Long Battle With Anxiety And Depression

I've battled with anxiety for 25 years. It started when I was in high school. I would get random panic attacks, but at the time I didn't know what was happening. I thought there was something wrong with me and that I was the only one with this problem. I didn't want to tell anyone because I was afraid. I don't know what I was afraid of, but I just felt like if I said something people would think I was weird. Why should my heart beat fast and why should I have nausea for no reason? Maybe I was sick, I thought, but I was perfectly healthy otherwise. These random panic attacks continued to increase as I got older. I didn't find out until I was married and in my early 20s that I wasn't alone. Other people had the same problems, and I discovered there was a name for this: "panic". The panic became routine part of my life.
I became a mother and developed postpartum depression. I was so depressed that I developed suicidal thoughts. My husband took me in to see a doctor and from this point I started on my experimental journey with prescriptions. But I continued to have anxiety (though my depression improved somewhat). The panic spiraled out of control until I finally became agoraphobic. The fear of fear took over my life. For about 2 years I didn't leave my home. I am thankful for a wonderful support system of family, friends, and church that helped me with my children and other needs during this time. Eventually I went to a psychiatrist. The first visit I was shaking so bad and my anxiety was so bad I felt like throwing up and passing out. I couldn't stop shaking. But I had to be there ... I was prescribed some anti-anxiety meds and different anti-depressants. From there I worked on getting out of the house with the help of the anti-anxiety meds.

As time went on I gained some weight, became zombie-like, and got tired of my med dose gradually increasing. I wasn't happy. I still felt anxious (though my paranoia had decreased). I wanted to reduce and get off my meds. But my doctor didn't recommend it. We moved and I ended up not seeing him again. I did an ill-advised thing and stopped my meds cold turkey. Um, yeah - not a good idea. Went through terrible withdrawals. I couldn't eat much because I felt so nauseated. The only good thing about this ordeal was I lost a lot of weight. After a couple of months I started feeling back to normal. I no longer felt like a zombie. I did have anxiety but at least I was alive and could feel like a human being.

This was a couple years ago. I am currently still dealing with anxiety. I can sort of go shopping, but my husband still has to do most of the actual stuff. I go to church for a short while each sunday. And I can leave the house. I felt confident enough that I even applied for part-time work at a few places (no luck!). Because of the continued anxiety and my zero success rate in being called for an interview I've gradually gotten depressed. Not as severe as before, but enough to affect my confidence. I've even tried going back to school. I've always wanted to be in the cosmetics industry - so I enrolled at a beauty school to become an esthetician. Four weeks in and I became a frazzled wreck. I've had to drop out because the anxiety is so bad I actually had to leave school early on some days. I couldn't concentrate on my studies. I felt so ashamed because this is just another failure to add to my long list of failures.

I feel like a failure with nothing to contribute to society. I don't work. I can't go anywhere for extended periods of time. I feel like an irresponsible loser who can't accomplish anything in life. This is where I am now. Depressed and anxious all over again. I'm only thankful, though, that it's not as bad as it was when I was housebound. I still make an effort to get out at least once a day. Even if it's to the store to buy a $2 item, or to the mailbox to check the mail (better than staying inside), or to the library to check out a book, anything to prevent me from becoming full-blown agoraphobic again. I'll always battle this anxiety, but I refuse to be stuck in my house again.

I don't know what to do now. I feel very frustrated and alone. There's a lot more I could write about, but it's difficult to get the feelings I'm feeling in print form.

thank you for reading.
sdavis72 sdavis72
36-40, F
5 Responses Dec 9, 2012

I know exactly what you are going through. So much of what you said describes me.....so I can relate. If you need a friend to talk to or need some encouragement...just ask :)

I give you a lot of credit. .Sounds like you were on a mess of medication that made you numb to the world. Yet, you chose to go off the meds to deal with the extreme anxiety and depression. You haven't failed and you haven't lost because your still fighting. Worse case scenerio, you find yourself back on A med or maybe 2 to keep emotions from spiraling downward. You have done it. You came off and doing fairly well. I love it that you can prove your doctor wrong. Please though if things begin to get intolerable again, go back to the doctor for help

thank you :)

thank you so much for the remarks... yes, it may be too much too soon. I will probably try again in 5-10 years. One student at the beauty school was 61. So I don't think I'll ever be too old to go. I'll keep on trying til the day I die. I still feel discouraged, but I can't give up hope.
I just want to let others know also that we all have times when we feel low. Sometimes it takes someone else to help us realize that things aren't as bad as they seem.

Hang on a minute, you came off the mind numbing meds, overcame agoraphobia and anxiety enough to get yourself through 4 weeks of school and you see that as a failure?
I think, all things considered, you have done bloody well!
Maybe a case of too much too soon, but it does prove, at least to me, that your determination is a force to be reckoned with - top marks young lady


thank u for sharing,u r not a looser and u can know it by ur Determination.i learned a lot from u and u helped me some how.try to make friends go out side make a plans to ur life manage to make it shiny and u will be great.take care