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Am I losing it or what?
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Am I losing it or what?

Over the past few years I have sunk deeper and deeper into profound anxiety.  Although I excell in my given pursuits, its getting to the point where I am so stressed in public situations that it becomes difficult for me to perform.  For example, going to the barber the other day was a terrifying exercise.  Although i have this anxiety to varrying degrees in varrying situations, it is most apparent when I am in a group.  It seems that when I am the center of attention (either one on one or during public speaking) the problem isnt as significant, but still certainly present.  

Perhaps the most troubling aspect are facial tics that have developed over the past few years.  To clarify, I am nearly twenty two and have been experiencing these tics for the past three years, give or take.  They are only there when I have to deal with people.  When Im alone or with family they seem to go away.

Above and beyond this, my mind seems to be in a general haze, almost like I'm slightly high all of the time ( i do smoke a lot of pot).  I found that more and more, I tend to live life in my own mind.  What I mean by this is that I like to act out senarios in my mind, like daydreaming, about things I wish to do, but can't because of my fear of other people.  At times I feel so confident in the fact that I can, for example, approach that girl, yet when Im actually in the situation I can't perform.  Perhaps the worst part of it all is I can see how incredibly ridicuous and infantile these complexs are, yet am unable to do anything about them.

Another symptom is that when I am completely alone, I tend to act a bit daffy.  For example, I yell as if Im at a sports game or carry on in some wierd way.  I could be blatantly losing my mind, but I get a chuckle out of this activity, in so far as I can laugh at myself, so to speak.  It could be a mechanism to reduce anxiety, but it could be a sign of mind-slippage, I'm not sure.  Also, I am rather absent-minded.  I'll be so deep in thought about a given venture that Ill toss my car keys or wallet in some arbitrary location and forget where I left them.  In and of itself this isn't a big issue, but I have noted it to be a sign of encrouching scitzophrenia.  Another indication of scitzophrenia is social withdrawl (withdrawal), which I am experiencing, but I believe is the result of me being afriad to show my ticing face rather than some paranioa.  Really, Ive degraded into a pitiful shell of a person.

My parents and friends simply say that I'm being too hard on myself.  I would argue perhaps that may be involved, but I just don't know.  There is obviously something mentally wrong with me.  However, I'm not "talking to voices" or seeing things that aren't there, which would lead me to believe there is some potential solution.  However, if I am going to turn itno some babbling retard I would rather go live out in the wood than be a drain on my family and society.  Besides the standard recommendations, what is potentially wrong with me?
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242532_tn?1269553979
Its hard not to give you the standard recommendations.  At the root of your problem is a nagging self doubt and defective self image, which you are acting out and compensating for rather than addressing directly, confronting, and getting rid of it.  Therapy is the only way to do that, step by step, or do your own self help therapy....you have to wrestle with this self doubt, or it wins, and does to you exactly what you described.
11 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I suffer from social phobia and it seems you have a form of it and another anxiety disorder. What is really strange is how you feel less anxious when giving a speech or the center of attention and less in a one on one meeting. But I know what it feels like to dread going to the barber because of having to tell him how you want your hair done and the dread of making small talk.

Also with anxiety it is very common to have converstions withyourself or to have a wondering mind and always be thinking about something.

You should make an appointment with your GP and have him refer you to a mental health care professional.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't think you are going to turn into a babbling retard anytime soon, LOL, but the fact that you chose this site to post on lends suspect to the idea that you may already know that it is anxiety and/or panic.  I would suggest, through personal experience, that you try a benzo first, (I take Klonopin, it is not as addictive as Xanax or valium) and see how that helps.  Stop smiking the pot for a while, (I know its hard, its seems to ease you out so you can relax) but it will help you determine if you are experiencing the panic symptom known as "dreamlike state".  This, I swear to goodness, is an actual symptom.  I stopped puffin the hookah about eight years ago, and when I started to feel perpetually high again here recently, I was like, wow if I only had this in my teens I would have saved so much cash,LOL.  Anyway, before you engage in "brain chemical altering drugs" I would try the sedatives first.  See if that helps.  Disclaimer: I am not a Dr. , this is simply personal experience.  Keep in mind, the benzos ARE addictive and can give you some extra problems unless you a)take them ONLY as prescribed and b) take them only for the short term they are meant for-about three to six months.  If your panic (yes, it's hard to admit to yourself, but thats what it sounds like to me) doesn't go away with that kind of treatment, have your doc give you a list of longer term drugs that he/she feels may help.  Then, research them online, along with some natural methods (I have been looking into the Linden Method, Linda Bassetts method and bio-feedback as well as CBT) and choose to try what feels right to you.  Read all of the negative and positive comments, then try to find someone whose post you really, really relate to.  I would suggest trying that drug first.  Or that method first.  Let us know how you are, and if you find a wood to go live in send us a letter by way of tree bark, just kidding.  Keep us informed, what works for you may help another, but only of you post it.  Good luck,
Kloedanser
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Avatar_m_tn
I would advise you not to research any meds online if you are prone to hypochondria as you will think you are suffering from the very rare side effects that only effect less then 1% of the people who take them.
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Avatar_f_tn
I could be mistaken, but I think I heard somewhere that marijuana can cause severe anxiety. You may feel like it helps you calm down at first, but in the long run as it turns into an addiction, it can cause anxiety. Again, I may have misheard. Did you feel like this before you started smoking? Have you talked to a doctor? My husband has social anxiety disorder. I have panic disorder and GAD. Our kids are doomed. :( and I hope you find some relief. I found relief with medication, but you may not want to take anything unless you stop smoking pot. Talk to your doctor and see what he says. Good luck to you! We all know how you feel here so you came to the right place!
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Avatar_n_tn
medication...I dont know how I feel about that.  I don't want it to affect my mental ability, as I rely heavily on that aspect of myself given that Im a student
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Avatar_n_tn
One odd thing you mentioned was the tic disorder. I think that just about anything and everything is open game when it comes to the mind/body connection, so it wouldn't surprise me if your anxiety is causing that.

However, there are other possibilities-mainly, a seizure disorder. Recent studies have found that there are countless parallels between various seizure disorders and panic/GAD. You're going to have to come up with some convincing evidence for this, however. MRI's/MRA's of the brain will run about $3100k a pop. That's a big number to the insurance companies.

Thankfully, however, requesting the far less expensive EEG might be an option for you, too.

I'd try to get off the weed if I were you, though. I spent two years trying to figure out why I was having panic attacks. I was drinking about 15 cans of Diet Pepsi per day during that timeframe. We're really cheating ourselves and the docs if we're up to no good on our end, you know. If it's a major problem for you, try to get rid of the weed and see how you are after that.

Another interesting study talks about the withdrawal effects that anyone can experience after taking a single herb. Some of them can be as psychologically addictive as pot itself, they're finding. Teenagers that take herbs were twice as likely to become alcoholics or take illegal drugs in the study I read. That's not the case with all herbs, but some of them can be tough-pot's an herb, too, btw~.
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Avatar_f_tn
Honestly, I don't know how medication prescribed by a dr would effect your mental ability any different than marijuana would. I was a full-time student while I was taking medication, and I'm now in a career which relies totally on my creativity and mental alertness. And I've had no problems. But everyone's different. But yeah, I would definitely try quitting the pot first, and see if it makes any difference. I'm sure at first it would be terribly hard with withdrawls and everything, and you might feel worse in the beginning. But in the long run, it will be healthier for you and you never know, it could do the trick. I still would talk to a medical dr if you can. They could probably help much more as far as helping you get off pot and figuring out what's causing the anxiety.
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Avatar_n_tn
it sounds like you keenly aware of many of your defense mechanisms and that this awareness has made you feel very alienated from your "true self", your authentic experiences.  be vigilant about trying to BEHAVE AUTHENTICALLY--acting/expressing yourself in accord to your deeper feelings.  the more masking/compensating/denying/etc. we do, the more anxiety builds up....the more our true selves rebel against the suffocation.  don't squelch your true self, let it come out, however "ugly" you may feel it is.  realizing yourself and accepting yourself is a lifelong process but it is the only way that any of us can live with integrity.  do not orient yourself towards "schizophrenia" or other mental illnesses.  YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO FULFILL OR NOT FULFILL THAT PROPHECY OF YOURS.  you do not have to be a victim of your worst fears.  
be compassionate with yourself as much as you can and good luck to you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi guys, girls. I am a 24 yo sailor in the RAN. I am currently trying to ween myself off anti d's and things are going ok. But never used to be. My job used to be stressful, and during this time I was fine, It wasn't until I had lack of meaningful work I slipped into a world that was foreign to me and to be honest scared the hell out of me.

I have been living alone for about 3 years, when it finally hit me. At first I was suffering from accute anxiety, this I suspect was from the experimentation with drugs, something I will never do again, simply because I cannot handle it. It soon turned into pure depression, and one night found myself hanging over the side of my 3 story balcony, ready to take a head first dive. Glum I know, but to this day I can't remember getting over that rail. That's what scared me the most.

I self addmitted my self into a clinic, and recieved the help I needed. CBT, anti d's, clomazopan, etc. Not a fan of the pill diet my self, but sometimes people need a little help.

There are a few leasons or truths I have learnt from this. One of these is that I had to do the work myself, no one else could do it for me. It was one of the hardest things to come to terms with, following my own advice. Believe it or not, not many people can do this.
I know what I have to do, but putting it in motion is not easy. I also learned that my suffering was trying to tell me something. Life throws us leasons and until we learn these and do something about it we continue to suffer. So these leasons, well I am still discovering, but am getting closer.

My self worth went down hill, but learned to overcome it. I think half my problem was a lack of social structure and motivation.

I guess my best advice for people out there is get out there and experiment, you have to do it yourself. Mental health comes first, if your life at present doesn't adress the problem find things that do. And for answers, look inside your own head, other people don't have them. I personally don't think medication is the answer, professionals whom I have seen were all too keen to write me a perscription and send me on my way. (Of course I am not labeling health care professionals. The world is a better place because of them.) But nutting out the problem in my experience wasn't their priority. Try meditaion, (works for me) I figured out at mirriad of things about myself that I didn't even know. Be honest with yourself, because you come first. As far as recriational drugs go, well some people can handle it, and some people like myself cannot. But if you find you can't don't try and kid yourself into thinking your invincible, the mind takes a long time to mend, and is very fragile.

Anyway, I'm about to start the next chapter of my life, and like a lot of people, would like to hear from anyone about this topic. Drop me a line if you wish on "steven.***@****".

Stay well guys and girls.

Stevo.  

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Avatar_n_tn
Hi everyone

Im a 27 year old musician, and totally can relate too subjects on this website especially [poweruser](LOL,walk into the woods, really understand that).
I spend my entire life alone, taking prosaic, betablockers and valium and for about 2 and a half years now.  I try and come off these PRESCRIBED drugs, especially prosaic, I get severe side effects.
Like poweruser, I enjoy a smoke and have done since I was 19.
I just smoke weed, no tobacco and man it was so much easier coming off that earthly stuff than anti-depresants (namely venlafaxine EFFXOR aka XR).  Dont do it man, stay away from anti-depresants, fair enough smokin weed every day DOES NOT help but is nothing like ther side effects from these Anti-depresants.

DEPRESSION CAN SPUR CREATIVITY, DONT LET THEM NUM YOU.
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