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Too much stress? (Long story)


  1. Vinsanity93

    Vinsanity93 Well-Known Member

    Lately (About 2 weeks) I have been feeling a bit down. As soon as my semester ended on the 21st, I began to have multiple "panic/anxiety attacks" daily (I put that in quotes because that's the closest thing I can compare them to). During these attacks, I would have rapid, horrible, and scary thoughts come into my head and they would not go away, they just keep feeding themselves. I also felt emotionally sensitive and extremely lethargic during this first week, I also went to the ER for the first time in my life and and 2 more times on the same day a week after my first ER trip. I also got a cold over that first weekend.

    The first time I went because I woke up to my dad snoring pretty loud and I it was kind of agitating and that's when I starting thinking horrible thoughts...I tried to block them out but they kept coming back. So I laid up on the futon I was sleeping and tried to calm myself down but I couldn't because of the snoring. I then got up and walked to the bathroom and sat on the toilet but this time I noticed I was shaking uncontrollably like I was having a seizure but I was conscious. I couldn't stop so I woke up my parents and that's when I went to the ER. I told them I thought that I had a panic/anxiety and they just took an EKG, which was fine, and gave me some meds which I later found out were only antihistamines. I guess there was a placebo effect because it was easier to sleep after that.

    Fast forward to the second time I went, I woke up to my dad's loud snoring again and I started to shake again like I was cold but I wasn't. Then the shaking started to become extremely violent to the point that I had a hard time breathing, boom ER again, same thing but this time no meds. Went back home and got a few hours of sleep before we decided to go to a separate place where hopefully they could diagnose me. So I go in and the doctor sees me, I tell him about my attacks and that I had a lot violent thoughts during them. He tells me and my parents to go see a psychiatrist at a hospital so we go do that, ER trip # 3. Keep in mind that there is a lot of waiting going on and that doesn't help with my "attacks." They take my blood and a urine sample.

    Finally after about 5-6 hours of waiting in a small room I get to see the psychiatrist. She was very nice and spoke in a way that really made me feel better. W start to have a pleasant conversation about everything in my life, I told her about the 4 times I got high (got super paranoid once and swore it off), the one time I tried LSD (never again, wasn't a bad trip but very overwhelming), the semester I used adderall, and how I barely went out the last semester because I had to get my grades up for my scholarship. I told her how I felt like it was all riding on my performance and she said that it could have been the cause of these attacks. Throughout this conversation I did not have any feelings of anxiety or depression, but I did feel a tear coming out but I held it in...She then had a talk with my mom in another room, probably about the scholarship. She came back to me and said that she would have her supervisor see me as well...and because he had to clear me before I could leave lol.

    Another hour and a half goes by and they both come into my room. The supervisor was a nice guy and very down to earth. He tells me that he doesn't usually see 19 year olds, such as myself, go to the ER once, let alone 3 times for these kinds things. He then reiterates what I have told other psychiatrist and what she told me, that these attacks were probably because of stress. He then told me he would prescribe me 1mg Ativan/Lorazepam for these attacks and said I would feel a relaxing effect. I tried one in the hospital and it did, in fact, relax me...but it also made me feel very sleepy. He also said to see a therapist to see what was the problem and if I should be treated with antidepressants. I received the prescription and signed the discharge papers and we went back home. I took a quick shower and went straight to bed.

    The next day I felt about 90%-95% "me." I texted my friend to go see a movie (this would be the first time I went out with a friend since the 21st.) and he said he's down to go and he'll pick me up around 8pm. Around 6pm I took half a pill of Ativan, .5mgs, just in case I had an attack while I was outside. I didn't feel any effect until about an hour after I took it. The time now is 7pm and it was weird because I still felt some anxiety even though the meds kicked in. It's now 8pm and my friend comes by to pick me up. I get in the car and within a few seconds I feel what seems like an attack coming on and I felt a little anxiety and nausea. I was thinking, "WTF? Isn't this drug supposed to PREVENT these things?" Throughout the car ride these feelings increased and decreased in intensity until we got to the move theater.

    The feelings subside as we walk to the booth, get our tickets, and sit in the seats. While the previews are on and people are coming in, I feel the same things as I did in the car but the nausea made me feel like I was about to throw up. They subsided a little when the movie started and increased and decreased in intensity as the movie went on. This continued for about an hour and after I felt fine. The movie ended and the car ride home was thankfully, uneventful...no feelings of anxiety or nausea. I get home and take a shower and head to bed.

    Today I felt fine up until around 3pm when I felt extreme boredom and like I was drained of energy. I still don't feel 100% and this headache from the cold(?) is pretty annoying. Overall these past few days have sucked...

    Thanks if you read the whole story though, I just felt like I had to say something.

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  2. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    Sorry you're going through this... hope you feel better. I find that typing things like this up helps (me at least), and I'm sure talking about it is good.
  3. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues - Crazy peacock person - Guide

    Sorry you're dealing with such overwhelming feelings, Vinsanity. I have a long history of clinical depression, plus some anxiety issues, so I have a clue what you're talking about.

    It's really good that you've sought help. My suggestion would be to put much more emphasis on talk therapy than drugs. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against psychiatric drugs, but they cannot 'cure' you (unless you're deficient in something that they're replacing). Think of them more like a bandaid you use to help make you feel better and get you over the hump while you're working with a therapist to get to the root and, hopefully, resolution of the real issue(s).

    Sometimes things we've been doing right along without problems just become too much. Usually it's a cumulative effect--you're not really aware that things are building up, and then, bam!, you're like, WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! :eek:

    Don't despair, though. Even if it turns out that you have something like clinical depression or you're bipolar, there's plenty of help available.

    One thing I absolutely want to emphasize is DO NOT ISOLATE yourself. You may feel like pulling into a cocoon and withdrawing from people and places, but that's rarely a good idea. The more you isolate the more you have time to think about how crappy you feel. It's a dangerous and vicious circle. Even if it's hard to go out or have friends come over, even if that provokes anxiety, it's actually still better than withdrawing.

    Do you have a close friend or relative you can talk to openly about this? Someone who won't make you feel like you're being judged, but will just listen and be supportive?

    Also, don't forget that there are tons of places online to seek support and camaraderie among others dealing with similar issues.

    Good luck. I hope you feel better soon.
  4. TheAtheistReverend

    TheAtheistReverend Anybody want a peanut? VIP Member

    Glad to see you sharing. i find sharing to be the most theraputic thing I can do, even if I am just sharing with the pen and paper to myself.

    Keep your head up, and remember, you are never alone in difficult times. Help is always a phone call, keystroke, or open-arms away.

    One last thing. Give someone you love a hug. Often. I do, and will never stop.
  5. TheAtheistReverend

    TheAtheistReverend Anybody want a peanut? VIP Member

    Oh, one more thing.

    Recommended read (if you like to red, that is):
    Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
  6. damewolf13

    damewolf13 live~laugh~love VIP Member

    I had a lot of anxiety in my early 20's, so I can understand somewhat how you feel.
    The good news is that this will not last forever! It usually does help to talk to a therapist, because you can confide things to them that you would not confide to family/friends. If the therapist/doctor you are seeing feels that you will benefit from medicine/antidepressants, it may take awhile to find the right one for your chemical makeup, but when you do, it can make a world of difference. Once again, most likely a temporary condition that will pass in time. Here's hoping you feel better soon.:)
  7. Vinsanity93

    Vinsanity93 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the reassurance, I feel much better now. The only thing that made me uneasy was that I think I had my first ever episode of sleep paralysis last night...and it happened twice. Felt like I had a succubus trying to suffocate me and I couldn't breathe, the scariest part was not being able to move or "wake up." I knew it was a dream but it felt so real...
  8. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra= VIP Member

    It may have been a memory, Vinsanity. Many dreams, the feeling portion especially, are very very early memories imprinted in the back of our minds as we sought to get on with our life. Some of the worst are that way ("worst") because they happened at a time when we were unable to speak or even think, such as during or just after being born. Those memories feel quite threatening during a dream, quite deadly as if they are happening right now. But no memory is happening now.

    As others are saying here, get yourself to an impartial, non-relative, non-friend, such as a therapist and talk honestly (above all, be honest to the core). You'll heal. Once it comes to you that despite the bad things that were laid down early in your life: you survived, you made it, healing will begin. :)
  9. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues - Crazy peacock person - Guide

    It wasn't really a dream, though.

    I've had a couple of sleep paralysis episodes, back in my 20s as I recall, and they were EXTREMELY frightening. You're awake--sort of--but you can't move. If this should happen again, just keep telling yourself that you're stuck between sleep and wake--why this happens is a mystery--but you WILL be okay. For some reason, you woke up while in the part of sleep where you're paralyzed. No one dies from sleep paralysis. Just breathe through it and in a few moments you'll be able to move.

    I'm glad you're feeling better overall. I can't stress strongly enough how good it is that you're talking about your issues. But, again, a therapist is your best choice for getting actual resolution.
  10. Vinsanity93

    Vinsanity93 Well-Known Member

    Moody do you know what this floaty feeling is? It feels like I'm high but I'm not and its like I can't concentrate on anything, I'm just....there. I went to a psychologist today at my school and asked him, he said he wasn't really sure.
  11. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues - Crazy peacock person - Guide

    It could be any number of things--physical or psychological. It could be a dissociative phase, or it could be another type of panic/anxiety reaction, or it could be something physical like a heart problem. (Given your age, I doubt the latter, but you never know.)

    It's going to take more than one visit with a therapist to figure this out. These things can be difficult to pin down. If you haven't had a thorough physical exam lately, I'd highly recommend you do that soon. Even though your symptoms, and how they started, certainly LOOK psychological in origin, it's impossible to rule out something physical without actually checking things out.
  12. huh

    huh Well-Known Member

    I read your post and didn't reply earlier but the more I read...I Felt like I really should because I know EXACTLY what you are going through... and I know it can be confusing and scary ....My first panic attack seemed to come from nowhere ..just hit me like a brick..I was exausted stressed not eating right etc.
    It's scary I know! Thankfully I have only had a handful of attacks and now I can usually (but not always) stop them by recognizing the triggers warning signs and using breathing relaxation techniques before they become full blown ..
    It sounds like you probably also have generalized anxiety disorder. I'll try not to babble on..but My Doctor told me that it may have a genetic origin and can be triggered by stress..Physical or mental.. The symptoms you describe are very common in gen Anxiety disorder including The brain fog.(been there)
    you mentioned adderall in your post but I didn't know if you were using it recreationally or were prescribed? ADHD and anxiety disorder very often coexist together. Also true with Bipolar disorder. I found that once the flood gate is open ..you will probably experience more frequent symptoms:(
    so for sure go see a doctor. you will probably have to trial and error to see what best works for you..i.e Zoloft Concerta cognitive therapy etc... It's not an exact science and what works for one person may not work for you...but in the meantime try to eat right, get rest sleep, be physically active and although I know it's hard when you feel this way..don't isolate yourself..and although you will prob always have to deal.
    You'll get through it and prosper :)
  13. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    Been there, done that Vinsanity, although mine happened a little later in life.

    This is how it happened to me.

    It happens still after 25 years, but it hasn't been as bad recently. It has been much easier to accept and deal with. Now it's just a shrug and a "here we go again" until it passes ... and it always does. Look at it this way. Panic is like surfing. You can either fight it, fall in and get attacked by sharks, or you can try and keep your balance and let it take you for a ride. Either way you'll end up back on the beach. :D
    mysticspiral likes this.
  14. mysticspiral

    mysticspiral Well-Known Member

    I completely understand depression , anxiety , and bipolar. Unfortunately I Have all Three . But fortunately the Dr s have finally got me properly medicated. So I promise there is hope. :) keep ur chin up.
  15. mysticspiral

    mysticspiral Well-Known Member

    Breathing exercises really help .and so does yoga
  16. Vinsanity93

    Vinsanity93 Well-Known Member

    The adderall was for studying before tests but how could generalized anxiety disorder hit me so fast and so sudden? I do feel like I'm worrying more about things than I used to though...
  17. huh

    huh Well-Known Member

    Im not an expert and I really think you should get checked out by a doctor.I am not really a worry kind of person In fact I am a very social person and kind of impulsive and silly and a risk takerish.. anxiety doesn't always mean being preoccupied and worry about things all the time. There are different types of anxiety disorders. But for me, it DID just hit me fast and sudden. I was under a lot of stress physically and mentally. I was putting in like 15-16 hour days wrapping up my semester, working, and finishing up a research project that I was working on all semester and was the basis for my entire grade in that class...
    It was Friday night I was actually chilling out watching tv..it was some stupid true crime thing and they were reinacting a case where some guy was lured into the woods by his so called friends and murdered.I starting thinking..yikes! I can't imagine what was going through this poor guys head..he must have known he was going to die etc..etc..blah blah and out of nowhere BOOM I have a panic attack! ugh..
    I had my second one while driving over a large bridge on the freeway with trucks whizzing by me and...again I start to feel it coming I started to hyper ventalate shake tunnle vision kind of lost feeling? my hands were on the wheel but I couldn't feel them? thank goodness my friend grabbed the wheel talked me through to at least get us pulled off to side! I ,ve had only a few more since..I can usually breath focus and calm it down enough when I feel it coming
    I asked about the Aderall because Anxiety and depression ADD ADHD Bipolar can many times coexist. and sometimes not treating those symptoms will actually produce anxiety and depression I have ADHD and treating it helped me. I have 3 friends who as adults were depressed and in dispare because they felt like they were failing because they couldn't keep it on task etc..o like something must be wrong with them? who all were diagnosed with ADD started treatment think they take diff meds adderall concerta ritalin..everyone is different so it's what works best for you..it helped them greatly and two have told me they could't believe they suffered for so long..just cu
    rious if maybe you were self medicating ..I Hope you go get a full check up of mind body soul :) soon no need to suffer needlessly
    Gmash likes this.
  18. Vinsanity93

    Vinsanity93 Well-Known Member

    So after meeting with my psychologist a few times, we're leaning more towards OCD...It's crazy, I always thought I had a small amount of it but I never would have imagined it would be this horrible.
  19. keatingschick

    keatingschick Well-Known Member

    Hope you are feeling better and good that you shared it. I agree with theathiestreverand that its good to share. I sometimes just email myself!! But I know it doesn't solve the issues but its sometimes good to talk to someone and not feel like you are going crazy.

    I've been down since Christmas. Basically I'm not a weepy person. It's just not in me. My mum has suffered with anxiety and depression for as long as I can remember, and has always basically said I'm hard cos it takes a lot for me to even shed a tear!! But last year I changed jobs, it felt like the right time but since going back to work after Christmas I have hated it. I have cried constant, I'm not sleeping, I'm waking up at stupid o clock but then lying there not wanting to get up cos I not want to face the day. Then I'm going home from work and crying and just bursting not tears at the slightest thing. The things that are getting me down seem so petty and trivial when I tell people and I feel like people are thinking "pull yourself together, some people have REAL problems" but these little things are just piling on me and I'm feeling like I'm going under. I've done the same job for 10 years and wanted to change but I am really unhappy and feel like I have made the biggest mistake of my life changing and feel so trapped and helpless.
    Last week it all got on top of me and I went to the doctors. Obviously I cried all over him but felt absolutely embarrassed and ashamed at the little things that I was telling him that were bothering me. I thought he sees people with serious/terminal illnesses and yet here I am crying over my job. But he was absolutely fantastic, he said that he fully understood the things I was saying that I wasn't happy about in my job, but regardless of that he said little things like that all sort of gel together and become equivalent of one BIG issue.
    He didn't want to offer me mess because basically he feels that it IS the job that's the problem and the solution is to look for another job, which is what I'm in the process of doing.
    Good luck with the psychologist x
  20. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues - Crazy peacock person - Guide

    I'm so glad you're seeing a therapist. Regardless of what the ultimate diagnosis is, the important thing is that you're working on getting better. Good for you.
  21. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    Interesting! I too am suffering from what has been diagnosed as "panic attacks". At first it wasn't even something that I noticed. My doctor noticed that my blood pressure was slightly high, and that my face was flushed, as if I had a sunburn. She prescribed Zoloft, an antidepressant that's also used to treat anxiety disorders. The Zoloft didn't do anything, and I eventually quit using it with no problem.

    I've always been a very calm person, and not at all bothered by stressful situations. MOF I've done my best work when it's "showtime" and I've had to perform flawlessly in often fluid conditions. But I was doing boring desk duty when by symptoms appeared. No worries, no stress. I was also diagnosed with a physical illness that "may be stress-related". I can still remember my boss, who wasn't known for being a sensitive guy, taking me aside and very sincerely asking me if he was putting me under too much stress. He wasn't! It was like my body had a mind of its own.

    Eventually it got to the point that I felt the need for some kind of chemical relief. Although it felt completely physiological to me, I had to go to a psychiatrist to get the meds, and that's when I was diagnosed.

    For the last 10 years I've been taking 1mg. of Xanax 4 times a day, and the "panic attacks" (it feels more like my adrenal glands are stuck open; I feel no emotional panic) have been under control. When I try to taper off, I'll be OK until, without warning, that rush of adrenaline comes back with no warning, no trigger that I have ever noticed. So I take my meds as directed and live my life normally.

    Vinsanity93, I noticed that you also didn't cite any major event that may have caused your attacks. No emotional trauma etc. I'm curious, do you feel like your affliction is a mood-altering one? I mean, do you always have scary or otherwise unpleasant emotional symptoms? Sometimes? Not at all?

    I get this impression that I'm supposed to feel the panic, but the fact is that I don't. It's unpleasant, and I have justified concerns about losing control at a bad time, like when I'm driving and other situations when I could get hurt as a result of being distracted by my symptoms. I don't know if that's good or bad.

    Since I'm not a MD, I don't have any advice for you. I hope it's some comfort to know that whatever it is, you're in good company. ;) I hope you find a solution that doesn't get in the way with you having a full and happy life!
    huh likes this.
  22. huh

    huh Well-Known Member

    ughhhhhhhhhhhh

    I've been fine...for a long time...but I just made flight reservations on a very small plane flying from Fort Myers to the Keys... I was totally fine about flying on the large commercial jet to Florida
    but now I'm mojo ing myself into pre panic I think!
    about this little propeller plane...
    it's so stupid because I used to not be afraid of ANYTHING! heck used to be I'd even jump out of that little plain no problem!!


    dang it


    sorry... just thought this was a good place to rant about panic and anxiety etc......seems everyone knows the feeling here:)
  23. Vinsanity93

    Vinsanity93 Well-Known Member

    I was thinking the LSD just amplified my emotions and maybe I just noticed the anxiety more, it's not like I've never been anxious but the attacks I had definitely felt random and if they weren't, they didn't seem to coincide with a particular situation. I do overthink a lot though, even before the trip so I'm working on reducing that along with my stress, anxiety, etc. I tried some PMR exercises today and I did feel more relaxed than I did before.

    I really only us the Ativan when I get a really bad attack, mainly because it makes me sleepy.

  24. Keynith

    Keynith Well-Known Member

    You should check out bluelight.ru. Theres alot of good people there and they can help you micromanage these symptoms with natural ways and they can also recommend RX pills too. Very resourceful people.
  25. Speed Daemon

    Speed Daemon Disabled

    You only used LSD once, right? I'm not sure what you're getting at, but unless you took it very recently, it shouldn't be a factor. I'm told that they cut the LSD with stuff that keeps you awake, but not for more than a few hours. Even that's apocryphal.

    If your symptoms , like mine, don't have any discernible trigger, that may be a clue. This could be a "new" disease, something other than the "usual suspects" that people get diagnosed with. It might take a lot of persistence to get the right diagnosis. Or it might be something unknown to medical science. (I don't relish the idea of that last one.) My doctor seems perfectly content to keep on prescribing me the Xanax, but I don't like that as a long-term solution. (I can't pass the FAA medical exam.)

    I know. But if you keep taking it as prescribed, you get better results, and the sleepy feelings get better. Believe me, if I had the slightest clue of when an attack was coming, I'd save my meds for then. But I've had no luck with that. And if I wait until the symptoms are there, taking the pill then doesn't help nearly as much. If you can do it that way, don't let me stop you! But if you get tired of having lots of bad attacks, it's worth trying the full dosage, at least for a while. For me, "set it and forget it" has been the way to go. It gives me peace of mind that I won't get an attack. But we're each different, so...

    Hang in there, buddy! :five:

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