I need help please....my anxiety is out of control

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by lost007, Feb 24, 2008.

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  1. lost007

    lost007 Member

    I'm in college, a senior, and I was at one time a happy, productive student that could do anything. Now, I feel trapped and I don't know what to do to make it any better. I'll wake up some mornings and my chest will be so tight and my heart is racing out of control. It makes a normal day at class seem like the worst day on earth. I've had two very bad anxiety attacks in the last month. Last week, I nearly missed all my classes because i was so anxious in the morning I was afraid to leave my house because I was afraid I'd just have another anxiety attack. I ended up going to class anyway, and I had one, it was terrible. I had to walk out of a meeting that I was running! I don't want this to take control of my life! Has anyone dealt with severe anxiety issues?? What do you do to calm yourself down?? How do you stop an anxiety attack if it's already starting?? I can't keep doing this, it's starting to keep me from being able to life a normal life. Is anyone taking medications for this?? I'll talke any advice that anyone has to offer because I just don't know what to do anymore. Please, if you can help at all it would mean so much....I just feel like I'm the only person (out of my friends) that is dealing with this and I don't know how to talk to them!
  2. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    This needs a physcian's assessment, Lost.

    "Is anyone taking medications for this??"

    Yes. I take Klonopin. It's very addictive. I'm weening off it right now.

    You're young and so you'll say, "Why in world would you want to stop?"

    :tongue: Because starting a medication for anxiety can be one of the worst decisions you ever make. You have to be very careful what kind of medication it is, if you're prescribed one, ok? (Sometimes the patient has to protect themselves.)

    Klonopin (clonazepam) is a benzodiazepine. The reason you want to avoid benzos like the plague is that if you take them any longer than 7 to 10 days, you can be become dependent.

    That dependence can lead to a very rough addiction. Addictions are bad because you come to need more and more of the drug just to be functional. Yield: You're in hell on Earth.

    See a physician and better yet, a psychiatrist or psychotherapist.

  3. lost007

    lost007 Member

    Thank you for your advice. We have a school psychiatrist that works with our university counseling center....maybe I can get an appointment with her. A while ago she put me on meds for depression but they really messed me up so I quit taking them, I just don't want her putting me on something that I can get addicted to.

    Thanks again for taking time to offer some advice, I appreciate it.
  4. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    It's not a problem at all. :) And with your head straight about the benzos, I'll go ahead and make a guess that it sure sounds like a social phobia or panic disorder. You asked:

    "What do you do to calm yourself down?? How do you stop an anxiety attack if it's already starting??"

    There are some powerful mental techniques you can learn in therapy (and even teach yourself). Albert Ellis' famed "Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy" (REBT) is a giant in the field, and today's "cognitive behavioral therapy" is actually just techniques and principles advanced from REBT. (I actually studied a lot of this in the early eighties!!)

    You also have some very interesting drugs nowadays like beta blockers (the most common of which is probably Inderal [propranolol]) which may help with some of your physical manifestations like shaking, quavering voice, and sweating.

    Then there's good ol' gabapentin (Neurontin), which is seeing many new uses today, including for anxiety. There is a stronger, newer form of this called pregabalin, marketed under the trade name Lyrica for restless leg syndrome.

    If she's a real psychiatrist (able to write prescriptions; a doctor), she may push the antidepressant route again, as ADs are also commonly used for panic disorder. lol Just don't be surprised if she does. Bottomline - if you don't like 'em, don't take 'em. Ask for an alternative route or something.

    Anyway, I've now given you a good-sized primer so you can know what your options really are. Just PM me or post again if you have any further questions, ok?

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2008
  5. Sylvester

    Sylvester Member

    I like the mention of REBT. www.SmartRecovery.com is the website where you can learn what it is all about.
    It is daunting, perhaps at first; but very easy in reality.

    Ellis borrows from the Late Roman Stoics, and other sources.

    When you can boil everything down to Moderatio in toto res (moderation is all things) you really have something to work with.
    You can constantly question yourself: am I behaving moderately?

    Ellis would say, "Is it that awful?" "Will the anxiety actually kill me right now, on the spot, by itself?"
    You end up having to admit that it would not, and then you search for what is making you feel that way. It is a rational program.

    The problem is that suicidal ideations, in a lot of cases, fall under impulsive, irrational behavior. It is hard to see it on your own - so a trained person, or a really clever friend may be able to help.

    I take 3 mg Klonopin, sometimes 1 less, occasionally 1mg more. No more than that. At very low doses, it is a superior medication. Weaining off of a low dose is not so big a problem. I've done is several times.
    At least, for me. I have a rule about psych meds. Once the right dose is found, it is not increased. I will not increase an anti-depressant for fear of a big fall if I am suddenly without meds.

    In that way, I practice moderation. Even seeing one small way you practice a moderate lifestyle can help you see that you are doing something very right, right now.

  6. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    Moderatio in toto res.

    "I have a rule about psych meds. Once the right dose is found, it is not increased. I will not increase an anti-depressant for fear of a big fall if I am suddenly without meds."

    That's funny. I have a very similar rule. I kinda stockpile my Zoloft via skipping a day per week or every two weeks (for sex :eek:hmy::shhh:). Over a couple years, that strategy works extremely well. I too am acutely aware of my dependence on this medication. (Remember: If you do "stockpile," you want to constantly keep old supply from expiring by simply giving the bottle a good couple of shakes - keep 'em mixed up :))

  7. Earn

    Earn Well-Known Member

    I went through the same thing in high school.i was having attacks often like twice a week.when i finaly got to the doc's they told me i had panic.and i went to a cognitive behavior thearpy.its nothing more than changing the way you react to things.and that helped out a lot.they also put me on zoloft and it helped even more so.the doctors told me i had to beleave in the medicine which i did cause i have no reason to belive it wont work.and it went away.

    before i went to the docs i would run as far as my body could take and i wouldnt have any attacks but that you dont always have time to do that.

    i would say just belive whole heartedly into what ever you do to get help for your attacks and it will help alot. you have no reason to belive it wont.
  8. ToHelp

    ToHelp Well-Known Member

    Belief. "Perception is 9/10s of our reality."

    In that his post lies enormous truth and power. It's almost deceptively simple; for people who have practiced and honed their negative self-diagolue for years will simply never believe the tenet -

    To an enormous degree, we create and control the circumstances in our lives. {Barring that you are caged and chained... in which you'd have a might bit trouble accessing THE INTERNET. :rolleyes:}

    It's not at all a very convenient paradigm shift. And it strips away the protective belief that our innate happiness must lie in some herb or opiate or synthetic chemical combination.

    Earn's is the kind of post I really like. It's empowering and healthy.

  9. lost007

    lost007 Member

    Earn, Sylvester, and ToHelp:

    I want to thank all of you for your support and advice. I will look into this REBT that you have mentioned. I have a background in psych/social work (it’s what I’m studying in school) but this has not been mentioned in any of my classes. I will also take into consideration your advice about medications. I go on Spring Break soon, but hopefully when I return I will be able to get into see the school psychiatrist; it won’t hurt to talk to her. I am currently working with a counselor for a little while at school, but we never seem to get very far because when we reach increasingly difficult topics I then begin to shy away from wanting to go. I do this because it is then that I normally end up feeling high levels of anxiety in the evening or week to come. She is slowing teaching me ways to reduce my irrational thinking patterns in hopes that it will help me to better control my anxiety on a weekly basis.

    Thanks again, and I’ll get back to you once I’ve had time to read up on REBT. Right now it’s time for midterms so it might be a week before I actually get to study it some, but I am interested in seeing what the theory is about.
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