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Now that I can finally function slightly, now what?
taniaolsson posted:
Hi there
I'm a 31 year old woman and I have been living with anxiety pretty much since birth.
Looking at all of the various types of disorders I find that I relate to every single one of them to sliding degrees, plagued mostly by violent panic attacks including very covert attempts at hurting myself where I feel completely disconnected from my experience, as if looking at the scene from outside of myself mostly, up to completely blacking out during severely stressful scenes.

I also suffer from some other medical conditions [DVT, severe and largely visual migraines and permanent sinus problems> that I believe may or may not have a direct ink to the constant fear and panic that I have somehow managed to live with for such a long time.

I sarted, finally, taking medication around 4 months ago, Lexamil 10mg once a day and valium that I should be using thrice daily but end up only taking trying to prevent or during a panic attack [mainly because I feel extremely disconnected from reality when I take valium as prescribed, unable to function at all because i feel totally numb and seperated from my own thought patterns>.

My questions are the following:

1. Is taking the valium at irregular intervals as i need it rather than permanently and as prescribed affecting the function of my Lexamil?

2. I am still experiencing some attacks, though fewer and more clearly and would like to know if this could completely be elliminated by changing my dosage?

3. Now that I look at my life through medication-coloured glasses I feel completely ill-equiped to handle anything therefore replacing frequent heavy attacks with a constant feeling of having ZERO control over my emotions. I feel as if I have never learned how to cope with aything because I was simply handling EVERYTHING though this meant creating a very effective fiing system in my mind.

4. I now feel much more in control of the attacks but completely incapable of tackling the original causes of my anxiety as every feeling I experience now is slightly overwhelming. I used to simply file issues away it seems and though I don't feel as if my entire life is run by this curse anymore I am now faced with a reality which is scaring me blind and is resulting in a permanent state of confusion that I am very much NOT qualified to deal with. Are there other medications available for this or should I go directly in search of a psychologist or psychotherapist to help me with this? I tried therapy once before and I left feeling as if I had completely manipulated the session achieving the exact results that I felt most comfortable with [clearly not positive outcomes either>.

I need to know if this is normal whn first starting the proces of healing this debilitating condition that seems to be mosty ignored by society as a whole or simply shrugged off as silly personal issues that shouldn't be brought up in civilised conversations because they only happen to people 'who cannot handle the truth / life'.

i need to know if there is something more that is wrong with me than fear.

If possible I request that sufferers relating to my condition has any advice.
I can't meditate, i have absolutey NO appetite so eating this away is very much not going to happen, I am under SEVERE and CONSTANT stress within my nuclear family and I have no desire to live like this for the rest of my time here.

Please help me!

Proudly from Johannesburg
South Africa
Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
The description that you have provided strikes me as being a situation of extreme complexity with a number of medical issues involved. I'm not an empty and I cannot advise you regarding which medications might be best for you, but I do think that the management of both your medical and psychological issues needs to be coordinated by more than one medical professional. DVTs are serious, as you know, and you need to discuss how any of your medical issues might be bringing on some of your symptoms. Certainly, your feeling of anxiety and panic would be related to concerns about medical issues. This is where I believe cognitive psychotherapy can help you.

Of course, therapy can only be effective if the therapist is experienced and you can relate to them in a cooperative relationship in therapy. I know this can be a difficult task since many people may be therapists but not all of them will be for you.

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