Originally Posted by LynnS6
I'm mostly just venting because I'm frustrated, but tips would help. I need to get myself functional again in the few days because we're going camping and I want to enjoy it. I also HATE feeling this way. I've got an appt with my psych for Sept 7 and can't get in earlier. I need tips on what to do to help with panic attacks and help me function over the next couple of weeks.
Also, I suspect I'm in the beginning stages of perimenopause; I've never reacted well to hormone changes.
I had pretty severe PPD/Anxiety after each of my children were born.(As in not sleeping for days on end, pretty constant panic attacks.) I was put on Paxil, which helped tremendously. At one point in time I was on a pretty high dose of Paxil (80 mg), but I've been on a maintenance dose of Paxil (20 mg) for a couple of years, and was feeling good enough that I was thinking of talking to my psychiatrist about weaning off completely. Right now, I'm down to seeing her once a year for a check-up.
I had PTSD after my 1st child - not sleeping for days, mild hallucinations and waking dreams from lack of sleep, horrific panic attacks, anxiety, trigger-happy hyperalert... Didn't get any drugs though - political/cultural issues here. IMO, these events made us more prone to severe PPD/anxiety/PTSD with future events. A minor trigger becomes major because we have already had one or more severe attack.
And then.... in the last 3 days I've been hit by a recurrence of symptoms:
Burning/tension through my shoulders
Stomach tension/loose stools
Exhaustion which remains even if I get enough sleep (which I can only do with sleep meds, which I HATE)
Slower mental processes, inability to focus
Obsessing on how I feel; inability to get my thoughts onto another track (which is why I'm posting here)
Crying (out of frustration, I feel)
And then.... in the last 5 months I've been hit by a recurrence of symptoms:
tension through my shoulders/back - cramps
tingling in hands and feet, and up arms and legs
Exhaustion which remains even if I get enough sleep (which I can only do with sleep meds, which I HATE) I m on supposedly natural, herbal sleeping pills, but it still takes hours to get to sleep and then they are working too well, and I am so tired all the next morning
Slower mental processes, inability to focus - can not remember ANYTHING without a list. Literally anything. Can only problem solve at about 20% my normal level, but can fake it enough in society that no one knows (I think the memory problems are exaserbated by the lack of sleep) Followed by the opposite - enhanced mental abilities, hypercreativity, great productivity, ability to hyperfocus on new ideas, experiment and complete them successfully with much joy
Obsessing on my job in all its awfulness, obsessing on my health, on my kids happiness, on whatever.
Short fuse, snappy, annoyed, anxious
The only things I can think of that have changed are:
1. My monthly cycle is getting a bit wacky. I'm 45. Sometimes I have a longer than average cycle, and last month, I had a 3 week cycle (very unusual for me, it's usually 4 1/2 week cycle, sometimes 5. I should be about midway through my cycle now, but I have no idea, really.
2. I've been on summer break since mid July. Usually I teach until mid June, take 4 weeks off, teach for another month, then take 4 weeks off. This summer I taught until mid July and won't go back until mid-September. I know that my mind is intellectually bored staying at home. (Or to put it another way, I suck as a stay-at-home mom).
1. My monthly cycle is getting really wacky. I'm 44. I have extremely heavy, prolonged bleeding every month (should lose 80mg max whole period, I lose that in 1 day. Anemic and iron/vit/mineral deficient due to blood loss. I started on blood medicine a year ago an after 2 months my blood was back to healthy and normal, and I was feeling much better. Hormonally though I am all over the place, not sure how much is the perimenopause or something else. .
2. I have not been at work all week. And I will be on sick leave eventually. It is like a huge burden is off my shoulders. And I NEED, not want but actually NEED for my physical and mental health, this break. I can't keep popping sleeping pills and have my heart racing just so I can appear at the office. (Or to put it another way, I suck as a stay-at-home mom). Me too. Short term it is fine. Long term everyone is happier back in school.
My support network is a bit sparse right now, other than my dh, who's great. My best friend is undergoing chemo for early stage breast cancer. My other friend who often helps out is a work friend who's having a hard time with some reorganization in the department, and has really dialed back her work friendships, including me. Other friends are more casual and many are traveling at this time of year. I'm a bit of an introvert who needs 1-2 good friends, and I don't do well at maintaining a large network of friends. (I have plenty of acquaintances.) My family is miles away. (Closest is 80 miles, but this sister has little patience for mental illness because she suffered a lot when our oldest sister had breakdowns.)
So sorry about your best friend. That really sucks. I hope you can be with her. I know you need support, but maybe if you can give her some support it will make you feel better too. I luckily have good friends close by, but my family is overseas. And roman catholic, so the empathy there is not great as everyone should just suffer anyway and mental failings are dirty and sinful.
If you've made it this far -- help? I've started on fish oil again. I'm on my Paxil still. But I'm in a fog, can't get anything done around the house or even focus enough to play with my kids. I'm dreading this camping trip, but I'm dreading the idea of staying home for 4 days with nothing to do even more!
I'm going to look into Paxil - don't know it. My guess is that SOME of the fog is due to the lack of sleep and then the sleeping pills working in the day instead. But I don't know how to tell you to get off them. This is literally the conversation I had with my Dr. last week - Dr "It isn't good to stay up all night and get 0 hours sleep. It is not good for your body." Me "Yes, I know, and that's why I am taking the sleeping pills, so I get at least 2-4 hours, instead of 0." Dr "It isn't good for your body to take the sleeping pills, plus you can get addicted to them." Me "OK, I can't take sleeping pills and I can't stay up all night, So what is the 3rd option." Dr "well, I see your point."