Lifelong acute overbearing anxiety

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Hi all,

I have been suffering from anxiety for as long as I can remember. As long as I think I can control the future, I feel perfectly normal. When there is a rough life situation, it sends me spiralling into an abyss of aweful thoughts and I make up terrible scenarios with very low probability of happening, yet I can't seem to stop thinking about them. I have just transitioned careers, moved in with a gf, and trying to adjust to life in a new country. In the process I made several logistical blunders and I've now convinced myself the tax system will slap me with horrible penalties and I'll incur large financial losses.

I know my worrying is pointless, but somehow not worrying makes me scared. I worry so much it's hard to even approach solving my problems because of how afraid I am of the worst case scenario. It's aweful and painful, and I know many people suffer this. No amount of mental gymnastics helps, just makes you tired and more anxious.

The origin of my problems is partially genetic and partially upbringing. My folks went through tough immigration, and I was a very impressionable kid, absorbing all their stress and taking on personal responsibility. My father, being worried I'd be behind in school, put a lot of pressure on me to succeed, and that created more anxiety than ever. The extent to which financial stability and success was emphasized has made me neurotic, trying to avoid any failure or mistake possible, setting "perfect" goals with no room for error. I had extreme anxiety episodes during my undergrad and grad school. I tried to learn about it and seek help, but was too afraid of taking medication.

I now have been on Cit for 11 days, started on 10 mg (a few small side effects) and upped to 20 mg. 20 mg caused my anxiety to skyrocket with unpleasant dreadful thoughts, to the point of tears (I am a 30 year old guy). If you look at my life from the outside, it's perfectly fine, but on the inside I am an obsessive perfectionist who has melt downs around mistakes, especially career or finance related, to the point where it's impossible to work through my problems and find reasonable solutions.

I feel ashamed seeing people on here with actual families and kids, struggling to keep their life in order, while my issues are more trivial in comparison. I had a rather sad thought that I will likely not have the inner strength to support a family and kids. I am not sure what I'm living for at the moment. I only hope that medications can help me get back on my feet, as I dug myself rather deep this time. From there I will seek methods of coping and mind training. Right now feeling aweful and completely helpless, at the total mercy of my vivid imagination, squandering precious moments with friends, family and my partner. Hoping to hear some positive success stories and outlooks here, I really need some clarity to put myself back together. Will keep on with the drugs for now, I know it can take a few weeks.

Thanks for reading, and wish you all the best of health and speedy path to recovery.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    I'm still battling side effects and waiting for things to calm down but I wanted to say that you shouldn't feel bad for having anxiety even though you don't have the same struggles as other people. It's an illness and can happen to anyone. I haven't had any traumatic experience but I've been having panic attacks since I was about 12.

    I also worry a lot about whether I could be a mother with my illness and if it would be fair to a child. I'd love to hear from people who have had children with existing anxiety and how they coped. 

  • Posted

    Hi Danny.  Firstly well done on taking the first step to taking control. The side effects for the first few weeks can be horrific but trust that it will get better. My story is not dissimilar to yours. I have everything going for me yet work situations in particular are a trigger for me. You will get through this and please do not beat yourself up for experiencing the feelings you are going through. There are millions of us out there experiencing the same thing. You are not alone although it does feel like it.  It is worth trying to find a good counsellor to help you through this. You sound like an amazing person. It hit me when I was 22 and I have had 7 major episodes since then. I am now 47 and am 3 months into a new course of CIT.  Stick at it my friend.  You have taken control. Be patient while the meds work. Its no different from a diabetic needing insulin. We just need a bit of help rebalancing our brain chemicals.  Keep posting and reading some of the stories on this forum. It helps to know that there are many of us out there. Take care and be easy on yourself.
  • Posted

    I keep repearing myself that though times dont last but people do. And it help sometines to relax and concentrate. All axiety and panic attacks started after second car accident. I had 2 car accidents in ten month and it damaged me from inside. Im not usual myself. Nightmares lots of stress and fear. Feel like im alone and nobody can understand what im saying. Was ignored lots of time by bf he treated me like a dog. Until i could cope with myself. Taking CIT for two months now. First 3 weeks were killing me. Now its slightly better. Feel bit calm and starting to think positively. The most important thing is not to be alone or feel like ure not normal. Tell ur partner how u feel. It might help. Sometimes it is vital to know that somebody cares about u.
  • Posted

    Hey danny, don't give up hope young man. You will turn that wonderful corner sooner or later. I am six weeks into my 10 mgs dose and it was rough for a few weeks. It started to get better in week four and has been gradually improving ever since. I am not 100% yet, but getting there. It is a wonderful medication that takes time and I know it feels like forever, but you will be happy you decided to take this medication. I can almost promise you this. Stay the course! You will get there..

  • Posted

    Thanks for the comments. The support helps.

    I went back to 10 mg as 20 was just too much to deal with. Hope it still does something. Today was particularly bad as I started getting anxious about my problems. Incredibly hard to stop ruminating and intense feelings of dread and hopelessness. Not sure if it's the meds side effects or just my anxiety came back stronger to give me another beating.

    I will stick it out at 10 mg and will try to stay positive. Distracting myself and chatting with my partner helps. I worry I am becoming a burden on her - she is so nice and positive and all I can do is obsess about my own issues.

    Fingers crossed things will improve. I will try to report back with progress and hopefully a success story. I know reading success stories really helps with hopefulness and optimism smile


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