I'm about ready to give up


Well-Known Member
This anxiety has been hell for the last three years and everything my last three different doctors have given me either doesn't help at all whatsoever, or it makes my anxiety even worse. Take this new medication I'm on called Brintellix. Six weeks of this medication and I am going to be begging my doctor this Friday (When I see him next) to take me off of this damn stuff. I used to get panic attacks first thing upon waking in the morning, then a bath and a little prayer and meditation would cure it. The panic would settle in again somewhere after lunch time, so I would drink a cup of decaf tea to help calm my nerves. Well now I am in 24/7 constant panic mode no matter what I try.

For example, I am now sitting at my desk at work feeling like I'm about to jump out of my skin. My heart is racing, I have that horrible butterfly feeling in my stomach, and it feels like there's a rush of adrenaline throughout my entire body. I just want to scream and run like hell, but here I sit, trying to appear calm, hoping nobody will notice. I am so sick of this. I'd rather be medication free than feel like this.

I have officially tried all of the SSRI's and they have all officially failed me. Unless there's something you all can think of that I haven't tried yet, but I doubt it. So far I have been on Prozac, Zoloft, Vybrid, Wellbutrin, Luvox, Remeron, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, and Buspar. I have also tried every single mood stabilizer, and while they work great for the bipolar, not so much for the anxiety. I have tried every single antipsychotic out there, which they say can also help with anxiety issues, but so far none of them do crap.

I have tried Cognintive behavior therapy and my therapist was clueless as to how to help me. Maybe I just haven't found the right therapist yet. Who knows? All I know is that right now I'm one big anxious ball of mess and I can't figure out why. My kids are actually improving in school and my home life is decent, so I really can't for the life of me figure out what my triggers are. In the meantime I see psychiatrist again on Friday and beg for his help, although right now I feel like he can't even help me. I need lots of good wishes and luck sent my way!


Well-Known Member
Oh, CB. You're a "complex case" which always drives the medical people nuts. But keep pushing. Your history means that part of the problem is medical (MI), and part of it is the result of drug use which is harder to figure out and treat, but a good therapist should be able to handle both pieces. They should, for example, be able to give you tools for managing anxiety - bio-feedback, centering, other techniques that enable you to control the panic response.

I'm surprised they tried you on anti-anxiety medications at all if you are bi-polar. Seems to make the bi-polar worse, I've heard.

Meanwhile, medications are not always the best answer. If your therapist was clueless as to how to help you, then you haven't found the right therapist, and yes, the RIGHT one will help. Other things that would help include a serious overhaul of diet, to get a lot more variety of fruits and vegetables. Consider eliminating all wheat and all dairy for a while (like 3-6 months), and see if there is any difference. Definitely pass on all artificial colors and flavors. Also skip the decaf - the chemicals in there can really mess you up. Better off drinking peppermint tea.Have you tried aroma therapy? Lavender is really calming - there are lots of other scents that help. If you use perfume, it might be complicating things.

There is hope. It's just a totally rotten world to try to get answers from the "system" when you don't fit a neatly labeled little "box". Hang in there. Keep fighting for yourself, just like you keep fighting for your kids.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Please do not give up. ((HUGS)) to you...........

I agree with InsaneCdn that medications are not always the answer. Our Endocrine system is something that needs to be delicately balanced and each time a medication is introduced into our body it can wreak havoc on your endocrine system. The numerous medications you have tried I'm sure have had more of an adverse effect instead of helping.

One thing I have learned is Western medicine is too quick to prescribe a medication. There are so many natural alternatives. That does not mean that medication does not have its place, it does. For me, I exhaust all natural methods before giving in to taking a pill.

I learned a lot about health and nutrition when I was going through cancer. Every cell in our body needs nourishment from whole foods. Eating a clean diet is one of the best things we can do for our bodies. When I say eat clean I mean nothing processed ever. No white sugar and no white flour.
For example, instead of making traditional pasta, I make quinoa. My drink of choice is always water. I do not drink soda of any kind including diet. Aspertame is not good for you and is in most diet sodas.

Meditation and relaxation therapy can work wonders.

There is a wealth of information on healing our bodies naturally on the internet.

Our bodies have an amazing way of healing if we feed them what is good.

Hang in there CB.


Well-Known Member
Thank you both ladies for your replies. My one saving grace right now is the thought that my last day of work is in exactly four week. For two whole months I won't be battling this darned anxiety while still trying to work. I do get anxiety at home, as well, but I can manage it much better there. It's just so hard holding down a full time job and working throughout all the stress I'm feeling emotionally. I can't wait till I can at least have a little down time and decompress. Work right now is incredibly difficult, and I'm just taking it day by day.


Well-Known Member
CG, I feel for you. I had to take medications for my list of disorders (mood disorder not otherwise specified, generalized anxiety disorder, mild Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and panic disorder, which is no fun). It took me ten years to find medications that actually worked about 95%. I still take them. It can and often is a very long process.

Did your psychiatrist tell you that there is a new test that came out that can help him figure out which antidepressant will help you? I believe it is just a blood test or it's a DNA test and it has to do with finding out how you metabolize. If your doctor has not brought this up to you, either bring it up to him or find a more knowledgeable doctor. Your doctor should be aware of this.

CG, I have anxiety a little bit most of the time, even if it's not really bothering me. With practice, I have found that many YouTube guided meditation videos really help me and I can shoot down a panic attack just by using my breathing to slow my heart. You can't panic...it's physically impossible...if your body isn't racing. And you can stop it just by slowing your breathing. I also have benzos for emergencies a nd they work great. For me, they work better than anything else.

Have patience and know we all care about you.


Well-Known Member
As a matter of fact, SWOT, and I just heard awhile ago about that test they do to see which medication works for you. I had forgotten about it till now. I will ask my doctor about it on Friday. I do have my Xanax on hand for now for emergencies, but since my horrible DUI incident while taking Klonopin three years ago, I refuse to take my Xanax before or during work hours. Which is one good reason why I REALLY dread going to work. I am stuck here with nothing.

At home I only take my Xanax in cases of emergency so I don't become dependent on it, but that's not even a possibility while I'm working. I also manage my anxiety with music and long walks down my neighborhood, but once again, when I'm at work that's not possible. One reason why I am so desperately looking at a non benzo safe medication I can take when I have to be alert and drive. I have no idea what my psychiatrist can try that I haven't already tried, but maybe he has something new I haven't heard of yet. I was hoping this Brintellix would be my answer, but it turns out, no so much. Now back to the drawing board.


Well-Known Member
My own experiences, CG, which may not be the same as yours, are that if an antidepressant did not work at first, and made me feeling no better or no worse, then it actually COULD kick in later in my trial period...as late as week eight. But if the medication started out giving me bad side effects or making me worse, it just kept getting worse and I had no desire to keep up the trial. You know your own body. It's up to us to help our doctors, who are foundering with too many medication options, not enough information, and some people who are medication resistant, to help them help us. Honestly, this is the true story of how I found my Paroxatene, which many people can not tolerate but works magic for me.

I went to a specialist in ECT because I couldn't take my depression anymore and was willing to try anything. ECT had and has been improved, but still it was pretty drastic for me to go begging for it...lol. Well, he told me a new medication just came out and to try it and if it didn't work we could consider it. I tried it, expecting it to not work or half work, like all the others. When it hit about seven weeks, I woke up and I could feel a deep calm spreading throughout my body. Now, I'm talking about calm for ME ;) You never know. Don't give up.

I hope you feel much calmer after you move to your new job. Hugs!!!!


Well-Known Member
Given your challenges with getting a varied and balanced diet, is there any chance you are low on iron, zinc, and/or B vitamins? Deficiencies in any of those can cause or exacerbate anxiety symptoms.


Well-Known Member
A multi-vitamin won't do it. It has a bit of everything, and not enough of anything. Get your doctor to test your iron levels if they haven't been tested. You may need prescription iron. Pick up a b-complex "complete" supplement - much higher in the B vitamins than a multi is.

if your iron is low, you could be anemic - and that alone can send your body into "anxiety mode". We don't cope well with anything if we are really low on iron.


Well-Known Member
Not necessarily. Or sometimes, they check, but it could be "borderline" and they will ignore it. I was that way when pregnant - technically not below the cut-off for supplementation, but I was SO exhausted that they gave me the supplement and it helped. Ask at your next appointment - or if you can speak to the nurse, ask if they checked it on the last round.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I'm one big anxious ball of mess and I can't figure out why. My kids are actually improving in school and my home life is decen

I'm so sorry this is happening. Sometimes, when we are doing well, there is a part of us that is afraid of the change, afraid we don't deserve those good things that are happening for us, and fears that maybe the good things will be lost. That part of us fights very hard for us to go back to the old, comforting ways.

Could it be something like this, do you think?

During these times, it can help us if we sit with the feelings, understanding that our anxiety is valid. We are changing, breaking away from the old ways and from the old understandings about who we are and what we are entitled to and where we are going.

Brene Brown writes about "leaning in" to the feelings, about being compassionate toward ourselves, because change really is such a hard thing.

You can hear her speak on this on TED talks, California.

I'm sorry you are feeling badly.

You know what? We are all behind you on this. You have made so many good changes for yourself. We are proud and happy for you. Can you just take it one day, one hour at a time?

It really is a very hard thing, to change our lives.



Well-Known Member
Thank you Scent of Cedar, for your support. One thing I have noticed is my anxiety increases dramatically right before and during my time of the month. Right now it's that time, so I am having a pretty rough week. You know what though? My doctor checked all of my female hormone levels last year and everything came back normal. But I definitely notice a huge increase in the panic attacks during that time of the month. Plus this new medication is making it worse. Some SSRI's increase my anxiety instead of making it better. I am definitely going off the Brintellix by Friday when I see my doctor. I can't stand the way this medication makes me feel, and now I'm depressed on top of the anxiety. Oh, and I just called my doctor to request to have more blood work done to check for anemia. Hopefully that will give me some answers too.


Well-Known Member
Oh, CG, that happened to me too. I would be very depressed and nervous at that time. It was so awful that my husband could tell. I did not have a regular cycle so I never knew when it was really coming, but could sort of tell by how weepy and jumpy I got. My husband would say, "Are you going to get your period?" Of course, in the frame of mind I was in, I'd snap, "NO!" Then I'd get it the next day or the day after and I'd say, sheepishly, "You know...I did get it."I think it's common for moods and anxiety to worsen when people have mood disorders...hormones doing cartwheels and all...

I know somebody who went on the Pill for that pre-menstrual syndrome. I couldn't take the Pill so I never tried it for that, but you may want to ask your doctor about it.

You're doing great. Stay strong! Hugs!


Well-Known Member
The pill doesn't always help - but might be worth a try. It can also regulate flow - if you tend to have heavy flow, then you are at higher risk of anemia.

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
As I went through menopause, I learned that St John's Wort, taken for the week or less an antidepressant might be required, was supposed to help. So I tried it, and it did. It isn't supposed to, so they say. But it helped me. If I continued to take it, I would find myself edging in the other direction, so I would stop until I felt I needed that kind of adjustment, again.

I also used diuretics. If you are retaining fluid, that can also affect everything about how you look and feel.

B vitamins will help. They are water soluble, so you cannot take too much, and were very helpful to me.

Metformin and spironolactone (a potassium-sparing diuretic) can be especially helpful. Both require a prescription. Metformin regulates blood sugar, but can also be very helpful in other ways.

All of this is just another challenge, California. Stay right with it, one step at a time, one day at a time. You are choosing and changing and reclaiming your life. There are going to be days that doesn't feel very good, but there have always been days that didn't feel very good. When you are through this part?

Every single thing will look very different.

You are doing well.

Good job, California.




Roll With It
I honestly thing that antidepressants are not ever going to really help you, at least not the SSRIs . They make your bipolar worse and can keep you in a mixed or manic state for very long periods of time.

I strongly suggest herbal teas and some supplements. For teas, Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer is really great. It actually tastes good and not like a bunch of weeds in water. It also really helps calm you. Tazo has a tea named Calm that several of my friends with severe anxiety swear by. A lot members of one of my online groups say it has worked better for them than any medication ever did. Some don't like the taste, but say that adding a big of honey and cinnamon really helps. One lady just keeps a cinnamon stick in her cup at work and she stirs hr Calm Tea with it and she says it is pretty good if you do that. She used to only be able to work part time because of her severe anxiety and over time she worked up to being able to work full time. The only changes she made were going of the rx anti-anxiety medications (SSRIs), meditating at lunch, and drinking this tea all day at work instead of coffee or soda. If she cannot find the Calm tea, she will substitute Tension Tamer instead and it works

I would take kava and feverfew if I were you. You can get these in teas but I prefer sealed capsules. They don't have to be a fancy or expensive brand, any brand usually will do.
I'd also like to suggest taking probiotics and eating some fermented food such as yoghurt, sauerkraut or pickles every day. I've just finished reading a book called Brain Builder by Dr. David Perlmutter. He is a neurologist and he's found that the balance of the various types of bacteria in the digestive system can affect moods, anxiety, allergies, memory, weight gain, arthritis, dementia and diabetes. It seemed really promising and we've just started taking supplements this week. He recommends the following 5 priobiotics as the most important:

L. (lactobacillus) plantarum
L. acidophilus
L. brevis
B. (bificobacterium) lactis/sometimes called B. animals
B. longum

He said that people should take them with filtered water as the chlorine in tap water may kill them off. Herbicide residues in food can do that as well so eat organic as much as possible and choose dairy, meat and eggs that are from animals that haven't been given antibiotics. He also recommends avoiding gluten as it can cause chronic low-grade inflammation.


Well-Known Member
Ok, ok.

What kind of bipolar did your psychiatrist say you had? Do you get totally psychotic manic? There is a huge difference between what was once called bipolar II and is now usually called mood disorder not otherwise specified, where you get a little high, very low, and can get mixed. The Bipolar I is the rarest kind. A plain mood disorder with anxiety and panic disorder are a common set of diagnosis.

The stuff recommended here is very expensive and in my experience never helped me at all. Exercise has, but not by itself. Still, I'm surprised nobody mentioned that because it has been proven to work against depression and anxiety. Nothing else has been studied, as far as more natural remdies and none did anything for me. That doesn't mean they won't work for you, but if you have a more serious mood disorder and anxiety, you will need medication.
It does not sound like this one is going to work for you since you feel worse. If you have a mood disorder without getting totally manic SSRIs can be very helpful as they are for me. Everyone is different.

One thing I did always is stay active in my care, find info and share what I wanted to do with my psychiarist. If a medication was making me feel more anxious than before I was on it, I did not continue it. Once, on Zoloft, the first dose REALLY helped me. I felt normal again. By the se cond week I was in ER with a heartbeat so fast they couldn't get a reading and akathesia just on the day my boys were graduating eighth grade...lol. If you don't know what akathesia is, it is a restlessness where you can not sit down...you feel as if you are jumping out of your skin. In order to go to graduation at all, I was ordered 5 mgs. of Valium once an hour. That's a lot, but it made me able to go while the Zoloft ebbed out of my system.

It took me ten years to find a good medication combination and in the meantime I did extensive therapy and self-help, but I still was not close to 100% until a medication, which I call The Magic Pill, seemed to transform my depressioin/anxiety overnight. I've never been too bad since. It takes patience, but if a medicaiton is making you feel worse, why suffer? Tell your psychiarist you can not handle how nervous this medication makes you feel and he will gladly remove it and probably try something else. That is the usual mo. It is all trial and error and hopefully you will respond to something eventually, like I did.

If you want to, in the meantime, try vitamins, iron, supplements, anything go for it, but remember that THEY can cause side effects too. I had a Niacin side affect and ended up, yep, in ER. I had a bag full of vitamins that had been recommended me and my doctor chewed me out for taking them without a doctor' overseeing it.

Things that have been proven to help depression, at least a little (and often ONLY a little) are exercise and the more the better, meditation (ditto), classical music and, as far as I know, nothing else. medications can be a Godsend. The right medications. Situational depression is more open to natural remedies but, like me, you have the inherited kind that was always there and our sort of mood and anxiety disorder is more serious and harder to treat and does not go away just because our life changes for the better.

Don't be hard on yourself. This is NOT your fault. I hope you are not timid to speak up to your psychiatrist. You have to tell him how you are feeling because that is t he only way he will know. Psychiatrists, more than any doctors, need to hear the truth from us or they are in the dark. There are no blood tests for any psychiatric illnesses which is why they are so often misdiagnosed and why the names and symptoms in the DSM change so fast. We ARE making some progress in brain imagery, but we have a long way to go.

Since doctors can't diagnose us with certainty, it is impossible for others to either and it is equally impossible for any of us to know what will help you, but I'm sure every one of us hopes something helps you and that it hapens soon. Try maybe going off the medication (with a doctor's guidance) and see if you feel less anxious. Many medication trials I'd been on made me MORE nervous, not less.He can put you on another antidepressant that is maybe more sedating and less apt to make you nervous.

It goes without saying that stress is terrible when you are already jumpy so counting the days with you until your new job!!!!! Keep on fighting. You will make it. If I did, anyone can. I had these things pretty seriously and since childhood.