Anxiety Support
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Unsure what to do

I'm unsure whether this is anxiety related, or depression related, or what. I don't consciously feel particularly anxious most of the time - I do sometimes. I feel a bit hollow or apathetic a lot of the time but not strictly very depressed.

I'm currently off work (again) and finding it hard to do anything. I have just woken up from 17 hours of sleep. I've been feeling terribly exhausted for about 9 months now. At first it made sense for me to be exhausted because I was doing too much. But I have not been doing too much recently. I feel a bit hopeless atm. I have had difficulty for many years in terms of not looking forward to anything or really enjoying anything. I tried medication again recently but that made me MUCH worse. The first 6 weeks were fine, but then around the 6 week mark I felt drugged and extremely detached. My therapist thinks I am already emotionally detached to a minor extent, but on these drugs the detachment was very obvious and became disturbing (bad things were happening to me but I couldn't feel anything about them). Then I woke up feeling like I had taken a handful of sleeping pills so I phoned the doc to see if I could come off them and they said to come off abruptly, so I did. I felt like I was going crazy for the first couple of days and now I just feel exhausted and hollowed out.

I have suffered for 16 years from various illnesses, not all of them anxiety, but some of them have been anxiety-based (agoraphobia/social phobia etc.) I don't think I would even meet any diagnostic criteria now but am still struggling to get through life. I'm not particularly afraid of anything, and do not feel particularly anxious. I just feel like I want to sleep all the time. I suppose life for many years has felt like a chore I am doing, and I have a constant feeling of pressure that I need to be keeping up with my responsibiities and I am failing.

I've reached the end of my tether and do not know what to do. Some friends have suggested residential care with one-to-one support each day - a charity does that service locally - and I wonder if I should have gone for that. But I turned it down because I did not want to take a bed from someone at high risk (such as self harm/suicide attempts) because my life is definitely in no danger.

I've had a lot of therapy of different kinds and am still seeing a counsellor. I'm a bit lost as to what I could possibly do to try and make life more liveable? When life is difficult to enjoy like this I get so exhausted and demotivated eventually that I am not keeping up at work. I feel that I am really failing to keep up with responsibilities and if I am honest I really do not want to do anything. All I can think about is running away from home!! Haha!! I just want to escape life, I think, I feel like I can't bear for this to continue for another God knows how many years.

I don't know if anyone has advice for me for what to do about all of this?

5 Replies


You need to discuss your medications and try to arrange a reduction timetable that will see you past the withdrawal time.

I understand you have been through schema therapy have you now completed the course or what level are you at now ?? Do you also feel you may have ceased treatment plans to soon or do yo consider now is the best time to manage on your own once more. It does sound that the feelings you are suffering from could be caused by coming of the medication to quickly or you are still suffering from depression. If that is the case you will need to talk to your GP and decisions and treatment plans may need to be discussed

With regards your friends suggesting nursing homes, Can I ask how old you are ??.

Mental health inpatient you will need to meet certain criteria and it would seem your GP may not agree to this. Although Age criteria may be different.

If you need to chat we have some very understanding people here, see your GP and if you still have a CPN talk and discuss the way forward



Hi sorry not nursing homes but residentials. It's a charity service they do round here for people in crisis or who are stuck in a cycle. You get 10 days in a residential home with one-to-one daily support from a team of mental health professionals to help you get through and prevent it from happening again. This isn't really the worst I have been, but at my most 'crisis' times I would have been far too distressed to really engage with help anyway, so it would have been pointless. My friends have already done the residential and found it useful. My considering it really came from me having already tried everything else and being at my wits end.

Medication for whatever reason doesn't suit me. I dont' know what it is but my system seems fragile and although I don't get the initial side effects badly (nausea etc., all perfectly manageable) once the meds are full-on in my system (after 6-8 weeks) I start to go downhill. The drowsiness and disorientation gets to me and I turn into a zombie. I only take very low doses because of this but nothing seems to reduce it. It seems to run in my family, this effect, as my mother becomes basically narcoleptic when she takes SSRIs. She falls asleep very suddenly out of the blue. She once fell asleep on the sliproad off the motorway with my brother in the car (who took over to get to safety) so she stopped taking them. Don't know what it is about us, we just seem to be SSRI lightweights. I've tried the vast majority of SSRIs now - only escitalopram is the one I haven't taken - and I'm not sure I want to keep messing with my brain when it affects me like this. I was only on 10mg of Citalopram this time so I think I just want to get it out of my system rather than start taking some of it again.

I did have schema therapy and it helped loads - the best thing I have ever had. I do think we stopped too early but NHS resources are very scarce things so I dont' think it's really feasible I could have stayed longer. I may rejoin the list but it will take 2 years to go back so I've been a bit up and down on the matter.

At the moment I have person-centred counselling but it doesn't help much. I would say I have a lot of insight into my condition, see, as I have lived with it for over half my life (I'm 29) but my problem seems to be being able to manage it in such a way that I can live a normal life. When I am managing will enough I am very high functioning and successful for my age etc. It just seems to be that I cannot manage it at a level where I can hold down a job, look after a flat etc. I am in no pain, I am just tired and unable to find joy in things and my future just looks like a black hole to me. I remind myself that I do not know what will happen int he future, but I guess because I can't think of anything I would enjoy, it still looks like a black hole. It's difficult not to just envisage my life being like the last 16 years - try to keep going, try to get everything done, try to keep your head up, but without reward.

I'm a bit reticent to go back to my GP because their answer is medication. I really have tried with medication countless times and each time the situation has got a lot worse on them. I took medication for about 5 years at one point but during this time I had no life at all. I could not exercise or socialise, as the hypersomnia took over and I was needing 15 hours of sleep a day, so I would struggle through work, sleep on the way home, eat, go to sleep, get up for work again. My life just felt empty. When I stopped the medication, the need for sleep reduced and I became functional on 8 hours a night, so I just don't want to go back there. I have also tried SNRIs and mood stabilisers but overall they do more harm than good (all of them have good sides too - my general mood is lifted for example - but the hypersomnia and constant stoned feeling takes so much away from my life that it's difficult to just stay on them).

I don't think I have a CPN - what is that? Do I need to get one?



You need to further discuss medications with your GP, there are medications that were given at an earlier time that the GP may need to research, although they are less selective than modern medications in their effectiveness such as Largactil, or Vallium type medications.

If you go to the centre for ten days they may be able to discuss the different pathways you need to take. Bunker injections sometimes work and may be a good idea, if they feel that they would be beneficial

Although your GP and Nurse are the ones to confire with as I am just a patient myself, with same types od ax too grind as you have

You know where we are if you need a chat, good luck on any decisions you decide too take



Thanks, Bob :)

Do you mean MAOIs and tricyclics? I'm going to sound like a wimp here but I think I might have to be in a hospital bed before I would have the guts! I've got friends on them and...yeah...sometimes it's like there's no one in there anymore, they're so drugged up....but then I know some people on them who don't seem smashed at all. I guess it affects everyone differently.


Friends would get worried and would punch me on the arm in my teens. My girlfriend would sit on my knee and would fall asleep together in front of the fire.

Those were the days in the sixties



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