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So much anxiety. What gives?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I can't shake this awful anxiety, and the amount I've struggled with for the past week (or month, or months...depending on when you start counting) is ridiculous. Medication isn't an option (for many reasons). I see a therapist (and have for years). I'm diagnosed, in treatment, trying to recover - but it's so, so bad right now.

 

Basically, I want to know that I'm not alone. I hate how alone I feel. I consider myself a strong, able, confident woman - and then this anxiety crap takes me out. I feel so powerless over it, even though I do everything I know how to do to combat it - exercise, meditation, support from family and friends, good nutrition, lots of sleep, gratitude lists.....

 

Who else? Tell me what your tricks are, or how you survive severe anxiety and depression?

post #2 of 16
[quote name="SweetMama34" url="/community/t/1372198/so-I consider myself a strong, able, confident woman - and then this anxiety crap takes me out. I feel so powerless over it, even though I do everything I know how to do to combat it - exercise, meditation, support from family and friends, good nutrition, lots of sleep, gratitude lists.....

Who else? Tell me what your tricks are, or how you survive severe anxiety and depression?
[/quote]

Yes I float in and out of this spot. I have done so much to ground myself and really find support that works for me. However I still have my moments. I found your line "I consider myself a strong, able, confident woman" to be a place I identify with. Eventually I chanced to to include "gentle, loving, sensitive, anxious woman" :-)
Really though things like massage, energy work, and circles of women have been more useful to me then the clinical list of "try this x,y,z". Especially the circles of women. Once I got over my initial anxiety of bein circle with them ;-)
There is no cure all, and sometimes what works for one is not a cure for another.
And somedays are much better than others..... Hugs
post #3 of 16

grouphug.gif Although I wouldn't typically describe myself as having issues with anxiety/depression, I actually had quite a melt down yesterday.  I found myself incredibly overwhelmed, anxious, and feeling really alone.  I used to have some issues in the past, so I know (and can recognize in myself) that I tend to build up those feelings, and the more I think about them and the cause of them, the worse I feel, the worse I feel, the less capable I feel, and then I feel even worse! And that cycle continues.  Many times that results in me just getting really angry (I'm a fire sign?) and dropping a bomb on DH on everything he isn't doing to help a situation that he doesn't know exists.  Luckily he also recognizes this sequence of events, so he knows not to take it personally (most of the time).  Yesterday, though I just brought DS into his room to nurse, and I just lost it and bawled my eyes out for about 15 minutes, which I never do.  DS thought I was laughing.  But I got a good cry out, and rested for a bit and it created that same release of the tension that was causing the emotion. 

 

So, whatever you can do to release tension is what I would recommend - don't try to "hold it in". Yell, scream, cry, whatever.  Don't beat yourself up because you are having the emotions and try to bottle them up, just honor them, release that tension, and move on if possible.  I used to have issues with anxiety and depression when I was younger, and I had a lot of success with treating it with diet and exercise.  My biggest trigger food is dairy, which is unfortunately something I have been craving like crazy since becoming pregnant (I must need a particular nutrient that I am not getting otherwise) so I have been toggling avoiding dairy (and other foods I generally avoid) because I feel like I *need* something from them, and avoiding them to keep myself sane.  I think that this is why I am beginning to have more emotional issues this pregnancy - my meltdowns seem to coincide with when I am phasing out the trigger foods.  (So, yes it is like having withdrawals). 

 

If I were you, I would keep a food journal and see if there is a pattern to your anxiety.  I would also look into the GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) diet, about how the health of your gut can influence your psychology.  And remember to listen to your body and give it what it needs.  Love, rest, and nourishment. 

post #4 of 16

I had to comeback and add one more thing - don't underestimate the power of intimacy with your partner.  I know that having negative feelings can be a total mood killer, BUT, that loving touch from your partner can work magic on you.  For me, even just the actual pressure from the weight of DH leaning on me is incredibly relaxing and grounding.  And being able to reconnect that way is a great way to not feel so alone. 

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabySmurf View Post

I had to comeback and add one more thing - don't underestimate the power of intimacy with your partner.  I know that having negative feelings can be a total mood killer, BUT, that loving touch from your partner can work magic on you.  For me, even just the actual pressure from the weight of DH leaning on me is incredibly relaxing and grounding.  And being able to reconnect that way is a great way to not feel so alone. 

Oh my gosh YES, I am just realizing this (really?!) I do agree here!

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabySmurf View Post

I had to comeback and add one more thing - don't underestimate the power of intimacy with your partner.  I know that having negative feelings can be a total mood killer, BUT, that loving touch from your partner can work magic on you.  For me, even just the actual pressure from the weight of DH leaning on me is incredibly relaxing and grounding.  And being able to reconnect that way is a great way to not feel so alone. 


You are so right on BabySmurf. I think there are lots of times when we don't realize how much this helps. I have a very giving/loving/supportive husband that means the world to me and our children. He grounds me like nothing else will.

If anxiety has the same 'fear of being alone' for you that it has for me in the past, then this could be very helpful. If not your partner then a relative or close friend (or your due date club mamas thumb.gif) to at least talk to. Don't go through it alone SweetMama34, it's not a fun place to be.hug2.gif

post #7 of 16

I'm a big proponent of giving yourself permission to meltdown or have "bad days" without guilt. Guilt just makes things worse, so don't let it in! It sounds like you're taking very good actions to help yourself--- my advice so not to give up and have faith in your methods. Sometimes bad days will still slip through, but don't give up.

 

What helps me/what do I do when I'm trying to deal with anxiety?

 

I tell my partner and warn him to just bare with me, or help me if he can. Sometimes he is helpful or has helpful suggestions. At the very least, it lets him know that it's not his fault and I'm not angry with him. I also try and find a way to "take a break" from my routine so that I can gain perspective. I do something that interrupts my process/anxiety. I go for a walk, I sleep, I do something involved that distracts me or soothes me. After a few hours (or a whole night) I realize that things are okay, that perhaps my anxieties were a bit out of proportion.

 

I also think touch, massage, and other methods of pampering go a long way. Don't let yourself feel guilt about those splurges, either. Because they're not splurges-- it's self-care.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

You are all so sweet. Thank you for the support and suggestions. I think to start, I'll lean on my DH a little more - quite literally. He's so kind and always comes at me with a "what can I do?" - but I think just being physically closer to him may actually be soothing. Thank you for the reminder.

post #9 of 16

I've had a lot of anxiety as well, and I used to take ambien to sleep (which is a god send when I'm having bad anxiety) and I would take an occasional xanax.  Both of those out of the question during pregnancy, obviously.  I was told that I would be sooo tired during pregnancy, and I was in my first trimester, but more so a daytime 'lethargy' than anything, but have still struggled to sleep during pregnancy.  I wake up after 3-4 hours of sleep and my mind races and I can't fall back asleep.  I think that some of it is relationship concerns with DH, work stress, financial stress, etc.  I did see a therapist pre-preg, but haven't been to see her in about 9 months.  I wish I had more advice for you.  I've found that a nightly bath and reading self-help books help unwind my mind.  And passion flower tea before bed has helped. 

post #10 of 16

I am in this boat off and on as well - usually my anxieties are in the form of irrational fears and center around my health or else the health of my kids. And I honestly feel like this always happens in winter because I felt this way last year at this time as well. To give an example, I gained 3.5 lbs last week because I was eating like a horse but all I have thought about this week is whether that means I have preeclampsia or some other health condition that will hurt the baby. I know it's FINE rationally, I checked it with my midwife, but my mind still goes to these really dark places and sometimes obsessively. My cousin was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I also keep feeling like "maybe i have cancer, is that a lump? etc etcetc" I end up driving myself crazy with it and just have to tell my husband or tell people my fears which does seem to help with me reconciling how irrational they are. One thing I was thinking is maybe it's related to sun or vitamin D or something? DH and I are actually going on a quick weekend trip to Miami (our first non-kid vacation in 5 years) and I'm hoping to just lay in the sun all weekend (have some sex too) and see if it eases my mind...

post #11 of 16

I'm right there with you guys! I've struggled with anxiety off and on since I was pretty young (I'm 31 now). I just started to see a counselor about it, because there is a phobia that has trailed along with the anxiety and I'm just plain tired of it. 

 

From what I've read, women who normally suffer from some level of anxiety will either see a significant decrease in it when pregnant, or it will get worse (of course for some women it doesn't change much). I think it's gotten a little bit worse for me, but I'm trying really hard not to let it get too bad. Exercise is really important (and I say this KNOWING that it helps, but I don't honestly do much exercising yet), eating truly healthy, wholesome foods, getting proper sleep, and just taking the time to relax when you need to.

 

I am saying a prayer for all of you mamas struggling with anxiety! I know how hard it is to have a relaxed, peaceful, joyful pregnancy when all you can do is worry (even if it's not related to the pregnancy at all), but it doesn't have to be a permanent thing. I hope each of us finds our own way to overcome our anxieties. Love and Peace to you all! namaste.gif

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm so worried that my anxiety is going to take over my entire time of pregnancy, ruining the opportunity to enjoy it, relish in the joy. :( And then I'm worried that I won't enjoy my new baby for years.

 

I can't make my phobia go away and it's such a stupid one. Therapy, therapy, therapy - meds, more meds (no meds now - I weaned off prior to conception and didn't seem to have a huge issue with that! I don't think the meds help all too much, honestly.)

 

Anyhow - not glad that anyone else is struggling at all, but appreciate you letting me know that I'm not alone.

post #13 of 16

I had suffered from anxiety and depression. I was on a handful of medications ( which I absolutely hated). I stopped everything and use different essential oils. (wearing, diffusing and ingesting) I am taking lots of vitamin D and trying to be outside as much as I can. I  gave up trying to get everything done, and feeling left out of fun things I could be doing. I painted my walls in bright vibrant colors. I have made peace with the dishes. I foster kittens ( they are so darn cute, you have to smile).  Just try to do you best.

post #14 of 16
Have you looked for a pregnancy or postpartum Support group. Anxiety can be part of the spectrum of perinatal mood disorders and it is best to work with a therapist who specializes in postpartum mood disorders not just a general clinician. Postpartum Progress or MotherWoman are great organizations (I am a trained MoWo facilitator). It is very common for pregnant mamas to feel this way and studies show women who talk about their experience with other moms going through it tend to feel more supported and reach out for resources.
Anyhow happy to be here supporting you.
post #15 of 16
I use essential oils too- they've been very helpful. I have a diffuser and blend lavender, ylang ylang, rose, and geranium at night and it is so uplifting.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've actually been in contact with our local Baby Blues connection support groups - I found a weekly group that meets up and I'm going to give it a shot.

 

This particular anxiety episode seemed directly linked to my son's health (or lack thereof). Seeing him suffer with the worst stomach bug I've ever witnessed, followed by 6 days of fever and misery - it just broke me.  :(

 

I feel better. My birthday is this weekend, my kiddos are visiting their father and my husband will be taking me out to my favorite restaurant and a comedy club for an evening show. It's sunny out today and my mother in law is bringing lunch over. I'm feeling hopeful that this bout of awful anxiety is passing....

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