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Offline jjZauis

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New here
« on: July 01, 2014, 03:04:43 PM »
Hey all,

I'm JJ,  I'm 32 and live on the East Coast of the US.   The past couple of years, but more so in this last year in particular, I noticed a huge change within me.   It's only looking back now that I see  it started sporadic and then gradually for the past few years, I just never knew or even suspected that it was anxiety.   I was convinced I had something seriously wrong with me that was causing me to be dizzy or lightheaded or nauseas all the time, but the worst in stressful situations.   Since I was about 20 I had been smoking weed every day.  I always said it took the 'edge' off.   The past year though, suddenly when I'd smoke I'd be convinced something was wrong with my heart and I'd have a heart attack whenever I would smoke.   I stopped smoking because that seemed to make my anxiety worse but then it started even when I wasn't smoking.   It was now every day I believed at some point, that I was probably going to die, or faint, or get sick.   I was never a heavy drinker of alcohol but I did drink socially, that seemed to also make things worse, so I stopped drinking.  Any event that deviated from my normal day to day, like a night out with friends, a dinner, a party, a wedding would cause me to obsess about what I was going to feel like at said event.  Would I be dizzy? Would I get light headed? Would I be convinced I was going to die?  So I started avoiding those situations.  Going into large stores or shopping malls started to make me dizzy.   Sitting in a theater would make me think I would have heart attack.   Sitting in a restaurant was making me dizzy.   Then, sitting at a friends house started to cause anxiety.   Was my heart beating faster?  What is that pain? Am I going to die right here?  Until eventually even being alone watching TV or reading a book I wouldn't be able to pay attention to plot lines and stories because my mind would start obsessing over any pain or twinge, or dizzy spell.  I was going to my primary doctor all the time.  And then started getting referrals to specialists.  Testing my eyes, my inner ears, sleep studies, cardiologysts, etc.  finally I admitted to myself maybe it wasn't any of these crazy things I was finding when I did a google search of my symptoms.   A little over a month ago I finally made an appointment with a psychiatrist, who started me on Fluoxetine (Prozac) and he referred me to a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in addition to medication.   I'm determined to find a balance that can allow me to function and do the things I enjoy again and especially to stop obsessing over the fact that I believe I'm going to drop dead at any minute.   My therapist believes I suffer from Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia and after so many doctors have told me that they don't know why I'm having the symptoms I do it's actually a relief to have name for what I have and the hope that with hard work I can get better.   Now I'm going through the not so fun period of putting what I'm learning in therapy to practice and to also deal with starting a new medications and the not so fun side effects.  I know this intro is pretty long compared to most but one of the reasons I signed up here was after reading some other posts on these forums and relating so much to what others are saying I knew this would help.   The other part of this that has been so hard is feeling that no one understands what I'm going through.   Friends and family seem to just not understand at all and take it so personally that I've needed so much alone time.  Some are actually even angry and hurt at me for it.   I miss being the way I used to.  I miss not being able to be carefree and "fun" and not having my thoughts all lead back to whats wrong with me and trying to talk myself out of the belief I'm going to die in that moment.   So really I'm here to give and get support and not so feel alone in all this.   
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Online Cuchculan

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Re: New here
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 04:27:32 PM »
Welcome to the forum. Good to have you as a member. Here you are with like minded people. People who understand. As we all suffer from something or other. So feel free to ask any questions. Our members are always willing to help others out. Good chatroom too. 3 posts to enter the room.

Find the correct section of the forum that suits your condition and create a new topic on it. This is just a welcome section. Never really get the same amount of help in this section as you would on the other sections of the forums. So whatever one suits the questions you are asking. Get much better answers.
All users of the chatroom must be 18 years old or over. The room is off limits to anybody under the age of 18.
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The Lovable Irish Rogue

Offline SRD0288

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Re: New here
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2014, 11:01:19 PM »
I'm going through a lot of the same things as you. I've been having a lot of anxiety issues for the past year and wish I could just be "normal" and go back to the old me. I think the key is just acceptance. Learning to love life and move forward. Easier said than done, I know. It's nice to know we are not alone though... I hope you start to feel better and find positive ways to help cope with your anxiety :)
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Offline jjZauis

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Re: New here
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 02:46:04 PM »
Thanks SRD!  For the longest time I couldn't accept it because I just didn't believe it was anxiety.  In the past month though I've started seeing a psychatrist, started new medication and started going to a cognitive behavior therapist and even this forum has already done a world of good in easing the frustration I have that my friends and family etc just 'don't get it'.   I just want to get to a point where I'm able to enjoy things I used to again like spending time with friends, going to the movies or theater, going on vacations, etc.  I'm just so incredibly sick and tired of, well, feeling sick and tired. 
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Offline SRD0288

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Re: New here
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 09:21:17 PM »
So funny you say that because that is exactly what I say!! So sick and tired of being sick and tired. Ugh. I could not relate more. And I feel the same way about going places and wondering how you'll feel... A few months ago I went to one of my favorite cities (San Francisco) and I was so worried before going that I was going to feel tired and have a headache and blah blah blah but surprisingly enough, I felt great the whole time! I think when you're in a positive state of mind it really helps a lot. Anxiety doesn't go away but being distracted with things that make me happy definitely help me. I am having an extremely hard time accepting that it's anxiety as well, but symptoms are remaining and I'm still here. It's hard to accept it. And it's really hard when people don't understand or think you can just turn it on and off or it is like "an hour of stress" type thing. For me it's very real and 24/7. This forum is so nice to be able to talk to people who experience the exact same thing and never judge :) Please keep in touch about how it's going with therapy... I think that is my next stop.
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Offline jjZauis

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Re: New here
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2014, 01:54:19 PM »
Hey SRD, yeah that's happened to me too.  It's like leading up to the 'events' is the worst part.  That anticipation.   I was so worried about going to one of my favorite places, but when I was there I had a good time, and had little to no symptoms.  Sadly that's not always the case.  I'm really excited about this cognitive behavioral therapy because it's teaching me alot about anxiety, but it's also kind of frustrating because the treatment is so structured I don't feel like it applies to me.  For example, every day I'm supposed to write about an 'episode' so that I can give it to my therapist and we can work on changing habits.   But while I might do the things I enjoy a lot less, or avoid certain things, for the most part, I DO try and try to ride out whatever symptom I have.  So I might get dizzy and lightheaded when I'm out eating with friends.  I don't necessarily NOT go out or leave in the middle of it,  I ride it out and hide to the people around me how I'm feeling and hope it goes away.  Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.   I guess what this therapy is to try to teach you how to deal with it, but my thing is, how can anyone enjoy themselves when they're having these feelings?   It's like someone without anxiety having the flu and going to a party.  Yeah you can be there, but you're not going to enjoy yourself at all.  You're just going to look forward to when you get to leave and lay in bed.  I've only had three sessions so far (We have them once a week) so we'll see how it goes.  So far I feel like it's more geared towards someone who's anxiety prevents them from doing something they need to do like say go into a Supermarket.
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Offline SRD0288

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Re: New here
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2014, 07:19:36 PM »
Ohhhh, I completely understand. HA is so different than other anxiety. Well, maybe sometimes it takes seeing a few different therapists to find one that understands and connects to what you're going through.

When you said feeling lightheaded or dizzy out with friends and you have to push through and hide it, that ripped at my heart because that is the exact same thing that happens to me. It's like when everyone is having fun and laughing, you're thinking to yourself "just push through it". You're there, but not really there. If that makes sense.

I don't know if therapy can actually "heal" or stop you from having anxiety, but if you can learn about it and accept it then I think that's success. Acceptance for me has been the hardest part of it all.

I hope your sessions start to get better :)
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