Posted 5/3/2015 2:04 PM (GMT -7)
Greetings everyone, this is my first post here ( or in any forum for that matter). It may get kind of lengthy, I can tell already. I just kind of want to talk some of this out at the moment...you're welcome to move on if you get bored or anything, the truth is I might be just writing it for me at the moment (if that makes sense).
I'm currently in my forties and I've had problems with anxiety and depression my entire life. I know there is a family history of it. I've been on and off Benzodiazepines & SSRI's through the years and I've been to many different therapists (social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists). I think I've got to a point where I can truly manage it in a way that does not affect my relationships with those closest to me (my wife, immediate family, close friends, etc). I say that because I know it will never just 'go away', and because no matter what I deal with, I will always do my best to not take the most important things in life for granted. I deal with the physical and mental manifestations of my condition on a daily basis, but I am grateful for what I do have and I am fully aware that there are many people out there that have situations more difficult than my own.
I recently came off of Zoloft after taking it for about a year and a half. I started on it because I had what one could only describe as a 'crisis of faith' when it came to my career. I'd lost a job that I really liked and it triggered a pretty intense 'episode' of panic and sadness. That situation eventually got resolved, but I was grateful to be taking the medication because about halfway through was when my wife had received a cancer diagnosis. She'd had it before, in her earlier years. about 15 years had gone by before it returned. Even that isn't entirely accurate because technically...it didn't 'return'. After some testing, they could tell by the characteristics of the tumor that this was NOT a recurrence...she just ended up with two completely separate instances of cancer in the same area 15 years apart. Apparently that happens.
We went through all of the treatment and my doctor and I decided that while my wife and I were still dealing with the cancer scare, I would stay on the Zoloft for obvious reasons. The stress was a lot to deal with and I really needed all the help I could get. Eventually chemo ended, surgery was over, follow up appointments with the oncologist gave us about as good of a prognosis as we could have hoped for (yet somewhat open ended...you just never can KNOW what can and will happen). Things got better and my doctor and I decided we'll try life without Zoloft and see how it works.
First few weeks were okay. After about a month or so, I wake up...every morning at about 4:30am and my heart is beating super hard, sometimes I'm sweating, and I NEVER manage to get back to sleep. It sounds like such a petty little thing but it is just AWFUL. It affects me throughout my work day and by Friday I feel like I can barely think/move/function. It's like an internal alarm clock that I can't escape.
I have this irrational fear of my job. The fear isn't real...it can't be...because I've been doing what I do for a long time and even if I'm not the absolute best at what I do...I know I'm way better than just 'good enough'. I find ways to be scared of the smallest, pettiest things and the thing is..I know that the fear is just not real. It starts inside me and it just grows and grows until it almost controls me...and it's strange because I feel like I'm on the outside looking in. I can't control it. I become disappointed in how I respond to this fear because I know it's not rational...but it just doesn't matter, I feel it anyway. No matter how aware I am of the irrational nature of this fear, it affects my behavior anyway. I feel helpless.
I was just hoping that maybe any one wiser than myself might stumble upon my post and share how they've dealt with similar situations. I'm trying to "exercise-off" as much of the nervous energy as I can, and I've tried taking benadryl to sleep through the night but I hate how it makes me feel the next day. I'm doing what I can...but I feel like I'll be taking Zoloft again soon if things don't get better. It's not like I'd be ashamed to go back to it, I just have this desire to live life without it. I'm sure every one here understands.
Anyway, that's my story. If you made it all the way to the end, thank you for reading! Feel free to share any similar experiences and how you dealt with them, or just say hello!