I don't know where to post this thread as it involves social anxiety, health anxiety, sleep disorders & depression. It started with health anxiety mainly so that's why I chose to post it here. Be prepared for a long read but I really would appreciate it for as many thought-out responses as possible as you could potentially be of great help to me.
I am basically really struggling to cope at the moment. I have been on Sertraline for just over a month to try and calm my anxiety. I have been suffering from social anxiety from about 15 (I am 21 now). But then, around this time last year, due to a severe sunburn I became very anxious about my health (this is what annoys me as well - because it seems like something so little has caused something so big of a problem!). About two or more months ago, I had a bout of severe panic attacks because I had managed to convince myself that I had sporadic fatal insomnia (I know… stupid!). I managed to overcome this but then about 2-3 weeks later, my insomnia came back. In a moment of panic, I went to the doc to ask for an anti-depressant!
The first 3 weeks on Sertraline was ok. I was sleeping but I had noticed that I had started to have less sleep and started to feel less tired. However, there was some good days. I assumed that the Sertraline was causing insomnia this time round because I wasn't feeling anxious but yet I still couldn't sleep. Now, however, after a month on Sertraline, not only does it feel like my anxiety is getting worse, my sleep is also getting worse along with my thoughts. I hope it is the Sertraline - but I am not very confident about it.
I am questioning whether I have depression… but I don't have any idea how I would know. I don't want to speak to the doctor about it because I am able to act very calm either in public, in front of new people or with doctors - and I find that I am unable to express what I really feel due to embarrassment - I "put on a happy face" because I can't help it. And in my head it seems so childish and foolish to go to the doc like "I think I may have depression". I don't want to go to anyone in my family for the same reasons. I feel stupid… childish and less "manly". I feel like I should "be a man and shrug it off". I feel like I would be so ashamed to bring this up to anyone in person. I am also scared of the consequences.
I have a lot of things to think about as well - in terms of life and my future. And I am at a big stage in my life. I just finished a 2 year university degree and enrolled on the third year for a full honours degree. I am still living with my dad but I have always desperately wanted to live independently. But now, due to my fears and anxiety, I almost know with certainty that I won't be able to cope on my own in the slightest. This makes me feel so worthless and it now feels as though my life is becoming purposeless, meaningless and eventually will lead to death.
I have tried CBT for my social anxiety for about the year that I have suffered from health anxiety - I can't bring myself up to do the exposure tasks though. I have recently brought a CBT book for insomnia. I am on week one and the book advises you to go through it week by week. It is laid out like a 6 week therapy course. I have also brought some other books for health anxiety and social anxiety from the same series. I am still waiting on them. I am desperately trying to put myself back on track with my life and my goals.
However, I am seriously struggling. And the fact that I can barely sleep whatsoever is making this so tough right now. I feel embarrassed to have to admit that. I have had thoughts of doing harm to myself but only to try and show people that I am truly struggling. Whenever I talk to my dad about any of these things, we always start to argue and I don't feel for a second that he understands or empathises with me even though he claims to do so.
I have nobody that I feel I can safely share my thoughts/feelings with other than myself. I don't really know why I came here other than to hear out what others who may understand have to share with me. I am sure there are many of you who have felt much worse than myself right now. And your thoughts are mainly what I want.
Just as a side-note, I am taking 50mg Sertraline once a day first thing in the morning. I have diazepam and zopiclone as last resorts when I have had days without sleep or I am having severe panic attacks. I barely take any of these though. I am very aware of the serious adverse effects of these pills so I am very cautious when I have to take them.