feeling very anxious and scared, gone on too long

I am new here... lost my husband 4 years ago, got late bereavement 21 months ago, doctor put me on antidepressants....... had all different ones and none worked, just made me worse... February the GP put me on Venlafaxine, was on them 6 weeks tapered off them over 5 weeks... been off them now for 5 weeks, but starting to feel really bad, shaking full of anxiety and not sleeping, before all the tablets was only sad... I have also lost a lot of weight.... Could anybody tell me this is normal to feel like this, as I cant find me anymore....I live on my own, and I am worrying my kids now..... Please help!

37 Replies

  • I also take 1 Diazepam a day, been taking this for about 8 weeks, its not doing much good, but cant just stop it yet... Venlafaxine when i was on it made me loose too much weight and made me feel terrible, lost my appetite and could sleep... Hilary.... Please someone help me

  • Hi Hilary. I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Whilst I'm now without my parents I cannot imagine life without my wife so I don't know if I'll be much use. Dad was one of my gang of best friends & there always seems to be little things, songs, tv probs, etc. that remind me of close friends/relatives. But the thoughts always seem to be happy, crazy & outrageous! These thoughts make the aching bearable but it never goes away - & that's how it should be. Don't know if this is of use.

  • Have you dealt with your emotional burdens? The medication cannot treat those that is why people also go to therapy to try to heal those open wounds; guilt, shame, fear, failures, insecurities, worries etc. These only serve to feed depression and anxiety even more

  • Well meds help me! I have heard around a quarter of people are treatment resistant so maybe you are one of these?

    For the rest of us the right meds can help a lot.

  • I don't believe that there is really such a thing as Treatment-Resistant Depression. Depression treatment is about finding the right cocktail of medications and or therapy, or ECT, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, ketamine, etc. that could help tackle what one has.

    The problem, I have read of from reading several articles on depression treatment is that many people become discouraged after trying for some time and give up, then go on claiming their depression is treatment resistant when in fact they were never given such a diagnosis by any professional.


    To have treatment-resistant depression, one, in fact, has to get a formal diagnosis of such. One don't just draw that conclusion after giving up on trying to find a treatment that works for one's case

  • I wouldn't know about that. I just said meds help me. I don't think you can state categorically that they don't help anyone because they don't you or others you may know. They help people I know which is why we take them.

  • I am not against taking of medications - I take mine daily without fail.

    What I was speaking of was the idea that there is treatment-resistant depression, and people can just know it on their own without a formal diagnosis.

  • I wasn't talking about people knowing about it without a formal diagnosis.

    Ok I won't use the words, treatment- resistant' but that meds don't appear to agree with them, or help them.

  • I knew what You meant. Nothing seems to help. So it's frustrating. I guess if you try taking a break. Going back. Trying a low dose of something else. Maybe trial and error. Never took meds myself. Was scared to. But God sure helped. I prayed and felt the Holy Spirit led me step by step through my horrible experience with panic anxiety and clinical depression. I felt led to certain people. Commercials. Books. And eventually a group therapy that made me see the truth after about six meetings and hearing all these women talk about the many many years they suffered. I said to myself. Oh no way. I decided to listen to the still small voice. I had to force myself into doing some uncomfortable things. And it was yucky to say the least. But. God helped me get through the challenges. Then it built back my confidence. Until one day anxiety and all the horrible symptoms left. Just as they came so swiftly upon me. Attack mode. They just went. And I give all the glory to God. Three years I learned as I suffered. Not one pill. My grandfather had died of a massive heart attack and I think I started to feel my own immortality. Became terrified of death. Also. I got very sick and was left w a cough that lasted months. And wen I finally got treatment it came upon me. Early in the morning. Ended up in the ER. And progressively got worse n worse. It ended . And it never came back. So. Never give up hope. To all who read this. God is there w you. Someday your victory will allow you to help heal others. That's the goal. To not waste our pain. To be kind to one another. Spread light and love into someone's darkness . Love you all

  • Hi 2670....Thank you for your lovely story, very moving..... I too go to Church, but find it hard to reach God, I so believe, and just maybe I have to go through the pain first...Unfortunately for me I took different medications in this last 18 months, that did not work for me, just made me go further down hill. In my case I should have declined. I know they help lots of people, and that's good, but not me, the worse thing I also have to overcome Is I am taking one 2mlDiazepam, started taking it when i decided to come off the Venlafaxine, to help with withdrawal, as I was told it was the worse tablet to come off, it is not helping me any, will have to come off that also, but very scared of feeling even worse. I think maybe I have delayed my grieving through taking meds I don't know, but what I do know is the meds made me loose weight, loose sleep, made me more anxious and depressed, and shake a lot. I had the counseling after tablets, which was a little late, could have done with that first. I Now I am left with late grieving and withdrawal, which I am finding that hard to deal with... Before meds I was getting on with sadness in my own way, I still had confidence to go places on my own, now I have gone very lonely, can't interact with people, I was always laughing, now I can't even smile, I also have grown children that want there Mum back, they come and see me when they are off work, but its no fun for them seeing me like this.... I so hope this is my brain trying to get back to normality.... been to a bereavement group this morning, the first of 6 sessions. I hope this helps.... Thank you again for sharing your story..... HIlary

  • It breaks my heart to hear this. I hate this disorder. I pray it back to hell where it came from. I don't want you to be afraid. Fear goes in circles. Wen I had this. I was afraid. The fear led to more fear of other things. Try to pray. Let it go. Lay it down. Let all those pills get out of your system. It's ok to hurt. To feel pain. It's normal wen we go through hard times. We don't always need to numb ourselves. There are things to be learned through our pain. God uses our pain to help heal others. A few times I was pretty dick and had pain in my body. My appendix. Was so huge and leaking. I stayed sick too long and went to the doctor wen it was excruciating. Wen I got to the hospital they said. What have you taken for the pain. I told them. Nothing. I wanted to be able to feel the pain wen I got here. So I could tell you. And help you diagnose it better. Do you get my point? It's ok to feel your feelings. Don't be scared. Keep talking to people. Talk to God. Listen for His voice. Your going to get better. This isn't the end. Your kids will have you back. Talk to them. Ask them to be patient with you during this time. Eat good food. Love them. Take walks. Sing songs. You gotta trust me. This is the beginning of a new time on your life. A time to be a help to others. I think that us moms feel unneeded wen our kids get older. And it makes us a little vulnerable. Add that to loss and bills. And cleaning. Laundry. Work. Ect. It gets to us. Keep letting me know how u are. Don't be afraid to open up to people you meet. The more you sir this out. The less it will stay inside you. Part of the problem is we internalize. And the symptoms keep us thinking about it. I dare you to go outside. And run as fast as you can. For as long as you can. And let yourself think about the air going around you. Wen you don't think about the symptoms. They will decrease. I love you. There is that love that humans have. The ability to feel eachother pain. It makes us family. I'll be here. Talk to me.

  • Dear god. Forgive me. I meant sick. I was sick. Oh boy. Lol. Sorry how embarrassing

  • Lovely to hear back from you you say the nicest things.... Please say a prayer for me... haven't had such a good day, have prayed myself to feel better, and also for my kids, they have a lot to put up with, and they both have been very good, just very frustrated, as they don't know what to do, they are too close... Did go quite calm last night, which was good, just hope that happens tonight before I go to bed.... Today I have just worried about absolutely everything, also my OCD has been out of control... Never used to have OCD, like things nice, but never let things get to me.... Someone said to me that OCD and anxiety go hand in hand... Have been going to classes at the gym, with my neighbor, so I am trying, obviously not hard enough, need to pray more.... I do thank you for thinking about me, your a very good person...... By the way my mother was born in Chicago, and my son lived in Orlando 22 years, he is an American citizen, does plan to go back, wants me to go with him, but i have to be right first, have been to Orlando many times over the years....speak soon Hilary xx

  • Hi. I live in Brooklyn ny. Where are you ? Thank you. I'm glad that I'm able to help even a tiny bit. I also have ocd. It can be a blessing and a curse. At the time I went through panic and anxiety my daughter was a toddler. And my family was not very supportive. They sort of just left me to figure it out and had very little patience. It's hard to help someone if you have no idea what they are going through. I thank God now for the time I went through It has helped me to be so empathetic to people. My heart truely goes out to people now. So to me it seems like a blessing. I know it sounds strange. I'm happy you get out to the gym. Just do a little at a time. What ever you can handle. It's so great to get exercise. You are already beating this thing. Don't give up. One day you will just wake up and be completely free from it all. And you will even forget how horrible it was . Dear perfect father I pray your will to be done in this and every situation that Hilary walks through. Help her faith. You are the only way to peace that passes all understanding . So we ask for peace And quick healing. We thank you for the healing of her heart during this time of grieving. We know that when we go through these hard times that there is a purpose. Give us the wisdom to use it well. We love you and are thankful for all we have. In Jesus precious name . Amen

  • I just typed out a huge message to you . And accidentally hit cancel. I am so mad. 😤 So. Tell me. What were u worrying about.? It may help to get it out of your head and share it. I too believe that ocd n anxiety have some connection

  • Thank you for praying for me.... I know it started with bereavement, but now it has got out of hand I don't know what I am worrying about anymore, just so scared of everything....I am not sleeping now, maybe just a couple of hours, wake up so full of anxiety, and overthinking.....Time is standing still.... I am even smoking now after 18 years, and i beet myself over that.... I have lost a lot of weight... This morning I woke up at 4.30am, may have slept 3 hours off and on, even finding it hard to type, feel as though i am slowly killing myself, and that in it's self frightens me,,, Just want it to all go away and feel better... read a bereavement book last night, bad mistake, cos what i read was the persons husband died in a routine operation, I have to get an op for Hernia, and now I am scared of that too, so that was on my mind when i went to sleep.... Please God help me..... I live in St Helens Merseyside UK, near Liverpool .... Love Hilary xx

  • Felt really bad today again, but felt quite good after bible study, last night.... upsetting my kids again, as they feel quite helpless.... trouble is I feel this is out of my control.... had a couple of brandies tonight after going to one of the classes at the gym, still didn't relax, just want God to answer my prayers, not just for me, but for my kids also, as they are so worried.... How long did this last for you? as this is not me, don't know where I have gone, I miss the person I was.... Lost too much weight now, but I am eating, don't enjoy my food, but I know I have to eat, just get rid of it very quickly.... sorry for doom and gloom, this is not me, used to laugh a lot... Love Hilary x

  • Hey they help a lot of people, do wish they would have helped me.... Hilary

  • Hello hilarybarnet11,

    I am very sorry for the loss of your husband.

    Your delayed grieving must be very hard to live with.

    Are you off the venlafaxine now completely?

    If diazepam helps maybe your GP could increase that 5mg tabs for a little while just to help with this bad patch with the venlafaxine.

    You are right about venlafaxine, it does appear from reading on the internet it can be difficult to come off. The fluoxetine didn't help either, as that has a long half life and sometimes people are switched from a short half life led to long halflife to help you get off it eh going from venlafaxine to fluoxetine. As long half life stays in your system much longer and they are generally easier to come off.

    Please see your Gp again, tell him your distressing symptoms.

    Don't suffer alone.

    Would you like to see a psychiatrist? If so, ask to be referred. You have tried a lot of meds without success and are still suffering which is not fair and not good or healthy.

    Best wishes 💗

  • Hi Claszzy78.... Thanks for your reply.... You are right about Fluoxetine, coming off them was quite easy, just wish I would have felt good when I was taking them. After i finished Fluoxetine, did feel a little better, just wasn't sleeping, so they gave me Mirtazapine again, to help me sleep, bad mistake, should have waited and sleep would have come back. I put my trust in the GP, this put me right back, didn't stay on it too long this time, but that also left me with bad withdrawals.... I'm obviously one of these people that can't take AD's, just have very bad withdrawals... Need to fight hard now, and deal with delayed bereavement, which isn't easy, very lonely,... Used to be quite a strong person, and was always laughing, now I find it hard to crack my face... i need to try to like myself again... Many thanks again.... Hilary x


  • Hello. You sound like a strong lady to me!

    I hope you do find a way through - I'm sure you will 💗

    Do you talk to your children about it at all?

    Best wishes 💗

  • Hi Clazzy, Yes I have worried my kids too much, so I thought it was a good idea to talk on this site, to give them a break, and I must admit talking today took my mind off my thoughts.... The kids want their Mum back, and I want to be me again, so I think by talking to everyone will help me to get back.... Thank you so much... Hilary x :)

  • Forgot to mention, I actually found myself laughing tonight, Hope that happens again tomorrow... Hilary x :)

  • Treatment resistant depression is very real for some of us. I've been plagued with suicidal thoughts every day for the past 5 years. Tried most antidepressants including MAOIs, also ECT and weekly psychotherapy. Using drugs for all of this time. Also mindfulness ,meditation, yoga, exercise.

    Considered neurosurgery, but this is very high risk for epilepsy and no good evidence for benefit.

    My last (I think ) option is psychedelic drugs! The recent Lancet study gives some encouragement

    Ketamine doesn't seem available to me and the evidence is not great for chronic symptoms.

    Suicide seems a high risk as the pain and frustration at no improvement is too much. Terrible for my children and wife. Just awful.

    And now I'm also in trouble with the police.

  • Where you diagnosed as having treatment-resistant-depression formally?

    Did your doctors never suggest TMS before such a diagnosis?

    When you say Lancet study, what are you referring to? NMDA's? Or magic mushrooms?

    I heard ketamine was fast acting and worked for supposed TRD cases and is available in the UK.

  • Yes a formal diagnosis after 3 failed antidepressants for adequate time. TMS is really only available privately in the UK and I believe there is no evidence of beneft when ECT has failed (as it is a milder version of this). Ketamine is not available in the UK through the NHS, only privately - the effects require regular dosing. I have been unable to obtain it. The person I know in the US who tried it found it to be of no value.

  • Yes your right... when i mentioned just lately to the GP, does meds take away loneliness, and he said no, so why did he put me on them, i have just gone further down hill... Hilary

  • Don't stop taking your medications, please. What medications can do for us is help get our mind to a place where we are more able to tackle those stubborn emotional issues.

    Think of the mind sort of like a ball of twine. With emotional issues, it becomes entangled in so many ways that we get stuck and unable to detangle it all and find our way forward. Many struggle to detangle it but quickly get discouraged.

    What Anti-depressants do is they loosen some of the knots that are in the way of our detangling our mind. so in a sense, they help make it easier for us to get ourselves out of the situation we originally thought we were stuck in.

  • Of course meds can't take away loneliness, but they can make you feel better and more able to tackle any issues like this. That's the point of them, to make you feel more able to sort your life out. Counselling helps as well.

  • Have had therapy, but had to pay myself....My GP in the Uk, has not really helped me in this way.... going to bereavement tomorrow, but having to pay again. Had I have had this before meds, i would have been okay now.... really fed up the way I feel, I worry about everything now and overthink, my kids are so worried about me, just hope I am still going through withdrawal.... Hilary

  • Every solution to this has to come from inside of you. You need to decide it is time for you to let go. And letting go doesn't mean you are forgetting but simply that you are choosing to live remembering the good and not the bad.

    But it all has to come from inside of you. Therapy is there to help people face their truth. The therapist cannot tell you how to live your life or do your life because if you think about it, this person only knows of the parts of your life you reveal and nothing more. It is hard to work with just that. I think bereavement is just about the same as therapy only they tell you that you have to grieve and move forward or something of that sort.

    So at the end of the day, it is all up to you and where you are in your grieve to make the decision that it is time to get back to living again.

  • Thanks for your reply's....The problem i have, I take Levothroxine, and firmly beleave in my case they don't go with my medication. I was okay before all the different meds just very sad with late bereavement, I did get on with things in general, but now I can't cope....My question is to you or anyone else that might be able to help is, could I be going through a lot of withdrawal from all the AD's I have had in the last 18 months, as I have read that Venlafaxine is one of the worst to come off, I started on Sertraline, and that certainly states it does not go with thyroxine, then it was Mirtazapine, slept okay till I took them, they made me sleep and eat, but I cried every day for 7.5 weeks, then didn't sleep after that, then Fluoxetine, shook for 10.5 weeks and lost weight, the last was Venlafaxine, lost my appetite with them and didn't sleep.... I just hope I am going through withdrawal from the cocktail of drugs, that were not good for me, I know they are brilliant for a lot of people.... can anyone shed some light on all of this, I know I would have been okay in my case, not to have been put on Meds, or anything else, .. Please please, can anyone help me out on this.... Many thanks Hilary

  • I am afraid that a psychiatrist is the best person to give you information about what you are going through. If your current doctor does not work, please find you another, in particular, a psychiatrist who knows what he is doing.

  • Also, I know you all call them GPs over there but try to find experts in Psychiatry to handle your cases. Yes, a general practitioner can prescribe anti-depressants and so on. But dealing directly with a psychiatrist is much better as it also reduces the amount of guesswork to be done in diagnosing you and making a decision on what medication will and will not work for you.

  • Hello hillarybarnett11, I am so sorry for your loss. I take Venlafaxine and Levthyroxine. However my venlafaxine was reduced from 300mg to 150mg some weeks ago for 3 days due to side effects until I could talk to my GP. (I was suicidal). I then went up to 225mg for 7 days before going back up to 300mg a day. Taking them at night with no problems.

    You may find coming off Venlafaxine has contributed to your depression getting worse. It is very difficult to say. I know I tried many different anti-depressants until I found one that suited me. All I can suggest is that you go back to your GP and talk to him/her.

  • Hi hilarybarnett, just to say that whilst I was typing my reply above to your initial post you have posted two new posts.

    It maybe that you are extremely sensitive to anti-deps. Could you try a very low dose? or maybe talk to your GP.

  • I kicked anxiety panic and clinical depression without meds. I'd be happy to tell you my story if you want. Let me know. I'm 45. 4 daughters. 23 to 13 Yrs old. I work at night. So I'm up.

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