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Offline mag2007uk

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Feeling hopeless
« on: December 21, 2013, 11:28:12 AM »
Hi all

Im not sure where to start or even if any one will relate or be able to offer advice, but here goes anyway,

I've had really quite severe anxiety, pretty much constantly for the past few months.  I've been to see my doctor on several occasions almost as often as every week (im beginning to think im going too often but i want help and or answers).

I originally went due to my heart racing (not really unusual for me) I was sent to a cardiologist for an ecg, as far as im aware everything was fine as i havent heard otherwise. I explained to my doctor that the slightest things worry me, i jump when the telephone rings, have a panic attack at the thought of having to go to the shops. I know once im in a public place i start to feel shaky, sweaty, dizzy, almost as though i am going to pass out. I also constantly feel as though i am on a boat in rough seas.

I was prescribed propranolol to take, however i couldnt bring myself to take them. I know i should have but i physically couldnt make myself, my heart started racing and the anxious feeling became to much.  I went back to my doctor again, explained how i felt with the tablets and that i was too afraid to take them.  I also asked if there was an alternative to medication as i am so terrified, (i was hoping he would offer hypnosis etc)  He then prescribed me Citalopram to take, I went back to see him last week to explain that i am genuinely too afraid to take medicines. he then told me there was nothing more he could do as i wasnt taking the medication he had offered.

i am at my wits end, i honestly wish i could make myself try them but i cant, it may sound strange/pathetic, i feel so trapped and helpless. I have started crying all the time and have no quality of life. I was always really outgoing and loved socialising with friends, now i avoid seeing anyone, and stay at home constant.

I would be greatful for any advice.......thanks
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2013, 12:12:38 PM »
Hi Mag...  I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through.  You and I are on that same boat, on the rough seas.  My 24/7 anxiety has been back with me for the last 2-3 months.  I am taking medication, but I certainly understand that many people would prefer not to do that, or they are scared to take medication.    I am on a beta-blocker, similar to the propranolol that you were given, and I am on Citalopram 20 mg, too.  Have you considered therapy?  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), is the main therapy used to treat individuals with anxiety/panic attack.  I am scheduled to start that therapy the end of January.  There are many things you can do on your own too, that might help.  I exercise everyday, meditate, drink plenty of water, and eat frequent, small meals.  I hope that you can find something that works for you.  The best to you, Mag!...  Chuck
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Offline mag2007uk

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2013, 12:21:27 PM »
Hi Chuck

Thank you so much for your reply, I asked my doctor if there was an alternative to medication as I am so afraid, i was hoping he would offer me hypnotherapy or to see a councillor. However he has said he doesnt no what to do with me as im refusing medication. Its not that i am refusing its just that i am very afraid, i dont think he understands this. He told me I would have to learn to live with it.

I am so annoyed and angry, it took me a long time to build up the courage to visit him and tell him my problems and i feel i have just been fobbed off. I have been off my food for a few weeks now, eating only when i feel really poorly, i would love to be able to go out and exercise, i am so afraid of the sensations i feel when i am out and i cant bring myself to do this.

I think im fighting a losing battle with myself, i struggle to get through one day to wake up and go through the same all over again. Im exhausted :(

I wish you well chuck and hope your therapy gives you the outcome you desire....thanks again for replying.
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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 03:36:04 PM »
Hi Mag, I can empathize with fearing medication because I hate medicine too. But I have taken citalopram before and it helped me greatly. My advice to you would be to cut the prescribed dosage in half to minimize any side-effects that may come upon the initial start of the med. I found that I began to feel better just on half the dosage, and had some minimal, easy to live with side-effects. Then after 1-2 weeks increase it as prescribed. Don't be afraid to try it, just give yourself a chance with it, and if you find you don't care for it, you have the option to stop or try something else, but I would at least try it.

As Chuck mentioned there are natural alternatives like exercise, eating a well balanced diet, meditation, staying hydrated, etc.

I hope you find something to ease your anxiety, best of luck to you :)
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Offline mujer_verde

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 07:41:22 PM »
Hey there Mag, I'm SO sorry to hear you're in such a rough spot right now. 

I have been there and I know it's awful.  I was terrified of everything and also not eating and so on, which of course doesn't help.   It is really important to keep feeding yourself, I know you know that but I wanted to repeat it for you.  I found that meal-drinks that "ensure" (which you can find at any pharmacy) were helpful during that time, because it was a small enough quantity that I could choke down for my body's sake.

I wish your doc was more understanding and could listen and help talk you through your concerns.  I know it's hard but can you find a therapist or psychiatrist you could meet with who understands GAD/panic attacks?  I eventually started taking celexa and it worked wonders for me. There are also meds like (sedatives that start acting within 15 to 60 minutes) that you can take in the short term while the celexa kicks in that might help you out.
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Offline mag2007uk

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 11:38:44 AM »
Hi All

Thanks for your kind messages, Im afraid to go back to my doctor to ask for a lower dosage as I feel he is becoming annoyed and impatient with me. I didn't realise a lower dosage could be an option, I wonder if perhaps the dosage i was prescribed is the smallest they do (20mg) otherwise i imagine he would have offered me it.

Unfortunately I cannot visit a psychiatrist or therapist without my doctor referring me and i guess he isn't willing to do this. I cant afford to go private as i have been declared unfit for work due to anxiety reasons and i dont qualify for benefits etc because of my partners earnings, right now he couldn't afford to pay for this on his salary alone.

Can anyone tell me what exactly Citalopram do and how they make you feel, I constantly feel scared and nervous, i feel pains all over my body and i feel like my mind is hazy, apologies if this doesnt make sense. I remember the person i used to be and my greatest wish would be to return to that.

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Offline CarrieAnn

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 12:16:45 PM »
Hi Mag, well, you don't have to go back to the doc. to ask for a lower dosage, use a pill cutter to cut the pills in half. That is what I did to minimize any start up side-effects. Then as your body gets used to the medication, you can increase it to what was prescribed to you.

When I was on Citalopram it helped me immensely. The feeling it gave me was that it took away all of the tension I had in my body, I was finally able to relax. I slept better, ate better, and was able to be social again. I don't know physiologically what it does, but I think it helps the neurotransmitters in a person's brain function better, pertaining to the serotonin activity.
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Offline mag2007uk

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 12:33:42 PM »
Hi CarrieAnn

Thanks again for replying, I was told to make an appointment with my doctor 3 weeks after starting my citalopram, i guess just to monitor how i was doing with it. I had an appointment with him last week for blood results and explained i hadn't been able to bring myself to take them. He told me to cancel the appointment that i had made for the 3 week period, I've put myself in this horrible situation by being to afraid to take them, now my doctor isn't happy with me, i feel that if i go back to him again and say that i have started to take them he is going to think i am messing him about.

Im not even sure now if i have the confidence to go back again, I just want all this to end. I've heard so many people say they felt like a new person while taking them, i guess im scared on the effect they will have on my heart as it beats so quick, im also scared of not being in control of my mind, is this possible?

Wouldnt it be great if someone could wave a magic wand and all be gone. Im glad citalopram have helped you, if only i could force myself to try it.
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 12:36:05 PM »
Hi Mag...  As I mentioned to you, I am on Citalopram (Celexa), and have been taking it for a little over four weeks now.  The first thing I am going to suggest to you, is for you to go to the medications/therapy board here on AnzietyZone, and post your questions on Citalopram.  There are some wonderful individuals that visit that site, and provide great information.  They have helped me on more than one occasion.  Now, please understand that I am not a doctor, and I certainly am not your doctor, so I am not telling you what to do.  This is only my understanding.  People with anxiety/panic attack should begin anti-depressants, such as Citalopram, at a low dose to help ease side effects.  Citalopram is usually started at 10 mg, and can be increased to 20 mg after a week or two.  Anti-depressants do not work like other medication that you might be familiar with.  When you take an aspirin for a headache, you expect to start feeling better in an hour or so.  Anti-depressants work by not just changing brain chemistry, but by actually promoting the growth of new brain cells.  This can take between 3-12 weeks to see degrees of improvement.  Most anti-depressant will also have some side effects.  I want you to be aware of these so if you decide to start the Citalopram, you will not be scared.  For me I had some increase in my anxiety, loss of appetite, sweating, insomnia, and hot/cold sensations.  I was told that these side effects would last about two weeks, and sure enough, the side effects diminished greatly on day 15-16 into my treatment.  Citalopram has helped some 30 million individuals since it was placed on the market.  I hope this information helps you.  Again, post your medication questions on the medications/treatment board.  The best to you, Mag!...  Chuck
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Offline mag2007uk

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 01:04:21 PM »
Hi Chuck

I once again thank you for your kind and caring reply, It's such a relief for other people to understand, how i feel and what im going through. I have moments when my head feels clear and i reach for the packet, the minute i have it in my hand i start to panic and feel awful. I end up throwing it away in anger and crying for a while afterwards.

If only someone could give me it without me realising lol.

Thank you for your advice I will certainly try posting there, i'm somewhat new to this site, might take me a while to figure it out.

I feel so hopeful when i see your statements on how they are helping you. Thank you once again for taking the time to reasure me, perhaps i will be able to find some courage and go back to my doctor and ask for a lower dose.

Stay well Chuck

Mag x
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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 01:32:43 PM »
Hey Mag...  The easiest way to get to the medication section is to go to the top of this page.  To the left you will see an orange button that says "Home".  Click on that.  You are now back to the home page.  Scroll down till you come to the section called "Healing".  The first part of that section should be "medications/therapy".  Click on that section, and you are there.  The best to you!...  Chuck 
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Offline mag2007uk

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 02:01:08 PM »
Thanks Chuck

I tried making a post.

Mag x
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Offline mag2007uk

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2013, 11:47:33 AM »
Hi All

I am just posting an update, I couldn't bring myself to phone my doctor (fear) and ask for a lower dose however my partner stepped in and made the call for me explaining how nervous I was. He has been told to phone back in 30mins, the receptionist is going to speak to my doctor.

Please wish me luck. :)
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Offline Manuel

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Re: Feeling hopeless
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2013, 11:19:20 AM »
Hello Mag,
I've been there and still there sometimes. We have a store called pharmaca, an all natural vitamin store. There are natural medicines. L-Theanine helps reduce anxiety, 5HTP relaxes you, vitamin B complex and super probiotics are really good!! Try acupuncture as well. I'm on month 8 with this disgusting disorder. I felt like I was the only one going through it. I guess I'm not alone.
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