weekend to catch up.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:44 PM   #25
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Also to give my recommendation more credence, I am actually trained in and do cbt. It's been very effective for anxiety; even in students who are emotionally disturbed.

As an employee of a school district, I stay out of medication recommendations but I would listen to ef27 on that

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Old 02-08-2014, 08:55 AM   #26
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Helped sleep by taking a sominex before bed. Worked like a charm because I felt I'd already passed the peak of the episode and I was right re: that. In the past if I took a sleep aid in the middle of one of the episode I could literally manic my way right through the pill making for the weirdest nights. Not last night though, good night of sleep.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:04 AM   #27
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Glad you slept well. Make sure to eat well, too.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:45 PM   #28
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I tried to post here but the board going down (which lead to me asking if it was down on Facebook) ate the post. The gist of what I said:

Anxiety sucks monkey balls. I have found mine goes up and down in cycles of sorts, every ~8 years it gets really bad where I'm having multiple panic attacks per day, other times it seems like it's just sitting there in the back of my mind.

When I was 10 or so was when I had my first really bad series of panic attacks (they lasted until I was about 12). I saw a psychologist at the time and he did a lot of biofeedback stuff, trying to teach me to recognize what was going on and respond with breathing and other mechanisms. I still carry those lessons with me.

When I was 18, it flared again. I ended up going on Zoloft for a year or so. I'm honestly not sure why I stopped.

As I've had other health issues crop up, I've continued to have anxiety issues, but have resisted further medications. I tried Cymbalta for neuropathic pain, and it made me depressed and withdrawn. I guess I've been scared off of drugs like it (and as I mentioned in a different thread, I can't take benzodiazapene's).

I hope you're able to find the solution that works best for you. I definitely found for myself that biofeedback with awareness, acknowledgment, and trying to respond as I learned way back in the day has worked the best for me. It sounds like you're on the right track, and certainly you have a group here that's ready and willing to listen and support ya.

Good luck, man!
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:01 PM   #29
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For some more personal info. I have dealt with anxiety all my life. I had terrible school anxiety and social anxiety growing up to the point where I missed all of high school and had no friends. I'm pretty much over those. I still get anxiety over work, money and various random things but it's very manège able. I've never been on medication. I never participated in cbt myself, but I use the principles of it on a daily basis.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:04 PM   #30
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CBT is good stuff. I am a scared flier and I had a very turbulent flight today. I was using many principles of CBT including breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, correcting my catastrophic thoughts among others. I highly recommend it.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:07 PM   #31
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CBT is good stuff. I am a scared flier and I had a very turbulent flight today. I was using many principles of CBT including breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, correcting my catastrophic thoughts among others. I highly recommend it.


Definitely agreed. And it's not the type of therapy you need to do for a long time. The program I use is 7-10 sessions. After that you can just apply it to your daily life and perhaps have occasional follow ups if needed.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:24 PM   #32
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Not to hijack but where does a tie-in between anxiety and depression come in or are they two completely different things?
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:27 PM   #33
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Not to hijack but where does a tie-in between anxiety and depression come in or are they two completely different things?

They are frequently co-morbid for a variety of reasons. One, from a neurobiological basis they both have origins in deficits of serotonin. Also, psychologically anxiety can be crippling and impair quality of life and subsequently lead to depression.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:27 PM   #34
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Zoloft....Worked wonders for me.Allows me to live my life normally again.Don't feel any different by taking it other than i haven't had a panic attack in 10 years.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:30 PM   #35
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Cbt treatment wise, they are treated similarly and the principles are the same. I've really only had one student this year come to me being sucidial with depression. He's now doing phenomenally better three months later. Still needs to do more of his class work but depression wise he is doing great. Bond with the therapist is very important. He and I have great rapport which is a huge factor. So when looking for a therapist try and find one you think you van relate to
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:23 PM   #36
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I don't get it as bad as some of you, but I get it. The other day I made a trip to the ER because I was having chest pains. It turns out to be nothing. Doctor thought it was GERD but my anxiety made me panic and made it worse.

I'm going to start exercising more. I life 3 days a week but I'm going to start going on long walks. Maybe even buy one of those goofy bracelets. But my biggest thing is eliminating caffeine. It's hard since I'm a big Diet Mt Dew guy, but I'm going to try to get down to one can in the morning and that's it.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:44 AM   #37
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Just a quick aside to wonder how much modern culture contributes to anxiety? As someone who suffers with near-chronic anxitety, in particular I wonder how much modern advertising models and the current American political and social cultural climate contribute to public anxiety levels.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:25 AM   #38
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This is going to sound weird, but for me, it's been the sharp rise in world atheism that's been probably the biggest trigger of anxiety. I've had occasional panic attacks related to dying ever since I was a kid, but they've gotten more frequent and severe as our culture has increasingly become less and less believing in Deity and an afterlife.

Edit: I should add my mom's health issues have been another huge trigger of this, as well as, I think, finally being out of school since May, as the really rampant increases and frequency to being near-nightly only really started in the fall.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:30 AM   #39
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They are frequently co-morbid for a variety of reasons. One, from a neurobiological basis they both have origins in deficits of serotonin. Also, psychologically anxiety can be crippling and impair quality of life and subsequently lead to depression.

Thanks. My wife believes I suffer from depression -- I probably do. My brain just never shuts off -- even when I sleep where things manifest themselves into some of the most bizarre dreams. At times it can be good but I'm usually going 100 mph and then eventually crash -- usually with a migraine.

I wondered mostly if it's more anxiety that develops from my thinking process. I've never had any kind of panic attack as others have listed here and I feel for you guys.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:39 PM   #40
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That sounds kind of like what I go through, I have GAD. Usually, it's butterflies all day. Every great now and then I break down for a night, but I don't think I've had a panic attack since I was 10, but I can feel for guys that go through that. Sounds rough.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:10 PM   #41
Flasch186
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Im back to normal now. Still have the weight on my shoulders for some big financial stuff this year which is right in my anxiety wheelhouse but right now its subsided. I have an appt 2/20 to get on an RRSI. Hopefully thatll help keep these stupid thoughts from "cycling".
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:32 PM   #42
Solecismic
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This is going to sound weird, but for me, it's been the sharp rise in world atheism that's been probably the biggest trigger of anxiety. I've had occasional panic attacks related to dying ever since I was a kid, but they've gotten more frequent and severe as our culture has increasingly become less and less believing in Deity and an afterlife.

I find that when I start reading about politics and world news, it get a little overwhelming. I read about patent trolls and feel like the world needs patent vigilantes. I read about religious cleansing in Africa and feel the world needs a police force. There's always something - it's an endless cycle. I'm kind of opposite about atheism. Being of Jewish descent, you can either go full monty on afterlife (which Jewish people don't) and embrace the Gandhi/Bobby Knight relax-and-enjoy-it approach to death. Or you can say belief in deities who can even the scale is an exercise in terminal frustration. You'll find the balance is in the Borscht Belt (humor is a good coping mechanism).

But the bottom line is that paying attention to the world is a double-edged sword, and anxiety is the price you pay for the fruit of knowledge. No way to avoid it, just a matter of learning how much you can handle without breaking. I have to turn away sometimes, realize I have no control over 99.9R% of the world.

I've read a lot about CBT, and wonder sometimes if it might be a good idea to put in the work and try it. Maybe that would have shortened my recent four years of rediscovering myself. Lots of good work on myself during that time, but a rather meandering path.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:17 AM   #43
Berger
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I know I haven't said a lot, but part of my issue has always been the lack of willingness to talk about things or open up, even when I know that I have friends that are more than willing to listen. I've always been the listener and try to help people out. However, it's nice to at least get my issues off my chest. I haven't told very many people about my anxiety issue, even though it hampers my everyday life, but this has at least been a good place to start.

This thread has been a nice wake up call to some things I've been neglecting, which would majorly improve my quality of life. I really needed that kick in the butt.

Flasch, I sincerely thank you for starting up this thread, because it's made an impact on my life and I'm here any time that you need to get something off your chest and talk about. Feel free to pm me whenever, I think I can relate and help you move on with anything you're struggling with.

Might seem deep, but the littlest things matter and I thank you for that.
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Old 02-11-2014, 06:09 PM   #44
Flasch186
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Thanks for sharing.

Dang, in the hospital having my second child and feel those butterflies in my stomach like its going to be a long night.

Dang
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:31 PM   #45
Flasch186
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Crazy that here i am in the hospital of all places and feeling the bubbling of another one. Is anyone on here a financial advisor that would lend me 15 minutes of a session sometime next week? I dont trust the guys at Fidelity (or brokerages) since usually it all ends up with putting more of my faith in them.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:44 AM   #46
Flasch186
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Started on a lexapro equivalent last night 5mg. As warned it messed my stomach up and was a restless sleep because of that but Im going to stick with it based on what the doc told me and my bother told me.
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:41 AM   #47
Izulde
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So I decided a couple glasses of really great coffee after the run wouldn't hurt, right?

Wrong. Panic attack city hit at night.

Guess I really do have to give up caffeine.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:55 AM   #48
thesloppy
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I had a panic attack last week, brought on by having my first date in a few years. I had JUST decided I was comfortable dating days before the craziest, most public stripper in the city asked me out on a date, and we went out to some crazy lingerie fashion show, and she was coked to the gills, and I had to save her from some weird creepy date-rapist who possibly slipped us both roofies, and then I pretty much fell for her over the space of two-dates over two-days, shot off into space on a frantic panic attack, and then tried to pester her into being my middle-school girlfriend. Then her coke-dealer, marine-sergeant, MMA instructor, husband came back into town like two days later, and *POOF* she pretty much disappeared from my life....

So yeah, don't do that. And I wondered why I don't go out any more. I got a fabulous story, and a crazy adventure...and was fucking miserable pretty much the whole time.
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:05 PM   #49
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I had JUST decided I was comfortable dating days before the craziest, most public stripper in the city asked me out on a date, and we went out to some crazy lingerie fashion show, and she was coked to the gills, and I had to save her from some weird creepy date-rapist who possibly slipped us both roofies, and then I pretty much fell for her over the space of two-dates over two-days, shot off into space on a frantic panic attack, and then tried to pester her into being my middle-school girlfriend. Then her coke-dealer, marine-sergeant, MMA instructor, husband came back into town like two days later, and *POOF* she pretty much disappeared from my life....

Your life is a tad more exciting than mine.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:00 PM   #50
thesloppy
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Your life is a tad more exciting than mine.

I seriously hadn't been out on a date in years, so I would't go that far.
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