Anxiety Disorders: Support - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 04-30-2004, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to start a tribal support thread for mamas with anxiety disorders. Sometimes I just need to talk to someone who REALLY understands, KWIM?

I have days where I really struggle to keep it together, and today is one of them. My anxiety is overwhelming me today. I just want to crawl into a corner and hide, but I have to be the mommy to my kids and "everywoman" to just about everybody else! I just can't deal right now, but there is no escaping the necessity of being in control! And I feel anything BUT in control!

Anyone else struggling today?

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#2 of 24 Old 04-30-2004, 02:58 PM
 
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I feel really lucky since my anxiety has been in check for a while. I went off meds to get pregnant and my ds is 7 weeks now and I'm still doing great without the meds. My anxiety focused around my health and it was miserable. I was constantly sure I was having a heart attack or developing MS or something equally bad. It's hard living like that.

I'm sorry you're having a rough day. I hope that it looks up for you soon. Can I ask, do you take anything for the anxiety? I was so bad by the time I was finally diagnosed that I ended up in the hospital for a week. I was put on Lexapro and Ativan, but was able to stop the Ativan after I was released. I stayed on the SSRI until getting pregnant.
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#3 of 24 Old 04-30-2004, 04:43 PM
 
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OMG! Thanks for posting this. I was diagnosed with panic attacks when I was 17. Since my boys were born my anxiety has increased. Same thing that Jish posted. I was always having a heart attack or some terrible disease. I just went to the doctor this past week to see if she could help. Mine is especially bad during my periods so she perscriped Sarafem (Prozac) to see if that would help at all. Hopefully it will help somewhat. My Dh doesn't understand at all. It makes me feel much better to know that there are other people out there.
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#4 of 24 Old 04-30-2004, 04:47 PM
 
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I have been diagnosed with GAD (although a counselor wants to change that diagnosis to OCD). I started seeing a new counselor, but will not be going back because she told me "there are no benefits to breastfeeding after 6 months" in an attempt to get me to wean for medications. She also told me it was obsessive to carry my son in a sling and I should get a babysitter for him. So, I'm attempting to deal with it on my own.

Does anyone know any natural remedies that can be used while breastfeeding?

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#5 of 24 Old 04-30-2004, 06:59 PM
 
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I am VERY happy that this thread is here!!

I have been suffering from anxiety probably all my life but until 3 yrs ago it was very mild ~ more of a worrier. 3 yrs ago I started having panic attacks and was constantly anxious about my health and thinking that I was having a heart attack, had cancer, or blood clots...or what ever else my brain could cook up! :

I started on Zoloft 3 months ago and I am doing GREAT!! I am kicking myself for not going to the doc about it much, much sooner. I didn't even realize how badly I was feeling until I wasn't feeling that way anymore. Hopefully I won't have to be on this for the rest of my life, in fact I will attempt to go off of it, but I have become to understand how hard it is and if I DO have to be on it forever, I am ok with that. I just look at it like this....diabetics have to have their meds for the rest of their lives, so maybe this is what I have to do. I know it is not the same thing, but I am NOT going to beat myself up over it if it does happen that way. But like I said, ideally I would rather not have to.

Sorry for rambling....once I get started talking about I just keep going and going and going.......
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#6 of 24 Old 04-30-2004, 07:09 PM
 
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omg! thanks for this thread. I have had anxiety attacks on/off for probably 12 years or so. They were worse in my 20s, went on prozac, helped tremendously (i was depressed too) and went off, then on again, and have been off since i was 3 months pg w/dd. I have had anxiety during the pp period and still have attacks--they used to come at the grocery store or driving. Now, they seem to come if I am away from dd too long.. had to get the car serviced today and did not take her with me, and was all worked up.
sorry to hear about your bad day--i wish you peace and thank you for sharing. you are not alone!
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#7 of 24 Old 04-30-2004, 07:13 PM
 
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I'm that same way too....I'm constantly making sure I don't have some horrible disease... (Like now I am having leg pains, heart palipitations, and dizziness....the doctor can't figure out what's wrong, so immediately I assume the worst, even though that's probably not likely). Driving is another thing...

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#8 of 24 Old 04-30-2004, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, mamas!

I'm so glad to come back and see some replies to my OP...I've been thinking about creating a support tribe for awhile now. It's just so much easier to talk about this stuff with people who truly understand the frustration of anxiety.

I just want to throw out a few comments and answer some questions that were asked.

Anxiety & depression run in my mom's family. My grandmother was what we politely called "a nervous wreck" all the time, and a major hypochondriac. She also suffered from depression, an unwed pgy, and an unhappy marriage. My mom pretty much repeated the pattern, almost to the letter; and I've been traveling the same path myself and desperately trying to get off! I have two daughters and I'm terrified that I won't be able to break this pattern. It would KILL me to pass this horrible legacy on to them.

I've been in Christian as well as secular counseling. I took Paxil for about 4 months, until I discovered I was pg with my third. It was okay I guess, except for the fact that I felt like an utter zombie for the first 4 or 5 weeks or so.

I also have a history of sexual abuse that, unfortunately, I can't remember much about; but it's definitely there & has colored my entire life in a very negative way. I left my Christian counselor b/c, while he helped a great deal w/my marriage issues, I felt like we were getting nowhere with the abuse issue. My secular couselor was much more helpful in that area, but she really got on my case about being so AP with my (then 9-month old) baby. She wanted me to wean so I could get back on meds (I flatly refused), and she couldn't understand my desire for more children (I had three at the time). She just didn't get my attachment to my kids...she thought that DH and I needed to get away by ourselves more often. I'm sure she'd be stunned and dismayed to know that I nursed DS til he was almost 3 and that I've had another baby since.

mommy2twinboys -
My DH doesn't understand either. In his family, it is a weakness to suffer from depression or anxiety. He was furious when I went to the doc for Paxil.
My anxiety hits a peak right before I ovulate. My PMS has gotten SO bad in the last couple of years...I have scared myself.

AllyRae -
You can see above that I had the same experience with my counselor! She also thought that the sling was a bit much, even though I explained to her that our very high-needs DS (who has recently been diagnosed w/Asperger's Syndrome) was happiest in there.

I have driving issues too - major panic inducer!!!!!

Much of my anxiety centers around fire. I am constantly terrified that something will catch on fire or that the house will burn down. I have a keen sense of smell, and I am constantly thinking that I smell something burning. It makes me crazy.

I have to run for the moment, but I'm so glad you all are here! Thank you all for sharing.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#9 of 24 Old 05-01-2004, 02:44 AM
 
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I have GAD (I think). I took Paxil last year, and I think it really helped me get over the hump. I am on no meds now, actually, for just about a year, and doing okay. I have trouble in group social situations.

It was so drummed into me that I was wierd when I was growing up with my parents, that I am afraid everyone thinks I am inappropriate and I am afraid to open up to others at all unless it is one-to-one. My mother is also very hostile and takes offense at everything, so I am always afraid I am offending others.

So I do a lot of positive self-talk and push myself to participate in things that are difficult for me. Things are good now.

L.
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#10 of 24 Old 05-01-2004, 02:57 AM
 
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I am glad that I am not the only one on here that is dealing with this. My dh tries very hard to help but he just doesn't understand. When I talk to him about it, he thinks that he has to 'help' in some way. I can't seen to make him understand that sometimes if I can just talk about it, it helps. There isn't a whole lot that he can do that could help anyway and he gets sooo frustrated about that. I love that he cares and worries so much about me, and I just wish that I could make him understand that sometimes I just need him to listen for a while and not try to 'fix' it. Does anyone else go through this as well.

For everyone who is doing better ~ that's great!! I think it is wonderful and very inspiring. Any advice on how to feel better med free would be great. Like I said in my previous post, obviously I would like to eventually be med free as well.
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#11 of 24 Old 05-01-2004, 03:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllyRae
I have been diagnosed with GAD (although a counselor wants to change that diagnosis to OCD). I started seeing a new counselor, but will not be going back because she told me "there are no benefits to breastfeeding after 6 months" in an attempt to get me to wean for medications. She also told me it was obsessive to carry my son in a sling and I should get a babysitter for him. So, I'm attempting to deal with it on my own.

Does anyone know any natural remedies that can be used while breastfeeding?
I don't know of any natural remedies, but I wanted to encourage you to keep looking for a counselor that works for you. I went to one for about a year and she helped me tremendously. I am really a new person. My dh actually refers to it as the old me and the new me. I know it can be tough to find the time and the will sometimes to seek out the right person, but it is truly worth it if you can find him or her. Please keep looking!
I can relate to all of you and it is great to have a place to look for support when nobody else understands. It is sooooooo true that those who have never experienced anxiety cannot relate in the least. Hang in there mamas!
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#12 of 24 Old 05-01-2004, 08:16 AM
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I just wanted to say hi to everyone. I would through a period of panic attacks after my father and baby died within in a year. I was under way to much stress. I went to the emergency room twice in one weekend because I thought I was having a heart attack. Lucky for me, the dr on call the second night recognized what was going on he was so good. The first counsoler I went to I hated the second one was really helpful. I was on meds for awhile till I got some things worked out. I'm no longer on meds, but it has helped for me to recognize when I'm getting to stressed and when my heart starts pounding to just understand that is how I react to stress and I'm not actually dying. If I can be any help please let me know. Like Bubbles said , unless a person has gone through it it is hard to understand.
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#13 of 24 Old 05-01-2004, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emzachsmama
...I just wish that I could make him understand that sometimes I just need him to listen for a while and not try to 'fix' it. Does anyone else go through this as well.
Yup. DH & I learned in marriage counseling that many men want to be "fixers", and he is the classic case. DH is very proactive and has this obsessive need to fix everything. He disliked being with me during the births of our kids b/c he couldn't really do anything to help me, other than just being there. It was very hard for him.

It's difficult for me to vent to him about anything, b/c he just wants to fix the problem and he isn't very supportive when I tell him I just need to get it off my chest.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#14 of 24 Old 05-01-2004, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone ever heard of this? It's supposed to be a great program, but I don't know anybody who's tried it. I'd love to know more about it.

http://www.stresscenter.com/

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#15 of 24 Old 05-01-2004, 04:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skellbelle
Anyone ever heard of this? It's supposed to be a great program, but I don't know anybody who's tried it. I'd love to know more about it.

http://www.stresscenter.com/
I've heard of it! I have one of her books ~ From Panic to Power ~ and I strongly recommend it. I has helped me a lot. I have seen the infomercials about the program and it looks great. I just wish I could afford it. I would love to hear other peoples results with it.
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#16 of 24 Old 05-01-2004, 04:28 PM
 
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I have the WORST anxiety in the car. When I'm driving my heart pounds, I shake and sweat, sometimes I even panic at the *thought* of driving.
It's worse when someone else is driving, though.
Glad to know I'm not the only one with an anxiety issue.
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#17 of 24 Old 05-01-2004, 11:18 PM
 
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I have made a breakthrough today I think.

I have been having problems with feeling guilty about my anxiety and how it has affected my life. For about 3 yrs I would have panic attacks almost everytime I left the house. I am ok now since I started my medication but I had a really hard time for those 3 yrs before I got help from my doctor. So I hardly ever left the house, so almost everything was on my dh's shoulders. I always felt bad about that and I could understand if it was frustrating for him and if it was a lot of pressure for him. I just didn't realize how he really felt about it. Well today I found out. He has blamed ME for all of it. I realize that is was frustrating and a lot of pressure for him, but it was not like I could control it. But he thinks that part of me COULD control it and that I was doing it on purpose! As if! Why would I put myself through all of that on purpose?!?. I was so mad and hurt when he said that. I said he no clue what I was going through and unless he had gone through it too, it was real easy to say that I could have just gotten over it!

Well anyway, I was crying and quite upset about the whole thing so I went for a walk to try to think things through. As I was walking I came to a realization ~~ Him blaming me is HIS problem not mine! I refuse to feel guilty anymore about something I had no control over. If he wants to continue with the blame game that is up to him, but I am not going to let that continue to make me feel bad. I didn't do anything wrong so I have decided that I am going to stop blaming myself for how the last 3 yrs have gone. If my hubby wants to continue to blame me then that is his problem and he will just have to deal with it cause I am not going to anymore! :

Sorry I went on and on and it got so long, but I just wanted to share this because I felt so much better about everything after I made this realization!

I hope everyone has a great night!
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#18 of 24 Old 05-02-2004, 12:03 AM
 
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Hi.i too have anxiety.It mostly came on after the birth of my third kid.Last year i had a really severe anxiety attack that lasted for hours and left me feeling very unstable.Somehow i made it through but it was after losing my sanity and 75lbs.First i changed my diet.No caffeine,no sugar,no bad carbs.Upped my protein,started taking fish oil and B vitamins.Started reading every book i could on anxiety and their disorders and how to recognize and deal with them.I worked hard to keep my shit together.I relied on Bach's rescue remedy which is the most awesome stuff ever.I found a great herbal remedy that i took while nursing and now am off of it and feeling great.I still have anxiety but it is very mild.I recently had a miscarriage and my anxiety and depression took a turn for the worse but i am working through it.Sometimes i really think i would do well with a psychiatrist but can not afford it currently.

I chose not to take meds because of my mom.She has been on meds for anxiety and depression for 20 years.They have done nothing but screw her up inside and out.She is currently on Xanax 24 hrs a day.that is the only thing that works for her anymore.It is very sad.That is why i vowed to take care of myself naturally.I am seeing a nutritionist/holistic practioner and we are working together to beat this.I have faith that i can do this naturally.

Don't get me wrong,i know plenty of people who need the meds,short term or long.That is fine.I chose to go a different route but have nothing against those that chose the other way.

I look forward to having some support though.

I am supposed to fly across country in November and am really freaked about having a panic attack on the plane so far from the ground.I need to figure out a way to deal with it but am having trouble!
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#19 of 24 Old 05-02-2004, 12:05 AM
 
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Em~that is a great realization.We are responsible for our own feelings and reactions.I too could not leave the house for months and made someone go with me everywhere.I am so glad to be over that!
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#20 of 24 Old 05-02-2004, 02:06 AM
 
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I hope you all don't mind me lurking here. My dh has been having panic attacks since I was pregnant with dd. Maybe I can learn from you all how to be more supportive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenmoon
I am supposed to fly across country in November and am really freaked about having a panic attack on the plane so far from the ground.I need to figure out a way to deal with it but am having trouble!
DH is afraid of flying. We will be flying to see his family this summer and it will be the first time he has flown since he started having panic attacks.
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#21 of 24 Old 05-02-2004, 04:50 AM
 
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I am terrified of flying. If I ever have to fly again I will probably need to be sedated.
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#22 of 24 Old 05-02-2004, 11:08 AM
 
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just want to say to Em, thank you so much for sharing your realization... you are so right, all you have to do is accept yourself and what dh thinks are his thoughts, nothing you can control. It is a mark of strength that you can let go of the burden of blame.
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#23 of 24 Old 05-02-2004, 09:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emzachsmama
I am VERY happy that this thread is here!!

I have been suffering from anxiety probably all my life but until 3 yrs ago it was very mild ~ more of a worrier. 3 yrs ago I started having panic attacks and was constantly anxious about my health and thinking that I was having a heart attack, had cancer, or blood clots...or what ever else my brain could cook up! :

I started on Zoloft 3 months ago and I am doing GREAT!! I am kicking myself for not going to the doc about it much, much sooner. I didn't even realize how badly I was feeling until I wasn't feeling that way anymore. Hopefully I won't have to be on this for the rest of my life, in fact I will attempt to go off of it, but I have become to understand how hard it is and if I DO have to be on it forever, I am ok with that. I just look at it like this....diabetics have to have their meds for the rest of their lives, so maybe this is what I have to do. I know it is not the same thing, but I am NOT going to beat myself up over it if it does happen that way. But like I said, ideally I would rather not have to.

Sorry for rambling....once I get started talking about I just keep going and going and going.......
Wow! I could have written that post myself. Word for word. The Zoloft is working wonders for me. I was seriously obsessed with my heartrate, checked my pulse 200 times a day. Couldn't sleep at night because I was worried about what would be left undone if I were to die in my sleeep. I'm so glad I finally got put on Zoloft. And I am nursing my son also, he's had no adverse effects at all, if that helps anyone who's nursing.
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#24 of 24 Old 05-02-2004, 10:08 PM
 
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I, too suffer from anxiety. It got to the point I just couldn't get through the day anymore. All the physical symptoms I experienced seemed to validate my fear that I was somehow dying of whatever disease I believed I had. Heart palpatations, muscle spasms, insomnia, dizziness, chest pains, short of breath, not being able to eat, etc. I finally went to the doctors because I thought if I really was dying, I should at least know of what. But I was afraid of the diagnosis, so that's why I kept putting it off...When I was explaining what was happening to me, I was hysterical. He was so understanding and very helpful, he promised me I wouldn't have to be on meds forever. He gave me a RX for Ativan and Effexor XR. I took half an Ativan as soon as I got it and could feel the difference almost immediately, it was unbelievable. The Effexor gave me a headache for two weeks straight, but other than that, I had no side effects. After the Effexor kicked in, I really didn't have a need for the Ativan. I was on it for 6 months and for three of those months I was weaning off it. I weaned VERY, VERY slowly, I was so afraid of a relapse.

I took my last dose in Sept. of 2001, so I've been off for 2 1/2 years now. I haven't been anxiety free for all this time, but I now know what triggers it and it helps. I've found that caffeine, stress, lack of sleep, the smell of chemicals (such as cleaning agents, candles, those plug in candle scent things, etc.) and gasoline can bring on an attack or period of anxiety. I also noticed it is definately affected by where I am in my cycle, totally related to my hormones. One week of the month, I am okay. One other week, I feel it coming on. The next week is the worst and then the week after, I get to the point I can handle it again. I definately think nursing my son exclusively helped with keep my hormones more level, thus the anxiety wasn't as bad. (With my other two, I supplemented and weaned within 6 months, I am still nursing my 2y/o.) Plus, I've come to the point where I can recognize it is anxiety and not a terminal disease, that helps keep things in focus.

That said, I still deal with it on a very regular basis. I am just more able to handle it now. I don't know if I'd ever go back on the meds, although they were certainly a lifesaver at the point I needed them.

I also suffer from OCD, which I believe is an outlet for the anxiety.

Thanks for starting this thread!
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