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Feel like giving up

So I think my main problem is loneliness. When I’m at my family’s everything is okay. When I’m with friends everything is okay. But the second I am alone I start panicking and getting symptoms - can’t breathe and heart racing with the feeling I’m going to faint or have a heart attack or a stroke.

Besides that, I am also afraid when I’m surronded with people I don’t really know that well. I can’t help but think if anything happens, no one will give a damn.

Also, went to my first college lecture today (been absence first 2 weeks of semester because of anxiety and fear) and I felt so weird, like I couldn’t tolerate the lights in the classroom, it was too bright and it gave me fatigue. Lot of people had seasonal flu and I suddenly found myself covering my nose and mouth with scarf and going to the toilet to wash my hands so often. Hold my breath during lecture as long as I could not to catch a virus! Am I going mad?

Is it loneliness that I’m afraid of? Is it uncertainity? Stepping out of a comfort zone? I just feel so low when I can’t do things that used to make me happy. I also gained weight by not being able to do anything but be in bed or sit still! I’m scared of any movement that will make my heart race. Ughh.

I am taking meds and I haven’t had a full blown panic attack since taking them so they mostly keep my physical symtoms in check, but still... so frustrated that I just can’t continue to live like before, and I feel like a failure and hate myself for what I’ve become. I lost the only friend that I had and I keep thinking my bf will also give up on me as well as my family. Can’t get through the day without taking 2-3h long “naps”. Just feel really hopeless.

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Hi sorry to hear you are having a bad time me to at the moment .it will get better I've been up and down for years with my anxiety you will feel well again.what medication do you take ? Have you been on it long ? As some take a while to kick in.and some are instant.you are not alone although you are feeling like this now.there are some really kind and helpful people on this site that can give you advise and support.as many have suffered with the same feelings and thoughts.

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I’m sorry for you too and thank you for support. I know this is a big community but I have a feeling like a lot of people are taking a break and I’m so glad for everyone who’s better, but I have just been feeling lonely lately.

I’m takin Seroxat once a day and Xanax twice a day, what about you? I’m taking them for a month now and they help me with panic attacks, I mean I didn’t have panic attack since taking them but still feel pain and sadness and loneliness etc.

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I've got to start on citalopram 20g once a day .I take 2 mg of diazepam as and when required for anxiety.but I'm going to take 3 x 2 mg when I start to take citalopram as I worried I will feel worse at first. I think low mood takes up to 8 weeks before medication kicks in so carry on taking your medication.at least your panic has improved that's really good.diazepam are really good for anxiety so keeping everything crossed I don't get side effects on citalopram.

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Did your therapist tell you to take 3x2 diazepam? I wouldn’t advise you to do it by yourself... did you start with lower dosage od citalopram first and now you’re upping it to 20mg or you’re starting with 20mg straight? I think you should start with half a tablet first with Diazepam taken together and one more Diazepam before bed. After a week you can incrEase citalopram to whole tablet of 20mg with diazepam continued like before and after a month you should be able to drop diazepam and stay on citalopram for at least 6 months. That’s how the treatment for anxiety, ocd, panic disorders and other anxiety-related issues are being treated. that’s what many doctors have said to me

Please note that I am not a doctor and discuss everything medication-related with your therapist. I’m just trying to help and don’t want you to do more harm than good to yourself.

I hope for the best for you!❤️

Yes, I am still waiting to see if my mood is going to improve, I should see my therapist next week to discuss further therapy

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Only saw doctor and she said take 20 mg citalopram and come back in 3 weeks I was thinking maybe just cut in half and start on 10 mg ? But maybe she thinks 20 mg will be the right dose ? I asked chemist if I could take diazepam with citalopram and she said yes it might make you a bit sleepy see how you go.

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I would advise you to start on 10mg for the first week and take it with diazepam in the morning, and then take one more diazepam before bed. This is because diazepam will minimise side effects of citalopram while your body adapts to it, and with time you will cut out diazepam and stick with citalopram only (but for this to happen, 4-6 weeks need to pass). After 7-10 days you should take a whole citalopram of 20mg. 3 weeks after that you should see your therapist to discuss further therapy with him. I am telling this to you because I firstly took whole Prozac of 20mg in the morning for a couple of days and ended up in hospital due to side effects.

Then the doctor explained to me how SSRI’s work and that you should always start with lowest possible dose and gradually increase, and take it alongside benzo’s untill your body adapts to it.

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Thank you will see if I can get doctor to give me a call or ask chemist as they are experts on medication .

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When I said 3 diazepam a day I ment 1x 2 mg morning 1 x 2mg afternoon 1 x 2 mg bedtime as it read 3 x2 you might of thought 3 x2 = 6 tablets ? No it would only be 3 tablets at most .

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It is fine if it works for you. But I think that Diazepam (or other benzos) aren’t a long term therapy you know, just short-term anxiety relief untill antidepressants start to work. Do you ever have feeling like you are going to faint? I have this constat headache and dizziness and like I can’t orientate...

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Yes I get really bad tension headaches and I've had lightheadedness and dizzyness all anxiety I even started to get octucal migraine 5 years ago a form of migraine never had migraine in my life before.I get flashing lights and zig zags last for 30 mins then just goes as quick as it started.

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Even in paradise one cannot do alone..we need people, that energy, the frequency, that aura, we need to be connected with one another but unfortunately we are disconnected from so many things, especially from ourselves..

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Yes I agree. It just seems that I cannot connect to anyone, don’t really have a social life beside my boyfriend, if it wasn’t for him or college lessions I think I wouldn’t even got out of the house. Really desperate :(

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Please read my reply to you I didn't put it in right place

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Hi friend, I don't understand what's causing you to feel this way but I am sorry for your pain. I pray that God gives you peace and restores your joy.

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Thank you very much, I appreciate it.

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At times I fill the same I thought I was the only one that fills like that I'm not glad but at least I know that I'm not alone that fills like that I even think of day to day of getting a rope and going out. Back and climbing the tree and put it in a knot then just letting go of it all but I'm still here and have not did it yet I'm not scared but I think .I don't know why I'm still here and fill no one would really care any way .

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Hi Fred

We can all feel the way you do from time to time. You are not alone.

Have you been to your doctor to discuss how you feel? Are you on any medication or therapy?

Gradually you will start to feel better.

I felt similar during the start of my anxiety and depression and I am now so much better. As well as taking Venlafaxine I began to go walking and just started to look around me and see how beautiful nature is and how interesting buildings are and how incredible the colours of a sunset are. I joined a website called Borrow my doggie and found a huge amount of companionship and love came from the dogs I took for walks and how much it helped the owners too. If you're not a dog person, there are other ways you can help others through volunteering and you will not be so alone as well as helping others. You will not feel you have anything to offer at first perhaps but that changes as your mood lifts.

Very best wishes to you and everyone else who suffers.

Kim

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Please know that you are a worthy person, and that I believe in you and don’t want you to hurt or do any harm to yourself. You are not alone, and I am always here if you need/want to talk. You deserve a good life because you are wonderful and decent! ❤️

Please, talk to somebody, be it a therapist or someone else you could trust, if you feel like you could hurt yourself. We are all cheering for you.

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Masa, I'm no therapist when I read what you wrote, it seems to me that you are afraid of your thoughts...the biggest one being your assumption that you will not be able to cope with whatever life throws at you (catching seasonal flu, having a stroke, experiencing a racing heart, being alone, your boyfriend possibly leaving you, not being a perfect person etc). All of these things can happen to any of us and we'd all be in the exact same boat that you are so desperately fearful of being in. Let it go. Life offers us no guarantees.... none. The only guarantees are death and taxes. Live your messy life and don't count on perfection, and stop doubting yourself as a capable, intelligent, vulnerable person who is going to have both amazing and shitty luck in her life just like the rest of us. Go make friends with people who you think will suit you and remember to always show your vulnerability with people - that's how you connect with others cause we're all looking for people we can relate to cause we're all vulnerable and have insecurities... we're not looking for people who are impervious to life's challenges. That's reserved for heroes and they say you should never meet your heroes anyway 😊

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Hello Miniwheats, I’m glad to hear from you. Thank you for encouraging and kind words, I really appreciate it. It’s just that I’m in a so bad place right now and cannot seem to connect with anyone. I do try, but I always get a “vibe” from people that they find me rather boring. But I had that problem all my life, not being able to connect to anyone, as we always had different interests. A lot of people my age from my city goes out every weekend, get drunk and do drugs...and when you don’t want to do it or talk about stuff like that, they call you a nerd or pretend to like you for a short period of time and then they dissapear because you are a “weirdo”. Well I’d rather be weirdo than harming myself. I’m not an angel, I did get drunk a couple of times, I did smoke cigarettes and went to a lot of parties but I always knew my limit and stood behind my moral values. I love to have fun, but not wrong kind of fun. I am 21 now and I find my health more important than some stupid parties and abusive behaviour. I am more of a philosophy, psychology, books and movies, theater etc. kind of girl.

I just love justice and feel that is so unfair that people like us, who are truly sensitive, good and honest people gets minimal justice in the world. I know I can’t change it, and it hurts me, but I got used to live with that and hope that some day it will be different.

You are right, I guess I am scared that I will not be ready to cope with what life throws at me. I just hope my mind will not stop me completely from living life like I want to. I hope that for all of us.❤️

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Oh Masa...I know exactly how you feel. I never felt like I belonged anywhere at your age but for different reasons ( my parents wouldn't let me go out much on weekends because they were afraid) and as an adult I don't really have a group that I belong to but I do have 3-4 good friends that I can share my troubles and laughter with. I often find that the people I connect with are either much younger/older than me, or very different from me. That used to bother me but I don't care anymore 😊. I found that CBT helped me so much that I no longer feel physical symptoms from anxiety (and I had some whacky symptoms). I learned that when it really comes down to it, it's your thoughts and your fearful reactions to them that perpetuates and fuels the anxiety. It seems that you are already seeing a therapist from the way I understood your replies...is it a CBT practitioner? There is much evidence in the literature to show that CBT is very effective for both anxiety and depression so please try that method. Some excellent books I read that helped me are "Overcoming Anxiety" (can't remember the author), " The Fear Cure" by Rankin, and "Stressproof" by Storoni. Reading as much as I could and seeing a therapist are what finally pulled me out of the vortex of fear and hopelessness. I'm hoping the same for you😊

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I did estrange from a lot of friends when my father passed away, and a lot of them also left me in that period of my life because no one really wanted to be someone’s cry shoulder. But ever since that happened, I haven’t had interest in going out and felt like I matured faster than my generation. So I feel isolated and alone... I don’t have any friend to talk to, literally, but I do have a boyfriend who is really good and supportive, but again he can’t replace good girl friend you know?

My mom and grandom have also struggled with cancer and thank God they are good now, but it all leaves a big mark on people especially in teen years...

Yes, I do see a CBT practitioner and he helps me a lot and I got to do so much since I started going on therapy, but I just told him today “I have no problem when I’m here od when I’m with my boyfriend, that’s the time that I’m focused on good stuff and healing, but the moment I lay in bed at night it all comes back and continues for days... just one thought starts this viscious cycle that last for a week untill my next appointment”. I’m so glad and happy that you are feeling better!❤️ I am also better physicaly since starting meds and therapy, but mentally I’m lost... thank you so much on literature, I will check it out!❤️

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Yes, I remember now that you are the one I responded to a couple weeks ago whose dad passed away. Yes, you most definitely matured faster than your cohorts as a result of that and I can see why it would be so hard to connect with people your age who are experiencing life differently than you are right now. Oh Masa I don't know what to say. You are doing everything right in the sense that you are getting therapy and are on meds to treat your panic attacks and other symptoms. I have a feeling that after you have lived through this difficult time in your life that you are going to become a fine, fine member of society that is going to make a difference in people's lives... I can just sense it in the way you write. I do hope that you find the peace you need soon so that you can concentrate on doing the things that will make you happy and successful in life, which I just know you will be 😊

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Yes you did, you had some kind words back then as well as now so I appreciate it a lot. Thank you for that.

I hope that some day I will be able to help to make someone’s life better. I study law, so my main goal in life is to bring justice in the world and try to make it a slightly better place :)

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Good for you. I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. The world is full of injustice and just knowing that a budding lawyer has that passion in her makes me feel better :)

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Thank you very much☺️ I wish all the best for you too. ❤️

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Hi Masa

You are so kind and offer so much help to others I am really sorry you are feeling this way yourself. You will get better. I did and certainly was feeling as you are now just over a year ago.

I have found it is really hard for others who have not experienced anxiety and or depression to understand it. There are many people who do.

We are all thinking of you and wishing you well.

Kim

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Hello Kim and thank you so much on kind words.❤️

I am just so sad that I have no one in my life with whom I can sit and talk face-to-face about my problems (besides therapist) and who will actually listen. I just wonder where real people-real time connection fades? It’s like social media took it from us and no one even talks to anybody anymore. I am grateful that I found this community and that there are more people who have a good heart.

I wish you all the best ❤️

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Masa I don't know where you live, but have you thought about joining a group in your community who share similar interests or perhaps volunteering a small amount of time every so often in a caring setting, like a hospital or long term care center? Or anywhere where you can connect with older, wiser people that would love to sit down and have a coffee with you? It's so difficult when you feel you have no one to talk to who will listen 😟 It takes time and energy but keep trying to make those connections. Be your authentic self and there will be people who are attracted to it and others who are not. Invest your time in the people who are and forget the ones who aren't. If you're just feeling like you don't have the energy to do this legwork right now that's ok... rest on the sidelines for now and keep posting on this forum to share your personal insights and frustrations and know that a caring person will always respond 😊

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Thanks on suggestion, I will look it up and see it there are any possibilities. I live in a really small country so we don’t really have active volunteer organisations that run regularly, but I will dig a little and see if there’s some project right now maybe that I cound volunteer in or something like that. I am trying really hard, I even reached out to some people a couple of times and asked them to go have coffee and I initiated a catch-up but no one really called back ever. But that’s okay, I learned to live with that, I am sure there are many good people on planet that I will have a chance to meet some day. It’s just hard to accept that I an housebound most of the time because I am afraid to stay alone and on the other hand don’t have friends who would go out with me

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I had agoraphobia for about a week last summer... couldn't drive to work, not even as a passenger in a car. Would get dizzy, short of breath, pressure in my head, and the world seemed to sway. The thought of walking outside terrified me. I forced myself to go out walking with my husband and I learned a trick to get over the driving thing - I sang all the way to work and kept the windows open for cool air. It took a week of singing to get over it. I think the brain can't be anxious and joyously singing at the same time... I know it sounds trite but it really did work for me. I hope your therapist has some good ideas for you personally on how you can overcome your fear of going outside.

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Hi Miniwheats

You have given some great advice in this and your previous reply to Masa. Interestingly I have just joined a women's singing group myself which I find very uplifting.

Kim

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As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I did today! My sister picked me up and we went for a short walk up the hill! It brought me so much joy and I really enjoyed it honestly :) I hope I will be able to go on my own soon. I am thinking about joining the gym in group class as I know everyone in that group, I went before, but don’t know if I can exercise because of medications...will ask for opinions :) this walk today really helped me “grow” a bit mentally

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Wait...did you sing as you walked??😁😁😁😁 If you did that takes guts girl!!! As for the medication/excercise question I'm a clinician in a hospital and I've never come across such an interaction except for maybe heparin injections but having said that, check the insert that came along with your meds or Google it. I think joining a gym would be a wonderful idea (I met my husband in the gym and made alot of friends there). Just don't wear headphones between sets so that if someone would like to chat with you they can walk right up and start talking. My girlfriends used to ask " how come you know so many people at the gym?" and I always used to say "cause I don't wear headphones!" 😊

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Hahaha weeeeell noo, but I did talk to my sister 😅😅 Yeah, gym always helped me feel less alone, and I know so many people there and there’s always someone to talk to, so it naturally boosts your feel-good hormones... I never wear headphones too, I actually love their music which is playing in the background😅 I should see my therapist next week to discuss further medications and I will definitely ask her about exercising while on it. I didn’t seem to find any contraindications

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Hey Masa, how's it going? Did you join that gym? How's it going with the walks? Hope you have been feeling a bit better lately 😊

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Hello I’m so glad to hear from you :) I’ve been feeling much better lately, thank you for asking ❤️ I went to walks almost every day, my bf drove me to the seaside one day too, I was in a caffee, I went to college... I started activating myself and getting out more. I was at a therapist’s and she told me to continue my meds, but she can see progress. I was also at the gynecologist appointment and she suspects I have PCOS. But I didn’t panic about it. I will wait and see after my blood tests are done. I haven’t joined the gym yet because I gained 10kg and think that I won’t be able to do much but I am starting with the brisk walks up the hill :)

How are you? Hope you have a wonderful day. ❤️

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Happy to hear this. Sounds like you're on your way. Sorry about the PCOS 😔 but I guess at least you have some answers. Could that cause mood swings? I'm doing well thanks for asking! 😊

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It’s not definitive diagnosis yet but my gynecologist suspects it so I will have blood work done. I’m not comfortable but I’m also not worried because I know it’s not life threatening and it can be managed. So I don’t know yet if it could be the root cause for anything.

I’m glad you are! 😊❤️ wish it continues like that!

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Hi Masa

So sorry to hear how alone you feel when you are such a kind caring person. If you are a dog lover have you thought about walking other people's dogs if you cannot own one yourself. You could even make it into a little business. I do this through a website called Borrow my doggie but you may not have it in your country. Owning a dog or a cat can give you great joy and companionship and really good excercise in the case of dogs which is very therapeutic. I also have gained friendship from the owners.

Joining a singing group or any sort of hobby or interest group could also help as could doing a course in whatever interests you.

I would love to hear what your interests are.

Kim

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Thank you for kind words Kim. I am a huge dog lover and I did talk with my psychologist about getting a dog myself. I also considered idea of walking other people’s dogs but there is no such website in my country so I was thinking about how could I connect with them. :)

My interests are psychology, philosophy, law, art, books etc. I love to paint in my free time. I am also thinking about joining a philosophy course that is just about to start in my city but I’m still a little scared to go alone although I know that there will be other people there but I kind of have a fear of uncertainity and other people represent uncertainity for me... So I am trying to get my boyfriend to go with me, but he is not really interested. And I don’t know if I could control myself if I get a panic attack outside without being with someone I know well...

I am also considering joining a gym where I know all the people who go there, as that is familiar with me, but I don’t know if medication could have side effects with exercise? Or what to do if I feel panicky or bad in the middle of a workout... I know I am difficult to work with as I am anxious about just anything, health anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, anxiety about my life, I have body issues, I have low self-esteem, I think I’m ugly and I don’t deserve anything and so on. I have so many issues to address but don’t want to be seen as “needy” because I can’t explain to other people that those are real issues which I feel 100x greater than an average person having a bad day.

Kim, thank you very much once again, I really appreciate your and @Miniwheats help and advice.

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Hi Masa

Thanks for your reply, you sound as if you have lots of interests which is great. I also love books, art and psychology as well as sociology, travel, walking , swimming, photography, healthy eating, cooking, gardening, dogs, wildlife and bird watching, eating out, socialising with good close friends and family, cinema and theatre etc. You are a good listener I think and have alot of empathy for others so you would make a very good friend. No need to give yourself a hard time if you do not feel you are surrounded by friends. There is alot of social pressure in our society to feel popular. Most people feel lonely some of the time and force themselves to be with people they do not feel comfortable with and try to give the impression they are more popular and having a better time than everyone else. We all feel lonely, have body image issues and social anxiety at times, particularly when we are young. You have good meaningful relationships with your bf and sister if I understand you well and perhaps you are worrying yourself too much about making more friends. I did not find it all that easy to make friends at your age either but now I am much older I do not find it difficult. My career and my partner and daughter were my main focus most of my life. I nearly always had one or two really good female friends and was lonely without that but was not into having lots of superficial friends. You can certainly feel lonelier in a crowd.

I loved the fact that I could do things on my own and enjoy them, such as going to art galleries and browsing around markets, antique or junk shops and bookshops and just wandering around the streets to admire beautiful buildings or nature in the countryside. The book I was reading or the picture in the gallery that had moved me was my own inward pleasure that I had no need to share.

I find it is always better to let other people talk with just a few open questions comments and positive statements when first getting to know them, almost every one enjoys talking about themselves and that way you find out whether or not you have enough in common for you to want to be friends.

Joining the philosophy class would be a good way to find like minded people but if it feels too challenging yet that's fine you can wait until you are ready and do something as a step towards it. Perhaps go to a talk or lecture on your own in something which really interests you, then you may find you get chance to chat to people with common interests afterwards but no problem if not, you enjoyed the lecture. I find if you go with the aim of making friends you put yourself under pressure and it usually does not happen and makes you miserable, better to not think you will and just relax and enjoy it. You could even just try going to the cinema on you own, you can walk out if you feel a panic attack coming on and there is not pressure to make friends. I often prefer to go alone because then I do not need to worry about whether or not the other person is enjoying the film. I come out elated if the film is good and I feel proud that I am an independent person who does not constantly need others around me. I can enjoy things on my own. My daughter who is in her 20s feels the same even though she does have lots of friends she often prefers to do things alone so she does not need to worry about the other person, or her partner not enjoying it.

My anxiety condition came suddenly after a build up of work stress, death of my mother and a really full breakdown in what had always been a very difficult relationship with my sister ever since childhood. I then soon afterwards had a serious health scare which proved to be unfounded but it was the final trigger and I was quickly in the depth of a major episode of anxiety with alot of physical and psychological symptoms. A build up of strange out of the body feelings, weird sicky dread feelings, depression, cardiac symptoms, all of which are very scary at first, they go gradually with the help of antidepressants, setting yourself realistic challenges, excercise, distraction, doing things you used to love and more than anything learning to relax and ignore them as they cannot not hurt you.

I also had loss of appetite, sickness and weight loss, fear of everything I had been able to do with ease previously. All the things I had loved such as going out walking and eating out with friends etc became the most scary for some strange reason.

I was even afraid of being in a room on my own for a few weeks and never really wanted my husband to leave the house but did not say so and he did ofcourse. He found, and still finds it, really difficult to understand my condition so is not very supportive. He tries to be kind in his own way however. It also helped me hugely to force myself to go and sail on our boat with him when I was terrified at first after the GAD started. Prior to it when we were young he and I had twice given up houses and jobs to sail to the Mediterranean and were always off on new challenges and adventures together. My daughter and 2 close women friends who did understand helped alot by listening endlessly to me, I felt too scared to talk to a therapist after being offered a really unsympathetic one and in some ways am more ready to do that now I feel almost fully recovered.

Prior to all this I was a Social work manager taking on lots of difficult stressful contracts thinking I could handle anything. I saw myself as an independent, non anxious, optimistic person and thought I would be the last person to have a mental health problem.

Well, that was a long post but it has been a bit of therapy for me and perhaps there may have been bits that helped you or others a little.

Thank you so much to you and anyone else who is listening, we all need it whatever stage of our illness we are in.

Kim

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Hello Kim and once again thank you for such a nice and useful reply. It helps me and I’m sure it will give hope to others who come across it.

Your interests and hobbies amaze me! It is so nice to know that there are people out there who are happy with ‘old-school’ hobbies and interests, as I find it is becoming increasingly popular to live in 3D world with all the technology and there is rarely a true connection anymore (either between people to people, people to nature or people to their own selves etc)

I truly am a good listener indeed, I’m an introvert and I could always listen to others and understand them and feel with them... I also appreciate my alone time a lot, and before all of this happened I used to have a lot of me time, where I would go to the gym, college, walk etc. on my own, but right now I find it ‘safer’ to go with others because ‘what if’ something happens to me? ‘There will be someone by my side who can call help’ is what I say to myself. For example, today I really really wanted to go out for a walk, we have a local walking path up the hill and I used to go there everyday. I called my sibilings and boyfriend and they were already with their friends (they never call me in their friend groups) and I said okay. I reached out to a girl friend of mine with whom I haven’t talked a lot since anxiety hit me, and she told me she will call me if she goes out. Evetually, my bf took me out when he finished hanging out with friends and we came across this girl I called with her friends. I felt dissappointed that she haven’t just told me that she had already made a deal to go out or that she doesn’t want to go out, and not just tell me that she would call me when in fact she won’t. I am not hurt by her not calling, but because I was looking forward to it and thought I will have a chance to regain some friendships back, and this made me even more insecure about myself. And when I say I don’t have friends, I mean I literally have not ONE friend. I would be happy and I was always the happiest when I had one or two good friends I could count on, but due to all the things that happened in my life I matured a lot younger and they didn’t find me interesting to hang out anymore, because I wasn’t so interested in getting drunk, going to the parties every weekend, etc.

I’m binge eating a lot since I started medication and I gained weight so I think that’s where my body image issues came from. I love healthy food, but I’m eating too much of it.

I understand you. I was just like you described yourself - I was happy on my own, I had my hobbies and my routine, I was optimistic despite all the bad things that happened to me in my family. I simply believed that God has his own path and his own order of things and he’s preparing something good for me after all the pain. When my father passed away, I was in a circle of abusive behaviour - I would smoke a lot of cigarettes, barely eat anything for a couple of days, was housebound for 3 months, I haven’t said one word for month, and was just shocked. Then I began going out and drinking to keep my mind off that. Then college started. By that time, I became addicted to cigarettes, so I would smoke really a lot, I would study all day because I wanted to pass all exams and graduate on time, so I started drinking more and more caffeine, and got to the point where I drank 5+ cups of coffee a day and a couple of energy drinks like red bull too. I wasn’t sleeping more than 3 or 4 hours a night. I also went to the gym EVERY DAY and did vigorous exercise and then I would study more and go out with boyfriend or on my own and then come back home and studied till I fall asleep. I pushed myself both mentally and physically. So it’s no wonder why my body started to panic and cry for help. :(

But it also tought me a lot, I haven’t smoked one cigarette nor I took any alcohol since December, I only take one cup of coffee a day in the morning, and I try to sleep as much as I can. I now have 8 hours of sleep a night but it’s not really good pattern of sleep because it’s like from 5 or 6am till 2pm. So I sleep through half the day... I’m having appointment with my therapist on Monday so I will discuss these sleeping and eating problems with her and see if maybe medication triggers it and also discuss further treatment. Meds helped me a lot with physical symptoms. Really, really a lot.

Your daughter sounds like a lovely person, which means you succeed as a mother and you’re a decent person yourself! It’s hard for the child not to be good when she has good parent by her side :) so you did accomplish a lot and I congratulate you! You are a hero! ❤️

I can relate to your fear of all the anxiety symptoms, as I’m still struggling to accept them myself, but I am so desperately trying to get used to it and convince myself that I will be okay. We all are. It is scary and horrible, but we have to push each other and be each others’ support.

I’m sorry for your husband, although I always say that no one can really understand unless they went through it themselves. I really think that my boyfriend doesn’t understand me either and he sometimes pushes me too hard and ask me to do a lot of stuff all at once and I’m incapable of that. No, not incapable, just horrified. He thinks I’m being lazy and that it suits me to be with my mother who ‘feeds me, cleans after me’ etc. and with him who ‘cuddles me, entertains me’ etc. and he is sometimes making fun of it, but I don’t mind it anymore because I know he will not understand how it feels like, so I’m just smiling on his jokes and try not to feel offended.

I can’t describe you how happy I feel because of you, because you succeed and you’re feeling better now. I think you are a wonderful, honest, decent, strong person who is capable of a lot! I wish you all the best Kim and I hope to hear from you ❤️

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Hi Masa

Thank you for your lovely reply with such kind comments. I am so sorry you do not feel you have a friend at present. You do, you have me. I think it will help us both to keep writing to each other. I think you are very mature for your age and have grown up ahead of your friends because of what you have been through. In the long run this will help you make really strong good friendships and in all other aspects of your life.

I read your post about managing to go out in nature for a few hours yesterday. Congratulations that is fantastic! I am sure you will build on this and try to do a few more challenging things every day you can.

I know what you mean about fear of dying. I certainly had that alot when I was younger but surprisingly it seems to go as you get older for most people I think.

I am certainly less fearful of it, even more so since I got anxiety. You start to feel that there are alot worse things than dying.

I had a good day yesterday too, I had my lovely cockerpoo Lola for the day on her own as her companion Coco was in season.

I took her for for a long walk with Pete my partner along the beach. It was a beautiful sunny day and the sun sparkling on the water was stunning. She is a very brave little dog and she charges head first into the waves, however big they are, to get her ball. She is ball obsessed and I think she would jump over a cliff to fetch it if you let her. She is not afraid of any other dogs but not very interested either although she loves Coco, but just stays with me all the time. I swim in the sea all summer, it is only a few miles from my house and she comes in to swim with me whenever I take her. Coco paddles but will not swim. After the walk we had a great picnic in the car with wine overlooking the sea.

I agree that no one really can understand anxiety unless they have experienced it. It leads to alot of lack of sympathy and understanding from professionals as well as the public. I think it is important that we raise awareness whenever possible.

I am so sorry about your friend not telling you she was going out, it is very hurtful when that sort of thing happens and it does happen to all of us from time to time.

Very good luck with the excellent progress you are making but do not feel down if you do not feel able to repeat it everyday. The important thing is not to give up, you will get there, we all will.

Kim

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Hello Kim

You are always welcome! ❤️ thank you for all your kind words, replies, encouragement and for just being there for me. I appreciate it. I would be happy to keep hearing from you! You give me hope

Thank you, yes I did have a good day indeed, I also had a walk by the sea (there is something therapeutic about it right?) but I just had that feeling of fear that I will die or have a stroke. Like in the short-term. I can’t even imagine or plan anything long-term anymore because of my fear that I will not live to that day. It’s scary. :(

I also managed to go to a class today in college. I felt a little weird and had a headache and also blurry vision but I made it. I want to fight and go forward!

Wow you just described my perfect day! Sea, dogs, wine, picnic, walking with your beloved one... Enjoy every moment of it! I’m so happy that you managed to get best of this wild experience (anxiety, panic) and I want you to have as many as possible days like yesterday❤️

I also think about getting a dog, I really love dogs but don’t know how to leave a dog alone in home while I’m at college or if I go to finish my Masters Degree somewhere international. But I really, really would be happy to be able to get a dog, take care of him, have long walks with him etc.

My boyfriend has been really supportive for the past 2 days and he was with me the whole time so I felt a bit safer...

I guess only time will tell us where all of this goes.

Thank you once again Kim, thank you a lot! I wish you have a good day filled with laughter and good feelings ❤️

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Hi Masa

I am so pleased to hear you managed to get to a class even though you felt a bit weird, the important thing is that you made it however you felt. Congratulations!

You are really making great progress towards a full recovery.

It is strange that you had that horrible fear of mortality when walking by the sea. Doing that is often a moving experience so perhaps in this case it reminded you of your own mortality. Just anxiety playing it's underhand tricks again. In a way it is similar to earlier on in my condition I always felt at my worst when trying to do things I used to love which would include walking with Pete. If I walked alone I felt better. I felt best if I walked with a friend or my daughter because they could distract me really well with conversation. With Pete my partner we were used to just completely relaxing, not making an effort with conversation but just enjoying each others company and that was the hardest for me. I think it was because as I first became ill I kept noticing weird feelings such as light headedness or nausea which scared me when walking with him and the more we did it the worse it got so it became associated with feeling really ill and scared. It was also the thing I had enjoyed most so I desparately wanted to still be able to enjoy doing this. It felt as if anxiety was robbing me of everything which made life worth living.

Other examples of this are travel, I had loved this and became too afraid to travel anywhere. I became ill in June 2017 and the first weekend away we attempted was September 2017. As I think I have told you, everything I was scared of, I made myself do. At first I would get very upset because I had felt so ill when doing it but eventually after about 4 to 5 months it started to get easier until after around a year I was almost back to normal.

Anyway the first weekend away was to Norwich which is a pretty Cathedral city in Norfolk. It is only about 2 hours by car for us to travel to. I was so frightened on the way there that I had to keep singing songs under my breath to keep me from panicking, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and I felt really sick and light headed. When we got there I felt very frightened before we found the hotel but was a little better after we booked in and I had a relaxing hot bath. Normally before I was ill I would have been keen to go out and explore but I did not want to and my husband was tired so I just relaxed on the bed. When we set off for the meal out in town that evening I felt so ill and weird I thought I would faint but I made myself walk around the town to look at the beautiful buildings. I felt so upset and frightened that I thought I will never in my life enjoy travel or holidays again, when I had those feelings I would start to feel suicidal as well. When we got to the restaurant I started to relax a little because I know wine relaxes me. The food was amazing and by the time I had had a couple of glasses of wine I felt so happy I could have been floating on air. It totally changed the rest of the weekend and I felt amazing the next day while we went around museums and a beautiful ancient house looked really magical. I was fine on the way home , no symptoms at all but the euphoria had also gone and I was back to my ill self the next day but happy I had achieved something.

I did sometimes swing from panic to euphoria when ill with anxiety. Do you or anyone else find that? I think it is when you get an excess of serotonin and it is certainly a feature of Venlafaxine for some people. Both the fears and the euphoria have gone now unless I do something really amazing when I can still get a bit of the euphoria, but toned down.

Anyway I carried on going on weekends away and by October we went to Spain to see our relatives for 2 weeks. I was so ill and scared before setting off and on occasions during the holiday but overall it went well and felt such a big achievement that it was a massive boost to my recovery. Finally by October 2018 we went on a 3 week wildlife holiday to Sri Lanka which involved trekking in the rain forest and cloud forest and camping in dry forest. I can honestly say I felt amazing throughout.

Just to say abit more about alcohol, in my case wine always helps but I am careful not to have much and to try not to go over the recommended safe limit a week by more than 2 or 3 units. I have told my doctor and he thinks it is fine for me to drink at this level. During my worse times knowing that I could have one glass of wine in the evening was all that kept me going.

My doctor himself told me he has had anxiety and did continue to drink alcohol throughout. He recovered using the same antidepressant he recommended for me -Venlafaxine. He is fully recovered now and no longer on this med and said he found it easy to come off by gradually tapering the dose but not everyone finds it easy and I have no plans to try to come off soon.

I thought it worth talking about alcohol as alot of people are afraid to have any when on antidepressants and if you can manage without you are doing really well, but as it can give me a really big lift and I know I will not have much I find it very beneficial. My doc said the only harm from it is when you binge drink and if you do this it will take longer for your antidepressant to take effect because you are using it up by counteracting the effects of a hangover. I never get hangovers at all because I never drink enough to cause one.

I think you are doing really well not to drink, but clearly a glass in the evening or a couple of glasses if I go out has not caused me a problem as I have now recovered so well from anxiety.

When did you first become ill and do you know what triggered it? I will tell you about how I became ill another time as this is far too long already.

Very best wishes to you and everyone else suffering from depression and anxiety.

Kim

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I literally try to plan every hour of every day to try and avoid being lonely because I just can’t.. and that’s what my significant other has a problem w since I don’t have my own family to turn to I’m always with her and I feel like I’m suffocating her plus she tells me she needs a little space and I freak out I just want to be okay with being alone because before I was all about myself and work I didn’t care about anyone now she came around and has required my entire thinking to being for others and she has shown me family and I guess I got so comfortable and wrapped up in it just the thought of not having anymore drives me into a panic but since she’s always there through my worst days I think I cling to her for safety idk I just feel horrible that I don’t want to be alone

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I know dear, I literally made my boyfriend sleep in my appartment with me because I was so scared. I also sometimes think he will leave me because of all the pressure. But as we all say here, no one really can understand anxiety unless that person went through it him/herself. Then I went to my mom and been there these past month or so. I literally can’t stay alone I’m so scared and I start shaking. I literally spend almost every day with my bf, like you said I feel safe with him. I lost my father when I was 16 so I think male figure unconciously gives me an impression of safety. I’m just not confortable yet. But I’m doing small steps... We will all be better.

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Well my girlfriend and I live together and we share a car so we see each other majority of the day it’s when she is gone that I can’t focus on the fact that I just saw her and I’ll more than likely see her later I guess before her I was always alone my mother never talked to me and my brother was always in his own world my dad was very abusive and my mom finally had the courage to leave him a few years ago so I don’t have my father and a lot of stuff has happen between my grandparents aunts and uncles but I try not to let that be my excuse :/ but I think that’s why I cling to her because she’s shown me unconditional love and she’s given me her time which is all that I want I want someone’s attention

I am so sorry to hear about your father but I’m sure his spirit is still with you ever day and every step of the way 💖

I hope that it just becomes easier bc I know there’s no cure I just want to be able to live the life I was given and not waste it

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I’m sorry you went through family problems. But I think all the bad experiences strenghtens us and makes us stronger in future. I feel so drained of energy right now by all the bad things, but I refuse to believe that this is how my life will look like. I want so much more to acomplish and so many things to see, people to meet, books to read etc. Physical symptoms are what frightens me to death, alongside all the mental ones. I want to be able to do things alone again, but right now I have to accept that my body panicked because it wanted a change. So I’m taking this time to take a break... I lost all my friends and my bf and mom are all I have right now. I’m in a better place than I was two months ago, much better place, but I’m seeing therapist and taking meds for panic disorder.

Thank you I love to believe in that too❤️

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Yes I do believe that but the scars and pain they leave behind well at least for me it’s hard to forgive and forget I’m still trying to work on that

But yes I refuse to believe this is what life has in store for me I’m sorry to hear you lost your bf and friends .. but I’m extremely grateful to know you’re in a better place 💕

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I don’t say that you forgive and forget, just accept it as reality and as one more experience which will make you stronger for future. I was always wondering why God had to put me through everything I have been going through since I was a child, but it made me wiser and stronger for some things that came later

No, sorry if you misunderstood me, I have my bf and my mom and they are esentially all I have. Friends are the ones whom I have lost. But I still hope deep inside me that things will work out for the best.

Thank you. You will be too soon❤️

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What is panic disorder ?

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It is esentially recurring panic attacks, and fear of having one, resulting in you changing your routine in order not to have another attack... Like mine happened suddenly, and since the first one happened I have had them for 20 days straight untill I was diagnosed. I would have 3 or 4 panic attacks daily and in between I would live in a state of worry of having one. I didn’t leave my bed.... long story short - they reffered me to the psychiatrist and put me on medication

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