Anxiety -- How do you deal?

bekkilyn wrote:

I can't remember if you've ever posted anything about it before, but have you looked into getting tested for sleep apnea?

Drat, I was hoping the solution would turn out to be something "simple".

bekkilyn wrote:
bekkilyn wrote:

I can't remember if you've ever posted anything about it before, but have you looked into getting tested for sleep apnea?

Drat, I was hoping the solution would turn out to be something "simple". :)

Well, I could lose weight. Problem is it's hard to lose weight when you have no energy and have to down a coke every day to stay awake.

DSGamer wrote:
bekkilyn wrote:
bekkilyn wrote:

I can't remember if you've ever posted anything about it before, but have you looked into getting tested for sleep apnea?

Drat, I was hoping the solution would turn out to be something "simple". :)

Well, I could lose weight. Problem is it's hard to lose weight when you have no energy and have to down a coke every day to stay awake.

It's really had to do *anything*, and especially anything healthy, when having a severe case of no energy. Last year, I was completely hopeless due to the energy problem and my eating was out of control as well. Finally started to get a few things back into control this year and am able to fit back into some of my clothes again. Fortunately, I didn't have a sleep problem unless you count a need to sleep nearly all the time, which is another problem in and of itself. I think I'd rather have the "sleep all the time" problem than the "can't sleep" problem though because I think "complete insanity" due to sleep deprivation is probably worse!

Though maybe if you can get the sleep problem solved at least temporarily through changing medications and such, then it will get you back on track enough to maybe do the more permanent losing weight solution later. Baby steps!

DS I take amitriptyline, but at a lower dose than typically prescribed for depression, which helps relieve some of the stress/anxiety caused by a chronic condition. I find I sleep better and react less strongly to negative events, but it doesn't totally flatten me out so I can still enjoy the good moments. It does increase appetite though.

DSGamer wrote:
bekkilyn wrote:
bekkilyn wrote:

I can't remember if you've ever posted anything about it before, but have you looked into getting tested for sleep apnea?

Drat, I was hoping the solution would turn out to be something "simple". :)

Well, I could lose weight. Problem is it's hard to lose weight when you have no energy and have to down a coke every day to stay awake.

Yerba Mate is a great alternative if you need a caffeine shot that (in my experience) is pretty clean and coffee isn't your bag. Health food stores tend to have pre-made cold drinks with different flavors if you ever want to try it.

I'll give that a look. I grew up in Mormon country so I never got into coffee. Tried it once in my 30s and it made me sick.

How strong is yerba mate compared to coffee or a Coke? I don't want to go from tired to jittery.

How's tea work out for you?

It certainly gives me a similar boost to alertness as coffee, but without the jitters - and I've experimentally verified that there is no amount of tea i can realistically consume that will result in jitters (ten 16oz mugs consumed over roughly 5 hours left me feeling just as great as a single cup, albeit needing to pee a lot more).

Seconding for tea. I don't like yerba mate personally, but tea has less caffeine than a standard cup of coffee. Black tea tends to have more than green. And there's herbals for when you don't want any at all. I find having a warm mug to sip on very relaxing.

Some guidelines for anyone new to tea or who has tried it before but didn't like it:
Black teas should be steeped with boiling water (212 F / 100 C) for 3-4 minutes.
Green teas should be steeped with warm water (180 F / 80 C) for 2-3 minutes.
Herbal teas should be steeped with boiling water for 6 minutes.

Most teas have instructions on the package, so use those, but if you though black teas were too bitter or greens lacked flavor it's probably because they were steeped incorrectly.

Everything flared back up again due to work stress. Insomnia, nerve pain, muscle spasms, etc. All the physical stuff I get from anxiety due to the medication withdrawal. It's been a rough time. Fortunately my wife and I have some savings and I have family nearby to help distract me. I'm taking the next day off work to try and get my mind off things and get my sleep back to normal.

One thing that seems to be helping is that I'm trying this mindful technique I learned in my DBT skills class to fend off negative thinking. I've always had a fairly negative / catastrophic thinking pattern as long as I can remember. I've started, though, to acknowledge thoughts as they enter my mind as "thinking" and try to move on from there.

Not being in front of a computer 24/7 helps that because I'm less likely to look up the thing I'm thinking about. So I won't likely be on this forum much for a while.

G’luck, DS. Safe travels wherever you go, virtual or otherwise.

I've thought from time to time that it would be a good idea to spend some time at one of those Buddhist monasteries or some similar place where there are no electronics and a lot of silence.

On my computer right now dealing with bills.

bekkilyn wrote:

I've thought from time to time that it would be a good idea to spend some time at one of those Buddhist monasteries or some similar place where there are no electronics and a lot of silence.

I think it helps some. I don't want to be so disconnected that I completely fall out of my routine. Especially at a time like this.

I didn't go completely into detail in my previous post, but my wife is out of the country for 3 weeks climbing a mountain. I'm really happy for her and excited for her, but it's a bad time for me to be here alone with my thoughts. So even though I'm taking a break from work I'm trying to engage people where it makes sense.

What I need a break from, I think, is negativity and overall stimulus. So no video games or loud movies. No news for a while. I'll still check in from time to time in threads that don't rev me up.

Hey, if you just want to shoot the breeze at weird US times, hit me up on Slack or Twitter. <3 Take care, DSG.

On another board I'm on, we sometimes will have a thread just for one person to post their problems and updates. Other people can post to it and be supportive but if it's a tough topic for others, they can avoid it. Keeps the venting thread available for just venting too! I don't know if that's a possibility here, but Strangeblades has a wonderous thread, so maybe you could have a safe space one....

And I have to ask....What mountain?!?! (I read a number of mountain climbing books).

And every time I see this thread title, I want to reply...."poorly"

MathGoddess wrote:

On another board I'm on, we sometimes will have a thread just for one person to post their problems and updates. Other people can post to it and be supportive but if it's a tough topic for others, they can avoid it. Keeps the venting thread available for just venting too! I don't know if that's a possibility here, but Strangeblades has a wonderous thread, so maybe you could have a safe space one....

Maybe. I'm not sure who that's up to. Lol. I had one (of a sort) for a while in the Australia thread. I could possibly just use that if that wasn't too weird.

It documents part of why I am where I am now. In the end I don't know how I'm getting through this. It's all so hard and I've been at it off and on for 5 years now.

And I have to ask....What mountain?!?! (I read a number of mountain climbing books).

Mount Kilimanjaro.

And every time I see this thread title, I want to reply...."poorly" :)

*sigh*

Yeah. Need to get better at acceptance.

Eleima wrote:

Hey, if you just want to shoot the breeze at weird US times, hit me up on Slack or Twitter. <3 Take care, DSG.

Thanks. I appreciate it.

If you don't mind chatting with a Canuck, hit me up on Twitter or via PM here!

As a government employee, I am surprisingly (not) busy all day.

My anxiety really spiked about 11 years ago when my son had an anaphylactic reaction to cashews. I got to inject him with the epi on the way to the ER, then two months later my husband had what we thought was a seizure. Then I started reading about climate change. Then I got into therapy and got Xanax. That has helped (just taking as needed). I've dealt with the depression for over 30 years now.

How you get through it is one step at a time.
One breath at a time.
Know that it will pass....even when you don't believe it.

My suggestion would be to use the Australia thread or this thread....whichever you're more comfortable with. Avoid news, but don't cut yourself off from support which you can get here. You're not alone. It sucks and feels like it'll be forever....but it won't....and you aren't alone.

(Hugs)

Thanks all.

I might re-purpose the Australia thread, although it feels a little presumptuous. I have some support on other groups. Basically groups dedicated to the medication withdrawal I'm dealing with. I'm not trying to cut myself off from here so much as deciding that I need to basically not think about politics and need to get off electronics in general. I walk every morning and that's been helping so far.

That said I'm thinking seriously about reconsidering an SSRI right now. My anxiety got so bad this past week that I'm wondering if I shouldn't consider it if my quality of life can get so bad so quickly. I would need to find one that's sedating, though, and not activating.

MathGoddess wrote:

My anxiety really spiked about 11 years ago when my son had an anaphylactic reaction to cashews. I got to inject him with the epi on the way to the ER, then two months later my husband had what we thought was a seizure. Then I started reading about climate change. Then I got into therapy and got Xanax. That has helped (just taking as needed). I've dealt with the depression for over 30 years now.

How you get through it is one step at a time.
One breath at a time.
Know that it will pass....even when you don't believe it.

My suggestion would be to use the Australia thread or this thread....whichever you're more comfortable with. Avoid news, but don't cut yourself off from support which you can get here. You're not alone. It sucks and feels like it'll be forever....but it won't....and you aren't alone.

(Hugs)

This is such a sweet post. Thank you. What you went through sounds really hard and scary to be front row to such big health issues with your loved ones. I worry sometimes about what my situation does to my wife in that regard.

(Hugs)

On day 3 of my week off and my doctor thinks I should make the decision to go back to work. I explained to her how this time off has felt, psychologically, very unnerving. I’m sure it’s still restive, but during the time I’ve found myself anxious more often than not that I’m on the edge of losing my structure and a huge distraction.

On the walk / ride home I visualized / thought of myself as a “normal” person who was totally going back to work on Monday. I felt better that way.

So now I’m kind of wondering what’s worse. Work stress or the stress of being outside my structure with my wife out of the country. Any thoughts on this?

I found a new structure with my time off (quit evening teaching gig to focus on homeschooling high school....and then son chose to go to public school!)

It did take me a couple of months to get there, but I was also grieving the loss of my plans for boy's schooling (and the election). Now I get up about 10 or 11 and spend my days surfing online, reading, crocheting, and watching movies. I walk with a friend a few days a week. Some days I don't leave the house at all and I LOVE it.

For me, the stress of being in transition is the worst. Once I know what I'm doing for the next few months, I feel better. It is tough to get to that acceptance though. And I also am very good as an introvert not speaking to anyone IRL for days at a time

And if the work stress is really bad, switching jobs may be good. I taught FT for 4 years at a college that it took about 10 years to recover from those years.

And of course today the anxiety has been a bear off and on. While I'm busy with a project or planning a project, I'm fine. Sit still or not be constantly thinking and the Dread sets in. (I like how that was auto capitalized). And I read a climate change article and really probably shouldn't have done that.

So, shriek.

MathGoddess wrote:

And of course today the anxiety has been a bear off and on. While I'm busy with a project or planning a project, I'm fine. Sit still or not be constantly thinking and the Dread sets in. (I like how that was auto capitalized). And I read a climate change article and really probably shouldn't have done that.

So, shriek.

Yeah. I've had to cut out all news. I've found it's helping a lot and I may stick with that regimen for a while. It's possibly my news consumption / D&D habits weren't entirely healthy. Even if my intention to be informed and involved was coming from a place of caring, it didn't do the world or me much good.

I've had a hard time over the course of my life keeping these kinds of things in balance. I think a lot about how other people balance these things. I was in an Uber yesterday and there was really dark news on. The driver switched it over to the radio. That made me think that's how people with some mindfulness of their own limits probably do things. As opposed to soaking all the dread in.

MathGoddess wrote:

For me, the stress of being in transition is the worst. Once I know what I'm doing for the next few months, I feel better. It is tough to get to that acceptance though. And I also am very good as an introvert not speaking to anyone IRL for days at a time :)

I think overall I'm the same. Better as more of an introvert. But right now that's different than what I've been doing. I've been working, communicating with people, etc. So this in between state is hard.

And if the work stress is really bad, switching jobs may be good. I taught FT for 4 years at a college that it took about 10 years to recover from those years.

That's probably still something I'll do, but not until my wife has home, we've talked about what happened and figured out how to proceed.

Random tip from someone dealing with anxiety a lot right now. Weighted blankets really seem to help. I don't understand it, but I feel like it really helps.

Awesome!

I am not sure whether or not to call my general sense of mental unease "anxiety" or something else, but events of the last few months have led to a state I can only describe as a base level of increasing sh*ttiness. Mostly, I attribute it to the annihilation of comforting routine mixed with the almost deliberate underappreciation of the importance of such by people I am supposed to be able to rely on for support.

After a little over five years of effectively living apart while working in North Carolina (and returning on weekends), I got approval from the home office to work from home. This meant that I would be able to sell my place in NC and move back in with my wife. Yay! Or so we thought.

What we knew, but didn't really internalize or truly account for was that in those five years, we had developed patterns of behavior and routine expectations that make living with one another difficult. She is, admittedly, OCD and demands control over the space she occupies. And though I am no slob by any account, the fact that I have no space of my own with which to do what I please makes me cranky and territorial. More to the point, since I work from home, any disruption in the space that *I* occupy for nearly 24 hours a day feels like a violation.

Recently, she made the nearly unilateral decision to sell both houses and purchase a luxury townhome in another part of town. Though the decision is financially sound (better school district for better asset appreciation, a defined office space for me to work from home, easier commute to her place of work...), the lack of participation in the decision, the added financial strain, and the complete obliteration of my routine and space has strained my ability to cope to the point that I find myself reverting to stress behaviors I thought I had moved past a long time ago. I am shutting down, deliberately suppressing affect, and mentally accepting worst outcomes as inevitable. I find myself having to force myself to meaningfully communicate.

For the last few weeks, we have had workmen replacing carpets, pulling up floorboards, painting walls, and ripping off baseboards. I have been boxing and crating belongings and putting them in storage or being harangued to trash or donate things I have had since college. All the while trying to perform my duties in a demanding profession with little access to professional resources. And the constant, annoying, and trivial interruptions...

Worst is that when my wife gets home and wonders why I'm zoned out in front of my gaming PC playing the same game of Civ V instead of helping her pack boxes, all I can manage the energy to say is "I'm tired". And when she says "but you were at home all day", all I want to do is tune the world out entirely.

You need to come over here to zone out, Paleo. You're always welcome and no expectations.

So sorry, Paelocon. I’ve learned about myself in the past 5 years that I really need to stay in one place and have a place of familiarity to call home. I can’t imagine how hard all of that must be.

Oh, I *know* how bad it is. But our place is a refuge, and it's changed little. And we have self-medication in reasonable quantities.