Tell me about anxiety - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-25-2011, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, a friend said she thinks her dh gets really angry sometimes because he is anxious.  It was like a lightbulb for me.  

 

I get really angry quite a lot and it never occurred to me that it was linked to being anxious, but I think it is.  I get rageful when I feel like things are out of control.

 

Then another friend talked about not sleeping because of anxiety and another lightbulb went off.

 

So, I think I may be incredibly anxious.  I am stressed out most of the time between work, singe-parenting, dealing with xh and dealing with life, along with insecurities around friendships, etc.

 

So, what is "anxiety" as a diagnosis?  Wondering if medication would help and if so which ones.  

 

This is just a new idea for me and if anxiety is at the root of some of my challenges, then I would love to deal with it!

 

Thanks for your input!

 

M

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#2 of 9 Old 09-25-2011, 09:41 PM
 
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Well there are meds for anxiety, however there are other effective ways to combat anxiety. For sleeping try melatonin. It's also a bit of a stress reliever. Once you're getting good sleep you'll be able to think clearly about what you need to do next. If you're still going through the same feelings then I would consult a doc and consider CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy). Meds are okay, but sometimes they make things worse.
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#3 of 9 Old 09-25-2011, 10:18 PM
 
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Well, I have general anxiety disorder and I am not on meds but I am in therapy. I have neither rage nor sleep issues, so everyone's presenting symptoms are different. What I do have are obsessive thoughts, physical symptoms (like fight or flight), and serious problems not judging myself harshly. I would suggest meeting with a therapist. I know meds can be helpful but they are not for me, and IMO shouldn't be taken without therapy to go along with it (so you can learn ways to cope when you are off the meds). I have found therapy to very successful but lots of work and have no idea when it will be over. Good luck to you.

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#4 of 9 Old 09-26-2011, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your replies!

 

I have been in therapy for years and anxiety never came up, but it totally makes sense.  I will definitely talk with someone, but I think, if I can find meds with limited side-effects, it is worth a try -- my current state is not good for me or my children.

 

Thanks so much!

 

M

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#5 of 9 Old 09-26-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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I have had severe anxiety my whole life, and in the past few years anger has become an element of it as well. There are so many types of anxiety and I've experienced several of them... what works for some types doesn't work well for others.

I tried tons of meds and ultimately decided I am better off without them. But some anti-depressants (i.e. Paxil) can help with certain types of anxiety with minimal side effects. Buspar is an anti-anxiety med that I don't remember having many side effects. Some other meds are rough though, and addictive. I took Ativan for years and it worked great for me but I had a lot of fogginess & short-term memory loss and major problems weaning off of it. It's really such an individual thing, you need to see a psychiatrist who can evaluate all your symptoms, even the ones that seem unrelated, to come up with the best meds for you to try, and it may take some experimenting to get it right.

My anxiety is now best managed by physical things like strenuous exercise, deep breathing, deep muscle relaxation, etc. I do think meds can be a good way to go if your anxiety itself is interfering with your ability to work productively on it.

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#6 of 9 Old 09-26-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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My dd (17) has had a diagnosis of GAD since she was about 14.  And has been on Zoloft and perscribed exercise for almost as long.  For her some of the symptoms are extreme shyness (for fear of saying something silly), distractability and she sleeps a lot to avoid uncomfortable tasks/situations.  The meds/exercise (she takes PE every semester even though she was done as a freshman) really help.  She is able to talk to people, if a situation changes she doesn't freak out any more, she is easier to be a friend because she isn't so clingy, she's able to articulate her ideas/thoughts easier because she isn't going around and around in her head....

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#7 of 9 Old 09-27-2011, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again dear ladies!

 

I am such a wreck that I need to do something, but I am also scared of meds ... will figure it out.  Exercise has always been my favored way of losing/maintaining a healthy weight so I like hearing that it may help.  Gotta find the time :-).

 

Thanks again!

 

M

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#8 of 9 Old 09-27-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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First, I HIGHLY recommend the book: Women's Moods. It really helped me understand what was going on post-partum, and they've got a great self-care program, plus reasonable advice (IMO), about when to go to your doctor.

 

I suffer from some pretty major bouts of anxiety. Things that help me when it's minor is:

 

Exercise

Yoga/meditation

Diet changes -- much more protein, much more fruit and veggies, few carbs, no caffeine

Social support -- having someone to talk to or someone to take my mind off how I feel.

Magnesium in moderation

Fish oils (there's a particular combination of the DHA/EPA that's recommended, but I can never remember what it is)

Melatonin helps when things aren't too bad. It's 'natural', but it's still a med in my opinion.

 

In addition, I take meds. I just am coming through a major bout of anxiety (very very bad), and the meds are a godsend, as far as I'm concerned. They're one more tool in my toolbox. Am I happy about having to take meds? No. But really, I was not functional without them at the beginning of September. When I'm in my less anxious mind, I can remember that diabetics have to take meds every day, and that the imbalance in my brain chemicals is akin to that. When I'm really anxious I can't think about that. I just think what a failure I am for not being able to get through this.

 

There are two kinds of medications for anxiety:

Short acting anxiety meds -- these are intended to get you through a panic attack, but are only intended to be used for short term use. I was terrified to take these because they can be addicting. It wasn't until my sisters pointed out that they're a short term tool, my psychiatrist pointed out that the people who get addicted are the people who take them to feel good, not to feel 'not as bad' (which is what I was doing), and my sisters gave me another lecture on letting the short term meds be a gift to get me through did I use them. Drugs in this class are: xanax, ativan, klonopin. The main difference is how long they are in your system.

 

SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) -- essentially these increase the availability of the chemicals in your brain that you use to regulate mood. Mine get out of whack. The two major SSRIs prescribed for anxiety are Paxil and Celexa. I've been on Paxil and am switching over to Celexa because my doc this it will work better for me. (And Celexa has fewer side effects.) If depression is your major symptom, doctors tend to choose Zoloft or Lexapro to start with.

 

If your brain chemistry is well regulated, you shouldn't need the short acting meds very often (or at all). When I'm good, I don't need klonopin, I don't need a sleep medication, I just take my little dose of SSRI. 2-3 days before my period, I have a little trouble sleeping and it's often resolved with melatonin. Now, alas, I'm on a big dose of SSRI, a small dose of klonopin and a sleep med. I'm hoping to get the SSRI stable enough so that I can discontinue the other 2 in the next month.

 

The other thing is that if you're on an SSRI, you need to stay on for 12 months to let your brain heal.

 

I understand all too well that you're scared of meds. Just remember, sometimes modern medicine does indeed work. I think SSRIs have been handed out too freely, and when it's situation or other kinds of depression/anxiety, I'm not sure how much good it does. But I have a genetic predisposition toward anxiety, and had 2 pretty awful bouts of anxiety after my kids were born. My brain is now predisposed to going down that path. I need the meds to get well.

 

I know my position is not a common one on MDC, but I think the combination of diet, exercise and social support + meds is really powerful. On Sept 1, I was completely non-functional my anxiety was so high -- seriously, I would alternate between sleeping, going for a walk because I couldn't sleep, and sobbing on the phone to my family. Today, I'm 80% better.  I've still got that 20% to go, but I'm functional. All meds (even natural ones) have side effects. My doc switched me from ativan to klonopin because the ativan would either knock me out or not touch my anxiety. Klonopin is slower acting and keeps me more stable.

 

I don't think I would have responded as fast to the SSRIs if I hadn't also been walking 2-3 times a day, eliminated caffeine, eliminated refined sugar for a bit (I'm backsliding on that one), and most importantly, if I hadn't reached out for a support network (let's just say that I spent an hour sobbing in my pastor's office -- she asked what would help and I said "people to walk with me." I gave her some names of people I like (a few of whom I didn't know that well), and within 2 days, I had 4-5 people lined up to walk with me daily.) I couldn't have made those calls, but I was able to reach out to someone else who made those calls for me.

 

Finally, I'll say: you sound like you've got a stressful life right now. Meds may not be the answer for you (my last plunge into the depths came at a time when I had relatively few stressors), then again, they might. It's OK for you to be stressed. It's OK for you not to be able to do it all. It's OK if you lose it occasionally. You are not superwoman. You will come through this and your kids will be OK. Really.


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#9 of 9 Old 09-28-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

First, I HIGHLY recommend the book: Women's Moods. It really helped me understand what was going on post-partum, and they've got a great self-care program, plus reasonable advice (IMO), about when to go to your doctor.

 

I suffer from some pretty major bouts of anxiety. Things that help me when it's minor is:

 

Exercise

Yoga/meditation

Diet changes -- much more protein, much more fruit and veggies, few carbs, no caffeine

Social support -- having someone to talk to or someone to take my mind off how I feel.

Magnesium in moderation

Fish oils (there's a particular combination of the DHA/EPA that's recommended, but I can never remember what it is)

Melatonin helps when things aren't too bad. It's 'natural', but it's still a med in my opinion.

 

In addition, I take meds. I just am coming through a major bout of anxiety (very very bad), and the meds are a godsend, as far as I'm concerned. They're one more tool in my toolbox. Am I happy about having to take meds? No. But really, I was not functional without them at the beginning of September. When I'm in my less anxious mind, I can remember that diabetics have to take meds every day, and that the imbalance in my brain chemicals is akin to that. When I'm really anxious I can't think about that. I just think what a failure I am for not being able to get through this.

 

There are two kinds of medications for anxiety:

Short acting anxiety meds -- these are intended to get you through a panic attack, but are only intended to be used for short term use. I was terrified to take these because they can be addicting. It wasn't until my sisters pointed out that they're a short term tool, my psychiatrist pointed out that the people who get addicted are the people who take them to feel good, not to feel 'not as bad' (which is what I was doing), and my sisters gave me another lecture on letting the short term meds be a gift to get me through did I use them. Drugs in this class are: xanax, ativan, klonopin. The main difference is how long they are in your system.

 

SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) -- essentially these increase the availability of the chemicals in your brain that you use to regulate mood. Mine get out of whack. The two major SSRIs prescribed for anxiety are Paxil and Celexa. I've been on Paxil and am switching over to Celexa because my doc this it will work better for me. (And Celexa has fewer side effects.) If depression is your major symptom, doctors tend to choose Zoloft or Lexapro to start with.

 

If your brain chemistry is well regulated, you shouldn't need the short acting meds very often (or at all). When I'm good, I don't need klonopin, I don't need a sleep medication, I just take my little dose of SSRI. 2-3 days before my period, I have a little trouble sleeping and it's often resolved with melatonin. Now, alas, I'm on a big dose of SSRI, a small dose of klonopin and a sleep med. I'm hoping to get the SSRI stable enough so that I can discontinue the other 2 in the next month.

 

The other thing is that if you're on an SSRI, you need to stay on for 12 months to let your brain heal.

 

I understand all too well that you're scared of meds. Just remember, sometimes modern medicine does indeed work. I think SSRIs have been handed out too freely, and when it's situation or other kinds of depression/anxiety, I'm not sure how much good it does. But I have a genetic predisposition toward anxiety, and had 2 pretty awful bouts of anxiety after my kids were born. My brain is now predisposed to going down that path. I need the meds to get well.

 

I know my position is not a common one on MDC, but I think the combination of diet, exercise and social support + meds is really powerful. On Sept 1, I was completely non-functional my anxiety was so high -- seriously, I would alternate between sleeping, going for a walk because I couldn't sleep, and sobbing on the phone to my family. Today, I'm 80% better.  I've still got that 20% to go, but I'm functional. All meds (even natural ones) have side effects. My doc switched me from ativan to klonopin because the ativan would either knock me out or not touch my anxiety. Klonopin is slower acting and keeps me more stable.

 

I don't think I would have responded as fast to the SSRIs if I hadn't also been walking 2-3 times a day, eliminated caffeine, eliminated refined sugar for a bit (I'm backsliding on that one), and most importantly, if I hadn't reached out for a support network (let's just say that I spent an hour sobbing in my pastor's office -- she asked what would help and I said "people to walk with me." I gave her some names of people I like (a few of whom I didn't know that well), and within 2 days, I had 4-5 people lined up to walk with me daily.) I couldn't have made those calls, but I was able to reach out to someone else who made those calls for me.

 

Finally, I'll say: you sound like you've got a stressful life right now. Meds may not be the answer for you (my last plunge into the depths came at a time when I had relatively few stressors), then again, they might. It's OK for you to be stressed. It's OK for you not to be able to do it all. It's OK if you lose it occasionally. You are not superwoman. You will come through this and your kids will be OK. Really.


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Great post.

 

 

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