Depression and Weight Issues - I feel like I'm losing my mind!! Social Anxiety ****!Advice?Don't know where to turn




Smiling_Sara
10-17-2013, 12:13 PM
I could really really use some help, advice, a listening ear....So, here is my story.

I'm almost 35. I have zero relationship experience. That's right. Zero. My anxiety has....probably everything to do with that. Mostly, I don't think I'm good enough for the other person. Even though I think of myself as a great person, not terrible looking, honest, good heart, etc. I have social anxiety in general as well, but most of it revolves around meeting new people, or more specifically men. I don't know where this fear came from, but it is most certainly there. Scared I'm not good enough, scared they will reject me, etc.

I want/NEED to get help. But I'm lost on where to turn. I do not have a ton of extra money to seek a therapist ( although, at this point, I'm not against just charging my sessions ) My health insurance doesn't cover anything for mental help. So, my options are.....

1) Make an appointment with my GP, bring it up there about my anxiety, and what her recommendation might be.

2) Make an appointment with a therapist, be prepared to spend $100 just to sit down and talk with them.

3) Deal with it, and never be truly happy.

Now, I should mention, it took a lot for me to even make this thread, so please be kind, and don't just say it's something I need to "get over"

I'm terrified ..... TERRIFIED of bring this up to my doctor, I'm also scared of taking meds, as I don't take anything prescription and very little over the counter stuff.

But I do feel very lost, and VERY alone, and I just don't want to feel like this anymore. I want to have a normal relationship, but not sure I even can at 35 with no past experiences in one. But I recently told a great great guy who showed interest in me that I wasn't ready to date-when really I'm just scared out of my mind, and that is what is making me think some sort of professional help may be needed. I don't want to feel sad and alone anymore. :(

Thank you to anyone who reads this whole thing, and a bigger thank you to anyone who has any kind of advice on where I can go, or what I should do in my next couple of steps to overcome this.


Jacqui_D
10-17-2013, 01:29 PM
Hi Sara, since you are afraid of meds, and I understand that because I am too, I would go ahead and try to find a psychologist or licensed social worker in your area with cognitive-behavioral therapy experience or expertise in anxiety. They won't prescribe meds (they can't), but they can help by teaching you how to change your thought patterns and how to cope. If you think you may need meds, then I'd suggest going to your GP. Although she is not a psychiatrist, she can prescribe anti-anxiety meds and they might help you greatly. Be aware, however, that most of these meds do lead to weight gain, so you'll have to be extra vigilant about watching your weight. Good luck! I think it's wonderful that you want to do something about this so that you can lead a happier life! Good luck! :hug:

giselley
10-17-2013, 03:01 PM
Okay here is an option-- strange but true. At my last gyn exam, I brought up the depression, the anxiety and so on (like you) and also my "over emotionalism, crying jags and anger mainly around TOM, and the gynecologist prescribed a small dosage of Prozac. This was just the tip of the ice burg. I actually started to cry in the office. It was actually depression based, but we "hid" it as a GYN problem, for PMS. I also started to take extra Magnesium and B vitamins.

Because of the low dose of Fluoxetine (generic Prozac), I was able to get a job I would not have been able to do because of my emotions, and I am less body conscious. I actually am not as "hungry" because it has an appetite suppressant effect (for some people). It is also so low that backing out from it will not be so much of a problem, and I do not need to ever see a psychiatrist or psychologist (thus do not have that expense).

So I would say talk to your GP or GYN next time around-- maybe that will help.

I recognize that you were worried about drugs-- so was I. I do not want to be hooked on a drug any more than the next person, but I had to consider that if I continued the way I was going, I would be miserable all my life.

By the way, I did not magically get a boyfriend, but it is a work in progress.

Another Caviat-- It took me about 6 weeks to get used to the Fluoxetine even at such a small dose. I was totally sleepy for quite a while, and thought I had made a terrible mistake. It takes a month or so before the effect of these types of meds kicks in and you need to stick with it.


doingmybest
10-17-2013, 03:35 PM
Hi Sara:

I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. Depression and social anxiety disorder run in my family so I have had a lot of experience with this. I have suffered from both depression and social anxiety disorder. I have had counseling and I am on Lexapro.

I really want to encourage you to reach out for help from a professional in whatever way you feel most comfortable. Try it in baby steps if that will make it easier for you. Maybe you can do some research online to find out about what is available in your area if you aren't comfortable asking someone for a referral.

In my family, those that had help (therapy and medication) have had, happier and more satisfying lives than those who did not accept help. Getting the right treatment can make all of the difference in the world. I was able to work, have a long lasting, happy marriage and some wonderful friends because I received treatment.

I wish you all the best that life has to offer. You also have a lot to offer and you don't want to miss a chance to share yourself with someone who will truly value you. I hope you will continue to post to let us know how you are doing. I will be thinking about you every day. :hug:

fadedbluejeans
10-17-2013, 04:30 PM
Hi - glad you mustered up the courage to post. Two things come to mind
1) under the Affordable Care Act, all health plans have to include certain essential items, mental health care being one of them, so you might want to check your insurance again if you haven't done so recently.
2) LOTS of mental health professionals will treat you on a sliding scale fee based on your ability to pay. Definitely ask.
Good luck to you :)

EagleRiverDee
10-17-2013, 05:27 PM
I used to suffer from really bad anxiety- debilitating anxiety. I went through one bout that was so bad I literally didn't leave my house for months. The first time I did, I had a whopper of a panic attack on the road and had to turn around.

Now, I almost never have panic attacks (except for if I have to get on an airplane, or if I'm trapped somewhere). What helped me primarily was exercise (I took up hiking). But I've also learned over the years to avoid caffeine, avoid alcohol, eat healthy, take fish oil and vitamin D.

The best book I've read on it- and I wish I'd read this book 20 years ago- is "Spontaneous Happiness- A new path to emotional well being" by Dr. Andrew Weil MD. He discussed depression, dysthymia, and anxiety and a ton of different ways to treat including supplements, meditation, yoga, journaling, breathing exercises. It was super helpful to me. It even helped me to help my DH this year as he's going through some depression issues and I used Dr. Weil's recommendations on supplementation to help him and his depression is much better now.

Smiling_Sara
10-20-2013, 08:21 PM
Thank you everyone.

I did make an appointment with my GP, and maybe I'll just ask for recommendations on what to do about the anxiety. I'm very very scared of the meds leading to weight gain. I have a very difficult time keeping any weight off as it is. Also, my insurance covers nothing in the form of mental health, and it's big insurance company. I'm sure I could add it, but at the cost of already over $300 a month, I'm not sure how much more I can handle for insurance.

I've been so on edge that as soon as I hung up with making the appointment with my GP, I burst into tears. I'm just so sick and tired of being lonely, sad, and feeling like I can't talk to anyone. But I'm also scared to reach out for help. Even now, as I'm typing this I am trying to will the ball in my throat away.

It's interesting you mention the affordable care act, I did recently check my health insurance, and it said mental health was not covered. And every time I go to check the new marketplace to see if I can get cheaper insurance I can't get anywhere. Can't even log in.

I will definitely look up that book, Spontaneous Happiness. Thank you all so much.

zoesmom
10-20-2013, 09:07 PM
Look into EAP assistance. Most employers offer it (just one of those hidden things they never mention though and is NOT insurance related) and it allows for X number of free sessions with a therapist. Lord knows I use mine like mad....

Smiling_Sara
10-20-2013, 09:47 PM
Look into EAP assistance. Most employers offer it (just one of those hidden things they never mention though and is NOT insurance related) and it allows for X number of free sessions with a therapist. Lord knows I use mine like mad....

Oh gosh, that would be nice. I'm almost certain we don't though. I've been there since 1998, and have never heard of anything of the sort. We also are an office of 5 ( including the owner ) so I really would be uncomfortable asking about such a thing.

I wonder how well the sliding scale thing works? Does anyone have any experience in that? Otherwise, I fear my entire tax refund ( if any ) will be going towards this.

zoesmom
10-20-2013, 10:18 PM
It differs office to office and is based solely on income, much like WIC or Medicaid, but...it can go from free to $20 or $30, so cheaper.

Another option, one I have used frequently, is the local health dept. Assuming your location is correct, the DHS for Wisconsin offers free and low cost mental health assistance. You can find a list of the federally qualified locations HEREhttp://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/forwardhealth/pdf/fqhc.pdf.

Granted, this is everything that is federally approved, not just mental health clinics. But most DHS will do low cost or free services, running anywhere from nothing to $20, usually. And meds run the same, free or cheap. You won't get the same service you would with a private therapist, but WILL get the help you need.

A GP is always my go to...always. At least at first, because she knows my history. But when I go to therapy, I turn over every stone I can to find the help I need....and sometimes it is in weird, weird places.

With EAP, most employers do not advertise it, but it is for people struggling with various things, such as the death of a family member, divorce, birth, regular old depression, anything really. MOST employers set the terms...three free visits, 20, one, it varies like mad. And sometimes, it isn't the employers that offer it, but the insurance company, and again, not highly advertised. I agree, in a company of 5 people, EAP may not exist. However, a quick online search of your benefits will turn up if you get EAP assistance in the additional section. Of course, they MIGHT call it something other than EAP on the insurance side.

ALSO-play your cards. Talk to your GP if you seriously do not have mental health insurance as part of your benefits and get a referral...in which case, it is suddenly classified as a "specialist" instead of a "mental health provider" when insurance is filed. And yes, I HAVE done that too. :)

HERE'S (http://www.mhawisconsin.org/insurancepayment_information.aspx) more useful stuff for you

Smiling_Sara
10-23-2013, 05:34 PM
It differs office to office and is based solely on income, much like WIC or Medicaid, but...it can go from free to $20 or $30, so cheaper.

Another option, one I have used frequently, is the local health dept. Assuming your location is correct, the DHS for Wisconsin offers free and low cost mental health assistance. You can find a list of the federally qualified locations HEREhttp://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/forwardhealth/pdf/fqhc.pdf.

Granted, this is everything that is federally approved, not just mental health clinics. But most DHS will do low cost or free services, running anywhere from nothing to $20, usually. And meds run the same, free or cheap. You won't get the same service you would with a private therapist, but WILL get the help you need.

A GP is always my go to...always. At least at first, because she knows my history. But when I go to therapy, I turn over every stone I can to find the help I need....and sometimes it is in weird, weird places.

With EAP, most employers do not advertise it, but it is for people struggling with various things, such as the death of a family member, divorce, birth, regular old depression, anything really. MOST employers set the terms...three free visits, 20, one, it varies like mad. And sometimes, it isn't the employers that offer it, but the insurance company, and again, not highly advertised. I agree, in a company of 5 people, EAP may not exist. However, a quick online search of your benefits will turn up if you get EAP assistance in the additional section. Of course, they MIGHT call it something other than EAP on the insurance side.

ALSO-play your cards. Talk to your GP if you seriously do not have mental health insurance as part of your benefits and get a referral...in which case, it is suddenly classified as a "specialist" instead of a "mental health provider" when insurance is filed. And yes, I HAVE done that too. :)

HERE'S (http://www.mhawisconsin.org/insurancepayment_information.aspx) more useful stuff for you

Wow, thank you for all the info. I'm very hesitant to talk to my boss about EAP, I've work with or under him since 1998, and feel like it would be extremely awkward to ask about therapy for depression ( even though it should't )

I haven't even been able to tell my mother any of this, and we are really close. I'm wondering if she may know some tricks of the trade as well, since she worked in the medical field for years. I just always want people think I'm doing alright, when I'm anything but.

I have an appt for Nov 15th for my annual physical, and I have to bring it up at that time, I don't know when else I'll be able to. It will be difficult as I'll be sitting in a robe, but I really don't want to make a separate appt, and I really just want ideas of where to go and get some help for this, so I'm not here at 45 saying I'm scared of relationships and have a hard time meeting new people, turning down dates, then going home and crying. Ugh.

OK, so the first link, federally qualified. Would I just call the place closest to me and ask where I can go for low cost therapy?

I do still need to call my insurance company directly, but when I check the benefits, under mental health, it says its not covered. I pay for my own health insurance as well, it's not through work. It's over $300 a month, you'd think they would cover mental health as well.

Thank you though, again.

healthytobe
10-25-2013, 07:08 AM
I am 49 and have bi polar. First of all if someone told you to "get over it" then they don't need to be on this thread :) You are having legitimate fears that are overtaking your life. A good place to start is with your GP and a counselor. The GP can get you started on some meds or a med to help and then the counselor can help with talk therapy. If you trust your GP then you will feel comfortable with them. Your life is not over, take it and make it better. You deserve it. I know it is scary to take medicine but if you have a chemical disorder then medicine is what you need. This is not a pull yourself up by your boot straps and bite the bullet kind of issue. This is a real life, stop you in your tracks kind of issue. It is keeping you from enjoying your life....you deserve your life. Don't think you don't. Start counseling. If it takes 100 dollars then go once a month, work out payments something. Just do it. Do it for you. Mental health issues are mis understood by many people as being hush hush and taboo. It is no different than having any other "disease" such as diabetes. You have to take care of it, take your medications and take actions such as the counseling to keep it in check. Good luck and you can talk to me anytime :)

healthytobe
10-25-2013, 07:15 AM
As far as weight gain...yes some do..but you can ask for a "weight neutral" drug.

davina
10-28-2013, 01:34 PM
Hi. I have dealt with anxiety issues very badly over the past 4 years in particular. To the point of agoraphobia symptoms and barely being able to leave the house at times and not being able to go into grocery stores,etc. Social anxiety is also an underlying issue for me. The best thing for anxiety is exposure, slowly at your pace. You may get help from benzodiazepines in the beginning or on occasion to help settle nerves abit while you are trying to get over it or in certain situations depending what your doctor says.. But without facing the fear, anti depressants did not do much for me. It's basically practicing until the fear no longer has the grip on you. Avoidance makes the fear much stronger. But slowly and surely, once you start facing your fears it will lose power as you gain confidence...
....When you find someone you click with and eventually get to know they will not care about your lack of experience, you don't have to get into details about dating history until you become more comfortable with the person.

I can also recommend a book: When Panic Attacks:by David D. Burns M.D.

mainecyn
11-17-2013, 10:46 PM
Depression, social anxiety, and anxiety in general, that was me several years ago. I also was crying at a drop of a hat, sad, empty feeling at times. I was scared to talk to my Dr but eventually made an appointment. I remember being afaird he'd say there was nothing wrong with me, that. I was "crazy" just wouldn't understand. I remember practicing what I was gonna tell him over and over. So scared.

Eventually I couldn't take it anymore and went. I remember crying in his office. Their job is to listen to you, to help you. I was surprised at my drs reaction, he didn't act shocked at all or judgemental...it didn't make him think less of me. He gave me a prescription for Wellbutrin that I still take daily years later.

I found it less overwhelming for me to write down what was going down, symptoms, issues, etc. I had so many things running thru my head, that was a lot of my trouble to begin with, shutting down and blocking things out I just stressed over everything.