Reassurance & Hope NEEDED!

So its been over three weeks now since my initial anxiety episode started and im at the point where I am questioning if it is anxiety or not?

Ive decided to write a list of my symptoms in the hope that theres someone out there who can clarify this is anxiety and maybe theres someone who has had these and can reassure me that they will pass or get better? Any advice greatly received and these symptoms are persistent not occasional.

•Constantly over analysing EVERYTHING

•Im never going to get better

•Feel distant from everyone

•Feel lost and confused (know where I am but don’t feel like im there)

•Feel like im here but not here? Like nothing is real?

•This is my life forever

•Worried Im going mad

•Worried im going to end up killing myself

•Worrying about my immortality

•Questioning life, why are we here? Whats our purpose?

•Worried its never going to end or im going to fall into unreality?

•Know its anxiety but it doesn’t seem to make it any less severe

•Everything from my past anxiety episode seems to be repeating on my like Dejavu

•Cant concentrate without worrying about things then almost move away from where I am so when I come back I begin to panic that I don’t know where I am.

•Worried no one will be able to help me.

•Don’t know who I am anymore

•Im never going to be able to run away from this, it will always come back. Cant hide it because it will still be there in the back of my mind.

•Starting to forget who I was before this

•Lucid scary dreams (still worrying in my dreams)

•Feel like im an alien from outer space

•Nothing feels like it used to

•Don’t enjoy anything I used to

•Have no drive, ambition or dreams

•Feel hopeless, bewildered and confused

•Feel like im an observer

•Feel like theres no exit/way out of where I am?

•Feel out of control mentally and emotionally

21 Replies

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  • Hello A4E,

    Im no doctor a4e but if it helps i pretty much have your list covered at some point in time. I have had anxiety and panic dissorder for many years now. I cant promise that it just goes away. but you will find that the more you learn about your illness, the more you will be able to manage and control it, my anxiety doesnt go away, but i know what it is when it starts. have you been to your gp as yet, should be your first point of call, hopefully if you have a gp that understands mental health problems this will be a good place to start. there is help out there, and although i wished there wasnt there is also a hole lot of people with a lot of the same difficulties you have listed. there is nothing in your list that shocks me, these are all the things you can expect with bouts of high anxiety, most of these difficulties come from negative thinking, once it starts, away it goes, and where it stops no-body knows aint that the truth. you cant run from this a4e, you would only be taking your problems with you, cant really fight it either, but what you can do is start to change your thought patterns, when you start on that path of im ill, they have got it wrong, i really am ill, just say to yourself hold on a min, im not ill i have anxiety, no body has ever died from too much anxiety, yes they feel bloody horrid, but your not having a heart attack, you can breath, and you most certainly are not going mad. all things you try are hard to do i know that, but you must try extremly hard to keep busy, your mind needs to be active, so that it doesnt get too much time to focus on the negative. but you will require the health services if this continues, its nothing to worry yourself about, im under the south essex mental health team, im not a nut case, well maybe a little, i just get loads of anxiety at the wrong times, i hate it, it makes me unhappy sometimes, depressed. but there are good days, it is possible to start your life going back the other way, its your mind, it doesnt control you, just a tool that you use, therefore, it will be possible to move forwards, im not saying its easy, because people that live with this illness are extremly strong and braver than they are aware of, as are you, you dont feel strong right now, but you can be. there is no magic pill, but there is help for you, and you will help yourself, please come back and keep us informed of how things are going, TTFN VV

  • Hi VV thanks alot for your reply :-)

    ive had this type of episode a few years ago and was put on 20mg of Citalopram which honestly got rid of most of the anxiety and I felt myself again.

    Then 3 weeks ago it seemed to suddenly come flooding back and has put me in this permanent anxious state again?

    Went back to the GP who increased my dosage to 30mg which ive been taking for 2 weeks now but i am yet to feel any benefits :-(

    I NEED my job as i am in alot for debt and have so far been off work for 3 weeks now.

    Its silly that i have been through this before and managed to get my life back however, for some reason im not convinced that that this is the same as before and I feel no sort of comfort that ive previously moved on from it?

    does this make sense?

  • Just wondering whether you are having any help in the form of any medication, or whether you have seen a doctor or therapist etc?

    The symptoms are pretty classic ones and a lot of people will be able to identify with them, I've lost count of the number of times I've felt like an alien or that there is no point. Worrying about death and so on is also really common with anxiety.

    You are not going mad but you are struggling at the moment, you are trying very hard to get away from all those feelings and symptoms which are going round and round like clothes in a washing machine.

    If you haven't seen your GP I would certainly do so and explain how you are feeling. He/she may suggest medication or counselling etc. Explain about the scary thoughts and get an emergency appointment if necessary.

    Also try taking the focus away from yourself for a bit, when you feel the thoughts building do anything which will distract you for a while. Doing something physical uses up energy and stress hormones........have a look for relaxation/meditation music and exercises on line. Put the music on and really relax into it.

    Lie somewhere comfortable and do the breathing exercises and just give yourself a little break from the whizzing thoughts, tell yourself you are taking a little time out ......it may not be easy to relax like that but it will work if you keep doing it and there is no right or wrong.

    Talking to someone you trust can help also .....even if they just listen....

    Anxiety feels so rubbish when it's acute like this but a bit like any condition it comes and goes, you will come out of this difficult time ..........you may need some help, medically or emotionally but it will happen and you will learn to keep it in it's place so that when it pop's up you won't panic and will deal with it.

    It sort of feeds on itself so if you can don't give it the 'status' of being so powerful .......

    Best wishes PL

  • i like the last line PL, well put, yes it most certainly does, VV

  • Hi A4E,

    Yes, you are right in what you have said this is exactly what anxiety can do. its quite often triggered by something, it might not be obvious to you, but something has brought this back to you, this can also happen if the first time around you didnt get it sorted out fully, and it is still there but you have managed through it, often the fear of lossing your job or something like this, is worse than the option of avoidance, so we get the better of the anxiety, it hasnt gone, but we have managed it, if this makes sense. honestly the worst thing you can do right now is not keep your job if you can help it, diverting your mind is the best option, though, if you really cant face work, back to the gp from more help.

    right the Citalopram is a common drug for depression, anxiety, panic attacks, i was on 60mg for about 8 years, until they stopped giving 60mg and reduced it to a maximum of 40mg, but you must stick with it, all these meds for anxiety, strange but true have side effects of making you, get this, more anxious, i know crazy uh. the hard thing about anxiety is it often picks the thing that you most have to do to make the imposible thing to do, going back to work because you need the money makes sense of course, but this is where your mind will focus, i cant go back to work, cant being the wrong choice of word, you can, because you did it before, i know this appears to be different, but believe me, it isnt, its the same thing, its just last time you forced yourself into going back to a somewhat normal life again, whatever normal is lol, you can make the changes you need to do, avoidance is not an option believe me thats what i chose and it makes the anxiety very happy thank you very much, and your bubble gets smaller and smaller. you must give the meds time, and try so hard to tell your mind that you know what is wrong, you have felt this way before, and got through it, now its time to do it again, not easy i know, but it is anxiety, a bad feeling thats all, doesnt seem like much does it, yet it has the ability to stop you having any sort of life if you let it. you might have had this longer than you think but you have been managing it very well indeed, now what you need, must do, is get that back. get some sleep tonight and tomorrow do something, anything that keeps your mind focused on something other than negative thoughts, you cant do two things at once, so the anxiety will have to wait while you are focusing on something else, diverting your mind is the best form of confusing that little git anxiety. im off to try and get some sleep now, i have south essex mental health visit tomorrow, what fun, lol, so i better get some sleep, please let me know how things are going tomorrow, i know you can do this, it would be great if you could tell me tomorrow that you did something, anything, ok, nighty nite, VV

  • Your reply had made things a lot clearer aries4eva.......now I can see what is happening, as Vincent says stick with the citalopram, it takes quite a while to feel the benefit of the extra dose.

    At the minute your feelings are being covered up by the anxiety, when it is in full swing it's so hard to see the wood for the trees.......probably feels more like a forest.

    Just wondering whether the money probs are affecting your anxiety.......have you had any help at all with that.

    It's really worth going to CAB for a bit of advice there, they are really good at helping you out and putting things in perspective. It's so hard to do it on your own.

    I just heard Martin Lewis the money expert on the radio yesterday saying that there are no money issues no matter how much someone owes etc that can't be managed and sorted but you do need advice from those in the know at times.

    You could try the Citizens Advice Bureau and they will be able to advise you and also perhaps put you in touch with others who can help.

    Also they can help you regarding where you stand with being off work etc.

    If you get the practical things sorted you can then start to get better with the anxiety, the key thing is to take action as staying at home thinking about how you feel so anxious is the worst thing for the anxiety.

    Taking positive action of some sort can make all the difference.

    Take Care PL

  • VV and PL as usual you have excelled yourselves in your insight and explanations! I am amazed at how much this advice has impacted on me this morning, ( sorry aries4ever :) I know this was meant for you!). It makes so much perfect sense when reading it, and reinforces the truth in all of us ..I'm sure! Love and Hugs x Ella x

  • Thank you, EB, you are very kind, i only wished i didnt have the experience of anxiety, and if only, nobody required advice, wouldnt that be perfect, best wishes EB VV x

  • Hi guys THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE REPLYS!! I do feel its worst when you relapse because I sit here thinking 'I CANT BELIEVE IM BACK IN THIS PLACE AGAIN'. The mornings are the worst at the moment because its like I wake up with tingly sensations up and down my arms and thats when my brain starts revving up then I lay there for a few hours just trying to work everything out in my head before I can finally get the motivation to get up (such a struggle). Its annoying because I know its anxiety but it doesnt seem to change anything if that makes sense. The reality is its only been 3 1/2 weeks but it seems like ive been in this place forever! I worry about work and finances even though im covered for sickness. I just hate how isolated the anxiety makes you feel :-( Its like I wake up, struggle all day then go to sleep. Wake up, struggle all day then go to sleep. As far as medication is concerned it never completely got rid of my anxiety but it was so much easier to cope with. I almost miss my old anxiety habits of worrying about my health because atleast I knew I cared about my life and wanted to keep going. I know that last sentence probably sounded odd. Sorry if the post is random but I just needed to get it off my chest. -x-

  • By the way, WHY IS IT TAKING SO LONG FOR THE 10MG INCREASE TO TAKE EFFECT? Im starting to wonder if they have just stopped working?

  • Its not a problem at all A4E, its only advice from experience and if helps you in any way at all, i would be only too happy to go on and on.

    its such a shame that the feelings you are having are so common with people that suffer from anxiety. i say the same things your saying after all the years ive had it, i still say 'i cant believe i feel like this again' 'i have gone backwards'.

    Mornings are always pretty bad for anxiety suffers, i am always worse first thing in the morning, try to get up and get doing something, the sooner you get your mind working the better, laying in tends to get the mind focusing on the negative, all the reasons you dont feel good, all the reasons why theres no point 'i will always feel like this' this is not true, you will feel better, the more you learn about how to recognise when you feel anxiety coming and how to keep it at a certain level.

    its also a very isolated illness, its difficult to talk about, not every one understands it, but some people do, i say if someone doesnt get it, then i move on, there is no 'snap out of it' it doesnt work like that. its a little difficult for me to answer the 'wake up, struggle all day, then go to sleep' as this is something that is also a problem for me at the moment. however, i do understand that we are wrong, that there is a point, we are here for good reason, people do care about us, and we care about others too.

    A4E the meds are not going to get rid of the anxiety totally, that is still our job, all things only help, little things, that when added together, make big steps. thats not saying the meds are pointless, they help, but you are going to also have to help you, i know you dont feel like it right now, and you cant see a point, but this has to change, if you want rid of the feelings. you didnt put anything about something you did today, you need to do something, shock me, and tell me something tomorrow that you achieved, often we do something that we spend time thinking we will hate, and finding all the reasons why we shouldnt even try, then if we had done it, you never know we just might have enjoyed it. i have spent so much time avoiding everything, i must have missed out on some things that i would have enjoyed. you only have to start small, really small, even walk to the local shop and buy something, if anyone is about try to speak to them, 'morning' 'crap weather' anything that will make your mind active.

    time to get a little stronger A4E. i'll make a deal with you i need to practise going out, so tomorrow i will walk around my block, if you do something similar ok, and im not going for nothing right! lol

    TTFN VV x

  • I think you said it was 2 weeks since the citalopram dose was increased, that's not all that long with citalopram.........it's the sort of drug where it needs to build up in your system to a certain level before it makes any difference.

    You are spending many hours 'trying to figure things out and struggle with your thoughts, that will almost certainly make you feel worse.

    The stress hormones will just keep rising when you are doing that.......do try to get up when you wake up, get dressed and try to go out for a bit, talk to somebody......do something that you have been putting off for ages but don't spend hours dwelling on the anxious thoughts and giving them so much attention which is what drives the anxiety.

    If you are anything like me you will have gone over the exact same thoughts a million times and every time they cause the same churning stomach feeling and the detached feelings and you just long to be able to relax properly and get some real rest.

    So the thing is to let the thoughts come but don't give them the importance they think they deserve ........only you can send them packing by taking matters into your own hands and see yourself as a strong and capable person you are who can come though this anxious period as you have before.

    There is some great advice and books out there to help you to do this.....please look for it and you will be on your way back to feeling loads better soon.

    Take Care PL

  • Hi PL and VV firstly a big thank you for all your support and advice. Ok so an update of today, woke up at about 9 and im not gunn lie i did ponder in my thoughts and worries till 10:30 but that is an improvement. Decided to go and visit my mum who lives round the corner (i live with my dad) and im still here. It does sadden me that i have to fake laugh and feel no connection :-(. I still feel very distant from everything but that was expected. spoke to my telephone counsilor and we came to an agreement that my main anxiety may be caused by the fact i cant control everything around me and find it hard to accept and apply change. I know i need to accept the fact that i cant control everything and im the only one whi can get rid of this anxiety but its so difficult to have the confidence, determination and will power to do it :-( any tips would help. -x-

  • by the way PL any books you can recommend? x

  • Arise, all of the things you mention I can relate to. I am anxious about same negative thoughts such as what if I can't handle this and end up doing something stupid. That is not going to happen because i am scared of dying so i am anxious of the very thing that scared me if that makes any sense. I get these spells and the only thing that keeps me sane is when I go to work as at least my mind is distracted. Just remember we are a lot stronger than we think.

  • i recognise all of those symptoms, i recently quit my job of 12 years, due to my boss giivng me grief. im now unemployed, in a job deprived climate. Hence along came the anxiety! its good to know that im not alone or going crazy.. i find it difficult to accept that i made myself unemployed and the amount of effort that you need to look for employment on a big slippery slope. Things have changed so much in12 years. i constantly feel anxious about my past actions of quitting and am anxious about the future and the fact that im toally out of my comfort zone. i think all we have to do is one day at a time.

  • Try to be kind to yourself, Celest.

    After 12 years I'm sure you didn't leave your job lightly. I'm certain you left after agonizing over it for ages. You left because you couldn't see any way of going on there. Just because the job situation is appalling at the moment doesn't mean we should struggle on in intolerable situations. Do not waste time regretting your choice. You made the best decision you could to protect yourself at that time.

    I hope you find a new job soon.

    Good luck.x

  • thank you for your reply. the thing is i did quit in haste, after a heated discussion, and thats where the regret comes in. there was a lot of nit picking, and i suppose she wore me down. which i find sad, cos i enjoyed my job. i do understand what your saying about protecting myself, but i never imagined myself how i would be feeling now. it also makes me angry that i fell into her trap, she was very clever by the thing she said, but she got the result she wanted. the time on my hands drives me crazy.. i m finding it hard to imagine myself being that comfortable in a job ever again. it was very convenient and i didnt have to travel to work.. thank you for your support....i nkow what you say is right.x

  • We all do things in haste Celest, me being no exception....The thing now is not to let that person take any more of your valuble thought time!. She will not go home and worry and plan about you sweetie. Step over it and walk on, and yes, be kind to yourself don't punish yourself Love and Hugs xxxxxxxxxxx

  • thank you ellabella. i know what you say makes sense, its just hard to be out of your comfort zone. xx

  • hi, Im new to site, just hope i can help by saying the right things. I had to smile when i read your list----I thought i had written it!!!!. Everything you listed i suffered AND MORE!! But to give you hope, today i am well and have a gratitude for life (very important) that i never believed existed.. To explain would take time, but lets just say that anxiety tends to give you "Deer Awareness". that is if you ever see a deer feeding in a forest it will lower its head to take in food and while chewing it will scan the forest and horizon and twitch, full of fear and survival instinct --noticing everything--and ready to run at the least noise. THIS IS US WHEN WE ARE ANXIOUS.....always full of fear and looking for the negative....When you learn to let go and relax you will notice the good things in the forest of life and your fear will subside..... FEAR= False Evidence Appearing Real.....god blessx

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