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Feeling Better Freaks Me Out!


jimmyfay2
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So, here's something kinda interesting, to me at least... I've been having a bit of a relapse of Agoraphobia for the past year or so... mostly due to the birth of our newest ( and third ) baby. She's now 11 months old and life is settling back down a bit. The panic and anxiety ( and subsequent depression ) was almost paralyzing, but I was able to get through it using techniques I've picked up along the way, as well as going back to see a therapist for a while. Here's the odd bit... whenever I realize I am not feeling "bizarre" or panicky, I get freaked out! briefly... Almost like I have a mini "attack" when I notice how good I'm feeling! It's as if my body is saying "what the hell man? Why are you not freaking out?" And that thought makes me panic for a moment! I'm not really asking for advice, I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this as they come out of an extended period of extreme anxiety/depression.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest ASchwartz

Both of you are quite correct: feeling better can and does freak many people out. In my training we were constantly told (amost beaten into us:) ) that many people are scared of getting better because they are not use to it and do not know what to expect. It's kind of like, now that you are feeling better, you are waiting for the "other shoe to drop."

Of course, the idea is for everyone to understand that there are no cures because life goes on and throws us new challenges. When that happens the idea is to use what was learned in therapy and use it to cope. Of course, there is always returning to therapy.

Allan

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I am learning that there is no cure and that that is a good thing in many ways. I've been thinking alot lately about how so many of us try to create a perfect world for ourselves, and how boring a perfect world would be. I relate it to a novel. If there was no conflict, there would be no story, so to live a life without conflict, or perhaps challenge is a better word, would make for a dull read. I "mastered" my panic 15 years ago, joined the Navy, served on a Ballistic Missle Submarine, won many awards, got out, got married, had some kids and fell apart at the seams! This past year has been a MAJOR struggle for me, easily as bad as it was before I "Mastered" my agoraphobia. I am now coming back from the dark side, and am seeing the lessons I needed to learn, and am starting to get some perspective on why I have this in my life. There is SO much to learn from the challenge of anxiety/panic if you let yourself open up to the experience.

I am so glad that I found this site. I first came here during a major depressive period, looking for some help. But, I found myself wanting to reach out to those who were just learning about anxiety and how it affects them. By reaching out, I found that I felt useful and worthwhile. I wanted to take a moment and thank you guys for being here, for me, and for all who come here looking for help, or at least common ground.

Not sure what this has to do with my original post, but it's what came to mind at 5am!

Take care all, and I'll "talk" to you soon...

-jimmyfay2

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So, here's something kinda interesting, to me at least... I've been having a bit of a relapse of Agoraphobia for the past year or so... mostly due to the birth of our newest ( and third ) baby. She's now 11 months old and life is settling back down a bit. The panic and anxiety ( and subsequent depression ) was almost paralyzing, but I was able to get through it using techniques I've picked up along the way, as well as going back to see a therapist for a while. Here's the odd bit... whenever I realize I am not feeling "bizarre" or panicky, I get freaked out! briefly... Almost like I have a mini "attack" when I notice how good I'm feeling! It's as if my body is saying "what the hell man? Why are you not freaking out?" And that thought makes me panic for a moment! I'm not really asking for advice, I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else has experienced this as they come out of an extended period of extreme anxiety/depression.

I too have experienced what you're going through. It's almost as if you're waiting to have an attack, thinking this can't be that I'm not having one........

I've found that actually sets off an attack for me. Like right now, I'm not anxious to the point I normally am and I'm just sitting here waiting for it to hit me. Given my long history of anxiety and panic, I would think that I should be able to enjoy those moments, but it's not the case. I've tried many meds, none have worked to date. Have you tried any meds? Has your Doctor suggested anything? I believe you have the inner strength to get yourself through this, but, I also believe you should take advantage of the fact you can go to therapy. I had to quit due to lack of a job and it was a way to help talk it through. I'm sorry if I can't be much help, I'd just like you to know, YOU'RE NOT ALONE....I understand what you're going through.

You will get through.

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It made my morning to have you respond! I've been through this before, back when I was in my early 20's, so logically, I know I will get over this, it just really sucks to be back in the midst of the dark thoughts and such. I have a therapist whom I see off and on, and I've tried meds, but have found that meditation and exercise are my best options. I've spent the last 5 years drinking myself into oblivion ( not as a conscious means of escape, but due to the fact that I was in a band and was performing all the time... people tend to buy musicians alot of booze! ) and it wasn't until recently that I stopped all that non-sense. I still perfom, but I quit drinking like a fool, and that has helped dramatically!! I also am settling in to the new role of Dad to three kids. 1 step, two biological, the youngest of which is 1 year old. We just bought a new house, and finally closed on it last week, so I am starting to feel the very real stressors fade away, now it's just a matter of getting my mind and body relaxed to the point where I can flow with life, instead of fighting against it so hard!

Again, thanks for 'listening'... doctors are great, but sometimes you just need to hear from someone who's been there... it really helps.

-Jimmyfay2

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Allan,

Since you asked, I figured now would be a good time to ask myself how I'm doing. Over all, I am MUCH better than I was last year at this time, but compared to 2 years ago, I am still a wreck. 2 years ago, I was full of confidence, was performing quite a bit, was loving my job, was comfortable in my skin, wasn't afraid of life and so on... then, in the first week of October of last year ( 2007 ), I started coming apart for the first time in YEARS!!! I was driving home and stopped at a light, and had a major panic attack. I hadn't had one since 1993, so I was a bit freaked out. I went home, tried to do my breathing exercises, which I hadn't even thought about in forever, but from that moment on, I was on a downward spiral which lasted until about a month ago. I feel like I am coming back from the edge, so to speak. At my worst, I was spending 100% of my day on the verge of massive panic, and was experiencing extreme depersonalization. I felt like I was watching myself live my life, but was watching from a viewpoint filled with terror and dread. A doctor from a long time ago told me I had periodic psychotic depressive episodes, and apparently I have been having one this entire year. I am pretty sure it's all a response to my wife and me deciding to have another baby. She was born two months after that first massive panic attack in traffic. I had also been drinking heavily and working graveyard for 3 years. I pretty much have been overtaxing my body for the past 5 or six years, and am not doing that anymore. I am also seeing a therapist from time to time and have been using xanax when things get really nuts. Mostly though, I have been writing alot, exercising much much more, eating healthier, drinking healthier ( by that I mean once or twice a month, not a gallon of vodka every 5 days! ), talking to my wife and family about what's been stressing me out, taking time for myself to go hike or hit some golf balls... and meditation. Meditation and spirituality are key to me. It's a strange irony that God, church, philosophy and so on are all major triggers for my panic attacks and yet, spirituality or at least allowing for the possibility of something bigger than me, has been a major part of my 'recovery' from panic.

I guess to put a fine point on my current status, I am doing better, but I am definitely not 'there' yet. 'There' to me is that space where I am not focusing on anxiety, or the fear of panic, all day long. Where I can sit comfortably, at peace with the world around me. When I was in the Navy, all the other guys used to call me Guru because I was so calm about everything. I am trying to get back to that place. I know I will get there, because I've been there before... I just need to relax and let the healing happen at it's own pace.

I have a question for you... how much importance do you place on digging into the past to find sources of panic and anxiety? I've been thinking alot about my childhood and all the crap that was done to me and how that has affected my life. I now have children, and don't want them to have to suffer with anxiety and such. I am thinking I need to 'clear out' all the garbage that I have been carrying with me since I was 7 or so, but don't know how to do that. Any hints? Do you think there's a benefit to addressing childhood trauma, or is it best left in the past?

Any and all opinions are welcome!

-jimmyfay2

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Hi Jf2, me again. You wrote:

I have a question for you... how much importance do you place on digging into the past to find sources of panic and anxiety? I've been thinking alot about my childhood and all the crap that was done to me and how that has affected my life. I now have children, and don't want them to have to suffer with anxiety and such. I am thinking I need to 'clear out' all the garbage that I have been carrying with me since I was 7 or so, but don't know how to do that. Any hints? Do you think there's a benefit to addressing childhood trauma, or is it best left in the past?

Mark has been helping me with that in the thread "working with transference." I really benefited from his comment that it's not enough to see the repeating patterns in your relationships. You have to effect changes in those patterns as they are happening in your relationships now to start to feel better. That said, a person still has to have the initial "aha" of seeing the pattern in the first place.

I do feel it's valuable though difficult to do on your own. If you want to think out loud, we'll listen.

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Hi Jimmyfay2,

Can i first of all say that you are an inspiration and thank you. I have been reading your posts with my own course of confusion and you have bought me some clarity. I myself came here wondering if my anxiety was due to my father having skitzophrenia, and wanting to know for sure if thats what i have. Now i realise that from what i remember of seeing how my father acted could be causing what i am experiencing today. I mean i have always thought that what we grow up seeing is the way we can end up acting, though in the state i have been its kind of slipped my mind. When you said that you use to be so calm that also hit home because thats how i was, now its like i cant handle anything. I was always happy and bubbly and i could deal with things with ease. Now i struggle to find that real happy place and be the girl i once was and loved. Do you have any mental illness in the family? I also hope one day i can get to the point where i can explain what im feeling like you do.

Thank You

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