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Relapse in Anxiety and Panic

Certate

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
14
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7
#1
Hello all, I've had anxiety and panic attacks for 16 years now, not daily. For the past 4 years I have been doing pretty well controlling it, I would have a bit of anxiety
here and there, if I pushed myself to much but it would pass fast and I could take care of it with a pill if needed and then the day would just go on and I wouldn't worry about it.

I even had a few panic attacks at work that I got through and went on with my day like nothing had even happened.

Well, about 17 days ago I got up and went to the car wash with the wife, we drove into the car wash and just like that the panic hit me, I jumped out of the car before it started running and walked out and waited for my wife, at first I thought it was no big deal and that I would be fine after it wore off a bit, I came home and got my vehicle and decided to go wash it, I drove to a different car wash that I've been going to for years and drove in and the same thing happen, I lost it and had a major panic attack.

Anyways I ended up going to the Doctor the next day, he raised my meds and gave me stronger xanax.

Ever since all of this has happened I have been afraid to do almost anything, Its hard to shower, get dressed, eat, talk to people and I'm even having these panic attacks in my own house, its hard to focus without the "what if's" I ended up losing my Job, but was told they will hold onto it for me, not sure if I even want to go back at this point and don't want to think about it, all I want right now is relief in my own home.

My Anxiety has almost been non-stop for 17 days now, I've been crying a lot, very irritable and shaky, mornings are the worst and I dread waking up.

I find my self anxious about being anxious and I don't no how to stop it or what do.

I've been writing in a journal to try and help, I try and play video games to get my mind off of everything.
My second appointment to a therapist is tomorrow, I also have a psychiatrist on the 15th but for some reason they thought it would be a good idea
to have there office 3 stories high in a little office, which is almost impossible for me to do right now and they only schedule first appointments
in the mornings.

Sorry for the long first post, I'm just in desperate need for some help, I've been through this before and hate it.

Everyone tells me it will pass and just give it time, my world is upside down right now.

Just 3 weeks ago I was going fishing, driving to work "retail" and talking with customers, I'm still wondering why this happen
and why its not settling down.

Thanks for listening.....
 

Cuchculan

Active Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
277
Likes
139
#2
Seems like you felt trapped in the car wash. Everything closing in around you. From this you had to escape. That seems to be a running theme in a lot of areas in your life now. Maybe everything just finally caught up with you. Anxiety has a way of doing that to people. You say Xanax. I say you need something different. Xanax is an instant hit that lasts a few hours. Then the effect vanishes. If your anxiety is not letting up at all, Xanax won't do you much good at all. Just reading your words I see depression is not mentioned. But a lot of things sound like a person would act if suffering from depression. Wanting to stay in bed. Not wanting to do anything at all. The whole shower and getting dressed thing. The symptom of depression and anxiety can overlap at times. I would try and keep the appointment and tell your therapist exactly how you have been feeling. Don't be surprised if the medication is changed. Just to try and steady things.
 

Certate

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
14
Likes
7
#3
Thanks for the reply.

The reason for it being hard to shower is because of my anxiety, I have panic attacks in the shower.

I also just had my Lexpro raised with the xanax, the xanax is as needed for panic attacks while the lexapro
calms both or stabilizes me, hopefully the raise of the lexapro kicks in sooner then later...

I have taken several depression tests, I'm not down at all and really enjoy my life, the only time I feel bad is when
I have so much anxiety that is stops me from doing things that I enjoy, the overwhelming feeling of not feeling good
from all the stress.

My Dr has also shown me the difference in my test results from being Anxious and not being Anxious.
When I'm anxious I do feel down, Its a major change in the things I love.

I want to do tons of things, its just my Anxiety that is stopping me, I can only drive so far, I avoid drive thru restaurants because
I fear being trapped, I hate long lines, stop lights suck and I can only ride alone right now.

But the worst part is not feeling safe in my own home, I have no safe area to just relax it feels like.

I do however push myself, I still go to the gym even if its 10 mins or 40 mins, I went back to that damn car wash and went through it a few
times now, I went to the psychiatry office on the 3rd floor and filled out paperwork.

I'm trying to do everything that I can and I feel like I'm on the right path, nights are always better and as soon as I think I'm
getting better I wake up to bad anxiety again.
 

Certate

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
14
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7
#4
Damn, I really need this to pass, I just wish my anxiety would give me a bit of a brake during the day.

Mornings are so bad right now....
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
7
Likes
3
#5
It’s a relapse, a breakout, however you want to phrase it. It will pass with time and effort on your part. Letting it pass through, not focusing heavily on it. Xanax doesn’t last long, sometimes a temporary longer lasting med can help better to get you in a better place so you can cope better


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Certate

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
14
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7
#6
I have been taking steps, small steps but they count, I drove a little further today, I went to my psychiatry office to check it out before my appointment.

The office lady at the psychiatry office asked if I needed help "hell yes I do" I told her no that I was just trying to check out the office before I come because of my anxiety, she said follow me and I will give you a tour, I told her if I run out while taking this tour its nothing personal and she said it would be okay, I walked through with her and she showed me where my Doctors room was and it went fine, they also check your vitals and I do not want my blood pressure checked,
it will be high and I know I will bail if it is, I told them and she said we can pass on vitals the first visit...


Basically I'm trying to do stuff daily and while I feel good about the small things I accomplish my anxiety is still eating me alive, I've lost around 6lbs so far.
 

Blue12

New Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
8
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12
#7
Have you tried grounding exercises? Counting out 5 things you can hear, 4 you can see, 3 you can touch etc helps to break the cycle of thoughts that fuels anxious feelings. It's difficult to do but if you can mentally separate reality from your emotions and concentrate on the fact that one doesn't inform the other it will really help. I'm sure you'll feel better soon!
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2019
Messages
33
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10
#8
It sounds like you don't like to be boxed in. You want an escape route just in case you feel threatened. Are you able to identify what specifically runs through your mind when you feel like you need to bail? Is it that you feel unsafe or that you feel like you won't be able to get out? Also, it seems like to cling to things that are familiar, and for us anxiety sufferers, familiarity is safe.
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
1
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2
#9
Hi mate, sorry to hear about your relapse. I know exacty what you are talking about. And I know that everything seems overwhelming and like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. But, there is!

I can only share my experience and hope that it will serve you in getting better. So no judgement, no finger-pointing, justmy experience and what worked for me.

Almost 4 years ago now I was busy with my life, new work new home, young family, mid-30s - in other words lots of responsibility. I was always an independent persno and always pushed myself to the limit. Frankly, I always dismissed pushing myself to the limit (physically and mentally) because my mindset was, well, "if I don't do it, who will"?

One day, out of nowhere I was on my lunch break in the city and having a coffee. Out of nowhere I started to get this feeling that I needed to get up and get out of the cafe. I had no idea why I just sprang to my feet. The rest of that day (a date that is ingrained in my mind forever and secretly I will never forget) was awful. I went back to the office grabbed my stuff and ran for a taxi. I could not breather and felt like I was having a heart attack.

I will never forget the thought that crossed my mind as I was about to knock on my home door. I thought about my very young kids and what losing their father would do to them. As far as I was concerned, I could not breathe and felt massive chest pains, my arms were tingling and I just needed to get away.

Went to the GP. She couldn't care less about my situation. Quickly took a taxi, family in toe, and headed to the emergency department. They hooked me up to monitor my signs. Family walked in soon after me. I started crying when i saw my kids enter the observaion area and look at me so helpless. I don't cry, not because I am a macho guy, but it takes a lot for me to cry. I could not stop my tears flowing as soon as I saw them. I guess my subconscious was telling me somthing.

Even after I was discharged I still was naive about what had just happened to me and after I calmed down with some diazepam went home thinking nothing of it.

Unfortunately, my descent into hell was only just beginning. I went through a couple of months of trying to be brave and not turn to chemical assistance. That was a mistake.

At any rate, I spent the better part of the next 3 years suffering from severe anxiety and panic attacks and the worst part - agoraphobia. Now I have NEVER been afraid of crowded places or heights or tunnels or anything like that but man... agoraphobia is the absolute worst thing I can possibly imagine. I would honestly rather having a limb missing than agoraphobia.

My life was dark. It was hard opening up to people about what was wrong with me. I still had work obligations, mortgage, bills etc. I felt pity "Why me?" Is there an end to all this? Oh my God, is this how I will spend my life? It came to the point where I could not go out of my apartment and even had panic attacks if people came over. I even started having a panic attack if I so much as looked at my work laptop.

When I say it was bad, I mean it was BAD!

I went to a psychologst and psychiatrist. Went on one then two anti-depressants - one morning and one in the evening. Slowly, very slowly and gradually the pills started to work. I kow they say that they reach their optmum effect after 4-6 weeks. No way! For me, I could feel improvements (albeit slight) even after 2 years plus.

But the pills definitely do work if you have a good combo that works for you. BUT the pills are just the start, they are there to lower your anxiety sufficiently to allow you to start addressing the underlying cause. Talking to a psychologst helps. Talking to a spouse and friends helps. Letting work now helps.

I on't hink I will ever be 100%, but I am no living my life as close to fully as I was before my "incident". I have also tried to look at thi whole thing as a blessing in disguise. I am definitely a lot more chilled about a lot of things now. I have prioritised a more balanced life when it comes to work, family and I have even made room for some me-time.

In short, I would strongly recommend DO NOT overthink the why and how your anxiety and panic attacks happen, it will not help and will probably just create a feedback-loop. Definitely stick with the pills and consider an SSRI mix because there is Synergy created when you mix the two (some GPs are against it but my psychiatrist was very much ok with it).

If you can, take time off work (something I could not afford to do but I wish I could have).Once you are feeling physically a little bit better, then start working on the exposure (you have to do it, no way around it) which should become easier once the pills take full effect.

Then have a think about things that are worryng you - work, finances, relationships are likely to have a significant impact. Start working on addressing those issues.

And remember, you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. This is the society we have built. there are many more people around you that have gone throug the same thing but have been too afraid to speak out for fear of stigma (I found that once I told people what was wrong wth me - turned out every second person I knew had gone through a milder variant of what I went through).

I hope the above is of some help. Reach out if you have any questions.

Godspeed man!
 
Joined
May 5, 2019
Messages
122
Likes
34
#10
Thanks for the reply.

The reason for it being hard to shower is because of my anxiety, I have panic attacks in the shower.

I also just had my Lexpro raised with the xanax, the xanax is as needed for panic attacks while the lexapro
calms both or stabilizes me, hopefully the raise of the lexapro kicks in sooner then later...

I have taken several depression tests, I'm not down at all and really enjoy my life, the only time I feel bad is when
I have so much anxiety that is stops me from doing things that I enjoy, the overwhelming feeling of not feeling good
from all the stress.

My Dr has also shown me the difference in my test results from being Anxious and not being Anxious.
When I'm anxious I do feel down, Its a major change in the things I love.

I want to do tons of things, its just my Anxiety that is stopping me, I can only drive so far, I avoid drive thru restaurants because
I fear being trapped, I hate long lines, stop lights suck and I can only ride alone right now.

But the worst part is not feeling safe in my own home, I have no safe area to just relax it feels like.

I do however push myself, I still go to the gym even if its 10 mins or 40 mins, I went back to that damn car wash and went through it a few
times now, I went to the psychiatry office on the 3rd floor and filled out paperwork.

I'm trying to do everything that I can and I feel like I'm on the right path, nights are always better and as soon as I think I'm
getting better I wake up to bad anxiety again.
Honestly I was recently diagnosed with MDD and was angry and yelled at the psychiatrist because I thought it was bs. When I got home and really thought about I realized Anxiety and Depression go hand in hand OCD this **** is all connected. I told my younger sister about what the psychiatrist said and she laughed and said "you've been depressed for 20 years" . I never realized until recently that I was. I'm not saying you're not suffering from severe anxiety because clearly you are I'm just saying there might be more pieces to the puzzle. Anyway I hope you feel better buddy hand in there.
I never feel relaxed or safe either it sucks big time.
 
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