Doxie Pea Mom
|Posted: 7/26/2013 11:25:42 AM|
Over the last couple of years, I have had a few things I have been dealing with. For example, I have been teeth grinding to the point of breaking a tooth and cracking another. I use a guard today so that helps. I have also been having some fairly major headaches. Some doctors believe it is migraines although it doesn't always meet the textbook migraine case. I found some info that makes it sound like tension headaches. These can last anywhere from 1 to 5 days and sometimes linger longer than that. Almost 2 weeks ago, I did something to my back while out shopping. Over the course of the next week, it got steadily worse and worse to the point that I almost went to the ER and I NEVER go to the ER. I couldn't move I was hurting so bad. I went to the doctor earlier this week and he gave me prednisone, muscle relaxer and hydrocodone. My back is doing much better. I went back for a follow up yesterday. So, that is some back story. Here is my question.
My doctor seems to think that a lot of this is being brought on by anxiety. He thinks that something small will start and then from within, with the "what if's" and such, that I am getting anxious, tensing up and making things worse. He does not necessarily think I am depressed and I absolutely do not believe that I have depression. I guess I really don't know much about anxiety though because the people that I know who have anxiety also are quite depressed. All I can say is that you have to trust me when I say I am not depressed. For a few years, work was depressing but about 9 months ago, I changed positions and for the first time in many years feel like I have more job security than I had in a long time and I like what I am doing ok. I am not one who will ever love my job. I work to have money to have fun and do the things I love to do!! LOL But, I am also one that knowing that I need to work, I have it pretty darn good and I don't mind my job.
So, I am really trying to figure out this whole anxiety thing and try to determine if this is something I need to look at more and if it is affecting me, etc. The doctor gave me a website to read but one of the first things I saw was taking Xanax and that was a major turn off for me because it is not something I care to ever take. Bottom line, I really just don't understand anxiety. Would love any insight. If anxiety is what is causing things to escalate for me, then maybe I do need to take a mild something or other but I just don't know. Ignorance on my part regarding anxiety so I would love to have other peoples input.
Hans on left, Bud in middle, Gretchen on right
|Posted: 7/26/2013 11:30:39 AM|I suffer from anxiety - and have since I was a kid. I'm not depressed, although, I have been in the past due to life situations.
I think my anxiety is a chemical problem and I am on prozac for it. It helps, but it does not completely take the anxiety away. It's not something I can control, if that makes sense. Most people think anxiety is a choice, but that is not necessarily true.
I have an overactive brain. And it causes my anxiety. I'm currently doing biofeedback to try to cope with it better. I worry needlessly about EVERYTHING and I make everything so much bigger than it needs to be.
Feel free to send me peamail if you have any specific questions or just want to talk.
Living with anxiety is not easy, especially being a mom of 4 kids and my brain flips out when I have to do something school related.
My brother takes Xanax and he is very anti-medication and he has had no problems with side effects or anything. He hates taking anything.
Loc: SugarLand, TX
|Posted: 7/26/2013 11:52:48 AM|I have taken stuff for anxiety also. I have tried different meds. They help. Xanex makes me extremely sleepy but I do take in when I am having a "meltdown" (so to speak). Talk to your doctor. You could try different meds. Dr's usually give samples too....I hated Wellbutrin, but they say it's good for anxiety.
...and I understand everything you described. You could almost insert my name as the person who wrote what you wrote. (including not "LOVING" my job!)
Lead With Love
|Posted: 7/26/2013 12:02:41 PM|I have always been a fairly anxious person, though I internalize it and most people are surprised when they hear how anxious I am.
As I've gotten older (55 this December) I realize that I'm having more difficulty in general. I'm not sure if it is hormonally based--I've been post-menopausal for about 7 years.
I've developed a phobia about driving on the highway--I still do it but if DH is with me, I make him drive.
I have a dental phobia and any time I'm having work that needs injections/drills etc. I take 5mg of Valium.
These both started before the Sandy Hook incident, but I've noticed a major upswing in anxiety since then, and have had periods where I've used food and alcohol to mediate it. (Casual conversation with other Newtown friends tells me I'm not alone in this )
There's been a ton of input from professionals specializing in traumatic events coming into Newtown. One factor in how well a person manages an event like Sandy Hook is their past history--people with a history of PTSD tend to have a more difficult time--and this applies to me.
So...where am I with all of this? I would personally avoid at all costs taking anti-anxiety meds on an ongoing daily basis--this just dulls the feelings and doesn't help you learn strategies to deal with them.
I'm focusing on doing the kinds of things that take me out of my head and help me focus on the moment--for me that's exercise and gardening. I do a lot of self-talk and redirection. And if I continue to have difficulty to the extent that I feel I can't manage on my own, I'll go back into therapy.
Canon Rebel XT
kit lens 18-55mm
28-135mm IS 3.5-5.6
|Posted: 7/26/2013 12:20:44 PM|
Medication is a very personal decision, but I would encourage you to at least be open to the idea. Trying it doesn't mean that you have to be on it forever.
I know more than one person for whom anxiety significantly affected their quality of life, and medication helped quite a bit.
Doxie Pea Mom
|Posted: 7/26/2013 12:31:51 PM|
I think some of what each of you are describing is part of my problem. For instance, I have not been through anything traumatic......at least nothing that I consider traumatic. I am not generally a worrier either. For the most part, I am one that realizes that if there is nothing I can do about something, that I am not going to worry myself sick over it. Where I do tend to get anxious is trying to plan things. For instance, I try to plan get togethers at the lake. It is SOOOOOO hard to get some people to commit to when they are going to come, how long they will be there, etc. etc. I have to plan for these things. I need to take food, drinks, etc. There isn't a store right around the corner. I can't just say, show up if you want because I won't have supplies or maybe even sleeping arrangements for them. So many will put everything off until the last minute. So, I am a planner and I don't like it when others won't let me plan by giving me their plans. To combat this, in most cases, I now say, if you are coming, I need to know no later than X date. Otherwise, we will try again at another time. For the most part, this works but when it is a child or step child, it is harder. But, for the most part, I am a pretty laid back person and kind of go with the flow. I will be happy to plan stuff but I am also more than happy to let someone else plan and just tell me when to show up and what do I need to bring.
I think what I am trying to say is that if I really am having anxiety issues, I don't know if I could even pinpoint when I was having a "meltdown". LOL Now, I can say that every time I try to plan anything with my dad, that is an anxiety attack for anyone. LOL Luckily, since he lives out of state, I don't do this often.
Hans on left, Bud in middle, Gretchen on right
|Posted: 7/26/2013 12:42:03 PM|
I suffered from anxieties for years, finally, about 3 years ago it got to a point I couldn't function anymore. The doctor felt it was hormone driven and did put me on meds that helped a lot. I started out with 3 different meds, but am down to just one. Blood work also showed I was extremely low in vitamin D, causing me to feel like I was having an adrenalin rush all the time. Once that was under control I felt majorly better.
Granny's Score: Boys 5 ~ Girls 2
And yes, with my background, my opinion is worth more than that of a middle school teacher who can't get her facts straight.~ Batya
|Posted: 7/26/2013 12:43:12 PM|
Ooh yeah, Vitamin D is a great mood booster!
|Posted: 7/26/2013 12:56:11 PM|
Ive been dealing with anxiety since ive been on BP meds....so i was watching DR OZ show and he recommended the BACH RESCUE REMEDY for natural stress relief..it works wonders!! My mind is at ease and i not anxious or constantly worrying...
|Posted: 7/26/2013 12:57:13 PM|Also google it...theres very possitive feedback
Loc: SugarLand, TX
|Posted: 7/26/2013 1:07:50 PM|
you have taken the BACHS?
|Posted: 7/26/2013 1:17:31 PM|
From what you are saying, I can understand why you are baffled with a possible diagnosis of anxiety. I have suffered from anxiety, as has my daughter, and you just *know* when you are having an attack most of the time. Our symptoms can be anything from shortness of breath to heart racing, depression (which is often caused by anxiety or stress), I even had a few panic attacks at one point in my life. At EVERY point when we are having anxiety issues, we can point to EXACTLY what is causing them. For her, it has been boyfriend problems, stress surrounding school, that type of thing (she is 19). For me over the years, it has been financial or job stress (I own my own business and it is an up and down kind of thing), relationship issues including divorce, traumas like my dd's severe car accident, deaths, and even at times there have been social anxiety situations.
However, as I am reading your posts, it seems as if you are only able to vaguely point to a possible situation or two that might lead to anxiety, and even those are kinda mild. I wonder if, because you are grinding your teeth, that is why the dr. brought up anxiety. There are several people in dh's family who grind their teeth at night, including my stepson. I can think of three who are kids and their lives are happy go lucky, nothing at all going on there that could be pointed to as a cause of it. Of course they are too young, but if their physicians wanted to put them on something strong for anxiety because of their teeth grinding, their parents would be absolutely floored.
I also hear you saying you are very reluctant to try such a heavy medication for this. I agree. If you were having some of the types of problems like I pointed out we have experienced and your doctor said "anxiety", I would absolutely say you should consider taking something, even it is only a temporary thing until your get over some humps in your life. But with your circumstances, I would be second-guessing any decisions to medicate for it.
Good luck with it, and let us know how it goes for you!
Loc: Too far away from the ocean...
|Posted: 7/26/2013 1:17:56 PM|
Could you share some more of your typical anxiety problems? Right now, it sounds to me more like disorders of the psychosomatic/somatoforme range. Did your doctor do any diagnostics, psychological tests? What is your own feeling about "anxiety"? Does it apply to you? Before that is not clear, we should not be talking meds.
It is true, that emotional stress such as depression, anxiety, burn-out, often causes pain, tensions, migraine (about 85 % of migraines seem to be at least somatically modulated) and other illnesses or tend to make them worse. Especially if there was no other outlet or if somebody tends not hear or avoid the signals that tell you to rest or do sth. for yourself.
If it is some kind of anxiety, I would suggest to consult a behavioral psychotherapist. Do not start with meds, they usually are not helpful in the longterm process but keep anxiety alive.
There is one anxiety disorder that somes together with a lot of physical problems, that is called generalized anxiety disorder.
|Please excuse any mistakes in grammar and choice of words. English is a foreign language.|
|Posted: 7/26/2013 1:32:38 PM|
Whatever you decide to do, please please PLEASE research before just randomly trying things. There are pros and cons to natural and synthetic remedies. Not everything is for everyone. Talk to health store nutritionists, doctors, chiropractors and friends/family you trust. Never start or stop anything without talking to your doctor first.
|Posted: 7/26/2013 2:51:20 PM|I haven't read the other replies, but anxiety responds well to CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy)... So if you have a mild case, you may be able to avoid medications... Nothing wrong with medications (I'm on them), but it sounded like you wanted to avoid that... I've got some websites bookmarked on my computer that help explain what anxiety is... Most are quite short (they're from the university and health network), but they do a good job of explaining the basics... They also have worksheets that you can use during CBT... Those might be 'unlocked' - some stuff is for students, staff, patients, and is behind a log in... If I loose this thread (sometimes 'watching' a thread on my phone doesn't mark it when I check on my computer), send me a PeaMail to remind me
ETA: meds shouldn't dull your emotions - if that happens you should speak to your doctor... You might need a different medication or a dosage change... The right medication just calms the water, it doesn't freeze the lake, if that makes sense...
kiwi: a cute bird
Loc: New Zealand
|Posted: 7/26/2013 2:57:14 PM|
Yeah, anxiety and not depressed. Oh yes, I know about that.
Anxiety is such a depleting thing, isn't it. I find I can look at dispassionately sometimes, and I see how silly my anxieties can be - but then a few minutes later I am right back into it. And of course, there is always SOMETHING to be anxious about, including the biggie - feeling anxious about feeling anxious. Truly a vicious circle.
I have found a lot of help with CBT - cognitive behavioural therapy. My doctor recommended it to me, and I saw a specialist maybe 5 or 6 times, now I work through a couple of CBT workbooks, doing the exercises in them rigorously and honestly. And it helps.
As for medications - I do believe they have a place, I really don't want to take anything either, but if things like CBT aren't working I would be willing to take meds, because I want a better quality of life. I think that problems like this are often (usually?) because the chemistry in our brains have got a bit out of whack, and if it takes a medication to get it all working properly again, so be it. As I said, I am trying other things first though. I have seen medication work for someone else - he took it for a while, but no longer needs it at all.
**Disclaimer: Any errors in spelling, fact or tact are transmission errors.
Doxie Pea Mom
|Posted: 7/26/2013 3:12:57 PM|
Leslie_Scraps, I think you have really hit on what I am trying to say very well. I really think that the first time this was brought up was when I mentioned that I had been grinding my teeth to the point where I broke one. About 6 months ago, I realized I had a cracked tooth but that could have also been because of the old type of fillings that used to be used. My dentist said it was common for those to eventually crack teeth. This was at a visit that I had gone in for headaches.
I am not against medication at all for those who need it but I feel like if I can't even pinpoint much of anything that is causing anxiety in me, I certainly don't want to medicate. I did go through quite a few years of job stress. I am in IT and I have seen many coworkers lose their jobs to India (usually). I have seen and had to take pay cuts. I have been sold twice....once just my department and once the whole company. With the whole company being bought, they laid off 25k followed by another 9k. For years, I was wondering when my number was up. So far, so good. I would go from thinking things were stabalizing to finding out again that I was at risk. It was stressful. About 9 months ago, I changed jobs........same company, different account, and I now have more job security than I have had in a long time......at least for the next 2 years. They are working on extending the contract now and if that happens, I might be set until I am about ready to retire.
I have a happy marriage (23 years), we travel, we go to the lake. We have a lot of friends at the lake that we hang out with and have a good time. We are financially secure. If I say I am broke it is because I don't have the money in a particular bucket that would pay for something. For example, we are not traveling this year because some medical bills came up. We are using that money for those bills. Could we travel anyway? Sure. There is plenty of money to travel but that is not what I want to spend that particular money on. Bottom line, finances, at least at this time and for quite a few years, is not an issue. We have 3 kids between us. They are all self-sufficient. One always struggles more than the other two but is still doing ok. So, we don't really worry about them.
Life is not perfect. Heck, whose is. But, it is not too bad either. LOL
I have a friend that is a counselor and deals with a lot of brain related stuff. I think I am going to talk to him this weekend for input and thoughts.
Hans on left, Bud in middle, Gretchen on right
Doxie Pea Mom
Ask me about backups!
|Posted: 7/26/2013 4:07:52 PM|
This is also a great time to think about second opinions from medical experts. If this doctor is telling you things that don't feel right, definitely talk to others. I'm not saying to doctor shop until you find one that will give you the diagnosis (or lack thereof) you are looking for, but don't rely on just one doctor if it doesn't feel right for you.
|Posted: 7/27/2013 9:39:33 AM|
First of all, hugs to you. You will find out what is best for you. Six years ago I started to feel just awful, mind racing, panic, couldn't eat and several other symptoms. Five months of every test you could think of and my doctors and I finally came to the conclusion that I was suffering from panic attacks and severe anxiety. I continue to take meds daily (and probably always will). I did/do not have depression. I did not have any major things going on in my life at the time that it started. I am a relatively laid back person. In my experience, it did not start with anything that you could put your finger on. I will say that if I do have a panic attack now or feeling of huge anxiety, there is usually something going on, but not in the beginning. I am much more well equipped to deal with those rare occasions now (breathing, behavioral therapy techniques and if it is really bad, the occasional Xanax). I do not feel any different on my meds as far as my feelings, personality or anything else. Now, meds are not for everyone, and I would try everything else before I would agree to trying them (you have gotten great responses from the other peas). My dd18 also has dealt with panic attacks/anxiety severe enough that she finished high school with online courses at home. She went on meds for about 8 months but weaned herself off and is doing great. Lastly, both my dd and I were also encouraged to exercise to help with our anxiety and at times, it did help. If you need any virtual hugs or have any questions, please feel free to pea mail me. I will also post a book that was hugely helpful to me and to three friend that I have recommended it to (none of them ended up taking meds - they were able to use techniques in the book and two went for therapy).
|Posted: 7/27/2013 9:46:03 AM|The book that I thought was really helpful was "From panic to power" by Lucinda Bassett. She also has some newer books but I can't vouch for them.
Ancient Ancestor of Pea
Loc: Northern California
|Posted: 7/27/2013 12:38:12 PM|
you could be in denial, but at least you wrote it out here.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is commonly done with great results.
I am not a psychologist but I do have anxiety sometimes. My therapist doesn't think I need meds, but we do EMDR once in a while. (like before I had an anesthesia) It worked well!
Ancient Ancestor of Pea
Loc: Northern California
|Posted: 7/27/2013 12:40:51 PM|
Also, sharing one on one with a professional works much better for me than reading about anxiety.
|Posted: 7/27/2013 12:47:17 PM|
I had anxiety all my life but didn't realize it until I had a temporary bout with depression when I went through a divorce, and taking medication for the depression also relieved the anxiety. It was a huge Aha! moment for me when I realized that not everyone spends all this time dealing with those "what ifs" you mentioned, worrying about things that probably wouldn't ever happen, or trying to make things perfect.
After the depressing period of time was over I started going off meds (Lexapro in my case) and realized the anxiety was returning, so I went back on it and have never gone off. It's definitely chemical, as there is a lot of Generalized Anxiety Disorder in my family, and I'm very grateful there is medication to take care of it. I have no side affects.
|Posted: 7/27/2013 3:52:12 PM|Here are some of the links that seem to work without having to log in... I'll post more if I find others that are accessible too...
CAMH is a long established and well respected institution in Toronto... This page talks about anxiety, and the main categories of anxiety disorders... You can click on each to learn more about them... Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (Canada): Information about anxiety
This link is from Simon Fraser University in B.C.... The page is a link to a PDF about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy... It's quite a thorough, possibly dry read, but there's a Table of Contents so you can pick and choose...
Simon Fraser: CBT PDF
I'm still looking for a link for a certain CBT video that's actually available on YouTube... I'll post it when I find it
Loc: Central Iowa
|Posted: 7/27/2013 4:03:38 PM|
I have Lorazepam that I talk once in a while when I'm having an anxiety attack. The attacks are worse for me at night or when I'm rundown/overtired/undernourished, but the Lorazepam will let me relax and/or let me go back to sleep. I work hard to manage my stress levels (like planning ahead, doing more prep work, eating well, etc), but I can still freakout about things...especially things that I can't control.
Loc: Southern Oregon
|Posted: 7/27/2013 5:52:15 PM|
Anxiety is a form of panic not depression. It is some times related to depression because most people that have depression also has panic attacks.
I have anxiety and depression but I don't have anxiety because of my depression. I have anxiety because I am an agoraphobic and I also have a social disorder, depression isn't always because you are sad. It is caused from a chemical imbalance in your brain.
distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune: He felt anxiety about the possible loss of his job.
earnest but tense desire; eagerness: He had a keen anxiety to succeed in his work.
SO yes you could have anxiety. I am not understanding why you don't like the idea of taking xanax. I take buspur for my anxiety and I only take it when I am having an anxiety attack.
Peain' in the Pool
Loc: Sunshine State
|Posted: 7/27/2013 6:04:53 PM|
I manage mine (which is pretty mild but has been worse in the past) with exercise (CrossFit and running) and diet (eating clean...too much sugar is always a trigger for me).
I'm also a teeth grinder...when I catch myself doing it I press my tongue against the roof of my mouth until I stop.
I didn't even realize I had issues with anxiety until I was going through counseling during my divorce. Several lightbulbs went on. I was offered medication but declined.
I agree with the others to research your options and possible causes completely before deciding for/against medication.
Doxie Pea Mom
|Posted: 7/28/2013 12:34:30 PM|
Thanks for all of the input. I am going to research some of the websites y'all have posted. I also talked this weekend with a friend who is also a counselor and has a lot of training in some sort of brain therapy (sorry, I am forgetting exactly what it is that his training is in). He has made a couple of suggestions of things that he does that helps him and is going to send the info to me today.
I am still questioning whether or not anxiety is an issue for me. If it is, I think it is a very small issue, not something major. I have never experienced any of the types of panic or anxiety attacks that many of you are referring to. Heck, even the "what if's" that were job related haven't really been in the picture since about the beginning of August last year. I don't think anyone has 100% job security these days but if I told y'all the account I now support, you would understand why I say that I have more job security today than I have had in many years. Even the planning stuff that can cause me grief is not something that I do often. Today, with rare exception, I give deadlines that if someone else can't meet, then we move on without them.
Anyway, I am sure it sounds like I am only being in denial but I really am trying to figure out what anxiety I might be having that is causing other issues to be worse than they are. At this point in my life, things really are pretty easy going and we have a lot of fun. I wanted to hear others experiences to try to see if my experiences might be similar. Most of what others have posted don't fit me at all. I had another friend who has anxiety and panic attacks that I have known for about 4 years. We were talking yesterday and she said "I just don't see you having anxiety issues." Of course, she is not a medical professional, just someone who knows me and is around me somewhat frequently. and is familiar with these issues because she has them.
As for the Xanax..........someone asked why I was against taking Xanax.......first, in my opinion, I absolutely don't need something strong like Xanax. I think that would be way overkill for anything I am dealing with. Second, I have seen how Xanax has screwed up my SIL's life after all of her years of being addicted to it. She does have panic attacks, anxiety, is an alcoholic and addicted to prescription drugs. She is probably bipolar but if she was ever diagnosed, she didn't tell anyone. The addiction to prescription drugs I feel was in large part due to Xanax. I have seen her doctor shop for more Xanax until she could find a doctor to give it to her. Anyway, it wasn't fun to watch. So, I think Xanax is way overkill for someone to take when you can't even pinpoint that there is a problem that needs to be treated.
One other note........when I was talking to my friend, one of the questions he asked is "Why does your doctor think you have anxiety issues?". The only thing my doctor was able to tell me about that is "80% of his patients who have issues that will get worse, similar to the types of things I have had, are due to anxiety".
Hans on left, Bud in middle, Gretchen on right
|Posted: 7/28/2013 12:46:54 PM|You sound like me!
I found myself becoming more short tempered than I usually am, having dreams that would wake me up, worrying about stuff, not being able to turn my mind off, and playing the What If game.
I finally mentioned it to my doctor at my annual (My GP is also an O exam last year. I asked about an antidepressant, even though I didn't really feel depressed....I just didn't know what else to call it or how to describe it. He is the one that brought up anxiety. He said it didn't sound like I was describing depression and suggested I try an anti anxiety med.
I was open to it because I didn't like feeling the way that I was feeling all the time.
He started me on Celexa and it has totally changed our lives!
I am on a low dose, but he started me out at half the dosage for a week or two then upped it to the dose Im at now. Something about having to start and stop it gradually.
Anyway, I could really tell a difference after about the second day taking it.
There are times I do still worry about things but not to the point where Im awake until 3am about stuff.
I still get aggravated with my kids but Im not as short tempered as I was.
I can really see things for what they are now and am able to step back and realize that its all going to work out and we'll all be ok.
Its like I'm me again.
I'm happier, the kids are happier, my dh is happier.
I didn't realize what an effect my emotions were having on all of us and I only wish Id brought it up to my doctor sooner.
Loc: Rite Aid
|Posted: 7/28/2013 12:59:29 PM|I'm not at all depressed, but have anxiety from time to time. Mine is typically work-related. But can hit any time. Yesterday, in Michael's for instance, I thought I was going to die.
DH totally doesn't understand though, so I had to just calm myself and get through it. He's not a bad guy, he just doesn't get it. He's a gov't employee. They work a whole 7 1/2 hours a day, then drop whatever they're doing and leave. My job isn't like that.
One thing though, is lately, I've been talking to my co-workers about it and that's good because we all feel this way. It helps to know other people feel the same way. Even if that way sucks.
|Posted: 7/28/2013 2:14:58 PM|
You can try vitamin suppliments. I have anxiety and I read that people with anxiety deplete certain nutrients quicker than others.
Try bvitamins, a calcium magnesium and zinc supplement, and 5 htp.
I purchased something called theanine serene, but haven't tried it yet...people seem to like it though