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The Anxiety Campfire for Men

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I Lost Another Job and Cant Keep Positive... Panic, Depression, and Worthlessness... [Nov. 6th, 2005|12:36 am]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men

This week I had an overwhelmingly introspective descent of depression, accompanied by panic attacks and migraines. I lost my delivery job at Steak-Out, and it is the fourth job Ive lost over the last couple of years... I dont know how much more low-key a job can be than that as far as social-interaction goes, and I couldn't even keep it.

Up until a few years ago I seemed pretty moderate as far as my anxiety goes. I worked the same full-time job for six years at Barnes & Noble. I was always the quiet and busy worker. Then I decided to actually start being social and interacting with my fellow employees. For the most part this went fine, except for the fact that I had a tendency to 'flake-out' when it came to going places with them as planned. I would be fine and looking forward to the gatherings until about an hour beforehand, and then I would change my mind and not show. I got better about keeping commitments to socializing after a while, until I actually started dating a co-worker.

We dated for about two years, but during that time my anxiety started getting a lot worse, perhaps because there was no place I could go including work, that she was not around, and I am one of those people who needs time alone to reflect and let go of things. I started feeling like I was being watched and judged by people constantly, even to what I realize is an irrational paranoid level. It got to a point where I felt the need to take a leave of absence from work for a number of months, because I could not stay on the sales floor for much time at all without getting panicked. I visited and talked with a therapist and a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with agoraphobia and social-anxiety disorder. I tried Prozac (bad), Paxil (bad), and then Lexapro for a bit, which seemed to work out so I went back to work, but over about a year's time its benefits slowly went away as well. I broke up with the girlfriend, who was roomates with one of the managers and best friends with one of the other managers, and drama ensued at the work place... so the anxiety redoubled and I began thinking suicidally, so I left the job.

Since then I have worked at GNC part-time for a year, a Cell-phone company for a few months, and most recently Steak-Out... all of which I had to call-in to multiple times for panic attacks, migraines, and then this past week overwhelmingly introspective depression triggered by an ex getting pregnant and married just less than two months after we quit hanging-out together.

I was sure that if I drove delivery last Saturday I was going to have an accident and either kill someone or be killed myself. I didnt call back to work until today because of fear that I would be fired... which became self-fulfilling... of course I wouldnt be kept at a job if I was a no-call, no-show. I had to take double my normal dose of xanax just to call at all.

This year Ive done my best to be social and go out semi-regularly meeting new people and making new friends... but always needing to take a xanax just to get out of my car and go into any of the places or gatherings to interact.

My dishes are overflowing in the kitchen, and have been there for weeks. My cats have to remind me to change their litter, and sometimes I still put it off much more than I should. My feelings of being wanted and then being unwanted by friends fluctuates way too often for being normal. I've thought recently about deleting my LJ completely. I consider who would actually care if I didn't exist. I beat up on myself way too much in self-talk... and Im afraid I wont be able to get a job and keep it... which further builds the sense of worthlessness.

So Im asking any of you at this campfire what you think I should do. Im wondering if disability is an option, but it seems like it would just further my sense of worthlessness too. I have no income and no insurance and am not currently on any meds except xanax, which I take daily just to be able to have any interaction outside the door of my house.

Any suggestions or help of any form would be much appreciated...

I hope to become a helpful active member of this communitty, and I hope to hear from you soon.
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Med update [Oct. 26th, 2005|08:33 am]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men

[Current Mood |good]

Well, I'm joining the Zoloft generation. I had my one month visit with the Psychiatrist yesterday. I think she might have been a tad less clinical than last time but still very business-like, kind of like a person reading from a troubleshooting manual... "if the television powers up but no signal is present, prescribe 25mg of Zoloft" LOL

So, anyway... I told her the klonopin was working fairly well, but I thought that I needed a mid-day boost in it. (that's .5mg 3 times per day now) I also told her that my wife lovingly describes me as being very moody for the last two weeks. So, she told me to take another pill at noon. She asked me if I was drinking and I told her I wasn't. She asked if I still often felt like I could or wanted to cry and I told her I did. So, she started asking me how I did on the Cymbalta a year and a half ago and I told her it was hell. She said that Effexor was out then so she'd like to try me on Zoloft 25mg for 7 days and then 50mg. That's where I am.

Any Zoloft warnings, praises, advice out there?
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Self-help books [Oct. 22nd, 2005|01:02 am]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men
I've been looking at self-help books recently and was wondering if any of you had found a particular title useful, if one had made a real, lasting impact.
I've read "Awaken the Giant Within" by Tony Robbins which is basically a pep-talk in written form, and for reasons unknown my Mum gave me "Life's Greatest Lessons: 20 Things That Matter" by Hal Urban (good despite its brevity). I borrowed "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey which I seem to have petered out on because it's aimed at a business-type audience. I've been looking at other titles on this list at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/listmania/list-browse/-/SZ0REARUQMNO/002-7065571-2264039 my libary doesn't have a lot of them though, just today I borrowed a book from another list called "From Panic to Power" which was written by a former anxiety sufferer.
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Good Question [Oct. 18th, 2005|09:25 am]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men

[Current Mood |good]
[Current Music |office conversation]

My therapist asked me a question yesterday that I absolutely could not answer. I think maybe the phrase doesn't translate well from girls to guys... but I also couldn't come up with an answer once I converted the questions to "guy-talk" in my head. So... I'll ask you guys...

"How do you pamper yourself?"

I mean really? What does this mean to a guy? Is this buying the "good beer" instead of the lite beer? Is this sitting in your pajamas and reading the entire Sunday paper? Is it buying Porterhouse steaks instead of hamburger? I just don't see anything that equates to my wife getting a massage, a manicure, or a pedicure... what do you guys do to "pamper yourself?"
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Have you ever had thoughts.... [Oct. 11th, 2005|10:44 am]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men

[Current Mood |cranky]
[Current Music |same old office noise]

Anytime you discuss your mental status with a therapist or a doctor, they always ask: "Have you had thoughts of harming yourself?" I always answer "no" as I know saying yes will set off all sorts of alarms, bell, whistles, men in white coats, etc... My take is that everyone has had the notion cross their mind - even if only for a fleeting moment. How do you know when to say "yes, I've thought about it" and what really happens then?
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Houston, we have a diagnosis [Sep. 26th, 2005|09:21 pm]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men

[Current Mood |drained]
[Current Music |Monday Night Football]

Well, I had my first visit to a psychiatrist today. That was the most clinical, non-emotional, assembly-line like visit with a doctor I've ever had. She asked me questions for an hour. At least half of the questions were leading with yes or no answers. We talked about everything from my rotten childhood to my very loving and supportive marriage. I say we talked... kind of like talking to an electronic bank teller. I just answered the questions and she wrote everything down. At the end, she said: "I'm prescribing Klonopin, it has a longer half-life than the Tranxene you're taking. I believe you are having "bleed-thru anxiety" because the Tranxene isn't lasting long enough. If you don't feel an improvement in your mood in a month, she'll prescribe something for the depression (she suggested effexor would be her first choice.)

She also said I must quit using alcohol altogether immediately. My diagnosis is: 300.00 - Anxiety Disorder NOS, 300.4 dysthymia (chronic depression,) and 305.00 Alcohol abuse. So... no more alcohol while I'm taking the Klonopin - and I really don't think that's gonna be a problem. I do wonder what the NOS is about but I'm sure I can google it.

It sucks to be this way... I know.. alcoholic father, depressed mother, suicidal grandfather... I'm predisposed to it all. I've worked so hard to not be like my parents. I've got a great life. I'm a college grad with multiple degrees, a 22 year long marriage that is great, a wonderful kid, good job, people like me... why am I like this? Yeah, yeah, chemical imbalance.. same as my parents. It's so hard to accept that this isn't something I can just fix or "will myself to overcome." DAMN IT!
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(no subject) [Sep. 20th, 2005|06:47 pm]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men
( I'm not a guy, but i just thought a few guys here would find this helpful... im going to leave the community, dont worry, as soon as i get this posted... its very important )

I just made a community called "NotShy_SA"
And those who feel they are anxious socially but are not shy will know what i'm talking about, all others need not question... but you CAN question... its just if you know what im talkinga bout, you'll know what im talkinga bout

Anyway, the wonderful peter rabbit themed banner is under the cut
Our goal is to share, share, share, and help help help!

here's a quote from the first entry i made to give you a more clear idea
"I thought we needed a community like this because i felt there were a lot of people who became socially anxious but are not shy people, or quiet, inhibited types(are not held back without the anxiety). It's mostly the anxiety that keeps them. Often, people who are not shy but have social anxiety may even try often to socialize but get anxious and embarassed without knowing why."

I was a social butterfly, for example, before i became 14 and then suddenly began to "not know what to say" around some/many people, ( well not "suddenly" but gradually i suppose, without my knowing ) this was supplemented by a lovely depression... and yea... lots of frustration... inability to be myself around people because anxiety inhibited my personality.... etc

Social Anxiety without ShynessCollapse )
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Here it comes... [Sep. 16th, 2005|10:32 am]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men

[Current Mood |uncomfortable]
[Current Music |hummm of the laptop I'm configuring]

Sunday is my B'day... thank you very much... no big deal. My wife decided yesterday to invite a bunch of people to the house on Saturday "For My Birthday", not just to come watch football, or just come hang out... they have to come "for my birthday" I will be out of my skin uncomfortable from now until it's over. I will obsess on every detail of getting ready for them. I'll suffer through every uncomfortable "Happy Birthday" from people I hardly know... and I'll probably drink too much and feel like crap the next day.

Arghhh... I need a plan for coping with this like a normal person.
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Forgot my meds [Sep. 12th, 2005|10:22 am]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men

[Current Mood |anxious]
[Current Music |computer keys in all the cubes around me]

I'm taking Tranxene... which my therapist says isn't nearly strong enough to help... but I usually get by and I have Psych-med appointment soon. Well, I forgot to take it this morning and I'm about to crawl out of my skin. It's too far to drive home at lunch. I'm thinking there may be one in my car and I'll see at lunch. It sucks to be this dependent on a pill... and it's great that there are pills that keep me from feeling like this. I think it may be sort of a cummulative withdrawal. I only take half my usual dose on the weekends. I may have to rethink that strategy.
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benzos -- brain damage? [Sep. 9th, 2005|06:24 pm]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men
[Current Mood |morose]
[Current Music |none]

OK. So we know that benzodiazepines act on the neurotransmitter GABA, soaking the neurons in it's pleasure. We know that alcohol does the same exact thing. We also know that too much alcohol consumption can lead to brain damage via loss of brain cells. Can this happen due to prolonged use of benzodiazepines, too? I mean, if the benzos do the same thing as alcohol... ?

I feel like I'm getting stupider as time goes on. I keep forgetting things. I totally made a big mess up with school and now owe them a bunch of tuition money that I thought had already been paid by my financial aid. I've been doing poorly at work, and I really just feel like I'm in the dark about what is going on everywhere, all the time. :( I'm getting very depressed again.

x-posted to panic_anxiety, spiralpauper, anxietycampfire and boyinterupted

Please help,
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