I get shortterm severe bouts of anxiety, and the rest of the time im fine?

Posted , 7 users are following.

Hi anybody who reads this.

Ive been trying to go online, in forums etc and look for understanding as to how the mind works. Im naturally a bit anxious and a person who experiences really strong emotions (both good and bad) I can feel both really happy and then utterly devastated, it doesnt have to be related to anything especial having happened, its like it comes from "within" me, and feelings are out of my control most times. I usually function really well and i have learned to live with myself, ups and downs. Have never been diagnosed with anything or medicated.

The thing is every other year or so, i get worse or more prolonged episodes of anxiety. I am in the middle of one of these things right now. It can start with something fairly minor, like having been stressed out a lot or dwelling on some problem or past events. And i get stuck. Anxiety has moved in 24-7. Its like i have awoken in a whole new world- a world that is nothing like it was yesterday. Its all dark and grim and filled with bad memories. I start to feel intense guilt over events long gone, doubts in myself and anxiety through most of the day bordering fullblown panic at times. I engage in negative thinking patterns, feel unable to experience postive emotions about things i normally do, feel like i am not loved and my boyfriend will leave me for being "crazy". I will go so far as to think i was never meant to be born. Irrational thoughts i know, but they feel so strong and real. I lose my apetite and my sleep suffers. I can go to sleep, but i awake in the wee hours of the morning, anxious and unable to go back to sleep. I dont recognize myself and i dont feel like "me". This in itself is very scary. Right now i have been feeling this way for about a week, nothing especial has happened that has been unexpected for me.

I did have similar bouts in the past, and did then seek out a medical attention several times, but i wasnt taken seriously. Eventually i got a small prescription for a benzodiazepine, which i took very carefully and only when needed. The last time i felt as bad as this, it lasted about a month and then it was like i one morning woke up and felt "normal" again. My true feelings came back and i could sleep and eat perfectly fine again, any more severe anxiety hasnt occured for a prolonged time until now (2 years later). I realize that this is a long post, and may be all to incoherent or uninteresting to read, but maybe someone does. Im just wondering how this can be so, that my anxiety lifts on its own like that? Does the mind finally just give up and cant go on in such a state? Many people on forums relating to anxiety seem to suffer for so long and not so to speak "naturally heal" (for the time being).

If nobody replies to this thats fine, it elt good to get off my chest though. I dont have a lot of people around me who "get" mental health issues and understand anxiety. They more or less consider me "too dramatic". 

Hugs to all you people out there who help others using forums, ur great!

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  • Posted

    Hi Sam

    Don't feel like you are on your own or completely nuts because you aren't.

    I can relate to just about every symptom you have mentioned in one way or another. I was diagnosed with anxiety back in February and have really been through the ringer so to speak. I am currently on pills for depression ( I don't particualr think im depressed) and anxiety.

    When I'm at my worst I too seem to dwell on things that happened years ago. Its always the painful or frustrationg things that seem to crop up.

    I get to the stage sometimes of absolutle panic and can feel physically sick. The main thing is to recognise that Anxiety is an illness but it can't kill you. At the time its happening theres nothing worse but you will get through it. Your partner should understand and learn to be patient. I live on my own and I can be my own worst enemy sometimes as it gives you a lot of time to think about it. I am learning now to recognise my triggers or symptoms and when I feel my self slipping I get up and do something.

    If it helps you posting on the forum - do it. I feel better sometimes just by doing it as it does help just to get it of your chest. Any way - buck up kiddo. there is light at the end of the tunnel. Small steps and deep breaths.

    Simon

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    • Posted

      Hi Simon,

      Sincerely thank you for your reply. Im always surprised to think that someone would actually take the time to write a reply to a complete stranger. Im most grateful. Its very comforting somehow to know that your not alone in experiencing this. For me anxiety can work in the way that it makes me feel lonely, despite being with people, like i am locked in my own mind.

      You seem to have a good outlook on things, despite dealing with all of this. How are antidepressants working out for you? I hope you are managing well and have some good support around you.

      Sam

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    • Posted

      Hi Sam

      No problem at all. Its nice to chat with some one else thats going through it. My friends are great but with the exception of one (Suffers with severe anxiety) people don't seem to get it. It takes some one who has experienced anxiety to fully understand. The medication is helping. I will say the first few weeks were horrendous. They put you on anti depressants to help regulate your seretonin levels. I can safely say you have to stick with it and be prepared for an early rough ride. It was a bit like some one turning on a light switch with myself. I was up one minute and very down the next. The episodes now are getting further apart. My best since February was about 7 weeks. The further apart they go I do find that I may have a longer bout of anxiety. I am particularily bad on a morning but seem to calm down as the day goes on.

      Ive been told i will be on them for several months so lets see how it goes.

      Simon

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  • Posted

    Hi Sam.

    No you are not mad....the mind is a very very strong tool and the more I read or try to understand it the little I know.  I do believe that we lead very busy lives today and there are more worries.  Even if you do not have thoughts that you feel bring your anxiety on that portion of the brain ,subconscious, can throw anything from the past to the forefront of the brain.  Believe it or not I am again greiving for my late husbad who passed away approx 6 yrs ago but something has triggered  this memeory and thrown it to the front of the brain for me to deal with again.  I would just like an injection when this happens lol.  Good luck Sam and remember you dealt with it once and can do so again.

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    • Posted

      Well said Joyce

      Its strange isnt it. When I'm having a bad episode its the death of my father that always seems to be at the forefront. It wasn;t a pleasant passing.Its amazing what the brain can do to you.

      Si

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    • Posted

      sorry Simon that last mesage was meant for you dohhhh.  Just something else to throw into the ring....I was also told and this applies to male and females, that when you feel like crying do so ...your body is telling you what it wants.  I was driving int he car yesterday on the way to my daughters and cried just to get the big brick off my chest.   

       

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    • Posted

      If i'm at home Joyce I do have my moments believe me. I have noticed when I'm having a particularly bad day I tend to get emotional. Its when I get emotional I tend to start with the panic attacks as I'm worried about breaking down in front of everyone at work. Luckily I have a very understanding boss. I just tip him a wink and I go for a walk on the road and back. The change in scenary helps me change my mindset and I can usually (not always) reign my self back In.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Joyce! Yeah i have dealt with it before and i do recognize the feelings exactly..the hardest part is believing that theyre not "true". Fighting off the doubts in my mind that say "what if this is the time you never get better"? Im sort of an impatient person, and i think that is something that comes back to haunt me, because i generally dont want to tolerate feeling bad, im constantly resisting it and trying to think of solutions, as to how i can feel better now! And lets face it, it doesnt work that way. You have to accept it, and it loses power. When you stop thinking its the end of the world and accept the way you feel, it will be easier to cope. (Im not sure i dont have any perfect solutions im just typing what comes to mind). I hope u are doing well and good luck Joyce!
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  • Posted

    Yes Sam it is...I am having hypnotherapy and counselling and after talking about my life I realise how turmoil it was, something I did not realise before.  So be gentle with yourself and give your mind the time it needs to recover. x

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  • Posted

    I know how you feel. I've experienced what you are experiencing and am still suffering from anxiety due to negative thoughts. Once the negative thoughts start, I begin to experience anxiety attacks. I haven't been myself and feel like anxiety is taking over. I don't want to do anything either which makes me believe I'm also suffering from depression but I have children so I have to function. Thankfully they don't suspect anything is wrong. I am wating to see my doctor so that I can take meds for this anxiety but I need to figure out how to stop the negative thoughts and things I have no control over. You are not alone. Wish you the very best!
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    • Posted

      Thank you for taking the time to reply. Im stunned at how nice people you all seem to be at this forum. Most people i know would never dare write about something "sensitive" cause theyre scared they will receive negative remarks online, even if anonymous. Im so happy to have been kindly replied to, just sayingsmile

      Im feeling you, and its awful to hear you are suffering this. Like you wrote me, you are not alone. I think its nice to state this because anxiety can at least make me feel so very lonely. It may come off silly to say so given i do have friends, a fulltime job and a partner. Maybe it is so because anxiety is irrational. I worry often times that ill end up all alone. So many of us, all over the world and with different histories and backgrounds, we essentially feel the same thing. You have children, which i dont and that must be a lot harder than it is for me. Right now i am staying at my mothers house while on summerbreak from my university, i only have to tend to myself and i find that hard enough. You are strong! I hope you feel better real soon and get a doctors appointment. Let us know your progress if you feel like it. Wish you the best!

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  • Posted

    Hi Sam, can I ask how long these 'bouts' typically last, like a few days or a few months?!
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    • Posted

      Hi Melmo30,

      Well, the longest i have felt really bad in "one go" would be about 1 month. This includes impairment in my daily life with worrying to the point of not being able to think straight and problems with eating and sleeping. I know it may sound weird. The reason i decided to write on this forum yesterday was that i didnt quite know what else to do..I sort of got flashbacks to the time 2 years ago, when i had a really bad time. It coincidentally occured at about the exact same time as now too, in june. I wont say it happened out of the blue, it was related to a thing that had happened, but that was then heavily blown out of proportion and i ended up tugging it over and over in my mind to the point of severe anxiety and all it entails happening. I have a hard time letting the type of feeling go when i get it. I think too fast and hard and get let go, i try too hard to sort out all of the thoughts, and it feels impossible. However to my experience i havent had a "bout" lasting over a month to this point. I guess i should feel grateful about that, suffering acutely rather than chronically, i dont know. Thanks for writing anyways, its appreciated!

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    • Posted

      Hi Sam, thanks, the reason I ask is that this is much like me and I'm never sure how common it is for it to kind of go in cycles! Ive had mild, managable anxiety all my life but had severe 'bouts' every 2 years or so... One about 4 years ago, one about 2 years ago and one very recently. They all seemed to have been triggered by something and I think the even spacing is just coincidence, but each episode lasts 3 or 4 months and each has got progressively worse! The last 2 in particular have really impacted my life and on this occasion I decided to give medication a go and this was the right choice for me. Does mean I don't really know how long this bout would have gone on for naturally but I couldn't continue the way I was! Sounds like a similar situation though - I hope you find a solution, feel free to ask anything if you think it will help x
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    • Posted

      Melmo30, i think you are about the only one i have ever talked to who suffers in "cycles" like myself. Thats interesting (maybe the wrong word to put there but). I havent been met with much understanding as to this, neither from people around me or from doctors. I dont know how easily accesible medical care is where you live, but where i am from (sweden) they basically say that given you are not suicidal, there isnt a whole lot of help for you. Last time i sought out a doctor was 2 years ago, following about 2 weeks of real sleeping difficulties, weight loss due to loss of apetite, daily panic attacks, and i generally just couldnt function properly. After pleading for some relief i was given oxazepam. Other than that i got a list of therapists i could call. It was summer, about the same time as now and most were on holiday and by the time i could get into contact with anyone my symptoms had subsided. And then the need was gone (for the time being).

      3 or 4 months sounds like a long time for you to suffer. I really feel for you!! Can you recognize anything that promotes you getting better? Does it gradually go away? Are you currently okay? U are also welcome to ask me anything if you think it will help : )

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    • Posted

      Oh my god, that's awful regarding doctors attitudes there. No wonder you are at such a loss. I'm in the UK and they are almost a little toooo keen to dish out medication! You can also get counciling and CBT on the NhS if your prepared to wait for it! Like I say, Im not sure I could've got through without a little help on this occasion! 3 or 4 months is a very long time to feel like that - you can spiral quite deep into chaos in that amount of time. I was on another planet! The trouble was that the first few times I didn't really know/understand what was happening to me until I remember literally feeling like a cloud had lifted and being able to think more clearly one day (it really was quite sudden) and I realised in hindsight how crazy the things Id been thinking and feeling were and that I must have had some kind of breakdown. This time around I could recognise it pretty early on fortunately! Last time I got better naturally when I got rid of the thing that was causing the problem (relationship) and this time citalopram (an anti depressant) has helped a lot. I'm currently ok, thanks for asking smile Sleep was a massive issue too and was the last thing to settle down. Keep us posted how you get on but if there is limited treatment availiable where you live in not sure what to suggest tbh. Hopefully you will at least find some comfort on this forum if nothing else x
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    • Posted

      Yeah, swedish doctors are restrictive for some reason. Im not sure as to why, given a prescription here, is only vaild 1 time and enables you to get a pack of about 20 pills. No risk with forming an addiction then. For me to get that the last time however, i had to REALLY stress how bad it was. I got the pills (oxazepam), then i had some left for a full year afterwards! I just think it may be useful to know that theyre there, and can be taken if it feels too much. Also to get my sleeping back on track, cause truly the absolute worst part of this is feeling like i cant function due to fatigue. I went to bed yesterday slept about 6 hours i think (which i guess isnt all that bad) but its so far from my routine. When i awoke i thought a lot about my ex-partner. Old memories and insane feeling of guilt and selfblame. For me i think guilt is by far the worst feeling. It grips me and stuns me completely. I irrationally think i have wronged other people so much. But maybe im not such a "bad" person, given i do actually feel remorse and want to do good. I also feel worthless. I find it hard to eat too, and cause i dont weigh that much, weightloss is not a good thing. I enjoy food so much normally.. Im typing this from work where i am trying to keep a straight face. Many of the things i worry myself with are in fact things i cannot change, which makes a sort of "solution" kind of hard to come up with. What i have to do is try and find some peace and acceptance with these things, but it is so much easier said than done. Whats so annoying for people around me is that they dont find my "problems" half as serious as i do. But then again feelings are subjective..and i am my own worst enemy, real harsh to myself. Whats your take? Will time make these feelings wear off? 

      Im saddened to have to write all of this, and that anyone has to! I should be out there enjoying the time i have here. Realizing im wasting time feeling bad makes me feel even worse tho.. Maybe i just have to accept and think that it is NOT the end of the world, i might feel bad now but in the longrun so what? Would be great to be able to switch your mindset like that smile Im glad to hear you have found something thats working for you. And once again thanks for being a co-person in this world that aint always the easiestsmile

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