Debilitating Anxiety - Just want it to go away! I need to go back to work!

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I have been living with this constant anxiety since June of last year. When we lost the family business and my step Father passed away.

It hit me like a brick and hasnt give in since. After a couple of panic attacks, some in public places, I went to my GP, Although he was back then sympathetic, I dont think he is listening to how bad this is.

It is that bad that I can not leave the house alone anymore. I can,t walk and my legs and neck shake which is very obvious to see. I can,t answer the home phone and have disconnected my mobile. I have had some CBT sessions but did't feel that they helped, it was almost like the doctor did,t believe what I was saying, I found it very distressing to have to answer all kinds of questions to someone I had only just met. They suggested a time of reflection (not sure what they meant by that) and then start the CBT again. Problem is getting to the appointments. I cant go out!

To get on a bus or tram would be very distressing, my palms are sweating just imagining it. Going in to a shop is hell, its like I need to run, get out of there ASAP. I find it hard to speak aswell, sometimes the words just wont come out.

I went to an official appointment and when my name was called I couldnt stand up to walk, I was so frightend, all I could do was sit there and burst out in tears (I was devastated), the security guard had to help me to my feet, I left without attending the appointment

I have supportive friends and family but I tend to hide away from them and wouldnt talk about my anxiety to them.

Now all this set aside, my main problem is I need to go back to work as my redundancy will run out within the next few weeks.

Feeling really stuck here, how can I go back to work, if I cant leave the house or interact in any social situation? Any advice would be much appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Hello Devita, I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling.

    If it is any consolation or reassurance to you, my cousin has been suffering with this type of anxiety for some time following the death of her father and the subsequent loss of their family business.

    She tried CBT and didn't find it very helpful, and she commented as you did that she felt her doctor was showing an decreasing amount of interest in her problem.

    The break in her case came when someone, a friend of hers I think suggesting to her that maybe she would benefit from taking Paroxetine.

    She found it difficult to get out of the house, neverthesless she summond-up just enough courage to go back to her doctor and ask directly for this medication.

    Six months down the line I have to say that although she says she is still not 100% she is well enough now to get back to work and carry on a relatively normal life.

    There is no guarantee that this particular medication will work for you, but it is worth asking your doctor if it or some other medication might help you.

    At very least it will make him think that you have been doing some research on your problem, after which you might think his attitude has changed for the better.

    My very best wishes

    Rod

     

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  • Posted

    Thanks Rod,

    My doctor says he cant prescribe any medications until the CBT is finnished but thats my problem, getting to the appointments. I think its more than just anxiety, possibly PTSD aswell. But I will mention Paroxetine to him when I go again. 

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  • Posted

    Hi there, 

    You poor thing. You really are suffering - I am so sorry to hear that. 

    Regarding your work matter, is there something that you could do from home? Do you have any skills in book-keeping or something that you could do from the comfort of your own home?

    Alternatively have you sought advice on whether you are entitled to any benefits? It may be that you can get some help that way while you are recovering (and you will recover!) Problem is if you go back to a work environment before you are ready, it will have an even more negative effect. 

    Regarding the main issue of your anxiety, it is so tough I know, but I would really recommend trying CBT again. I know it can feel really wierd talking to a stranger about your problems, but it really can help. Remember that they are professionals and are used to dealing with this type of mental health issue on a daily basis. I doubt if anything you tell them, they have already heard hundreds of times before. 

    When I went, it helped me to tell myself that they are paid to listen to me and their interest is in helping me get better. That being said, you do need to help yourself, push yourself to do the homework that they give you and try daily to do something that you don't feel comfortable in doing. These can be small things that you build on over time.

    For instance, maybe just setting two feet outside your door for 5 minutes to start with. Then when you are feeling comfortable with that, try doing it with the front door closed. (Do it out the back door if you have one), that way no-one will see what you are doing). However if you don't have a back door, you can always just say you are getting some fresh air if anyone were to ask (which I'm sure that they won't!)

    Then when you are happy with that, try taking a few steps up the path and stand there for a few minutes before coming back in the house.

    Little things like this build over time. The more you avoid doing things, the worse things will get and you will eventually get to the point where you daren't even get out bed. You don't want to get to this point. Think of all the wonderful friends and family you have to get you through this and all the things that you would like to do and see when you are fit and well again!

    Also on this note, I know it's tough, but don't be scared to tellyour loved ones what you're fears are and that you are suffering from anxiety. Things aren't normally so scary once you get them out in the open and people can help you (sometimes!) to think about them in a more logical fashion. You have nothing to be ashamed about - so many people suffer with anxiety. You may well even find that your friends have suffered from it as well. 

    (Just so you know that I am not just rabbitting for the sake of it), I do know how you feel. I am an OCD sufferer and have previously got to the point where I did't want to step out my front door, or touch people because of my issues. Simple daily tasks that took most people seconds would take me nearly 20 minutes. I was absolutely miserable and people couldn't understand it because my fears were so illogical to them.

    However, going to CBT the psychologist was able to explain to me more about my condition (including stressing that I wasn't mad), but that I had an anxiety disorder and OCD is my way of dealing (albeit temporarily) with the anxiety. 

    Following their advise, and persevering over weeks and months, I recovered and managed to stop all of my different compulsions. I do have to regularly make sure I don't start them again when I am stressed, but I now know the signs to look for.

    It isn't easy (anyone who says it is is either lying or has never done it themselves), but it is definitely worth the hard work and tears (because there will be some). 

    I really hope that you are able to find the help that you need. Remmber that you always have this forum! biggrin  

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