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Hello everyone - newbie trying to move upwards.

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lookingforpeace
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:30 pm

Hello everyone - newbie trying to move upwards.

Postby lookingforpeace » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:53 pm

My first post, on my first forum of this type. Hello everyone.

I've been suffering from various anxiety / depression / paranoia for longer than I care to admit. I'm 48 , I have a good job and a beautiful family. But I'm having a relapse just now that is really difficult. I've used various SSRI drugs for circa 16 years. I completely stopped about 2 months ago. I am wondering if this latest episode it related to withdrawal of these drugs from my system. I've broken down a few times recently with my wife which has never happened before.

My story ? I'd like to articulate my story in full to see if anyone can relate / help, but I'm not sure anyone would be that interested.

So what am I looking for ?

My wife has often said I should seek like minded people and maybe I can find someone who can relate to what I'm experiencing and we help each other. But I really don't know where to start.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1727
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Hello everyone - newbie trying to move upwards.

Postby andthistoomustpass » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:05 pm

Hi and welcome!

Interested, sminterested. Tell your story if you feel like it. Post whatever you like. If it rings a bell with someone, they are likely to reply. This place is relatively quiet for the internet so don't be disappointed when replies take time. On the other hand, the peeps who do congregate here are all nice people, another internet rarity :lol:

I agree with your wife on the like minded people front. Both this place and real life mutual support groups have been a tremendous help for me.

BTW. I'd be surprised if ceasing SSRIs didn't have some pretty odd effects in the short / medium term. Why did you stop taking them?

lookingforpeace
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:30 pm

Re: Hello everyone - newbie trying to move upwards.

Postby lookingforpeace » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:49 am

andthistoomustpass wrote:Hi and welcome!

Interested, sminterested. Tell your story if you feel like it. Post whatever you like. If it rings a bell with someone, they are likely to reply. This place is relatively quiet for the internet so don't be disappointed when replies take time. On the other hand, the peeps who do congregate here are all nice people, another internet rarity :lol:

I agree with your wife on the like minded people front. Both this place and real life mutual support groups have been a tremendous help for me.

BTW. I'd be surprised if ceasing SSRIs didn't have some pretty odd effects in the short / medium term. Why did you stop taking them?


Thank you for reading and replying to my message. It meant a lot to me to see a reply.

I had been on a low dose of Sertraline and Propanalol when required. In a review at the end of October I thought I was doing ok, and I didn't feel the medication made much difference. So we (GP and myself) agreed I'd stop.

My primary obsession over the years has been health anxiety. My dad died of cancer in 1998. The symptoms were non specific over three months in 1997. Then he got a diagnosis on New Years Eve 1997, and died 18 days later. Ever since then (on and off) I've been obsessed that the same fate will happen to me, or some other catastrophic event. I ruminate about so many different things, mostly completely irrational and quite frankly embarrassing. I see things in the media and imagine things happening to me that will end up with me be left alone living in a cold room.

Which brings me to this episode. Last October I had a fairly minor (but painful) medical incident. As a result I had a scan, which diagnosed the problem there and then. Then out of no where I got a letter asking me to come for a further investigation due to an "incidental observation". Again, this proved to be nothing. But if you lay the description of the two paragraphs above together, and understand the context of my problems you'll see this was a perfect storm for someone like me. End to end I had about 6-8 weeks of waiting and ruminating. "What if its this, what if its that" As a result I don't seem to be able to come "down" so to speak. When I described to my wife how I felt I said its like I have gone to the edge of a metaphorical cliff and got the feeling in you tummy when you are scared. And I cant seem to walk backwards away from the cliff. Its almost like I look for a reason to stay at the edge of the cliff.

I don't do Christmas holidays well. I need a routine to keep me going. Also I'm a clever person, I'm a software engineer (thank fully my issues don't affect my work) , and my wife thinks because of this I feel I have to find a solution to everything.

I do try and help myself. I read self help, and I run a fair bit and try hard to keep busy. But sometimes the dog sits directly on my chest and wont let me get up no matter how hard I try.

Maybe someone will read this and relate / offer some tips I've not read.

andthistoomustpass
Posts: 1727
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2016 11:02 pm

Re: Hello everyone - newbie trying to move upwards.

Postby andthistoomustpass » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:14 am

Hi again

'I ruminate about so many different things, mostly completely irrational and quite frankly embarrassing.'

I can relate to that. It sounds like anticipation anxiety perhaps fueled by negative predictions and always believing in / not being able to stop thinking about the worst case scenario.

CBT can often be a great help in addressing this sort of thinking distortion. Self help books can be great but being guided by a good practitioner can make a huge difference. If you prefer to follow the self help route then I strongly recommend The Feeling Good Handbook by David Burns, far and away the best CBT self help book I have read.

'As a result I don't seem to be able to come "down" so to speak. When I described to my wife how I felt I said its like I have gone to the edge of a metaphorical cliff and got the feeling in you tummy when you are scared.'

Yep. I know that one too. A horrible place to be.

It sounds like you are already doing the physical exercise route to bring you out of your mind and ground yourself. If it is not impacting on your work then I assume working takes your mind off things too. Work has its own stresses of course. Do you have any other interests, hobbies to take your mind elsewhere? If not, it is a good idea to develop some. Meditation techniques can also help. I took a Mindfulness for Stress course a couple of years ago and found it really helpful in stopping my mind racing away.

'And I cant seem to walk backwards away from the cliff. Its almost like I look for a reason to stay at the edge of the cliff.'

That is the worst thing about anxiety. Your subconscious perceives a threat so it focuses on that threat. Perfectly natural and very useful for dealing with short term threats when our ancestors were sharing the savannah with lions and tigers but today's stresses are of a different and more long lasting nature. The trick is to try to take your mind away from the perceived threat.

Another possibility that springs to mind is that your subconscious might think there is a different type of payoff in being at the cliff edge. Maybe part of you thinks that this sort of hyper vigilance is keeping you safe for some reason?

Anyway, just some thoughts of mine. I hope some of that helps.


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