Hi Karlie: We spoke in chat the other night. I used to be a lot like you and fight the anxiety, panic and my depression. I was always angry. Why did this have to happen to me? I wanted to be strong like I always was and get my old life back. I didn't have time for "this". My therapist that I had at the time used to always talk about breathing exercises and acceptance --letting it pass through me. I always asked her when I would get better and she always patiently explained that at varying degrees I would have to deal with this the rest of my life. In nice terms I thought that both she and her explanations were ridiculous and as for the breathing exercises...give me a break, I didn't have time for that! Our therapy sessions lasted about 2 years and then that was that.
Needless to say I got quite frustrated with these answers. And for a few years after that my life got better than it was and my anxiety went away. I remember feeling like "hah!"...boy was she wrong. But then several years later my marriage once again took a turn for the worse and life became very, very difficult for me. This time I was facing Major Depression as the main diagnosis with anxiety as a secondary diagnosis. .....This is now ten years later and over the past month my anxiety has struck back with a vengeance. I have a different therapist than the first time as I described above. I have been seeing her for the past six years. And through the infinite amount of hours we have spent together I have learned that anxiety is a chronic condition. It's not just going to disappear. And I now know that the time and effort that I used to put into "fighting it" just made it worse. Don't get me wrong, I still hate this. But I now accept that it is part of me. I know if I don't get enough sleep it could trigger it. So I do my best to try to get enough. I know that if I work out the endorphins will help tone it down (although I have been so depressed I have not yet gotten back to doing it - I know I need to though), I know if I eat a more nutricious diet I will feel much better (I'm just starting to do it again). In a long way, when you have anxiety you need to work extra hard to get your life into some sort of balance. Accept the anxiety, work around it and you will feel better. And perhaps for awhile it may get better and go away. But realize it could always come back.
So to finally sum this all up. No, I don't believe that there is any cure for this. And I truly believe that by fighting this diagnosis you will drive yourself crazy and make yourself even worse. But this does not mean that we cannot go on and live happy and normal lives. We can get better and do anything that others can do. We just need to remember to keep some sort of balance to accommodate this nasty little pest inside of us. Remember everyone around us has some sort of issue in their own lives. Unfortunately, this is ours to live with --but the key word is to live "with" not let it control us.
Karlie, save yourself a lot of time, effort and misery of fighting this beast. Learn to live with it. Sometimes it can be a real struggle - one that FEELS like we will never win. But when things are better you will certainly appreciate it all the more. A lot of people don't know how to appreciate life. But when life is good, we certainly do.
Post Edited (CassandraLee) : 3/22/2009 8:09:37 AM (GMT-6)
Oh My Goodness,
I just read Cass' post to you and, Karlie, I thought to myself, hey, I am Cass, just an older model. Cass said it all absolutely perfectly.
I have had Anxiety and Depression for 26 years. I have always been on a med and I went for 20 years of having minor upsets and a little tweaking with the meds and some therapy sessions and I was back to the "old me" although the anxiety was always there the depression was dampened. During that 20 years I lost a son to a car crash but I was tough and could get through it................I suppressed a lot of sadness and I think it finally overwhelmed me.
In 2005 I started to have some major problems with the Anxiety and Depression, I ended up retiring early in 2006 as I thought I could cure it by removing the stress. I also lost all my friends who were my peers at work and so for a year I sat alone and cried everyday. I went to therapy and it did not do a lot.
Then I went through the hunt for the right medication with my Pdoc. I also switched therapists and really liked the one I found and I spent 6 months working with her. I did learn a lot about who I am and felt I was on an even keel . I had some really good times but never did get the "old me" back as I would run into a week where I was anxious and down........and the tears would flow as I begged God to help me and I would not understand why this cycle kept happening.............I was to be cured.
My Pdoc has been trying to tell me I have MDD and I will always have this. I thought "yeah you keep telling me that but I will not get better if you keep telling me I will be a failure" That was my stinkin thinkin and boy, I am still acting like this.
I have insisted I want off the meds, my Pdoc said OK but I am afraid you will crash. To me it feels like she just does not want me to succeed. So I have weaned down to 20 mg of cymbalta and I have been all over the place in my head. I am fighting this.............
Cass is so right, I must stop fighting and accept that I have Depression and learn to live with it. If I need meds, I will have to take them. I hate the weight increase I have had with the meds but I know Cass is right about the exercise and the healthy eating.
So the answer is yes, most people will have this disorder for a life time but acceptance is the key...........I need to quit struggling against this as I have fought against it so hard for years now.
There is no "old me" just the me that is today.
You can live a happy and productive life with the Anxiety so please know you will be OK.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life.