Hi great people! I've been reading a lot of the post today before registering and want to say hello and share a bit of my story.
I would like to share my experiences. It's more of a high level, "my history of panic and anxiety".
My Anxiety has been with me, i think, since i was 13 (I'm 32 now) but it wasnt until 2003 did it really set in for me. During this time I was going through a break up, and i was so scared to be a lone. I was literally dependent on this person, (lets call her Sandy cause i will make reference to her again later) and the fact that we were breaking up really left me crushed. I began taking SSRI. Celexa first, then Lexapro, then settled on Zoloft ( w/ a low dose of adivan for serious anxiety moments).
The drugs seemed to help for a while and when when i began to feel better i began to socialize a lot more. I also replaced my Sandy with work, and worked A LOT. This seemed to help and i knew it was the most healthy thing for me to be doing, but I felt that doing something to get through the times is what i needed and work really seemed like a natural place to spend lots of time at. I started drinking again ( i stopped previously because of depression -- I didnt feel i was an alcoholic), and really thought i had it under control. Then one night i was with a girl i was dating and I decided to do cocaine. I don't recall how much i really did, it was all that much, but this was my introduction to Panic. I did't have panic the night i did the cocaine, i had panic the night after. I had about
10- 15 attacks. The first few mind, and each building more and more. I finally went to my kitchen to take Adivan ( I was really scared to do this, because i thought that the cocaine was what was making my heart rate so high, and i thought that the Adivan would potentially kill me). I was also, so frightened I was too scared to call a ambulance or my parents. The next thing i remember is waking up in a pool of sweat with the bottle of Adivan on the floor. I took some and was able to sleep for a couple of hours. I then drove myself to the Urgent Care and was told that i had a panic attack.
So, that was years ago. But once i
open that gateway to panic (maybe it would have happened sooner or later anyways) I was now having panic on a more regular basis.
For the next few years most of my panic was induced by an incident I could clearly point to. Like, if i broke up with a girl or there was some conflict with someone i was dating, it would send me into this panic state. I was never really sure what i feared, i think it was the uncertainty " Whoa, this person sounds really mad and i didnt do anything, this person is acting so irrational, that i dont know what they will or are capable of doing" So it was the fear of the unknown that would really do it for me. Most of the time it was dating related, and most of the time it was irrational anger towards me that would trigger the panic. So, yeah there was an incident involved or a "trigger"
Over the past couple years, i've been doing really well. I stopped 100% close to 3 years ago ( i realized that you cant take meds and drink, it was very counter productive -- and in fact the mixing of alcohol with zoloft over a period of time really made me lose control). I was doing so well that I was able to tapper from 100MG of zoloft to 12.5 MG (not even considered a therapeutic dose) with Klonipin serving as my mellower (.5 in the morning .5 at night). So, after being down to 12.5 for 5 months or so it was time to go down more. I went to 6 MGs or roughly that, its hard to cut a 25MG into fourths. And after 6 weeks of that and feeling ok, i stop completely! Hooray. I was really proud of myself. I was so happy that i was freed from zoloft. I dont really know why, but it felt like a huge accomplishment. 6 weeks pass with no zoloft....
Wow, I woke up on a monday morning and experienced A HUGE panic episode. Now, this time my mind was really trying to find the answers (not really knowing at the time, that i was making it worse). But it was the first, or at least i believe to be the first panic attack i had that was not related to a life event. Two days later i was back on 25MG of zoloft. I wasnt ashamed, i wasn't hard on myself, i just accepted it. So for about
4 weeks back on zoloft i was still experience panic. These were more situational or triggered panic attacks. Last week, on friday i experienced more. And now i'm up to 50MG of zoloft and talking about
4 MG of adivan a day -- its getting less and less.
So, knowing a bit of my story ( and sorry for the length) i have something else going on that is really hard for me to deal with. So, i would love for some advice, comments, or anything.
My best friend is my dog. I have had him for almost 13 years. He is pretty much on his way out ( a lot of the situation panic was due to problems with my dog). Now, what i fear the most is not really being able to deal with his passing. This animal has be the one stable thing in my life, and i think a lot of my anxiety stems from (like when i broke up with my ex-girlfriend Sandy) So, this has been a really hard time for me. At some points i feel like i need to be hospitalized. Other times i feel like i'll need to go somewhere right away and be with some close friends, but then i have the fear of when i'll have to return home.
Monday i will find out some critical information about
my dogs health. Thats along time to sit around and wonder what will be the outcome of the test, but the truth of the matter is no matter what the out come is, he is old and i will have to deal with this sooner or later (it will probably be sooner, the signs are all there).
One last thing, when i went up on zoloft from 0 - 25MG I had some side effects, but when i went from 25 - 50MG 6 days ago, i have really felt bad. I have no appetite, i feel constantly "drugged". I feel a constant state of low level panic ( too low for me to call panic attacks, but high enough for me to feel that the medication is inducing it). And time has come to a huge stand still. For example, i went to the doctor on monday and then i went today and it felt like a week had gone by.
Anyways, thats my story. thanks for reading.
best of luck to all the others suffering.
Post Edited (Danxiety) : 8/1/2007 9:10:37 PM (GMT-6)