Are my feelings 'typical' for anxiety / depression ??

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Dear All. I am wondering if what I am experiencing is usual for anxiety/depression or is particuarly severe or an indication of something else going on? I do have anxiety and depression but it comes with an incredibly uncomfortable, restless, almost angry feeling, For example at the moment I am feeling so pent up and agitated - it has got a lot worse with the spring and longer, warmer days. The future is so bleak and I have so many money worries it is truly terrifying. I live on my own and could loose my job so no wonder I am feeling a lot of the things. However I wondered about the uncomfortable agitation and how I feel like screaming sometimes. Even getting washed is uncomfortable and I keep getting hot flashes as the internal energy / agitation has no where to go. it is intolerable. Sleeping is so difficult now as I feel panicky and my heart beats fast. Mornings are horrendous - as soon as it gets light i start to get more panicky and my heat starts thumping even more. It feels pretty severe to me and I don't know how much longer I can cope with it - it is truly horrendous. Have had/am having CBT but I am not at the right stage for any of it to be effective - my feelings/what is happening inside me is way to strong to control.

I don't feel manic or like doing anything extravagant so it is not bi-polar. I am not on meds yet as I cannot find any without intolerable side effects which is another big problem causing a lot of internal conflict. I also have minimal GP support causing more problems. I am not strong enough physically or mentally to take a lot of side effects so just don't know what to do as I will not get better....Any thoughts on symptoms etc appreciated. C

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  • Posted

    Hi Caroline. Yes, what you describe is one of the typical manifestations of both depression and anxiety. But, knowing that it is normal for your condition will sadly not make it go away on its own and may not make you feel any better. You sound a lot like me before I underwent treatment for the first time. I had tried psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and also hypnosis but all of those made me feel even more agitated and lost. It wasn't until i started to take medication that i rested a little, regained balance and then found that i was quite capable of going through the process of growth that was necessary perfectly well, if a little slowly. It took 12 years in total with the last 8 being focused on the right medication at the right dosage. I wish I had started sooner! After 2 years of therapy i was symptom-free and gaining strength and ability to cope with everyday problems. I am now 3 years off meds and about 8 years symptom-free. In the midst of the most difficult time in my life financially, with a small child and a couple of troubled adults who need my support. I am coping fine. It can be overcome. You can wake up one day and feel fine again - in fact better and more capable than ever. I am not saying that medication is the only way to go but it was certainly the best way for me. If you do go that route eventually, ignore the side-effects and horror stories. If you continue on CBT alone, trust it and yourself. If your GP is not helpful, seek out another one. Do whatever you can to shorten your suffering. Life is hard enough as it is without having to fight internally the whole time. Sending best wishes.
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    • Posted

      Hello - how did you start your medication 'journey' did you have support from a psychiatrist / trusted GP? I have had some scary experiences on just a low dose, for example sertraline gave me some terrible side effects and I did not have the strength to push through, particularly as I live alone. I have almost developed a phobia about it and it is adding to the intense stress as I am now terrified of side effects. I am not working and have abeen off work for many months. How on earth will I know which antidepressant is right for me? People say give it weeks if not months - by then my system would be used to it and I could get terrible withdrawal or 'discontinuation effects' I also could not cope with bad side effects at the moment as my anxiety / depression feel intolerable as they are any increase I fear would push me over the edge.

      How did you start and did you have supportive people around you. Also, I know we are all different but which medications did you try and what have you found to be the most helpful?

      An additional problem is that I have had a lot of health issues (in fact it was health issues that started all this i the first place) icluding gastritis and antidepressants can really mess that up/cause it to increase a lot. best wishes Caroline

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    • Posted

      I started with my GP but after a while i was not getting better so i was referred to a psychiatrist. I changed 3 because most made me feel worse. I was lucky to find a great neuro-psychiatrist and he sorted out my medication and dosage pretty quickly after that. A couple of close friends were very supportive as was my mother. My husband was not so much. Once i was on the right meds and felt the change starting to take place i did not really need anyone. I started to regain strength and normal life started to unfold. I found paroxetine inadequate. I was also given diazepam to control panic attacks, bromazepam, lorazepam and finally xanax. I was kept on xanax 3 x per day while i adjusted to venlafaxine, my final medication. Adjustment took 2-3 months. Xanax helped take the edge off side-effects. After that it was a smooth ride, i got off xanax gradually and without many issues. I was on 150 mg of venlafaxine and it offered a gradual but steady progress. It took two + years to reach a symptom-free state, 3 years of maintenance therapy and over 2 years for tapering off. No issues at any stage. The hardest part were the first 2 weeks starting Venlafaxine because it does produce some worsening before improvement starts. Which is true for most. This is why my doctor insisted on pairing it with xanax, to which i objected loudly but quickly succumbed as i got tired of feeling like crap. You will know if a medication works for you indeed only after a few weeks. Even if you take one for 3 months and then have to change, you will taper off very slowly. If not slow enough, you will go find a doctor who WILL do it slow enough. It is very important to have a doctor you trust and feel comfortable with. If possible.

      On the subject of gastritis, I think you will find that gastritis actually improves with anti-anxiety medication ....my severe gastritis was completely gone once i started therapy smile. While taking acid blockers did nothing for me at all. I was surprised but the gastroenterologist who I was seeing said to take anti-anxiety meds freely and that they can only help with gastritis and indigestion. The only health concern you should worry about is anything related to the liver. If you take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds you should screen your liver enzymes regularly. Your prescribing doctor needs to have your full health history. Some conditions may present a problem. If you have pulmonary obstruction or impaired breathing in any way, you will not be given certain types of medication, same if you have renal or heart insufficiency etc. Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, I was referred to the community mental health team but never actually saw a psychiatrist - I saw a CPN but have been discharged as I am having now having therapy.

      I don't think I can be referred directly to a psychiatrist and even if I could it would take ages - also I can't imagine it easy changing psychiatrists on the NHS - how did you manage to try 3 before finding the right one? I get such side effects on small doses of anti depressants - that is what is scaring me so much and stopping me moving forward. I have not got the strength to get worse. Also changing GP takes time and I just feel so incapable at the moment due to the depression / anxiety. I am really scared as I am moving backwards not fowards. It sounds as if you were so proactive, i feel so hopless.

      A tny dose of sertraline gave me twitches, bad nausea, intense headache, burning bladder and painful urination, acid stomach, burning feeling in the skin, strange dreams I could go on - it was horrible...

      Caroline

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    • Posted

      Ugh I keep forgetting we are not all free to choose. I am not in the UK and where I am unless you are covered by the governmental health plan, and not everyone is based on income, you pay so most people opt to go private as it is less hassle though a little more expensive. The specialists i went to were all private. I was lucky in that respect. I am sensitive to medication also. I get dizzy and sleepy on paracetamol, i had blurred and double vision on PPI's prescribed for my gastritis and when i take antibiotics i feel like i am dying smile . On venlafaxine i got a host of adjustment symptoms such as headaches, dry mouth, anxiety worsening, palpitations, vivid nightmares, intrusive thoughts and brain zaps, sweating, nausea, painful urination, constipation, acid reflux, numbness in fingers and face, dizzy spells, weakness, hot and cold flushes, feeling that cold water is being poured over my head, face and back....etc.But these subsided almost exactly after two weeks and meanwhile xanax was prescribed to help take the edge off. And then, milder flareups with each dosage adjustment. Then...nothing. Just gradual improvements in every aspect. I understand how you feel helpless and incapable. I remember clearly how i felt at the time. I could not do anything by myself and felt so small and so afraid. Having to rely on whichever doctor happens to be assigned to you is also not empowering nor comforting. How long did you take setraline for?
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    • Posted

      Caroline

      Exactly the same happened to me.

      Was referred by gp mid march got an appointment 31/3 I thought great but didnt see a psych my appointment to see him was set for 23/5 and I was being messed about with the centre so I threw all my toys out the pram and I got an appointment on 28/4.

      I saw him and was discharged in the same day because you are not allowed to be under a psych and get CBT at the same time!!!!!!

      Its a jokeredface

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    • Posted

      What they put you through is unfair. Mental health issues require prompt and adequate treatment as any illness. Every sufferer should first be evaluated by GP, immediately referred to psychiatrist and psychotherapy specialists for evaluation. The specialists should work together. It would be cheaper and less time-consuming at the same time. What a shame. For an otherwishe wonderful concept such as NHS.
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    • Posted

      How on earth did you persevere and how did you get yourself to accept that they might get better and not be prolonged? Nightmares, instrusive thoughts, painful urination and all the rest I just could not function? You must be so strong - I read also that a lot of people seem to persevere through very difficult symptoms. I only took sertraline for a short time I just could not cope with it. This makes me despair that I will never be strong enough to deal with any start up so will keep as i am or get worse,
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    • Posted

      i can't be stronger than you if we are suffering from the same kind of meltdown. I persevered because my doctor assured me NOTHING bad would happen to me, that i will not die or go crazy and that i will get better. One small positive experience at a time he said. I was just lucky to have a doctor I felt comfortable enough with. I wish everyone could have that. But even without it everyone can get the hang of it. He also said that some paths just take longer but eventually it gets better one way or another (when I questioned the absolute need for me to take medicine). Also, at the time i had a newborn to look after. I couldn't stand the thought of not being able to look after her as i could not look after myself. And my dog was getting neglected because i couldn't get out to walk him without falling apart. I had to pick myself up. So I cried through the adjustment, slept whenever i managed (which was not much sad ) and slowly two weeks passed, then three and then everything was a little easier. You are not weak. You are tired and afraid.
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    • Posted

      You are right I am tired and afraid, more terrified really. I don't know how you did it with a new born. I am frightened the start ups will make me go crazy. I would hate to get so scared of sleeping in case i get nightmares - it is almost impossible to sleep at the moment anyway due to anxiety, thumping heart etc. I am on my own here and so scared. There is no one to call to speak about side effects. My gp said she would just say continue. I need to be able to get out to go to health appts etc with bad side effects I could not manage...I am so stuck (and have been for a while).
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    • Posted

      I really feel for you. But at the same time I know you will not go crazy on small start-up doses of one single medication. If you are aware of what is happenning it is usually a sure sign you are not in fact 'going crazy'. I understand that it is not easy to comfort these fears and that you are overwhelmed. But sooner or later you will be so fed up that you will be able to stomach pretty much any symptoms if there is a chance in hell that there is light at the end of the tunnel smile And then maybe you too will regret not having started sooner. Meanwhile keep your goals small. Getting out of bed, getting to your appointments, getting back home, managing a smile. One small triumph at a time builds the brain right back up. If you do start medication you could discuss online with people who are taking it? I think there is a group on here as well? Better than nothing. Also, i know a few people who pulled it off without medication and got better, slowly on their own terms. Everything is possible. But you have to give yourself a break if you feel like you are always moving backwards. In this case, take a short-cut. What's a couple of weeks. Can it really be much worse than the symptoms you are already braving for a while now? I remember the despair. I really wish you a quick recovery.
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    • Posted

      How i managed with a new born - my agitation turned to the brink of agression. I sensed she was in danger. And i did not want to carry that kind of thing on my soul. I moved forward because if i did nothing i could see myself hurting her (she was a colicky infant). And when i found all therapy inadequate I dug more. Until I found this doctor who was so nonchalant about it and looked so convinced that he knew what he was doing, it was in my best interest to put my trust in him. I regained independance over the first two years. The goal was to give me back confidence to do everyday things. The fear and panic and anger subsided over time. My lesson was self-reliance. Everyone has a lesson they are struggling with that caused the meltdown. I don't know if that helps you figure it out. x
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    • Posted

      Thank you. It is so difficult as I am in the middle of it at the moment and it is so horribly overwhelming and awful. It truly feels as if I will not get out the other side. I feel truly terrible and I'm so scared of the future. I fear it could be worse on meds than what i am experiencing which is why I am so scared to start. One appointment I have i might have to wait quite a while, That is truly so uncomfortable in my current state as to be almost unbearable. I am normally a strong minded person so goodness knows how I would be if I hadn't had that strength. I grieve for the person I used to be and think of what I would be doing if i was well. I feel as if I will be forever changed and I will be as this has been so traumatic I will never forget. As you will recall this is what it feels like to be in the middle of a bad depression/anxiety. My stomach is playing up too due to the severe anxiety. I do things but the goals don't seem to build things up. The good weather is making it worse too. I never thought mental health issues could be so utterly painful...

      It would be fantastic to get better on my own terms but that is not happening and as said the spring has made things worse (that could be because I have had to face up to the 'reality' of the horrible situation.

      Thanks again for your good wishes. I hope with all my heart things get better. C

       

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    • Posted

      I worry I have let it go on for too long and it is very entrenched. The deprssion/anxiety was all triggered by a lot of ill health which created too much stress. On top of that I seem to have devleloped a complete and utter fear of psychotropic medication (well a lot of medication actually). I did have a bad reaction to an antibiotic I was taking and think that might have triggered things to. What has also been frightening is how you can be treated if mentally unwell. I am having to completely rethink my mental picture of myself and that is so destabilising on its own let alone the mood/mind altering effects of the depression/anxiety and of any anti depressants I take. I am so stuck and fearful it is unbelievable but I think that is also the nature of the condition. I would not wish it on anyone,
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    • Posted

      I think you are not being kind to youurself if you feel that you have to establish a whole new perception of yourself to account for your current mental state. I mean, if you get the flu do you beat yourself up? I know it is not exactly the same, but it is in a way. I think your bad experiences have left you reeling and you have coiled up and that it is perfectly understandable. Nothing of this kind is ever too entrenched as long as you are aware of it as you are! I am trying to say you are not too far gone and are unlikely to go too far as it is not in the nature of this illness to make you 'crazy'. It just makes you feel like you are losing touch/control but it does not happen. Depression following health troubles is very common and anxiety goes hand in hand. fear of medication...I had a bad reaction to a mild gastritis medication - allergic shock. I was terrified of taking an aspirin let alone antibiotic or psychotropics. But, i picked a nice working day and kept my phone close and with emergency on speed dial when i started my psychotropic meds. Along with a list of meds, how much and how often i have to take them. I am trying to say...don't let the fear keep holding you back. Not just from medicine but from believing that everything can be turned around for the better and not always for the worse. I agree with you, it is debilitating and i would not wish it on anyone either. Except on those who were so cold and hurtful to me when i needed help and did not know what was happenning to me. And then, i would wish it on them only so that they can understand and not hurt another person through sheer ignorance. Some doctors included sad
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