Anxiety Support

Update on Anxiety

Update on my health: The clinical psychiatrist I saw just put me on medication, but I refuse to take it. I am very high-functioning so the anxiety and panic attacks are not stopping me from living a normal life, in fact, while I obsess over my breathing and chest, I have not had a full-blown panic attack in months (since I took that one Lexapro, btw). I am able to control it. Some people have it so bad they don't leave their homes. Or they end up in a mental hospital. What I really want is a psychotherapist, a psychologist or counselor, whatever you want to call them. I want to try CBT therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), that is where a therapist helps you understand the causes, both physical and emotional, of panic attacks, how to cope with them, and how to re-train your mind and feelings in order to prevent anxiety. Even just simple talk therapy, just talking to someone might help. I had that when I was a kid. Unfortunately, my health insurance is so bad, that only two more trips to the psychiatrist is covered, after that I must pay the whole bill until my over $6,000 deductible is met. And I am already in thousands of dollars of medical debt now because of these recent issues. Right now, the potential side effects and withdrawal symptoms of medication do not justify taking it because my anxiety is not so severe (Or so I think.).

Yesterday I had X-rays taken of my nasal cavity and my chest. Both came back "normal." This can't be right because last time I had these X-rays they diagnosed me with a deviated septum and pectus excavatum. I wonder if I need a second opinion? And how to get one? Or maybe I'll just try to accept it and be happy that they say (or THINK) there is nothing wrong with me at all, and hope my mind will finally be convinced of that (something else CBT therapy does.)

I have also been referred to a sleep study to see if I have sleep apnea or any other problems. All the symptoms I have and the sleep pattern I have noticed makes my doctors highly suspect it. When I was a kid, I went through one and they discovered that my brain kept firing and would never quiet down. Today every time I close my eyes I have extremely vivid dreams with lots of detail and action. There is not one night when I don't have a dream. I also become lucid in them and can ask things like, "is this a dream? Or is this real?" (Sometimes I can't tell the difference.) Or I would know it is a dream and I will say, "this is a dream, huh? That means I can do whatever I want!" And I can control it. When I have that rare (very rare, thankfully) nightmare, if it is one I had before, I become aware and I say to myself, "wait, I know this dream. It doesn't end well!" And I try to wake myself up. Or I will have a phone conversation in my dream with a real friend or relative, but I think it actually happened and am only set straight when I ask them about it, and they say they didn't call me last night. I also rarely get sleep paralysis and am paralyzed in my bed with the feeling of someone being in my room. I rationally know what it is, so while it feels scary at the moment, I know just to ride it out and I will eventually wake up. I also wake up a lot, sometimes in a panic gasping for air. Some nights I will wake up every hour on the hour...literally, on the exact hour! (With no alarm clock going off).

The good thing is I don't need to stay overnight on location for the sleep study, they are giving me equipment to take home to do the study at home in my own bed. I just hope it is accurate. This could be the cause of my anxiety and panic attacks....if I am not breathing right when I sleep, my mind might be remembering it during the day and is so always in a state of panic. Sleep apnea, and not sleeping well in general, can cause lethargy, low energy, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, forgetfulness almost to the point of dementia ( and my short-term memory loss has been extremely severe lately), irritability and anger issues (obviously when you don't get enough sleep), and can contribute to high-blood pressure and heart disease and failure. All of those symptoms (other than high blood pressure and heart problems) I have. So hopefully this sleep study, no matter the results, will lead to some help with my sleep, which should help my physical and mental health overall.

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My wife did a sleep study that she had to take home. It was determined she had sleep apnea. She had to be fitted for a mouth piece from a dentist that positons her mouth properly at night while sleeping. She has used this for 6 months and had to be rechecked and determined it was not working. She has to have a cpap machine. My wife is a high functioning nurse in an er. 3 years ago, My father moved in with us was dying from liver cancer. It was a terrible time in our lives as you can imagine. We also have a 4 year old. I had all kinds of sensory stress disturbances and refused to take meds. My father died and I ended up in the hospital with acute stress disorder. When I got out, her father went in with a mystery illness and almost died. She advocated for him, had him change hospitals and basically diagnosed h is disease and save his life. This as you can imagine was very stressful. She, unlike me started Zoloft. Unlike most cases, she was feeling much better in about a week. Experienced very few, if any side effects and is able to function much better as an er nurse. I on the other hand, afraid to as shit to take meds have been struggling for the past 3 years have continued to struggle with intense sensory feelings, head aches and all kinds of aches and pains caused by stress. In addition, I had many tests that just contributed to the horrible stress I felt. Years ago, I went through similar feelings when my daughter was born and was given amitryptiline by a neurologist. I had no problem taking that because it was given to me by a neuro not a psyche and it is used for nerve pain. It was glorious. I was able to sleep great, woke up with energy and weaned off after about a year. I did not know it was an antidepressant. Sometimes these drugs will give you start up side effects, and you may not be chemical compatible to Lexapro. Hopefully the sleep apnea is a big part of your anxiety and you can get that fixed, but if not, maybe you might consider starting on a small dose of another antidepressant. My wife looked like a tortured individual before she started Zoloft, snapping at the kid and myself for the smallest things. So, maybe rethink this med thing if the cpap doesn't work.

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