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Offline Solomon

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Hi Everyone
« on: July 09, 2014, 11:12:45 AM »
Hi Everyone, my name is Mike.  I am 42 years old, a father of 3, and have been married 19 years.  I have been thru some pretty bad stuff, but have come out on the other side better than I was before.  I want to share my story and success in hope that it will help someone else.

I can trace back my anxiety to my earliest years, of course then, I didn't have a clue as to what it was.  In my early 20's, it started effecting me more at work and then of course rolled into my personal life.  I had no clue as to what it was.  I saw my GP and he recognized it, but didn't tell me what it was.  He gave me some meds (I have no clue what I took) and it got better.  I was able to function, changed my position ***** work, and was able to live what I thought was a "normal" life.  I did that for years.  Avoiding (making excuses) for the things I didn't like or didn't want to do, ie Agoraphobia habits.  My wife has always been very understanding and accepted the things I didn't like to do.  In the late 90's I spent a lot of time at Barnes and Noble, researching and learning about my disorder.  I learned about diet, exercise, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, spirituality, journaling, prayer, all the natural things to combat my disorder.  I felt empowered with knowledge and accepted the fact that there were simply some things I couldn't do, but everything else I was going to do better.  And I did.

By the time my mid 30's came around, I was working in and industry that was going thru a lot of turmoil.  My anxiety was spinning out of control and all of the things I had learned were not working.  I tried really hard, and the harder I tried, the more I became disappointed in myself that I could not get on top of it.  Then depression set in.  Depression was a whole new animal and an extremely tough opponent.  I went to see my GP (now new, because it had been over 12 years since I saw my last one) and he gave me meds.  I tried the antidepressant he gave me and right away the side effects were horrible.  I was able to take the Xanax, but I took it very sparingly because I didn't want to get addicted to it.  I was too proud to go back and tell him it didn't work.  So I suffered.  I suffered about a year with my depression.  I had lost a lot of weight during that time and my self esteem was in the pits.  I was anxious, depressed, low, it was horrible.  But, I managed to put a program together for myself, heavy intensity of positivity and exercise.  In those days I remember telling myself that Joel Osteen and Tony Horton (P90x guy) saved my life.  I got better.

Fast forward 4 more years, and everything comes crashing down again.  What caused it?  Normal, everyday stress.   After trying to fix it myself, go to therapy, etc, I finally went to see a Psychiatrist.  Through some short trial and error, I found a med plan that worked for me.  I have been on the meds now for 18+ months and feel great.  I feel better than I did before early 20's, I am able to do more and be more.  I thank God often as to how far I have come.

I wasn't a big believer in Western Medicine, but now I am completely sold.  I still do all the things that I learned and taught my self, but combining that with a little medication, I am even better.  I think God challenges everybody in some sort of way, this was my challenge.

My name is Mike, I hope my story inspires and helps.

Everything is going to be ok
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Online MobileChucko

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Re: Hi Everyone
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2014, 11:23:59 AM »
Hi Mike, and welcome to Anxiety Zone...  My name is Chuck, and I am one of the Global Moderators here on the site.

You are now a member of our community, where you will find support and advice from other members in similar situations.   It's always nice to find someone else who understands, and to know you're not alone.

We have sections in the forum that address specific concerns, so feel free to post or start a new topic in the section that best fits your situation.  Feel free to explore the rest of the forum.  You may find the other topics helpful, and you may be able to offer advice or support to someone else.

We also have a chat room for members over the age of 18.  Once you have made three meaningful posts, you will be allowed access to the chat room.

Mike, I did indeed find your introduction very inspiring.  If you don't mind me asking, what medications are you now on, and at what dosage.

Again, welcome to Anxiety Zone.  The very best to you, Mike!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline jjZauis

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Re: Hi Everyone
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2014, 03:34:34 PM »
Thanks for sharing your story Mike.  As someone who just recently started medication and CBT therapy so your story gives me hope that things will get better.   I also found it inspiring because I'm definitely out of shape and I feel like that's only adding to the problem.   If I were to focus on my physical health in addition to my mental health I'm hoping it will make me feel better because I find myself getting frustrated at not knowing if my issues are anxiety, or if they're side effects from the new medication, or if I'm feeling this way from being not so healthy.  Like at all.  I'm curious as to what medication you've been taking for the past 18 months.
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Online Never-Quit

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Re: Hi Everyone
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2014, 09:33:18 PM »
Hi Solomon :action-smiley-065:

I am happy that you are joining us - this site has many great resources and wonderful people to assist you in your Journey to a brighter future  :nature-smiley-016:

We all have been on this path, currently and also in the past. (like myself).

You have already made great progress and can now be great asset in helping others  :happy0151:

Joel Osteen and the positive spirituality you have gained are so important in getting a handle on this "Anxiety Disease" - and you have already found a medication combination that is working for you!

I look forward to hearing more about your progress, feel free to share your story - if you wish, since everyone here can relate  - including myself.

We are happy to have you here!  :action-smiley-065:

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Never, never, never give up. -Winston Churchill

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you."   ~ John Wooden

Offline Solomon

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Re: Hi Everyone
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2014, 10:16:52 AM »
Thanks Chuck, JJ, and never quit.

In regards to my meds, I have always been pretty sensitive to meds, so some of my dosages are pretty low.

I think the best med to help me was, Xanax XR.  I took this first and noticed a big difference right away, it really subsided my everyday anxiety.  My doc wanted to start me on 1mg a day, but I told him I wanted to start out on the lowest dosage and increase if I needed.  I didn't need to so I have been taking .5mg now for 18+ months.  What I like about the XR is that you don't feel it "kick" in.  There are no highs and lows, you just feel better with out the swing.

For sleep.  I started with Remeron.  The doc prescribed that to me because he said it would help with my appetite and sleep.  And it did.  I gained all my weight back very quickly and slept soundly.  He started me on 15mg, but I had to cut back to 7.5mg because the dosage was too strong for me.  After I gained the weight back, we switched to Trazodone just for sleep.  I take the lowest dose, 50 mg.

I also take Lexapro.  The doc prescribed 10mg.  Because I knew of my sensitivity and the potential side effects an SSRI could have, I broke it in half to start weaning myself on.  And it worked, the side effects were very minimal.  After day 3, didn't notice any more side effects, so I took the full 10.  It was a pretty smooth transition.  I knew it took 2 weeks to start, so that was a good plan for me. 

I was feeling pretty good, and week after week I was feeling even better.  Every 2 months I increased the Lexapro 5 mg, per my doc.  I didn't think I needed to but my doc wanted me to stop taking the XR.  After day 3 of stop taking the XR, I felt a little anxious, so I started taking it again and felt better.  He said that was fine and we found out that was a good supplement to the Lexapro.  I worked up to 20 mg of the Lexapro and stopped there.

There you have it:  20mg of Lexapro, 50 mg of Trazodone, .5mg of Xanax XR

For me, nothing external caused my anxiety.  I spent time in therapy, reflected, meditated trying to find the root cause...I didn't have one.  I was born with it.  I believe I had a chemical imbalance from the start.  My sister is also on meds, my brothers have had issues with anxiety, my maternal grandmother had it, and am sure other family members have had it also.

I know for some, tragedy causes the onset, for others like myself, you just have it.  It took me a long time to come to that realization. 

Hope this helps someone ........... God Bless!
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