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Author Topic: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder  (Read 137511 times)

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Offline alex123

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #600 on: May 05, 2014, 07:36:41 PM »
Hi. My name is Alexis, but I often go by Alex. I just turned thirteen a few days ago and was looking forward to joining this site.

I not only have Anxiety Disorder, but I also have a Mood Disorder.

It all started when I was just eight years old. My biological father remarried and decided that he would cut off all contact and move three hours away. No matter how hard I tried: making phone calls with the help of my mother, writing letters in my messy third grade hand writing, and later attempting to find him on the internet, he didn't seem to want any memory of me. This brought on my depression, and being bullied by my classmates did not help.

I'm fairly overweight, and many of my elementary friends used that against me. I often came home in tears. My mom went up to the school a few times, but I come from a sucky school district and they didn't do anything, saying there was no evidence.

I resorted to violence to start my issues. Whenever anyone said anything to me, I retorted with harsher words and a few times, I would shove or hit at my peers.

Once, in the fifth grade, I recieved a death threat from a girl and my mother showed that to the school district and they finally did something about it.

It stopped after the fifth grade, but started again in seventh.

This was when I developed anxiety. This was when I began cutting and burning.

My so called 'friends' at the time would become silent when I walked upto them to join the conversation.

another so called 'friend' told me that girls were talking about me behind my back.

I began to get extremely paranoid that wherever I went, people were talking about me behind my back.

Whenever someone just glanced at me, in my mind, they had called me a name or said something. I started to loose contact from friends and went into isolation.

The pain of lonliness and paranoia was getting to me and I began to burn using lighters and I would sometimes finger the stove when I knew it was hot. I started cutting with razors.

My mom saw burns once and threatened to send me to a shrink, so I made sure to be extra careful to hide them.

I began writing poetry about dark things, mostly death and murder. It helped.

Sometime in November was when I got my first flow of suicidal thoughts. I was doing the dishes and my eye caught on pills. I wondered what it would be like if I swallowed the whole bottle and ended it all. If people around me would be better off. If I would be happier in death. this happened multiple times.

Soon after the suicidal thoughts came more anxiety. I began to analyze my day. Every word ever said to me. I became paranoid that even my teachers were talking about me.

I started to think about it too much, though, and brought on panic attacks. This happened a few times.

I eventually told my parents though, and on December Eighteenth, 2013, I started on Zoloft, an anti-depressent and anti-anxiety medication. A day later I saw a councelor for the first time. Her name is Ellen.

But Lately I've been having a dillema:

I told my doctor and my parents that the Zoloft was helping. And I really thought it was. I had no more panic attacks. The anxiety lessened and I began to become a little more social. The emptyness and loneliness began to go away.

And then three months after I started taking it, it stopped helping. I noticed it slowly stop helping.

Now I'm back to the way I was in social situations. I'm not getting panic attacks, thank god, but still. I'm forcing myself not to cut, but that empty feeling is still coming back.

I don't know what to do.
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Offline jlee0243

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #601 on: May 06, 2014, 06:58:00 PM »
All,

I am posting this as a sticky post here so that everyone has a place to tell their story about their anxiety disorder, how it came to be, and what they are doing to solve their issues.  I think it would be valuable to have a place to open up rather than randomly on the board which eventually scrolls away from existence.

I'll start:

During my college years I smoked a lot of marijuana...  Big mistake!  The intrusive thoughts started my second semester after pledging a fraternity and being hazed for eight weeks and doing sub-par that semester in my studies.  I was also stressed out about a relationship that was in its 5th year yet I wasn't ready to commit and I also felt trapped because I didn't want to break the girls heart.  The intrusive thoughts were mainly of things that would cause me great fear and anxiety such as "being gay", "being a murder", and the more I'd try to get rid of the thought the more it would bother me.  This gradually got worse for about 3 years until just after graduation when I was smoking with some friends and I had a horrible thought while under the influence that scared me into my first major panic attack.  From that point the panic attacks became regular and I ended up becoming agoraphobic.  Finally I was admitted into a mental health clinic and diagnosed with some sort of anxiety disorder and sent home on Remeron which made me very sick.  It actually increased my anxiety so I went back to the doctor within a couple weeks to find another drug that may help.  I went through Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Buspar, Zyprexa, even Xanax in conjunction with the Zyprexa.  Nothing seemed to help at all and I ended up cryin' on the couch feeling so low and desperate that I think I had actually had no where to go but up. 

It was the middle of the night and I went for a walk and tried to straighten out everything that was going on in my head and by the time I got back I had made the decision to throw away all the meds and start doing some real research on anxiety disorder.  I read every book I could find on my disorder which I later found out was Pure O a type of OCD that causes intrusive thoughts with no compulsions.  I started to meditate and drink Kava Kava tea which helped me to relax before bed and in the morning.  I gradually became able to leave the house and shortly therafter returned to work.  I still felt horrible and had intrusive thoughts often, but I would always play with them in my head by changing them into funny scenes.  For instance a once had a bad thought while talking to my boss who I respected a great deal that I was going to stab him with a pen.  This of course scared the living daylights out of me, so I forced myself to think about it over and over until the anxiety stopped.  This of course was scary because now I wasn't scared of the thought of stabbing someone which gave me anxiety, but I had beaten the thought and never had that particular one again.  I continued to attack each thought and continued to meditate daily and after about a year of practice I had all of the thoughts under control and went into a 5 year remission. 

Turns out that the same thing had happened when I was in the second grade.  I vaguely remember the thoughts other than that my parents would be taken away from me while I was at school.  I remember the stomach pain from the anxiety and went home often as a result of panic attacks.  I had completely forgotten this episode in my life.  My parents knew something was wrong, but not what it was.  I managed to come to the same conclusion naturally when I was younger as well and was in remission until the above experience.

When I say remission, I mean I was able to live my life completely with very minor anxiety every so often and an intrusive thought every once and awhile which I could quickly dismiss.  Anyway, this all came to an end when I got married and especially got bad when I had my first child.  The thoughts were pretty much under control, but the anxiety and panic reached unimaginable heights and were really affecting my ability to enjoy my new child and wife.  This is when I decided that maybe medication would help me, but this time I was going to take it slow and keep track of everything that happened while on the meds.  I was very scared, but set up an appointment with an anxiety disorder specialist in the area.  He happened to be a professor at the local university and started his own practice specifically for anxiety disorder and had treated literally thousands of patients.  I felt comfortable with this doctor which made the idea of taking meds relatively easy.  I told the doctor everything I just stated here and he basically said that I simply had anxiety disorder with some OCD tendencies and that I should take Xanax to eliminate the anxiety.  I already at this point had researched all the potential meds and knew that Xanax had a history of causing dependency.  He said, "if you had diabetes, would you be reluctant to take your insulin shots?"  I of course said "no" and he explained that most anxiety disorders are long term problems that have a genetic root which I already knew because anxiety disorder was all over my mothers side of the family.  I asked him if I would ever be off medication and he said that I could if I wanted to, but there was a very good chance that I would end up having anxiety issues again later in life.  Maybe not immediately, but at some point.

In conclusion, for the last 10 months I have been taking Xanax and it has helped a great amount with my anxiety and has allowed me to take my life back.  I have written in a journal every day since the beginning of taking meds so that I could quantify how well the medication was working.  I don't fight with the anxiety anymore.  I continue to meditate daily to exercise my mind.  I exercise physically and eat well avoiding caffeine and most all other recreational drugs.  I will have a beer or two on occasion, but it is rare.  Anyway, the intrusive thoughts have not been a problem for me in almost 7 years, and the anxiety is now at a controllable level.

I now have two children and with this new addition to our family I have not had any issues with the anxiety even though it is a very stressful time.  She had health complications and caught a virus in the first few weeks of her life which caused us great fear and anxiety, but the anxiety I had was all rational and appropriate for the situation.  For the first time I feel like I have control of my life and don't have to worry about a random panic attack during stressful time.  There are times I had to get really clever and talk my way out of a presentation or something at work so that I could go home due to a random panic attack.  That doesn't happen anymore.  I am an aerospace engineer with a lovely wife and two beautiful daughters!  Life is good!

Thanks for letting me share this intimate portrait of my life.  I hope others will share their stories in this thread as well. 

Take care,
OE

Thanks for sharing that. It is good to hear the hope of your story. I go through periods of feeling so trapped and scared that it is good to hear your story. I feel a little more hope than I did before I read it. Now once I figure out how to operate this site I will be  A OK! ;) thanks again
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Offline LeslieSalt

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #602 on: May 09, 2014, 03:16:34 AM »
Hello, I just signed up here. I'm an Agoraphobic of 40 years.

I have plenty of horror stories that I won't burden you with now.

I'm recently retired on a medical disability, but I tried to work, and not be dependent on anyone. I tried to have a career. I wasn't always successful at that.

My family is horribly dysfunctional, and needless to say, it adversely affected me.

My parents are gone, but my siblings are still with us, and my relationship with them is strained.

I've had 3 heart attacks. The second, according to my doctors, should have killed me, but didn't. It did kill a 42 year smoking habit though. Been 5 years without a puff.

I had a serious back operation at the end of 2012, and as a result, I use both a walker and a cane.

I've never been married or had children. Why put others through this?

I just went through some horror stories in trying to move on very short notice. Maybe another post, but not here at this time.

I find it a total miracle that I haven't gone totally stark raving mad with some of the people I've had to cope with.

I've been lucky with some of the great friends I've been blessed with. The coin does have another side to it.

I look forward to reading and getting to know other people here.
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Offline lebron34

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #603 on: May 11, 2014, 07:30:30 PM »
I have always been a nervous person with anxiety, but it's gotten progressively worse over the last 6 months. I am a hypochondriac, and my biggest fear is naegleria fowleri, the brain eating amoeba. I'm always convinced I have gotten it somehow either from water showering or even when sweeping sand in my driveway or raking. Despite constant help from my mom and my girlfriend, I always think I have it. However, I've started to see a therapist and things are slowly getting better!
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Offline momangel29

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #604 on: May 12, 2014, 11:35:30 AM »
         I am forty three now but when I was ten years old I was put into a private school where there was pressure to get good grades. The school was competitive and I wanted to do well so I put more pressure on myself, not my parents really. I started panicking when I knew it was a test day, running fevers even the night before. My parents took me to the doctor but the pediatrician said it was impossible that I made myself sick and they didn't do anything. I would also get sick at holiday time. As I got older I would have insomnia for weeks at a time and my parents would give me cough medicine and brandy to go to sleep.
       When I was twenty six I was diagnosed bipolar. I take medication but I am mostly a depressed person. My anxiety was not really addressed until three years ago when my father died. A few months later I started having panic attacks and was afraid to be alone. At that time I did not want to stay home. My companion during the day was my dog who is still a very important part of my life. I do have have a husband and one school age child still at home but the dog has been there for me. Now I feel that my anxiety has changed somewhat. I don't want to be out anymore. I want to be at home. I was laid off last year and at times I do agency work but its not steady. Right now I just live from day to day. I take a mood stabilizer and the dr. just tried to put me on lexapro but the side effects are worse that what I currently feel so I will just stick with what I already take and ride it out. My husband has decided to focus on nutrition and my daughter and I are following him trying to eat more fruits and vegetables. We will see how that goes.
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Offline overthinker93

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #605 on: May 13, 2014, 03:14:17 AM »
Hey all im new here my names Luke im from Melbourne Australia , I have been suffering with anxiety my whole life it started off with just hypochondria being paranoid of anything health wise but as I got older I started getting panic attacks especially in public so I stopped going out stayed home most of the time feeling crap and thinking weird thoughts like at the moment I have always had a fear of passing out so now I have ocd thoughts on things that make me sick and it scares me cause I always feel like im just going to faint because of these thoughts its just another mind game my mind plays on me I really need help im 21 and I am not living my life at all.......
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Offline purpleteacher_13

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #606 on: May 17, 2014, 04:40:56 PM »
Hello. First day here. I’ve composed this in my mind all morning and I hesitate to post because I fear that the reaction will be, “Ohh….she’s a hot mess.” But….I will post this in hopes that some in this community feels like I do and I can get some help.  I’ve read several posts from different anxieties and can relate.  I plan to be brutally honest.   
I’m a teacher (or was).  My family has said that I always had anxiety.  Storms, “what if?”scenarios, life in general, etc.  When I went in to a therapist in my 30’s telling what I thought were funny family stories she said, “No wonder you are afraid of life.”  My true anxiety started when my husband had an affair. My first panic attack sent me from school to the ER.  Thought I was having a heart attack. I knew something was going on, but he would never admit it.  I worked in the same school district as both of them and was hearing some rumors.  We went through some “Cops” episode type things, divorced, and then remarried.  The judge told my lawyer that he didn’t want to grant the divorce…. we still seemed in love. 
After that I continued to have panic attacks.  In my school district two years ago they made several teacher moves.  Despite my 20 years of service I was moved to a position that was a worst fear of mine.  15 years in the same elementary, people I called family, and I was moved to the high school special education vocational training program.  Basically I took cognitive impaired adults to a local grocery store and convalescent home to train.  I tutored in the afternoon for the Resource Room.  No lesson planning, just supervising.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a very valid program and I did the job to the best of my ability. I just ended up being a dumping ground for these students in my district.  I felt like I had been demoted.  One day, driving in to work, I started to feel a panic attack.  By the time I got there it was massive.  I found some colleagues and eventually they called my parents.  I just couldn’t tell my husband that, yet again, I was leaving school with a panic attack.  My dad walked me out of the high school that morning, holding my hand, in front of unloading busses of students I taught to take me to the ER…..again.  I went on an extended medical leave and eventually quit a very good job. 
Since that day my parents and husband have had me see doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists. They have been trying to “fix” me.  I’ve been on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds.  They don’t work well with my body and I find I can’t be functional enough for my teenage son on them, so I stopped.  Now I self-medicate with alcohol.  I was eventually diagnosed with PTSD.  I struggle to get out of the house some days.  I talk myself into going to the grocery store and getting through a shower.  I can’t make it to the doctor.  I manage because of my son, but I don’t want to live like this anymore. 
I am joining this community because it helps to hear that others are like me and I hope to learn some strategies to overcome this.  I want to be the woman I was years ago….confident, outgoing.
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Offline flyaway

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #607 on: May 18, 2014, 08:52:14 AM »
I have dealt with anxiety and depression for over half my life now and I've had enough.

Growing up I was a pretty confident kid, however that changed thanks to the 'mean girls'.  My self esteem was shot down at an early age and this has stuck with me.  I feel pretty damn ugly most of the time and an emotionally abusive boyfriend and a few broken hearts have done nothing to make it better.

When I look in the mirror I often see someone who is disfigured so I worry about my appearance a lot.  It's odd how other's looks aren't important to me, however when it comes to me, my appearance = my value as a human being.

As a teenager, I dealt with more depression than anxiety, I would isolate myself, as well as self harm. I was terribly underweight (but thought I was obese) and struggled to deal with the pressures of school and family.  My family life was quite dysfunctional and has left a lasting impression on me.

I struggle forming close relationships, so I become pretty attached to people that manage to sneak their way past my defences.  Not many people make it through, but they do.  I've lost some people who have become very important to me, and it kills me.  I do think I am a lot more sensitive than other people, so hurting others, or being hurt by others, really hurts me, and it is very hard to recover from.

My anxiety took over when I was around 22 years old. I remember my first true blue panic attack, I thought I was going to die.  I had never felt something so overwhelming before.  My anxiety tends to come in waves, I will go for a period of time feeling amazing, then I will be struck down with terrible anxiety which will last a few weeks.  The anxiety is suffocating and it is hard to focus on anything else.

I have been on medication pretty much consistently since that point, however I am almost completely off Paxil.

The last few months have been really difficult and there has been a lot of change.  I am feeling quite isolated and lonely at this time.  I feel I've taken a bit of an emotional beating, and feel as though I am grieving.  It's really hard to stay positive, but I am trying to look to my future.  Up until recently I felt quite confident as to the path my life would take, but it's kinda been completely obliterated.  I tell myself it is a good thing - the whole world is open to me - however I haven't quite convinced myself of that yet. I'm getting there.
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Offline NikkiHooves

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #608 on: May 18, 2014, 12:24:04 PM »
I guess I can trace my anxiety and panic to when I was a kid. I was always worried about dying, I knew that I had something horrible that would kill me. Being a kid I didn't really understand death so I usually just went about my business. Things got really bad and I mean BAD around this past october. I broke my finger and was given vicoprofen for it. I had 12 and I took them over the course of 6 days like I was supposed to. But on the sixth day I got a horrible chest pain and it freaked me out. I physically felt pain and at the time I didn't understand a panic attack will actually make you feel physical pain.  I went to the hospital and nothing was wrong. My mother told me I was ridiculous. The pain never went away, I figured it was heart disease or something. I knew I was going to die. Everyday I faced the angel of death, I couldn't relax.  This went on until around thanksgiving when it peaked. I was in the car with my mother and my hands started to tingle then my face started to tingle. My heart raced,  I knew I was about to die. But it passed. Two days later I went to my doctor and he put me on prozac. I'm not even close to better, I'm 19 and everyday I face death. I found this forum by googling for other peoples stories because I was having an attack with palpatations and all. Its truly terrifying to think thatevery day is my last, but I'm not alone.
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Offline xogemxo

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Re: Personal Stories of Anxiety Disorder
« Reply #609 on: May 19, 2014, 11:06:52 AM »
Hi am 24 from Ireland. My anxiety started just after my second baby was born I could not go any where without thinking I was going to die, every ache and pain it was something serious I've recently been getting migraine and seeing floaters, feelin week and all this has led me to think it's something serious! I get out and it's always on my mind! Hate being like this any one n e suggestions how to get over postnatal anxiety lol I've tried cbt and it worked but now it's finished its back again xxx
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