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  1. #1
    Liziz is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Sep 2011

    Default Anxiety question

    Ok, so if you asked me 2 weeks ago if I had anxiety, I'd tell you no. I would secretly think about a few weird things that make me panicky, but since I am always able to logically think my way out of my panic, I didn't count it as anything "real". Well, a week ago a friend took the time to tell me her full story/journey w/ anxiety. And I was floored. Because she was basically describing me. ALL these things in her life that she tied to anxiety were things I would never have recognized (in myself) as anxiety issues. It made me realize that maybe what I've felt is just normal or maybe "stressed out mom" is not at all normal actually.

    I did go to my doctor the next day. It was for an appointment related to something else but I forced myself to say something to her about anxiety to get it out there. She took it super seriously, talked to me some, and I'm going back to see her this week for an appointment just about that. I also talked to my DH about it and he had no clue, because I've been hiding it from him (not at all on purpose, but because I wasn't giving credence to the feelings myself, I certainly wasn't talking about them). He was kind of shocked at first and felt bad he hadn't noticed, but is super supportive now.

    Anyhow -- since I had this conversation w/ my friend and my husband and then the doctor, I actually feel like everything is worse/harder. It's like I was just ignoring all this stuff (or being panicky about it, but then having the uber logical side of me force it all down because I didn't want to look/seem ridiculous), but now that I'm recognizing that maybe it's not normal at all and trying NOT to force it down/keep it hidden, it's worse!

    Obviously, that's why I'm getting help and going back to my doc this week. But it just feels so weird to me that trying to get help is actually making me go way the other direction right now. Has anyone else experienced anything like that? I guess a small part of me is wondering if I'm just taking my friend's experience and trying to "find excuses" for the stress in my life or things I can't handle well, or if it's really real (having anxiety), and I was just hiding it so effectively even from myself I didn't realize it until someone pushed me to realize it (because I'm pretty sure she shared her story b/c she recognized we might have some similar characteristics).

    I'm also curious for those that have dealt with it -- did you jump to meds right away? Or do other things? My doc basically said she'll support my choice but that it's often most effective to start w/ meds then work on other things (cbt, biofeedback, other things) after that, because the non-med things take way longer to work. I'm a pretty anti-med person but everything else requires multiple appointments and I definitely have major anxiety about scheduling appointments right now (due to how absolutely complicated it is due to schedules and coupled with a very clingy, hard to leave toddler) so I think I need something else that is more reliable to start with. I also feel like I'm getting worse quickly and know things like CBT take awhile to get the hang of.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Anxiety question

    Hugs mama. I think anxiety is one of those things that people (especially women) tend to downplay because logically we should be able to handle it, and if we canít, itís our fault. It takes courage to open up and talk about it. And no, I donít think you are taking your friends experience as your own. Sometimes talking to someone else makes you realize that you are not alone in your feelings/emotions and that you need help.

    While I hasnít dealt with anxiety myself, DS1 has anxiety that I never even recognized. I had always attributed his difficult behavior and emotional meltdowns to adhd, and it wasnít until he started taking an anti-anxiety med in December that I realized he does truly have anxiety. He went from being an emotional, out of control child to being pleasant and just a better version of himself. Trying the anxiety med was a total shot in the dark (he was complaining of not being able to breath during swim practice and when I mentioned it to the psychiatrist she mentioned the anti-anxiety med), but it has truly helped him and has made our lives much better. So in our case, meds have really helped.

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    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

  3. #3
    ArizonaGirl is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    In my personal experience, "dealing" with it always makes it worse for a bit and then you turn a corner.
    I didn't start taking anything for a little while after I started therapy but it was because while I had the tools necessary to manage my anxiety I was still struggling quite a bit.

    Good luck

    Married to DH June 2005 gave birth to Shawn December 2008 and Lilian August 2012

  4. #4
    BDKmom is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Atlanta, GA

    Default Anxiety question

    I had some issues with anxiety/depression about 2 yrs ago. Some of my symptoms seemed to sync with my cycle, so after talking through things with my PCP, and consulting with my OBGYN, I decided to start with some counseling and a change in my birth control prescription. I was not opposed completely to anti-depressants or anxiety medication, but was worried about the side effects and the amount of effort it would take to tweak the prescription, so I decided to start there and see where it got me. Talking to a therapist really helped me find the source of some of my issues, a lot of which had to do with transitioning to SAHM about 6 mos prior. The change in my BCP also helped (I now take Seasonique and only have a period every 3 months). But the biggest change I found is when I started a regular exercise program (after a suggestion of a certain local gym from my therapist). I feel like a whole new person when I am working out regularly. I saw the therapist for about 6-8 weeks, and, with the combination of those 3 things, everything seemed to get back on track.

    I agree with PP that things can feel worse for a bit when you first start addressing them. You dig up feelings/issues that you didn't realize bothered you as much as they do. For me, with transitioning to SAHM, I was going through a bit of an identity crisis, although I didn't initially realize it. My usual coping mechanisms just weren't working or weren't there anymore since I didn't work (I was more isolated, fewer people to vent to). I also didn't understand how much not working changed how I saw myself until working through it in therapy. So I think what you are experiencing is normal, and it may continue to get worse before it gets better. Just hang in there.

    My sister also relayed her experiences to me. She had what I viewed as more classic and generalized anxiety and had suffered for years before finally going to the doctor. Her dr had her fill out a checklist of symptoms, and she said there we all kinds of physical symptoms that she had been experiencing that she never related to anxiety that were eye opening to her. So sometimes we can be worse than we think, if that makes sense. Also, for my sister, medication was definitely the way to go. She is a completely different person on anxiety meds. She sometimes gets off them, though, which is unfortunate. She has insurance issues a lot, I think.

    Not sure if any of that is helpful--it's hard for me to relay details and not ramble too much, but I think consulting your dr is the right first step to go over all your options and then decide if medication is the next step, or if you want to try other things first. Feel free to PM me if you have questions about my experience.
    DS - Feb 2010
    DD - May 2012

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Salt Lake City, Utah.


    I have had anxiety issues for 30 years. In my 20s, I relied on therapy to dig out all the roots of the anxiety and to learn coping techniques. I did well, but it takes a lot of energy to just keep going with the coping techniques and keeping your life lower stress, etc. My anxiety morphs into depression, so when I was around 30 and pretty depressed, I saw a doctor and got put on meds. (I took tricyclics for about 4 mos when I was 20ish. They helped and got me out of my depression.) This time it was Zoloft. Wow-how awesome. Didn't need to spend lots of time with coping techniques--but always had them in my pocket. I was on Zoloft for 20 years and then it wasn't working as well so I switched to Lexapro, which I like too. I still see a therapist once a month to decompress. That way I don't get in over my head and have to do 2-3 weekly sessions to catch up. If I focus on maintenance, I do fine.

    It is a journey. Depending on your level of anxiety and how you respond to meds, etc. you might do fine with just therapy or maybe you need meds for a short time (4-8 months) and then back to therapy and then maybe no therapy. I can assure you that if you are at a level where you need to be on meds for the rest of your life, it will be ok!!!!!! My meds make it so I don't snap at my family or get really grumpy, etc. They don't make me lala happy. Depression/anxiety is like being tied to the bottom of a pool. The meds just untie the knots so you can float to the surface. Therapy is what allows you to swim once you break the surface. You may flux back and forth over the years or due to circumstances--after my mom died, they upped my meds and added in some Wellbutrin. AT the end of a year, I weaned off the higher dose and the Wellbutrin.

    In answer to your question--recognizing the problem makes it worse at first. Then you start therapy and you are still digging out some "rot". But soon you fill that hole with great soil and you plant flowers and they begin to bloom. With a good therapist and a psychiatrist to check in with--you will be just fine.
    Last edited by StantonHyde; 02-04-2018 at 12:10 AM.
    Mom to:
    DS '02
    DD '05
    Simon--the King Charles cutie
    RIP Andy, the furry first child, 1996-2012

    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    boston, ma.


    I think you got good advice and I echo what other posters have said. As far as meds go, I think many people suggest starting on them at your age because you have been ďlivingĒ with anxiety for years. Often it is a worsening of baseline that brings people in and the initialization of therapy can make things worse. Meds can be a way to sort of break a physical feedback cycle to give you an opening to figure out how you can actually feel better. And you can always stop meds. I think meds are safe if they are being monitored by a professional and someone in your life, like your husband. Some people do get worse on meds, so itís important to keep an eye on it. I found them invaluable during a time in my life.

  7. #7
    ray7694 is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Morton, IL


    In my experience some stress/anxiety is normal and many people deal with it. Since having kids my stress, worry, and anxiety increased. For many years I dealt with it using exercise, counseling, and relaxation. Fast forward and I no longer have enough time to combat it and now take meds.
    It was a long process and my gp referred me to a psychiatrist which helped a ton. It took me a few trials to find the right med. I donít think itís a magic pill as I still worry, stress, and feel anxiety the difference is it is short lived and I donít over do it.

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