I was accepted and admitted into a treatment center called Homewood just over a week ago for treatment for my depression. The first three or four days were quite a challenge being away from my safety zone and in an unfamiliar place. My anxiety was pretty high during those days and i isolated myself for the most part. However, now that i have been there for a little while i am not so anxious about being there, i still have issues with my anxiety but i feel only the physical symptoms of the anxiety not the mental symptoms, which is a mystery to them. The psychiatrist that i have been assigned to seems to be a pretty good Dr. and i am pleased with the two meetings that i have had with him, he seems to know what he is doing.
The first meeting i had with him was on the day i was admitted and he was just getting some background information about my life and my depression. The second meeting was still gathering some information but trying to dig deeper about where my depression was coming from. He said that the situation was a bit unique and that he hadn’t really come across my situation before as most people that are admitted are having ups and downs and emotions are up and down as well. For me i am just numb and flat, I’ve shutdown and he believes that i have created a strong barrier between myself and my emotions that i subconsciously go numb or shutdown automatically and that i use up my energy keeping that barrier alive. I am on a lot of anti-anxiety medications so he wants to reduce the anti-anxiety meds to try and crack the barriers that i have put up, he is hoping that because i don’t have the anti-anxiety medications to calm me down that my emotions will start to come out and i will be forced to deal with them in a safe environment.
I get to go home on the weekends which is nice, i had to stay there for the first weekend, last weekend, and it was terrible. There wasn’t much to do but watch tv, read, and lay in bed. I couldn’t concentrate on the reading for much more than fifteen or twenty minutes, and got bored with watching tv, there wasn’t much on, so i found myself laying in bed for most of the weekend. I’m a smoker and didn’t have permissions to go outside the building but luckily my primary nurse said she didn’t have a problem with me going out for a smoke, thank god.
I am also hoping to do a medication change. One of the medications i am on is Wellbutrin and the side effects i have on it is small seizures, which are now not an issue as they put me on Epival, and sweating profusely, the sweating is really bad and it makes me very self-conscious and makes me not want to go outside for walks in this warm weather as i start to sweat so much. Between the Dr. and the group classes that i attend hopefully something will work and i will leave there after two months a little bit better and with any luck be able to gain back some semblance of a normal life. Time will tell.
One of the most frustrating positions I find myself in right now is low mood but some energy however, no interest in anything. I have to force myself to do things that would normally interest but I can’t do it for more than ten to fifteen minutes. It’s very aggravating, and it’s like this day in and day out. I do try to get out and go for walks to try and get rid of some of that energy but those are few and far between as I just can’t force myself to do it.
I think I have become too isolated and therefore too comfortable in my own home. It is my safety zone and I don’t feel comfortable when i leave it. Every weekend I go to my dad and step-moms house to spend time with my dad helping him with different projects around the house. Although I enjoy spending time with my dad I find I can’t stay more than three or four hours. The anxiety builds and the desire to go home is overwhelming.
Having a social life is also important and I do have a small social life. Outside of my parents I had one friend i would hang out with almost every day for an hour or two, but he has moved away about a two hour drive. I have another set of friends, husband and wife, that I try to hang out with at least once a week for a couple of hours. Lastly there is a place called “The Meeting Place” where people in similar situations can go to meet up and talk, a place to go and hang out. I try to go there everyday for at least an hour. At one point I had stopped going and noticed that my mood started to decrease so I started going again with the hopes that mood would increase again.
All in all it would seem like I have the socialization part down but I don’t really socialize much. I don’t really talk much I usually just listen and give short answers. Another aspect that I find frustrating. When I am around people my mind just goes blank and I can’t think of anything to talk about no matter how hard I try. I don’t know if it is just social anxiety or maybe that is just the way I am but I am coming to terms with it and accepting that that is just the way I am.
I put in an application for a treatment center that offers a treatment course on depression among other mental illnesses. It is suppose to be at the top of the list for treatment centers, people come from far distances to be in the treatment center. I was accepted and am now just waiting to hear back on an admittance date. I have been told it can take anywhere from one to three months. Hopefully not three months, i would like to go while it is still warmer weather.
So today i went in to have a meeting with my disability case worker about using their employment services program in order to help me find a job. I am hoping that i can handle working, but i won’t know until i try and hopefully the depression doesn’t come back. I think it will be a little rocky for the first little while but if i stick with it then things will get easier. I am not too sure what to expect from the employment services program but i will soon find out and i kind of look forward to it. I am tired of doing nothing day in and day out.
The work that i will be looking for is an office job, and one that i don’t have much interaction with the general population. I think that would be best suited in keeping the anxiety and depression down. I think the hardest part will be the interviews and dealing with the anxiety that comes with being interviewed. Luckily my dad works in human resources and has to review resumes and does interviews so i can do a lot of mock interviews with him to get comfortable and get an understanding of some of the types of questions that i might be asked.
It will be difficult to re-integrate myself back into the workforce but i think and hope that i will be able to do this without the depression and anxiety causing too much trouble. It’s what i want to be doing, haiving that extra income will make a big difference.
I saw my psychiatrist and we have decided to make a change in the medications, but only an increase in the amount of the same meds i am on. Currently, for my anxiety and depression, during the day i take 75mg Seroquel 3 xs a day 25mg at bedtime, 1mg Clonazepam 3x’s a day 1mg at bedtime, and Zyprexa 10mg 3x’s a day. Previously i was taking 25mg Seroquel 2 x’s a day 25mg at bedtime, 1mg Clonazepam 2 2’s daily 1mg at bedtime and Zyprexa 10mg 2x’s daily.
This has had some positive and negative effects on me. The positive side is that I am more sedated so I am not feeling the emotional pain side of the depression and the anxiety is almost completely gone all day. The negative side is that I makes me groggy and so I end up taking naps throughout the day, however, they are only short naps. It is helping with my depression however it is just a way of masking it and not really dealing with it, but I have yet to find a way to deal with it without medication. It is definitely nice to be almost completely free of the anxiety as well.
My family doctor and psychiatrist are both waiting for me to be eligible for Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) for my depression when I turn 30. Deep brain stimulation is where they hook up a couple neurotransmitters to your brain and a wire that runs down to a pacemaker like device in your chest and it sends small electrical shocks to the brain throughout the day. At first I was completely against it, I wouldn’t even give a maybe it was a definite no. I slowly came around and now am waiting with the doctors to turn 30 and I hope that the testing is still being done when I turn 30.
Anxiety is a state of mind wherein a person experiences a number of emotions at the same time such as nervousness, fear, uneasiness, worry to name a few. This is accompanied by physical symptoms such as palpitation , headache, unsettled stomach, chest pain and the like. This can be triggered off due to a number of reasons such as one’s circumstances, certain traumatic experiences or anything perceived by the person as traumatic. When this anxiety extends for a prolonged period it is time to be warned and seek professional help. This condition of the person is known as anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder is a rather common problem especially in today’s stress filled world. But the bigger issue is that we don’t treat it as a problem in the first place. Most people who suffer from anxiety disorders and the people around them tend to consider it just as mood swings and the temperament of the individual and thus, overlook the seriousness of the issue. But the point to be noted here is that the symptoms should not be ignored as timely help can cure the person completely.
Anxiety disorders are of different types. People develop anxiety disorders for various reasons and under various circumstances. One should understand the reasons thoroughly to be able to treat the patient. A good talk with the patient along with a standard questionnaire which could include questions about the family, friends, likes and dislikes of the patients would help in finding out the root cause which has led to the anxiety disorder and thus, would help in the treatment. The various kinds of anxiety disorders include panic disorders, kinds of phobias like agoraphobia (which is the fear of being in a social setting), stress disorder, social anxiety to name a few.
Anxiety disorder symptoms would vary depending upon the individual and also with the kind of disorder that the patient is suffering from. The good thing is that there is treatment for this condition. When in the pursuit of anxiety help, it would be better to know the kind of anxiety that is the cause of trouble. One should also find out the situations which cause the condition to aggravate. This would go a long way in deciding the treatment and making the treatment more effective. Anxiety and depression go hand in hand. People who develop some sort of anxiety disorder tend to undergo a state of depression if timely treatment is not provided. People who suffer from depression tend to be sad, irritable and always have negative thoughts.
People suffering from anxiety disorders need to be made aware of their problem. They need to use self help methods also to curb these issues. One can take prescription drugs from the doctor to treat the problem and if not suitably convinced can opt for alternative treatments for anxiety disorders such as ayurveda, acupuncture , acupressure, aroma therapy, yoga and the like. Many people do try alternative treatment for anxiety disorders even though they are not endorsed by any legal authority. If the anxiety attacks cease to arise it does not necessarily mean that the person is fully cured but there can always be a relapse of these problems. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the patient undergoes a thorough treatment that deals with the root cause of the problem so that the person can continue to lead a quality life.
Introduction to Anxiety
Generalized anxiety disorder (or GAD) is characterized by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can’t stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school. In people with GAD, the worry often is unrealistic or out of proportion for the situation. Daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the anxiety so dominates the person’s thinking that it interferes with daily functioning, including work, school, social activities, and relationships.
What Are the Symptoms of GAD?
GAD affects the way a person thinks, but the anxiety can lead to physical symptoms, as well. Symptoms of GAD can include:
- Excessive, ongoing worry and tension
- An unrealistic view of problems
- Restlessness or a feeling of being “edgy”
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty concentrating
- The need to go to the bathroom frequently
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Being easily startled
In addition, people with GAD often have other anxiety disorders (such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias), suffer from depression, and/or abuse drugs or alcohol.
What Causes GAD?
The exact cause of GAD is not fully known, but a number offactors — includinggenetics, brain chemistry and environmentalstresses — appearto contribute to its development.
- Genetics: Some research suggests that family history plays a part in increasing the likelihood that a person will develop GAD. This means that the tendency to develop GAD may be passed on in families.
- Brain chemistry: GAD has been associated with abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are special chemical messengers that help move information from nerve cell to nerve cell. If the neurotransmitters are out of balance, messages cannot get through the brain properly. This can alter the way the brain reacts in certain situations, leading to anxiety.
- Environmental factors: Trauma and stressful events, such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, changing jobs or schools, may lead to GAD. GAD also may become worse during periods of stress. The use of and withdrawal from addictive substances, including alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine, can also worsen anxiety.
Source: MedicineNet Visit for more details.
Along with my depression, I also have problems with anxiety. I am on a steady dose of Clonazepam throughout the day and night to help me control the anxiety. I’ve always had an issue with anxiety even as the younger teenager. The biggest problems for me were always getting up in front of the class to do presentations. And unfortunately this anxiety has never gone away.
It’s been just over one year that I have been at a somewhat stable level and level of functioning. I had a decision to make and that decision was to either start working or go back to school, I was tired of just sitting around day after day doing nothing. So I thought the best choice would be to go to school first, graduate and get a diploma and then go into the work force in the field that I had gone to school for. To me that was a logical way to do things, but I think I forgot to take some things into account.
I started school going into the social service worker program, with the hopes of being able to help other people with mental health issues. I was excited to be going back to school, and I thought that everything would be fine. I knew that through accommodations I could have it set up so that I did presentations only in front of the teacher and I did get that set up. However, getting up in front of the class and making a presentation wasn’t the only problem I was facing.
I’ve spent the last seven years secluding myself with very minimal interaction in society. I had very little contact with people and only one or two friends that I ever visited. So one of the things that I did not take into account was the fact of being around so many people in such a small space. I also didn’t take into consideration the pressures of research papers, building the presentations and keeping up with the reading assignments. By the second week of school I found everything to be too overwhelming, the anxiety and panic attacks were increasing and mood was decreasing. I didn’t think I could live up to the expectations of others and do a good job in school. So I made the decision to drop out of school.
What I hope to do now is work with the social service workers who are assigned to me in trying to re-integrate myself into society little bits at a time. My hope is that I won’t feel so overwhelmed and feel so much pressure and hopefully I will be able to start working. I would start out as part-time and slowly work my way up to full-time. I do not know what the future holds for me but what I do know is that something needs to change and most of that change relies on me. I’m a problem solver and I don’t give up so I’ll constantly be working out a solution to these problems in my head. I know that there is a solution out there it’s just a matter of finding it.