For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jason and I've posted here long, long ago (in like 2004 and 2005 years) regarding my then new-to-me struggles with panic disorder, severe depression, and anxiety.
I have a question. Is it common for panic attacks and panic disorder to "relapse"? Here's my story:
I was diagnosed with panic disorder and panic attacks and major depression in the Fall '03/Winter '04 from many doctors and a psychiatrist here in Phoenix, AZ. I was a student then who had a really bad job as a bill collector. As a result of these illnesses, coupled with a very bad attack of mononucleosis (in the CMV variety - very specific, ask me if you want more info), I decided that I was "going crazy" and saw many doctors who proved to me otherwise. I quit my terrible job, and withdrew from the university. I was put on many different drugs, but came to a good balance on SSRI Celexa and Benzodiazepine Klonopin. I've been on those ever since! I take them daily. It's never been my goal to be on them for so long. I've seen other doctors regarding this, but have always had little to no will power in tapering off of them. It's been hard.
I was unemployed from that point in about Spring of '04 until February of '05, and during that whole time I had a very good significant other to take care of me. He'd bring me my medicine every morning when I was sick in bed, help me know that he loved me and made me just feel all around better. We're still living together, even though I broke up with him 10 months ago due to many battles and fights we just couldn't solve.
Recently we moved to a new condo (his). My panic and depression have been under control for the last year or so, thanks to the medicines and having an OK job and a fairly good life, but so many things have been going wrong in my life recently. I eventually did go back to school to finish my degree, and have graduate this summer, but now I'm depressed being in the same job for more than two years where I'm nothing but a cog in an electronic factory, processing loan application after loan application. I really need to know what I need to fix or where I need to look for something better. My mother's illness (cancer) is terminal now. I don't know how much time I have left with her, and it saddens me everyday that I talk to her (she lives in Wisconsin - I visited her in June for her birthday, during which she seemed fine, but now seems miserable). The move was stressful. I never did intend to move in with my ex-bf, but due to time constraints and flaky people in my life, I had little opportunity to find something else (not to mention my low-income). And, in addition, my ex has recently started dating -- something he never did during the 9 months of our "divorce"-- it's only been in this 10th month that this has started... and then I get really sad and jealous and just think of all those good times he took care of me and made me feel loved. I have very few friends, and none like him. I know it's not fair to expect him to be a caretaker for me, but I just feel like I'm losing him - and everyone and everything. I have no more school... no more mom pretty soon (which will certainly be VERY hard. I 'm so scared of the day that she's gonna be gone and do not know HOW I'll react to that), and I feel like no more best friend, even though I know that's irrational. Bottom line, all of this has caused me to panic. I feel weak, sleep ungodly long amounts of time, have been missing work, and just feel like the spiral is starting all over again. Does anyone know if this is common? Am I going through a lot of stress that was unforeseen? Is that what is likely causing it? I have called a helpline through my job who is going to set up times in which I can see a therapist and a psychiatrist. She believes that maybe my meds, on which I've been so long, have kind of "burned out" and may need dosage adjustments or complete changes all together. What's happened to me? I really don't want to lose my job. I'm afraid that everything that happened to me - all the unknowing and the worry - in late '03/early '04 is gonna come back to me... and who is gonna help take care of me? It's so sad.
I'm gonna put this behind a cut because it's so long. I'm also gonna cross post it to my own journal for my own records and friends to see it... and also x-post it to anxietycampfire and panic_anxiety. I thought I was also a part of a depression comm... but I don't think membership was that high. But, since I know these disorders are fairly intermingled, I think the depression aspect of all of this will be well addressed in the panic_anxiety comm.
Thank you, and PLEASE HELP ME!!! Trust me - anything anyone says to me, even if it's that I'm being a big baby - really will help me. I'm just reaching out for human contact now.