Post # 1
First post was marked as spam??? Sorry if this thread appears twice!
Two years ago one of my friends asked me to be a bridesmaid for her wedding in 2019. I of course said yes as I was so excited for her but 2 years later I feel as though I can’t do it anymore and want to back out but I’m afraid it will ruin our friendship.
The problem is my anxiety. I have always suffered from it but for the past few months it has gotten a lot worse. It’s been so bad that I have fainted in public and it is effecting me in every aspect of my life including work and my physical health as well. I find it hard to go to a lot of public places and when I do I need to feel like I’m in control and can leave at any time. I’m afraid that on her wedding day I will have an attack and because I need to stick to her schedule I would feel so bad to have to leave or even faint at her ceremony or any part of her wedding really.
My anxiety has also been tough on my marriage as well . My husband is a saint for how he is handling it and he’s trying to understand but I can tell he is hurt when I say I don’t want to do things with him for fear of having an attack. I can’t even do something as simple as going out to dinner anymore. I have basically become a hermit and prisoner in my own home and body because of this fear that I cannot explain. I have no idea why it’s gotten this bad but I am currently seeing a therapist as well so I am trying to heal myself.
When I try to explain to people the anxiety I have been experiencing they look at me like I’m crazy and I am afraid my friend will do the same and won’t understand. I live 2 hours away from her so she doesn’t know about how bad it has gotten yet as I don’t see her as much as I used to.
My husband told me to just tell her that we are looking to buy a house this year (which is true) so financially it will be tough and that we still would like to come as guests (that way if I need a breather I can just go outside whenever I need to or we can leave early).
I guess I’m just looking for advice on how to tell her. I don’t know how to explain my issues without sounding insane. I feel like there is still a stigma surronding anxiety due to the reactions and crazy looks I have gotten when I try to explain it to people.. It even sounds insane to me but it’s an unfortunate reality in my life. I want o be at her wedding but I just don’t want my issues to interfere with it. Nothing has been bought yet so I’d like to tell her before she plans the bridesmaid shopping trip. What do I do or say??
Sorry for rambling and thanks for reading and replying!
Post # 2
I’m sorry to hear you’re going through a hard time. As someone with clinically anxiety, I understand completely. I believe that we need to take care of our mental health before anything. Having said that, your friend and others will not see it this way. You said yes and made a commitment to your friend. I know this is a bandaid solution, but have you considered taking a lorazapam or similar anti-anxiety medication the day of to calm your nerves? It will help you get through the day while still honoring your commitment. I realize this might sound crazy to some, but when you have anxiety…you still need to live your life and respect those around you, and sometimes us anxiety sufferers just need a little help. If you’re not comfortable with that and feel you truly cannot go through with this, just be honest with your friend and see how she reacts.
Post # 3
I’m not qualified to diagnose since all I’ve got is a BA in psychology, but it looks more like you might have panic disorder with agoraphobia than generalized anxiety to me… are you being treated for it at all? Any meds?
I am very concerned for you. I had panic attacks when I was in middle school and they were the worst. It felt like being chased by a bear, but there was no bear! Ugh.
Please get help ASAP. I was amazed at how quickly I recovered once my parents sent me to see a psychiatrist.
Post # 4
Thank you for your reply. I do have medication but I have not started on it yet. When i read up on it and the side effects it really scared me. I am trying to work up the nerve to finally take it. My mom takes the same one I am prescribed and it helps her alot. I just dont like the thought on having to rely on them as well, you know?
I do have panic attacks. I just started therapy so hopefully it works. I dont know why I am so scared to take the meds. I guess in my mind I seem to think when I start I will feel like I will ned them forever. My mother has panic disorder and ive seen her take her pills my whole life…I dont want that. I want to learn how to cope without them.
Post # 5
I’m glad you’re seeing a therapist bee. Are they an actual clinical psychologist? I was diagnosed with panic disorder in high school, but it was never as bad as how you describe how you’re feeling recently (although I was still pretty afraid of fainting on my wedding day).
If you really want to step down I’m sure your friend will completely understand. But I really hope for you, since you’ve just started therapy, that by 2019 you will be feeling a lot better! I know its hard to get your head around taking medication, but honestly it could change your life. It sounds like these panic attacks/agoraphobia are consuming your life and it must be so difficult, sending you virtual *hugs*
Post # 6
I know a lot of people are worried about needing to rely on medications for anxiety and depression, but you should try not to let the stigma of taking psych medications keep you from doing what you need to do to be happy and healthy! If it were a pill to lower your high blood pressure or treat a chronic infection, would you be concerned with not wanting to rely on medication? Treating psych illness is just as real and just as important! You said you were working on healing yourself, and I think a big important step in that is taking the meds that will help you.
Post # 7
I just wanted to pop in and say I used to have similar panic attacks, complete with not being able to leave my house, needing to have a quick escape and fainting. I ended up on medication but a book that also really helped me is “From Panic to Power”. I’m sorry you’re going through this it’s very tough.
Post # 8
I just wanted to say I understand your fears about taking the meds, but you really should. I was also nervous about taking Zoloft, which was prescribed to me for depression; but with the help of some wise bees, I went ahead and began taking it. And at first it was a transition while my body got used to it. But I’ve never felt better. You’re not a failure for taking meds to help with your anxiety. In fact, it shows strength to realize and acknowledge that you need help! Best of luck!
Post # 9
May I ask what the medication is? I also have panic disorder but it’s managable. It can just be a bit scary. I only ask about the medication because I might be familiar. You might find that the medication works really well for you. There’s no way to know without trying. A lot of times you need to try a few before you find one that works. There’s no shame in it but I get why you’re scared of the side effects because they are scary but if you have a good doctor they will monitor these things. If you find the side effects are too bad, they’ll take you off that medication and you can try another.
Post # 10
I couldn’t agree with this more! It’s such a shame that there is a stigma to taking psych drugs – its no different than any other ailment.
OP, if you feel you need to step down you should. Your health is paramount.
Post # 11
Multiple severe anxiety disorders here including agoraphobia. It’s actually the worst it’s been in my whole life right now, I haven’t even been able to work for some time. So I completely understand what you’re saying. And my advice is to be honest. I’ve started being very open and honest about my situation instead of giving excuses. Surprisingly more people empathize than you’d think, whether they actually understand it or not. And if she doesn’t, that’s her problem, you’ll have spoken your truth and that’s just how it is. I know it’s easier said than done, personally I wouldn’t be able to say it in person, I barely am social at all now since I barely leave the house, so I’m better over text or fb message, but I’d let her know what’s really going on.
Post # 12
I know how you feel. For a while I was having panic attacks everyday and it made me scared to leave my house because at least if it happened at home I knew I was in a safe environment. Some things that helped me were cutting out caffeine (coffee, soda, everything) and trying to exercise more. My psychiatrist wrote me a prescription for Xanax and I took them when I knew a panic attack was coming. Over time they stopped happening – I think knowing I had the Xanax made me feel “safe” because if I started to panic I knew I had something to make it go away. My doctor recommended Prozac for anxiety but I didn’t feel like it was right for me.
I was the maid of honor in my friend’s wedding last year and I was terrified but it was ok! Since you’re a little ways away from the wedding, maybe see how you feel in a few months and gauge it from there? Does your friend know about the anxiety issues you have? If so she might be more understanding if you need to step down.
Post # 13
I am so sorry that you are going through this tough time. I completely understand how you feel. I have been experiencing PTSD, anxiety and panic attacks for a few years now and with the help of a wonderful psychologlogist and counsellor I have been able to keep it under control with the techniques they have taught me. I am sure if you explained your fears about the situation she will understand. You need to put yourself first, goodluck with the therapy.
Post # 14
Big hugs Bee. I have anxiety and alot of what you said resonates with me! Heck I bet even people without anxiety can get worried about timelines ect!
Have you talked to your friend about what you COULD do as a BM? Like maybe you can stand up for her and take pictures after, but the pre-ceremony and post ceremony stuff you could just stay with your hubby for and sit with him. Less pressure. I would want my friend to talk to me if she could. Just an idea:)
Post # 15
The medication I am was prescribed is called Escitalopram and I also have Clonazepam for emergencies.
I want to thank all the bees that replied. Its so comforting to know that I am not the only one who has experianced this. I feel like when I talk to people about it, it makes me really self consious cause they dont understand, look at me like im a freak, I have even been accused of just being lazy because millennials like to use anxiety as an excuse apprently. I dont know if anyone else has gone through this part but Ive been physcially ill since it has gotten worse with a lot of acid reflux and stomach problems. I actually lost 15 pounds in a month because my stomach was bothering me so bad. I have to go for an endoscopy next week (which I am so scared about!) to see if I have any ulcers or maybe a hernia. My doctor also treats my mom, she has panic disorder and she has a hernia apprently because of stress. Ugh im rambling again so sorry…
On topic about the wedding I know its in 2019 but i dont want to buy the dress, shoes, and whatever else and then realize I might not be better or still be uncomfortable and then back out closer to the wedding and causeing her more stress. I mean she does have 9 other bridesmaids. I have never been social at all.
She knows about my anxiety but she doesnt know how bad it has gotten. I was able to go out with her before and be a normal person, i would only really get panic attacks once in a while. She also knows im not very social to begin with and I dont know lot of her bridesmaids well so I also feel I will just be alone on the day off. All the other girls are really good friends with eachother as they all live in the same city.
I have not asked her that but its a good idea. Thank You.