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Panic / Anxiety "relapse"??? [Aug. 19th, 2007|06:29 pm]
The Anxiety Campfire for Men
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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.

[User Picture]From: createdestiny
2007-08-20 02:28 am (UTC)
In my experience, I have been on meds that seemed to work great for a while and then kind-of pooped out on me and I'd need to try something new. You could be experiencing that---which along with a lot of environmental/ situational stresses in your life are causing you to feel "the spiral starting all over again."

If I were you I would see about getting a med adjustment. I would also try to see my Mom again and if that were not possible I would definitely call or write often so that my heart would have a chance to find some peace with her cancer and the uncertainties that go along with all of that.

When I went through a terrible and lonely period in my life I would write letters to myself in my journal reminding me of all the good things in my life, every positive truth that gave me hope, every inspirational story or quote I'd come across. When I'd feel panic coming on I would re-read these letters and it was very consoling, it nurtured my soul. I still go back to these letters when I am lost or sad.

For a while I would also make a list, every night, of the things in my life I was grateful for: sometimes it was just really simple stuff like: bananas or the fact that I'm not blind or that I can walk or something like that. This exercise really helps and I highly recommend it.

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From: julleri
2007-08-21 12:41 am (UTC)
thank you so much for your support. :)

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From: (Anonymous)
2007-11-19 01:37 pm (UTC)
Futurist_ here (retired my account) "relapses" are common if the underlying causes haven't been addressed, if you've been using enthusiasm to overcome your internal obstacles.
I believe that if your overall aim is to have an improved quality of life you will get there eventually.
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-11-19 06:43 pm (UTC)
I have major anxiety and then get into a full blown panic attack. I lost my job because of it. when I was hired they were aware of my GAD and seemed ok with it.....my doctor wrote a note letting them know it was real. BUT they still thought it was for attention so I wouldn't have to work 8 hour days, I requested to only work 5 hour shifts because I felt that was all my body could handle. So now I am having major financial issues because of losing my job and living here in San Diego not having a job will eat you alive. cost of living is so high!! so now I am making myself sick over all this and cant seem to find a job. not even in shitty retail. I Have tried office jobs but they seem to hire far and few between.Now I am looking for a proper treatment...
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