looking for direction and help: hello all... - Anxiety Support

Anxiety Support

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looking for direction and help

hello all, have been seeing a counselling for 10 sessions now and my anxiety seems to have got worse. I now wake up after 4 hours sleep every night and lie and sweat and think until it's time to get up. Last Thursday I thought I had nervous breakdown, but turned out to be a really bad anxiety attack. The problem I really have difficulty with is trying to think my way out of my condition. I never seem to make progress and get drained and more anxious. I don't know if I'm supposed to fight it or let it go as neither seems to work.

After Thursday great day, I gave in and went and asked for help from gp who has started me on a course of sertrline. I didn't want to do this but I caved in as it got to bad and scared me. I feel so lost at the moment, I do t know what direction to go. The lack of good quality sleep is getting me down. I have some good hours of great normality but know that it's short lived and sure enough, the thought cycle comes back. any advice and support would be greatly appreciated

25 Replies

Hi. shamus. There is a difference between an 'Anxiety Attack' and a nervous breakdown. A 'breakdown' affects your life to such an extent that you cannot work or, if you do, it is with difficulty. An 'attack' can occur to anyone at any time. With most people it would be passing thing and forgotten after a while. When an 'anxiety' attack becomes more serious is when we become AFRAID OF THE SYMPTOMS of an anxiety attack. This introduces the element of FEAR which triggers the 'Fight or Flight' syndrome releasing more Adrenaline into the system. From then on, if not dealt with adequately it can escalate into a full blown nervous illness. Do not be afraid of what I have said. If treated properly and with your FULL co-operation it can be reversed. You have seen your GP so you know it's not an organic problem. Your natural reaction will be to FIGHT. DO NOT DO THIS. You only add more fuel to the fire. Try not to THINK your way out. You will have a problem with this as you have already THOUGHT your way in. Likewise, do not try to find reasons. This can be exhausting work and will not get you far. Your present condition needs healing first. I will suggest a book in a moment that may help but in the meantime try and TOTALLY ACCEPT the way you feel. Do not FIGHT or STRUGGLE. This just adds fuel and further depletes your energy. Go with it there and try not to be so impressed with the thoughts. Thoughts cannot harm you although you may not believe this at the moment. Everyone on this site has been where you are and know about it. So you have come to the right place.

A book by Dr. Claire Weekes (from Amazon or any good bookshop) may help you as it has many others. "Essential help for your Nerves". She explains what I have said in more detail.

You are NOT alone in feeling the way you do. So try and relax as best you can and go with it.

Hope this has been of some help. Kind regards. jonathan.

(This is, of course, my own view gained from my personal experience).

Thank you for your reply. I think and feel I'm going mad with this. All I think k about all night and day is anxiety. how do I stop it, how can I get better? my natural reaction to this is to try and fight it. how can you accept it? Do I just say "whatever" when I think about "it" letting the fear of liver, I have even tried to follow the logical route by saying it's only thoughts but still come back to thinking about "it"? sorry to ask such probably basic and simple questions but there is much light in the tunnel at the moment

sorry, it should read, not much light in the tunnel. I'm just reaching out for help, once again thank you for your reply.

in reply to

Hi. shamus. Please try and get the book. It explains what I am trying to say. You are Not going mad. Nervous illness is NOT madness. You are very' sensitised' and your reaction to any feeling is highly exaggerated because of your state. When you were well your thoughts would not have troubled you. Now they are out of all proportion but are NORMAL IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES. Your circumstances at the moment. You are vulnerable to your own thoughts. You cannot wave a magic wand and get better just like that. It takes TIME. Believe me, there is nothing basic and simple about this illness. 'No light at the moment', but there will be. No, you don't say 'whatever', you say' I am sensitised at the moment and my reactions to my thoughts are greatly exaggerated but if I do not fight them and just ACCEPT them, although I will not feel better instantly, it will calm me down and give a respite. The tablets you are taking can take up to two weeks to 'click in'. Can you ask your GP for some tranquillisation while you are like this as a purely temporary measure? And do not feel afraid to take them. Only your GP can advise on this. It is difficult to put over a point that takes time to understand, but this feeling you have will not always be with you. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it takes time for the train to get there. We are all impatient with time. It does not help. I am sorry if this all seems strange to you at the moment but you WILL come out of it, to which many on this site will testify. Try and be patient with yourself. I am sorry if you do not find this of much help at the moment. I know, I have been where you are now and advice such as I give above is not always welcome, but it does work I assure you. Best wishes. jonathan.

Thank you for your reply Jonathan, I'm just starting or trying to start on my journey. I have Google ed the hel out of it and had little help and have confused myself even more. I stumbled on here by accident but am glad that I have. The poor sleep is draining, the nervous nerves I can just about live with, the thought cycle of how do I get better, ect is the one which drains me most. I have ordered the book you have suggested and will read with interest. I will try not fight as is my natural defence, but suspect this is going to be hard. Two weeks for the meds to kick in seems a lifetime at this time. I'm sure everyone on here knows how that feels. Thank you for taking the time to reply with helpful guidance. I will try not fight it. but the night time is the hardest.


Hi Shamus, I know how you feel. It's all big and new and very scary. You simply find it impossible to believe that "nerves" can make you feel so bad.... You are convinced that there is something that the doctor is missing and you have a very serious illness. Yes there are millions of us all with the same feelings, we just never came across each other before. Do ask your doctor for help with tranquilizers for a short term and do read the books. We are here for you . A lot of us are alone at night time, it can be a long night....mornings are the worst for me. Keep blogging , much love xxxxxxxxxxxx

in reply to ellabella

Dr. Weekes suggests "Pointing the body willingly" in the mornings. I did not try this but I think I know what she means. She suggests doing every thing 'willingly'. Ah-well.

Horses for courses I suppose. Love . jonathan.

hello lass, thank you for your words of support. I to struggle with mornings, mainly trying to find the motivation to get out of bed and face the day as I am tight now. I will get up and get on, I k ow I don't have a choice in that, I also know it's self pitty that makes me want to cry but what does that solve. I will keep blogging, it good to speak to people who know how it feels, most people have no idea what this is like. It's the constant thoughts about anxiety that get me most, it's all I think about. x

Hi Shamus .......I can feel the desperate need for support in what you are writing, that overwhelming feeling of where do I turn and what do I do, can't cope with the dreadful anxiety.

You are going through a 'crisis' of anxiety at the moment but that will pass.......it won't remain as it is now. Most people who struggle with anxiety have times like this when it's overwhelming. You have done the right thing in reaching out to other people, the worst thing is to keep it all to yourself and to struggle on alone.

I can only speak from my own experience but like yourself I felt a lot worse when I started counselling......you are talking about yourself and what it is that makes you feel bad in those sessions and focussing on it so intently can make it worse before it gets better.

Also counselling depends on a really good relationship with the counsellor, do you feel very comfortable with them and ok to talk about things you may not have spoken about with anybody else?

Sometimes it can mean that you would suit another counsellor better, at any rate tell them that you are feeling worse, they should know this and discuss it with them.

Finally there is also the fact that counselling doesn't suit everybody.

You have only just started the meds so you need to give them time .......that is the secret, things will look very different in a month from now. You may still have some anxiety but not the dreadful overwhelming feelings you are having right now.

If you are temporarily struggling with sleep ask your GP if you can have a very small amount of mild medication to help you.

Best Wishes PL

in reply to Pennylayne

Thanks for your words of encouragement, spoke to doctor and now have been given lorazepam to use only after a really bad day. feel kind of detached and down to day, nerves have been jumping all morning, but have been out and about with family and have had a good morning but have felt detached and if truth be told, am waiting for the crash to come. is this normal?

I have never blogged before, so please forgive me if I seem to be writing a lot. I feel that writing things down helps, it may also give comfort to others that it not just me or them going through this. so, I think I have had a good day today. so why then, am I waiting for the axe to fall and go backwards.? I know or have read a about setbacks, and if truth being told, this terrorize me more than ever..... If feels so unfair to have a normal day, only for it to be snatched away the next or even that night

has / does anyone experience this?

Shamus I'm really pleased you've had a good day and that you have been to your GP and got something to take if you really need it after a bad day.

When we experience anxiety we think to 'over think' everything which is why you are waiting for the 'crash', that's an anxious way of thinking .......you may feel a bit more down that you have earlier or you may not, either way you are making progress overall. Things in general are better than they were.

At times when you feel down or anxious you know that sooner or later you will feel better and with time you will learn ways of staying up more than down with the help of your meds and with talking about it and accepting help from others also.

So I hope you have a reasonable night's sleep and well done on progress made.


in reply to Pennylayne

PL, thanks, I should know this but anxiety steals your common sense. well as you can see from the time, I managed to get a straight five hours without chemical help. woke up a bit sweaty but no to bad, then the thinking started and have been panic awaking every time I close my eyes. This is what I feared, good day, ok sleep and back down in the hole again on waking. I will be honest, it doesn't feel like progress this morning. Thanks for the words of encouragement, I need to start believing in them.


Mornings are a time when our seratonin levels are low and then they gradually come up during the day........when you are going through a rough patch that will seem more noticeable. That is what you are feeling.

What you need to start doing now is distracting yourself. Don't pay so much attention to the 'feelings'. Get outside and go for a walk, that will give your body a whole different perspective. Being outside is good for helping the natural chemicals that keep us on the straight and narrow.

Five hours sleep is a lot better than you perhaps thought you might have ......it's a good start and you can build on it if you don't let those pesky thoughts and feelings rule your day.

Yes easier said than done but you are at the start of the process and Rome wasn't built in a day. Good luck. :-)

in reply to Pennylayne

Thanks, for your reply, it does give me comfort that it's not just me and others have and are going through this. It gets me down to have felt good one day and a night, only to slip back the next day. This is the problem or of Man that kicks. I had thought about just getting up when I can't sleep, but at 4am, feel that it's a bit too early for that. I used to enjoy reading, but since this has all started, anything I read before sleeping I have nightmares or scary thoughts about, even the most friendly of books.

At least 4am is heading in the right direction, in the summer it is light by then and you could get up.

If you feel that the anxious thoughts are being really troublesome when you wake up in the early hours, distract yourself by doing something .......maybe even come on here and say you are having an anxious time, a problem shared and all that.........

As Jonathan said in his reply you are very sensitive at the moment and everything seems so much 'bigger' and so much more troublesome. That will lessen and it seems to have eased a little already.

I had counselling too for anxiety and talking about things in the past etc was a bit too much, I wasn't ready to cope with that and sometimes that is the case ......you have to consider what is best for you as an individual.

in reply to Pennylayne

Do you think this down turn, sensitivity is due to the sertraline treatment? it is only day five on this, and was told it would be worse before better?

Thank you so much for the continued replies, your right, this is new and scary but posting helps.

I bought a touch lamp Shamus and have it on very low, or those light plug ins are good as well. I find when I am going through a good period I turn the lamp off altogether, it gets on my nerves lol. In the bad times I get up and get a drink of tea and either attempt to read a bit or watch some drivel on the tv. I do find lately I have to get up when I wake up and then stay awake for the rest of the day and a good night follows much love xxxxxxxxxx

in reply to ellabella

Thank you, I have tried to get some kip this morning but failed I think I'm just going to accept this and just get on. I have a touch lamp and shall try to find a book to read. Thank you for your words and advice :-)

Oh pennylayne we must have had the same thoughts at the same time! xxxxxxxyy

in reply to ellabella

great minds and all that, I'm going to get my arse up and get on. It the problem with shift work, days off by yourself. Thank you

LOL Shamus! nice one : ) x

Hi Shamus i know drugs are not the magic pill we all seek but you must give them a chance two weeks before you will get any form of relief, from experience sertrline made me personally feel more anxious for the first couple of weeks, im on 150mg a day now. it is vital that you stay busy mind distraction is the best way to distract that loverly feeling of anxiety, i know its hard to do anything while feeling so terrible but be strong you can cope with these feelings, because thats all they are, you control your mind it is not controlling you. i know whatever people tell you goes out the window when those thoughts start, but try to remember you are just like so many others that have these so called natural thoughts just at the wrong times. though im not convinced by the natural bodys response to danger, i mean we have all experience danger, and we didnt sweat like a pig, feel sick, cant breath, feel our heart pumping and run to the loo, then start thinking up what could have happened, i can think up the most strangest outcomes to situations that never would happen, yet im convinced they will, be strong Shamus, drop me a line if you want to talk about anything, your not going mad fella, i promise it will get more manageable, i should know im a total fruit cake!

in reply to VincentVega

cheers Vincent, it's when you think about "it" 24 hours a day that gets you down. Being strong and accepting is hard as I'm sure you all know.

Shamus, Jonathan is right when he tells you to get the Claire Weekes book. You have to read it (it isn't difficult to read , even though you may not be able to concentrate on other books at the moment) and then just try to follow what she says. Good luck.

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