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Avatar universal

Will I ever feel "normal" again?

I have had what I have come to the conclusion is anxiety for about two years now. It started out with a few sporadic panic attacks and then I was fine for a while with just small episodes here and there. Just recently, it's gotten incredibly worse. I feel anxious everyday!!! My heart beats irregularly and fast. I tense all my muscles. I have a hard time concentrating. I have a hard time sleeping, which makes me tired all the time. I have a hard time swallowing, to the point where sometimes I actually can't. I feel like I am going to faint. I think I am going to die. I fear something horrible is going to happen. I try to concentrate on my breathing, but it only seems to make it worse!  I use to be able to walk myself out of it, but that just doesn't seem to be the case anymore. I tend to be a fairly social person, but as of late, I am becoming more and more withdrawn. I talk with my friends about it in hopes that they won't think I am crazy. The seem to be supportive, but I don't think that they can really understand the totality of what I am going through. I try to avoid things that trigger panic and live my life at the same time, but it seems as though everything seems to trigger panic at this point! Unfortunately I don't make a ton of money, nor do I have insurance. I would love to see a doctor and therapist, but financially it just seems impossible at this point. It would just be nice to have someone to talk to who understands. I fear that this is my life now forever and it's making me depressed, angry, and embarrassed. I want this to go away!!! I just want to feel "normal" again!!!
65 Responses
1383377 tn?1279388582
I know exactly what you are going through, and dont worry, with time it will get easier. 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Severe Anxiety Disorder, in other words I lack serontonin (serotonin is a chemical in your body that controls your central nervous system and gives you an overall feeling of well-being). I started having multiple panick attacks a day, the same syptoms as you, and it kept getting worse till eventually I was labelled a "hypochondriac" by most doctors in town and all my friends thought I was crazy and stopped talking to me. Many attacks were sooo bad, I'd debate on calling an ambulance or call the hospital almost every night. I thought that I was gonna die...each day that's all i could think about. People would tell me to "breathe" and it never helped, it would actually make me panic more. After a couple years of many visits to the hospital, I was finally given medication and it changed my life. It takes about 3 months to fully kick in, but I highly recommend an anti-anxiety/ and or anti-depressant. I started out with paxil, then recently switched to Celexa. Both medications have significantly helped. Im not saying that it's going to end the "attacks" all at once. It takes a long time to sort that stuff out with yourself. But medication does help, believe me. These medications help increase your serotonin levels and make you feel like a somewhat-normal human being again. Only time can truely heal the panic, and until then, you have to keep your mind occupied. Try starting a new hobby that makes you feel good and make sure you talk to your doctor about being properly medicated. I know you may be short on cash, but it's worth the money to feel sane. I hope this has helped you in some way. I truely feel for you, especially cause I have been gonig through the same thing for years...over twice as long as you..imagine that? WEll take care. Peace.
Avatar universal
my heart goes out to you,but we are all here for the same reason,to talk to each other and try to help each other through these feelings as much as poss,as you said friends do listen but really dont understandwhat it is like because you cant unless you have gone through it yourself,isnt there anyone who could just help you so you could go to the doctors,i thinkit is terrible that you all have to pay for your treatment,if you ever needs to talk i am always here
Avatar universal
Thank you for your kind, understanding and informative responses. It's unfortunate that any of us have to go through this, but at the same time it is very comforting to know that I am not alone. When I feel like there is no one to talk to it makes me very lonely, which really doesn't help things.
I've been skeptical about taking medications for a couple of reasons. The main, being that I once had a substance abuse problem, which was probably a big contributor to why I now have anxiety. I have taken Xanax a few times for immediate relief, but I fear having it around and becoming dependent. As far as more long term medications, I don't know a whole lot about them, except a few horror stories about people doing odd unpredictable things on them. I do take Rescue Remedy droplets, which is a natural homeopathic remedy for stress. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it doesn't!
My friends have been as supportive as I think they can be thus far. Unfortunatley I talk about it alot, due to the fact that I am always feeling it! I worry that they will eventually become sick of me! "Dude, I can't hang out with him and his ANXIETY anymore!"
This makes me sad. But NOW, I feel hopeful that I have a community that I can talk to!!! I am thankful and anxious...
Avatar universal
speak to your doctor about taking medsif you are unsure i dont take any,like you i just use herbal remedies to help me,but since i have been on this site i havent had to take any,also your real friends wont get fed up of you if they ear real friends and if they do it aint a loss really because at least you know,all my friends have to listen to me all the times and not one of them have told me to shut it ,you keep talking it helps so much.
1383377 tn?1279388582
Wow we are so much alike.....I was very hesitant to go on medication too, also because of substance abuse...what do you know? lol. It's not funny but I like to add some humour. And those horror stories......there is a horror story to everything. People told me the horror stories of my meds, but I tried it out for myself and it helped me back on my feet. I started caring about myself again and I went back to work!(after being off work for years due to anxiety). Everybody is different. Do what you gotta do and message me anytime if you feel alone! Have a good day!!
Avatar universal
i almost cried when i read this. i am going threw the same thing i also have no1 2 talk 2 bc when i tried i was just called crazy..im also not on any meds or seeing a doc..my heart goes out 2 u and any1 else who is goin threw this its a horrible thing but im sry i cant give u any advise bc i cant control it either i go threw it every single day but it is a releif that im not the only person who goes threw this so maybe im not crazy
Avatar universal
Dude feel the same way like my lif has become anxiety be strong my friend
968908 tn?1274874715
Hiya, just wanted to tell ya i think your making the right decison regarding being careful around taking chemical medications.  You may think these tales are horror stories but in actual fact they are part and parcel of taking drugs that alter the mind.  Every person is differnet when trying these drugs so you really can't tell how they will effect you until you try them but what i will say is that the vast majority will have both activation and discontinuation syndrome even when either introducing or reducing the drugs slowly.  I have heard more times than i have had hot meals of people having a hard time going onto or coming off these drugs and some of the symptoms are not pretty.  Look i dont want you to be scared or feel like this isn't an option for ya but i think that someone who decides, either now or in the future, to take these drugs should know.  

I was on Paxil for a total of 13yrs, had a bit of a rough time getting on it but soon settled into taking it, after a while i thought it was the best drug i had ever taken.  It stopped all the panic attacks, stopped the socal phobia, stopped the depression etc.... i felt very close to normal.  Then after 13yrs i felt well enough to come off of it.... let me tell you Paxil had been documented as one of the hardest anti-d's to come off of.  I had five months of very slowly tappering and even still has severe withdrawal.  Then once i eventually got off of it i became sick again but this time far far worse than i was before i went on it in the first place.  People are more and more commonly reporting this problem and as a result GlaxoSmithKline have been sued millions by consumers as they have played down the effects of this drug so much.  Even i am considering sueing them as for the last yr i have lived in hell and im not sure that my body will ever be the same again.  I am in the first stages with getting CT/MRI scans to detect if this drug has indeed caused changes or damage to my brain.

These people who tell these stories do not do this to scare but to inform the next person of the potential risks that they may not know about, the doc's rarely inform a perosn of them and so us as the consumer has to.

Personally if i had a second chance i would take the herbal medication route, Valerian, Passion flower, L-Theanine are a fantastic combination to take for anxiety and WILL make a difference and wont be as addicitve or addicitve as chemical drugs but for loads have the same effect. This will ease your mind as regards to addiction. Also once you get your insurance sorted get into therapy....CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)  google and have a read up, again fantastic for anxiety and depressive disorders.  

I wish i had someone telling me this 13yrs ago just so i knew what i was letting myself in for, as i also realised that by taking a chemical drug your not actually in any way shape or form teaching yourself how to cope and overcome the anxiety your suffering, you do not learn techniques or face your problems you are chemically burying them.  I personally feel that unless you have tried ALL the other options first and they haven't worked or you are sucidial only then should someone turn to chemcial drugs as the last resort.

Take care and that rescue remedy is good but have a look at the others they are far better in relaxing you both in an emergency and over a prolonged period of time.

1383377 tn?1279388582
Exactly why I started paxil....it was my last resort...and yes, it was a very terribly thing to get off of. But I still dont regret it. Maybe I should look into herbal medications too...
650547 tn?1271776798
Hi!  This is a great place to talk to people about anxiety, where you know others are going through the same thing.  Your friends may be sympathetic toward you, but like you said, if they haven't gone through it, there's really no way for them to truly understand it.  With that said, try not to worry about what they think; if they're true friends, they'll stick by you through thick & thin!  And don't be afraid to post here anytime you need to; I think you'll find everyone here is very supportive, and many people are dealing/have dealt with the exact same issues.
However, I do think you need some additional help.  At this point it sounds like anxiety is really controlling your life, and there's only so much we and/or your friends can do.  I know you said $$ is tight, but you really should see a psychiatrist about this.  Also, I know some people are hesitant about medicines, but they [the medicines] are there to help!  And believe me, I know about side effects and so on; when my anxiety was bad, I actually expected the side effects, rather than the benefits!  So, I guess in conclusion, we are here to help and support you as much as we can, but you really should see a professional to have the best shot at getting your life back to normal.  But please don't be a stranger here!   :-)
1308882 tn?1273544771
Stay strong!  I have to tell myself that all the time.  Medications really helped me.  I have been anxious most of my adult life, and had a terrible time sleeping all through college and graduate school.  I was okay for a while but then after my beautiful daughter was born for some reason I got really anxious.  Went back to law school, got really anxious, and eventually started having full panic attacks.  I had all sorts of physical symptoms before that, leading up to Crohns (I know stress does not really cause it, so they say, but there is a connection).

After suffering for several months without sleep having panic attacks, and trying different meds, I found a tricyclic amine type drug and occasional XR xanax.  It has really helped.

My only problem is times like now for instance when I get to feeling good and then try and go off the meds and then feel anxious again.The good news for me is that it gets better.  For all I know, I may have to stay on meds forever.  That's fine with me.  It is a real condition and you need help, as we all do.

I would recommend therapy at the same time with a good counselor.  Finally, it helps to talk to others who know what you are going through.  I also find it helpful to look at successful folks who suffer from similar issues.  Read Howie Mandel's "Here's the Deal:  Don't Touch Me."  It gives me some hope.

Hang in there.  There is hope!

968908 tn?1274874715
Hiya Paulingo, you said that Paxil was a last resort for you but then stated that maybe you should have a look into Herbal medicines too.  This would imply that if indeed Paxil was a last resort for you, then you would have tried every herbal medicine or other alternative therapy in the book. If a chemical drug is actually a last resort for someone they would of tried every single avenue before trying it.  

Other avenues will include treatments such as Acupuncture, Acupressure, Reflexology, Macrobiotic Diet, Meditation, Yoga, Hypnotherapy, Massage, colonic Hydrotherapy Nutrition,  Aromatherapy, Chinese Herbal Medicine...... to name but a few.  We seem to totally forget that there are all these different options available to us.  We think the only way is by taking Western medicine.  You know it isn’t our faults though because our family doctors, shrinks etc, have, in a sense, brain washed us into thinking that the ONLY way is to take their drugs that nothing else will help.   You know that drug companies such as GlaxoSmithKline are making trillions out of our misery, only for their drugs to cause more misery for many.

Kevintool.... I think it's very sad that you feel you have no choice but to stay on these drugs all your life.  You really shouldn't feel like you don't have any other options, because you really do!!!!  You DONT have to take these drugs forever, just explore the world of alternative medicine and see what works best for you.  

I am currently trying a combination of therapies; Hypnotherapy, meditation, exposure CBT and herbal medicine.  Yes it's far more work than just popping a pill once a day in my mouth but i'll tell ya this, through putting in all this hard work in the end i will be far more better off cause i would of dealt with all those problems that is keeping the anxiety alive inside me, chemically it was just being buried, i will learn how to control and manage the anxiety, which will make me a far far stronger person who knows and understands myself far better, i will not have all those unwanted side effects and my knowledge can never run out...... once it's there it's there for life.

I just want you guys to look at the situation from a different angle and see you can do this a different way.... Google, read and research it can't harm you and you never know what you may find, you may find that 'something' that totally changes your life!!!!!!
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