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  1. Hi everyone, As a corollary to my post about the importance of feeling good, I'd like to share this video I came across today that talks about how we can actually re-frame our attitude toward stress in a more positive way. You won't regret watching it until the end, I promise. As I've recovered from protracted withdrawal, I've had to face some pretty harsh moments--the unexpected death of my father being one of them. For a long time I was doing whatever I could to avoid stress at all costs, thinking of it as a poison that was going to set me back. And yes... as I realized again just last month, when our house got violently broken into, or this month, when I have to face the end of a long relationship, stressful situations can easily bring back symptoms for me. BUT... I also noticed that I've become much more resilient. AND... strangely enough, I feel a sense that stressors are less likely to derail me if I feel a sense of greater purpose, or a sense of connection to others, or of personal value in what I am doing. I realize I can recover quicker from waves if I don't run from stress, or get overly worked up about it. If I'm not afraid of setbacks, but instead accept them (and this isn't an absolute... I cave in to depression and despair regularly... the important thing is coming back, again and again, to acceptance). I feel like this video confirms something I've been noticing and just hadn't quite articulated to myself. It made me remember that one of the periods of greatest improvement I felt was very early on, when I took on a very stressful job that took me to another country. It seemed an anomaly, because most of the other clear moments of improvement that I'd experienced occurred during vacations and trips when I felt happy and wasn't working. Until I realized I felt good about what I was doing during that period of high stress. It temporarily increased my anxiety and worsened my sleep, but I was able to get through it because I felt like I was doing something important. I also realized that I've had periods of supposedly low stress where I didn't improve... and that those periods coincided with not feeling a sense of purpose or meaning in my life. Not liking my surroundings, not feeling challenged to grow, or feeling like I was stagnating. It also reminds me of something poet David Whyte wrote: "There was a time, many years ago, working at a nonprofit organization, trying to fix the world and finding the world didn't want to be fixed as quickly as I'd like, that I found myself exhausted, stressed and finally, after one particularly hard day, at the end of my tether, I went home and saw a bottle of fine red wine I had left out on the table that morning before I left. No, I did not drink it immediately, though I was tempted, but it reminded me that I was to have a very special guest that evening. That guest was an Austrian friend, a Benedictine monk, Brother David Steindl-Rast, the nearest thing I had to a really wise person in my life at that time or at any time since. We would read German poetry together—he would translate the original text, I read the translations, all the while drinking the red wine. But I had my day on my mind, and the mind-numbing tiredness I was experiencing at work. I said suddenly, out of nowhere, almost beseechingly, 'Brother David, speak to me of exhaustion. Tell me about exhaustion.' And then he said a life-changing thing. 'You know,' he said, 'the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest.' 'What is it then?' 'The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness. You're so exhausted because you can't be wholehearted at what you're doing...'" So go out there and find wholeheartedness in whatever you can... even if right now all it means is appreciating a flower you come by, or being there for a friend in a time of need, or taking a moment to treat yourself kindly. Stress will come and go... you will have setbacks, life is full of them. But if you find a sense of purpose in going on, if you listen for it deep within you, your body and mind will find the way to heal.
  2. LINK to scottly9999's Success Story Hi All, Yet another member of the OMG SSRI's I thought they were supposed to help me - club. My story. My mother is a schizophrenic - maybe related, maybe not, not sure. In my early 20's I struggled with fairly deep depression with anxiety - no specific reason or cause - again, I think it MIGHT have been inherited something from my mother. Got through that after a few years with help of good diet, reading a lot of self-help books, and finally travel. Had a fantastic childhood, always on the go. Deep interest in technology and IT. Moved from Australia to UK to travel and see world. Met loveliest lady in Victoria in 3 months! Instantly knew we were right. Happy. Never really was a "depressive" personality, fairly introverted and normally interested in lots of things. had some mood dips, took St Johns Wort occassionally - not sure if it did much, but low moods NEVER last long for me. I'd always bounce back. But nothing major. Anyway - flashforward to about 2008. In a job in IT. Had an extremely stressful situation build and build - sought help internally in the company - wasn't really helped much. Finally my wife got me to goto her regular GP doc. She signed me off for 1 month of work, gave me some of tranquilizer which I didn't like at all, and 10mg of Lexapro. She said I might feel MORE anxious starting Lexapro - I was a bit sceptical... but went along with it. Work situation was sorted out, went back to work. Was ok. Wasn't nearly as interested though, felt less "sharp" and less switched on. Thought it was that I was just over the job. After approx 18 months (I really didn't take notice of a lot of the dates back then) I thought right lets stop the tablets. Took 5mg for 2 weeks and stopped. Started getting the brain zaps - they weren't THAT bad, thougth they were weird and interesting more than anything else. What got me was the intense muscle aches and crippling depression and extreme confusion and brain fog. After a few days of suffering with this and being very irritable, my wife said "For god sake, take your med!!" So I swallowed that 10mg tablet and a few hours later, started to feel more human again. Thats when I was like omg I'm stuck on these things. Went to see the doc who put me on them, and she completely dismissed me saying they're not addictive. I didn't see her again, got repeats from other doctors who seemed to understand the situation a bit better. I went on my merry way thinking, I'll deal with coming off them another time - later when things are better. Fast forward a few more years, in 2 newer jobs - again, struggling mentally to learn new things and retain things, and "care" about the job. Started to get dizzy spells - 5-10 seconds, tingling in feet, and growing apathy, slowly losing more and more interest in hobbies and interests, really having to push myself. Felt like I was in a rut... just felt "off", not myself, and constantly like I'm about to come down with the flu or something. Was it my teeth? Something wasn't right. Just notched it up to being in a rut, and "getting older"... not sure why I thought that, but thats how I rationalized it. I started getting SORT of brain zaps, even though I was taking my meds daily. I was doing half of a 20mg tablet for years to save costs (the 20mg cost same as 10mg here in AUS). Eventually something clicked in my brain that I wasn't feeling right, starting googling my symptoms and eventually found people on SSRI's having similar - came to various sites like survivingantidepressants and paxilprogress etc etc etc, and there were literally 10,000's of people in the same boat. Finally an answer! I still couldn't quite work out exactly what was going on with me though. As I felt bad on 10mg, the thought of DROPPING in dose scared me - and I did something very very silly (in hindsight).... and took myself upto 20mg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know, I know. I started to feel better, but my brain was still "drugged", but I was feeling as if my brain was getting oxygen. I stayed there for about 2-3 weeks, and went down to 15mg - getting quite strong waves of anxiety, but it was still better than the "nothing" I'd been feeling... also got a little "high" with a fair bit of energy - and "windows" of very clear thinking... they didn't last very long though. My aim was to "kick-start my brain" and get back to 10mg to then start tapering properly. I jumped to 20mg in around sept or oct 2014, then 3 weeks later to 15mg. when I got back to 10mg I started getting waves of muscle aches (to me that is the WORST withdrawal symptom - I literally cannot stand that feeling of deep pain in my body - same when I get the flu too). Was taking some codeine and ibuprofen to take edge off, as well as a mouthful of Omega 3, Magnesium, NAC, and Choline supplements - as well as a multivitamin. Overall, I didn't feel TOO bad, some dizziness, whooshy feelings, lightheaded, some concentration issues etc, but nothing I couldn't push through. But I was having some waves of being interested again - which I loved... although I could STILL "feel" the Lexpro suppressing my emotions and perception ability, like things don't really penetrate, like you have cotton wool around you. Anyway - I felt "stable" on 10mg again... and dropped to 7.5mg.... I was at that for about 4 weeks. I was hoping to feel stable on it, but the muscle aches kept coming and going, seeming to get a bit worse with each wave, then I started to get waves of depression along with it, each "wave" seemed to be worse than the last. After 4 weeks I thought I would be over the worst of it, and I als thought I'd be stable for Xmas time with the family. WRONG! I got good news about a new job - and was able to quit current job quickly - and spend 2 weeks at home. Great. wrong. Crashed BIG TIME, on couch - could barely move, felt incredibly depressed, felt like lead in my arms and legs, and couldn't get off couch. ARGH - not now!!! went back to 10mg tablet - started to feel a bit of relief.. but it now seems after 1 week of being on 10mg that the symptoms are getting to me aghain - slowly building muscle aches and depression... So the reason I'm here - I can't seem to get to a stable dose again... so do I need to go UP to 15mg to get "stable" and taper slowly from there? I'm really confused as to what I need to do now. I've got a bottle of liquid Lexapro, although it is 10mg /1ml which is very potent. I've got an oral syringe to help measure out the doses. But I really don't know what I should do now. Any advice??
  3. It has been 3 months since i quit using sertraline 50mg and mirtazapine 15mg. I have used mirtazapine 15mg for 4 months with sucess and had a bad adverse reaction to prozac after using it for 3 weeks before this. But i have been going downhill ever since. It started with being slightly unfocused but now i can't remember what happened few hours ago! I lost every ounce of personality i ever had. I have no problem solving skills and i am not intelligent anymore. I am losing all my acquired skills too. I lost my musical ear and i am not as good as i used to be with speaking English (not my native language.) It feels like i never even started playing piano 3 years ago and it drives me nuts! I lost everything in my life because of my need to ease anxiety. No one thinks this could be true. Psychiatrist thinks this is good ole anxiety and threatens me to put on antipsychotics. My family refuses to believe me and prefer to listen to ''professionals'' instead of me. I have a few friends to listen to but none to truly understand (or want to understand) what i am going through. I can feel the stress literally burning my mind 24/7 non stop. I really do feel my mind burning and it does not look like it will go away soon. I have lost everything yet it still destroys me nonstop. I just want this to end. If this goes on like this i don't think i will want to live much longer. I am just a whiny depressed person in other peoples' eyes and i refuse to recover by not taking pills. They won't acknowledge anything i say about losing myself with the introduction of the drugs or the stress-like burning mind sensation that started with the drugs. Anything i say and do is being used against me to show how depressed or anxious i am and how much i need meds. I have lost all hope and i am expected to attend university in 2 years with the mind of an 8 year old. So if i don't show any prowess after 2 years i will end it all without a single doubt. I don't want to live a life i am not happy in. Please share anything that you can relate to this issue. Have you ever experienced something like this? When did you start to recover? How much did you lose and how much did you manage to recover? Even the tiniest bit of hope is enough to make my day and push me forward. Right now all i can do is crying.
  4. Honza

    Anxiety disorder prior to drugs

    I've been thinking about this a lot: Will my body be able to cope with anxiety symptoms in the long term when I'm off meds? Will it withstand the physical stress from the prolonged periods of anxiety, or is this likely going to lead to stroke or heart attack or some other health problems? What I'm asking is: Are people with anxiety disorder likely to have a normal lifespan if they don't take meds? See, I don't want to put my health at risk, but at the same time I know what ADs did to me and I'll do my best to avoid them. It's a tough one. I'm ready to use techniques like meditation and CBT, and maybe some herbs/supplements if my CNS hypersensitivity normalizes. But is it going to be enough? I guess nobody can really answer this, but I'd like to know your opinion. Thank you!
  5. I accidentally stumbled onto this a few days ago while looking for a review of the book 'The Highly Sensitive Person' by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D It was pure luck that I discovered ASMR, I've had this my whole life, but had no idea it was even a 'thing' or had a name. I found myself about to watch a youtube video review of the book, but was puzzled why the letters ASMR were in the title. Then when the video started, the guy was whispering, I could hardly hear it, I had to turn everything right up, at first it was a bit annoying, but then he started talking about the book and relating it to something called ASMR and I got very curious, left the video to find out what it was all about and found myself in a whole new world. ASMR stands for Autonomous sensory meridian response, apparently some people experience it and some don't. For people who have this, triggering this response can be extremely relaxing, calming and induce sleep. I was looking for a short video which explains it, there were a few I found, but the one I'm linking to, does an amazing job of not only explaining it, but also by incorporating some of the triggers for ASMR in the actual presentation. A comment below the video sums up what I think may be the potential this has for some people "...i can't thank you enough, you've done more for me than my doctors have over the last 17 years." It works best if you use headphones and you may need to turn the sound up. I've only just started exploring these kinds of videos, but already I've found some of my own triggers and can't believe how relaxed some of them make me feel, the most surprising is the sound of a pencil being sharpened. Of course its not a cure for withdrawal, but it may help with anxiety, stress and insomnia.
  6. vedivici

    vedivici: Alan Intro

    Hello all, I am very happy to be able to share with the world part of my issues. In the hope that these words may help someone, I think it is worth taking the effort and time to type it down. I was born and bread somewhere in Transylvania in a happy family with lots of friends and people around me. During my childhood I spent my time building things and interacting with kids. None of this social media nonsense kids spend time on nowadays. I married an Australian and move to Adelaide in 2001. I left parents and friends behind. Started everything from scratch, including learning a new language. Changing cultures and languages is NOT beneficial most of the times from a comfort point of view. In 2006 I started a driving instructing business. From that point on my health spiralled down. Sitting 12hrs in a car and stressing with my novice clients while under pressure from the idiots on the road, soon made my blood pressure reach the limits of normal. I ignored it. Around Easter 2013 I had 2 episodes of massive unbearrable headaches which landed me in the ER. The doctors suspected a stroke both times. First time hey did a CT scan but were not sure of the result. They wanted a spinal lumbar puncture. I knew the risks but decided to go on with it. After a horrible sickening experience the result was no stroke or some signs of blood in the sample taken which could have been a very minor stroke or contamination from the needle on the way in the spine. A few days later again massive headaches. I continued to have all these panic attacks in the middle of the night. Again ER. CT scan with dye. Specialist neurologist. All ok. I took 3 days off work to recover. Before these issues, I used to drink coffee, energy drinks, coke, sleep late and wake up early. I would scold a redbull and sleep like a baby. Wake up early, work like a machine 6 days a week and 12hrs a day. While at home during the 3 days I decided to play Call of Duty on a 27" pc screen. I remember vividly how while playing this game I got so dizzy, I go up and looked out the window to recover. No matter what I did I could not recover to normal. I thought if I sleep I will be ok. From that day on, my hell began. Continuous dizziness. I hate typing that word as i researched it for months on end. That's how I learnt about vertigo and how to fix it, functions of cerebellum, diseases of the brain etc. My only refuge was sleep. The only time when things were stable. I got so worried that I will no longer be able to perform my career. I was gonna loose the job, the house, kids won't go to a private school etc. Things got worse. Unable to find understanding at doctors i turned to natural remedies. I seen so many doctors here in Australia as well as in Romania, from GP to specialists and surgeons. No one had any idea what my dizziness was about. My poor GP tried everything. I took Stamatil for vertigo and did nothing. I took so many medications and it did not make any difference. I then got into fish oil, krill oil. My heart was going crazy. I was having panic attacks every few minutes. While waiting at the lights in the car, thoughts of harm would come into my head. Heart going into panic mode. I took to the heart specialists...any possible test was done. Then i took to the kidney, neuro, i even paid for my own MRI scan, ET specialists. I forget now how many types of doctors and medications I tried. I was given Arcoxia which made me nearly impossible to walk. Then the worst happened. Anxiety struck me bad along with depression. I will only say that everything round me was hell. I lost my sense of peace, sudden fear was repeatedly hitting me every few minutes, my thoughts were only on my bad state, my kids meant nothing for me bringing no happiness, i was in the constant need to hug my wife. I was constantly seeking company otherwise i was very afraid of my surroundings. From a guy that would come home at lunch and watch YouTube or a movie, I was now scared and so down to sit on my own, I had to have someone next to me. Suicidal thoughts were my only company. I didn't tell anybody afraid to not be ridiculed and locked up. My psychologist said to me that if I have any harming thoughts she has the authority to call the cops and ambulance and have me locked up. I didn't mention anything about it. By this stage all the doctors found nothing wrong with me but most of them noticed very high blood pressure and anxiety. The psychology lessons did NOTHING for me. I would suggest you try a counsellor or a mature person that can listen and understand you rather than a pseudo scientist called psychologist. It made it worse. I was having heart palpitations, massive headaches, sharp pains behind the head even with blood pressure medication. All until one day I went to see a GP. I described how I was going for the millionth time, repeated the tests again, all perfect. One day I could no longer function, my brain had it. I was an emotional, psychological wreck. I needed help and FAST. That's how I got introduced to Cymblta. I will relate the story next time as it's a bit late now, I need to go to sleep.
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