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littleonefmohio
@littleonefmohio

Posts: 65
Joined: Mar 19, 2018

How to Help Myself with Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Posted by @littleonefmohio, Mon, Mar 19 1:12pm

I have had depression most my life. I have took medication for it but I do not stay on it long because of being scared of the side effects or the withdraws from coming off of it. I do not want to become addicted to medication. I have never been addicted to anything so not sure why I feel that way. I have my ups and downs like most people do with mental health I guess. Its hard to talk about it to doctors because I do not trust them either. So how do I get help for myself. I always feel alone even though I am not. I was blessed raising my granddaughter 3 years ago which has helped me stay focused off of me and on her but I constantly feel alone. I live with my ex husband because he helps me with my granddaughter both raising and supporting her. I never want to go anywhere. I have no friends. I have siblings but they have their own life. I do go out once in a great while just to get out and I do enjoy it when I am out but then I come home and right back not wanting to go anywhere. I feel guilty all the time about my life for one reason or another. I have panic attacks, anxiety, along with the depression. I have tried talking to doctors that just want to talk it out but I don’t stay long with that because I feel guilty talking about me and my problems and my past. So can someone tell me what they do for this that works if anything? Thanks for letting me vent this.

REPLY

Hi, I agree with many of your sentiments, also have dealt with long-term MDD and GAD. Here's what I think are 6 good suggestions for alleviating depression. Feel better soon!

My heart aches for you. I have a close friend who felt just as you do. She found a therapist (at long last) that she trusted and was able to realize that she needed long term medication and she is so much better. I have been on several meds over the last 25 years and I understand that I am not addicted but that I need them just as I need my blood pressure meds. Given the choice, I would rather not have to take all these meds but I have come to understand that I need them to live and to function. I pray that you can find a therapist AND a doctor–tell them right off that you feel guilty about talking about yourself and I hope that they will help you with that issue. I hope that you can come to the same good place that my friend and I have found. We know that life isn't easy ever but it is doable and there can be moments of joy.

@sallie

My heart aches for you. I have a close friend who felt just as you do. She found a therapist (at long last) that she trusted and was able to realize that she needed long term medication and she is so much better. I have been on several meds over the last 25 years and I understand that I am not addicted but that I need them just as I need my blood pressure meds. Given the choice, I would rather not have to take all these meds but I have come to understand that I need them to live and to function. I pray that you can find a therapist AND a doctor–tell them right off that you feel guilty about talking about yourself and I hope that they will help you with that issue. I hope that you can come to the same good place that my friend and I have found. We know that life isn't easy ever but it is doable and there can be moments of joy.

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You are so right about life-long meds. Would a diabetic stop taking insulin for fear of becoming addicted? Of course not! No different with mental health medications. Some of us have to take them to function.

I believe you should have a genetic swab taken. The cost is $4,000.00 but with your finances you will only pay $20,.00. It will note what psych meds will work on you. I found 3 out of my 4 meds were worst meds for me. If you can get medications you will feel better. Not that all feelings will disappear but you will be able to live with them. Some situations may have to change but for all of your blessings ~ you may begin a gratitude journal. That definitely works and you will run out of paper, still having things you are grateful for. God is with you always and when you are most at "risk" you can always know He Is With You!

@sallie

My heart aches for you. I have a close friend who felt just as you do. She found a therapist (at long last) that she trusted and was able to realize that she needed long term medication and she is so much better. I have been on several meds over the last 25 years and I understand that I am not addicted but that I need them just as I need my blood pressure meds. Given the choice, I would rather not have to take all these meds but I have come to understand that I need them to live and to function. I pray that you can find a therapist AND a doctor–tell them right off that you feel guilty about talking about yourself and I hope that they will help you with that issue. I hope that you can come to the same good place that my friend and I have found. We know that life isn't easy ever but it is doable and there can be moments of joy.

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I totally agree. See my reply below. Good luck.

@sallie

My heart aches for you. I have a close friend who felt just as you do. She found a therapist (at long last) that she trusted and was able to realize that she needed long term medication and she is so much better. I have been on several meds over the last 25 years and I understand that I am not addicted but that I need them just as I need my blood pressure meds. Given the choice, I would rather not have to take all these meds but I have come to understand that I need them to live and to function. I pray that you can find a therapist AND a doctor–tell them right off that you feel guilty about talking about yourself and I hope that they will help you with that issue. I hope that you can come to the same good place that my friend and I have found. We know that life isn't easy ever but it is doable and there can be moments of joy.

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You are totally needing life-long medication.

@sallie

My heart aches for you. I have a close friend who felt just as you do. She found a therapist (at long last) that she trusted and was able to realize that she needed long term medication and she is so much better. I have been on several meds over the last 25 years and I understand that I am not addicted but that I need them just as I need my blood pressure meds. Given the choice, I would rather not have to take all these meds but I have come to understand that I need them to live and to function. I pray that you can find a therapist AND a doctor–tell them right off that you feel guilty about talking about yourself and I hope that they will help you with that issue. I hope that you can come to the same good place that my friend and I have found. We know that life isn't easy ever but it is doable and there can be moments of joy.

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It is true that some people with SEVERE depression may need very long term medication as part of their treatment but this is not normally the case for mild to moderate depression as I understand it. Furthermore medication alone is not normally enough, lifestyle changes including healthy eating/exercise/social interactions are also needed. Many people (of which I am one) find that exercise and mindful meditation is essential for minimizing depression and anxiety. I would also add, respectfully, that comparing the use of psychoactive drugs to a need for insulin is evading the issue. Insulin is a hormone needed in part to metabolize carbohydrates/fats which is a relatively simple and well understood process. Antidepressants of different types affect highly complex brain chemistry in different ways that are not completely understood. And unlike insuin they have a whole host of potential CNS side affects including the potential for habituation or even addiction, especially the benzodiazapines such as xanax, ativan, klonipin and vallium. It is all to easy for a doctor to write a script for a "mental health drug" and it is indeed often a required first step…..motivating patients to adopt essential lifestyle changes however must be much more difficult. I was lucky.

@stressedmesseddepressed

Hi, I agree with many of your sentiments, also have dealt with long-term MDD and GAD. Here's what I think are 6 good suggestions for alleviating depression. Feel better soon!

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Thank you for your response and helpful suggestions. I have tried life style changes and for some reason they do not help me for long. Maybe its because of my GAD and anixety.

@sallie

My heart aches for you. I have a close friend who felt just as you do. She found a therapist (at long last) that she trusted and was able to realize that she needed long term medication and she is so much better. I have been on several meds over the last 25 years and I understand that I am not addicted but that I need them just as I need my blood pressure meds. Given the choice, I would rather not have to take all these meds but I have come to understand that I need them to live and to function. I pray that you can find a therapist AND a doctor–tell them right off that you feel guilty about talking about yourself and I hope that they will help you with that issue. I hope that you can come to the same good place that my friend and I have found. We know that life isn't easy ever but it is doable and there can be moments of joy.

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Thank you. I know I should be on medication and I have had problems with some that made it worse. That maybe why I am so hesitant to stay on any of them. I will keep trying to find a doctor I feel comfortable with.

@sallie

My heart aches for you. I have a close friend who felt just as you do. She found a therapist (at long last) that she trusted and was able to realize that she needed long term medication and she is so much better. I have been on several meds over the last 25 years and I understand that I am not addicted but that I need them just as I need my blood pressure meds. Given the choice, I would rather not have to take all these meds but I have come to understand that I need them to live and to function. I pray that you can find a therapist AND a doctor–tell them right off that you feel guilty about talking about yourself and I hope that they will help you with that issue. I hope that you can come to the same good place that my friend and I have found. We know that life isn't easy ever but it is doable and there can be moments of joy.

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Thank you for your advise. I am taking everybody information into consideration. I want to change the way I am living but raising a 3 yr old is limiting me into taking care of me I guess. I want to make sure she is taken care of first and then hopefully I can work on me. I am happy my granddaugher is happy for sure. She is a blessing.

I have never heard of a genetic swab? What is it for? I am blessed to be raising my granddaughter for sure. She is a blessing and I do not let my depressed side show with her. Her happiness is more important. Thank you for your advise.

Welcome to Mayo Connect @littleonefmohio. I'm a Volunteer Mentor and not a medical professional so I can offer you my personal experience but I don't diagnose or prescribe medical solutions. We're here to share our experiences with you, listen, and give you support.

I think I understand where you are right now because I've been there myself, and not that long ago. I have struggled with depression and feeling alone, different, outside much of my life. Even though I felt those things inside, I am an extrovert and thought I had everyone fooled by my laughing and pretending everything was great. One day when I was in my late 20's, I found myself in bed just laying there wishing I could just go to sleep and never awaken. I didn't know that was depression. Eventually I sought counseling, participated in many groups over the years, but still had that underlying anxiety and at times panic of being left alone. Yet, I am the one who chose to be alone most of the time.

About 6 years ago I saw a friend at the grocery and she was so different and happy, I asked her what had changed for her. She told me she started taking Celexa and it changed her life. I had always been opposed to taking antidepressants because earlier I thought they were bad and talk therapy alone should work. After thinking about it, I talked with my PCP about how I was feeling and all the counseling I had been through, and I asked him to put me on Celexa antidepressant. It took a few weeks to titrate to the 20 mg half pill. But, I could tell in the first 2 weeks that I was already feeling lighter. I am so happy I decided to try the Celexa, which I take the generic version, Citalopram. After 18 months on it the doctor put me on the full 40 mg dose.

My life is so good now at 69 years old. I'm happy and have joy doing anything I choose to do. If you can get genetic testing to find the right medication for you I think your life can change for the better. I realized that I needed medical help with my depression all my life because I probably have a chemical imbalance that the medicine corrects. I'm sure I will be taking this the rest of my life. My panic attacks and anxiety disappeared. I can now fly and go wonderful places I thought were beyond my reach. Two years ago my family decided on a family vacation in Costa Rica. I flew there without fear, and zip-lined down 7 lines. I loved it. My husband and I then flew to Panama and lived in a town in the mountains for 1 month. What great adventures that I could never have done without the Citalopram. Tomorrow, my husband and I take off for 15 days in Tahiti, to vacation on a sail boat. I never would have been able to do that before. So, I am not afraid to take this for the rest of my life.

Warm regards,
Gailb
Volunteer Mentor

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