TwitchyCanuck

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Everything posted by TwitchyCanuck

  1. Thanks BD. We do have a therapist, so I'll ask a few more pointed questions. The problem is that the anxiety and depression has been triggered by bullying and harassment at work to the extent that even being moved to another office in the same section hasn't helped. Just going in to the work environment brings back all of the same feelings and anxieties from the beginning, even though nobody in the new office is doing anything harassing or aggressive themselves. There was an attempt to go back to work, but after a couple of shifts the same physical symptoms came back with a vengeance. We're trying to work on a transfer away from that section entirely, or being able to work from home, but the manager isn't being flexible or cooperative in the least, and being forced to go back to that office or be unemployed don't feel like acceptable options, which is why we're thinking of disability as a last resort. I'm just not sure how to put all of this into the proper words to ensure that it is a strong enough case for the insurance examiner!
  2. I can sympathize with the feeling of being out of control and losing it. The terrible thing about health anxiety is that we are worried and afraid of things inside us that we can't see or verify, and our anxiety makes us feel things that feed our worries. A therapist I was seeing once said to always start by "Checking your symptoms". This sounds scary, but the exercise is to look at what you are feeling and keep defining your symptoms according to the most reasonable and least scary possibility. What your doctors, therapist and others have told you can help this as well, because the most reasonable explanation for all of your symptoms is that they are being caused by your nervous system, and not cancer. In fact, cancer is the most remote, almost impossible explanation for any of it. Your anxiety will always throw up thoughts and feelings that are negative and fear based, and that can be hard to control. That's an older, more primitive part of your brain taking control. Thinking rationally when you are worried is harder because that's a newer part of the brain that usually gets shut off when we get scared (particularly us!). Focus on breathing slow, regular and deep, and keep reminding yourself that the things you are feeling have a simple explanation. It's your anxiety talking.
  3. I find the concept of emotional first aid interesting. This is a lot like what my wife is facing. A series of circumstances in her workplace triggered her anxiety and depression very powerfully, but what we're dealing with more now is the lingering effects of the emotional injury related to it that causes her anxiety and depression to keep flaring up when she tries to deal with work. That seems to be the most difficult thing to resolve now, the lingering emotional injury and scar that makes the whole thing seem fresh every time we approach it.
  4. When using the essential oils, what is the delivery method? Are they normally applied to the skin, on the bottom of the feet? And, how often each day?
  5. Does anyone have any experience with being off work and their anxiety or depression, and how they handled that? It can sometimes take time to work through strategies to get yourself well enough to handle certain situations, and when the workplace is the trigger that you can't cope with and you find yourself unable to go to work, what do you do? Mental health disability is awkward, because it isn't visible. How do you go about going on disability for anxiety or depression? The financial stress of being out of work is just one more pressure...
  6. What has been your experience with therapy options for depression? Is CBT based talk therapy a valid and successful way to treat depression, especially if the person is really against the idea of taking meds? I know every situation is different, but I'm curious what people think and whether avoiding meds leaves enough practical options, or if medication is the only realistic way to go.
  7. Thanks Bterfly and Kylie, it's good to have someone listen. We are, in fact, seeing a therapist. It's actually someone that my wife had seen in the past for anxiety issues, but we are going together now, during this latest bout with anxiety and depression. In part it's so I can better understand what my role in this can be, and in part it's to make sure she goes. It's also because I know she doesn't always volunteer the whole story when she's there, and she wants me to be there because I don't hold things back like that. We're also waiting for a referral to a psychiatrist, but my worry is a little that we'll see the psychiatrist and all they'll want to do is throw pills at the problem. My wife is very resistant to taking medication, so we're trying to deal with this without drugs. I don't know if that's reasonable or realistic. My studies have taught me that talk therapy and CBT is more effective long term than medication, but I know you also only get out of therapy what you put in, and it takes time. My worry is that the pain caused by the depression will keep her from being able to fully absorb and internalize the skills from therapy. Basically, I just worry a lot. Ergo, anxiety. And yes, the outbursts come as anger. I think for her the anxiety and depression build to a level that she needs to release some of it, and lashing out angrily and pushing people away is the release of energy she's always resorted to and found the greatest relief from, in the moment. But, when do I take that seriously, and when do I stick to my guns and say no? When she's saying we need to sell the house and move away from the neighbours (a source of our current issue) right now, immediately, when do I say that's the depression, and when do I say "she'll calm down, don't take that seriously"? It all has me feeling like I'm stretched tight like a thread, and constantly worrying, and the slightest thing will set me off.
  8. I'm really struggling lately. My anxiety used to be health related. I was always hypervigilant to what was going on inside myself, and had nearly nightly panic attacks thinking I had a heart problem or some other ailment. I was single then, and the isolation of being alone at night fed into the anxiety terribly. Now I'm married. I had started to get a pretty good handle on my health anxiety, and being in a relationship dealt with the isolation that amplified my panic issues. Over the years in my relationship, though, I've come to discover more and more that the anxiety my wife suffers is not only a deeper affliction, but is complicated by depression as well. This has come to be a more serious and debilitating problem because of recent circumstances, and she's been struggling badly with it. This has left me in the position of having to try and help her through her issues, but doing that puts pressure on me as well and starts to amplify my own anxiety. I'm starting to feel worn down by it. I know that her outbursts, which can sometimes be really angry and harsh, are the depression talking and not her, but knowing that doesn't stop me from feeling the flare of anxiety and panic that they cause me. And, I'm stuck sometimes not knowing whether I should assume the outbursts are depression, or they're genuine expressions of how she really feels. I don't really have anyone to talk to about any of this, which just makes it that much harder. I don't want to write a novel here, but I guess I just needed to get a little of what I'm feeling and what's going on out. I'm not alone with my anxiety this time, but, strangely, I feel almost more isolated with it.
  9. Hey Wingnut! I'm hardly an expert, but one of the possible side effects of Fluvoxamine is insomnia, so I would maybe mention your sleep issues to your physician. Otherwise, I would probably suggest focusing on sleep hygiene and your bedtime behaviour. Maybe make a note each night for a week what you do and when before bed. Note things like whether you check your email, watch TV, surf the net, etc. The wavelength of blue light emitted by digital devices has been shown to have an effect on sleep patterns, specifically if you look at digital screens in the hour or so leading up to trying to sleep. Try reading a book or listening to soft music. The bath suggestion from Butterfly is excellent, because it will raise your body temperature. As you cool down after the bath, the decrease will mimic the lowering of your body temperature as it gets ready to sleep. And, finally, if you are having trouble sleeping, do something soothing and try again in about an hour. Sometimes the stress you put yourself under to try and sleep actually keeps you awake! And, usually, your body works on a drowsiness cycle, so it will take a bit of time before attempting to sleep will really be successful anyways. Hope some of this helps.
  10. When fighting a battle, there is always strength in numbers. But, having someone by your side sometimes comes with a cost. Superiority in numbers is something very different from strength in numbers, and, with anxiety, this can be a crucial difference. Late at night, when my anxiety found me alone in the dark and slowly pushed me over the edge into a panic attack, I used to think that everything would just be better if there was someone there with me. I think the isolation that the dark and quiet of night time is what made this the worst time for my anxiety. It was harder to distract myself when I was alone, and I didn't have the helpful distraction of trying to keep a strong mask in places for everyone around me so they would think I was fine. At night, there was nobody there to see me struggle, nobody I had to put energy into making believe I was fine. And, nobody to support me when I finally tipped into panic. I've been with my wife for five years now, and what I have come to discover is that no longer being alone may have helped me in some ways, but it has also presented challenges that I didn't expect. I don't get the night time panic that I used to get, and in some ways have better control over my anxiety than I ever have. But, I've also adopted my wife's struggle with anxiety, panic and depression. In some ways, that's been a tougher battle than the one I faced alone. I suppose I thought that addition would lead to subtraction; I thought that by adding a partner, I would be subtracting anxiety. In fact, adding a partner added their struggles and difficulties to my own. There's nothing simple about the arithmetic. Whenever you add, you add complexity. This is not to say that I have regrets. I guess this initial post is really just a recognition of the fact that a lot of us face what we feel is a solitary struggle, and sometimes we think the solution is out there for someone to simply gift us with it. We want the solutions to be simple. We want someone to take the problem away. But, the world is more complex than that, and the solutions are never simple. The strength we gain in numbers comes with the commitment we have to make to give back to that network of people to help them with their own troubles. My wife has helped me face a lot of my own problems with anxiety, but the struggle is still there and has taken on a new dimension because I, in turn, have to help her deal with her own. And, that's difficult. Just as it's difficult for us, as a community of similarly afflicted individuals separated by screens and distance, to share of ourselves while needing the sharing of others to keep moving forward. I'm here and willing to be your +1, of the occasion. But, can you be mine?
  11. Anxiety, by nature, engages a neuro pathway in the brain that drives hormone secretions that ready the body for certain behaviours. Those hormones can influence behaviour for relatively long stretches of time, and suppress parts of the brain that are involved in higher executive thinking, or rational thought. With that happening, the amygdala, which is an older part of the brain associated with emotionality, is able to take control. So, basically, the more we experience anxiety, the more emotional our thinking tends to be. It's a natural, biological process that's put in overdrive. That's why recognizing this, acknowledging it and owning the fact that your anxious thoughts are the voice of your anxiety and not *you* is important. Breaking the cycle of listening to that emotional voice is the first step in taking control back from it.
  12. I do the same thing a lot of the time. I think in my mind I justify doing this by saying that by worrying about the future, I'm preparing myself so that I'll be able to handle things and they'll work out better, or I can avoid a negative outcome. Truth is, living in the now is hard. Time travel (forward or back, worry or ruminating) is actually really easy. And, I think that's because there's rarely anything in the here and now that is worrisome or troubling, and our brains are wired to look for worry and latch on to it. I've sometimes wondered if anxiety is a form of behavioural addiction...
  13. I haven't read this whole thread, but wanted to chip in that I used to be a member on AZ as well. I can't say I have any idea about any of the drama or conflict that happened there, but really got through some of my worst times with anxiety through the use of the forums and chat rooms. I can honestly say that being able to hang out in the chat rooms and interact with people got me through some really terrible late night attacks. I'm sad to see AZ gone, but glad that a place like this is available.
  14. Hi all, Figured I should do the obligatory introduction and hello. I was once a member of Anxiety Zone, way back in the day, and went through a lot of my worst times with support from the forums and the chat rooms. I'm not sure how many of those people are still around, but I thought it would be a good idea to continue being a part of something like this, especially for whatever bad times I might be getting ready to face. Or, if I can help someone else through their bad times. I'm a married 40-something that struggles with anxiety, normally of the health related variety, but more recently of the general kind. Mephs2ph