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08-18-2007, 05:44 PM
I'm a 25 yr old Mom of 2 children. I have rarely ever been alone, never completely on my own. I met my fiance in 2002 and we moved in together about 4 months after we met, and then I ended up pregnant with my 2nd child. He worked 3rd shift and I was normally fine being alone, until after I had our daughter, that the panic attacks and anxiety started kicking in. I had severe mood swings, which I just figured it was due to lack of sleep. He had to sleep during the day and worked at night, and with an infant, I wasn't getting much sleep at all. He ended up quitting his job to save my sanity, but the mood swings didn't stop and then it seemed that whenever I went into the store my awareness of everything around me was getting stronger. I would sense that people were staring at me, or laughing at me for whatever reason. My hands would get clammy and my chest would start tightening whenever I got anywhere near a store or work.

I held onto my job even though there were plenty of days that I didn't want to even go in. The anxiety would ease after I walked in and would be greeted by everyone.

We ended up moving because my fiance's father was dying of cancer and my fiance wanted to be closer to him to spend the last few months as much as he possibly could with his father.

I haven't held a job in a year now. It's getting to the point with our finances that I NEED a job. My fiance shattered his tibial plateau back in may and has almost fully recovered from that but the doctor only wants him to work 4 hour days/part time and no heavy lifting at all. My fiance is in school as well trying to earn a degree in computers so he can get out of doing construction for good.

After he shattered his tibial plateau, I was doing so well too with my anxieties. I had to force myself to go to the store to get groceries,etc because he was basically bed ridden for over 2 months inbetween surgeries. But, I have slipped back into all this. Feeling anxious/nervous about even going outside and swimming in our backyard with the kids -which is enclosed with a privacy fence, but there's people in helicopters and airplanes that "may" see me. I can't go to the store unless someone is with me. I feel so bad when my fiance gets frustrated because he doesn't want to go back out, but he has to because I end up having a panic attack when we need something at the store.

All of this is self diagnosed and I know I have got to get some help before all of this gets worse. But I get all jittery whenever I pick up the phone to call someone, and can't go through with it. I have a hard enough time scheduling doctor appts for my children- let alone for myself.

I'm not sure what all I can do to overcome this. I just know that I can't keep on living like this anymore.

chilli
08-18-2007, 10:12 PM
hey Michelle25

this condition certainly sinks its teeth into all aspects of our lives. i am sorry to hear that you area finding things difficult at the moment, however, believe me when i say that it will ease up eventually. It may take a while but you willl begin to feel a little bit better. i think that we have to get used to having relapses and setbacks and just see them as that....... but always keep trying to move forwards.

I am not familiar with your local resources but is there a programme/doctor/ therapist that can visit you at home for the time being? I know it is difficult for you to make the calls but if you have internet then perhaps try to find whats available in your area. if you are open to 'alternative' treatments then take a look at EFT (emotional freedom technique)...i know there are some therapists (T's) that can do this over the phone. it is based on thought field therapy and uses tapping of accupressure points whilst saying certain phrases relevant to you......does that sound a bit out there !!!!!! i have tried it and always came away from these sessions, not cured but feeling positive and strong and able to face certain hurdles. of course it did wear off for me, lasting 2 days max but i did find it helpful and the only thing that stops me from going now is finances.

try using bach flower rescue remedy when out or feeling panicky, try distraction like counting back from 1000 in 7's, taking lavendar baths at night, breathing techniques, all these things i am suggesting i have tried and they have helped me. In terms of working through your emotional stuff then i would really try and find a T that can help you. once this happens, you will start to feel a little bit better, then a little bit stronger and then you will begin to try doing more things. although it doesnt feel like it PA's (panic attacks) wont kill you, they just feel like they will !! i have had my fair share (nearly 3 years). you do have the power to control them and the first step is to start looking at them differently.......take away the fear element and it loses its power over you.

remember all it is is a heightened physical response to a 'perceived' threat. your body just gets flooded with adrenaline and the effect this has is to affect certain physiological systems........for instance.....that feeling of having a tight throat and not being able to swallow or even breathe properly= is just a change between carbon dioxide and oxygen in your blood. the blood in your body is also directed to the extremities (arms/legs) that you will need to either 'fight or flight'. look it up, im not sure if i have explained it properly but it really is triggered by an excess of adrenaline and once that continues to happen.......the body becomes over sensitive to the slightest trigger.....which could be a fleeting thought, feeling, image, etc...you name it

of course it isnt easy but it is not impossible to get it under some form of control. knowledge really is power in this instance so read as much as you can find about panic disorder and think about finding a therapist. take care michelle and let us know how you are getting on. (sorry for this being soooooooo long :blink:)

Gord
08-19-2007, 06:28 AM
<span style='color:red'>Hi, Michelle</span> http://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/aktion/action-smiley-069.gif

<span style='color:blue'>First of all, welcome to Phobics. You'll find it's a warm, friendly and caring place, full of nice people, all of whom have their own, very similar, problems and who want to share and lighten the load for you. :)

Secondly, my thanks to Chilli for their reply - it's saved me from telling you all those things you needed to know! LOL

Two other things, though, Michelle. You say that while you were looking after your fella the anxiety kind of got forgotten, at least a bit? This is so typical, you know? We worry about the worry, become anxious about the anxiety and, as Chilli has said, we fear the fear.

Please believe me when I say that every symptom you have been feeling is perfectly natural, normal even, as the Mind's and Body's way of reacting to stress and worry. You can, and will, find a way of coping and dealing with all this. :)

The other thing is this "self-diagnosed" aspect, Michelle. :( :( :( You must seek help from your doctor.

Don't expect some sort of miracle from them, but they can help you in a number of ways. To begin with, it's highly likely that you would benefit from a course of some mild anti-depressants. These will simply help "stabilise" your over-reacting feelings of anxiety, and thus make it easier to think straight and not let that feeling swamp you that everything's "all too much", etc, etc. Please do NOT think of medication as anything other than a short-term aid to getting well again. Like a crutch after you break a leg, maybe? You do NOT want to still be using it years later, right? Same with the pills.

If the doctor can help you with this form of temporary assistance, then you can feel better enough to move on to more effective and longer-term treatment: counselling, therapy, maybe even psychotherapy, whatever is indicated.

But no more staying at home and feeling you are alone, and cannot be helped, OK? No more self-diagnosis. Go see a professional medic and let the two of you together plan a route to recovery.

Best of luck to you, Michelle.

Love</span>


<span style='color:red'>Gord</span>
<span style='color:green'>xxxxx</span>

08-19-2007, 10:57 AM
Thanks for the replies. I'm planning on calling someone tomorrow, thinking about a psychologist (I'm in the USA) but I have to figure out for my insurance if I have to have a referral or not to go to one.

I don't really have an issue with going to the doctor by myself. I typically feel safe after I make the call and set the appt and all that. But over 3 years ago, I was having some really bad pains on my left ovary and I was so sick for a week. I went to the doc and they did an ultrasound which showed a large cyst. The doc referred me to a gyno. and the receptionist was sooo rude to me, saying "well what do you want the doc to do about it, women get cysts on thier ovaries every month" And now because of all that, I have a hard time picking up the phone to make appts. I feel that I'm going to get that type of lady again that won't take me serious. I suffered with that pain for over 3 years, sometimes every day for months with barely any let up, and sometimes it would let up for a couple weeks only to start back up as worse as before. I finally just couldn't take it anymore and made the phone call to the doctor that put me on birthcontrol this past June, and the pain is just completely gone now. Suspecting endometriosis, even though the ultrasound didn't show any lesions or cysts, etc. So that's where my anxiety comes from with calling doctors.

My anxiety never really went away when my fiance was injured. I had to be in "fight" mode. I had a panic attack almost every time when I was walking through the hospital to go and visit him. I have children to feed, so I had no other choice than to suck it up and go to the store.

Every now and then I don't have any issues, but those days are few and far between. I think I get so sick of being stuck inside and tell myself that its too silly to be this way and just go and do it, but I get what I need and get out as quickly as I can. But most days, I just can't do it alone or at all.

Gord
08-19-2007, 11:33 AM
<span style='color:red'>Argh! Damned doctors' receptionists! LOL</span>

<span style='color:blue'>Yes, I know what you mean about being in Fight Mode while you were looking after your fiancé, but still it shows you that you can overcome the fears and anxiety, if the motivation is powerful enough.

As to getting to grips with the root of the anxiety itself, well, yes, a psychologist may well be the best way to go, at least for an initial consultation, then maybe a referral to a specific kind of counsellor to help you find ways to get through the fight-or-flight issues.

In the meantime, Michelle, remember (as I have to make myself do when the receptionists piss me off!) that they are just admin, just clerks, same as if they worked in a shoe shop. They get exaggerated ideas about themselves, as do many people who have a small amount of power available to them. But they are easily dismissed, even if you have to get heavy with them. Try to visualise them as a small worm, wriggling around in front of you and pretending to be Important! At least that might bring a smile to your face. :D

All the best

Love</span>


<span style='color:red'>Gord</span>
<span style='color:green'>xxxxx</span>

dino
08-19-2007, 11:41 AM
Dear michelle
First off a huge welcome to the forum ,hun just reading your story above you have gone through a lot for a young girl ,i can relate to a lot of your fears although i am now older at your age i myself had 2 wee kids to look after and had to watch my husbands gran die of cancer ,our 3rd much wanted child who we adore is severlluy handicapped was born with a severlly rare medical condition and he required 26 operations all through this i held it toghether but my anxiety panic etc started to become so debilitating some days just to get out of bed was a no no ,sorry for going on about me the reason is i want to tell you please please seek help now, i foolishly left it for fear i would be taken away and my four lovely kids taken away i know now that this would never ever of happened ,i am now more or less housebound with agoraphobia anxiety and panic i know i cannot turn the clock bk now but please talk to your doctor with the hope you can get this nipped in the bud asap :)
Thinking of you and please let me know how you get on wishing you all the best :)
love Dino
xxxxxxxhttp://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u75/honey_sa_2007/Hugs-2.gif

ps:a huge welcome to you aswell chilli you have great advice greatly appriciated :)

Jane~BH
08-19-2007, 11:54 AM
Hello and welcome :)

08-19-2007, 12:05 PM
aww Dino, I'm so sorry to hear about yourself and your child. **hugs**

Gord, Lol thinking of a recept as a worm did make me smile and giggle. I'll have to try and remember that one when I get on the phone.

My dad and stepmom took my son for the weekend, its the last weekend before school starts on tuesday and I'm having some anxiety about going to get him today. I won't be alone to get him, but my dad makes me so nervous. He's a pretty gruff person at times, but can be a big teddy bear, but his words can definitely tear through my heart. A couple years ago, my dad stopped by and got really upset with me that I needed to lose weight or my fiance would leave me for someone thnner. Which really is far from the truth. He doesn't like to be with thin women... and i'm not grossly overweight either. I did end up dropping 60 pounds after that, but since then I have gained it all back since I've been staying at home, so my fear is that my dad will go off about it again. I only see him about twice a year for about 5 mins when we're meeting so he can spend time with my son. I think we've spent a weekend twice in 5 years down at thier property. They own quite a bit of land that is wooded with the clearest creek in Missouri bordering thier property. So its a great place to go camping, especially with the kids.

Anyway... I'll get over it soon enough, I just hate worrying about my dad being so gruff with me when he doesn't see me all that often. I really crave being loved by him. I've always been "daddy's little girl" and my mom destroyed our relationship during their divorce when I was about 9 years old, and the courts made it to where my dad was NOT allowed to see me or my brother for over a year, and to make matters worse I had to be a parent to my brother while he was epileptic because my mom decided to get over my dad was to go to bars every single night after work. We were left alone almost 7 days a week, and I remember begging her to just stay home because I was so scared and she told me to quit being silly.. and I've always had panic attacks whenever I have to stay home alone at night since I was 9-10 years old.

So that's where my issues probably started...

Thanks for the advice and kind words.

08-19-2007, 02:12 PM
ok Michelle step one; you have to get to a doctor. It is very important to be diagnosised. While from what you have described to me you sound right on the money...but what do I know.

There are treatments avalible medications and such that can help you threw this. There are coping and grounding skills that can give you a sence of wellbeing.

Even if you can not make the apppointment have someone do it for you. I can not do a ton of thing for myself so I have to rely on my husband to do them for me. There is nothing wrong with that. Have your fiancie make the apointment for you or anyone you can trust.

I have over the years heard many people say that they can handle this on there own that it is a fase that they are going threw. I say if you can get the help get it. I am agoraphobic among things and I wish that none of this was real. I wish I could deal with it on my own and it would just go away. The realitly is I know it takes a lot of work and I can not do it on my own.

I have had the pleasure of meeting you already in chat. I'm glad that you have found the fourm and I look forward to seeing you again in the room.

Good luck to you I hope you can find the strength to take it to the next step and make that appointment for yourself!

I'm here if you need to talk or just to vent.

Emma :)

08-19-2007, 10:26 PM
Thank You Emma.

I am determined to making the call tomorrow. It's been needed for quite some time now, but no one really wants to think that something is wrong with them so you put it off and just hope that the feelings go away.. which they dont, and just seem to get worse.

I have been doing the breathing exercises for quite some time as well. Anytime I feel the anxiety creeping up on me and my chest starting to tighten, I start breathing in deep and the feeling usually passes pretty quickly. I do this as well whenever I feel that my anger is building up and it calms me down as well or counting to 10.

I'll make the call tomorrow and I'll post when I do =)

Sooti
09-22-2007, 03:05 AM
Is there any update?......Did you make the call? If you still frequent here and havent called yet dont worry if you call and have trouble speaking, or getting the message across, its a very difficult and emotional thing to reach out and ask for help and admit that you need it. I hope you managed to do it and have a professional who understands now :)

09-27-2007, 01:08 PM
Well I had called a doctor a few weeks ago, but they said they only do "mild cases" and that I should see a specialist. They gave me some phone numbers, but they're all over an hour away from me...

I frequent the chat, and I believe its helped me alot. I've gotten a job, which I started this week, but its only a day or two a week - the hours should pick up some mid-october. So at least its getting me out of the house on my own and have to learn to depend on myself again instead of my fiance.

I see a doctor next week for female issues, and I'm thinking of bringing it up then and seeing what he says. Even if I just get a script to just help me through when I need it, would be better than nothing... Hopefully this doc will let me explain everything instead of just rushing me. I haven't seen him before but I know a lot of women that have and they say great things about him... soo.. I guess we'll see what next week brings.