First off, I'd like to apologize if this is a particularly long post, but since my psychiatrist put me on a waiting list, this is really the only place I have to vent/talk, and ask questions related to my anxiety.
First, I'll introduce myself. My name is Brandon. I'm from a small town in a province in Canada. Not a whole lot going on here, and there's not a whole lot to do. I'm 18 years old, fresh out of high school. I'm currently taking a year off and will not be attending school this September (For many reasons, but with the way my life has been going lately, I think it's for the best), however I will be enrolling into a Recording Arts program in about 13 months (Next September).
My hobbies include playing, writing, recording, listening to, and performing music. I am in a band.
Anyway, now that that's out of the way, I guess I'll take you back to the beginning of where my anxiety and other problems began..
Back in June of 2012, my father had some problems with his heart, he had blockages in several of his arteries, and he had some stents put in to help it.
After all this happened, I became very anxious concerned about the well being of my heart. Every time my heartbeat would flutter or increase in speed, I would go into panic mode, however I started exercising a lot as I felt that I was heading down the same road, and I wanted to change that.
I shed about 40 pounds, but I was still worried about the well being of my heart. I tried eating healthier etc, but I still couldn't shed the anxiety of it all.
Keep in mind I am an AVID caffeine user at this point. Still not making the connection. I was an OCCASIONAL marijuana user, but the heart rate speed really scared me, so I quit in November, and I haven't smoked since.
Fast forward to the winter of 2012. It's December. I get lazy when it comes to exercise and eating better as the months go by. The heart flutters still occur and I end up having my FIRST panic attack one night (Looking back, I should have stopped drinking caffeine back in June). My doctor gets me an appointment with a Cardiologist for early January.
My parents (who kept reassuring me that I was OK and that I had nothing to worry about. Sure enough, they were right) and I all thought it would be best to get this Cardiologist appointment and find out if there really was anything wrong or if I was just anxious.
Well, the cardiologist appointment comes along, I do all kinds of tests, an EKG, and I wear a heart monitor for 24 hours. Everything comes back normal, and the second I walk out of that doctor's office, I just felt like a gigantic weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I felt great.
That night I went to a movie theater and saw a great comedy. But, for some reason, all of a sudden, I started to have a panic attack. I ran out of the theater, went to the bathroom, and I felt fine. Keep in mind, I had NO idea what was wrong with me at the time. I went back in, had to run out again.
ANOTHER panic attack. This happened at several movies I went to during the week. My family explained that it was just anxiety and they went through similar things while in crowded places.
January moves along, and for some reason, I develop a habit of constantly watching the news. CNN, HLN, etc. Day in and day out I hear about school/mass shootings, teenagers murdering their families, etc. (DEFINITELY not good for the mind).
In early February, I happened to be watching the news, and they were covering a particular story about a 16 year old boy who murdered his entire family. They would have family members come on and talk about how "He seemed like such a normal kid", etc, etc.
The whole idea terrified me. "How can someone seem so normal, and then do something like that?" "Do people just snap out of the blue like that? Could that happen to me?!" "Will I turn into that guy?!". These are the questions that constantly raced through my mind while watching these things on TV.
..I bet you know where this is going
That night I was up particularly late. I had just finished watching my favorite show on TV (Not the news, lol) and I sat down to watch... The news before I studied. I had a music test the next day, I class that I took VERY seriously, but, for some reason that night, I was procrastinating a lot (But the more procrastinating I did, the more stress/anxiety I had)
I was sitting there on the couch. My parents had both gone to bed, and suddenly, the thoughts that I mentioned earlier began to race through my mind. I began to have yet another panic attack, only this time, it was even more severe than the one back in December or the ones I had in the movie theater.
I began pacing the floors, my vision seemingly blurred, my heart racing faster than I've ever felt it, my mind racing just as much. I just could not relax. I went to get on the computer, didn't work. I tried to study, didn't work. I literally thought I was going insane.
The panic attack was so intense that I didn't even relate it to the ones I had back at the movie theater. I just thought this was me turning into that kid and then some part of me trying to fight it. After a few hours, around 4:30 AM, I began to calm down.
I woke up the next morning, feeling fine. That night though, the intense anxiety attacks returned. From then on, they were constant. Nonstop anxiety. In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, in the night.
I didn't sleep for about 8 days straight. Finally, I resorted to Melatonin, which helped me a lot. I took it for about three weeks, and then, after I stopped drinking caffeine, it seemed as though I no longer needed it, so I stopped taking Melatonin.
I was afraid that I was that boy on the news. I was afraid that I hated my parents and I was going to snap at any second. This was anxiety. Deep down, I knew I loved my parents, I just couldn't convince my brain, so therefor, I couldn't convince myself.
From then on, every day it was a new thing to be anxious about, it seemed. I would hear about a child molester or something on the news, and I would begin to question myself about that and become very anxous around kids (including my niece and nephew, who I once spent a lot of time with). Then the anxiety would move from being about killing to molesting. More intense anxiety attacks.
There were lots more things I was anxious about, but I won't list them all here. It'd be way too many to name. I had quite a few thoughts about commiting 0119, but something inside me just wanted to keep going.
Finally, around mid-February I began to do some research. I stopped drinking caffeine (which I should have stopped 8 months earlier), and I got myself an appointment with my family doctor.
He told me that it sounded it to him like I had some sort of anxiety disorder and some sort of obsessive disorder (Which I've always had speculation about. Having OCD, I mean, but I've never seeked help about it). He referred me to a social worker. This was on March 27th.
I continued on with my switch from soft drinks (with caffeine) to root beer (with no caffeine). I experienced some anxiety, probably due to the sugar, but not as much as I did when I was constantly consuming caffeine.
Then, in about mid-May, I began to feel very.. Foggy.. mentally. I realized that I felt very tired all the time, even though I knew I was getting enough sleep. For some reason, out of nowhere it seemed, I was just constantly filled with brain fog. I spent every day feeling like a chicken with the head cut off. I felt like I was just wandering around, almost like I was on auto-pilot.
I was having brain fog, constant tiredness, terrible memory, I couldn't focus, I couldn't pay attention. I had no idea what was wrong with me, and I still don't.
I had a fear that I'd be like this forever. After about a week of walking around, seemingly in a haze, for whatever reason, I decided to go to a party and get drunk. This isn't something that I do often, just something I would do maybe once a month to take my mind off things.
I figured maybe it would help take my mind off all the weird 0103 that was happening to me. Maybe it would help "clear" (in more ways than one) my mind.
After having one beer, I found my brain fog getting even WORSE. I began to feel sick as I thought "Okay, this is the end of me. I'm not going to be able to enjoy life no matter what I do. I should just leave now, and end it all. It's just one thing after another."
Then I tried some liquor. I thought "Why the hell not? It gets me drunk faster.". My friend mixed me a combination of rum a coke.. Which I didn't think about at the time, but when I did, I figured it'd make even more anxious.. But the weird part is, I didn't.
After a few drinks, I finally began to feel normal. I was having a great time. No brain fog. I had no idea why, but after a couple days I put two and two together.. It was the caffeine. I began to experiment with caffeine again, and what do you know? Brain fog was gone! And I was feeling normal again.
However, it was either drink caffeine and feel anxious (the constant fatigue brings the anxiety down after a while) or just feel completely brain dead. I made the choice to go back to caffeine, (and lots of it, because it was seemingly wear off after a little while) because nothing else seemed to work.
My brain fog, however, ruined my graduation for me, as there was no source of caffeine there, and I just felt completely brain dead the entire time. Just going through the motions. I still hate myself for this day.
I just feel emotionless when I'm going through this brain fog and constant fatigue. I wake up every day, after getting more than enough sleep, literally exhausted and with severe brain fog. My only saving grace is caffeine.
Around June, I finally got the call I was waiting for. I got my appointment with the social worker, so I went to her office to speak to her.
We talked briefly and she told me that she would have a meeting with the rest of the people on the "Mental Health Team" the following Tuesday and I would either be scheduled for an appointment immediately, or put on a waiting list.
..Can you guess what happened?
So I've spent the last month doing my own research, trying to figure out why I have this nonstop, constant brain fog and exhaustion. It's gotten to the point where I can't even have sex with my girlfriend without extreme amounts of caffeine at this point just because I have no energy, and in most cases, no interest because of the lack of mental clarity/exhaustion/lack of emotion.
I honestly think I would rather just have my anxiety, at least then I would know what to do and stop drinking caffeine and eating certain things.
In regards to the brain fog, exhaustion and lack of feeling, I've come up on a few things that it could be, the results have scared the hell out of me..
-Depression: This is an odd one because I don't feel depressed at all. Just emotionless, foggy, and tired with a poor memory. But as I understand it, caffeine raises seretonin levels, and caffeine does in fact make me feel better (now).
-Low Dopamine: This is also an odd one because there isn't very much out there that tells you how to increase your dopamine levels, which honestly scares the HELL out of me. Not to mention I read that low levels of this can cause ADD. There's been reports that sleep and green tea helps, but both of these things make my brain fog WAY worse. BUT, I do notice that my brain fog does get worse after masturbation or sex. Which, upon researching those and ALL my other symptoms, I found the possibility of low Dopamine. Also, I read that Dopamine is at a all time high when someone has an erection. And I noticed that my brain fog is gone when I do have an erection.
-Vitamin Deficiency: This could very well be it due to my poor diet, however I've been taking a multivitamin for men for about three days now with no results. This is honestly the one I hope it is, but it just doesn't seem to be the case.
-Heavy Metal Poisoning: This is an interesting one.. During the Spring (I honestly can't remember when it was because this brain fog has made my memory so bad), I was in a Robotics class with my friend.
During this class, we had to solder some things. Our teacher explained the risk of heavy metal poisoning and warned us to be careful
There were about 30 different projects in one room, and it was packed full of students. I was the most scared of all of this (of course), so I left the room on the first day and went to the bathroom until the class was over.
The second day, however, I was in the room, but I stayed as far away from the project as possible, but after a while, I kind of forced myself to stop being a wimp and start tending to the project.
The thought of it being heavy metal poisoning didn't even cross my mind until I did some research on my symptoms and found that it could infact be heavy metal poisoning. I put two and two together and realized that they MIGHT have happened around the same time (Again, I don't remember).
My friend reassured me that there's no way I could have gotten heavy metal poisoning from these classes, as I was barely near the project, always having my mouth/nose tucked into my shirt, and frequently leaving the class.
He made the point that if I have it, why doesn't anybody else in the class have it? I considered that, but then I brought up the point that I was very anxious during these classes, thus I probably breathing heavier, and breathing in more of the smoke/dust/fumes.
Anyway, that's my story. I've been living the worst 7 months of my life, due to two different problems. If I go anywhere new, I get really bad anxiety and I can't enjoy things, but if I don't drink caffeine, I feel tired, groggy, foggy, emotionless, and can't have a good time then, either.
I've had thoughts of giving up every day of these past 7 months. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope that ONE day, I will be able to put all this behind me a live a happy, normal life. The caffeine is starting to not work anymore, and in extreme doses it makes me very anxious.
I honestly don't know how much longer I can go like this. I need something. I need someone to tell me what I need to do to shake this. I've searched far and wide, and nobody seems to know what gets rid of this brain fog, or what the EXACT cause of it is.
Can, someone, ANYONE, help me? I'm sorry, I know this is a long post. I just needed to vent and get everything out there. I need help. I have no idea what to do. Every day is Brain Fog/Fatigue/Terrible Memory/No Emotion vs. Anxiety.
Which is going to take over my brain today? I'm going to a concert in on Sunday and I honestly don't think I'm going to enjoy it, just because of these two problems. I can't seem to enjoy anything anymore.
My anxiety convinces me that I hate things that I love. Family, hell, even MUSIC, but if I don't drink caffeine and make myself anxious, I'll just feel nothing except fatigue and mental fog.
Today I stopped drinking caffeine and started drinking a lot of green tea. Only made my brain fog even worse.
I know it can't be low iron. I consume too much meat and things that I filled with Iron for it to be that.
I had blood work done back in March when my anxiety was at it's peak, and everything came back normal.