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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:44 pm 
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so the followup, a few hours later-- i went out and walked for two hours, tried to keep my back straight and smile at people, came back and showered and am ready for my client but i am still a bit shaky. I hate this shiitake. luckily i have two dogs, a bird, a loving child and a loving partner who all want lots of hugs and don't complain when i'm like this.

on the kid's advice, we are starting a list of things we'll be happy to leave behind about this house so it's not all doom and gloom about moving (and abandoning my garden, my raspberries, etc). i swear, i wish i were half as smart as my kid.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:51 pm 
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stephanie wrote:
I am trying to be brave enough to write in this thread again!

Thanks for all of the kind words and sentiments, everyone. I can't claim financial hardship because they only use pre-tax income (not counting payments for mortgage, car, gas/electric, etc.) when they decide how much you can afford -- they initially decided that I had the ability to pay in $1,000 installments, which sounds insane, but they were not forking around. In fact, since my ability to pay was repeatedly brought up during my stay, it really seemed like the reason I was staying was because they knew I would pay for it. The total bill was almost $30,000. I'm just making $25/month payments to everyone (all 8 providers -- ???) because that's the minimum that is allowed, and I just trash all the "we need more money from you!!!!!!" letters and voicemails as they come. The best part was that I was still getting new bills over 6 months after I got out of the hospital, and I had no idea what they were for. None of the billing departments would give me itemized bills, it would just be something like "$865 due for: SERVICES PROVIDED."
I know it isn't true, but I felt like the hospital staff knew I didn't have the energy to fight fight fight fight fight like I needed to, and that I don't have a monetary or social support system in place to help do that fighting for/with me, so I was just going to pay because I have a deep-seated compunction that demands I pay bills that people tell me to pay. Every check I write is a reminder, every check brings back the terror of involuntary confinement and forced medication, but this is just the way it is now. On the off-chance I ever manage to pull myself out of this mess, I'll be glad. And tired. Very, very tired.

PP, many hugs to you. I know exactly how that bizarre sense of depersonalization feels, and it's seriously terrifying. After I got out of the hospital the last time, I woke up on my first morning home completely convinced that I was literally dead -- I checked my pulse obsessively, half-expecting my heart to have stopped beating every time. My brain just couldn't deal with what had just occurred, so it took me to a place where I didn't believe that anything was real, so I could feel like a passive observer for a while and try to get my shiitake together. It stayed that way for about 6 weeks. I still check my pulse sometimes.
I'm a longtime atheist, but the sentiment of "let go and let god" helps me through times like this: there are circumstances that I cannot control, that I will never be able to control, and that is okay. It is going to be okay because it has to be okay; if it isn't, then I just have to accept everything as it is because there is no other option.
I hope you feel better soon.

I really wish I could see a GP and get a scrip for some anti-anxiety medication, because I clearly need it, but now that I know that anyone can involuntarily hospitalize you based on their word and their word alone, I'll never speak to a doctor about what's going on in my brain ever again. Which means that when the panic hits, it's just me and valerian tea. It's just not a fun way to live.


Stephanie, that sounds awful. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

I wonder if you've thought about consulting a lawyer or some kind of mental health advocate about resolving your still ongoing issues with the hospital? I know that when you're dealing with anxiety, that can seem really daunting, but in the long run, if you were able to do it, I doubt you'd regret it. A quick google search produced this website, which might be a good place to start: http://www.vital-voices.org/about/

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:05 am 
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Oh, hello anxiety.
What some people may find to be a manageable level of everyday stress tends to overwhelm me. The holidays is a good example of that. So here I was last night, feeling anxious, when all of a sudden a BURST of adrenaline starts pumping through my system. Oh, joy. So I had a panic attack and now I feel really anxious (anxious about anxiety, that old thing). I had a terrible, crappy sleep. fork, brain - you really suck sometimes.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:00 pm 
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Hugs to everyone in this thread.

My new weird thing now is that I start to get a panic attack whenever I'm in a theater (both movies and plays). I can't pinpoint why. I usually get my shiitake together before the situation becomes full-blown, but there have been times lately where I've just had to up and leave. It's fiercely annoying, especially since I don't know what I'm afraid of/anxious about.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:06 pm 
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waxwolf wrote:
Hugs to everyone in this thread.

My new weird thing now is that I start to get a panic attack whenever I'm in a theater (both movies and plays). I can't pinpoint why. I usually get my shiitake together before the situation becomes full-blown, but there have been times lately where I've just had to up and leave. It's fiercely annoying, especially since I don't know what I'm afraid of/anxious about.


Is it right away, or after a while? I don't have a full blown panic attack but I start getting anxious when I'm in the movies, the movie has to be very enthralling for me not to be affected. I think its because I start having the irrational fear that the movie is dragging out and it might not ever end. Which is ridiculous, and there's no where I really need to be afterwards, but I still feel that way.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:26 pm 
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For me, it was always checking and rechecking possible exits, counting how many people were sitting in my row between me and the end. If I had to get up now, could I do it without drawing attention to myself? Would I have to ask anyone to move their legs out of the way? Would they let me leave?

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:37 pm 
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I don't go to movies anymore. I also don't watch movies at home because it's trickled down to me being afraid to watch them there too.

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Did you notice the slight feeling of panic at the words "Chicken Basin Street"? Like someone was walking over your grave? Try not to remember. We must never remember. - mumbles
Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:41 pm 
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But I should note that it's only movies, not plays or any other type of event in a theatre. Just movies. I think it's something about getting really sucked into another "world" (the one in the movie) makes me feel really uncomfortable and out of touch with my own - I get bad derealization sometimes and it feels too close for comfort to step outside my own reality for a while.

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Did you notice the slight feeling of panic at the words "Chicken Basin Street"? Like someone was walking over your grave? Try not to remember. We must never remember. - mumbles
Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:18 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
For me, it was always checking and rechecking possible exits, counting how many people were sitting in my row between me and the end. If I had to get up now, could I do it without drawing attention to myself? Would I have to ask anyone to move their legs out of the way? Would they let me leave?

This is exactly what I thought when I went to the symphony last month. meh. Sometimes I wonder what the world would look like if it was designed for people with anxiety. Lots of exits and bathrooms and personal space I think.


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:30 pm 
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I'm having one right now, triggered by work stuff. It's not cool.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:43 pm 
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I rarely go to movies because of my attention span but when I'm in certain kinds of audience settings, I feel very anxious and worried that I will lose control of myself and my mind and act out in some bizarre way. It's never happened, but the fear of it can be intense. It only happens when the audience is seated or is really expected to pay attention. It never happens at the kinds of concerts I go to because people are milling about and sometimes barely paying attention.


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Wow, apparently I'm not alone with my weird theater issues.

Yes, I have the vague, inexplicable fear that the movie will never end and I'll never get out, which is indeed ridiculous.

FootFace wrote:
For me, it was always checking and rechecking possible exits, counting how many people were sitting in my row between me and the end. If I had to get up now, could I do it without drawing attention to myself? Would I have to ask anyone to move their legs out of the way? Would they let me leave?


I feel like this, too. If I feel like I can't get out, especially if I'm going to bother other people and draw attention to myself if I try to get out, I start to lose it. I can usually bring myself back to reality, though. I'm more vulnerable to this kind of stuff and less likely to get it together right before I get my period, for some reason.

I talked to my dad about this recently and he told me how he sometimes gets panic attacks in supermarkets and tunnels. He had never shared this with me before. I was like, "Oh! So I get this from you! Awesome!"

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:24 am 
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I just made my first ever psychiatrist appt. pretty excited about it! I'll let you know what happens at the end of the month. Anxiety is "new" for me, used to be depression.


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:27 pm 
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rocklobster wrote:
I just made my first ever psychiatrist appt. pretty excited about it! I'll let you know what happens at the end of the month. Anxiety is "new" for me, used to be depression.



Yay! Definitely keep us posted!

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:30 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
Stephanie, that sounds awful. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

I wonder if you've thought about consulting a lawyer or some kind of mental health advocate about resolving your still ongoing issues with the hospital? I know that when you're dealing with anxiety, that can seem really daunting, but in the long run, if you were able to do it, I doubt you'd regret it. A quick google search produced this website, which might be a good place to start: http://www.vital-voices.org/about/

Just saw this... I tend to avoid this thread because I feel so anxious all the time already that it only exacerbates things. Anyway, thank you so much. I can't seem to find a way to take advantage of the resources through Vital Voices offers (do you just call the number listed on the main page?), but they sound amazing, and I had no idea they existed! Maybe eventually I'll be able to hack it. I know that grievances against mental health personnel here have to be filed within 45 days, and it's been over a year now -- they took the grievance I filed in the hospital and threw it away in front of me, so I don't know how I feel about the whole procedure. It just kills me to think that she might decide to randomly hospitalize someone else with an unfortunate history who's just on their way to work.. that's just usually too heavy/dark of a concept for me to handle thinking about for more than a few minutes at a time.

A couple of links for my fellow PTSD sufferers:
* Panic Attack and PTSD: An Abuse Survivor’s Journey (minus all the therapy talk, this is probably the only thing I've ever read that made me really believe that I might have a chance at feeling better, someday, maybe)
* PTSD and a Sense of a Foreshortened Future (SO amazing; I had absolutely no idea that this was a known phenomenon/that it wasn't just a random personality quirk I'd somehow managed to base my life around for nearly 30 years)

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:41 pm 
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Stephanie - I don't know about where you are, but I was involuntarily hospitalized for three days in Maine when I went to see my then boyfriend. That episode was the final nail in the coffin for my principal and I lost my teaching job. I was able to file a grievance about the bill a year and a half after the incident and I didn't end up paying it. Your situation sounds even more exceptional so I'm sure there are ways an advocate could help you. Vital Voices looks like the right kind of organization. Very similar to what I went through in Texas, and eventually in Maine.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:03 pm 
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stephanie, i'm really sorry about your whole situation. i can't even believe it..
my dad is currently trying to sue a mental hospital his wife was in in early 2010 and there are some serious hurdles to jump... but it's worth it for him to try to get out of some of the $10,000 debt he's in because of a place that did nothing but exacerbate things.

i also REALLY don't have any money, otherwise i think my new year's resolution would be to see a therapist...

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 7:06 pm 
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For peeps who are in therapy, what is a typical session like? I feel I ought to go soon, my anxiety has been okayish but I feel its getting in the way of doing my best in school, and we have a counselling center at my university thats free to use for students. My worry is though that I won't be able to talk much. I hate talking about myself, and I really super hate digging up things that bother me. My issues used to be pretty bad and its something I don't want to look at.

So, if you're not talkative, do they know what to ask and how to get you talking? Can you say "I can't talk about that yet" if you want to?

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:20 pm 
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Shy Mox, the counsellors at your school should be ok with sitting with you in silence if that's what's best for you. you're very much allowed to tell them you can't talk about something at that time. My counsellors have always let me turn to a different topic.

My life is starting to be ruled by my anxiety. There are two people I'm comfortable around, my best friend and my partner. Everyone else I interact with has me having mini panic attacks a couple times an interaction. I say something that I realise I should have worded better, I pay too much attention to their kids, I say a better goodbye to one person and not another. I have these little moments of a storm of 'why can't you be better?'. If I'm alone I end up reaming myself out, If I'm still with them, it passes fairly quickly, but my heart stops and I pause thinking of what a fool I am.

It happens after posting on forums, facebook, in conversations. Interactions with everyone... I don't know why its happening now.

In fact, edit: I just had one now about calling them mini 'panic attacks' because I know they're not panic attacks and I don't want to upset anyone who actually has panic attacks.

I'm so frightened of upsetting/offending people and I can't seem to control the things I say to stop from doing it.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:40 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
For peeps who are in therapy, what is a typical session like? I feel I ought to go soon, my anxiety has been okayish but I feel its getting in the way of doing my best in school, and we have a counselling center at my university thats free to use for students. My worry is though that I won't be able to talk much. I hate talking about myself, and I really super hate digging up things that bother me. My issues used to be pretty bad and its something I don't want to look at.

So, if you're not talkative, do they know what to ask and how to get you talking? Can you say "I can't talk about that yet" if you want to?

dood. i dont know! im givin therapy a shot, but man is it awkward. and im really not an awkward person. so then i just start saying things that i dont even think, but i dont know what to say...i think i might quit. im only 2 sessions in so ill give it a few more tries. but good Lard, last session i bashed academia for a good 15 minutes (and shes a phd!). there are definitely things that i havent wanted to talk about so i just dont say them--its not like they know your secrets and know youre holding back. she sort of leads me, and i may just need to find a therapist more willing to lead. id imagine everyones style is different. give it a whirl!


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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:56 pm 
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Nickalya wrote:
Shy Mox, the counsellors at your school should be ok with sitting with you in silence if that's what's best for you. you're very much allowed to tell them you can't talk about something at that time. My counsellors have always let me turn to a different topic.

My life is starting to be ruled by my anxiety. There are two people I'm comfortable around, my best friend and my partner. Everyone else I interact with has me having mini panic attacks a couple times an interaction. I say something that I realise I should have worded better, I pay too much attention to their kids, I say a better goodbye to one person and not another. I have these little moments of a storm of 'why can't you be better?'. If I'm alone I end up reaming myself out, If I'm still with them, it passes fairly quickly, but my heart stops and I pause thinking of what a fool I am.

It happens after posting on forums, facebook, in conversations. Interactions with everyone... I don't know why its happening now.

In fact, edit: I just had one now about calling them mini 'panic attacks' because I know they're not panic attacks and I don't want to upset anyone who actually has panic attacks.

I'm so frightened of upsetting/offending people and I can't seem to control the things I say to stop from doing it.


I really super suck at articulating sometimes, but I want to give you virtual hugs and let you know I know exactly how you feel. This is pretty much what I don't want to go back to thinking about, when I was like that. Its pure misery and I had to learn to have a lot of willpower not to ream myself over every little thing. It was the hard way to do it though, and it took a long time, do you still go to counselling? I know I'm not one to talk, but I hope you can get whatever help you can.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:58 pm 
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Because my school is on strike, I don't have access to my counsellors and haven't for almost a month. Extra poopy thing, Everything was at least moderately stable/looking up before the strike. And so I haven't been for months and might not be for ages more.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:04 pm 
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Nickalya wrote:
Because my school is on strike, I don't have access to my counsellors and haven't for almost a month. Extra poopy thing, Everything was at least moderately stable/looking up before the strike. And so I haven't been for months and might not be for ages more.


:( thats so shitty. Do you work? Some employers pay to have a helpline you can call. There's also the mental health crisis line.

OR you can also get a referral to a psych from a doctor, I think a nurse needs to interview you first to assess the situation but its possible. A friend of mine was in a really shitty state and he got psych visits covered as a result.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:34 am 
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Shy Mox and Rocklobster:
It's totally ok not to know what to say to your counsellor, or to feel awkward and weird and not want to talk about certain things just yet. You are allowed to set whatever boundaries you need to - and you are allowed to constantly revise those boundaries, too. A good counsellor will know that it will take time for you to open up and trust them, and may remind you of that. I'm seeing an awesome counsellor at the moment who reminds me of that all the time (I find talking about emotions and/or stuff I haven't pre-planned to say really difficult - what if I say the "wrong" thing?! I get quite anxious and perfectionistic, and it makes me freeze up fairly often). I also told him in our session today that I felt really challenged in our sessions (we've only had three), and often didn't know how to answer his questions, but that to me, that challenge felt fruitful. It was really difficult to even tell him that, we had some silence and he had to ask me what was going on for me before I felt like I could speak. When I told him, he was really cool about that, reassured me that it was ok, and that it was good that I could share that with him. After letting him know, I felt heaps better and was actually able to be a little more open.

So, if you feel safe challenging yourself in that way, try to! It's really worth it, with a good counsellor. That said, sometimes it takes a few goes to find one you are comfortable with. I hope hearing some of my experiences can help even a little, and good luck with counselling.

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 Post subject: Re: the ANXIETY thread
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:25 am 
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Shy Mox, it's totally okay to go at the pace you are comfortable with. Counsellors aren't there to hurt you, but help you move through things and offer a different perspective. Now, that being said, they might want you to atleast try to work on speaking about things that are causing you hurt, because in getting it out there in the open, healing can start to happen.

I have been going regularly to a psychologist for anxiety and panic for 2 years and I honestly don't know where I'd be without therapy. It's a lifesaver.

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Did you notice the slight feeling of panic at the words "Chicken Basin Street"? Like someone was walking over your grave? Try not to remember. We must never remember. - mumbles
Is this about devilberries and nazifruit again? - footface


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