I didn’t know if I wanted to write about this subject or not.
It’s a dark one.
One a lot of people don’t want to talk about. But I have been suffering with this for several months now and I need to talk. I need to get it all out.
You see, I am what they call “crazy.” I suffer from a wide range of issues. Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety, Severe Depression, Panic Disorder, PTSD, Agoraphobia, OCD. The list seems endless which makes me feel extra crazy. I also suffer from extreme pain in my feet, hands, knees and ankles. They doctors have no answers for that yet. I don’t know that they ever will. If blood tests can’t show it, I may never have answers. And my last issue is my stomach, I have awful pains in my stomach. My upper GI tract is where the pain is and the only answer they have is GERD but the medicines thus far aren’t helping. I always feel like I am about to throw up, I live in the bathroom and a lot of times I spend days and nights vomiting. It’s no fun. And now I have been afflicted with migraines and insomnia. I am sure the two walk hand-in-hand. I am not sure how much I can truly take. I want it all to end but I don’t know how. I have so much wrong with me. And so much people really don’t know, because I am afraid to talk about it or it’s to painful to talk about.
But my biggest problem is the medicines I’m taking. None of them seem to help. They only seem to make everything worse. And I just don’t know what to do. I know I need medicines. But what do you do when the medicine cause more problems than it solves?
I am afraid of being crazy forever. I am afraid I will end up in the loony bin. I am afraid I will snap and there will be no coming back. I am just afraid. The panic is the worst. I think the depression stems from the panic. And the pain and stomach issues cause more panic. So it’s a never-ending cycle.
But I have been doing some Google research and it seems Cymbalta, which I am on, can cause more harm than good in some people. And I started taking it because it had the least stomach side effects as well as sexual side effects. Well the sex thing is non-existent and is ruining my marriage. And my stomach obviously isn’t getting any better. So I just don’t know what to do. Do I stop the SNRI? Because all the others’ side effects are way worse.
Do I just focus on the Panic? What do I do? And for sleep what do I do? I haven’t slept in months it seems like. And I am losing my mind. I thought it was the anti-anxiety pills I was on, but I am now beginning to think that it’s the Cymbalta and it does not play well with others. I am at the end of my rope. I just don’t know what to do anymore.
I just want to feel normal again, and I am not even sure what normal is anymore.
Kristin, Thank you for sharing and please keep doing it. I often think the Internet is the best place for someone to go and write as therapy. It is a crap shoot really, chances are very slim that what you write will get read. Well I guess you beat the odds Hun, because I read your post and would like to thank you for being brave enough to write it. Keep writing Kristin, your experiences might reach someone that needs to hear they are not alone.
You’re in a safe place here.
First, I’d like to convey to you that nothing is impossible.
Sometimes it may not seem like it, but there is help…there is hope. Through my own research, I’ve come to find out that a severly depressed person will have all sorts of aches and pains (And you’re not just imagining things when they can’t find a root cause). If you and your doctor can work on your meds and come up with the right “cocktail” of meds, you CAN reach a good balance. >Greatly reducing your depression can very well help in the unexplained aches and pains.
Have you talked with your doctor about adding Abilify to your current (or perhaps new) antidepressant? Abilify can be a good companion drug and it can also work for some OCD problems.
Also, when switching meds, any good doctor will do this: Only change one drug at a time to see which one is the one that doesn’t fit.
If you change to Wellbutrin (less side affects and a good mood “spike”. ) Then maybe adding Abilify will help with the other problems you may have. Zoloft is good also.
These are just some of the tips I’ve learned over the years. I’m not a doctor of course but I just want to tell you these things because with the help of my Dr. I’ve made it “back”. And YOU CAN too!
If your current Dr. is not helping you like he/she should, get another one til someone does help.
And remember what my Dr. said “there’s no such thing as normal”. Alll the best to you, Love, Mimzy
Firstly Love, good start by writing about it. Next thing try not to focus on feeling “normal” try focusing on feeling better. Who is to say what is normal anyway? If your doctor isn’t giving you the relief or support you need. Find one that will. You may want to find a doctor that specializes in Fibromyalgia. The pain in your extremities AND your stomach maybe caused by that. Generally speaking, the anxiety can cause stomach issues. Seems like the more severe the pain is the more your stomach is affected and that on top of not knowing what causes it, makes for stress and a lot of it. Cymbalta works well but does have interaction issues. If you haven’t tried it, ask about Lexapro. Friends of mine with a combination of anxiety and depression have fared well on it. For sleep, ask your doctor if you could try melatonin. It is what your body naturally produces to sleep.
Use therapy whatever kind works for you talk therapy, write it ALL out or do both. Don’t worry about the words don’t be afraid what people are going to say. Write it on the net make a personal journal or BOTH. Relieve some of the tension and anxiety. The fact that you fear “crazy” means that you are far better off than those that are crazy and don’t do anything about it.
Pharmacueticals are beneficial but there are other things that you can do too. Aroma therapy, breathing techniques, even yoga. You’d be surprised how much better you will feel doing yoga. When you have a good day, make a stride, or feel a little better acknowledge it and celebrate it and retrace your day to find what may have worked and try it again the next day.
I grew up with a mother that was and still is mentally ill. She never wanted to do the work to get better. Still doesn’t. Though, she will tell you she is cured, but she just gave up and spends less time with us kids.
Don’t give up or give in. Wanting to get better is something that you need to adhere to every day. It is obvious to me that you want to feel better and that is the best and first step. It CAN be done and YOU CAN do it. Baby steps and don’t be so hard yourself.
As someone else who has suffered on and off with anxiety I feel compelled to write, go to your doc and ask for a different drug. So many physical ailments stem from anxiety (but don’t google them, I am convinced that just by reading the long list I have self- inflicted myself with more symptoms than I normally would have had)… the good news they tell me is that with age, anxiety issues usually start to get better (I sure hope mine do) and I will also say that birth control pills did not play nice with my anxiety…. going off the pills and saying NO to any kind of hormones helped me. I also found relief from taking anti-depressants, but they all do not work the same on everyone! Keep trying them until you find something that works for you. I also find that for me, sometimes just speaking things out loud over and over helps me “I will not let fear dictate my life” “I am strong” “I am good” “I am SANE” ….. and truly trying to believe it…. a little bit of mind over matter if you will. *hugs* you are not alone
I wish with all my heart I had some wonderful solution or answer for you. I wish I could give you a hug, at least. I am not a fan of Cymbalta – it made my husband feel worse. A lot worse. He didn’t react well to any meds they put him on for his depression, but he’s gotten a lot less depressed since he’s gotten treated for his various physical ailments. Would it be possible for you to wean off the meds and discover what is really ailing your body? And then fix that and then go on to meds for your anxiety and depression? I don’t know.
Your list sounds so familiar. The stomach thing for me was so much damage had been done to my stomach that I had to work with a specialist and stop eating things that I was actually allergic to, cinnamon, peppermint, bell peppers, then it still took over a year to heal my stomach. (The acid in your stomach keeps doing more damage.) I did a lot of research myself and discovered a lot of things I don’t have. Sleep deprivation alone is really tough. Counseling has gone a long ways to helping with many of the symptoms but the bottom line is I had medical problems and emotional problems. I started separating out the symptoms and with the help of 5 doctors and 1 counselor I reduced the pain, improved my quality of life and feel less crazy. I like the one I heard, “Normal is a setting on the drier.” Progress may be slow but worth it.
I also suffered with some of the same things that you are going through last year. I felt like I was at the end of my rope and contemplated suicide(hard to write) I started seeing a physiatrist and a therapist but did have to be admitted to a Pshy ward for a week because they could not get my medicine right and I needed to be monitored. That made all of the difference a year latter and I am a new person. Hang in there find a good psychiatrist don’t get drugs from your family practice or OBGYN they don’t know all the medicines out there for mental illness. Just hang in there and get the help you need. I what my doctor told me is to find a new “normal” and I did.
I too am “crazy”. And I know from experience that if your meds are doing you more harm than good, that you need to get yourself back to the doctor asap. Don’t stop taking any of your meds (especially Cymbalta) without medical supervision. When I skipped a day of Cymbalta once I ended up on my hands and knees nauseaus and dizzy. But go back to the doctor and explain your average day. Go through the list of medications you take and evaluate what each is supposed to do for you and what it’s actually doing to you. It’s a long, frustrating process to find the right combination of meds. And don’t be afraid of trying new meds. Your experience WILL be different than everyone else’s. I guarantee it. In fact, I wouldn’t research your meds at all until after you’ve started taking it.
Anyway, you deserve to feel better. And it’s a process to get there. Be gentle with yourself and go as slow as you need to. Celebrate each step you take. And the effort will help you feel better too because you’re doing something to get better.
hank you ALL for your thought and love. It really means a lot to me. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond. I got an appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday. And I didn’t want to say anything till I knew more. That and I have been doing my lazy depressed hiding again. Sorry I’m trying.
I do have an amazing Psychiatrist though. He always listens to everything I say and is willing to help however possible. We decided to stop the Cymbalta and not to replace it with another Antidepressant as he thinks we’re not going to have much better luck, and a lot of them cause to much weight gain which he didn’t want to add to my stress. So he decided to start me on 50MG of Topamax for a Mood Stabilizer. I take it at bedtime maybe it’ll help me sleep. It didn’t last night. And my hands have a tingling about them now and I have this wonderful taste in my mouth ahh side effects. And he also started me back on Klonopin 1MG 2 times a day. So hopefully that will help the anxiety.
Heck this has turned into a whole post by itself. But THANK YOU again everyone. It means so much.It made me feel good seeing everyone’s kind words. I will write more. I still have so much to say. And thank you all for listening.
I am so glad to hear from you and how you’re doing!
Sounds like you’re on the right road and that makes me so happy for you. I promise with my heart that there are many many happy times ahead.
Let me know how you’re doing or just want to chat.