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Author Topic: all of this out of nowhere!  (Read 284 times)

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Offline britmansf18

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all of this out of nowhere!
« on: December 06, 2013, 07:50:52 PM »
Ok I am 22 years old. I did have some traumatic events in my life and have always been an anxious person. Ive always worried about what people thought of me and I always had  trouble making friends. I thought life was great when I finally got things on track and got accepted to college for nursing. I proudly graduated in May of 2013, but not without blood, sweat, and tears (LOTS) poured into my studying time. I was having trouble finding a job and highly stressed about my boards. One day in class I began to have this feeling like I was going to pass out. I wasnt exactly good at eating breakfast in the morning, so I figured it was just that I was hungry. I tapped someone on the shoulder in class and asked if they had anything because I didnt want to draw attention to myself. I began to get really sick and dizzy. Then, I got this shooting hot pain up my back. It felt like I was on fire! I began to get tingly from head to toe and my fingers started turning blue. After a 10 minute freak out and some orange juice with a little rest, I was feeling good enough to go back up to my dormroom. I slept as soon as I got back it seemed for hours uninterrupted. I felt horrible the rest of the night. It just continued and to the point where I couldn't breathe. It felt like someone was squeezing my airway shut. When I swallowed it felt like a big lump and it was horrible. I started having severe acid reflux or so I thought after that, so I went to the doctor thinking I was maybe just getting a stress ulcer. She agreed that things just needed to calm down so I associated the lump in my throat to esophageal spasms. That went away as fast as it seemed to appear. A few months after I graduated, I was hired to a major trauma center! I knew this was it! I was convinced I was going to have a great career! I was wrong, because a few weeks into it I was feeling so overwhelmed I started to ask myself whether I was going to make it and whether anyone else felt this way. I never said a word and kept to myself, but it seemed like everyone still noticed! All of the nurses on my floor were eyeing me up, including my supervisor. She stopped me and called me in one day to talk. She asked me if ive ever been to counseling. This is how i ended up on lexapro 20 mg and was told I had generalized anxiety disorder at the moderate level and panic disorder. Now, I feel as if everything is getting worse. I have this tingly numbness feeling all over my body. If I get the slightest draft or brush my hair the wrong way I get so tingly i nearly vibrate. AND it feels like ive swallowed fireballs every day! I feel so miserable and feel like I will never be able to work this way. When I do work I am extremely forgetful and I am always running up and down the hallways grabbing stuff I forgot. I had some "brain fog" and I couldnt seem to remember any docotors name that called me when I had a patient urgency. Does anyone have any advice for me? I didnt go to school 4 years for nothing!
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: all of this out of nowhere!
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 08:37:51 PM »
Well, first of all I would just like to congratulate you on finishing school! And the only advice I can give you is don't give up; you are a lot stronger than you realize--if you can make it through school you are pretty tough! Keep going! :)
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Offline scb07d

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Re: all of this out of nowhere!
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2013, 09:15:38 PM »
Hmm. Unfortunately, the forgetfulness and so-called "brain fog" you're experiencing is just a part of anxiety. However, taking an SSRI can make it worse. For some people, taking an SSRI makes things even more blurry. If you truly feel like you need Lexapro, then I guess you should stay on it, but imo SSRIs work best when they're used only for a temporary period of time.

That being said, your best option is probably just to keep pushing forward regardless of the symptoms. Things will likely get better over time. You just have to accept the feelings of anxiety and do the best you can. If you're working in a trauma center at 22, you're obviously a determined person and you seem capable of moving through these issues, as uncomfortable as they may be.
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Offline Abraham2007

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Re: all of this out of nowhere!
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2013, 07:16:16 AM »
Your boss sounds like a concerned adult, with a few years on her shoulder, who's concerned about your mental health.  Discussing your anxiety issues with you shows a concerned supervisor who wants to better her employees.  If she wanted to (excuse my impoliteness here) can you, there would be no personal meeting.  Believe me, I've worked in corporate America for the past fifteen years, and I know the feeling of being a number, rather than an employee.  Due to the *at will* policy in Human Resources, you could be dropped at any moment, however employers vary on how they manage their employee teams.

Since you're young, at just 22, (and this is a nice accomplishment to get a good job at that young of an age -- grin), I'm fairly convinced your supervisor is a mother, with children of her own, and feels maternal to you.  Likewise since she's a nurse, she feels compassion to her patients and employees in general, so although you may feel anxiety that the world is going to end, don't think everyone at work thinks and feels exactly like you do.   You might be feeling anxiety, however your boss might be feeling concern, about how to better her employees.

Although it may be hard, at the moment, to see your anxiety from another point of view, just know it's not as bad as you think.

Your supervisor was wise to send you to a counselor, who in turn, sent you to a medical doctor who prescribed you Lexapro at 20mg.   Welcome to the world of SSRIs.    Like you, I'm a professional in the workplace, with a college degree, and my job at times can be stressful.  Like other realistic anxiety sufferers, I know my body's limits to handle stress on its own, and although it would be nice to feel I could handle anxiety without medication, I've accepted I'm better with the medication than without.

It may take up to 12 weeks for the SSRI to fully take into affect, however, you'll probably feel benefits in the next two to three weeks.  If you experience side effects, discuss them with your doctor, however the initial weeks may have additional anxiety, but that heightened anxiety drops down after a few weeks.

You may want to view this time period as a way to make you a better nurse.  Part of being a good nurse is to understand the role of the patient, and since you're the patient in regards to your anxiety disorder, you'll have this experience to focus on, as you work with other patients in the future.

Just know, things aren't as bad as they always seem (grin).

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Offline nancyga13

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Re: all of this out of nowhere!
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2013, 10:41:10 AM »
 :action-smiley-065: congrats on finishing nursing school that is absolutely awesome!!! Anxiety can be rough, but like others say, accept the anxiety and I totally get the forgetfulness scary symptom that I have been experiencing a lot. Just know all this will pass and you won't be this way forever!
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Offline janetlf

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Re: all of this out of nowhere!
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2013, 01:27:46 AM »
First, I want to say congratulations on your nursing degree!  You have accomplished quite a great deal at a very young age.  Be proud of yourself!

What drew me to your post was your comment of "coming out of nowhere".  Twenty years ago, the same thing happened to me.  Just out of the blue, one day, I noticed some tingling in my hands.  While it was annoying, I didn't really think anything about it.  However, as time passed, it became worse and I became very frightened.  I was at work, sitting at my desk, so I wouldn't say anything out of the ordinary was going on.  Anyway, as I continued to become more fearful, my symptoms began to escalate.  My breathing became shallow, I had difficulty swallowing, and then the "lights went out", just very briefly.  Well, I got on the phone to my doctor and went right in.  He told me it was stress, and gave me an rx for xanax, and set me up with a psychiatrist.  I went through a laundry list of different meds (most of which made me feel much worse), and I was in my doctors office 3 and 4 times a month.  Each time, he said the same thing...stress.  I argued that stress could not possibly cause the bizarre bodily sensations I was having, let alone the mental torture I was going through.  I was to the point where I was driving by the hospital everyday on my way home from work, "just in case".  He recommended that I see a counselor and gave me a name.  I got very lucky.  The counselor was a God-send.  He explained panic disorder to me and suggested trying medications again.  I resisted for a year, due to my bad experience with the previous shrink.  When I told the counselor who the psychiatrist was, he immediately told me to STOP seeing him (very bad rep in my town--i know, great, right?).
I finally found a doctor who worked with me to find the right medications.  It is a guessing game, and it does take several weeks for them to prove that they will work or not.  The xanax helps get through the hard part of that.  Another saving grace that this counselor offered me was a book entitled "Hope and Help for your Nerves", by Dr. Claire Weekes.  I read this book over and over, and even carried it in my purse for about a year.  When I would feel the old feelings start to crop up, I would pull it out and read for reassurance.  I highly recommend you get the book.  You will see yourself in so many of the pages.  That was a huge help for me.  Hang in there sweets, it is all trial and error but, you will find the treatment that will work for you.  This is not to say you won't still have some struggles, or that you won't need a medication change at some point.  After 8 years on Wellbutrin, I had to switch when they quit making the 50 mg tablets.  I couldn't handle the XR.  I have been taking Effexor XR (150 mg) for the last 11 years, now.  It works pretty well for me, even though I still have tough days, once in awhile.  But I will take that any day over feeling like I did in the very beginning of my panic disorder journey. 

God bless you, baby.  I promise you, help is out there.  It just takes time.  Hang in there.
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