Living with constant anxiety

by Lindsey
(MA, USA)

To give you a brief history, I've had anxiety all my life, ever since I can remember. I used to have panic attacks as a child, I just never knew what they were or that they weren't normal. I was afraid of everything as a child also: Thunder and Lightning, Fireworks, Motorcycles, Wind, you name it.


Anyway, I had panic attacks all throughout my childhood and into my adulthood. But they only lasted a few minutes and the symptoms went away fairly quickly afterwards.

About a year and a half ago I was laying on the couch, watching a movie and I fell asleep, I woke up in such a panic and fear that I was going to be alone forever. I was so out of it, I felt like I was in a different dimension and I just could not calm down. I had felt derealization before, as it had accompanied my panic attacks in the past. But this was very extreme. And the feeling did not go away. And obviously, the more I thought and worried about it, the worse it got. I ended up going to my doctor and she put me on Celexa, which after a few weeks, seemed to work. I took it for a few months and then I thought it was making me depressed, so I came off of it. I was taking Ativan as needed for the panic attacks but it wasn't helping the chronic anxiety/fear/loss of reality that I was feeling all day, everyday! I tried taking Prozac, for two days, and cried my eyes out, for two days. My doctor suggested Effexor XR - but I was reluctant to take it after reading about its horrible discontinuation syndrome, so she didn't prescribe it.

About 2-3 months ago I was feeling very anxious all day at work, just an overwhelming fear. A constant agony and feeling that I am not living in reality. I decided to take an Ativan because I decided that I shouldn't have to feel this way everyday. And..... IT DIDN'T WORK!

That's when I really started to freak out. Ativan was like my security blanket, even if I didn't take it, just knowing that I had it, and I COULD take it if things got too bad, was enough. And now that was gone.

I went back to the doctor - long story as short as possible I am now on 10mg Celexa - 300mg Wellbutrin and 1mg Ativan as needed.

My therapist thinks I should try .5mg Klonopin twice a day to lower my overall anxiety level until we can find the right meds that will work. I'm just very nervous about addiction and dependency. I'm also unaware of how we will know that the meds are working if I'm on the Klonopin. And my biggest fear is that I will never find a med/combo of meds that works for me and I'll be on Klonopin for the rest of my life!

Any thoughts/ideas/similar stories??

Comments for Living with constant anxiety

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Jan 16, 2014
Derealisation
by: Mira

I have had that derealisation feeling before. In my case I was sitting down and felt like if I moved I would die. I accepted the feeling and breathed though it and it soon passed. I didn't die.

I take as little medication as possible. I prefer to treat my anxiety by focussing on the things that I can do, relaxation and positive self talk. I have found that the more I focus on the anxiety the worse it gets.

It's strange, I can be out with someone and feeling fine and they get worried and keep asking me if I am okay and them continually asking has caused me to panic. It's as though I have to deal with their anxiety as well as my own. Now I tell people not to ask, and that if I am not okay at any time I will tell them so. It lessens the anxiety for both of us.

Aug 18, 2014
I can completely relate
by: matt

I can totally relate to your situation. The only difference is, up until I was 15, I would have never known what the word anxiety or depression meant. Much like you, one day I was sitting in my room listening to my girlfriend on the phone, I was sick at the time and I had taken a sudafed for the first time in a long time. and all of a sudden i started getting really light headed and dizzy and i was so worried that i asked my mom and started crying hysterically, i thought i was going to die. I missed school for 3 days and couldnt sleep or eat. I went to my GP and she thought it was from the reaction to the sudafed. This light headed feeling lasted for months until one day it went away and then the derealization set in. I felt so out of this world, like everything was a dream and nothing mattered. Call it depression call it what you want but it was freaky. I had been put on medication which really didnt do much until I found Lexapro...I started taking lexapro my senior year of hs ( 2 years post first anxiety attack) In no way had lexapro cured me at all, but it made things more bareable. I started to feel like I was relativley normal again, but always carried the stigma and the thought of knowing that I had to take these pills to feel normal. I went to freshman year of college and got adjusted to that. I felt as comfortable as I think possible on that dosage of 15 mg of lexapro. I wanted more though. I wanted to feel like I did when I was a kid again. So its been about 3 days since my doc switched me to zoloft and sure enough i had another anxiety attack. More derealization sets in. But I know that it will subside. It always takes time. I dont really know exactly where I was going with this, but i guess my advice is you have to keep trying. Keep looking for things that could potentially better your life. excercise, eat well, hangout with friends, dont drink or smoke, just live the life that you know you should and with the RIGHT medication, or even no medication at all, and cognitive therapy, I believe that you and I can be happy again...

Best wishes- matt

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