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Anxiety/Panic Disorder in NYC-HELP Anxiety/Panic Disorder in NYC-HELP

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Unread 05-17-2002, 09:29 PM
Anxiety/Panic Disorder in NYC-HELP

Could someone please give me some insight. I am relatively new to this site & I would appreciate knowing if anyone has experienced what I am going through now, & what the outcome was. I had total hysterectomy & (both ovaries) 2-26-02. I have been on Alora 0.05 patch for about 7 weeks now. Felt good, no hot flashes & strong enough to return to work. After going back to a job I found overwhelming stressful & dreadful before my surgery, the 1st week back I had difficulty sleeping. I developed severe Anxiety/Panic Disorder & am unable to return to work. I am literally "afraid" to go back. For a while there I thought I was going to lose my mind. Needless to say, I am very depressed. Am on Zoloft (50 mg) (started this week) & Xanax (til Zoloft kicks in). My Gynecologist tested my estrogen level & it is where it should be. She feels I should be "fine". I feel helpless & feel like quitting my job. But then I would be unemployed. It is already so sad here in NYC, & I work 1 1/2 blocks from "World Trade Center". I started counseling last week hoping it would help. My therapist is a male Psychologist. From my first session with him, I don't think he feels what I am going through is linked strongly to my surgery. Is this temporary? I hope the Zloft will help me. This a a very difficult period for me. Can anyone help, I'd be so grateful.

God Bless,
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Unread 05-17-2002, 10:03 PM
Anxiety/Panic Disorder in NYC-HELP

First I want you to know that I will be praying for you.

I do know that it can take a few weeks for Zoloft to "kick in". If you don't think the Xanax is helping maybe they could give you something else in the interim. My daughter takes Paxil for anxiety/panic disorder and has found it to be very helpful.

The past 8 months have been difficult and stressful for everyone, but, I imagine it is even more difficult for anyone living an/or working in NYC. That, plus having a major surgery is bound to give you some stress and anxiety. And, you are dealing with hormone adjustments on top of that. I think it is good that you are getting some counseling. Do you like the counselor you are seeing? Having the right counselor makes a big difference in the therapy you receive.

Keep getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids and taking some walks. Pamper yourself. Try to keep doing some of the things that bring you happiness and joy. Call friends. Visit this site often for encouragement. We are here for you! Take care.

Unread 05-17-2002, 10:31 PM
Anxiety/Panic Disorder in NYC-HELP

Evalina, I am so sorry that you are going through such a difficult recovery phase. Panic Attacks can be debilitating. Your post indicates that you only started on the Zoloft this week. You have to give it time to work. I know that that may seem like the hardest thing for you to do right now. When I experienced depression, I was surprised that there was no magic pill to make me feel better immediately.
Regarding your other issues, I can really understand them. I work for a major insurance company here on Long Island and we 'lost' many business partners in the attacks on 9/11. On top of that, my husband is a maritime attorney whose office is only blocks away from the WTC. Needless to say, he saw the whole thing. This has been difficult on us all. I'm sure in most areas of the nation, the news coverage concerning this has calmed dowm considerably. That is not the case here in New York.
Please try and relax. Try and discover things that make you feel good. Hey, you're already in Brooklyn...don't tell me that there is no shopping...!! And food...? Food of every ethnic background you could think of...... My folks are from Greenpoint and I still have some of relatives there......You should post on the New York neighborhoods. You'd be surprised at how many of 'us' there are....

I hope that you are feeling better soon.

All the best,
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Unread 05-17-2002, 11:50 PM

Could you possibly be going through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have this disorder from a very harmful childhood, etc. Anyway the Post part means because people will develop the disorder AFTER the traumatic event occured. I was thinking of you living and working so close to where so many lost their lives in such a senseless and traumatic way.

Secondly, the surgery itself could have precipitated this anxiety and stress, as major surgery is such a trauma to the body and mind. They had to prepare me big time on how to deal with surgery as the pain to my body would remind me of the pain I experienced as a child and had no way to deal with it them. I was not allowed to cry or show anger or any emotion about being so creuly dealt with.

In 2000 I had a lap for laser removal of endo and an appendectomy. I ended up with all kinds of stress related illness and panic and anxiety that was off the scale. For me the Xanax and then they changed it to a longer acting medication called "Klonapin." Helped saved my life as I was like jumping out of my skin and each minute seemed like an hour. I couldn't go out places because of panic, etc. etc. I then developed fibromyalgia and acid reflux and other stress related problems. I realized that for me the surgery subconsciously made me have to deal with a topic that I repressed, namely a fear of death. As a child I thought I might die and there was nobody to help me and now the surgery pushed it up in my mind that death was a possibility in life again and I didn't know how to deal with it. I did not go on an antidepressant only because I developed such a bad case of stomach inflamation that I could handle it on my stomach, or I would have gone on Zoloft as it is so helpful with panic and anxiety. Paxil is good for anxiety too, but for me in the past it caused severe constipation. I have a neighbor on it that has no such side effects though and it has really helped her.

I think the therapy was essential to my getting better. I had to face issues that surgery brought up to the surface. The pain of surgery made my subconscious mind remember the pain I dealt with so long ago with no help at all. I thought that God was angry at me just like my abusive parents were always angry at us girls--there were 6 of us girls. Through the years we dealt with so much to prepare me for having major surgery this time on May 6th, just 12 days ago. I learned that God did love me and didn't want to hurt me. If he wanted to hurt me he could have taken me out long ago. Ha, ha. I also had this huge fear that my little dd would not have me to raise her and we really didn't have family to care for her the way I wanted. I was able to give that control over and say that if God did allow me to somehow go to be with HIm during or after surgery that He would be sure to make a good future for her. Then I had to face the truth that I had painful things in the past and the pain of surgery and recovery made them have to be dealt with in more detail. So I was very prepared for this surgery although very scared. I wore a headset with classical music during the surgery and had my husband stay in the room with me the whole time, etc. etc.

Unfortunately I did have complications, but we were prepared knowing it could happen with my history of hurt. I don't know why this is happening to you now, but suspect that 9-11 may have caught up with you and the major stress on your body is now effecting your mind. It didn't sound like you were feeling totally comfortable with your psychologist and after a few visists if you still don't feel a good connection I would find you another one, as you can't afford to waste your time or money on someone who is not even on the "right page with you." I have a psychologist who would let me call him any time of day or night, but I don't abuse that priviledge, and I know he truly cares for me and my family. He brings me in on time for sessions and has kept me late when necessary and not charged me for those extra minutes.

I will pray for you and please try not to make any big life altering changes in your life right now like quitting your job. I would talk in private with your boss and explain what is happening and that you need some support right now. MY employer was willing to help in anyway when my psychologist wrote explaining what was going on. I pray that you will find the answers to your questions and why this is happening to you. The good news is that it is treatable and that you will come back to yourself again! I didn't become addicted to the Klonapin because I had a good doctor who made sure I had a low dose and that we slowly weaned me off of it totally when the time was right. Take good care. Pray to God for help and He promises that He will hear to all who call to HIm for help. Best wishes, Jerianne
Unread 05-19-2002, 03:37 PM
To Rita, Jeriann & LynnMary

Thanks All,
I thank you kindly for your reply to my ad. I have truly been low! But do think that all of what I am going through is initiated by my surgery, but the bulk is my own psychological issues. I was feeling so low today, crying & praying for help. Then decided to go out & walk. There was a flea market. So I bought a used tape of Oklahoma. Soon, I was feeling like my old self. Not concentrating on my fears of going back to work. I am strong enough now to reply to you. Still really want to quit my job. That would be such a burden lifted from my mind now. No matter what the outcome would be. Just have to find the strength to go in & do it, if that is indeed what I am going to do. God bless you & thanks again!

Unread 05-19-2002, 04:43 PM
Anxiety/Panic Disorder in NYC-HELP

Oh sweetie, I know all about panic attacks and depression.. I suffer from a genetically linked clincal depression. Never had a panic attack until after my DS was born almost 10 years ago. I had an over active epidural that got me from the nose down and I panicked on the OR table.. had them ever since. DS was a C-section.

One thing that I have learned to do is NOT to fight the panic attacks.. When I feel one coming on, I find some place I can sit and just keep telling myself..this will pass, I am not giving the attack anymore energy than necessary.. For me, this mantra has shortened the length from 30 minutes or so to under 15..

I was on Zoloft for about 3 years before I topped out the dosage. It worked well for me..

I am praying that you will have the power to keep the BEAST(depression) at bay.. Know that if you are pulled over the edge and into the black abyss, you have those of us standing on the edge reaching down to you to help you out..

I have been through too many counselors to mention.. if you don't feel a "click" with your counselor..FIND A NEW ONE!!!


PS email me anytime.. I know the road you are on intimately!!!!!!
Unread 05-19-2002, 04:49 PM
Anxiety/Panic Disorder in NYC-HELP

Evalina, I am 32 and had a laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy on 9 days ago. I have also had generalized anxiety disorder for about 6 years. I kind of know how you feel. The zoloft did work for me after about 2 weeks. The 2 weeks were very hard to get through, the meds temporarily increased my panic and anxiety and I had a lot of trouble sleeping. I did find a message board on the ADAA website for anxiety/depression that helped me understand a lot of things. Just reading the posts made me feel that I was not alone in my thinking, and it was nice to know that there really were other women who had the same problems I did.

I too was afraid of going to work, that it would be too overwhelming. I was always the strong one in our group, the one that people would turn to when they needed help. I felt like a failure that I couldn't even tackle my own fears. It took a lot of self-meditating and ativan, but I made it through one whole day at work. That was a big plus!!! Every day after that I took one at a time, but I knew that I could do it.
Unread 05-21-2002, 01:53 AM
Dear Orchid & MissBert

Thank you both for your wonderful support. Like I stated before this is so paralyzing for me. I stopped taking the Zoloft 3 days ago. Something was giving my welts & hives. Assumed it was the Zoloft. Dr. advised me to stop taking it. I am suffering so much now. I am still breaking out in hives when I scratch my skin. I feel I need help just coping. And then I go through moments when I feel perfectly normal. (Not enough of them I guess!)
My Psychologist asked me today if I thought I needed a "rest". At first it scared me. I pretended I didn't. Not really knowing what that all encompassed. Talked to another Pych. Felt more assured to take the step. The anxiety & depression now makes my life so painful. So I have decided to be admitted soon, possibly tomorrow. I need to be regulated on an anti-depressant, & get over these skin eruptions. I was told there would be a whole staff of people who will oversee the situation. I need help! The Xanax & Ambien are not doing the trick. So will be in contact when I return.
And thank you Orchid/Laura for your offer of allowing me to e-mail you personally. Will take you up on that for sure.

You All Are So Kind,
Unread 05-21-2002, 11:41 AM
Anxiety/Panic Disorder in NYC-HELP

I am glad you are going to get the support you need....I too have had to be hospitalized for my depression and anxiety. Sometimes it is what is be in a safe environment where you can have your medications regulated, get therapy, and be under the care of a qualified staff.I hope it goes well for you. I have sufferred for many years with my illness, the past 3-4 years having been very difficult. I too, have also had problems related to my job. I was fired from a job in 1998 for calling in sick too boss was not willing to work with me, and I was too depressed to realize that he was in the wrong, you are entitled to help, be it through EAP programs, disability benefits, or whatnot. My next job I worked part time but soon was so stressed I ended up on disability for a few boss that time was more supportive. My current job is way more stressful, and full time. I have chosen not to tell my boss about my problems.....things have been better for me now. I have a new psychiatrist, and am on a good "cocktail" of meds, have a new therapist, and also am in a weekly women's therapy group. What I am saying to you is, don't give up.....medications may take adjusting.....the good news is, there are a lot of choices out there, and they will not all have bad side effects, some will work where others won't, etc. If you don't click with your therapist, find a new one. I hope this hospitalization leads you in the right direction. Sometimes you need that.
Take care, and let us know how things go. E-mail if you like
Unread 05-21-2002, 12:05 PM
Anxiety/Panic Disorder in NYC-HELP

Oh darlin' I am so glad that you are going to get help..I too, took a sanity vacation..except mine involved going off my meds, then taking a whole bottle at one time..For me, that week in the hospital literally changed my life!!! I was trying to take of everyone BUT myself..and at the hospital I learned that I had to take care of myself before I could take care of anyone else..

That was almost 3 years ago.. I am doing well, and while I still have black DAYS that is all there is, is days.. not weeks, months and years.. Again when I have a black day.. I don't fight it, because I know it will be over soon..

At almost 3 years past it I can joke about it..I call it my vacation from sanity..and I can even refer to the hospital as the looney bin.. I got more out of sitting around the smoking pit than I did with the counselors..the ones out smoking..were just like me...fighting with the BEAST... But to this day, the hardest thing I have EVER done was sign those papers.. It took me til just a couple of months ago to throw them out...

I wish you well, and am always just an email away.. and if talking on the phone will help, I will send you my phone number via email.. THE BEAST CAN BE BEATEN!!!!!!


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