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New Here, Looking for Opinions and/or Support
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TOPIC: New Here, Looking for Opinions and/or Support

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#25521
tcrite (User)
Watching Survivor
Posts: 2
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New Here, Looking for Opinions and/or Support 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Hi Everyone,

Let me start by stating that I think I've had anxiety problems since high school, it just manifested itself in a more subtle way back then. About 2 years ago I started working at my current job, which is what I went to college for. I've always had a problem talking in front of people and this job requires me to do that on almost an everyday basis. So, when I initially started the job and had to talk in meetings, my palms would get really sweaty which would make its way to my face. To add the feeling of everyone in the rooms eyes on me, this made me even more uncomfortable and made me sweat profusely. However, this was tolerable and I didn't go see the doctor about it or even tell my wife about it. Probably my first mistake.

Fast forward to spring of 2014, my grandmother, whom I was extremely close to, was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in less than a month. This hit me really hard, and truthfully, I'm still trying to cope with it. So, one night I'm driving from Chicago to Springfield Illinois, which is about a 3 hour drive, and I start getting short of breath and my head starts spinning. My body started getting numb and I had to pull over. To make matters worse, my kids were in the car with me. This turned out to be a good thing because I could barely talk and my 13 year old daughter was able to talk to her mother and 911 on three way on my cell phone. When I was a child from the age of 5 to 11, I used to have seizures. When I was having this attack, it actually felt like I was about to have a seizure. In the ER they gave me Ativan, which made me feel even more numb throughout my entire body.

So, after this and a lot of testing (EEG, EKG, MRI, CT scans, etc...), my doctor diagnosed me with an anxiety disorder and prescribed .5mg of Alprazolam as needed. The Alprazolam initially really seemed to take my symptoms away. However, I thought that I was maybe taking them too much, because I was taking one almost everyday. My doctor felt this way also, so he put me on a daily 25mg dose of Sertraline. I just started this medication earlier this week and it does seem to lighten my attacks, even though I still get them.

Other than the incident in the car on the highway, one of the biggest reasons I decided to try and figure out what was going on with me, was because the attacks were becoming all to frequent. What used to only be triggered by me going to meetings was now happening while sitting alone in my office, to even on a weekend at home with my family. Also, the symptoms increased. I now get headaches, muscle spasms, chest tightness, jitters, blurred vision (in extreme cases), and generalized pain in different areas of my body.

So, my question to everyone is anyone else going through what I'm going through and having any of the same symptoms.

Sorry for the long winded intro and explanation.

Thanks for taking the time.
 
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#25522
tsuki (Admin)
Administrator
Posts: 927
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Re:New Here, Looking for Opinions and/or Support 2 Years, 2 Months ago  
Welcome tcrite, your post is far from long-winded. It's why we're here

Many of us here have experienced the same symptoms you've described at one time or another. I, personally, have experienced them all with the exception of seizures. My history of anxiety began as a child but my first conscious panic attack happened in adulthood on the freeway with symptoms exactly as yours.

Sometimes a change in medication can cause an increase in anxiety as you wean from one to another especially if there is a decrease in dosage. We may be in withdrawal from one while the new medication will, on average, take effect within 2 to 6 weeks or more.

Increase in stress can bring on frequent periods of high anxiety with symptoms that you are experiencing. Therapy and meds work hand in hand. If you're not already seeing a therapist, please ask your physician for a referral so you can find the root cause of your anxiety through therapy.

Grief counseling can help you cope with the loss of your grandmother, while joining a group such as your local chapter of Toastmasters International can help calm your anxiety over public speaking.

When you can, read other posts and you'll find members who relate the same experiences you've described. You can glean helpful information from them as well as from comments by others.

I know this response is a few days late but I hope you're feeling better and managing your symptoms well. Please continue your post(s). You'll find that it helps to share your experiences with others who understand what you are going through. You can also private message me if you'd like. Wishing you well . . . tsuki
 
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#25547
tcrite (User)
Watching Survivor
Posts: 2
graphgraph
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Re:New Here, Looking for Opinions and/or Support 2 Years, 1 Month ago  
Hi Tsuki. Thanks for the response and sorry for taking so long to reply back. I have to say though, just typing everything that's been going on with me was a bit of relief in itself. I'm currently waiting on my insurance to approve the therapist that my doctor referred me to and hopefully that helps even more.
 
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#25548
tsuki (Admin)
Administrator
Posts: 927
graphgraph
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Re:New Here, Looking for Opinions and/or Support 2 Years, 1 Month ago  
I'm happy for you. Looks like you've got things sorted and well planned out With these plans come hope and healing. Yes, it helps to express yourself and rid the anxiety when it has it's grip on you. Come back from time to time and let us know how you're doing. I'm glad you came back. You're not alone . . .
 
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