I Suffer From Severe Anxiety Disorder And Do Not Take Medicine.

So basically I've been dealing with anxiety for about 13 months now. I started having symptoms of anxiety when my daughter was 3 months old and she is now 16 months old. I had a C-Section and didn't really have that much help in the beginning caring for my daughter and I was going through a lot of emotional issues as well. I felt like I was anorexic when I no longer had my pregnant belly, I was having problems with eating healthily too. I kind of kept forgetting that just because I fed the baby it doesn't mean I fed myself and I was going hours and hours without eating. I began to clean EVERYTHING. I mean bleaching the entire bathroom, bleaching the counters, vacuuming like every other day, wiping everything down with Clorox wipes...It was getting to be crazy but that was how I relieved my stress.

Finally, I went to my OB/GYN and told her that I would really like to be put on medicine because I thought I had a problem. She told me that it was just the mother hood blues and there was no need to worry. At the time I was also chain smoking and drinking 3-4 sodas a day which is NOT a good combination for anxiety!

My OB/GYN refused to prescribe me anything so I went to my Primary Care Doctor who gave me Zoloft. My Primary Doctor didn't really even ask me that many questions or offer alternatives to caring for anxiety without medication. That kind of upsets me now that I look back on it. So I began to take the Zoloft and I took it regularly for about 4 weeks. I was feeling better and better but I refused to let myself see it that way. I didn't have the heart palpitations or the nightmares, sweating like crazy, low sex drive...I felt like a normal person for the first time in a long time. BUT I was in denial that I was getting better.

I would ask my Fiance and my Mother in law if they saw a change and they all said yes but I stopped taking the Zoloft anyway. When I stopped taking the Zoloft I wasn't smart about it. I didn't go to the doctor and ask how to properly stop taking it. Instead I just stopped it cold turkey and felt like **** for about two weeks and had mood swings from hell but no anxiety or panic attacks so I thought I was fine.

When my daughter was 13 months old I decided to stop smoking on my anniversary to my Fiance. (august 4th). We quit and it was fairly easy. My anxiety didn't seem that bad at all because I felt motivated and ready to quit. We were sleeping through the night because our daughter was sleeping through the night. I wasn't working or stressed about much of anything. What helped me get through the anxiety of quitting smoking was working out! I began going to the gym a lot. I also picked up a side job watching a friend's 4 children every Tuesday and Thursday. Now this job was a little stressful because I was watching my daughter plus her 4 kids ages 5,4,3, and 1 all at the same time but I got used to it.

Then everything all the sudden came crashing down at once! My Fiance got laid off of his well paying job, I got a kidney infection that made me have to get IV treatments which made me lose my babysitting job, my Mom found out that she had a mass and was going to have to get a full hysterectomy but she was a heart attack survivor and had a lot of health problems. Nothing seemed to be going well and I was no longer seeing the beauty in life...I used to always find beauty in everything. I found myself slowly getting more and more depressed.

Now it is 4 months into me quitting smoking and I just recently finished my first semester of college. Starting college with a baby is very scary and intimidating at first and I found myself being a control freak, clean freak, and perfectionist. As the classes started though I got more and more comfortable and laid back. Now I am on break until the next semester starts in January and I feel like my anxiety is almost worse than it has ever been.

I blame not keeping myself busy enough and my Fiance started working way longer hours too! He now works from 9 in the morning until 9 at night which gives us virtually no free time and it leaves me in the house all day with a toddler who is running around acting crazy!

I would like to also blame a lot of my anxiety on my eating habits, I do not drink as much dairy as I probably should and usually I eat a whole lot at dinner time and just snack on little things through out the day. Plus I also hate fruit which is definitely a no no if you have anxiety problems. So I am trying to convince myself to change my diet plan in hopes to help me. I think I am going to start drinking V8 splash vegetable and fruit drinks daily, even if it makes me want to puke it will be healthy for me!

Also I have noticed that staying off websites like Facebook and only getting on every so often has helped too! I hated getting on Facebook and looking at people that I know from high school or working and thinking that they are prettier than me or they have a better life than me. That is pretty depressing..especially since I am a teen Mom and I get to watch all my old friends post pictures of being at college and hanging out with pretty people and having a good time. Not that I don't like my life as a stay at home Mom/ nursing student at age 19 or anything but I do realize a lot of the time that I am very different than most 19 year olds.

I have noticed too that my Sister in Law's children give me anxiety like crazy! They are ages 8 and 10 and they are completely out of control. They have to be told to do something about 3 times and their Mother has provided no consistency in their lives what so ever...They run around like little tornadoes! They aren't grateful but they say please and thank you like it is a chore, nothing is ever good enough for them and they don't know how to seek out positive attention because their parents never give it to them so instead they are always getting into something they shouldn't. My Mother in Law and father in law are trying to alter their behavior a lot since they are now living in our household and they are getting a lot better but still it can be frustrating.

For example my niece who is 10 didn't listen this morning after my Mother in Law told her not to touch something on the counter like 3 times so my Mother in Law popped her and then of course my niece went stomping up to her room crying and embarrassed because my Mother and Father in Law never get physical with any of the children. I guess my niece didn't take my Mother in Law seriously when she said enough is enough and I'm going to start popping you guys if you don't listen. So instead of my Mother in Law letting my niece go up in her room and pout and get over herself she called her downstairs so she could torment her and ask her why she was mad and pouting. Now I would have just let my niece be angry and I wouldn't have cared. In fact I would have probably told her I had the right to be angry seeing that she wasn't listening and being respectful and I would have told her to put a smile on her face before I slapped one on her face for her.

Who knows...maybe I'm just a hard *** on kids. But it really upsets me when parents/ grandparents discipline their children and then they all the sudden feel bad with how they chose to discipline them so they give in by babying them and kissing their ***. If you are going to pop a kid pop a kid...don't feel bad for it they probably deserved it if they made you mad enough to do it in the first place. I RARELY pop my daughter and when I do it is the lightest pop ever not to mention it's on top of her diaper and my daughter has never once cried because it hurt to be popped she cried because she knew she was bad and felt bad. Even if she wanted me to come cuddle her and hug her after I popped her I didn't because I know if I would have then it would have meant she won and it was okay for her to get popped because then Mommy would feel guilty and let her do it again. Instead I let her cry and walk away until she either forgot about it or got in a good mood once again and then I praised her for acting right and I paid her more attention so she wouldn't act naughty. Now I am only 19 why the hell can my Mother in Law not see that? She has 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren. Well...If she could see that and understand how to discipline a kid correctly then we probably wouldn't have her grandchildren staying with us in the first place because their mother chose drugs over her children and is going through a sketchy marriage and so forth.

Back to my story though...I obviously am going through a LOT and I mean a LOT of stress! The fact that it is near Christmas doesn't help matters either. I feel like I am obligated to buy everyone a present but we just aren't made of money since I am about to be a full time student and we are about to be paying for daycare out the back end! It was one thing when I didn't have a child to go out and buy everyone I knew a present but it's hard enough trying to buy for our daughter and my Fiance, and my parents. Then you throw sister and brother in laws and in laws and nieces and nephews into the mix! It's a nightmare. Christmas isn't even supposed to be about the presents anyway? Or at least that's what I thought!? Oh and my sister and brother in Law have 6 children I have 1....so by the time we buy all of them presents we are looking at $200.00 or more which could have gone to me and my Fiance's MUCH needed date night/ babysitter...so I could relieve some of this stress in the first place.

That's another problem. I don't really like to leave our daughter with my Mother in Law just because I know SHE NEEDS a break. She is getting old and caring for 2 bratty kids all day long that aren't hers so I would not ask her to watch mine on top of that. My kid isn't bad or anything but she is 1 and requires a lot of attention and a lot more needs than an 8 and 10 year old. We have been looking for a sitter for quite some time now and we just can't seem to find one that we like.

They are all either too laid back, their house isn't fit for children but they are awesome or they are horrible but their house is perfect for children. They want an outrageous amount of money or they don't do short notice and we are the short notice type. So for my Fiance and I to have a 'break' we usually go to the gym where there is a place for the little ones there...this is usually VERY helpful for my anxiety. One because I can study while I walk on the treadmill or work out. Secondly it gets my breathing patterns under control and it makes me calm. Working out gives me confidence. It is one on one time with my Fiance and I know that our daughter is being well taken care of. I love that it gives our daughter time to interact with other children her age too! This is probably the number one thing that helps with my anxiety!

Sex is also a big help. Sometimes I will feel as if I am too tired to have sex but I will talk myself into it and it feels like a house has been lifted off my shoulders afterwards.

Taking that extra amount of time to look pretty is really helpful too because it boosts my confidence and makes me happier to start the day.

Cleaning makes me less stressed out because I know things are in order where I put them and that my daughter can find her toys better and I know things are more sanitary.

Being outside is super helpful but the problem is in the winter time I rarely go outside. So I am probably going to buy some Vitamin D Supplements and see if that helps any.

My daughter used to throw 'tantrums' and that would stress me out a lot and make my heart pound like crazy and me get jittery. I started putting her in time out for 1 minute on the bottom step (with a baby gate up to block the remaining steps) and this helped out tremendously! She hasn't thrown a tantrum in at least 3 weeks and she knows now that when Mommy says stop she isn't playing! :)

Bedtime used to give me a lot of anxiety too because our daughter would fight it. I started with a very consistent routine though which has helped out a bunch. We give her a bedtime snack, and juice cup. We brush her teeth. Give her a bath if she didn't have one that morning. We cuddle with her downstairs for about 10 minutes in the recliner and then we tell her its time for bed and she holds our hand like a big girl and walks upstairs with us. Then we let her pick out about 5 short stories and we always finish it off with her favorite book, "where's Dave?" and then we tuck her in and tell her Good night and we love her. After about 5 days of doing this she has been going right to sleep since and not a fuss out of her!!!

So anyway I have noticed with my anxiety that the best things for ME personally are:

Get out of my comfort zone! Stop living in a crazy routine so that when unexpected things do happen or new things arise you aren't freaking out and having a mental break down.

be as prepared as you can for things but don't be a control freak. Try to test yourself at times and always try your best to be patient.

Stop drinking as much soda and do not smoke or drink alcohol.

When you are tired you need to sleep and make sure you get enough rest.

Try to have quiet time for a certain amount of time everyday so that your mind can relax. Turn the TV off for 20 minutes, put your phone on silent.

Talk to your significant other/ best friend and tell them how you are feeling and what is bothering you. It will feel great to get it off your shoulders.

Take a daily vitamin and make sure you are eating enough fruit, and taking in enough calcium.

Tell yourself that you are stronger than your anxiety and you will defeat it.

Have sex as often as possible.

When you are put into situations where you are around a lot of family and it makes you uncomfortable go to the bathroom and take a few minutes to collect your thoughts and breathe better.

breathe from your stomach not your chest.

I HOPE some of this helps and I am working harder and harder every day to get my anxiety under control while not being medicated. :) Thank you for reading! I will hopefully post some updated soon.

These are my anxiety symptoms:

Severe exhaustion, chest tightness and discomfort, a fast beating heart rate, exhaustions, sweating, being constipated, peeing more than usual, getting head aches, mood swings, feeling hungry but not wanting to eat at the same time, not being able to sleep at night, worrying about everything, my mind going a million miles per second and being shy or awkward in a social setting, keeping to myself and not talking to people as much as usual.
18-21, F
4 Responses Dec 7, 2012

You should congratulate yourself for pinpointing a lot of your triggers. That's half the battle. I found these meditation apps (free) for my iPad and listen to them before I go to bed. You are correct about consuming sugar & alcohol. People with anxiety are great drinking buddies but the next day is absolute hell. Sugar is the worst!

Some people with anxiety can't live without specific things and for me exercise is huge. I don't care what it is. 100 lunges in the living room or clenching your butt when you watch tv. ha! It all helps.

Thanks for your post.

With me it's the inability to cope with stressful situations. I can go crazy when I'm bombarded with multiple tasks. I tried a mild tablet for the anxiety recommended by my doctor. It had my face literally falling in my dinner plate within a few minutes after taking it.
I then asked her if there was anything milder. Perhaps natural? Without hesitation she told me St. Johns Wort.
That my friend is MY miracle drug of choice.

since becoming pregnant (I am now 3 months) my anxiety has been significantly worse, to the point where I could not control it mentally and tell myself it was all just in my head. I talked to my OB and he put me on Buspar which has been a life saver. I still have the occasional heart palpitations but I think they are more pregnancy related than stress related. I don't find myself having trouble falling asleep, having nightmares, twitching my fingers and feet, feeling uneasy, having random spurts of energy to clean and disinfect everything. I feel a lot more patient and at ease with my surroundings and myself. I have also found that saying, "Whatever happens happens...God is with me" over and over again helps. It is like my little quote that popped out of nowhere one day when I was having a rough time. If I say it slow repeatedly in my head it helps my breathing slow down and it helps me relax. I am not ashamed to say that I chose to be medicated because it has helped me so so so so so so much and I hope that a few months after the baby arrives and my hormone levels are all back to square one I can return to naturally handling my anxiety. I am currently on bed rest with this pregnancy due to complications so I can't go to the gym and burn off my stress and anger which is something that helped me so much in the past.

I am sorry to hear about your anxiety. I have had anxiety for two years now. I am almost 24. I have most of the same symptoms as you do. I read that there are over 200+ anxiety symptoms. It is extremely hard to deal with but I try to live life as normal as I can. Of course it can be hard but we neec to just keep going and try our hardest to be positive andlive life to the fullest. If you ever want to talk, feel free. I am here to listen :-)