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Anxiety and Depression Support
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Is it depression or not?

Hi there. About one year ago I experienced what I thought was a panic attack. I was sat at home watching tv, when my brain felt like it was on overdrive and it wouldn’t calm. It was shooting off ideas, memories, random thoughts etc I broke down crying because it was so horrible and had to go to bed to be “unconcious”. The day after I experienced extreme tiredness. Ever since, I have random bouts of what I call an intense feeling of sadness and horribleness. I lose my appetite, feel tired, sad. And it’s a very very overwhelming feeling. It’s so strong that no matter what I do or think differently, won’t override this sadness. What’s funny is that it comes in spells and is usually in the evening. I can go a whole month of nothing, and then for a week I feel like I can’t carry on anymore. I’ve seen the doctor and had all the physical tests which came back normal. Even he said that most cases of depression it’s more consistent throughout the day. Ever since that one attack my life has never been the same as I’m constantly fearing this “feeling”. I lead a good life with close friends and family, I have a good job and I’ve always been a happy person therefore I don’t understand why I now can feel so horrific ever since this one attack. It makes me question if something that night happened to my brain chemistry or if I now actually have depression. Depression does run in the family but as I said I have no reason to be depressed and the fact that it all came after this attack makes me question it. Any thoughts?

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Sounds like bipolar syndrome. As I gather it is chemicals in your brain acting up. I had VERY similar experiences accompanied with panic attacks and random memories. I even read a ton of materials about schizophrenia :) I simply have really good audio memory, and when I got this "feeling" I also started remembering a lot of stuff, conversations etc., which were of no use for me at the moment. It was kind of feeling of losing a little bit of non-verbal imagination and going full verbal with the normal brain monologue turned up.

It's all connected with your daily life, brain chemical state (not only in terms of hormones it produces normal or because of some syndrome, but even in terms of have you been eating well, and is your brain fed appropriately).

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Fortunately and sadly at the same time - human brain is built to best register memories when you feel emotion. If you felt particularly sad, it will now linger in your brain and you will start thinking and inducing your "sad feeling" even from remembering what you felt when you had your panic attack.

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If your tests show you are not in bad shape, I would

1. Ask therapist for few sessions, maybe they know something is up.

2. try to override the bad signals.

2.1. if your emotion is sad, try to create enough happy/exciting memories so your brain is more busy thinking about those. I'd go even to such lengths as to suggest parachuting experience.

2.2. discipline your daily life, to exclude reasons for brain to act up. It has helped me A LOT. - sleep, alcohol, coffee, internet use, exercises, weed, work, studying = all are essential elements you need to tune up or down to create very specific positive, pleasant structure in your behavior, which you will then repeat for example for 3 months. Brain gets used to it = feels less threatened or feels no reason to make you feel weird = stops or severely reduces your emotional attacks.

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This is all really good advice. I am learning that routine really is key for me to stay on an even keel.

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Discipline is interesting thing. I started seriously applying it in my life after I got mental struggle. I have always been very driven, but my discipline was at most - during my most active gym days 2-3 years ago, when I was seriously exercising 5x a week... and at my workplace - where I train to be very precise and smart with my organisation. ..

Especially because of my mental problems, I indulged into very serious lifestyle. One of my heroes is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he constantly stressed a) discipline b) setting goals/having vision.

It all actually works, makes you confident and a "silverback" in your own mind. It takes determination to go through discipline, make your mind accept it, and then slowly rewire your approach to life.

I genuinely stepped over quite terrible period of anxiety, then depression and if not counting sleep disturbances, I feel quite amazing - motivated, focused, positive about present and future, no bad emotions are mine.

Here is a post I made about daily regime, perhaps youll enjoy: healthunlocked.com/anxiety-...

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Also recently I COMPLETELY excluded any use of internet for random stuff - youtube, instagram, facebook, fun pages etc. I dont look into my phone or computer. I sometimes catch myself taking the phone and already going through motions to open internet.

Exclude internet from your life as much as you can and you will suddenly feel much, much, much better.

I admit even posting/writing here on healthunlocked is BAD! I am not following my rules, but I just get a kick out of helping people. idk.. probably these 10 minutes here is enough non-work-related internet use for today.

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Do you have a history of trauma? The reason I ask is it sounds like what happens to me when I have a flashback. It is an intense conglomerate of feelings and images. It wipes me out for a few days after. It can take up to 2 weeks to get back to a state of equilibrium. When it happens I see my therapist and try to process through the trauma. I have to just let my mind and body do what it needs to do.

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I think the suggestion of having some sessions with a therapist is a good idea. It could be something buried in your subconscious that is trying to come to the surface. Only a qualified therapist would be able to help you with the possibilities. I will keep you in my prayers.

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Hi, so you have someone at home to support you?

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