New here. My story, plus several questions :).

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CluelessJournalist
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/1/2008 10:02 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey there. I thought I'd introduce myself. After googling health-related questions all the time, I noticed this forum always pops up. I figured I might as well join it, since the answers here are so helpful.

Anyway, I have a few questions for folks. I'm really confused about a lot of mental health stuff and would love anyone's input, even if it's just a "hang in there," you know?

In early March, I finally went to a psychiatrist after my roommate and parents begged me to. I'm kind of a hypochondriac and never wanted to go get help because I was afraid I'd find out some insidious mental health brain-monster is lurking within. All silliness aside,

I've always wondered if what seemed like seasonal blues was really bipolar disorder — my winter lows are really, really low. And as soon as the weather turns, I don't fit the "mania" description, but I'm definitely hyper, energized, irritible and insanely, freakishly productive.

I never imagined an anxiety problem could be the root of my trouble, but when I went to the psych, he prescribed me with a pretty heavy dose of Klonopin for anxiety. .5 mg twice a day plus 1 mg at bedtime. I hated it. I don't sleep much because I'm busy and, come bedtime, never want to go to sleep. Because I'm so sleep deprived, the Klonopin knocked me out. It made me feel stupid and I'd literally fall asleep in random places.

So when I went back about a week ago, they tried a different approach, prescribing a really low dose of Xanax (.25 mg) to take twice daily on an as-need basis, plus 1mg of Klonopin before bedtime. I never take the Klonopin because, as a college student, I know I end up drinking in the evening pretty frequently and don't want to wind up in the ICU.

I like the Xanax. I've been taking one pill in the morning the past several days and it does take the edge off. But I still don't know if I believe anxiety's the real problem.

My question is this: does it sound like anxiety is really my problem? I am constantly stressed, but to me, the stress seems rational: it's always over school, getting things done, etc. I do fit the diagnostic criteria for GAD (fatigue, vague feeling that bad things are going to happen, occasional panic or extreme anxiety in certain social settings, racing thoughts, high blood pressure and high stress levels.) But isn't that stuff part of normal, everyday life for a high-stress overachiever? Is this all just anxiety? Can anxiety induce eating disorders, hypochondria, mood swings from depression to euphoria with racing thoughts and suicidal thinking? Or should I voice other concerns with my psych?

If anyone made it all the way through this post...kudos, and thanks!

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 5/1/2008 10:42 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there and Welcome
IMHO YES you do seem to have Anxiety......

The best of us with this can rationalize like there is no tomorrow
I have had this for over 40 plus yrs and I tell you Anxiety and Panic are the sneakiest and dirtiest of enemies........
It loves to get you when you are down
It loves to have you try and NOT be able to rationalize everything IMHO

Many like you suffer with the winter and gloomy wet days it is harder to make self feel good when it is so horrible ouside and the sun actually does make one happy or happier......

I have been a Honors Student went on to Owning my own Retirement home and my daughter sadly is now just been dx with a/p and is on xanax the 0.5 in am and at mm

Both her and I are over acheivers and she is an honor roll student
Education education...............thats all she gets into during the week
I ask her to take time and go have fun but instead she will go and try to have fun and her friends then tell all their home probs and life issues..depression a/p ect.....
Cait is very Empathetic and tries to help them all while also balancing her life and knowing I am sick with some DD

I know you will find that ppl here are or have gone thru all that you have posted.........

Yes I know from personal experience that if I am way way down I would go for days w/o eating.....not after I was threatened with tube feeding........

IMHO you HAVE to voice all that you are concerned with and what is going on with you to the Pdoc
You will get a truer DX from giving all the info and Symptoms

I myself so prefer Hypochondria to be called "Health Anxiety" as it really is true that we are having Health anxiety.......

I know many more will be here to welcome you and give their opinions .......

I am glad you found us ...not reasons why but I know you will get the help caring and support you need
It is very much a "family" atmosphere here and all the ppl are great.........

STAY with us and let us know how you make out

                                     LYN


  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
 
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
                               FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
 
   
 
                   
 

Post Edited (Howlyncat) : 5/1/2008 11:46:48 AM (GMT-6)


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/1/2008 10:58 AM (GMT -7)   

Hello and a warm welcome to HealingWell.  I am Kitt.  Lyn has answered your questions well.  IMHO I agree you show symptoms of anxiety and your worrying that this  could be something else, such as Bipolar is an example of anticipatory anxiety. That is typical of the way we think but people with anxiety tend to overthink and the next thing you know your on a merry-go-round.

Common Anticipatory Anxiety Reactions include :

Feelings: anxious, fearful, angry, confused, hopeless, losing control, numb, sad, moody, irritable, guilty.

Behaviors: withdrawal from others or activities, disrupted routines, startle reactions, easily crying

Cognitions: preoccupation with possibility of trauma, concentration difficulties, self-doubt, worry, indecisiveness, memory difficulties

Physical complaints: muscle tension, headaches, gastric distress, sleep and appetite changes, fatigue

Talking usually helps. Share your feelings with friends, family, on here are all good ways to work through the anxiety.

Relaxation techniques: Try deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization (imagining peaceful scenes), and/or listening to soothing music.

Realistic self-talk: While we can't always control what happens to us, we can always control what we say to ourselves. It's important to keep things in perspective. Talk to yourself in reasonable ways. Ask yourself "how likely is my fear?" Remind yourself that you have coped before during other challenging times. Don't just dwell on the negative but consciously look for things you can appreciate every day.

I would strongly suggest that you see a therapist to work through your issues and if you feel you have been miss dx, please follow up for a second opinion.

All of the members on this forum have experienced stress and anxiety disorders.  Remember you have anxiety, it does not have you.

We do have a Bipolar forum if you want to read through it, or not, just FYI.  :)

Please remember we are not professionals so these are just opinions and should never replace your relationship with a physician/therapist.

We are glad you found our site and joined us. 
Kitt
 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


CluelessJournalist
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/1/2008 11:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for both of your replies. The more I think about it, the more I'm sure anxiety is absolutuely my main problem. Possibly the only problem :).

Does anyone know someone who has both GAD or Panic Disorder AND a form of bipolar? I'd be interested to see what things are like for them. I'm also going to check out the bipolar forum. It couldn't hurt.

...but let's be honest. It's probably just (mental) health anxiety. Oooh well.

Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 5/1/2008 9:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Clueless! Good post. It's good you're searching for answers, and you found a great place to ask questions! A lot of people passively experience all the stuff you described, so hang in there and keep asking questions!

Some stuff you probably already know, but just incase:
"Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry about everyday things, which is disproportionate to the actual source of worry. This excessive worry often interferes with daily functioning, as individuals suffering GAD typically catastrophise, anticipate disaster, and are overly concerned about everyday matters such as health issues, money, family problems, friend problems or work difficulties. They often exhibit a variety of physical symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, and hot flashes. These symptoms must be consistent and on-going, persisting at least 6 months, for a formal diagnosis of GAD to be introduced. Approximately 6.8 million American adults experience GAD, affecting about twice as many women as men."
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_anxiety_disorder

I would definitely talk to you psychiatrist about the mood swings, as well as the euphoria and suicidal thoughts. You may be bipolar 2 or 3, which is a lesser than bipolar 1, so its pretty hard for psychiatrists to diagnose, but "mood swings from depression to euphoria with racing thoughts and suicidal thinking" sounds kinda like a "Mixed State" or Rapid cycling... "In the context of bipolar disorder, a mixed state is a condition during which symptoms of mania and clinical depression occur simultaneously (for example, agitation, anxiety, aggressiveness or belligerence, confusion, fatigue, impulsiveness, insomnia, irritability, morbid and/or suicidal ideation, panic, paranoia, persecutory delusions, pressured speech, racing thoughts, restlessness, and rage)."
And " Many people in a manic state experience severe anxiety and are very irritable (to the point of rage), while others are euphoric and grandiose." There is also something lesser to mania explained here " Hypomania is generally a less extreme state than mania, and people in the hypomanic phase generally experience fewer symptoms of mania than those in a full-blown manic episode. During an episode, one might feel an uncontrollable impulse to laugh at things he or she does not normally find funny. The duration is usually also shorter than in mania. This is often a very "artistic" state of the disorder, where there is a flight of ideas, extremely clever thinking, and an increase in energy."
Thats all from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipolar_disorder

After years of think i just had Anxiety and Panic Disorder, I might actually be a bit bipolar. I've never been naturally euphoric, but i've been in weird states, which i'm starting to think is hypomania. I can become extremely irritable and the only thing i really can do is be productive...

Anyways, keep searching and don't rule out Bipolar or be freaked out by it. Ask questions in the bipolar boards too, they're really great people:D!!!

keep us posted!
dan
---
Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Depression, possibly Bipolar 2.

"We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves."
- Pema Chodron

Post Edited (Danxiety) : 5/1/2008 10:52:46 PM (GMT-6)


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 5/2/2008 6:15 AM (GMT -7)   
How are you doing today ......
Great input I see.
Know you are not alone

The Bi polar forum and ppl are fantastic as well.....

Stay with us and get the support you need.
Check out Resouces in top of this page with links to CBT and Relaxation threads posted by Wen
I do them and I have to say they have helped and continue too as well I am on Valium as Doc RX.......

LYN
  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,Fibro & Other DD
 
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns
                               FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE
 
   
 
                   
 


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 5/2/2008 1:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome, Clueless!

I don't know enough about other disorders to offer much advice other than what folks have already posted: Explain all your concerns to your Pdoc and see where things go from there. I do experience some of the things you mentioned from anxiety -- high BP, situational anxiety, and health anxiety -- but others are pure depression for me -- that's where my fatigue comes from most often.

Bravo to you for being so careful about not mixing your meds with alcohol. I think a lot of people your age aren't as responsible at looking out for themselves.

So welcome again, and keep posting!

percycat

CluelessJournalist
New Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 5/2/2008 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Ya'll are wonderful. Just thought you should know! Haha.
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