Feeling hopeless and depressed over anxiety - Anxiety Support

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Feeling hopeless and depressed over anxiety

Ckd123
Ckd123

So I have severe health anxiety and i'm on 40mg of prozac per day for it. I feel this has been just about taking the edge off but now its like its not working anymore. My anxiety has been dreadful the last 2 weeks. Iv started to read Claire Weakes book and I hope it helps me. I try to follow the advice to just accept the symptoms of anxiety for now but I cant do it. I have tried believe me but when i get chest pain, shoulder/arm/jaw pain its so frightening because I fear I am going to die right now so they are hard to accept, instead I just go straight to panic because apart from the fear of dying, I'm terrified my 8 month old baby will be on her own until I am found or my older kids will be the ones to find me and be scarred for life.

Im now worrying that I'm developing OCD because I'v downloaded an app on my phone that checks heart rate and I'm checking it about 50 times a day. I have deleted the app to try to stop myself but it lasts a couple of hours before I'v re-downloaded it.

I just don't know what to do, where to turn anymore. My GP is great but I feel she will actually have me committed if I go back to her again about my anxiety. I'v no support either, I find it hard to tell people about what I'm going through and my husband is basically a prick about it. He doesn't understand so tells me to snap out of it, that its all in my head and only I can cure myself. Probably true but its very insensitive the way he speaks to me. He also thinks medication is the devil and in the end it will make me worse instead of better.

Oh and I'm very out of shape and have a good bit of weight to lose since having my last baby and I can't do anything about it because I'm terrified to exercise. As soon as I start I get chest pains and I don't like the feeling of my heart beating fast!! So yes I'm just pretty much a mess right now. Thanks to anyone who has managed to read all this.

6 Replies
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Hang in there, Ckd!

You've described much of my year with your experiences. I'm still amazed at how many strange symptoms panic and hypersensitivity has caused me this year. I feel I have a grip on it now and as I'm healing and don't panic any longer my symptoms are fading. I also used a heart rate app for about two months. It's the worst possible thing you can do when worried about your heart rate. I had the cardiologist look inside and my heart is perfect! But I continued to use it and not trust in the doctors. Fast forward four months later and I don't even think about it any longer and exercise with no problems or worries. I was so hypersensitive to my heart beat that I seemed to forget that if I even move, walk to another part of the house or get up out of bed that my heart rate will naturally get faster. Eventually, I got so tired of the worry I would feel my heart rate speed up and I would talk to it and say, "Hello heart. I feel you working so thank you." I also had the exact symptoms you have. Pains in jaw, shoulder, stomach, ribs. Guess what? I've spent tons of money and no one has found anything out of the ordinary. The tricky part is that the symptoms did and do exist. The good news is that's it's overactive nerves and stress causing it. I opted to not take the anti-anxiety pills because I wanted to beat this nasty panic disorder. I'm happy to say that I have and don't get these issues any longer. You mentioned you're embarrassed to see your doc again. I understand and actually switched doctors this year because I could never get an appointment fast enough. My new doctor's attitude changed immediately when I told him about my anxiety. I'm not happy with his reaction but on the other hand it's probably some tough love he's throwing at me to help me realize I'm ok.

Congrats on your newer child! Moms are naturally tough humans so I know you will be just fine. I'm not married but understand feeling you're alone when no one understands what you're going through. I can suggest some ways to improve. You mentioned you want to get some exercise. This is perfect time to gather the family and go for daily walks around the neighborhood if you live in a rural area. Walks helped me recover. It got me out of the house and comfort zone and the oxygen to my brain was helpful. I cut lots of junk food, caffeine and even quit smoking and drinking. Anything that would trigger my heart rate to speed up unnaturally. Fast forward months later and I can have coffee or a beer with no problems again. It was my routine that was hurting me. You have to get the tests done first. Then you have to trust in the results and doctors. Then you have to break up your routine and comfort zones. Go for walks, meet friends for lunch, go to the zoo, drive farther than you have in a while. You've got a loving family around you and they will help. One more thing that helped me. I know some people going through cancer. Their lives are a wreck right now with the unknown and all the treatments, bills and worry. I pray for them often. I got so mad at myself for feeling lousy and thought how selfish I was being for thinking my panic was somehow some awful disease. At least I can go about my day not worrying about having cancer or some major illness with no clear cut ending. My point is you're a healthy, young woman with a wonderful family and life. Anxiety and panic is temporary. It can't kill you. Start planning goals for your future and your children. Write down what you're grateful for. Get your mind off of your symptoms. Best of luck to you!

Ckd123
Ckd123
in reply to Titan4757

Thank you so much for that reply, you have given me hope that I too will beat this thing. Its been a while since I had any tests. Two years ago I had a 24 hour holter monitor and stress test, both were normal. I would love more tests but here in Ireland you cant just go to A&E, you have to be referred by your GP and once you are your on a waiting list. I was waiting 3 months for the holter monitor and stress test and because things were fine, they wont see me again. Its so frustrating! I have had a few EKG's in my GP's office since then and they were normal too. My bloodpressure is normal (sometimes a bit low) but my cholesterol is 5.5, it should be 5 or below, this worries me and this is why i really want to get exercising. I'v given up alot of things I enjoy because of anxiety, coffee, the odd alcoholic drink, exercise etc, i never smoked. I feel what will be next is some nice food, I love nice food but even eating makes me anxious these days! If that has to go I'll have nothing enjoyable left :(

I am lucky to have 4 beautiful, healthy children and they are my greatest goal in life, I thank god everyday for giving me healthy children. I understand about feeling bad knowing people are fighting illnesses like cancer, my own mum was one of those at the age of 32. She died leaving behind us 4 young children and husband. Thats when my anxiety started when I turned 32, three years ago. Cancer used to be my fear but now its my heart. I am super sensitive to any news or talk of death or illness. I fear leaving behind my children and them having to go through what myself and my brothers did as kids and it continues to affect us all to this day.

Anyway I am going to continue to keep fighting this, next on the list of recovery is forcing myself outside to exercise. I am in the middle of studying for my final exams which are next week so once they are out of the way i'll be free :)

Thanks again so much for your reply xx

Jeff1943
Jeff1943
in reply to Titan4757

Excellent post Titan, it will bring hope and understanding to many here. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Ckd, that's good advice Titan has given, worth reading it again whenever you're feeling bad.

Anxiety can be caused by many things including stress, overwork, loss, disappointment, grief or toxic relationships. But after a while it doesn't really matter what started it, the fear caused by the symptoms takes over.

Sensitised nerves thrive on the fear you produce. Fear causes symptoms which causes more fear which causes more symptoms. The whole thing becomes a self-fulfilling never ending cycle. If only you could stop the fear your shattered nerves would recover and your pains would leave you.

There are two ways I'm aware of to overcome fear - medication and acceptance. Valium is a wonderful med: it stops fear in its tracks in about 5 minutes flat but you can only take it for short term periods. Also, once you stop the valium the anxiety soon comes back.

The only other way is acceptance a la Claire Weekes, it works on the principle that you can't accept the symptoms (for the time being) and fear them at the same time.

I can well understand how you find it hard to believe that your chest, jaw and shoulder are down to anxiety. But anxiety is a very good impersonater of real organic illness. So much so that you can't tell anxiety pain from the real thing.

With the advantage of being outside looking in, and mindful of the medical tests you've had, I believe your pains are caused by anxiety. I think you won't make much progress until you fully acknowledge that.

I know you've tried acceptance without success but did you give it a real chance. Maybe you were thinking that by accepting your pains they'd go away there and then. But that's not how it works. You have to practice framing your mind to truly accept the pain for days and weeks before your nerves lose their sensitivity and the pain disperses.

Ckd, whatever happens you're not going to die, your heart is a good strong heart. That's what all the tests show. You will live a full life to see your children grow up and become independent which is a mother's greatest wish. What you have to do is lose your fear of the pain and learn to tolerate it for the moment knowing that it's a toothless paper tiger. I see nothing wrong in alleviating the pain with common pain killers compatible with the prozac you're taking or soaking in a relaxing warm bath. Just don't blank it out completely or there will be nothing for you to accept. Just remember this pain isn't life-threatening, it won't disable you and can't send you insane. And it's not going to last forever, no way.

Ckd123
Ckd123
in reply to Jeff1943

Hi Jeff, thanks for replying. I can totally see why acceptance will take a while to work. I’m just impatient and want to feel better now!! I’ll keep going at it and hopefully it will eventually work. I know you are right about it being anxiety that cause my symptoms but there’s always that ‘what if it’s not this time’ question in the back of my mind. I take Xanax when needed, is that similar to Valium? I’v been taking the lowest dose .25mcg for the past three years. I feel they are not really working anymore either and I might need to up my dose, not sure how my GP will feel about that!

Thanks again for the detailed reply, it’s a great help xx

Jeff1943
Jeff1943
in reply to Ckd123

Ckd, my understanding is that valium/diazepam and xanax are very similar to each other. If you feel xanax isn't giving you relief do ask your doctor about upping the dose or test whether this is helpful by taking two xanax just the once to see if thst helps.

So many people experience anxiety disorder but you are doing all the right things to help yourself, do finish reading the Weekes' book and ptactice replacing fear with acceptance. I wish you well in the future.

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