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21 Year Old Male Feel Like I'm Going Crazy
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nyrangers24 posted:
I am currently 21 years old and have not felt like myself in four months. In summer 2010 I experienced anxiety/panic attacks from August to October. I used meditation, excercise, good diet, no medications and I suddenly started feeling better in October. I did great at university that semester, as well as the spring semester and I was confident and hopeful about my future.

Summer 2011 was not a stressful time period for me at all. I was at home living with my parents, and I worked for a painting company for a little over a month. After this time period, my summer was going well when I suddenly started feeling weird. My sleep was disturbed, did not have an appetite, and could not feel any emotion. Suddenly the things I once loved just didn't make me feel good anymore. Nothing made me angry, nothing made me happy, and overall I just felt disconnected from everything going on around me. Since then I have been feeling the same way. I feel like I am in a daze every single day and just cannot get this confused/scared/emotionless look off of my face. Nothing makes me comfortable anymore and I just feel like I have no drive or emotion. I just don't know what normal is anymore. I am not anxious, and do not have panic attacks anymore, but pretty much I feel like I am a zombie. Completing simple tasks have become very difficult for me and I feel like I am a shell of my former self. I initially thought this might be my anxiety/panic attack self returning but it is much different this time around.

I've also been having trouble urinating. I can drink about close to a gallon of fluids without having to urge to go to the bathroom. Everything seems forced nowadays, especially getting out of bed, eating, staying active, going to class. I pray everyday, meditate, run 3-4 times a week, and nothing makes me feel any better. I just feel like I don't have my senses anymore and can't do anything right.

I have been experiencing a numb sensation behind my forehead and ringing in my ears for quite some time now and have lost my ability to think critically or rationally about things. When I am around my friends I just cannot have a good time, and can't remember the last time I was able to laugh, thought about sex, had a dream, or any sort of drive. I have had an MRI done, as well as several blood tests show normal results for the most part. Two of the tests were for Lymes Disease a - the Western Blot and Elisa. One showed that I was exposed and the other showed elevated antibodies. I am going to see an infectious disease specialist in a week, to further look into that possibility.

When I am around my parents, siblings, friends, pretty much anyone, I just feel like I cannot pick up the social cues anymore and I am stuck in this emotionally numb state. I have lost my sense of humor, ability to concentrate, and feel like I have completely lost it.
Most people learn from their experiences, and have memories that make impressions in their lives, but right now I am completely lost.

Everyone tries to make me feel better by doing things that I used to enjoy, but I can't even crack a smile. I don't drink alcohol, use drugs, or tobacco, and I am starting to lose hope. I just don't know what to do anymore and I am so young.

I've been utilizing psychiatric services at my University and they initially diagnosed me as bipolar. With all of the numbness and lack of manic episodes I did not agree with the diagnosis, and a lot of my close friends/relatives that I was spending time with during the past 4 months never noticed those tendencies.
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Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
I am not an M.D. and it seems as though you are receiving medical attention and medical tests, as you said, and there is some question regarding whether or not you have developed one of the infectious diseases. Hopefully, this will have a good outcome and you will receive medication, if needed.


One thing that caught my attention in your post was the fact that you indicated you had trouble urinating even after drinking a large quantity of fluids. I hope that you have brought this to the attention of whoever is providing medical services for you. I also hope that you have had, if it was recommended, and evaluation by a neurologist.


Your symptoms also seem to have a cyclical fluctuation and that is probably the reason that someone diagnosed you with bipolar disorder. As I read your post, I see that you indicate that your problems started in the summer and improved toward the fall. I know that during this period of time you also engaging in quite a bit of self-help and that may have been the reason that you were feeling better. But there are seasonal fluctuation disorders and that needs to be investigated too. Unless you had at least one manic episode, I'm wondering how they could have diagnosed you with bipolar. If anything, it appears that you are exhibiting the symptoms of depression. Of course, I cannot and would not offer a diagnosis, but that appears to be what you are experiencing and it needs to be explored also.


I know this has to be very difficult for you and you must feel like you're in limbo. Hopefully, things will improve and there will be either something medical that can be treated or some other therapeutic modality that will enable you to once again return to a happier state.
 
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LaJoe77 responded:
Hey man, I dealt with I guess you would say mild depression in my 20's, my doctor at the time put me on a couple of different medications that made me gain weight, have horrible night sweats, and feel like all I could do was stare at the wall all day. I wasn't experiencing what you are going through, but just wanted to chime in for support here after I read your post. Its very difficult and its hard (especially as a guy) to have people to talk to about any of this. I am now having panic attacks. Several years of working in a high stress environment led to chest pains, a visit to the cardiologist who said my heart was fine, and then it turned to panic attacks when I would get on bridge that is fairly high up on the air. I had driven over it for my entire life and all of the sudden one day I was thinking I was about to pass out and couldn't breath while driving over it. I started exercising, got out of the high stress and after a few years they subsided and I was driving over that thing every day again with no trouble. This summer my work ( at a new job ) turned really stressful and boom its back but worse than ever. I have to take alternate bridges to get to and from work (ridiculous!) My depression symptoms really went away with exercise and when I turned 30 it felt like life was a lot better for some reason as well, also going through a lot of dealing with foul people has made me stronger too.

So now I am at a cross roads, do I go to a therapist like I did before and just talk because I'm not sure if thats going to be productive this time around, or do I go see a doctor and get back on some kind of medication? I pray regularly, try to relax, started doing some breathing exercises, and have tried to "talk myself down" from an attack like I did before, but none of this is working.

Maybe the doctor on Web MD has some insight on this? Also wanted to post so you would know your not alone NYrangers24.
 
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mikeY7790 responded:
Besides your problem dealing with the lack of urination, I know exactly what you are going through. In February 2011 I started feeling disconnected from the world I interacted with. Everything that appealed to me before seemed meaningless. Emotions left me and I couldn't seem to be uplifted by my social connections with my friends and family. Soon all of my connections with other people seemed dead. I also started experiencing a numb sensation on the right side of my head, as well as random high pitched ringing noises in my ears. I turned 21 in July and i am currently suffering from panic attacks due to my state of mind. Maneuvering through reality has become difficult and I am also losing hope. I have seen many therapists and none of them seem to understand me. I am currently taking an antidepressant called Lexapro, but so far I have experienced no positive results. I know it's probably odd trying to relate to a complete stranger, but i honestly know your pain. I wish you the best and I hope that we can both find peace someday.
 
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mbabcock09 responded:
Hey, when I was reading this it made me feel like I wrote it myself (except for the urination). I am 21 and have the exact symptoms that you have described and I hate it, it's super frustrating. I have had them for a couple months and they have recently gotten worse. I also run 3-4 times a week and it doesn't seem to help. At this point, I am willing to do pretty much anything to make me feel normal again. I have been seeing the psychologist at my school(like you) and got diagnosed with depression. They have prescribed me to wellbutrin and it is my first week on it. I hasn't done anything yet but I'm hoping that it kicks in soon. You have successfully described my symptoms spot on, I'm actually printing your post to show the psychologist. Today I went to a chiropractor to see if that would help because there are theories that a misaligned spine can cause some of these symptoms. The chiropractor said that it sounded like I was having thyroid issues and has me taking some vitamins(one called Caprin, one called Optimal EFAs Caps and Thyrostim-for the thyroid). Hopefully it helps. I am normally an outgoing person, organized, clean and have a good sense of humor, but lately everything I do I feel out of place and simple tasks seem very hard. I can't even follow a normal conversation, it seems like I have lost all social skills. It also seems like I have lost the ability to think critically or rationally about things which makes school more difficult. It also seems like I have lost the ability to enjoy things and have fun. I am an A's and B's student and I'm nervous that this fog is gonna make my grades plummit. I also need to get an internship before I graduate and can't imagine interviewing with any companies when I'm in this state of mind. To sum it up I feel disconnected and in a zombie state where I am emotionless and have a dazed/confused/uncomfortable look on my face at all times like you described. I also have the ringing in my ears sometimes. When I think about my symptoms I think that I'm losing it and going crazy and have feelings that they'll never go away. I would actually really like to talk to you about this further because its scary how similar our symptoms are. I have confidence that this is temporary for both of us, we should work together to try and find something that works. My email is mbabcock09@yahoo.com. Have you found anything that has worked for you yet???