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Offline Okimpossible

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Introduction
« on: May 26, 2014, 10:18:54 PM »
Hi everyone, my name is Kim and I'm a 28 year old living with generalized anxiety disorder. It started shortly after I began my graduate studies. At first I thought it was merely depression and couldn't understand why I was having so much trouble in class, why I couldn't remember the simplest things, why I felt so overwhelmed with emotions with no real logical explanation for them. It started out as small as a simple thing. I was hurt when I found out that my exboyfriend (who I haven't dated nor seen in the past 10 years) was getting married. I was slightly irked by it but I thought I was over it, or maybe even disappointed because I wasn't dating at the time, so it made me feel more alone. Then other things happened. At work I continuously get work because I work with kids who have autism and  behavioral issues so I would come home with bites, headaches, bruises, scratches, etc. etc. At one point I was on a antibiotic every other week for some new injury. Other things happened, I did a group project in one of my classes and one of my "classmates" basically called me stupid. I wasn't getting straight A's but I was passing my classes with above a 3.0. I was commuting to school every weekend- a 3 hour drive, find a place to spend the night and drive back the next day after a weekend of sitting in class for 18 hours. These things pushed me towards hurting myself. I had never cut myself before but it happened and I felt a sense of release. I knew I needed help and tried visiting the school therapist. . .it only made things more difficult that there was not one available during the summer when I was seeking treatment from the school therapist. I moved closer to school so I wouldn't have to commute.This involved finding another job and ways to continue paying for things while being a student. I still continued to cut myself and I noticed myself separating myself from everyone and everything. I got a dog. This helped me get up and get out of the house. It also helped take my mind off of things. I was constantly adding more stress to my life not realizing that the anxiety that I was not addressing was keeping me depressed. Time went on, I continued to struggle through my coursework. It progressively got worse because I continued to forget things, continued to overanalyze things, i always used to worry and could never concentrate. The worse part was being tired and not being able to sleep. I could be up all day from 6am-10pm and would not sleep a wink cause the thoughts in my head would continuously run. So even though I would set up enough time to get my work done, study or what have you, I still would never get anything done. Long story short- I failed out of grad school, which was the major source of my anxiety. So now I have all these financial obligations for a degree I don't even have, working a mediocre job and trying to get treatment-but oh wait I don't have insurance anymore since I had to leave the graduate program. I'm finally on anti anxiety meds- for the first time in nearly 2 years I feel genuinely happy. But I still have outlandish reactions to things, I worry, I overexaggerate, I'm still a mess but I'm less of a mess. I'm trying to clean it up. I've been exercising more frequently which in turn has helped significantly with my sleep so I hardly ever need to take sleeping pills. I box at least 2-3 times a week and try to stay active. I've noticed I'm less lethargic and have more energy. I'm just not sure how to address my issues, I want to go back to school and finish up what I started but things about school have this triggering mechanism that makes me continue to have hurtful thoughts, cry, become distant with others, and just brings about an emotional overload where I shut down. Then its back to depression. I've only recently been open enough to share with a few trusted family and friends so I feel like I'm at a point where I can make a positive change and can look at myself and tell myself that I'm overreacting and I don't need to stress about everything but I need ideas for how to calm myself down, besides self talk. And it makes me worry when I feel like I'm always going to worry. It's just a vicious cycle that keeps going.
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Online crikee57

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 03:02:26 AM »
Hi Okimpossible,

Welcome to the forum.  It is great to have you as a member.  This is a wonderful place to get advice and support from people going through similar situations.  The members here are very helpful. It is nice to know we are not alone.

Feel free to explore the forum.  There are lots of useful topics to read.  Feel free to post and ask questions.  If you have specific concerns or questions start a topic in the appropriate section to get the best feedback. There is also a chat room for members 18 years and older that you can access once you have made three meaningful posts in the forum. 

Again welcome to our community.
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It's not what's in front of us that stops us.  It's what's inside that holds us back.

Offline dontknow

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 02:49:20 PM »
Though I'm working on similar things, my situation is very different so maybe some of my suggestions won't work but here we go. Your step to go on medication (since it seems right for you) is an awesome step, while also getting a pet that will help with the loneliness/anxiety/depression. I would also suggest (since therapy is pretty expensive) to make any off-day or few hours you may have for free time about you. And be conscious that they are your "self" hours. Paint your nails or a canvas, but try to do something creative that doesn't overwhelm your thoughts. Sometimes writing can help, but sometimes it can exacerbate anxieties, so stick to maybe watching a 45 minute episode of something relaxing or anything that can let your mind wander elsewhere. If you can, try taking a day trip and see a new place or even schedule a full vacation just to get away for a bit. Though that can be expensive, sometimes the slight debt for a bit can be worth it (as long as the trip isn't too costly). But you definitely seem like you're on the right track!
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Offline Okimpossible

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 01:20:16 AM »
Thanks for your feedback. I think therapy could help but $$ is tight. I like the idea of a day trip. I took some time off 2 months ago to go on vacation with myself with no itinerary and I came back rejuvenated. Of course the effects didn't last that long but i think like a bi-weekly retreat would help to just clear out the head and be able to relax and just breathe without worrying about the next step or the last several steps.
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