I constantly act as though everything is fine, but in my head all I can think about is death. I know that my mind is sick but my anxiety gets in the way of picking up the phone to call the hotlines. I am afraid that they can trace my cell phone, call the police and I'll go back to the hospital.
I have no friends, my family doesn't know anything cause I just stay in my room when i am not at work. Even going to work is becoming difficult. How do I get over my anxiety and call? I just feel like I need to talk to someone about how my thoughts are so bad. I am afraid I am going to take a bunch of pills and just go away forever. I am just so incredibly frusterated!
Ok, it sounds like you are in a terrible amount of pain, and we need to get you relief as soon as possible.
If you are "afraid" you're going to take a bunch of pills, that means part of you doesn't want to. Also, you feel too anxious to call for help, but you are writing for help. Is that because you know I can't call the police and tell them where you are, or is writing easier than talking?
In either case, I want to ask the part of you that doesn't want to die to keep writing to me every day for now. Will you do that? Will you promise? I also want that part of you to find a way to make yourself safe for now--flush the pills if you don't need them. If you do need them, ask anyone--a neighbor, someone at work, someone you have at least a little trust in to hold the pills for you and only give them to you as needed--keep a few. Are there any other ways you are afraid you might hurt or kill yourself? Make those safe too.
Now I want to ask the part of you that does want to die to wait awhile longer, to see if you can get relief and live a life that feels worth living. Have you ever had that--ever felt good? Will this part keep talking to me too?
Now tell me why you don't want to go to the hospital? I can imagine, but what is your experience with it? Has anything ever helped you feel better? There is much more I want to know about you, but I need to know you'll keep in touch with me first. If so, tell me more about what is going on for you.
Last Edited by Cynthia on Jul 16, 2006 1:50 AM
It is still me, i just created a login. Anyway, Yes, I know you can't call on me, but also cause I am much better at expressing myself when writing. I tend to be able to explain things better. Also, I can edit myself before posting so it makes sense. I promise, for now, I will keep writing. I can't flush the pills. I just can't do it. I might need em. Also, if I give them to someone they may put 2 & 2 together and realize that I might do something. I have thought about jumping off the cliff near my house, but I would hate for someone to find me in pieces. I don't want to hurt anyone else, just me. My whole life has been feeling aweful. I can't remember ever feeling good. I try to pretend, but it doesn't work. At the hospital they don't care about anything except making sure you don't harm yourself. Well, I guess that's the point, but for me I wasn't able to burn or cut myself so I got really frusterated. They don't talk to you other than to ask if you feel like you might hurt yourself again. They just sit behind the counter and watch you or bring the food out. It's as if you are a caged animal. So NO, I do not like the hospital nor do I want to go back there.
Thank you for keeping in touch with me. I understand that you want help and understanding, not someone to take away your sources of relief--cutting, burning and the possibility of killing yourself. Yet, you are still in a tough position, because it sounds like people will be really really upset if you kill yourself, even if you don't make a mess. Actually it's pretty hard not to make a mess, because even if there's no blood, people lose whatever is in their colon and bladder when they die, and then start to rot pretty quickly. But besides that, aren't there people who love you? Do you think they wouldn't if they really knew you? You could be wrong.
You know, when you think about it, what you're doing isn't getting the relief you need--only little bits, but mostly you keep feeling awful. How about if you try something different? It could hardly be worse than this, and might be better. Are you willing to try doing something different than what you normally rely on to cope?
I'm not so worried about the way my body would look after pills, I just don't want my arms over there and my head over here. I have family, I know my mom loves me, but the crap in my head is not caring about that. I know she needs my support cause she is dealing with cancer, but if I send her the letter I wrote, I think she'd be OK. I am living with my aunt, cousin and her 3 kids. I guess they love me, but most of the time I don't think so. They constantly tell me that I don't do anything but stay in my room and throw it in my face. I tried to talk to my cousin about my depression (not the suicide part) and we had a fight and she just threw it right back in my face. I have tried so many things, I guess I could try something different. I am in such a rut right now that nothing could make it much worse.
I'm not sure why, but I am having major anxiety over what you might suggest as a "different" way of dealing with things. My heart feels like it is pounding out of my chest and I can't swallow. UGH I HATE THIS!
I'm sorry I left you in suspense and it caused you more anxiety. I don't have any particular new route for you, but let's brainstorm together. First, staying connected to me is different than you've tried before. That's a start.
So, have you tried medication? Most people with the kind of depression and anxiety you have find life is much easier and more tolerable with medication. How old are you? Is there any way for you to see a counselor or a doctor? Whatever problems you have we can deal with once you have the emotional energy to deal with them, that's how medication helps--it gives you the will to live and the energy to make your life the way you want it.
Ok, this is one idea, and maybe you've tried it, but get me up to date on your experience. Tell me how long you've been feeling this way. Have you ever felt good? When--how long ago, and what was happening in your life?
Who took you to the hospital last time? Why did they take you? Has it been more than once? Please answer my questions, so I have more information about what might help you.
Thanks for writing; please keep it up--I'm here.
Last Edited by Cynthia on Jul 16, 2006 11:31 PM
It's OK, It's not your fault I have anxiety. I used to have to take medication before, but I haven't taken anything in about 3 years. I was on Zoloft(for depression) and Remeron(for sleeping) I'm 32 and haven't seen a therapist or doctor in 3 years. I have been feeling this way most of my life. I think the best I ever felt was when I was on medication (I think, I really can't remember when I ever felt "good"). well, I guess I have good days sometimes. Like for no reason I will wake up in a great mood, but the next day I wake up mad and hating everyone. The last time I was in the hospital it was Berkeley Mental Health that called on me because I was drinking heavily and was going to step in front of a train. It was only the one time I went, but I probably should've gone more than that.
Last Edited by BP7 on Jul 17, 2006 4:57 AM
So what do you think about trying Zoloft again? Were you getting therapy from Berkeley Mental Health? It could be the combination would help you get to a place where you really did feel good. When people are depressed, it colors their memory, so all they can remember is feeling bad, and even when they felt good seems bad now. So you may have felt better than you remember. It's certainly worth trying, don't you think?
Zoloft was working, but I can't go back to Berkeley mental health because I don't live in berkeley anymore. That is why I stopped going. Now, I can't even get up the guts to call a doctor or anything. Everytime I try to dial a number I get all anxious and panicky. I just hate feeling this way so much. I just want it all to go away.
I know it is almost impossible to do things like make phone calls, especially if there's anything scary about the call. This is the time someone should be making the phone call for you. But it doesn't sound like that's an option for you. What if we break it down into small steps, and you check in with me after each one? Do you have a doctor or nurse practitioner you've seen before? It's always best to see a psychiatrist, but anybody who can prescribe can prescribe Zoloft. Since you already know it works, it's a great place to start. If you have seen a doctor enough, they might even prescribe it over the phone. Otherwise, you can see them and tell them you've been really depressed and anxious and finding it hard to function, and this has happened before and Zoloft helped. So the first step is to find the doctor. If you have one, find the phone number. If you don't have one, do you know how to find one? Do you have health insurance?
I don't know how you can support me. Thinking about calling makes me feel like throwing up (gross, I know). I feel like I am going to say all the wrong things. I don't even know what to say. I am scared of going to the doctors. I don't like being touched at all and I am afraid they would make me have a physical (NO WAY). I know we are just talking about making the phone call, but these are all the things running through my mind. Can I have a couple days to figure out what I am going to say? Then maybe I can let you know what I think I can say and you can let me know if it sounds OK?
Last Edited by BP7 on Jul 17, 2006 6:14 PM
I know that it hasn't been that long since my last post, but I am freaking out, crying and having a major freaking panic attack. I can't breathe and am trying to type this so I can just vent because I feel like if I don't I...I don't know what I'll do. I can't even tell you why I am freaking out. I just don't know. I can't stop and I don't know what to do. UUGGHH......I'm sorry!
Your anxiety is getting triggered by the thought of calling the doctor--that's normal for a serious depression like yours. Try taking a deep breath, and letting it out slowly, as if you are a tire with a leak. Then do it again, and imagine lying in the sun; try to feel the warmth of it all over your body, as you let the air out slowly. Notice the muscles in your chest working to pull in air, and notice how they get to rest, as you exhale. Imagine your whole body feels heavy and warm. Maybe you are lying on a beach, and the warmth of the sun is relaxing your muscles so well, that you can feel yourself sinking a tiny bit into the sand, that is moulded to your body. Do this breathing, and imagine this scene when you START to feel anxious, whenever possible. It's easier to come down from a little anxiety than from a lot.
I am very happy to go over what you are going to say when you call the doctor's office. You can write a script if you want, or a general outline, or I can write it for you, if you give me an idea of what you feel most comfortable saying. If you can get through the next couple of steps, relief is around the corner. Hang in there. I'm still here and not going anywhere.
Last Edited by Cynthia on Jul 17, 2006 7:47 PM
I will try that visualizing next time. I wish I would've tried that before. The only thing I can think to ask is if I can make an appointment. Someone once told me I have to ask if they are taking patients? Why would I have to ask that if she is on the list of doctors on my insurance website? I don't really know what else to ask. Are there things I need to know?
I am TRYING to tell myself that I can do this, but my head is telling me that I am crazy for thinking that I could possibly do ANYTHING this simple. I am too stupid to figure out for myself how to do anything and that it doesn't matter what I say or do it won't help. I know in my heart that isn't true, but my head rules everything. I really appreciate your help. I sincerely don't know where I'd be without it. Thanks
I have to tell you something important. We all have different parts of us in our brains. Some parts may say "you're stupid;" others say "you don't deserve anything;" others say "you're not worth anything;" others say "you can't do anything right;" others say "you're ugly and unlovable so nobody will ever love you." There are lots of these voices in people's heads--it's not just you; Most of the people I work with have the same voices. It's a result of how humans learn and grow.
What we all naturally do is imitate how we are parented. So if our parents give us the messages above, we create a mimic of the parent inside our heads. There is a mimic for each of the messages you learned from how you were parented. Once created inside our heads the mimic's whole focus is to deliver this one message to you when it seems to apply.
On the other hand, while the same process occurs, there is a very different result if the messages are loving and compassionate. We also create mimics in our heads of caretakers who deliver messages like "you are lovable no matter what you do;" and "you can make mistakes in the process of learning and it means you're human, because everybody makes mistakes; it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you;" and you are a very capable person, and with encouragement, time and desire, you can do most things you want to do;" and "life is about figuring out how to enjoy it, and we will support you every way we can in finding that joy and living it." Of course there are many more of those too. If our parents deliver these messages in what they say and do with us consistently over time, the mimics we create of them in our heads parent us with this love and compassion. protection and strength, even after the actual parents are nowhere around anymore. So we live with the voices of what our caretakers taught us as we were growing and developing as kids.
The amazing part is that even if all the messages we mimic-ed hurt us, we also somehow develop the skills to parent lovingly and compassionately. It may be hard to believe, but think about if you saw a puppy limping in the street, with no people associated with it. What would you do? Would you tell it it was stupid for getting hurt, or unlovable and ugly, and that it messes everything up? I doubt it. I think you would try to help it. You might try to find it's owner, or take it to a vet, or give it food and water. or all of the above. You would take care of it with caring, understanding of it's needs, compassion for it's pain and fear, and the strength to figure out what to do, how to get help, and do it. Am I right? If you have ever done these things, or can imagine doing them, you have the skill. What you will ultimately want to do is to learn to care for yourself like you would the puppy, rather than mimic the way your caretaker were with you.
This may be too hard, but see if you can imagine how it would feel to take care of that puppy--in your best moment. When it's clear, then call the doctor's office. If it helps, write down what you want to say before you call; practice if you want. Keep reminding yourself that there is no goal here but getting what you need--you don't need to impress anyone; you just need to tell the truth. If you can say it, it might help to ask if the practice is taking new patients, just so they can't say they aren't if they don't want to deal with your issue. But essentially, what seems important to me is:
"I have XXXXXXXX insurance, and I have an urgent need to see someone today." If they ask what the issue is, then "I'm having such intense anxiety and depression that I can hardly function, and I know from past experience that Zoloft helps, but I don't have any. It's taking everything I have just to call you, so I need a prescription asap, before it gets even worse.
Of course you don't have to say anything that doesn't feel right or possible, but these are some ideas. If you want to keep working on it, give me your feedback, and I can help modify it, or change it.
How does this sound? By the way, it would be a good idea to do the breathing and sun warming thing often, whether you feel panicky or not. If you have a watch that chimes every hour, set it to do that, and do the excercise every hour, more if you can. As I said, it's much easier to keep anxiety levels low if you keep bringing them down frequently, so they don't get a chance to build and build until you're in a panic.
Last Edited by Cynthia on Jul 18, 2006 2:37 AM
well, I know that I would take care of the puppy. I love animals and other people very much, often too much I think. I know that I need to love myself that much, but right now, in this moment, I can't. I will try from today forward to do the breathing and stuff. I just don't know about making the call yet. I know I have to do it because it will help me, but those dang voices inside aren't letting me see that yet. I understand what you wrote about parents and what they say can get into our minds. My step-mom was not a very nice person and I was thrown out like trash into group homes and such when I was 13 because I was uncontrollable. So, yeah, she never had much good to say and I had to learn to take care of myself and try to control my temper on my own. I will try to call as soon as I can, but I don't know about saying that I need to get in today or anything. I don't feel like I need to take away from someone else who has emergencies or anything. I can make it for like next week or something, right? Plus I have to work monday thru friday.
Last Edited by BP7 on Jul 18, 2006 6:44 AM
Just because you were labelled "uncontrollable" doesn't make it true. It sounds like you were angry about how you were being treated, and that is a good and understandable thing. Don't you think that puppy would be angry if someone treated it the way you were treated? It's part of parents' job to teach how to deal with anger--if you had to do it on your own, your parents didn't do their job (they didn't in many ways, this is just one).
The reason I wanted you to say it was urgent is because you are suffering terribly, and I would like to see you get relief as soon as possible. You shouldn't have to suffer anymore than is necessary. Zoloft can take up to 6 wks or so to work--longer if it takes time to find the right dosage (and hopefully shorter, but it always takes some amount of time; it's not instant).
You deserve relief just as much as everyone else, and few illnesses cause more suffering than you are experiencing. You are absolutely a priority, and everyone else will get what they need too. It also may help not to call on Monday; doctors probably have more patients trying to get in after the weekend. Also, the longer you wait, the longer you have to be anxious about it. If you do it without thinking too much about it, you might save yourself some anxiety about calling, and also about going. I don't want you to feel panic-y for a week while you wait for an appointment then.
If you can schedule around work, and you are able to keep going to work, that's great, but it seems like you are on the edge of not being able to go to work anymore. So it would be better to take a day or half day off to see the doctor, then to wait and lose your job because you couldn't go anymore due to anxiety and depression, wouldn't it?
But all this is what I want for you; you can do it any way you want; it won't change that I'm here for you.
Last Edited by Cynthia on Jul 18, 2006 8:42 AM
OK, well I tried the breathing and IT WORKED! I was able to call. I was shaking the whole time, felt like I was gonna puke, but I got an appointment for friday. I was able to tell them that I needed to get in ASAP and they said I can come on Friday. I will only get about 10 minutes with the doc, but I am so glad that the calling part is over. Now, is the visit anxiety. I'm ok right now, but I know the closer friday comes the worse it's gonna get. I just kept telling myself that the longer I put it off the worse I am going to feel. I cannot believe I was able to call!
Last Edited by BP7 on Jul 18, 2006 12:09 PM
YEA YEA YEA!!! Good for you! I know that was incredibly hard, and you did it! I know going in is going to be hard too; let's stay in touch, and keep practicing the breathing/visualizing as much as you can. Remember, it's ok to be shaking from anxiety when you go in, so the doctor will see how much distress you are in, and give you the prescription you need--10 mins should be enough for that. Remember that you might have to wait in the waiting room, and then in the doctor's office. Think about each step ahead, and imagine yourself using your breathing, talking to yourself as you would that puppy while waiting for the vet--the puppy would be shaking with fear too, but you would do everything you could to calm it. Try to do those things for you. Scratch behind your ears, if you want(lol)! If, for the next few days, you imagine yourself going through each step, and calming yourself at least enough to stick it out, and do it repeatedly, then the real thing will be more managable.
Most people think courage is not being afraid. That's not true--not being afraid doesn't take any courage! It's when you are afraid and do it anyway that you are brave. You were incredibly brave today, and I hope you are proud of yourself!
Last Edited by Cynthia on Jul 18, 2006 2:58 PM
Yeah, I am pretty proud right about now. That was the hardest thing I have done in a VERY long time. Yesterday I felt like I'd rather die than make that call. I am already thinking about sitting there and having to wait. I know I'm gonna have to fill out paperwork too (I hate paperwork!)
"Scratch behind your ears, if you want(lol)!" your funny! HAHAHA
I am going to keep practicing the breathing/visualization because this is the first time it has actually ever worked. I guess because I was really hoping for anything to work whereas in my past I didn't care to try it.
"Most people think courage is not being afraid. That's not true--not being afraid doesn't take any courage! It's when you are afraid and do it anyway that you are brave." Can I please use this saying to put on my wall? I'll put your name on it if you want.
Cynthia, Do you think I should bring up the fact that I burn and cut myself to the doctor? I was thinking about it, but I don't know if it is important enough or not. I mean I know it isn't "normal", but alot of people do it. If I should, how do I bring it up? It is not something I am proud of, but is something I'd like to stop doing. I am just trying to get some thoughts together as to what I should talk about and what I shouldn't.
No, I don't think you should tell her. You have ten minutes with her, and she is not a psychiatrist, right? A regular doctor wouldn't know what to do with that, and all you really need from her is the prescription for your anxious depression. Once you get stablized, I will encourage you to see a psychotherapist, and perhaps follow up on the meds with a psychiatrist--those are the people you need to tell about the burning and cutting. I'm glad you want to stop--when you find other ways to feel good and cope with painful feelings, you won't need something that helps you and also hurts you, like cutting and burning. Does this make sense to you?
By the way, I haven't heard of anyone doing this, but I've been wondering lately, if something could help with cutting and burning. If you are willing to be a guinea pig, try it and let me know what you experience. Next time you want to cut or burn yourself, heat some water to 110-115 degrees F, and put it in a container. Also, put in another container some ice water. Both should be full enough to get your whole hands in. Then put your hands into the burning hot water, and leave them for a minute, or until you can't stand it anymore. Then put them into the ice water and do the same. Go back and forth a few times. If there's a way to keep the water at their original temps, you can do it longer. An alternative would be to stand under the shower and turn on the hot (but not above 115 degrees F), and stand under it for a minute or until you can't stand it. Then turn off the hot and turn on just cold, and do the same. If you have a heart condition, could be pregnant, or have some other medical reason not to do this, please don't. Also, if you start feeling dizzy under the hot, get out and sit down until you feel better.
I think one of the reasons people cut themselves is because when we experience pain, our brains pump out endorphins, which are similar to heroin, or morphine. These chemicals make us feel euphoric, numb pain, relax us. Obviously when you have the urge to cut or burn yourself, you could use some euphoria, numbness to pain, and relaxation, right? So this is a way to manipulate your brain chemicals to help you with what you are coping with. I don't think this is the only reason people do it, but a significant factor. So, if I'm right, creating pain in a way that doesn't destroy tissue, or cause any damage could be a better way of getting the same result. Going from hot to cold to hot to cold water is painful, and should release endorphins for you. Let me know either way.
Last Edited by Cynthia on Jul 19, 2006 12:39 AM
Sure, I will be the guinea pig. I am willing to try just about anything once, if it might help. I didn't know all that about the brain releasing chemicals when I do it. It does kinda give a sort of rush feeling, but relaxing right after it's done.
Everyone dissociates normally, and kids, especially at certain times in their development dissociate alot. Anytime there is a separation between your body and your mind, or between two parts of your mind, it is calling dissociation. This can look like "spacing out," or driving along a freeway and suddenly realizing you're at your exit, and you didn't notice the last few exits, because your mind was somewhere else. This is all normal for everyone. But when kids get traumatized, and no adults help them with their feelings, they use whatever resources they have to cope emotionally. For many, dissociation is one of those resources. When your mind and body are separate, you feel less or no pain--it's like numbing your body. Also when one part of your mind (the part that experienced the trauma) is separate from the rest of your mind, most of your mind doesn't remember the events, or at least the pain of the events. Dissociation works well to distance oneself from pain, but it causes problems later, because there are memories and even parts of oneself that are missing in day-to-day life, and because being out of a body can be dangerous, disorienting, and limiting.
Cynthia, I am having a bad night and was wanting to burn myself REAL bad. I remembered that you wanted to try something, so I tried it. I heated up the water and measured the temp with a meat thermometer (all we have) and then made a bucket of ice water. I tried it and it kinda worked. I think the only part I didn't like was waiting for the water to get hot enough. It just made my mind wander more. It is definetly a rush going from one extreme to the other. It was soooo hot, then soooo cold that it was kind of shocking. I liked it because I don't have to look at nasty scars tomorrow. I also, don't have to try to explain to anyone the marks. Sometimes, I like to see the blood from cuts and blisters from burns, but this time, I didn't care. I think I might try this again next time.
I'm so glad to hear you got through the craving to hurt yourself without scabs and scars, and especially the shame you feel with them--which tends to make you want to hurt yourself more, I imagine. Thank you for being a guinea pig too. If anyone else reads this and tries it, let us know what your experience is, so we can help as many people as possible! If this really works for you, you might consider buying an electric teapot (I'm not sure what they're called, but they heat up water really fast), so you don't have to wait long.
Let me know what happens at the doctor's tomorrow.
Last Edited by Cynthia on Jul 20, 2006 11:36 PM
I just wanted to post here that I went to my physician, anxiety and all, and was able to tell her what I have been going through. It was not easy, but she was SO incredibly kind and caring that I was, almost immediatly, comfortable. I am going to be taking meds and seeing a psychiatrist. I didn't want anyone that comes by this forum to be left in limbo as to what happened with me. I have been emailing Cynthia and she has been the absolute BEST support to me during my time of need. I don't know where I'd be had she not taken time out of her own life to help a complete stranger. I am eternally grateful to you, Cynthia. I look forward to keeping you updated on my progress(yup, I said it, progress)!
Last Edited by BP7 on Jul 21, 2006 5:23 PM
Jul 24, 2006
I was wondering if the hot/cold water treatment works for skin picking (I pick until I have sores?) I know it is related to my stress(anxiety)level. I was on Lexapro 10 ml but I did not tolerate that drug.
Hi, I wanted to post to give you hope that you do not have to live with anxiety. There is light at the end of the very dark, very long, very lonely, scary tunnel. I suffered terribly from anxiety, and am now almost anxiety-free. I honestly can't say what I would be like without medication, but if medication can free you from that hell...go for it!!THERE IS HOPE. You do not have to live like that, but you've got to ask for help.I know how very scary that is, but it will be the begining of what can be an anxiety-free life.I also challenge those of you with anxiety to look at your alcohol consumption. It wasn't until I became sober and was in therapy did I realize the connection between my drinking and anxiety-not only physically but mentally. Sending thoughts of hope your way. SS