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193245 tn?1189993322

Success Stories

This forum is filled with people who are or were suffering from anxiety, of course,  What I think is lacking may be some success stories.  People DO make progress with this disorder, and I believe it's important for people who are new to the problem to see that it can be dealt with.

I suffered badly for a couple years before it was even diagnosed correctly, and then it took another four months for me to ask doctors for a medicinal solution.  Once I did I got a lot better.  I'm not saying that's the road for everyone or anything but it did help me.  A lot.  I'll be more specific if there's interest in the post.  Until then:

You show me yous, I'll show you mine!
20 Responses
Avatar universal
AMEN, I would love to hear what you have to say!
Avatar universal
At one point i was too scared of being sick to even leave the house. I wrote a list of things i was scared  of and set out to achieve them slowly, easiest first. I can't believe i did the one right at the top of the list recently. I sat in the middle of a crowded theatre the whole show! May seem easy but to me that was the hardest thing. I also avoided restaurants for years now i make my bf take me all the time and don't even feel nervous
2 Comments
Thank you for your comment on Paxil Very helpful i feel the same as you feel. I'm going to give Paxil a try
This is a pretty old post.  My only advice is, if you haven't tried any medication yet or therapy, give therapy a try before medication, and give almost all meds a chance before Paxil or Effexor, as they are very hard to stop taking.  If other things don't work, Paxil will still be there to try, it isn't going anywhere.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
Interested here!
165308 tn?1323190145
Very interested!!!!
200828 tn?1209921575
Success stories would be nice to read about for a change!
193245 tn?1189993322
That's great to hear.  Unless you didn't mention it, you didn't even require medications or a bunch of self-help books and CD's to achieve what you did.

I also know what it's like in a theater.  Last December I went to see Borat with a friend.  They say laughter is the best medicine, but whenever I laughed I nearly threw up!  It's hard to believe that was only a few months ago.  It's like I live in a different world now.

xxxxxxxxx

Basically, I experienced several panic attacks a day for 1.5 to 2 years.  It began as a real medical illness that took forever for a slew of doctors to diagnose and I ended up in surgery.  That problem was fixed and I felt better, but never well.  It seems all those months of being sick almost all the time and wondering what it was took it's toll on me, mentally.  I developed anxiety disorder.  So a couple months post op when I was still getting sick multiple times a day, I started going back to the doctors again.  They looked and looked for physical problems.  They found a few things I already knew or suspected I had (GERD, hiatal hernia, ocular migraines), but none of these things were enough to make me feel the way I was feeling.  

This went on and on and on.  Prior to being sick with the initial illness, I'd gone years without seeing a doctor.  I'd always been healthy, and if I wasn't, I simply sucked it up.  I have a pretty good tolerance for feeling bad but what I was going through was quite a bit more than I could deal with.  

Finally, well over a year after surgery, I broke down and went to a teaching hospital where I tried to have myself admited.  There, I thought, they'd get to the bottom of it.  The hospital didn't admit me because I lived within 100 miles of it, but they did accept me as a patient at the diagnostic clinic.  There, I was given a very comprehensive series of exams, blood panels, and x-rays; when all that came back negative I was referred to the gastroenterology department.  They subjected me to almost every abdominal test around, including several that I'd already had.  There was nothing physically wrong with me except for what I mentioned above (GERD, etc).  My GI's final diagnosis was "atypical panic attacks".  I didn't believe him (and may have pissed him off), but the doctor at the diagnostic clinic concurred.  It took a little time but I eventually accepted the diagnosis.  

For a while, that sufficed.  There were still some pretty hard times, but I dealt with them a little better for a month and a half or so.  Then, it all came back in a very bad way.  

I went to my primary doctor here in town, and he looked over everything they'd done at the hospital and agreed that it could be Panic Disorder.  He thought there might be a couple of other possibilities, but panic seemed most likely to him.  I got a prescription for Clonazepam (Klonopin).I stared at the bottle for weeks, afraid that the Klonopin would make me even more ill to my stomach.

Mind you, I was bad enough that I'd already stopped going to work, and was only leaving my apartment for brief trips to get food or whatever.  I didn't shave.  I took a shower only a couple times a week.  I ate only once a day.  It was getting scary.  Three, four, five, panic attacks every single day.  Finally I couldn't take it anymore...I was only a shadow of my former self and just couldn't go on like that.  Still fearing that the Klonopin would make me sicker, I finally decided to take 1/2 a tablet one Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago.  It did not make me sick.

On Monday I started with the prescribed dose: 1 .5 mg tablet two times a day.  

And that's it.  I've been better ever since.  I stayed off another week just to enjoy it, then returned the next week and worked like crazy.  Nothing could bother me.  I was bullet proof!  Now, four or five weeks later, I've felt a little rebound anxiety.  I think the "novelty" of feeling like a normal person has worn off, and I've found that the root of my problems are still there (the psychological element).

That's what I'm trying to work on now.  In many ways it's sort of automatic.  I no longer immediately focus on the negative, for example.  But I still have some issues with anxiety and my body does try to have panic attacks now and then.  Normally I crush them with an iron fist.  Other times, in weaker moments, they'll take hold to one extent or another, but they're nothing like they used to be.  I'm winning the war.

The Klonopin hasn't been the cure.  I'm not cured.  The Klnopin is only a tool that should allow me to get at the root of my anxiety and kill it.  It gives me enough relief that I have the perspective necessary to redesign the way I think.  Don't think that I'm bragging on myself.  I have setbacks.  I haven't been doing everything right.  It's a slow process and I hope I can make it through without ever having another really bad spell.  Some people do.  Others never can seem to get a handle on it.

Right now, though, I feel pretty good.  Like a human being should.

Good luck to everyone.
200828 tn?1209921575
I think you really helped yourself, congratulations.  I think that your tackling of the psycological element of it is the true cure for anxiety.  I don't think that a drug is really the cure either.  

I wanted your advice on my situation.  I have always been a hypochondriac to some degree.  I had a health scare last summer and I think this scare coupled with giving birth brought about this anxiety that I am now suffering from, almost one year later.  I have experienced difficulty swallowing, acidic stomach, crying spells, and chest tightness and shortness of breath.  As soon as I get a physical symptom, I get worried that it might be cancer or some sort of awful disease.  Like right now I've been seeing a little bit of blood in my spit when I clear my throat in the morning.  It worries me and makes it so hard to enjoy my life.  My friends and husband don't think I should worry so much and just think postively until I see the doctor.  My doctor tells me to don't worry until they tell me I have something.  But that's all easier said than done.  I'm afraid of thinking postively.  I want to prepare myself for the worst and in so doing I turn into a total basket case. If and when the doctor tells me there's nothing wrong with me, I still continue to worry that I will develop a disease sooner of later.  I hate this.  my relationships with friends have suffered, my husband and kids have suffered.  I know I am not enjoying my life. I feel like my life is just passing me by.  One day I very well may be diagnosed with something awful and I'm gonna look back and see how I wasted my life worrying about getting sick. But I can't help it!  Any suggestions???  
193245 tn?1189993322
So I thought you guys were interested?  I don't see many responses.  I know there are people who come here who have, at one time or another at least, beaten anxiety/panic.  There are probably some who visit now and then who've beaten for good.  Let's hear from you.  What has worked for you in the past?  

To Raine:

Thanks for responding.

I had a bit of health anxiety myself, of course, but luckily for me it was very narrowly focused on one body system.  After all the tests were run and everything was looked over, I finally accepted there was nothing major wrong with me.  However, I still found myself taking my temperature ten times a day, fearing influenza and whatever else until I finally made the turn around.  So I was worried about other stuff, too.

"I want to prepare myself for the worst and in so doing I turn into a total basket case."  To me, this is a pretty telling statement.

In terms of wills, trusts, and life insurance, yeah, everyone needs to prepare for the worst.  Otherwise, I don't think you do.  Preparing for the worst is your problem.  You're spitting up little amounts of blood in the morning?  I was doing that not long ago.  Assuming you've told your doctors about it and they weren't concerned, you shouldn't be either.  I simply had a cold and it was uncharacteristically dry around here at the time.  Some people get nosebleeds...some people split up a little blood.  It doesn't mean it came from the lungs.  You're most likely okay.  Give it a little time...I'm sure it'll go away.  Probably allergies, sinus, or a cold.  Those are some sensitive tissues and they'll bleed sometimes when irritated.  It doesn't take a major disease to do that.

Everybody dies.  Everyone on this Earth will, at some point, get an awful disease or whatever and leave us.  Something about your writing makes me think you're young, though, maybe twenties or thirties.  The odds of you having a horrible and incurable disease at this point in your life is very slim.  There's just no sense in worrying about it.

You're probably at the age (much like myself) where age is just starting to catch up, that's all.  You're NOT going to feel great ALL the time.  That's just a fact for everyone.  You can feel great the vast majority of the time, though, if you allow yourself.  You're not allowing yourself.  Anxiety will wear the body down.  It has physical consequences.  It can't kill you directly and would probably take a very, very long time to kill you even indirectly.  What it will do is demoralize you and ruin your quality of life.

I can't say "just stop worrying".  Clearly, it's not that easy for you.  You'll need to find your own path.  Creative outlets help.  Pharmacology can help break the ice.  Eastern philosophy could probably help.  There are lots of options, but you have to want to change and then go searching for the best way to do it.

Me?  I just started on my own path.  I'm no expert, just living evidence that people can make progress.  I was a sad case there for a while but I'm doing just fine now!  You can get there, too.

165308 tn?1323190145
Hi!

Sorry I didn't respond until now!  I forget to go down the list to check the old threads....that is a very interesting story.  I am so glad for you that you have found your way through.  It is a rough road, but we can all make it,,,,in our own time.  I have made it through most of the way, but I also have backsteps too.  But I do struggle with keeping "ok" because bad habits are hard to break.  Your thinking pattern is soooo important like you have said.  I also fear terrible illnesses.  I just had to go for tests and it is so hard not to have myself dead and buried.  I do a lot of self talk to try to hellp myself....trying hard not to have total and complete panic!

Thank you for sharing your story.....very insightful.
Avatar universal
Okay well mine isn't a total success story but it could be soon.

Okay well im 14 years old, My anxiety started when I was 11 at first it was not bad at all occasional panic attacks here and there but when i was 12 going on 13 they were out of control, I would be in a constant state of panic for days even weeks at a time, I would stay up all night crying, Having terrible intrusive thoughts, No appetite, Frequent bathroom breaks, and uncontrolled breathing. I diagnosed myself with depression. then they stopped for a while, at the beginning of this year they started again but not bad up unitl about 2 months ago they got bad like the first time only 10 times worse, I almost gave up on everything. Until i started doing research on what was going on, now that I have figured it out im slowly tackeling this disorder, it was taking over my life, I wouldnt talk to my family cause i didn't want them to know, I wasn't enjoying Life, I began smoking pot and cigarettes anything I could to keep my mind busy. What I decided to do was move out of my moms cause she trys to convince me that im mentally crazy and that i need pills to solve my problems, but im proving her wrong. To stop them I silenty yell stop in my head to stop the emergency message my brain was sending it helps make them end quicker, I try to stay positive and do  breathing excersises. Its helped alot there back down to being occasional and now I know how to control them, i still get worried about my health because I have had pneumonia a good 4 or 5 times in my life, and i'm always worried that every little cold sympton means I have it, i almost lost my life, they pronounced me dead within 24 hours the summer of '08. . But now im enjoying life more, any more advice would be great though.
Avatar universal
Hi OP/debaser: people do make progress.  I have.  In fact basically I'm cured.

I too am looking for a central spot where successes are posted.  This thread is the closest I've found on the web and it really only has your story.  Funny thing Is I know others that are good now.  I think when folks get healthy they get on with their life and stop posting.  Good for them, bad for folks who are sick and looking for data.

xxxxxxxxxxxx

Ok my story, I had been very sucessful in life with a great childhood, family, social life, work, travel etc.  I was not a candidate for this at all.  In fact, I was always an overthinker but also very happy and optimistic.

This changed as I got really burnt out setting up a business.  It failed and I broke.  Anxiety started and grew.  A year later crisis turned into finally admitting it and trying SSRI medication.  That helped but tough side effects.  So that lasted say eight months.  Then off and not in crisis but still always on edge etc.  Not the original me.  Finally tried a naturopath and she helped but not 100%.  Then I found the RIGHT naturopath, she diagnoses adrenal burnout, made me rest and quickly I saw the benefits, and it's just getting better and better.  I pestered her with questions as I wasn't willing to waste more months ill.

Nothing else mattered as much as getting over this.  And nothing truly worked.  There's no way therapy (that I tried), nor mindfulness (that i tried)  nor SSRI medication (that I tried) would help anywhere this amount.  They might deal with the symptom (anxiety), but not the reason (body totally burnout out).   

And trust me I was motivated for change.   

So the take out is that find the root and deal with that.  But remember too that being anxious burns out your body.  Which causes more anxiety.  So get help early and advocate for yourself!  

If it's adrenal burnout expect to have to take one to two months just resting -- but it's awesome as it's the first time in ages that you can rest!  It also takes months afterwards to get to 100%, and even then life isn't stressfree but it is normal.  And I bet we'd all take that!!!

Btw, your medical doctor may not agree with adrenal burnout as it's not official in most places in the world.  But they should be able to understand burnout.  And if they can't make you better they should be up to trying other paths.

So keep up hope, work hard, and be kind to yourself!
Avatar universal
Hi OP/debaser: people do make progress.  I have.  In fact basically I'm cured.

I too am looking for a central spot where successes are posted.  This thread is the closest I've found on the web and it really only has your story.  Funny thing Is I know others that are good now.  I think when folks get healthy they get on with their life and stop posting.  Good for them, bad for folks who are sick and looking for data.

xxxxxxxxxxxx

Ok my story, I had been very sucessful in life with a great childhood, family, social life, work, travel etc.  I was not a candidate for this at all.  In fact, I was always an overthinker but also very happy and optimistic.

This changed as I got really burnt out setting up a business.  It failed and I broke.  Anxiety started and grew.  A year later crisis turned into finally admitting it and trying SSRI medication.  That helped but tough side effects.  So that lasted say eight months.  Then off and not in crisis but still always on edge etc.  Not the original me.  Finally tried a naturopath and she helped but not 100%.  Then I found the RIGHT naturopath, she diagnoses adrenal burnout, made me rest and quickly I saw the benefits, and it's just getting better and better.  I pestered her with questions as I wasn't willing to waste more months ill.

Nothing else mattered as much as getting over this.  And nothing truly worked.  There's no way therapy (that I tried), nor mindfulness (that i tried)  nor SSRI medication (that I tried) would help anywhere this amount.  They might deal with the symptom (anxiety), but not the reason (body totally burnout out).   

And trust me I was motivated for change.   

So the take out is that find the root and deal with that.  But remember too that being anxious burns out your body.  Which causes more anxiety.  So get help early and advocate for yourself!  

If it's adrenal burnout expect to have to take one to two months just resting -- but it's awesome as it's the first time in ages that you can rest!  It also takes months afterwards to get to 100%, and even then life isn't stressfree but it is normal.  And I bet we'd all take that!!!

Btw, your medical doctor may not agree with adrenal burnout as it's not official in most places in the world.  But they should be able to understand burnout.  And if they can't make you better they should be up to trying other paths.

So keep up hope, work hard, and be kind to yourself!
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