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Hello. I'll be here for a bit so here's the Intro I guess

April

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I am 41 years old. I was a member of Anxiety Zone (I believe) from years ago. I went there when I needed some self help with anxiety. It was mostly health anxiety mixed with general. And I had panic attacks. This was maybe 10+ years ago, after I would have to say a 'mental breakdown'. I was able to 'pull myself' out of it with self help. I did see a CBT therapist and a Psychologist for a short time. I never finished the sessions. I fear taking medicine so being put on any type of anxiety meds was out of the question. That leads into the 'fear of losing my mind/not being myself anymore/losing control'. The health anxiety lasted for years afterwards. I suffer from Endometriosis which also messes with my hormones. Most of my panic attacks/anxiety came from fear of dying. Fear of a heart attack, fear of doing anything that could hurt me (yet I smoked cigarettes...). I was able to get through all those bad times. They sucked, they were physically painful. I'm pretty sure I had intrusive thoughts of losing my mind and not ever being the same again. But I bounced back and 'felt myself' after. I've had 3 major mental breakdowns in my life. I've got through the them... I had another one on Wednesday (that's still going on, why I'm here). I had a major surgery for Endometriosis in a different state 5 months ago (June 18). I recovered pretty okay from it. I also quit smoking that day and have been smoke free since after smoking for over 20 years. I felt great after a few months recovering. I am going to physical therapy, I started walking/doing exercises. Well a recheck from surgeon in October told me I had PCOS now, after we did hormone testing. Because I told her I felt my hormones were all over the place. She wanted to put me on a med that also had a cancer risk on it (very low risk..). I refused. I'm already scared of meds so that was a big pass. I started searching diligently on the internet for a natural cure. I thought I found one. But it's not working well. On that Wednesday I was searching and just getting overwhelmed I guess from all the things I could try etc. I also am an over thinker and I think I have OCD issues. Well, after I spent 3+ hours re-organizing my kitchen (it needed it), I just felt like crying for no reason. My husband came home from work and I just started crying. I went into a panic attack I believe. I thought I was losing my mind, or afraid to lose my mind. I kept thinking maybe it's my hormones, then I kept thinking maybe it's not and I'm really losing my mind and need help. I couldn't sleep so I called my mom. She helped me, talked me down and I finally fell asleep. Woke up on Thanksgiving still feeling anxious. Then scared because I didn't 'snap out of it' and still panicky. I kept thinking I'm not going to family dinner, then no I have to, etc. Finally just pushed on and went. I survived but had to keep thinking/telling myself not to lose control/freak out. I even went shopping afterwards with husband/brother/dad. Felt ok but in back of my mind kept having intrusive thoughts. Went home, felt ok for a couple of hours while my husband slept then I just kept having the feeling of wanting to cry so I did. And I kept crying and then I freaked out because I don't know what's going on with me. I tried to go to sleep, I couldn't and that gave me more anxiety. (I've had 3 or 3 episodes in the past where I was too excited/anxious and didn't sleep for over a day/had a panic attack then slept and felt fine the next day). My husband didn't help, he said I'm going to give him a heart attack if I don't calm down. That was the absolute worst thing to say to me... I freaked out even more, told him I need to go to the ER (I also had bad stomach pain/knots in stomach). He said I didn't need to go, I'm just panicking. I called my mom bawling like crazy and told her I think I need to go to ER. So she came over and took me. This was like 4am. Explained the schpeel to the ER doc. The gave me 5 mg of Valium and a butt shot of torodol. Took a CT scan of my abdomen (because I did have horrible stomach pains). The ER doc told me it's going to take awhile for my hormone to balance out after the surgery (mind you I still have an ovary/uterus, just imbalanced hormones). The meds he gave me did nothing. I still felt a little anxious, I also didn't feel sleepy. I want to add that for the last few days I've had stomach flutters as well as throughout my body. Those annoyed me so badly I kept dwelling on why they wouldn't stop. It's that surge of excitement feeling you get when you're excited, but I wasn't... I was dismissed from the ER even though I told them I still didn't feel well. They didn't care, said nothing they can do for me. Follow up with doctor. I felt sad, helpless and that since they deemed nothing medically wrong with me then (no bloodwork done, didn't test hormones) I had all the thoughts that I am a mental case now, it's all in my head and I will have to be institutionalized. I knew these were irrational thoughts too but I kept having them. I couldn't go to sleep. That scared more. My mom stayed over. I was a mess. I thought to myself that if I don't pull out of this after I finally get to sleep, my mind is gone... I won't ever be able to stop thinking and be 'normal'. Well, I finally fell asleep (I took another half of a valium around 2pm that did nothing, actually made me feel a bit worse) around 7pm Friday (11/29). I woke around 650am today (Saturday 11/30). I had to check to see what day it was and if it was AM or PM. I think instantly 'starting thinking' about what happened to me and why I acted that way. It gave me anxiety because I woke up not feeling great/like 'myself'. Now I fear I need to see a counselor and get on anxiety meds. That I can't pull myself out of this, again. Sounds like I'm a mess, right? I'm a lost cause? I'm a mental case? Yep, all my thoughts now. My husband is scared now and he doesn't want me to talk about my feeling or how I feel to him now. It's giving him anxiety. This scares me because I need him to be strong for me to get me through. I was always the strong one. For us, for my whole family. Now I'm weak, helpless and hopeless. I always help everyone, now I need help and no one is here for me. April has cracked. I know what I need to do to pull myself out of this, to change my thinking to positive etc. But it's so hard, it's hard work and I've done it for so long, I don't want to do it anymore. I just want it to happen naturally. I can't even think about tomorrow without having anxiety.. because I'll think 'will I be like this tomorrow'? I am hoping coming here, someone will talk some sense to me. Keep me grounded and tell me that everything will be alright, this is 'normal' and I'll get through it again. I am calling my doctor on Monday to see about more hormone testing. That's all I have now. I'm not even looking forward to tomorrow and that's unlike me. I always found something good to look forward to. Gosh, that was a HUGE novel. Sorry. Thank you to all who took the time to read about my messed up self.
 

triceps

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Welcome April. As hard as it seems, I believe it would be easier to get back into therapy (with an open mind if possible) than the suffering you're going through currently. The sooner the better. You showed yourself that you can handle 5mg of valium without losing your mind so try to be open to some medication if that's indicated.
 

April

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Welcome April. As hard as it seems, I believe it would be easier to get back into therapy (with an open mind if possible) than the suffering you're going through currently. The sooner the better. You showed yourself that you can handle 5mg of valium without losing your mind so try to be open to some medication if that's indicated.
To think that I need therapy and medication makes me panicky :( . I don't want to have to be on medication. I'll try therapy first. Most of my family is on anxiety medication. I always thought I was the more mentally stable person because I didn't have to be on any. Guess I do.. I know I need help, someone to talk to about this. It's just hard to face the truth that I do. I was always able to 'fix myself'. I don't want to feel embarrassed or friends to not want to be around me because I'm on medication. People freak out when someone is mentally unstable, they avoid them. At least that's my thoughts.
 

triceps

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True friends shouldn't be bothered. They accept you regardless of your hurdles. Those that won't accept you just aren't good friends and you shouldn't worry about possibly losing them.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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Hey there April, and welcome. I'm 41 next month, and have some of the hormonal issues you mentioned and anxiety/panic attacks. You're not alone!

I also don't like medications in general, especially ones that have a tranquilizing effect (like valium lol) or ones that make me feel out of control. So I get it. But I'll share my experience - I have had 2 or 3 major breakdowns in the past, one I was very lucky to live through because I became suicidal. Since then, I've accepted that it's better for both me and my family if I get some help. So I have done therapy - both CBT and brainspotting, which was extremely helpful for me. And I'm on Lexapro, which is primarily for depression, but also helps the anxiety attacks not be so severe. It does NOT make me drowsy, and is not habit-forming like the benzos, for example. It helps keep me more balanced and my brain just works better. It's quieter in ther. I have been on and off it during different phases. But there have also been times that I have taken the anti-anxiety 'emergency' meds during the worst parts, just for a couple of days, to give myself a reboot. Your body gets stuck in the panic cycle and sometimes can't get out by itself. If you can rest, reboot, and start fresh, you will feel much better. If you absolutely can't take the meds, though, try a couple of Benadryl. It will take the edge off and help you sleep.

So...husbands. lol I have one, too, and it's really hard for them to understand, especially the hormonal part. My husband wants to help me, and he can't, and it makes him feel helpless and frustrated. It comes out as harsh and unloving, unfortunately, which is the exact opposite of how he really feels. I've had to just learn that there is nothing he can do to make the anxiety better, and not expect him to. And I've also had to educate him - my husband does better with a short article, or a YouTube video. Explaining what happens in the body during a panic attack, and how to be with someone during one. Does that make sense? He's not perfect, and he still doesn't know how to react very well, but it's gotten better. And we talk about it when I'm not in crisis. I'm glad you are here - hang in there!
 

Cuchculan

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From one former member of AZ to another, welcome. Good to have you as a member. Few other ex AZ members knocking about the place too. Sure had a lot to write for a first post. I promise I will read it later when I have more time on my hands. Just wanted to really say a big HELLO.
 

smilingsoul

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Welcome April. You should take some comfort in the fact that relapses happen, and also resolve (probably not without at least some work!). I go years between episodes, and am grateful for each and every day. My approach was not to rely on any one thing; medicine, exercise, therapy, exercise, group sessions, CBT workbooks, exercise, meditation, exercise, being open about my issues with those around me (less isolating), and supporting my fellow travelers on sites like this. Plus exercise. Miracle drug. You're in good company.
 

April

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Thank you everyone. I feel like I was in a bad dream since Wednesday. I actually have some memory loss or 'foggy brain' and can't quite remember everything since then, which is odd because I have a stellar memory. I know my mind was clouded with too many negative thoughts and pushed me away from reality. I feel a bit better today. Was it possible to have that many days of high anxiety/panic? I'm searching for counselors today, perhaps get back into CBT therapy. Also contacting my surgeon to get the right medical treatment for this major hormonal imbalance. I fear medication, that's one of my issues. And to think I have to possibly be on a prescription for the rest of my life to control my hormones scares me. I know, silly right? I fear side effects, long term health issues, death etc. It's 50% irrational. I was started to get bad depressive thoughts this go round and that also frightened me. I'm usually the opposite. They were mostly fear of tomorrow. How can I live like this? I don't have anything to look forward to (which is not true). I'm never like that. The hormones are way off here. I'm on the right track I think, to get all fixed up. I just wish I didn't think so much... overthinking gives me anxiety and depression, self diagnosis here ;)
 

Cuchculan

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Very hard for the mind not to think at times. Be great if it had an on / off switch we could use. Medication is something a lot of people hate. I always say if it improves your quality of life it is worth getting. If they will help you out and help you to get your life back, then I would call it a fair trade. Side effects don't have to happen. I take 5 different kinds of medication and never have any side effects at all. Probably rare. Just the way it worked out for me. I can only wish you the best of luck going forwards. We are always here for you.
 

Hurt&Hopeful

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April, I have memory loss sometimes when the anxiety is really high. It's just your brain protecting itself and nothing to be scared of. Remember, if you need medication now, it doesn't mean you will need it for the rest of your life. Get healthy, and take it from there.
 

April

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This is why I loved AZ back in the day. I'm a talker. I could probably talk ears off in a social setting. But, when I have personal problems, I am silent. I don't want people to think I'm off my rocker or weak. For I am always the strong, happy, fun one. I need to quit doing that. Being silent when I am having problems. At least to my friends/family. But for now, I'll come here and share myself for I know no one will judge me. :) If any of you guys need to talk too, talk me up. I'm new to this forum and thanks for the welcome.
 

Cuchculan

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Talk / write as much as you want. That is what the forum is for. AZ was always fun. Variety of posts. Done my best to answer as many as possibly back then. When the site vanished I had over 14,000 posts. The AZ domain name was bought by an old AZ user. He is turn gifted to an owner of another we used after AZ. But she never done anything with the domain name. Except put a link on it back to her own site. The funny part about the bidding for the AZ name? The person with the site was bidding for the domain name. Not knowing that who she was bidding against was a member of her own site. Had they of talked in advance I am sure they could have gotten the domain name much cheaper. She would raise the bid. He would raise the bid. This went on for a few weeks until she refused to go any higher. Her site has zero posting on it at the moment. I think if she had of opened AZ again she may have gotten a whole lot more members.
 

April

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Talk / write as much as you want. That is what the forum is for. AZ was always fun. Variety of posts. Done my best to answer as many as possibly back then. When the site vanished I had over 14,000 posts. The AZ domain name was bought by an old AZ user. He is turn gifted to an owner of another we used after AZ. But she never done anything with the domain name. Except put a link on it back to her own site. The funny part about the bidding for the AZ name? The person with the site was bidding for the domain name. Not knowing that who she was bidding against was a member of her own site. Had they of talked in advance I am sure they could have gotten the domain name much cheaper. She would raise the bid. He would raise the bid. This went on for a few weeks until she refused to go any higher. Her site has zero posting on it at the moment. I think if she had of opened AZ again she may have gotten a whole lot more members.
Wow.. so that's what happened. Thank you for the fill in. I tried to search for it but came to this place. So far so good on here. I'm going to try and be more consistent. As in, once I start feeling better-don't leave the site and not come back until I feel awful again. I went to see a mental health counselor today, first appointment. Just an intake, but it hit some soft spots as expected :/ Let the fun begin :)
 

Cuchculan

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We all have to begin somewhere. Today was the start for you. It can always be a bit tearful if they ask certain questions. That is all part of the healing process. I am sure that once you get going on a regular basis things will begin to pick up for you.
 
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