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Chronic Anxiety/ GAD/ OCD ?

BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš†Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
edited March 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Ok, apparently I am mental.

Well, that sounded harsh. Turns out, I have just realized I have an anxiety problem. The more I think about this, I realize that much of my childhood (and teenage years) were also affected by this. It's kind of creepy to realize that you've been living with something like this for a long time.

The way I have come to realization with this is not really important.

Back to this anxiety thing.

I was informed that there are ways of "taming" this issue without the use of medication. I'd like to avoid chemicals, that's for sure. Since my anxiety problem is not crippling me (yet), I am assuming it is possible to deal with it.

I wrote "chronic" in the topic because I think it is getting worse with time.

I know certain aspect of my life affect it, like stress and stuff. But most of that stress I think is self-imposed. But that's a different topic, and it touches O.C.D. a little.

I am seeing a profesional about this. Kinda. I'd like to stay away from that angle for now.

What I'd like to know is if any of your brilliant people have a similar issue. Did you work it out?
Is it an on-going mental battle? I am assuming it is, as there's probably no cure for this.

Yeah, let's start with that.


PS: I don't know if you noticed, but over the years Gabe has posted clues that he suffers from OCD/Anxiety. A famous post I remember had something to do with him going away on events like conferences and stuff. He gets stressed by the unfamiliar to a point that it cripples him. Anyway, thought it would be cool to link this topic back to PA.

Bendit on
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Posts

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Try taking up meditation. you can take a class or jsut get a book on it. there's plenty fo forms(I do Buddhist insight meditation myself). It's not as hard to learn as you'd think but you do have to set aside a little time every day to do it. I've found the breathing excercises and stuff can help a ton when you're stressed out and they can be done virtually anywhere.

    nexuscrawler on
  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    First off, do not self-diagnose

    go to a trained professional and ask them, don't ask a friend who's had a few courses in psychology, ask a real doctor


    secondly, Not to ruffle any feathers, but you sound like a wee bit of a hypochondriac

    good luck

    Raneados on
    Dubh wrote: »
    Rane is the future of ancient greek tradition
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited September 2006
    but you sound like a wee bit of a hypochondriac

    That is a possibility. You might be right. I do not beleive I gave you enough information about myself for you to pose this diagnosis though. But I am reading ya.

    Like I said, I am already seeing a pro. about this. I am not self-diagnosing myself. I can assure you I am passed that and posting on this forum is a huge step for me. I can't stress how big of an effort this is.

    I understand your angle. But please note that I also wrote that this has been going on for years and years, on a small scale. It seems I have been dealing with low to moderate anxiety for a long ass time, and I was blind or ill-equiped to deal with it.

    Meditation?

    Good idea. I've been thinking about Yoga also. And perhaps bio-feedback? But I don't know. I am in research mode. Thanks for the tip.

    Anything else? Thanks!

    Bendit on
  • crakecrake Registered User
    edited September 2006
    Sounds like you and I have a very similar story. I tried a few things like yoga and special breathing to help combat stress, etc. Ultimately, I ended up on medication though. If you do go that route, don't be afraid to try out different medications. They all work a little differently. I went through 3 of them before I found one that worked right for me. Also, don't let anyone prescribe more then 20mg of anything. You've *got* to start with a low dosage - I realy think some doctors just don't get that. You can always raise it later.

    crake on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Excercise can also be a great stress remedy

    nexuscrawler on
  • itylusitylus Registered User
    edited September 2006
    I think the standard treatment for OCD or general Anxiety issues, like panic attacks, these days, is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. But I have no personal experience of it so I can't say anything about whether it's good or bad or works or not.

    itylus on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    its basically biofeedback. they hook up your brains to electrodes and basically train you to control you brains stress levels. Usually they make you do something silly like moving a pacman across the screen by conciously altering your brainwaves.

    nexuscrawler on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited September 2006
    like moving a pacman across the screen by conciously altering your brainwaves

    no shit?

    Bendit on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited September 2006
    crake, tell me more about the meds.

    how do you feel when you're on them?

    does it change you and your personality?

    do you feel different?

    what happens? you just don't stress anymore? or do you just don't care about the items that previously were stressing you?

    I am trying to determine what happens "inside you".

    Thanks for any info.

    Bendit on
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    First up, I'm not a Psychologist, just a guy with a BA in Psych. It'd take 4-5 years of school, a doctoral thesis, and a year of clinical work before I could claim to be a qualified Clinical Psychologist. So, you know, before you choose to do anything, talk to a professional. But I'd most like to know, what is it that makes you anxious? Social situations? Specific people / objects / creatures, like a phobia? Or is it more general anxiety, without a specific target?
    Try taking up meditation.
    When I first read this, I thought it said "try taking up mediCation", which would be, like, the worst idea ever without the guidance of a professional. Thankfully, I reread it. :lol:
    itylus wrote:
    I think the standard treatment for OCD or general Anxiety issues, like panic attacks, these days, is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. But I have no personal experience of it so I can't say anything about whether it's good or bad or works or not.
    From what I remember, CBT works really, really well for specific phobias and anxieties. Say you're afraid of cats. They'd start by showing you pictures of cats. Once you managed to bring your anxiety at seeing the picture under the control, they'd move on to videos of cats. Then have a cat in the next room, separated by a window. Then a cat in the same room, but restrained so it couldn't get to you. Then have you handling a cat. At each stage, they wait for you to bring your anxiety under control, and they essentially desensitize you to whatever it is that you fear. It's kind of hard to do that, though, with a general anxiety disorder, since the anxiety is nonspecific. Some more info from the OP on what makes him anxious might be useful.

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    ah so it is different from Biofeedback. interesting.

    anyways i'm probably a bad person to ask. I had a really really unpleasant experience with anti-depressents as a teenager now I'm slightly phobic about taking drugs for anything that isn't going to kill me.

    nexuscrawler on
  • stixs4321stixs4321 Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    I personally have anxiety but its gotten a hell of a lot better since I've taken up breathing properly and improving my posture. The better you stand the easier it is to breath. Ever notice how when you panic your breathing becomes more rapid and shallow? Practice slow deep breaths into your stomach. I also second yoga as it'll improve posture, relax and teach you to breathe. You may also want to look into getting some massages done on your back to break up knots that mess up breathing and the body's rhythym.

    Lay on your back, one hand just below the belly button(a bit on it even), one hand on your chest, exhale completely(chest sinks in), breathe into your stomach without your chest moving, exhale completely and repeat for 10mins or until you grow bored but always strive to go longer than last time. When inhaling inhale then inhlae a bit more to force more oxygen deeper into the lungs. You can also do this sitting up straight in a chair. I personally sometimes find if I bend over a bit and lean to oneside I can easily breathe in deep.

    If you're having trouble breahing in deep try stretching before hand and especially your chest. A good way to loosen the chest is to lie down on your bed and let one arm hang off the edge. The arm should be a "L" shape perpendicular from the body's side.

    L||| <--- your arm should hang like that.

    If you have a workout bench you can just let both arms hang off that in that fashion and breathe in deep. Works great.

    Edit: Before learning to breathe and having bad posture I thought I was going nuts and on my way to becoming a terrible human being. I was angry as hell, depressed, easily lose my breathe when axious or running. I'd stub my toe and goto town on the object that I walked into. 2 days into learning how to breathe deep and posture exercises, I went into a very relaxed state where nothing could piss me off or really mattered(things mattered but things that actually did matter).

    A good supplement for anxiety also is 5-HTP because anxiety can cause one to become lazy. I find this helped me overcome the laziness. I haven't taken it in a long time but it worked great when I did. I took it 3 times a week 100 mg, mon, wen, fri or only twice, mon, wen.

    Keep practicing the deep breathing, improve your posture and you'll be meditating in no time. I've only meditated a few times and the effects are amazing. The day after I will be very pleasant to talk to with family members that piss me off and I don't feel rushed or axious or the need to procrasinate because I've been working so "hard". I finished up 3 days worth of work in 4 hours of constant focus without breaks. Anxiety causes a loss of focus, you focus on the bad things and keep focusing on new bad things causing more anxiety vs focusing on just completing a goal.

    stixs4321 on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited September 2006
    stixs4321, thanks for the info.

    I do have a work bench, and I will try what you have said.

    So in your case "meditation/breathing" helped a lot?

    Do you practice that when you have higher anxiety than normal, or just plain all the time?

    I am trying to grasp if "conditioning" works in that case. Sort of like pre-emptive defense against anxiety surges.

    PS: I do not get "panic attacks". I get annoying anxiety that slowly build up and messes with my head.

    Bendit on
  • stixs4321stixs4321 Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Bendit wrote:
    stixs4321, thanks for the info.

    I do have a work bench, and I will try what you have said.

    So in your case "meditation/breathing" helped a lot?

    Do you practice that when you have higher anxiety than normal, or just plain all the time?

    I am trying to grasp if "conditioning" works in that case. Sort of like pre-emptive defense against anxiety surges.

    PS: I do not get "panic attacks". I get annoying anxiety that slowly build up and messes with my head.
    Meditation and breathing has helped immensely in my life. If it weren't for it I'd be a terrible person or feel like one any hows. I personally haven't been practicing my breathing often enough because I can't breathe very deep the last few months. I've been able to get ahold of my lungs a few days the past few months and felt amazing but outside that I get more angry/depressed than I did with the breathing. I believe its caused by some knots in my back that have only gotten tighter over time(I'm getting massages for them and its helping)or my posture is off somewhere messing it up. I'm going to ask my chiropractor tomorow on the situation because he is the one who taught me how to breathe deep in the first place.

    I try to practice when my anxiety is higher than normal but it'll get me no where sometimes. When I did it nightly(usually before bed) I had amazing results and make sure you do stretch plenty too. A good time to practice your breathing is when watching tv. Find a position that allows your to get a good deep breath and remain in that position for the next ten minutes or however long just breathing deep and trying to breathe as slow as you can. I used to take a breath in every 2minutes back in accounting class last semester and did amazing in that class ;) despite the spacing out all the time.

    stixs4321 on
  • crakecrake Registered User
    edited September 2006
    Bendit wrote:
    crake, tell me more about the meds.

    how do you feel when you're on them?

    does it change you and your personality?

    do you feel different?

    what happens? you just don't stress anymore? or do you just don't care about the items that previously were stressing you?

    I am trying to determine what happens "inside you".

    Thanks for any info.

    They work differently on different people, so take what I say as more of a general view, then anything else. As I had mentioned before as well, different meds will affect a single person in different ways as well.

    I found that they tended to make me feel like I had a bit of a hangover. They also stunted my creativity. This is a pretty common descriptor, so I figured it was just normal and tried to carry on despite it. My doctor suggested we experiment a bit though. One med in particular (effexor) made me feel just horrid.

    I eventualy ended up on Prozac if you can believe it. That one has the worst rep of all. I discussed my fears of taking it with both my doctor and a psychiatrist (who also got a senior in on it too). This is when I found out that many of these bad stories stemmed from the patient being prescribed too much.

    Prozac does not make me feel ill, it has not affected my energy, and has minimal effect on my creativity. (my eureka moments are a bit harder to come by now, but I've been able to combat that by just focusing more on my projects rather then waiting for everything to hit me while I'm reading a book or something) My sexual interest level went up too, which I was pleased to note.

    In terms of dealing with my anxiety - it doesn't exactly remove them. It's more like it brings those moments of stress into perspective for me. I don't have physical symptoms anymore. I can calmly deal with the situation. It has greatly reduced the occurance of random anxiety attacks too. I still have them every so often, but they are hardly anything to bother over, considering what I used to experience. I *could* raise my medication a little to deal with that even further, but I choose to stay at my current level. I can manage the remaining anxiety easily and see no reason to have more medication going through me. I have a fear that if I raise the levels, I may start experiencing further side effects. This fear may be unfounded, I don't know. I'm happy where I am though.

    Has it changed my personality? Yes and no. I'm a happier person. Friendlier. I'm still very much me though. It's just switched me around a bit. Before, it was negative feelings with spots of happy stuff. Now it's happy stuff with spots of negative feelings. (which feels pretty normal and a nice way to live).

    crake on
  • stixs4321stixs4321 Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    I find breathing deep and 5-HTP will get my creative off the hook. Especially after each time I've ever meditated I usually write some poety based on the exeperience or something that ran through my head.

    stixs4321 on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    I also found melatonin helped alot. I get antsy and cranky when i don't get good sleep. Can give ya awful nightmare tho.

    I was quite the oppisite on Prozac. Honestly even like 7 years later its tough for me to talk about.

    nexuscrawler on
  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    stixs4321 wrote:
    I find breathing deep and 5-HTP will get my creative off the hook. Especially after each time I've ever meditated I usually write some poety based on the exeperience or something that ran through my head.

    where's a good place to get 5 HTP, and how much should I expect it to cost?

    Sam on
  • SudsSuds Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    itylus wrote:
    I think the standard treatment for OCD or general Anxiety issues, like panic attacks, these days, is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. But I have no personal experience of it so I can't say anything about whether it's good or bad or works or not.

    CBT worked for me. I had really bad panic attacks a few years ago, and I was able to over come them with CBT. I still have the odd panic attack now and then, but I'm able to deal with it now instead of becoming a pukey gibbering mess.

    Suds on
    camo_sig2.png
  • ZekZek Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Bendit, go see a doctor. Stop being paranoid about medications and just get a professional opinion on this. It won't do any damage to spend a couple months trying things out. Those questions you asked us are what you should be asking a professional. It's up to you whether or not you want to struggle against using "chemicals," but understand that you're just setting yourself up for more pain if you keep acting so stubborn about it. There's nothing to be ashamed of in taking medications for this sort of thing. It's better than going untreated for the rest of your life just because you're afraid of what might happen otherwise.

    Zek on
  • stixs4321stixs4321 Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    Sam wrote:
    stixs4321 wrote:
    I find breathing deep and 5-HTP will get my creative off the hook. Especially after each time I've ever meditated I usually write some poety based on the exeperience or something that ran through my head.

    where's a good place to get 5 HTP, and how much should I expect it to cost?
    You can really get it anywhere like Wal-mart probably. Personally I enjoy buying my supplements from health food stores. It should be really cheap, like $12 for 90 but I'm not a 100% sure since I haven't purchased it in a while.

    Of course begining to take 5-HTP you'll want to read up on it as much as you can. Figure out whats the best times to take it and what it does in your body.

    stixs4321 on
  • AgentflitAgentflit Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    I get a lot of irrational anxiety, and drinking tea does wonders. A little white or green tea in the evening work especially well to prevent me from lying awake all night feeling neurotic.

    But I'm no doctor.

    Agentflit on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited September 2006
    I would like to thank everybody here that posted on the topic.

    I am studying every single post and I am glad to get such good information.

    I appreciate every single post and I think I have learned what I needed to move forward.

    I can't thank you enough. Cheers!

    Bendit on
  • stixs4321stixs4321 Registered User regular
    edited September 2006
    I thought I'd update on what my chiropractor said on my breathing issues. He told me to let me chest open up some more through letting my arms hang out. He said he does it nightly himself before going to bed. I guess I know what I'll be doing inbetween counter strike rounds for the next few weeks.

    stixs4321 on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I thought I should post progress on my original thread.

    Alright people, I am about to embark on a chemical adventure. My doctor has given me sample of the following medication:

    "Lexapro"

    http://www.lexapro.com


    It is pretty much clear now that I have GAD and OCD(a little). I will be using the meds to assist me with mental excercises (the actual treatment).

    Today has been a revelation for me. I am a bit disapointed in myself for having this brain fuck-up, but I also feel liberated in a way (since I have been dealing with this on my own since childhood).

    If anybody has experience with Lexapro, please feel free to share your experience! Cheers!

    Bendit on
  • stixs4321stixs4321 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Glad to hear your feeling better, drugs personally aren't my choice to helping problems but to each his own. I have a question to ask you, are you taking a good multivitamin? Something with particually with a lot of b's is good(like 50mg of each B or mcg). B vitamins are very good for depression and so are omega 3's from fish. I take a teaspoon of cod liver oil daily to get my omega's. I can't believe I forgot about nutrition when I had originally posted.

    Another to try opening up your lungs up some more is to stretch your lower back. Bend over with your arms up in line with the rest of your body and press forward into your palms(which should be resting on a chair, shoulder width apart) and push your butt out. You should feel it stretch the upper sides and lower back very nicely. Try breathing after that and it should be easier.


    OOOO----_
    | |
    | |

    A very crude picture of the stretch. The O's are your torso and the - are your hands while the thing on the right is the chair. Press into the palms while holding it and pull your butt out to stretch the back out nicely.

    stixs4321 on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    stixs4321, thanks for the tips. I am doing what you wrote, in different forms. Except maybe the omega deal. I'll look into it. I know I need to exercise more, but because of my energy level these days it has proven difficult.

    Also stixs4321, I am with you on the meds deal. I dislike meds a lot. The meds in my case are a helper, not a permanent solution. I have mental exercises to perform as a parrallel effort. The meds are just to kick-start the "healing process". I should post about what my doc said about the mental factor, it's really cool.


    So last night I took my 1st dose of the meds, then went to bed.

    I woke up around 1:00am feeling nauseous like a mofo.

    Stayed up for 2hrs watching TV as I could not lay down.

    Went back to bed at around 3:00am and manage to sleep until 8:30am this morning. It is now 10:00am and I am a little nauseous, but almost nothing now.

    I was told this might happen, and it should pass with use of the meds.

    My brother in law was put on the exact same medication, and he reported that he felt shitty for the first days or so. He is now a month in and loves the result (let's just say he has a high stress job and needed assistance overcoming certain aspects of his life).

    To be fair, I cannot really assess if the meds are the only culprit in me feeling bad last night. I am coming off of mono and I think I have somewhat of a cold on top of it. No fever was detected in the past week though. Also, half a pint of beer last night might have been a bad idea. But that's like nothing. Who knows.

    The doc told me to take half a pill to start if I was worried about side-effects (I had told him that genetically I am weak when it comes to meds). Last night I took the full 10mg pill. Tonight I will be staying away from coffee or alcohol (I actually dont really drink coffee) and will attempt to pop only half of the pill (I don't know how I am going to cut that sucker in half though, they are so little).

    That's it for now, more later.

    I am still open to reading about people's experience with this sort of thing. Feel free to post your thoughts.

    Bendit on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Here's a little more about the mental aspect of fighting against GAD (general anxiety disorder) and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder, a subset of GAD) if this can help somebody else. This is a summary of what I have learned from my doc so far:

    1st, both of those mental illnesses develop and grow over time. It can sneak up on you.

    I'll go straight to the cool part as anybody can google about those 2 illnesses.

    When an unwelcomed thoughts is manifested in the brain it usually provokes a reaction. An unwelcomed thought to the GAD sufferer is for example the urge to go through your wallet every time you use it. Perhaps to make sure all is in there and nothing fell out or something. That would be the reaction, the ritual of checking the content of your wallet in this case.

    A research has shown that under brain scans (don't know what kind), a person performing this ritual actually reinforces and trains a certain part of the brain. Much like a memory in your brain that is refreshed (when you are constantly reminded of something it "sticks" better in your brain). When performing those ritual you actually double-fuck yourself. Not only are you wasting energy performing this ritual to try to deal with the unwelcomed thought, you also train your brain to expect it the next time!

    In sum, if you are not careful when dealing with these unwelcomed thoughts, you potentially can train your brain to fuck with you even more, the next time.

    Solution: every time an unwelcomed thought pops in your head, do not indulge it. Think about something else, go to your happy place. Run away from the dark side. It can be hard as your brain will demand that you deal with it. Resist it at all cost. The medication I am taking is to help with the resistance.

    Man, I feel like a dumbass always using those lame words "unwelcomed thought". But I have no other substitute.


    PS: Vive la resistance!

    Bendit on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I thought I'd post some progress.

    I am now off the Lexapro medication. My doctor said there's no need for me to tolerate the side effects since there are lots of other similar meds out there.

    I was having some nausea as a side effect, and potentially some muscle twitching also. Kind of annoying.

    So this week I am on nothing at all in order to reset my system.

    Next week I will start some other medication, potentially Zoloft or something similar.

    In the meantime I am doing well. Anxiety is under control as I am applying some mental strategies I have learned. This makes me think that perhaps I should stay away from meds altogether since I can somewhat cope with this without any chemical help.

    I'll have to ask my significant other if she detected any deterioration in my behavior this week. I mention her because often we don't realize that we act anxious, and another party is needed to make the observation.

    That's it for now.

    I'd like to hear from people that tried Zoloft. Feel free to post if that's you! Cheers!

    Bendit on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Zoloft: It's not just for breakfast anymore.

    Today is my 3rd day on it.

    I am currently taking half a pill for a week, then a full pill for another week, then 1.5 pills for a week etc. The idea is to slowly get there and monitor side effects.

    So far so good. The very 1st morning (you take Zoloft in the morning because it can boost your energy, sometimes preventing you from sleeping they say) I felt a little sick after eating. But that has not happened again, which is good.

    The low dosage could have the reverse effect on me though, I feel a tad tired. They say that different dosage does different things, so I am not going to worry about it until I make it to the full dose to see. (in 3 weeks).

    Did you know that in 40 years or so, those meds have not reported permanent side effects? That's good to know I thought. I dislike medication in general...

    Besides remaing physical symptoms from the mono (I still have groin lymph nodes the size of marbles), I feel ok. Better than ok mentally. I am trying to apply my mental training to control anxiety. I think it's working.

    Doc said most people will eventually drop Zoloft and live with mental control only. That's kind of cool.

    I went to a halloween party last saturday. I could tell I was happier and was handling human beings better. I used to dislike strangers at parties. Heck, parties altogether. Caugh myself enjoying myself and laughing out loud there. Quite refreshing. I feel like Data must have felt when he got his emotion chip installed.
    :P

    That's all I can report for now. So far so good.


    PS: Like my doctor said, "There's always something", refering to stress
    events in ones life. I feel I am better equiped to "let things go" already. My days are "less dark". Cheers!

    Bendit on
  • RMH03RMH03 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I'm like 99% sure my girlfriend suffers from OCD and/or GAD(or possibly SAD) she always has to check certain things before going to bed for egsample, she is always very nervous around people, especialy but not exclusivly strangers, she suffers from increasingly frequent panic attacks and is often very short tempered. Now I understand that she she can't help any of this and it doesn't upset me, but i've been trying to get her to see a doctor for about a year now but (understandably) she's very nervous about this and keeps putting it off or thinking of an exuse. I've dropped hints, bought books, told her it's nothing to be ashamed of and that more than 50% of the UK's population suffer from OCD. Bendit as a sufferer can you think of any good suggestions that may prompt her to see a doctor, like you she is anti-medication (her mum has had VERY bad experiences with medication in the past) and i think she is mostly afraid that her doctor will just suggest meds, which she wouldn't like. Any ideas?

    Also it's been very interesting hearing how you're coping, glad to see you seem to be on the road to some form of recovary.

    RMH03 on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    RMH03, I applaud you for being tolerant of her situation.

    My wife couldn't take "my shit" anymore. She had been trying to help me also for a long time.

    You have to understand, GAD builds up over time. I have been suffering from this stuff for more than 20 years for sure. It took me that long (over the build-up period) to realize that I was hurting my social life and my personal relationship with my wife.

    If you research OCD and GAD, you will find exactly what you wrote: checking and counting things, nervous around people, short tempered (which was my biggest problem) etc.

    Took me all that time to finally see a shrink. Mine's great, but understand that they are human beings too, and some shrink are not competant. I was lucky, I found a kick ass one the 1st try (my wife hooked me up and we went together as marriage therapy).

    This post will seem disjointed, but I will try to cover all your items.

    If you read my past post, I wrote that it is proven that by indulging the bad OCD thoughts (by checking shit before you go to bed for example) you reinforce your brain to REQUEST that indulgence again and again over time. Kinda like refreshing an idea in your head.

    Indulging that mental shit takes a lot of energy. Robs you of other good moments in life. Before I realized that I could not even remember last time I laughed out loud with my wife. Fucking sad and disturbing.

    That exact statement above is what made me WANT to get better. I see it as a challenge. The point is that I needed to hear that and also be ready to change.

    I am anti-medication too. I don't trust people, which includes doctors. I was misdiagnosed by 2 doctors and almost died from an exploding appendix. I am super sensitive to medication, always have been. But you know what? I needed to trust somebody to help me get better. I am now ready to take risks in trying to get better. She needs to be ready.

    Medication like Lexapro and Zoloft are TOOLS. They are used to limit your "bad thoughts" while you use your mental abilities to counter your axiety and OCD. Like I said in my previous post, people usually stop taking the meds and end up on their own, properly equipped to deal with the situation. You use "tools" while you train yourself to deal with those fucked up brain requests. The more you successfully dismiss them, the less important they become (to you and your brain). That's what I am working on right now.

    If you can help it, don't let her take just the meds. All websites will tell you that therapy is needed along side the meds to really help you.

    I hope this helps her. If anything, print this thread for her to read? I sure wish I knew what I know now 10 years ago. Heck, even when I was a teenager. How easier it would have been for me...

    Bendit on
  • thegloamingthegloaming Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Right now I'm going through therapy for my Anxiety/OCD/Depression but I haven't gone on medication yet. My psychologist, besides not being able to prescribe drugs himself, is fairly anti-medication, which is why I chose him.

    Right now I'm just receiving a lot of talk therapy. Like one week I had to write down every negative thought I had for that week. Then the next week I had to prove every negative thought wrong.

    Hopefully I can avoid medication as much as possible.

    thegloaming on
  • RMH03RMH03 Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    If you read my past post, I wrote that it is proven that by indulging the bad OCD thoughts (by checking shit before you go to bed for example) you reinforce your brain to REQUEST that indulgence again and again over time. Kinda like refreshing an idea in your head.
    The thing is all these routines are very thoughally ingrained in her, (she's 19 now and has been doing the since she was at least 16) she has made big steps recently as in not shecking every window in the house is locked and every door shut, but i can't help thinking she's not doing these things because she thinks they annoy me, not for herself when in reality the only reason i encourage her not to do these things is for her own good, in the hope that she might be able to relax or get over all these hurdles, now personaly I can't imagine having to go to bed an hour early just to spend an hour checking the entire house, she's even admitted in the past she doesn't know why she checks, it just feels like bad things will happen if she doesn't.

    Can you think of anything i can do to make her more relaxed/help her atall without encouraging her to carry on the way she is at the moment (which i know can't be good for her health)

    anyway it's good to talk to someone neutrall with the other perspective, i'm going to sleep now but i shall post in the morning (GMT)

    RMH03 on
  • ThujoneThujone Registered User
    edited October 2006
    I can actually give you some advice now that you are on Zoloft. I've been diagnosed with OCD and had severe anxiety issues for several years. Finally after anxiety reached a peak in college, I went on 150 milligrams of Zolft for almost 2 years, and recieved cognitive behavioral therapy for longer. Now I'm off the medication and the therapy, and while I still have some issues and bad anxiety triggers my life is so much better! I decided to major in psychology based off my adventures in becoming a living biopsychology subject. Things did get better, and I have a much better grasp on my anxiety- something I didn't think was ever going to change.

    When I first started therapy and put on Zoloft I felt very ashamed- I HATED the idea of going on medication (I never even take aspirin for a headache and now people want me on psychiatric medicine!! I was not ready for such a suggestion!)and a lot of people around me were quick to dismiss my OCD as fake, acted like I was not trying hard enough to overcome it, and that medication is a placebo. These people obviously did not understand my situation, and had their own preconcieved incorrect notions of anxiety disorders.

    I can honestly say that I benefited greatly from zoloft and exposure therapy. I warmed up to the idea of taking medication after my doctor described it as a "crutch" to help me while going through therapy, not something I would be on for the rest of my life. After the medication started working after about a month, my anxiety was decreased enough to try therapy... and now I no longer am in therapy. I did have some initial side effects to Zoloft, but nothing serious ( I can tell you about them in PM if you'd like, and explain exactly what is going on with zoloft and neurotransmitters too)

    Problems I dealt with:
    ..mild side effects of medication
    ..people not understanding the distress of triggers
    ..questioning the ability to separate my illness from myself
    ..shame of having an illness

    Solutions
    .. having a great therapist. People are quick to dismiss an entire treatment if they get a bad doctor. Don't be one of those people! If you're not getting what you want out of therapy, shop around!
    ..allowing the medication proper time to take effect
    ..the best payoff: Being free of severe anxiety and realizing that my sense of self is still in tact, I'm not just a slave to little urges and checking!

    If you have any questions or just need someone to relate to, just send me a PM. :)

    Thujone on
  • Dominic DragonDominic Dragon Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Bendit, and The Gloaming, I don't know you guys, but I seriously wish you guys the best of luck in recovering from OCD. I've had it for about five years, and the first few years were horrible, but now I can see the end of it is in sight for me. It's good that you are seeing results Bendit. But whatever happens guys, never forget you can get better, and never give up. And RHM03, I hope your girlfriend gets control over her OCD.

    Dominic Dragon on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Dominic Dragon, thanks for your kind words. Thanks to all that are participating in this thread too. Thanks for all the PMs also. I truly appreciate it.

    Here is some progress regarding my situation.

    Since I had side effects with Lexapro, my doc. switched me to the generic form of Zoloft (generic now available!).

    The main idea with Zoloft was for me to start with 12.5mg per day(half a 25mg pill) for a week, then 25mg for another week, then 25mg+12.5mg for another week, and finally 50mg for a while. The idea was to slowly ramp up the dosage in order for my system to get used to it, and also monitor the side effects if I had to get some.

    Well, I only made it to 25mg for a week.

    I felt sleepy like a mofo at work 3/4 of the time, and got nauseous everytime I got remotely hungry. I even shat my pants at work too. Lovely.

    So now, I am back to 12.5mg and I take it in the evening(or before going to bed). I guess I am quite sensitive to the SSRIs, and if it makes me sleepy well, I'm in bed already.

    The downside is that last night I felt nauseous while sleeping after a while (I guess I was starting to get hungry?).

    I am going to stick with 12.5mg on a nightly basis for a while. Doc says my system should get used to it.

    Since I am feeling pretty good in the head right now, I am assuming that even on this low dosage the meds are doing me good (sensitive with side effects must mean I am also sensitive with the beneficial aspect of the med, right? I don't know).

    So my plan is to take the 12mg while I am having dinner. It helps when I am not on an empty stomach. Worked for today!

    Again, I hope this testament can assist somebody else in their quest for mental health. Feel free to discuss. Cheers to all!

    Bendit on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Progress. Well, yes and no.

    Turns out my bad symptoms are probably not from the Zoloft, but from my immune system being so low.

    I have been battling mono for 2, no, 3 months now, and apparently I contracted another virus on top of it which makes me feel depleted and sleepy (since it's kicking my immune system's ass).

    I actually sleep more than the cat, if you can beleive that.

    I will update this post later, but it does seem that the tiredness/sleepyness and the fact that I shat my heart out that day has nothing to do with Zoloft. I am 90% sure of it.

    I am still at 12.5mg a day though. Will probably upgrade to 25mg tomorrow. I am not sure, I have a lot on my mind. Being depleted has a toll on your head too.

    I have posted this update in case I planted a seed of doubt in your mind about Zoloft (because of its side-effects).

    Cheers! Lights out.

    Bendit on
  • HK5HK5 Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    This is a thread near to my heart. My dad had very severe OCD that progressed with age, which contributed to him abusing me and my mom physically and emotionally. Not everyone that has OCD abuses their loved ones, obviously, but this thread interested me at least in part because it made me happy to see people so eager to explore their options for treatment. Not once did my father ever acknowledge that he had a problem let alone seek any help. There are tons of options out there from the pharmaceutical to the behavioral. Getting help for yourself is going to improve the lives of everyone around you. I can tell you it would have meant the world to me if my dad had at least tried. I hope no one takes this the wrong way, I don't mean to insinuate that anyone here is hurting their loved ones the way my dad hurt me and my family.

    Anyway, to continue, as a result of the abuse, custody was removed from my parents when I was 16. At the time I had to go through a pretty heavy court trial to determine who would get custody (my parents or my aunt and uncle) that set me into a very, very bad episode of acute anxiety. I was having daily panic attacks, was unable to eat because I would vomit every time I tried and unable to sleep. This went down for a few months. I ended up sinking down to 85 lbs (as a 16 year old girl) and developing an ulcer. The anxiety just kept getting worse and worse every day. I had more and more panic attacks, became borderline paranoid as a result. It took me a while to get over the resulting problem I had dealing with anxiety but now (at age 22) I can say it has resolved. I haven't had a panic attack in years and I deal with problems as they come, without feeling overwhelmed. If it helps you at all (though your condition is chronic and mine was episodic, I'm sure they have some similarities) I can tell you some of the things that helped me.

    1. Therapy. I got lucky and ended up with a wonderful therapist. During the trial I was psychologically evaluted by like 5 different psychiatrists to determine what my mental state was because of the abuse, and that was both unhelpful and not fun. But once custody was ultimately given to my aunt and uncle, I found a therapist I liked and stuck with him for two full years. It was a very, very hard two years but he gave me some great techniques for dealing with my anxiety. Basically he taught me how to recognize the behavior patterns that were stopping me from dealing with stressful situations in a healthy manner. He was very patient and with repetition I was able to change. He also taught me a technique for self-hypnosis that allowed me to sleep at night. Being able to get a good night's sleep was monumentally helpful in making me feel better. Over two years my entire lifestyle changed. Look for a therapist that you feel really understands you, that you trust, and that has knowledge of all your various and sundry treatment options.

    2. Medicine. I did go the medicinal route but not with antidepressants. I was on Ativin (despite being only 15 at the time). I'm not going to pretend I enjoyed being on it. It made me feel heavy and drugged but it stopped the panic attacks. I was also put on anti-nausea medication so I could start eating again. The combination of the two was unpleasant but it brought me back to semblance of physical health. I was prescribed an anti-depressant but I decided not to take it and the therapy ended up being enough to lift me out of my depression and anxiety. In any case, I'm here to affirm that the drugs can help. Being on them for now doesn't mean you'll be dependent on them forever (I remember being very afraid that this would be the case when I first started taking them). Working with a good doctor that you can trust and being open to ALL your treatment options will help you change.

    I wish you the best of luck Bendit. It's really hard to get over something ingrained into your nature like this. Just be patient and don't give up if one or two things don't work. If medicine is helping you, stick with it. If it's not, or if the side effects outweigh the benefits, don't despair. I can't stress enough how much surrounding myself with supportive people (my aunt and uncle, my therapist, my new school) made a HUGE difference in overcoming my anxiety. I hope you'll keep us updated.

    HK5 on
  • BenditBendit Cømþü†€r Šýš†emš Anålýš† Ðeñv€r¸ ColørådøRegistered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Hello again. It's me. It has been a long time. Here is some progress on my situation. I again hope that people can benefit from my experience.

    Allow me to start with the good things. My mental training has paid off. I now can almost totally control my anxiety episodes. My OCD issues are pretty much gone, well, let's say 95% gone.

    I am currently on 25mg of Zoloft (Sertraline) and I speak to my psychiatrist bi-monthly. More than 25mg and I felt like my stomach was in my neck all the time. It was hard to eat and I lost another 5 lbs (which I could not afford to lose in the 1st place).

    (I have to break to allow more intake of beer here)

    On the flipside, it has costed me everything. I lost my wife (in the middle of a divorce), and I am losing my home (the house I worked so hard to rebuild), I also lost my chance of getting my permanent visa (since the process was tied to my wife). I am typing this message from a basement where I temporarily crash.

    Some of you might remember, I suffered from mononucleosis last august. That event made me hit rock bottom. I had known that my wife was distancing herself from me. Deep down I knew I was alone here (in the USA, we are both Canadian). I mean I knew I had no support, but I was in denial. There is so much to say and the beer does not make it easy for me to compose myself.

    I'd like to talk about the important things, not the detail of my divorce. I guess the only important thing about the divorce is that it made me see that normal people do not stay in a relationship to ride it out. Even though the last year has been the worst time of my life, she still left me. Well, we left each other. I knew it had to be done. My wife was contributing to my mental illness, and has been for a while.

    I feel the most important thing in this message is for me to talk about my rock bottom experience. My total breakdown. The total helplessness and the total loss of direction I was (and still are) experiencing. Being a computer systems analyst, I am a very logical person. I can tell you though that 3 times, if convenience would have allowed it, I would have jumped in front of a train.

    My brain could not stop replaying movies of my past. My brain could not stop showing me images and situation where I feel I could have done something different. I could not switch it off. The only thing that worked was 1mg of Lorazepam. I blamed myself and only myself for everything. My wife had found support somewhere else, she could still laugh and have fun, but I could not. It must be all my fault. It took me weeks of analysis to discover that it wasnt all my fault. I had dug myself a hole and lived in it for years, not appreciating the little things in life, not laughing or making people laugh like I used to. I was left for dead in that hole. I was already dead inside.

    I know this message is all disjointed. Quite a challenge to express everything.

    My wife had the courage to do what I could not. She announced her intentions to split, and it destroyed me. I knew I was mentally ill, she knew it too. I begged not to let me fail this way. I pleaded for my life. I broke down in front of her. I sure wish I could take those moments back. Not a good day when you break down in front of the person that is supposed to support you, but is really not. I now know that the decision was the best for both of us.

    If it wasn't for that moment, I would still be in my dark hole.

    You see, since then I have been having a perma-grin. I have been sleeping on a floor somewhere and waking up with a smile. I have been going out and mingling with other human beings, especially females. I have been living it all. Even got myself the car I have always wanted, a new Volvo S60 2.5T AWD. You see, this car is a symbol of me not quitting. Of me not moving back to Canada and leaving my life here in Denver behind. Sort of like going back home with my tail between my legs. I have decided to stay here and live until my work visa expires. My wife wanted me to move back to Canada, to find myself again. It would have been easier for her, I am sure, if I would have moved back home. Fuck that. I am not quitting like that.

    Doesn't mean it is not hard. Trying to help a friend here has left me homeless. The timing of him going through a separation also (good timing eh?) has foiled our plans of being roommates. It's a long story but my point is that I am living in the present, enjoying every moments (pill starting to kick in, english starting to crash, shit, it's not even my native language). It had been a long time since I saw a sunset. Ages since I appreciated my friends.

    Oh, that's another thing. When I crashed, when I hit rock bottom, I saw something I did not expect. For years I thought I was alone, no friends. But that night, 2 guys slept on my couches. 2 friends stuck by my side. Funny how depression makes you think you are completely alone. I was not a bad person afterall (like my wife said I had become), and I did have support.

    Wow. I better come back later to finish this. The blue background is getting darker and darker. Cheers guys.

    Bendit on
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