Hi, I did a preliminary google search of anxiety on this forum and was surprised when it didn't turn up anything, considering that it's such a common condition.
If you don't know me, hello. I lurk more often than I post, though I do have a blog that I update every so often. In that blog, I've been detailing my struggles with my anxiety, which is co-morbid with clinical depression. Both of them play significant roles in my life, and I've been trying unsuccessfully to overcome both of them this year.
I'm currently on Effexor, 150mg. I'm not sure that it has much of an effect, but I didn't notice anything positive with my previous antidepressants either. Before that, I was on Mirtazapine (it completely knocked me out, was drowsy all the time) and then Lexapro (it made me exhausted after a while). Most of the problem with "not knowing if it works" stems from the fact that I don't know how I feel most of the time (typical INTJ problem). In fact, I didn't even realise that I had a problem and had to seek help till I became suicidal in January this year.
I've asked my psychiatrist a few things, but have never really gotten satisfactory or practical answers because he tends to go off on long, rambling tangents. I'm hoping that people who have experience with this will be able to provide practical advice and help.
These questions include:
1) Do suicidal and self-harming thoughts go away with medication? (They don't for me, and fighting myself and the urges is really tiring.)
2) What can I do to overcome my paralysis by analysis/worry?
3) How do you "stop worrying"? (My psychiatrist told me to 'just stop worrying', which wasn't helpful.)
4) How do you "brainwash" yourself into becoming positive?
5) How do you "force" yourself to communicate how you're feeling?
6) How do you stop the shame that comes with being unable to control how you feel?
7) How do you "know" how you feel anyway?
My anxiety tends to feed into my depression, and vice versa. Often, I feel too afraid to leave the house or deal with reality. My fears (irrational as they are) stop me from communicating with people, or even having them see me around. As such, I avoid crowds and people at work, and feel resentful when people want to talk to me because it means that I have to work up enough energy to suppress that fear. I also hate that I cannot resolve an issue within myself by myself. That makes me feel useless and further feeds the depression.
After the 3rd "intervention" that was staged for me this year, I've finally decided that I must change something. I'm taking steps to break my problems down into manageable bits, and organise my life. But at the same time, I need reassurance that it will get better (because it's been a year and 3 antidepressants later and nothing seems to have changed), and also I need advice on what else I can do.
Thanks in advance.