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NEWBIE...Struggling Badly!

Ruggy

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Hi there...my name is Ruggy. I'm new to this site. I love the support I see on here! I've been struggling with health anxiety for years. However, recently it has gotten really bad. For the last couple of months my head has been really foggy...it got worse after I had an episode of vertigo when I woke up a few weeks ago. Lately I've also noticed a "pins and needles" feeling in my hands and feet, I'm noticing "electrical zaps around my body...now I'm terrified! I have my self convinced that I have a brain issue (MS, Als , Tumor). I can't stop thinking about it. My doctor moved my dose of Zoloft from 125 to 200 3 weeks ago...no change. I want to go to emerge for a scan, but I know its not good for me! I'm not sure what to do, I don't think I've struggled this bad before.

Thanks for listening,
Ruggy
 

MATD

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Welcome! Everything you mention could be anxiety symptoms. I suggest you read through some posts on here to get an idea of just how diverse anxiety symptoms can be. It isn’t just about mental symptoms but physical symptoms as well. I also suggest you research Dr Claire Weekes. She developed a method for anxiety recovery which, when applied persistently, can help you recover. The method is about accepting your anxiety. You face it, allow it to be there without fighting against it. It is our reaction to the anxiety and all the symptoms, thoughts, and feelings that keep the anxiety cycle perpetuating. It is basically an illusion that our fear causes us to believe. This method has literally helped an untold number of folks to recover. It’s not a quick fix however and must be allowed the necessary time it requires for recovery. Anxiety is just fear greatly exaggerated. Fear is a very powerful emotion and sucks us into believing the worst. Acceptance, when practiced persistently, helps us learn to stop reacting, to identify the illusion, and allows us to regain control of ourselves.
 

Adele62

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it would be better to go to your primary care doctor and discuss symptoms. Yes CT scans expose your body to very high doses of radiation. This does sound like anxiety but some of the symptoms can be from Zoloft as well.
 

Aries

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How long have you been on zoloft? I think those SSRIs are terrible drugs.
 

Ruggy

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I've been on them for about 5 years. I don't want to be on meds but I'm losing this battle. If I can get through this very rough patch I'm hoping to get off them. I'm starting CBT with a psychiatrist . I've struggled on and off in the past...but not like this. I'm 55, the odds of MS at this age are not very high. However the "what if" thoughts are winning. Also have pain at the bottom right base of the skull. Again I know it is muscular but I go back to the what ifs yet again. I have a very supportive wife who tells me my brain fog is anxiety...my response is "how can I have brain fog 24/7 for this long.

Ruggy
 

MATD

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Brain fog can last as long as the anxiety is not dealt with. It’s that simple. All the years I was in full blown high anxiety I had brain fog. After practicing acceptance for a while it started easing up to the point that it now comes and goes. It just takes time. As to the side effects of your meds, I would suggest that your body has had enough time to adjust to side effects. One of the mistakes we make in anxiety is to blame symptoms on the meds. But all that is is just anxiety at work, compelling us to search for answers as to why we feel like we do. Meds affect each person differently and everyone seems to have side effects sometimes bad enough to discontinue the meds. It happens. But usually if one has been on a med as long as you have, your body has already adjusted and side effects are not a contributing issue. What is really going on here is that we expect these meds to make the anxiety go away but that’s not possible. Meds cannot change our thinking which is what is causing our anxiety to begin with. Don’t misconstrue this though, meds can help us stay stable. We desperately search for answers, anything that will tell us what is going on, such as you are doing now, when it really is just anxiety. Fear is powerful, it makes us desperate to get away from it. And we can but with the right tools and not a pill. Acceptance is the right tool if we stick with it. Unfortunately many cannot because of the disbelief that fear causes. Anxiety is called the doubting disease for this very reason. But fear is only an emotion albeit a powerful one. Still, with perseverance, one can overcome anxiety. It just requires time, lots of it.
 

Jonathan123

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Hi there...my name is Ruggy. I'm new to this site. I love the support I see on here! I've been struggling with health anxiety for years. However, recently it has gotten really bad. For the last couple of months my head has been really foggy...it got worse after I had an episode of vertigo when I woke up a few weeks ago. Lately I've also noticed a "pins and needles" feeling in my hands and feet, I'm noticing "electrical zaps around my body...now I'm terrified! I have my self convinced that I have a brain issue (MS, Als , Tumor). I can't stop thinking about it. My doctor moved my dose of Zoloft from 125 to 200 3 weeks ago...no change. I want to go to emerge for a scan, but I know its not good for me! I'm not sure what to do, I don't think I've struggled this bad before.

Thanks for listening,
Ruggy
Hi there, and welcome. Read all the above posts carefully, they all know what they are talking about. Everyone on this site knows and cares, so you are in good company. We have all been where you are now. Now there are words that have no place in anxiety recovery. 'Fight', 'Struggle', Battle'. All they do is increase the flow of adrenaline, the fear hormone, and make anxiety worse. As MATD says, calm acceptance is by no means easy, but it is possible given the three 'P's. Persistence, Perseverance and Practice. I suggest you get Dr. Weeks' book from Amazon. 'Essential help for your Nerves'. She advocates methods of coping and recovering from anxiety. NEVER give up hope or despair, that is so unnecessary and does no good. It IS possible to manage anxiety so it does not affect your life. You have health anxiety which is so very common. But it's all one big illusion. Your doctors obviously are sure you have anxiety, so believe them
 

Ruggy

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I want to sincerely thank everyone for their kind words and advice! Everyone is so supportive and caring as illustrated in your thorough responses. Everything makes sense, I just have to believe that it is anxiety and not something more sinister. I will look into the suggested readings and Dr's.

Cheers,
Ruggy
 

MATD

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I want to sincerely thank everyone for their kind words and advice! Everyone is so supportive and caring as illustrated in your thorough responses. Everything makes sense, I just have to believe that it is anxiety and not something more sinister. I will look into the suggested readings and Dr's.

Cheers,
Ruggy
Please feel free to ask any questions. We’re all here to support and help.
 

Sweet T

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I want to sincerely thank everyone for their kind words and advice! Everyone is so supportive and caring as illustrated in your thorough responses. Everything makes sense, I just have to believe that it is anxiety and not something more sinister. I will look into the suggested readings and Dr's.

Cheers,
Ruggy
Welcome! Do you exercise regularly? There is a lot of evidence that daily exercise is as good as anti depressants.
 

Jonathan123

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Welcome! Do you exercise regularly? There is a lot of evidence that daily exercise is as good as anti depressants.
Yes, regular exercise can help, but the problem lies in the mind not the body. Any form of diversion can only be temporary. Unless we tackle anxiety at it's source it will go on. Medication is useful but is geared to relief not cure, but it does give one the chance to sit back more calmly and look at ourselves and try and find out why we are as we are. There must always be a reason because, as in physics, an affect must have a cause. Are we being kind? Do we behave toward our fellow humans as we would have them behave to us? Do we have empathy and compassion?
Do we constantly think in a negative way? I do know that many years ago when I had GAD it was a lot to do with my attitude to others. Yes, I was selfish and not very caring. Anxiety changed all that for the better. Anxiety can be a friend as well as an enemy to be overcome.
 

Ruggy

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I exercise a lot. I'm actually a high school PE teacher. I even teach units about mental health. As I'm teaching them I have a little voice in my head saying "this is me...this is me...". At this point in my life the "what ifs", are winning the battle. As i write this I had to stop to take .5mg of Ativan. I try not to take them but there are days that I only focus on my symptoms which make it difficult to work. The most Ativan I've taken in a day is 1mg, I do find it helps. Today I have tinnitus to go with the constant fog. Just what I needed...more symptoms.
 

Bry

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You’re on spot, it’s a battle, and it gets tiring. I too have tinnitus and it sucks but I’ve almost forgotten about it over the years
 

Sweet T

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I exercise a lot. I'm actually a high school PE teacher. I even teach units about mental health. As I'm teaching them I have a little voice in my head saying "this is me...this is me...". At this point in my life the "what ifs", are winning the battle. As i write this I had to stop to take .5mg of Ativan. I try not to take them but there are days that I only focus on my symptoms which make it difficult to work. The most Ativan I've taken in a day is 1mg, I do find it helps. Today I have tinnitus to go with the constant fog. Just what I needed...more symptoms.
I’ll be honest. I was a teacher for 1 year. Jr high and high school. That can be a very stressful occupation. I remember coming home feeling like I’d been in a battle all day. Not saying that’s your situation but I so respect teachers. It’s hard work.

if you’re doing everything you can do then go back to your doctor, read up on Claire Weekes, watch Barbara Heffernan videos. There is help out there. Good luck
 

MrsH

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I exercise a lot. I'm actually a high school PE teacher. I even teach units about mental health. As I'm teaching them I have a little voice in my head saying "this is me...this is me...". At this point in my life the "what ifs", are winning the battle. As i write this I had to stop to take .5mg of Ativan. I try not to take them but there are days that I only focus on my symptoms which make it difficult to work. The most Ativan I've taken in a day is 1mg, I do find it helps. Today I have tinnitus to go with the constant fog. Just what I needed...more symptoms.
Hello and welcome! I just wanted to add that if you find the right medication for you, it can really help! There is no shame. Not to say that it can’t or shouldn’t be taken in conjunction with therapy, but if it helps, take it. I’ve been on medication for years and will not go off. It doesn’t eliminate anxiety, but it takes the edge off! Just my own opinion. Feel better! :)
 
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