I’m crippled with a mix of anxiety, depression, and adult onset ADD…
currently taking Celexa and Strattera for that. works really well for me in small doses since I’m tiny XD
I’m on birth control, but because it affects my celexa, i have to take them at separate times of the day.
Sometimes nightmares happen, but thanks to therapy I’m learning skills to handle it :)
diagnosis; severe social anxiety, severe anxiety, depression with manic episodes, and moderate/sometimes severe insomnia. Meds; I've been on cymbalta, lexapro, paxil, prestiq, and celexa. None of them did anything for my depression because i didnt give them enough time because taking a pill to feel normal doesnt sit right with me. I am currently on klonopin for my anxiety as well as trazodone for insomnia.
Diagnoses, meds, time, etc. Let’s get some networking going! You can ask to be posted anonymously if you want.
I am NO doctor by any means. These are just all of my personal experiences, and what I do personally to make myself feel better. :)
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
PS - Check out new blog theme and add ons!
This marks my 3rd spring with panic disorder - and my 1 year anniversary of being in the mental hospital. This time last year I would have been there.
Although these two dates bring on some pretty bad PTSD, and I’ve been experiencing some problems with panic as a result, I’m doing so much better. I have come so far since then. I just finished my first year of college and moved out of the dorms. all of my fears of dropping out, failing classes and losing my scholarship as a result of dumb panic attacks never realized. Things I have achieved that I never thought were possible last year:
- traveling to south CA to spend a couple of nights at my ex’s house, aka an unfamiliar environment.
- went to the dentist without a panic attack for the first time in years
- used a fake ID to get into a more than crowded club to see my favorite musician, James blake, perform 5 feet away from me.
- went to an (awful) punk show and moshed.
- got to feel completely comfortable in this large city and its public transportation system.
- forgave someone very close to me
I don’t think anyone’s first year of college is especially easy - but I certainly wasn’t expecting mine to be this successful. I’m currently staying at my mom’s apartment in the Haight for the summer, and I’ve just applied to 6 or 7 jobs, and my best friend from new york is coming next week to stay with me for a bit. All good things. I’m proud of my accomplishments and thankful for all this city, my family, and my friends have given me. Panic disorder isn’t done with me yet, but things are drastically better.
Keep going, and stay strong as always,
- remember to breathe and remind myself of good things
- surround myself with positive, supportive people — so more good things
- eat well: avoid alcohol and caffeine
- exercise and get some sun
- remember to take my medicine on time
- write and draw
- play piano
- try and maintain a good sleeping schedule before the nightmares come
- sleep is most important
Yesterday Andy pointed out that a list of non-going-to-therapy resources would be useful. Insurance, time, frustration with therapeutic experiences, inability to tell parents, etc, can make seeing a therapist either impossible or unappealing. Here’s a (totally incomplete) list. Please please please add other suggestions in the comments! I’ll keep updating.
Relevant disclaimer: I’m not a therapist. Most of the linked blog posts are not written by therapists. (Though most of the books are written by someone with a psych degree.)
The below are first general resources, then sorted specifically by disorder, followed by some resources if you do decide to seek therapy. If I could pick three I endorse the most, I’d say Boggle, How To Keep Moving Forward, and Don’t Tell Me To Love My Body. All three are italicized in the list.
Miscellaneous/Multi-Disorder Help & Information
This is one of many, but it’s received very positive reception from the psych community and did get an award for being evidence based. DBT is an evidence-based therapy that focuses on mindfulness and combines many principles of Zen with therapeutic techniques.
8-week course on mindfulness, suggested by commenter kabarett.
Again, one of many, but I’ve looked through this one, and liked the formatting and set up. I’ll amend this with critiques or other suggestions if you have them. CBT is an evidence-based therapy and works for many people, but not all.
Advice and relationships. Suggested by Keith David Smeltz
“dispenser of valuable love and relationship advice to nerds, geeks and neo-maxie-zoom-dweebies.”
The Bounce Back Book
Recommended by Miri–I’ve not had a chance to take a look at it.
Boggle the Owl.
Boggle is an owl. And he is worried about you. Seriously, the best resource on this list.
The Secret Strength of Depression
A general self-help book, highly recommended to me.
Depression Subreddit, r/depression
Because nobody should be alone in a dark place.
I Don’t Want To Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression Have a close friend or partner who is a man with depression–or are one yourself? I don’t actually have either, but I’ve heard good reviews from friends who read this. And we really don’t examine depression in men nearly as well as we should. For instance, it often manifests in feelings of numbness, or unexplained rage–not things we normally associate with depression.
The Take This Project
It’s dangerous to go alone. Designed by videogame developers, suggested by commenter michaeld.
What to Expect When You Call a Hotline
I really like knowing how things go before I try them. This lovely little guest post from someone on the other and of those phone lines tells you what to expect in terms of conversation (you don’t have to know what to say!) confidentiality, and experience.
Fabulous IM styled chat where all volunteers you work with are trained in suicide prevention. Strongly recommend for people who don’t do phonecalls well or find dialing for help hard.
Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws
Written by Kate Borenstein, this book is not teen-specific, though it’s friendly to all ages. It operates on harm reduction, which is the philosophy that less-dangerous-but-still-risky behavior is always better than more-dangerous-and-risky behavior. I really like it, and do subscribe to harm reduction (it’s supported by evidence!). You also don’t have to read Hello Cruel World from end to end–it’s very easy to just open to a page and go from there.
Beyond Body Acceptance: This blog by Pervocracy is…therapeutic. Lovely. Beautiful.
Elyse at Skepchick: Don’t Tell Me To Love My Body
Science of Eating Disorders
In my pre-therapy days (also the worst times in terms of mental health, and when I did the most work to unlearn disordered habits) I often taught myself what not to do by learning all about my disorder. For instance, if most patients with anorexia ate Small Number X calories per day, I decided I was going to eat more than that every single day. To this day, I unlearn behaviors by starting from a research perspective. Also, lots of research focuses on what treatments work and which don’t do as well, which can give you some ideas for coping strategies.
Not my flavor of help, maybe yours? I might just be picky.
If You Do Look For Therapy
Gaylesta: Find a member of the LGBTQ Psychotherapy Association in your area. (Your mileage may vary–I’ve not tested this IRL.)
no one ever congratulates you
for doing the really difficult things
like driving on the freeway or getting out of bed or
every friendship you make is a countdown
to the moment
when they finally can’t deal
with the missed calls and canceled hangouts
every friendship is on a timer
every friendship expires sooner,
you hear phrases like “bootstraps”
over and over
until you wish you had some to hang
you have to learn to simultaneously
relax your muscles
and move them with determination
you have to be in control
and you have to let go
at the same time
it’s enough to drive you into
a blubbering mess
music is a conduit
crying is a conduit
your dad calling is a conduit
everything becomes a conduit
for either having or not having another panic attack
you learn to stop making plans
because you’ll either disappoint yourself
or someone you care about or both
you accept all of it
you hope someday everyone else can
accept it too
9. You feel like everything is static. You know that you’re going to get shocked, that you’re going to hurt somehow in everything you do, so you weight whether or not you need to do that thing. Is the shock worth it?
10. You worry about worrying about worrying. You say “I’m okay.” and “I’m fine.” and “It’s going to be just fine.” It becomes your mantra. It’s your anchor until it’s all used up and hollow.
11. You forget what it feels like to be content. It’s a constant buzz in your mind and the churning in your stomach and the tight chest and racing heart. Constantly.
12. People say they understand what it is like to be stressed and anxious but it doesn’t help because they don’t know it like you do.
13. You ask for help, and people just say “breath” or “relax” and offer things like baths and music and breathing exercises. You want to scream because you know it all and it isn’t helping anymore.
14. Everything is a struggle and you just want somebody to acknowledge it and realize how hard it can be, and say you’re doing good and should feel proud.
#6 is particularly descriptive of me, but most of the first 8 are pretty spot on.
One of the most accurate depictions of a panic attack that I’ve ever seen.
Thank you. Just thank you. Far too many people don’t seem to grasp the concept of what a panic attack actually is. Getting upset is not a panic attack. This is.
I’ve been seeing a lot of those social anxiety understanding posts - like the ones that tell you not to put pressure on those with social anxiety. While they’re right, if you have social anxiety, you should be proactive about it! surely you don’t like having it. The truth is you can get help, and help yourself. Anxiety is learned, which means you can also condition yourself to not feel, or feel less anxiety in any situation. You can do it yourself, or you can see a therapist. The worst thing you can do is feel sorry for yourself.