Anxiety has taken over.

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Hello, Initially posted this on a reply to another thread but because I'd like to know whether others suffer from this and how they've dealt with the way they're suffering I've decided to start a new discussion. Hope this is okay. I've fears of dying every mealtime and it's literally taking over my life. I've had some but not many teeth removed and have been paranoid about choking since childhood. Now I'm blending most of my meals and do not eat regularly because of my worries. I've been told CBT should help and have gone back onto Citalopram to help with the anxiety but I'm worried that there's nothing that will help me overcome this. I've asked my dentist for reassurance and several GPs but come to my own conclusions and literally am worried that I can die whilst eating a meal. It's made me feel very miserable and at a guess has added to my feeling depressed and generally worthless (other factors are contributing to the latter but this seems like one viscious circle that's exceptionally difficult to get out of that is should it be possible to get out of at all). I do not want to die either. I'd like to see my little one grow up and be here for him. At a guess I'm not alone with fears like this (whether they're similar though I'm not sure) but it's a horrible thing to be going through particularly as you've got to eat in order to exist. As others have said on here this is very debilitating. Whether treatable I'm really not sure. 

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  • Posted

    Yours is a tough one.  I would say there is a reason for your intense fear.  Consult your doctor and ask for an Endoscopy or GI series to rule out any malfunction with your digestive system.  Sometimes patients can feel when something is not quite right but cannot put there finger on it.  (ALWAYS pay attention to what the patient is saying!) If nothing has been found, ask to speak to someone to help your anxiety so you can function properly.  Let the docs decide if you need medication as you delve into this to ferret out the reasons.  Best wishes!
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    • Posted

      Hello, Thank you for your reply. That sounds a frightening procedure. Am hoping that it's not a physical problem but something that can be treated with CBT and Citalopram but thanks for your reply anyway. Asked for an appointment with ENT already and not looking forward to the appointment. Can eat chocolates e.g. a Mars bar (for example) without problems but as for eating a meal the paranoia is immediately apparent.
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  • Posted

    Too bad there is not an edit button.  I meant "their" finger on it!
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  • Posted

    "I've fears of dying every mealtime and it's literally taking over my life. I've had some but not many teeth removed and have been paranoid about choking since childhood. Now I'm blending most of my meals and do not eat regularly because of my worries."

    - Discuss coming off citalopram and then ask for a referral to a therapist who specialises in something called EMDR. YOu could try CBT but in your case dealing with a specific trauma, EMDR would be more effective.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I've not long since started back on Citalopram and have been told the drug helps with both depression and anxiety therefore am a little confused. Will ask about the therapy you've mentioned though. Thanks again for that.

      Much appreciated.

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    • Posted

      You're welcome.

      Medication should be the last resort for a lot of people but unfortunately doctors offer it for no other reason than because it takes longer to get help from the services than it does for the medication to take hold. The medication is something that you don't want in your life forever just as I'm sure if you've ever had a broken bone, you don't want a cast on it forever.

      Talking therapies will help more in the longterm. Let me know how you get on smile

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    • Posted

      Each case is different.  There are times medication should be prescribed immediately and it is only the doctor who decides...here it would be a psychiatrist.  If the manifestation of the core problem is intense or interfering with daily life he would need immediate relief while counseling therapy is begun to get a clearer, deeper picture.  Nobody ever wants to be on medication all their lives.  It's expensive, annoying to remember, and side effects can be irritating.  However, sometimes it's needed as a diabetic needs insulin for a chemical imbalance, and sometimes it's needed just as a once in a while aid to calm down so you can deal with a situation.  For instance, Seritonin is the body's chemical to soothe and calm and make you feel good.  (It's also in chocolate!)  As it passes through the body, it stays for a while, then flushed out at a certain rate.  Some people have an imbalance where it doesn't stick around as long as it should, but "uptakes" and is flushed out, leaving you not feeling so well balanced and you don't know why.  Modern medicine (now about 20+ years old) invented SSRI reuptake inhibitors=Selective Seritonin Reuptake Inhibitors.  They cause the Seritonin in your body to adhere to the normal amount and flow by regulating it.  This can be genetic.  If one type doesn't work there are several that work slightly differently for the same result.  It takes maybe a month for it to reach the therapudic level in your blood.  If there is no relief then the doctor has to continue evaluating and testing to figure out the core problem.  Personally, it was like night and day for me and 3 out of 5 of us in my birth family.  My sister has deeper problems and didn't work for her.  But there have been times in my life when something has happened when I had to see a therapist and talk it out.  SSRI's do not make you skip through meadows.  It just allows you to feel like life is worth getting out of bed.  You can think clearly and sort out your challenges and feel good about it.  But if something big happens like a huge breakup, a parent divorce, a friend dying, it does not protect you from normal emotions that you may need help with.  Here in the States when you go through your insurance, depending on the problem, getting in to see a psycologist or psychiatrist is either immediate or a week later.  In my life I have had maybe  half a dozen times I've had to arrange it, either for myself, or for family counseling.  Like anything, you may have to see if you feel comfortable with each one.  I found only one that didn't work because the chemisrty wasn't right.  Good luck to you.
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    • Posted

      "...he would need immediate relief while counseling therapy is begun to get a clearer, deeper picture"

      - Most 'immediate therapies' in the form of medication take 3 weeks to get into your system to have any apparent longterm benefit and frankly, if you understood the nature of the services in the UK, the only reason why doctors prescribe any form of medication to patients (obviously depending on the severity of their condition) is to fill in the gap between when you first walk into their office and several months later when you get to the next stage. The problem in anxiety's case is that benzodiazepine drugs can make you dependant, which is why it's crucial to find ways to alleviate the symptoms as quickly as possible.

      Anxiety can be controlled without medication - one experiencing it just needs immediate guidance.

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    • Posted

      You make a good point.  The system is very different here and I probably need to get on a forum from here.  Initially I was looking something up and sort of got on here by chance.  And yes, it takes about a month to reach therapudic levels in the blood.  Except for something like Ativan or Xanex, for instance.   But  in our system, every time we go for a visit to a therapist, there is a co-pay of up to $50.  If we take a medication and we have med insurance, it's a $10-$20 co-pay for a month.  My own sister does both-she sees a therapist regularly who prescribes meds for her. (She won't give her meds without the therapy.) There are times I have controlled my own anxiety without medication.  I'd worked up to a tearful headache over a situation and instead of reaching for something went out into our backyard where we have windchimes and a bubbly fountain, and just sat on a swinging bench under shade and watched the dogs playing.  My headache magically went away.  So, sometimes yes, sometimes no.
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  • Posted

    Hi.  I have to agree with gypsarella in that you sound as though you have a specific issue that EMDR would help with.  In my opinion (I'm not a doctor or a therapist) you sound as though you have a specific phobia that could be helped by counseling or therapy.  Ask your doctor to refer you.  I've just had three EMDR sessions with a therapist and she helped me identify a traumatic issue that happened when I was a teenager that I hadn't processed properly and I've now got rid of the anxiety issues that I've been dealing with for 28 years!  Phobias are very common and lots of people get over them with help, just make sure you make your GP realise that you want help and badger him/her until you get it.
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  • Posted

    By the way, I don't really agree with their methods, but have you seen the ITV programme The Speakmans.  They have dealt with a guy who had a phobia about eating and as long as you don't think it will re-inforce what you think, it may help to watch to see that you're not alone and people do get over things.  It will be available on ITV player.  It's Episode 4.  However, it still comes down to the fact that you need to talk to a therapist to identify your particular fear and where it stems from.  Good luck and let us know how you get on.
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    • Posted

      Hi, Thank you for both of your replies. They're much appreciated. Glad to hear that you've managed to crush the anxiety that you've had for so long. Interesting to hear from someone who has benefitted from something that's been recommended on here.

      Best Regards.

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