Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting Real About Anxiety Depression

It's time I got real.  It is time I accept myself for who I am.  A person who struggles with anxiety and depression and intrusive thoughts.

I am a person who takes an antidepressant (Lexapro) and Xanax when I have major breakthrough anxiety like I am now.

I have struggled with some form of Dep/Anx for most of my life.  It really came on strong when pregnant with my first daughter and after. 

I never imagined I would be someone who had to take an antidepressant.  I was under the misconception that being an intelligent person, I could just think away those thoughts and feeling.  I was very uneducated on the condition and I apologize to all those commercials I saw when I was young and thought, "Just get over it". 

I had what I would call my first major depressive episode when my 1st daughter was 2 1/2 and my grandmother died.  I was working full time even though I wanted to be a SAHM so badly.  But I let myself believe that we HAD to have my income.  I thought I was absolutely going crazy and was headed for the "looney bin" so I finally went to see the doctor and semi-accepted the fact that I would have to go on some kind of medication.

I started off on Zoloft and had what I think was a reaction.  Who knows maybe it was just extreme anxiety.  Anyway, off I went and told the dr. maybe just an anti-anxiety med would be what I needed.  I struggled for an entire year using minimal Xanax because I hated the thought of taking it.

The next Spring, I crashed again.  I thought, Maybe going part-time would be the magic fix.  Struggled for a few more months, thinking I was going crazy.

I then broke down and went back to the dr. because something HAD to give.  I couldn't live like that anymore.  Major Depression.  Major Anxiety.

I finally agreed to try another Anti-depressant.  Lexapro along with Xanax for the anxiety.  Initial increased anxiety but pushed through and went up to 20mg Lex.

Felt good for about 2 years with a few minor episodes.  Decided I would go off the Lex and have another baby.  What an idiot!  I should have stayed on the Lex, no studies showed it would was harmful but I thought I was "superwoman" and could make it.

20 weeks into Pregnancy #2 and I (let's say it together) crashed.  Ob/gyn would only give me Wellbutrin.  What a nightmare!  I then went to my reg. dr. who gave me the Lex back.  Struggled through the rest of the pregnancy and went to 30mg Lex post-delivery with some Xanax on the side.

I eventually would go to Xanax only at bedtime and got the bright idea that I only needed 20mg Lex and talked my doc into trying it.  It was OK for a while until last Spring when (all together now) crash!

Went back up to 30mg Lex with a side of Xanax and eventually only used Xanax at bedtime.

If you've read this far you have now come through a brief overview of my past 7 years and are now realtime.

I've had lots of stressors the past couple weeks and have felt a crash coming on.  Money, weight, self-esteem, perfectoinism, anniversary of first crash, etc.

I've really been struggle the past few weeks and the last 2 days have been horrible.  I've been taking my 30mg Lex and Xanax 3X/day.  Thought it was just a bump.

Each and every time I come through to the other side of the darkness, I talk myself into believeing that it won't happen again.

I have to realize and accept that this is something I'll have to deal with on an ongoing basis.

So, I made an appt with my dr. for Monday.  I have a call into a counselor.

I have got to figure out a better way to deal with this.  Ignoring the problem when I'm feeling good is not working for the long haul.  But as soon as I feel better, I want to ignore the situation.

Facts:

-I've never seen a psych.
-I've been on Lex for 7 years (with brief interlude)
-I've got to accept myself for who I am with this condition.

Questions:

-Have you had a med stop working?
-What meds do you take?
-What are your stressors?
-Have you accepted this as a continuing condition?
-How do you cope?
-Psych or no?

Requests:

Pray for me.  Please.   Give me feedback.

Thanks for reading this rambling mess. 


Linking to: (because this is something homemakers also have to deal with)

16 comments:

  1. A lot of times meds reach what they call efficacy level, where they don't work as well. Xanax you can build up a tolerance level, where they don't work and need to increase,as with most benzodiazepines. These are addicting. Unfortunately, Xanax is one of the most difficult ones to get off. I actually use my Klonopin for anxiety and muscle relaxant, as muscle relaxants make me hyper. Go figure!

    Sometimes I don't know what my stressors are. I think some of it runs in our family. I have a nephew on meds since he was 11 (and he's only 12 1/2), plus multiple relatives on meds. Sometimes it my anger that's out of control because of triggers from my past.

    I take Celexa, doxepin, and Klonopin. (Some is for Fibromyalgia issues that also include depression/anxiety)

    Until the Lord heals me, I take my meds. I fought it for years, though. "I should be tough!"

    I've gone to counseling to learn coping skills, as I didn't learn them from home. Home is what made me a mess.

    Get a good born-again Christian counselor--then you are safer with treatment. I know that a lot of Christians don't believe in psychology, but some of it is good, Scriptural counsel.

    You are not alone! Don't put yourself down. Some of it is chemical, some is emotional, and some can even be demonic in nature.

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  2. Prayers for you tonight Hunny. Stick in there. Just remember Christ has suffered it with you. Let Him carry you when it gets too hard. Your are loved, even by your random bloggy readers, like me! :) Sheena from bestofmommachef.blogspot.com

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  3. Oh dear friend... My heart goes out to you. Much like you I had never experienced aniexty, depression/frustration, a total sense of loss ~ until my accident. Overnight I went from someone who would stick out through a head ache... taking meds was niot my thing. Year after my accident things just became worse .. I was crashing every few days. Finally kicking and screaming I agreed to try meds.

    The first few tries of meds made things worse .. and then another year or later .. my doctor put me on Cymbalta and along with ativan (which I use for anxiety)things seem to be a bit more balanced. One thing I have learned is that it takes times for your body to adjust to any med. I also do see a psychologist ... and that helps too.

    My stressors are noise, chaos, around me. And reminders of myself pre-accident (I'm still not over the "loss of self") I hope one day I will learn to live with all that has/is happening.

    You will be in y thoughts and prayers.. sending you a huge hug from Canada!! HHL

    Stay strong!

    Stay stro

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  4. I will pray for you.
    God bless, Kathy in Illinois

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  5. I'm so sorry honey! I feel your discouragement as if it were my own. I take Effexor XR and find that it works really well for me.

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  6. I've experienced a lot of what you talk about here--the ups, the downs, and the all the dosage changes and so on. I've just started to develop anxiety recently (which I think is probably due mostly to the fact that I've been taking Wellbutrin without any other kind of anti-anxiety.

    I feel for you--all of this sucks. But at least you're writing your way through it and attempting to make sense of it all. Keep your head up and remember that you're not alone!

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  7. Good job, Lettie. I am sure that writing this has been some form of therapy for you.
    You will get past this. Remember how often the Bible says, "And it came to pass..." It will pass.
    I spoke with my sister last night and she just got switched to Cymbalta last week. She said it is really working well for her and I can notice a difference in her attitude.
    Be honest and open about what is going on. Do not be ashamed, it is a real physical sickness.
    Remember to try to sort out your thoughts as you have them. Cast aside the ones you know are false and unreasonable.
    I love you and You are in my prayers.

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  8. I'll pray for you! That is a terrible feeling. Have you tried eliminating sugar? I know that sounds so simple but I KNOW that it worked for me. I am in no way trying to say that what you are feeling is simple. I know that eating lower carbs and no sugar worked miracles for me with God's help. I have never been on medication so I'm not sure about any of that. But felt led to mention the diet thing. It was like day and night for me. Prayers being sent up for you!

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  9. I don't have any advice/ideas because I haven't ever really experienced depression. Anxiety is something that I do have (mildly) but always just figured (as my mom would say) that I was high strung. I've never experience a crash but can imagine that it is scary for you and your loved ones.

    What I do have to offer would be prayers. Absolutely! You are very dear to me and I will certainly lift this situation up to God in prayer!!

    I think it's great that you were able to write about it here on your blog. It seems that there are others that have given some really good advice. Support is something we all need.

    Much love and many prayes! Can't wait to see you again!! Hang in there...it'll get better!

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  10. I've wrestled with depression and anxiety since I was a child of about 3. My anxiety peaked during a new chapter in my life about 8 1/2 years ago. It was after 9/11, my daughter had started having seizures and my health issues worsened due to stress (fibro and lupus) and due to lack of rest. They tried to give me anti-anxiety drugs (like Paxil)and I actually did go on Celexa for about 4 mos.

    I did go to counseling (went to Psych more than 15 years prior and it did help), and made major dietary changes. I got rid of caffeine, sugar and Splenda. Succralose/Splenda is a real anxiety trigger for many people. That helped a great deal, plus my hair stopped falling out! :-)

    I still wrestle with depression, in a big slump now, but the anxiety is much better. It helps me to know my standing with God is in Christ and find my worth in Him alone. Loneliness and rejection is still very hard for me, but God has been gracious beyond measure. I know all of this has been for my good.. to know He is both ALWAYS good and Sovereign gives me great peace, even in my weakest moments.

    I'll be praying for you, for wisdom and strength.

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  11. God bless you for posting this. A lot of people are not real about it. I have had depression and anxiety since I was 17 and I am almost 30. I am now diagnosed as bipolar but a mild form. I have severe mood swings and major depression. It has escalated since my brother was murdered in January so I am on a lot of medication.
    There is one in particular that has worked wonders for me, it is called Lamictal, it is a mood stabilizer and helps with major depressive symptoms. I have probably been on every antidepressant in the book but none of them worked. I do however still take zoloft with it b/c it does help with anxiety and I also take klonopin at night. I have xanax for times of extreme panic attacks but use it very seldom. I wish you all the best in finding a good psychologist. I have seen every one in my area and found a wonderful woman who I have been seeing for a year and a half but she just told me she is closing her practice at the end of the year, so off to try and find someone else. The good one's are really hard to come by. And someone mentioned a Christian counselor which is an excellent idea. I see a Christian life coach and she has been such a blessing in my life. I will pray for you. Take care and keep your feet firm in Christ. It is a hard and long process you will battle the rest of your life but when you find the right combinations of treatments you will feel much better. God Bless

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  12. I'm so sorry you are struggling with this. I will pray for you.
    God Bless,
    Ginger

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  13. Dear Colletta, I am so sorry for what you have been through and what you are still going through. I'm thankful that there have been medicines discovered which help. I see you have several comments here with suggestions for you. I hope they will be helpful. Sometimes it just helps to know that others are going through similar circumstances.
    I'm praying God will give you wisdom and strength to cope.
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  14. Having anxiety attacks can be very scary. Although I am not on any meds now I suffered from them several years ago.

    It got to the point where it was hard to leave the house because I was afraid of having an attack. But I had to leave it, of course.

    I used to write Bible verses on cards and carry them with me in my purse. When you're having an attack it's hard to think truth, you know?

    I see nothing wrong with taking medicine that you need. After all, if you had a headache or strep throat you'd take something.

    I used to just picture myself in the waiting room with God. I didn't try to analyze why an attack came, or worry when it would leave.

    I just tried to wait it out, while praying through it. It's important to remember that it's not what you do and it's not where you go that causes an attack.

    I also reminded myself that the physical sensations I was feeling were not dangerous and that I was not going to die. They were unpleasant but couldn't really harm me. I knew I could breathe, even if it felt like I couldn't, and the worse thing that could happen would be I'd faint (which I never did).

    As panic attacks started I would not panic quite like I used to, which made the whole thing easier. I would still feel the physical side of it, but not the emotional. Then, they lessened.

    My stressors used to be going to someone's house or going to the store (neither one bothers me anymore). Also, going to a movie or a play, long car rides, airplane rides, anywhere where I was "trapped" and couldn't get home.

    However, I have gone on long car and plane rides since and never had a problem. I've been to plays too, of course.

    I don't know if I'll ever be back in those dark days again, but I know that the Lord will go with me. I also know that there is help if I need it.

    I was only on meds a couple of months and then off for a couple of years. Then they started again and I was on meds for another couple of months. But it was only 5 milligrams so they weren't very high, so they always worked.

    One of the things I used to do is picture myself as taking the Lord with me wherever I went (because He is there). It was just comforting to me while I waited out the symptoms. I will be praying for you!

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  15. I had an experience with a friend in Atlanta who cling to painkillers like hydrocodone, vicodin which are medicines for chronic pain and as Findrxonline are used or prescribed in diseases such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, cancer, fibromyalgia, being severe pain and these narcotic analgesics because opioids are the most effective, but should not be used without a prescription and without medical supervision because they are dangerous side effects and because of that experience I can tell you is hard to tell cope with anxiety.

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  16. Hello sweet sister, You may not believe this but diet and lifestyle play a role in depression. Your meds will need about two months for you to weane off.I don't know what your dosage is, but mainly its taken say 5 mg TDS (three times daily.)
    So, to weane off you take them twice daily for 3 weeks. Then the next 3 weeks take half a tablet in place of a full one say at night. This means you take 5 mg in the a.m. and half in the p.m.
    You keep on deceasing like this over a long period of time until finished.
    In the mean time look on line and buy
    SAMe x 6.
    Plus
    Multi B Stress Vitamins
    and get the book......
    Obesity Cancer Depression Their common cause & Natural Cure by
    F. Batmanghelidj, M.D.
    You will find this on Amazon.com
    I am a retired R.N. with a post grad degree in Mental Health and Psychology... I have also suffered from depression...
    Keep close to God and keep your radio on a Christian Station. Satan comes to kill steal and destroy but Jesus came to give you an abundant life...Luke 10:30-37.
    Also, God has not given you a spirit of fear but of POWER, LOVE and a SOUND MIND.2 Timothy 1:7
    Write these scripture out and learn them if you don't already know them... and speak them aloud to defeat the enemy.
    God Bless you...Much love.
    Crystal

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