Bloodwork came back normal and I'm a bit disappointed

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Californiablonde, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I know that sounds crazy, but I was seriously hoping to have some answers. I went to my primary care doctor last week for chest pains, pressure, and heart palpitations. She did an EKG, which was normal. Of course that was a relief, but when she wanted to do a bunch of lab tests I was sort of hoping they would find something wrong. Nothing terrible, of course, but I was hoping mainly to find out there was a physical cause to this horrible anxiety I have been having the last couple of years.

    I have always been the nervous type, but since I hit 40 two years ago, I can barely manage. This anxiety is ten times worse than it's ever been, and I find it incredibly difficult to work through it. I actually wake up in the morning and have a panic attack straight away. I don't think it's work related, although my job does certainly cause a bit of anxiety. i was having these panic attacks during the summer time too, when my stress was at an all time low.

    So I was sort of hoping maybe my thyroid would be messed up, and I could take a little pill and it would cure everything. Or perhaps my hormones were off and that would explain things. Nope, I am totally 100% where I should be. These raging panic attacks are still a mystery, and impossible to treat. I have now tried every single SSRI that exists, and they all either make my bipolar much worse, or they actually increase my anxiety. My psychiatrist was going to try me out on a Triclylic antidepressants, but I found out from my pharmacy that tricylics mixed with anti psychotics can be incredibly dangerous.

    Now I'm back at square one. My psychiatrist is stumped as to what to do next. He told me he has to think about what to do next and he will "get back to me." That's not what I want to hear at all whatsoever. If I was retirement age I could just stop working and pop Xanax like candy, as that's the only pill I have found so far to be helpful. Since I have to work, drive, and raise my kids, Xanax isn't an option. So what next? I'm feeling defeated and like I will be stuck like this forever.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Amb, as you know I have had serious panic disorder and anxiety disorder all my life. I used to wake up in panic too, especially if I was also depressed. I didn't even want to open my eyes but the feeling of dread would come, eyes open or closed.

    I am finding the concept of mindfulness and dialectal behavioral therapy more helpful for my anxious mind than any other form of therapy. DBT is like CBT only improved upon. There are books about it too. I'll post one so maybe you can read it and see if you think it will help you. The real help comes with learning mindfulness and how to stay in "wise mind."

    I remember also wishing that I had a physical problem that would explain the depression/anxiety, but nothing ever showed.

    Here is one of the books on mindfulness for anxiety. I hope you like the concept. It is all about living in the present and focusing on the here and can bring you back from a panic attack too. I used to have sudden panic attacks that would hit me for no reason, and I had no skills to bring myself back from the terror. Now I do have skills to help.

    Here we go:
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the book suggestion, Midwest Mom (sorry I can't remember your real name.) I just ordered the book on Amazon. It should be here in about three weeks. Right now I'm in cognitive behavior therapy, but so far it really isn't very helpful. Maybe I'm just not seeing the right therapist, I don't know.

    I have been seeing him since August, but have actually only had a handful of office visits with him, since he always seems to be on vacation for weeks at a time. So far during our sessions he is telling me it's absolutely imperative that I find my trigger in order for him to successfully treat me.

    Problem is, sometimes there honestly isn't one. Like right now, I'm at work, I have had a pretty easy, stress free day, and I am having a raging panic attack. I have no idea why. I have no work left to do, and I am browsing facebook and this site until it's time for me to go home. My anxiety is a mystery to me. Anyway, hopefully the book will help. Thanks!
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm Pam and don't mind being called by that name :)

    I didn't have a particular trigger either. I would be perfectly fine one second and suddenly I'd feel like a jolt in my body and I'd be in full panic mode. There WERE a few possible contributors (but only at certain times). One big contributor was caffeine. I quit caffeine for about ten years. Another was fluorescent lights. Also, I tended to have more panic attacks during stressful times, like when I was going through my divorce.

    CBT in my opinion is good. Dialectal behavioral therapy and mindfulness therapy in my opinion is better. It doesn't focus on the "why" of the panic attack. It teaches you how to get calm during panic attacks and, as a fellow Nervous Nellie (my mother's name for, I find the skills EXTREMELY helpful. When I had my near syncope episode, rather than full panic mode, I was able to talk to myself and say, "Calm. Focus. You will make it worse if you panic. Calm. Focus. Focus."

    Another great book, which is an oldee but goodie is "Don't Panic." The last names of the authors are Reid and Wilson. They literally dissect a panic attack, tell you what is happening in your body, and how to slow your body down so that you CAN'T feel panic. I carried this book in my purse, with bookmarks to the right pages, for years. I especially used it at work. I'd go into a stall when I was starting to panic and read the soothing part and force myself to slow my heart down.

    I understand how you feel. We have some similar issues. Maybe that is why I like you a lot :)
  5. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I just spoke with my psychiatrist on the phone, and he is prescribing Neurontin for my anxiety. I used to take it, but at a very small dose, something around 200 milligrams. It was helpful at first but stopped working at about six months. Instead of increasing my dose, my psychiatrist took me off of it completely. I researched it online and found out that people can take as much as 4800 milligrams. No wonder 200 was insufficient and stopped working after a few months. I am going to take my first dose of 300 tonight, then increase it to 600 in a week. Hopefully it will kick in soon. Amazon is estimating my book won't be here till February 18th. I can't wait that long!
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Track your order. Sometimes they are wrong. I hope so!!
  7. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I got the book a few days ago. I haven't had time to read it yet, but I plan on it this weekend. Thankfully the Neurontin has made the anxiety more bearable. It's still there but not as bad. I definitely feel much better off the antidepressants. Not only did they make my anxiety worse, but most of them made me rapid cycle terribly. I guess I just can't tolerate them.