Post # 1
I have to go anonymous for this one you guys. Thanks for reading.
A few years ago I started seeing a counsellor/social worker. I wanted to stop worrying so much. I have a HUGE stress problem and have for a long time. And ever since my sister had cancer, I developed a major fear of illness/death. My counsellor determined that I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) with mild OCD… He wanted to put me on pills, and I wasn’t able to do it… I don’t see how taking pills is going to help me change my way of thinking… I have mixed feelings about it.
With a lot of effort and time, I feel like I am somewhat better. Definitely better at not worrying as much about dying… And better at dismissing my worries. But it’s still a big problem in my life.
I often feel like my heart is beating fast. I worry a lot… about a lot of different things… I always find something to fixate on.
Lately I feel like it’s been worse. I’ve been feeling very down on myself. I’ve gained 10 lbs and making horrible choices for my health. I pressure myself so much not to gain weight that I cave from the stress and overeat. I know it’s an excuse, but it’s the truth for me these past few months…
I have such a hard time expressing this to Fiance for some reason… I think I am afraid that he won’t fully understand how my anxiety is for me… Even though he suffers from it himself at times, mostly with big crowds and some social situations. I can’t even figure out whether my job is contributing to my anxiety… I truly like my job and I’ve never liked any job as much. I get to travel all across the country (sporadically). But the travelling does take a toll on me. It does contribute to some worrying…
What I am about to talk about is very controversial and I never hear anyone talking about it on the Bee… But I think it’s a factor in all of this. I am about to reveal myself… I smoke a lot, and I’m not talking about cigarettes. We do, a lot. I am stuck in this routine and I have no ambitions… I quit smoking cigarettes almost 4 years ago and I’ve never been able to stop smoking you know what… I can’t even say it! (Although I was very honest about it with my counsellor) Please don’t give me a speech about it, okay? I would appreciate some constructive advice though.
How can I talk to him about everything going on in my head? Why haven’t I, really? I can talk to him about anything else… And I have. How can I deal with this? Is there such a thing as a homeopathic counsellor?
Thanks again for reading, this was very hard to write out…
Post # 3
I also have anxiety issues and a mild form off bipolar disorder and my Fiance tries to understand but people who don’t experience this really can’t relate to it. It is hard sometimes when I’m having a really rough day, but I just keep trying to explain it to him hoping one day he will be 100% supportive. However I do take medication and believe me it does help!!!! I wouldn’t be so opposed to it, maybe you should give it a try.
Post # 4
Bump! I am interested in this
Post # 5
Have you tried writing a journal? It might help keep you focus and get your thoughts in order… Might helpt your stress levels? Maybe write him a letter..? Don’t be so hard on yourself, try to better one thing at a time, take things slow 😉
Post # 6
First of all — I am so glad that you’re seeing someone to work through all of this stuff! You should feel good about making good choices about your health.
I think I understand your mixed feelings about taking pills…there’s such a lot of stigma built up about mental health, and fear about the potential side effects, and what if they change your personality, and it can feel like being on pills means you’re REALLY crazy, etc, etc…
I would say, though, that your GAD means that you have more than just a problem with how you think. Because of the anxiety and OCD, your brain is just on constant overdrive producing all those anxiety chemicals — so there’s more of them than your body can handle, and your body may be less capable of handling them *anyway* because of your condition. If your pancreas wasn’t working right to help you process sugar, you’d take insulin so that you didn’t end up in a diabetic coma. There would be no other option. You should consider that, just like the synthetic insulin, your body and brain might work better with the pills to help regulate your condition. It might be worth a shot.
I’m not going to judge you for the pot (I’m assuming that it’s pot and not crack that you’re smoking!), but you should consider that there are a bunch of mental illnesses for which pot use is really counter-indicated. Some people also think that pot helps them manage their mental illness. In ANY case, I think you have to acknowledge that your pot use is likely a factor in your treatment of your mental illness — whether you’re self-medicating your anxiety, or whether it may be exacerbating your issues in one way or another. You seem to feel guilty about it — which, in combination with OCD and GAD suggests that there’s some emotion tied up there.
I’m not surprised to hear that you feel insecure about talking to your partner about your feelings of anxiety — shame is totally built into the OCD and anxiety cycle. All I can say is “radical acceptance” — acknowledge how you’re feeling, that’s OK/permissible to feel that way even though it doesn’t feel GOOD to feel that way, and that part of it being OK to feel that way is sharing it with your partner, who should be able to respond non-judgmentally.
Post # 7
My fiance has anxiety as well. I’ve known since we met & we’ve been together over 9 years so I’ve had some time to learn about some of his challenges. While I don’t really have any of the same issues he does, I have my own challenges & I can relate to him in other ways. When you love someone, it’s a little easier to be supportive, and open when they talk to you about it. I often have to drag it out of him, he doesn’t always just openly talk about things, but I know when he does talk about it, it’s a relief. And it’s honestly a relief for me too because I can understand why he acted a certain way & realize that it had nothing to do with me, but something he was going through.
My brother also has pretty severe anxiety. Both of them have explained that not wanting to take pills is a part of the disorder. My brother said he lived with so much stress from it for years, and when he finally decided to try medication, he was so angry that he hadn’t done it sooner. He was able to live his life without fear for so long that he no longer needs to take the medication.
My fiance just takes xanax when he travels, but he’s still not too excited about taking medication regularly. For a long time, he wouldn’t even take the xanax, but now he has no problem taking it to travel & it makes a huge difference for him. One thing he will do if he hasn’t taken it in a while is try it once in a non-stressful situation, like an evening at home when I’m with him. Maybe those are some ideas you can try.
I also know that he believes the anxiety may have been started from other substances in the first place. I’m just putting that out there incase that has any effect on you.
But the main point I’m trying to get at, is that talking to your partner about it can be a huge help for both of you. Good luck, I hope you can get to a place where you feel better!
Post # 8
Hi, I have suffered from GAD and while I am much better I have my moments. It’s definitely something you have to manage. I complexly understand the smoking. When I was feeling verystressed, I used to have wine every evening because it was the only thing that would make me feelas llittle better. I was advised to stop using this as a way to relax and over time reduced and stoppingdoing this.
What I did to improve stress levels:
-mediatation: this is not for everyone and I was one of those people who found it quite difficult! It did work though because I perserved. I found a very good cd on Mindfullness. I can find out the name if you’re interested. Can’t remember off hand. I’ve also used relaxation CDs to help me to sleep. V good.
-Exercise- this is one I try to keep up all the time. This is really important for people who suffer stress. I remember I was with my counsellor telling her about an extremely stressful situation I needed to prepare for in work. She told me to leave her office and go straight the gym! I did that and I was so much more prepared the nxt day than I would have been! I exercise about 4-5 times a week but if you do it 3 times that is loads.
Healthy diet- again makes you feel somuch better about youself.
Xanax the very odd time to deal with very stressful situations. I probably used it once or twice a year.
I hope this helps a little. I have been there and know what it is like. Btw, it is very hard for others to know what it is like. I remember I told two friends about how I had been feeling. One of them said (seriously!) ‘so you won’t be getting engaged before me’ and the other one never referred to it again or asked how I was! With my SO I try to explain how feeling long so he is aware of it and can help in any way he can. Last week I had a very stressful situation that was dealt with and sorted but I couldn’t relax after it. I was a ball of nerves for about a week after it. I explained this to him so that he understands the difficulties I have in stressful situations! Wow, this this is my longest post. Hope I haven’t bored you!