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Thread: Depression/Anxiety

  1. #1
    Crimson Liberator Faust's Avatar
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    Depression/Anxiety

    Didn't see any threads for a general depression/anxiety discussion, so I figured I'd make one for community support, meds, doctors/therapists/whatever, coping, etc. Mods feel free to delete/merge if a thread already exists.

    Just for a bit of history with myself, I was hospitalized in November for suicidal ideation and I'm currently in the process of trying to figure my shit out. I have an appointment with a new therapist for tomorrow, so that's good, I'm just hitting a lot of those nights where I fixate on my emotions and can't seem to make it through; I wish I knew where the best place to go was when having the panic attacks at night. Ick.
    'Tis better to bend with the wind than stand tall and be broken. Therein lies hope; therein lies freedom.

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    Senior Member pancakefrompele's Avatar
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    G, have you ever been on medication for anxiety, like alprazolam (Xanax)? One of my good friends suffers from severe anxiety, and he takes this medication during an attack. I used to smoke pot for mild anxiety that I have, but with yours sounding severe, you may need a stronger med. You also might try an antidepressant that also helps with anxiety. SSRIs (Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors) can help with this. Drugs like Paxil and Zoloft are pretty well tolerated. By all means, I'm not a doctor but I'm a case manager, so I work with a lot of prescription drugs.

  3. #3
    Crimson Liberator Faust's Avatar
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    Yes, I was put on medication for the first time in November. I used to take Remeron and Zoloft, but after talking with my psychiatrist in Minneapolis, we agreed that Remeron wasn't doing anything for me that I needed and now I take 100mg of Zoloft.
    'Tis better to bend with the wind than stand tall and be broken. Therein lies hope; therein lies freedom.

  4. #4
    Senior Member pancakefrompele's Avatar
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    Some of the side-effects of Zoloft include suicidal thoughts, insomnia, and severe depression as your body becomes adjusted to it. Usually the side-effects would have subsided if you started the drug in November. Have you had any difficulty taking the medication every day? Sometimes missing a dose here and there can cause an imbalance which can lead to depression, etc. When you go to your therapist, ask him about starting a low-dose anti-anxiety, such as Xanax or Ativan. I know that the physicians for which I work are hesitant about prescribing anti-anxiety medications, so you may have difficulty receiving them, but they can be extremely helpful for those suffering from sever anxiety. I sincerely hope everything goes well.

    I know sometimes we can feel like we're losing our minds when taking anti-depressants. You may have to try another anti-depressant as everyone responds differently to different medications. You probably already know this, but do you have a buddy you can call when you start having suicidal thoughts? I'm assuming that you're still having them, and it's important to have someone you can call or visit to help you get over your episodes. Generally, when we are having suicidal thoughts (I have been there), we like to "shut reason out" as Tori would say. A lot of times those having suicidal thoughts have to sleep it off because it's like there's some machine in the brain that won't shut off until you're able to get rest.

    I know I'm getting lengthy here, but this has helped me when I can't sleep. Write your feelings down on paper or on the computer. Just get it out. There can be a billion things circling in your head, and if you can release them somewhere, they sometimes have a tendency to leave you alone for a while. It's not a permanent fix, but it can help with panic episodes.

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    Fortunately the suicidal thoughts are gone; when I have panic attacks I just get really frustrated and feel trapped.

    The Zoloft I think is helping- but I accidentally took 200mg instead of 100mg yesterday, so I don't know if that could be anything. I know that when I ran out of Zoloft when I was visiting family in Minneapolis that I had major anxiety attacks and once I got back on the medication I felt more stable again.

    Sleep does help loads. I try not to nap, but usually if I can get to sleep, that'll help me ease into the next day. I do have a friend I can call if I need someone. Generally I try to call a family member first, but I have several contacts and I also have several crisis lines too in case of an emergency.

    I appreciate the ideas though - lately I've been doing much better, but when I get into another panic attack, I get so frustrated that they're there that I get stuck. I know depression/anxiety will never permanently go away, but I'd like to be able to handle them again.
    'Tis better to bend with the wind than stand tall and be broken. Therein lies hope; therein lies freedom.

  6. #6
    We had a thread like this back in Ye Olde Place, but it was ultimately locked by the mods. There may have been some concerns about whether people were getting advice through the thread in lieu of seeking professional help. As long as we're clear that this is just discussion and that any advice given here is not coming from a professional, we might be okay. I miss having a thread like this, so I hope this one stays around.

    -----

    I recently went off my meds. At the time it was the right decision, but since then I've had a massive personal crisis that has sent me pretty far over the edge. My doctor prescribed Trazadone to help me sleep (though it's an SARI, it's used off-label for insomnia and sleep disorders) and Clonazepam for anxiety attacks and/or when I think I might be in a situation where I'll need to take the edge off.

    Things are just not good for me these days. There are two paths I can take and right now, neither one appeals to me. I'm just trying to get through each day...but at some point I'm going to have to make a decision one way or the other.

    Quote Originally Posted by pancakefrompele View Post
    I know I'm getting lengthy here, but this has helped me when I can't sleep. Write your feelings down on paper or on the computer. Just get it out. There can be a billion things circling in your head, and if you can release them somewhere, they sometimes have a tendency to leave you alone for a while. It's not a permanent fix, but it can help with panic episodes.
    Working out helps with this, too, especially if you're dealing with a lot of anger. I think one of the traps a lot of us fall in to is to just push those negative emotions down (whether with food or some other type of avoidance), which means they just continue to fester. I've given in to my emotions a lot in the last week or so and while it's made things more difficult, I also experience a lot of release in just allowing myself to actually feel and cry.

  7. #7
    Senior Member pancakefrompele's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayPea View Post
    I recently went off my meds. At the time it was the right decision, but since then I've had a massive personal crisis that has sent me pretty far over the edge.
    This is one of the most frustrating things, and I know how you feel. There's a point that you come to when you're taking medication, and you think "I'm okay. I don't need this." It's so frustrating to have to rely on a medication to calm your nerves or help with an "imbalance," which is such a bad term that makes those of us who suffer from depression feel abnormal.

    Quote Originally Posted by JayPea View Post
    Working out helps with this, too, especially if you're dealing with a lot of anger. I think one of the traps a lot of us fall in to is to just push those negative emotions down (whether with food or some other type of avoidance), which means they just continue to fester. I've given in to my emotions a lot in the last week or so and while it's made things more difficult, I also experience a lot of release in just allowing myself to actually feel and cry.
    I agree 100%. If you have energy - even nervous energy - do some cardio or lift some weights. Weight-lifting and boxing are great for anger management, imo. Yoga can also be great for helping you to relax. Unfortunately, Yoga is also supposed to clear the mind, but I was never able to shut mine off. I agree, too, Jaypea, sometimes it's great to give in and let go. The shower is a great place to cry for me. It probably has a lot to do with the water running all over, so I'm not ashamed to cry when I need to.

  8. #8
    Crimson Liberator Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayPea View Post
    We had a thread like this back in Ye Olde Place, but it was ultimately locked by the mods. There may have been some concerns about whether people were getting advice through the thread in lieu of seeking professional help. As long as we're clear that this is just discussion and that any advice given here is not coming from a professional, we might be okay. I miss having a thread like this, so I hope this one stays around.
    I thought this might have been the case. I actually locked a similar thread on my own forum because it became unhealthy for everyone, but I think with proper discussion and understanding of where the advice is coming from, it could be of use.

    Working out helps with this, too, especially if you're dealing with a lot of anger. I think one of the traps a lot of us fall in to is to just push those negative emotions down (whether with food or some other type of avoidance), which means they just continue to fester. I've given in to my emotions a lot in the last week or so and while it's made things more difficult, I also experience a lot of release in just allowing myself to actually feel and cry.
    I'm trying to start working out again. I used to do it pretty regularly and then one day I just stopped - I think it'd be helpful for me. Crying's always been helpful too, but I think I'm ready to start pushing toward more productive things.
    'Tis better to bend with the wind than stand tall and be broken. Therein lies hope; therein lies freedom.

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    Gross armpit hair!


    Bah, I'll probably wind up editing this post with a "." or a "Gross armpit hair!" later.

  10. #10
    Mancy, I won't quote your post in case you decide to edit/delete it later...but I know how oddly comforting isolation can be. It's really just a form of avoidance and eventually you'll have to deal with whatever you're isolating yourself from. That's kind of where I am right now - I've isolated myself from friends and family (particularly my parents) over the last few years and certainly in the last few months. I used to love entertaining and having guests and I've all but stopped. I just can't seem to find joy in any of the things that used to motivate and excite me.

    I think the writing is probably very good for you - it's a healthy and therapeutic way of dealing with whatever is on your mind. Do you have any other close friends that you could reach out to so that you can at least try to venture out and open yourself up emotionally again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JayPea View Post
    Mancy, I won't quote your post in case you decide to edit/delete it later...but I know how oddly comforting isolation can be. It's really just a form of avoidance and eventually you'll have to deal with whatever you're isolating yourself from. That's kind of where I am right now - I've isolated myself from friends and family (particularly my parents) over the last few years and certainly in the last few months. I used to love entertaining and having guests and I've all but stopped. I just can't seem to find joy in any of the things that used to motivate and excite me.

    I think the writing is probably very good for you - it's a healthy and therapeutic way of dealing with whatever is on your mind. Do you have any other close friends that you could reach out to so that you can at least try to venture out and open yourself up emotionally again?
    Ahah, thank you! I did wind up editing; it makes me too uncomfortable!

    ETA: PMed you a proper reply.

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    A Matter Of How You See It Kala's Avatar
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    ETA: kittens!

  13. #13
    Does anybody have any good tips on avoiding panic attacks or what to do when one has one? I had my first full-blown attack a few weeks back and am beginning to think I should seek out some therapy now to combat them. In a way I'm glad I had it because it made me change my mindset a little, i.e. made me a bit more determined to do something about them and try to beat them, not let them run certain parts of my life and so on.

  14. #14
    Crimson Liberator Faust's Avatar
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    Lately I've been trying deep-breathing. I don't know whether or not you smoke, but part of why that helps me is because I'm doing deep-breathing in order to inhale. Obviously, the breathing on its own is far healthier than adding cigarettes to the mix, but knowing that you can smoke to help deal with panic is always something to keep in mind. Deep-breathing for myself anyways has always been nice just to slow myself down. Otherwise, getting it down on paper or talking to somebody can help; it can become unhealthy, naturally, if you use it to consciously or subconsciously avoid getting professional help, but just having an outlet to vent occasionally is good. I struggle with panic too, so I can't fully attest to these things helping, but they're supposed to help and there's no harm in trying them.
    'Tis better to bend with the wind than stand tall and be broken. Therein lies hope; therein lies freedom.

  15. #15
    Deep purposeful breaths are indeed helpful for calming anxiety, depression, and anger.
    I never thought about love when I thought about home

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