Don't know what to do anymore, can't function!

Hello everyone, I'm new here and to be honest, I've got to that point where I haven't a clue what to do anymore.

I'm only 18 and my anxiety started about a year and a half ago now, started off just to do with eating, anything from eating myself as I have emetophobia (phobia of vomiting and being ill), to eating around people, to watching others eat. It was very difficult as I regularly eat with my partners family around his house, and they also regularly go for meals. The debilitating anxiety I suffered before even going to his house, going to a restaurant or even just eating, led me to eventually stop going, barely eating and I ended up at 7 stone.

At this point, my family and his were so concerned I went to the doctors, explained the symptoms and was prescribed citalopram 10mg, at first I felt absolutely awful, sick, tired I couldn't drive nor function, after around 6 weeks they started to work but I was consistently tired I missed my last half of my A level studies (still awaiting the results). I was also having CBT throughout the medication, which personally I felt did not help at all, so I tried an emetophobia specialist who did hypnotherapy. The lady I saw was absolutely brilliant, not to mention expensive. But really, she was worth every penny, I improved so much over the 6 months, was eating at the table again, in front of others and at restaurants, I was also managing to eat a pretty normal amount, which was pretty good for me considering I could barely manage a few mouthfuls before.

But to the point, it got so much better and I finally thought I was rid of these horrible anxiety and panic attacks, I finished sixth form and now have a brilliant job as a student veterinary nurse which I love. I was absolutely fine for the first month which I was surprised about as its a 45 minute drive on big roads every day which also make me anxious incase of being ill and not being able to stop the car (weird I know). Also, the extremely stressful hospital environment and the amount of people I thought would make me anxious, but I was absolutely fine.

A month and a half in, since last Monday I have been consistently ill, panicky, panic attacks, unable to drive home and sitting in my car for 3 hours after my shift, and its awful. I'm now also getting extremely anxious in social situations, for example my boyfriends work BBQ, it was outside, I know a lot of the people but I simply felt like I couldn't breathe, like I was trapped, so scared I'd be sick in front of them and embarrass my boyfriend, ridiculous scenarios like that. Also at work, in the hospital, I'm constantly searching for places where I could throw up without causing any harm or embarrassing myself, which in turn is making me so ill, I'm feeling constantly panicked, constantly sick, tired, and im unable to eat a thing, its worrying me so much, and those around me, who I feel terrible on.

This is such a good opportunity for me, especially due to the lack of employment but its got to the point now where I'm considering giving it up due to it making me ill, everything about it, the driving, the traffic, the stressful environment, the people. I don't know. Im just stuck. I've been to my GP and first was given sertraline, which like the citalopram is an SSRI, so it was awful again, I went back, and shes given me propranolol for my anxiety and ranitidine (for my stomach), but I'm too scared to take it in case it makes me too ill too work and im even more anxious than I was before.

I forgot to mention, I've been through quite a rough time recently also with my parents almost breaking up, then my dad lost both of his sisters (my aunties) and his nan in the space of 3 weeks, so ive also had to basically look after him, as my mum is so depressed and not getting on with my dad very well at the moment. My younger brothers ADHD is depressing them both on top of this (which is the main cause of my mothers depression I think). I also found out my mum is also on citalopram and she has been for a while, I haven't told her I know but I was hurt by the fact she didn't give me any help or advice when I took them before. My mum also works 3 evenings a week so my dad has been quite lonely other than me while he's been going through this hard time, he believes the answer is in the bottom of a bottle, despite how much we tell him its not and the amount of times I have to look after him or help him when hes drunk and so upset. It breaks my heart to see my dad cry as we are so close, but he's terrible with advice. Also, due to my mums depression, she doesn't really speak to me much nor make me feel any better, she was telling me I was going to get the sack when I go in tomorrow, so I don't really have much hope or help from her either.

I don't know what to do as I've already taken 3 sick days which looks terrible on me. I really enjoy the job but im making myself so ill and anxious, the social phobia has got to the point where im struggling to breathe when im walking around a supermarket in case I embarrass myself by being ill in public. Im also considering whether my heart is in the job, or its just the anxiety making me not want to do it. Because not knowing what to do with my life also scares me, I know I'm only young but I really want to do well and make something of myself but its not looking promising. I just don't know what to do, im dreading going in tomorrow already. None of my family, friends or boyfriend can help me either as they just don't understand why I feel the way I do :(

If anyone could give me any advice on what to do about the job, or any advice if they've taken ranitidine or propranolol for anxiety that would be very, very much appreciated!!

I'm just so down and upset. I'm sorry the post is so long, I just needed to let it all out in hope that someone can help me in some way, as of course you understand how debilitating anxiety can be on your life.

Thank you for any replies :)

Lan x

20 Replies

  • Hi LAN, so sorry you are feeling the way you do at the moment. I am not surprised with so much going on in your life. You must be so worried you will feel as if you are drowning you have so many problems. The only advice I can give you is to try and persevere with your job and don't let your anxiety and panics make you give the job up. By going to work it will help to take your mind off the worries you have at home. Hopefully things will get better for you and you will be a stronger person . If you feel as if the medication isn't working go back to your GP and tell him. I have had depression anxiety and panic attacks and also had CBT which didn't seem to help. I really think writing down what you feel is a big help as it gets it out of your system. Anyhow LAN take care and best wishes . Carol x

  • Hi Carol,

    Thank you for your reply :) im trying to persevere at the moment, only made it half way through my shift today though before I couldn't handle how unwell I really felt :( my boyfriend had to come and get me and I've left my car there unfortunately. Writing it all down here definitely helped and thank you for your support!

    lanah x

  • Hi LAN, thanks for replying. You did well even just getting to work and to last for a half shift is better than nothing. Keep up the good work . Things will get better take care Carol x

  • Hi Lan,

    First off I am sorry that this is happening to you again. Especially since you were doing so well. A lot of times I am having days where I feel really good..then I think Hmm Haven't had anxiety and it's almost like anxiety hears me..and says HAHAH NOT SO FAST I AM ALWAYS HERE. I was a nurse and I loved my job, until I started panicking at work. One day it was too much to bear and I walked out, during my shift, I simply walked out because I couldn't bear the panic I would feel. I walked out leaving 14 patients without a nurse, and I lost my nursing license for neglect, thank God they didn't press charges... anyway my point is this. Anxiety is scary as hell, but if we don't fight back, it takes our lives away. You said this is a great opportunity for you,, don't lay down and let anxiety take this from you. Also talk to the people at your work, I know its embarrassing, bit you may be surprised how supportive people are. Let them know some days may be hars for you but that you are not giving up just yet. Is there any thing that helps you when you are panicking? Maybe an audio cd you can listen to on the way to work.. something kind of like the cbt.. that can talk you through the panic?

  • Hi roses,

    Thank you for your reply. I know :( I can't believe it either! Exactly the same as me haha, your comment made me laugh! It has to poke its ugly head out at some point just as things are getting better!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your nursing story, that's absolutely awful. Its just such a shame your work couldn't understand how you really felt and why you had to leave. Bless your heart. I know how you feel, I know people are different to animals but there's been times I've been holding an animal or monitoring anaesthetic, and I've just wanted to run away due to panic. Luckily I've managed to get someone else to take over when this has happened though.

    I'm trying my best not to let it take over my life and job, unfortunately I couldn't endure my whole shift today but my area manager has been extremely understanding and is willing to give me the time to sort it out luckily. There is one other girl who suffered with anxiety and panic attacks at work, but unfortunately she couldn't give me much advice, just breathing techniques and she said she just managed to control it.

    Thank you that's a really good idea, I'm now making a playlist to listen to on the way to work :) calming music, I may also look for some calming audio CD's on iTunes :)

    Thank you very much!

    Lanah x

  • Hi Lan123. The other replies covered a lot and gave god advice I believe. You seem like a wonderful girl, coping with a lot. Life can be tough sometimes but I have found if I take steps to take care of myself all will be managable. I must look after myself first, then I will be able to give to others. There are two things I would recommend 1/ Alanon meetings, no doubt there are some in your area- these are for friends and family of drinkers. You will get the support you need to deal with your father's drinking. 2. Check out The Healing Code by Alex Loyd, this book is widely available, there is also lots of info on line and a free call in webinar once a week. I was suffering terribly with anxiety when I discovered this 2 years ago. My life had gotten so small, going to the local shop was a big deal. This gave me my life back. It is a simple tool that can be learned in minutes. They say the best things in life are free, well this is almost free! In fact you can probably access how to do it on line for free but I recommend you get the book to fully understand and read the wonderful testimonials in it. You can do this, take your power back x

  • Hi love2,

    Thank you so much bless you, I'm trying my best but yeah it can be so tough! Just hoping things will improve. I completely agree, I'm trying to eat healthier, and more as it goes, and hopefully do some exercise in hope that it will make me feel better! Cutting out caffeine etc.

    I will also definitely look into the Alanon meetings, they sound very helpful, because it is so hard to see my dad drinking to escape. I will also look into the healing code! sounds very interesting :)

    Same as me, I now hate going into a supermarket, especially somewhere where there isn't a toilet or something, I know exactly how you felt! Fingers crossed The Healing Code will be able to help me too though, I'm really hoping so :)

    Thank you very much for the advice :) I really appreciate it!

    Lanah x

  • How are you doing today?

  • I just bought this book on Google Play Store for like 6 dollars. I am only on like chapter 6 but OMG it's making so much sense and I can't wait to see if this helps me too.

  • I hope so too- I've no doubt it will! x

  • Hi love2, unfortunately not great at all, I've been advised by friends family and my doctor to quit my job, so I did today, so feeling extremely down as it was such a brilliant opportunity :(

    My area manager did say to contact her when I feel better but who knows when that will be :( I'm going on holiday on Friday, on the Brightside so I guess it will give me time to think about my options.

    The thing is I really need a job so im not sure what would be suited best to keep my anxiety at a low level :( My mum also turned round and blamed everything on me earlier this evening so we're not speaking, I'm so upset and angry at her, what sort of mother says that?! I just don't know, thank you for asking though.

    how are you?

    Lanah x

  • PS Alanon meetings - there should be a phone number listed in your local directory or your local church or GP should have details.

  • You poor dear.....I do hope somebody can help you through write very well and can obviously think clearly...from reading your story it is plain that you have so much stress in your life, none of it of your own making...your mum has a lot to cope with also...A child with ADHD must wear you down and a mum probably subconsciously wonders if she is to blame in some way for the condition , she has lots of issues....have you asked her whether you can talk about your stressful situations, as friends...she will understand you more than anybody else...your dad is also hitting the bottle as a means if escape..if only you could all sit down and discuss what us going on in your lives and maybe suggest ways of helping one another. I was married to an alcoholic for many years so I know how it impacts on family members. The good thing is that you are still young with your life ahead if you whereas your mum has been thro so much already bless her. Do you feel that, you could try and be the strong one in the family .....sort them out so to speak ?...........or, is there any way you could live apart from them....start living without the daily have a great job...dyou really want to be without it .......wish I could be more helpful.

    I take PreGabalin for my General anxiety disorder (GAB) also helps you sleep....doesn't make you feel sick and is not addictive.....I only take the minimum dose but it seems to do the trick.....mine started when I lost 8 family and freinds in two months.....your brain can only take so much wishes.......when you wake up tomorrow tell yourself 'today is going to be a better day'....I hope it will be. If I was your mum I would want you to tell me exactly how you are feeling...about everything.

  • Hi Maribee,

    Thank you for your reply, it is a shame unfortunately, I still can't believe all of whats happened myself if I'm honest, it's just thing after thing it seems, for the past year anyway! Of course yeah, I understand how down she must be feeling and I definitely think you're right in saying she blames herself. My brother is absolutely terrible if I'm honest, he's only 12 and he's swearing, out all of the time, after school detentions, suspensions, and he's only in his first year of secondary, I think my mum worries a lot too because him and my dad aren't the brightest crayons in the box shall we say!

    I've asked to talk to her, but she usually just gets angry with me after a minute of talking, SHE has to be in the mood, if that makes sense? Like when shes cried about her and my dad, I've been there for her, and I've only seen her cry 3 times in my life, so I know how upset she is when she cries.

    It just upsets me how she doesn't do the same for me, she just isn't interested, and has very little sympathy, for example I was crying my eyes out on Tuesday and my dad and boyfriend were so helpful but she didn't say a word :( It really gets to me :( I try to be the peacemaker and the strong one, and talk to them all individually, but when we're all together it just doesn't work, we either end up shouting or they deny that theres even a problem! It's so frustrating! I would like to live without them, however I'd be too worried about leaving my dad alone with my brother on the nights where my mum isn't there as he always drinks :/ where as if I'm there he doesn't as much because he knows i'll tell him off!

    Thank you, I might speak to my GP about the pregabalin, what actually is it? sounds good either way though! So sorry to hear about you losing so many family friends in such a short space of time, it is so hard losing loved ones, you're right :(

    I wish my mum wanted the same but unfortunately I feel she already has enough on her plate, and I feel she hasn't really got time for me if I'm honest! Thank you so much for your support and advice though, I really appreciate it :)

    Lanah x

  • Hi Lanah....Thanks for replying...PreGabalin is a new one to me too but it seems to work so far....I only take a very small dose 25mg. But some people take up to 300 mg !!!!

    It's for General anxiety disorder, Epilepsy and Nueropathic pain........calms everything down apparently....

    See if your doc thinks it might help, it's non addictive, a modern drug they say.

    I hope things improve for you soon, and I can tell that you are a very careing girl so well done for that...of course if you weren't then you wouldn't have got into this state....the hard ones can just think about themselves...look after yourself as well as others.

  • Hi Maribee,

    You're most welcome, that sounds good though! Bloody hell that's a lot haha, what medication does it come under?

    I'll speak to her on Tuesday about it and see what she says, going to see how the propranolol goes first though :)

    Thank you very much I appreciate that you think so! I try not to worry too mucha bout everyone else but I always do!

    That's very true,

    Thank you, hope everything goes well for you too :) x

  • I work in a health care environment, one day I could feel the anxiety slowly coming on and started to panic, panicked because of an oncoming panick attack, how stupid, anywAy, I told a colleague that I was leaving as was feeling ill. she replied by saying ohhh I thought you were acting a little anxious. I lied and told her feeling unwell was making me anxious. She replied telling me she has anxiety etc, to cut a long story short, it turns out that many of my work colleagues suffer anxiety and panic attacks. So my advice to you would be to go to work, be open with your colleagues and tell them you feel a little anxious with the long drive, etc etc, I think you will be surprised to find that your not the only one feeling the way you do. Please don't let the anxiety stop you from doing what you love. I also think you should speak with your mum. Xxxxxxx

  • Hiya,

    I'm sorry to hear about your story, but its very true! I have been quite open and found there is another girl who suffered with panic attacks and anxiety however she wasn't much help as she just said they 'went away'!

    Wish it was as easy for me! :(

    They have been very supportive at work though, you're right!

    Thank you for your advice I really appreciate it :)

    Lanah x

  • How are you doing Lan121?

  • I have this same phobia and it kept me from leaving the house for awhile. It started to lessen when i began to ease my way to social situations, but after i had my first panic.attavk, the fear came screaming back. My attacks feel like a rush that ill be sick and lasts for like two minutes though i never get sick.

    Its more the fear than the actual action in itself, i believe. The not knowing.

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