Depression and Anxiety?

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  • Hi, everyone! I'm a newbie.

    I've suffered with anxiety and depression for several years now; it's so awesome that there's a place here, just for those of us in that boat. I've found that it's always been a factor in my weight loss/gain.

    I wanted to ask: is this the place to talk about anxiety disorders too? I've always found my anxiety and depression to be closely linked to each other. I'd be really interested in speaking with any others out there who suffer from panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety, PTSD, OCD, or anything related. Is this the place for that? It didn't seem like "Dieting with Obstacles" fit the bill as well as this place did.

    Thanks in advance, guys.
  • I get really severe panic attacks, very mild OCD and general anxiety. I had to quit my job at a supermarket because every day I worked I would be doubled over with stomach cramps during my panic attacks. I didn't even know what it was for about 4 months- when I went to a doctor. One of my other main triggers for panic attacks is food. It's so, so hard to manage. I have to eat regularly, I can't let myself get too hungry, I can't restrict myself too much, I can't eat too much either. It's such a precarious balance. If I notice that I've not eaten for more than 5 hours and I'm in a place where I can't get food easily or I have to buy it or I have work or an appointment soon, it's nearly impossible to avoid one. I know that it's a vicious cycle- I'm anxious so I worry about my weight, so I worry about food, so I eat too much or not enough, which causes anxiety and obsession.
  • Anna,
    I am another anxiety/depression sufferer. I have had my ups and downs over the years. Right now, I am on medication and am doing very well. Just to have relief from panic attacks is such a blessing. Now the problem is that even though I feel better emotionally, I still haven't been able to tackle the weight issue. I know that it's a poor excuse, but there are just so many things that get in the way. Right now, I am trying to make small changes and work my way up. Best of luck to you and I am here if you want to talk.

  • Hi Rocket and Susan! It's nice to meet you both.

    Rocket - I'm so sorry to hear that you're suffering with severe panic attacks... I have totally been there, and it's ****. So many times, I went to the hospital, thinking I was having a heart attack or something, because the physical symptoms were just so bad/scary. You'll be in my thoughts. Stay strong! I found that just KNOWING I was having a panic attack (and not a heart attack or whatever) made the situation improve for me... did knowing what's wrong help you at all?

    Susan - I'm happy to hear your meds are working for you! I agree, not having panic attacks feels SO awesome... for years, I never thought I'd reach that place. I too havent been able to tackle the weight issue, and it is DEFINITELY connected to my anxiety/depression.

    Likewise, I'm here if you ever want to talk too.

    To both of you, what coping mechanisms have you used to help you with your anxiety, in regards to what you eat or in regards to your anxiety/panic in general? I've been on meds, tried herbal supplements, and things like that. I think what's worked best for me, even if it sounds a little out there, is meditation. I've been working on Lucinda Bassett's Attacking Anxiety and Depression program and that's helped me SO much too.

    It's so nice to meet you both.
  • Hi Anna,
    Count me in the anxiety disorder spectrum as well. Matter of fact it has gotten SO bad lately that I finally made another appointment with another doctor.

    Last year at this time things were starting to really get out of control for me. Anxiety was getting pretty much to be a weekly occurrence and the food and booze were not helping anymore. I knew I had to make some pretty serious lifestyle changes if I wanted to be around for my children. I started with smoking, then alcohol, and lastly food. I started eating as healthy as possible and totally cut out alcohol and tobacco. Problem was, instead of getting better, I got worse. MUCH WORSE. I began having severe panic attacks weekly instead of every couple of months, then the anxiety started daily. Every day I felt terrible. I finally had enough. I made an appointment with one of the best Doctors in the area, and decided I'd wait for an appointment as long as it took, (He's in great demand.) By the grace of God, he just happen to have a cancellation and I got in the next day. Just knowing I'm only crazy and not actually dieing is a great relief...LOL. I have started a treatment plan which includes medication and therapy. For the first time ever someone listened and actually told me things that made sence. He convinced me that I had been self medicating for years and now with out my "meds" (carbohydrates, tobacco & alcohol) I was actually feeling what I kept *trying* to medicate. I feel so much better, (with a very LOW dose of xanax) but still have a long way to go. I'd love to hear more about others and what types of meds and therapy have helped them. Chronic Anxiety sucks.
  • Having troubles again here too--just recently...had troubles before I started my change in late May/early June and for years even prior to that dating back to my late high school days and college...can't really put my finger on it...I think it probably stems from problems and episodes I witnessed in my early childhood..I am not currently taking meds..they have helped me before but caused major weight gain...when I was working I did have panic attacks from time to time..I am very fortunate in that I don't have to be in an uncomfortable situations now..I can simply remove myself or end contact with the stressor or whatever
  • I have problems with anxiety too. I had a mild panic attack this morning, and I know it's because I'm not "medicating" with food. I'm on meds for depression (and have been for years) and it's managed pretty well. But I'm thinking I may have to get some meds for anxiety too.
  • Hi ladies!

    It's so awesome to hear from all of you; I've never really talked with anyone else who suffers with anxiety too! It's really nice to know/feel I'm not alone.

    I love your statement Lori: "Just knowing I'm only crazy and not actually dieing is a great relief...LOL." I swear, that's like half the battle for me. If I can step back and recognize that it's my anxiety, it seems so much easier for me to get back in control.

    Sorry to hear that anxiety's an issue in your life too, TBG. Removing myself from situations that stir up my anxiety always helps... My family was a HUGE stresser, and when I left the house, that made a huge difference in my life. I haven't had a severe panic attack since (I still have them sometimes, but it's not NEARLY as crippling).

    And hello, thinpossible! I struggled with my anxiety this morning too, but I made it through, thank goodness. It was a tough day for me.

    Actually, I have some great news, so I figured I'd go ahead and share it here. I was hired as an adjunct instructor at my local community college, but I didn't think my class was going to run (low number of students enrolled... booo!). However, I learned today that it's going to run! Hurray!

    I had to go to a huge faculty meeting today (which I didn't find out UNTIL today, so my anxiety was just OFF THE CHARTS! lol), which also meant I had to attend this awkward "meet and greet" event. I was soooo nervous and anxious; I started panicking really badly before I got there.

    I worked through it though, and I had to introduce myself to everyone there, which was a challenge, but I made it through, and I was so proud.

    Then, I treated myself to some frozen yogurt, rather than my usual run to McDonalds!

    So over all? Very successful day!

    Hope you all had a great day too. Stay strong ladies!
  • Hey Anna,

    It's wonderful to meet you too.

    It was a tremendous relief to finally be diagnosed! I also felt a bit silly, I thought, 'How can something that's all in my head produce such awful physical symptoms?' Before I knew that it was panic attacks, I thought it was Irritable Bowel Sydrome, lactose intolerance, I thought I had cancer at one point.

    I'm so, so proud of how far I've come though. I still get frequent and awful panic attacks, but sometimes I'm able to make 'em go away. I work as a waitress, and I think it was on New Year's Eve this night, I was hanging out with my boyfriend and I hadn't eaten since breakfast, so we got a veggie pizza to share. One of my most common causes for a panic attack is letting hunger get out of control and then eating too much to compensate. Anyway, I got to work with a touch of stomach cramp that is the signal that a full-blown panic attack is on its way. I went outside and managed to calm myself down. I was a bit anxious for about an hour but overall, I was fine. It went away. Victory!

    So yeah, it definitely helps that I know what's going on in my body. My doctor was really good about it, she told me that it happens to lots of people and is suprisingly common... I guess a lot of the time it just goes undiagnosed. It sounds so trivial but it can make your life a big, scary mess. I remember once, I was about to leave to go to work (at a supermarket- super common place for panic attacks. Ha!) and I just crumbled, and I called mum and asked her to call in sick for me. I knew that the stomach hurting and the shakes and the faintness was coming, even though I had no idea what was happening to me. I felt like I was just throwing a sickie because there was nothing actually wrong with me. Smart mum! She always knows what's best for me.
  • Hey Rocket,

    Wow, fantastic!! Thanks for sharing your victory story. That's so great, that you managed like that! Heck, we just met, and I feel SO proud of you. I've so been there, and taking back control like that... it's such a huge accomplishment.

    I totally know what you mean; when I first found out what I had, and even now sometimes, I can't help but think "what do you mean it's all in my head??". It's crazy what stress can do to your body. At the same time, it's a relief to know what's going on.

    I totally thought I had cancer at one point too, haha. That and I thought something was wrong with my heart, so I went to the hospital and they had me on a heart monitor and they did all these other tests... no one actually even suggested anxiety once. I had to suggest it to one of my doctors! It just doesn't seem like many people suspect anxiety, maybe?? I know that's what I have, because at the time, anti-anxiety meds stopped the panic attacks. I'm really happy to say I'm off meds now, but the anxiety is definitely still there... I'm just trying to learn to manage and work through it myself. Diet seems to play a HUGE role in it too, so I'm hoping that and therapy is really going to take me to a place I'd love to be.

    I've tried Kava tea and that stuff is absolutely fantastic when I'm feeling anxious; really relaxing stuff. I've found that a lot of herbal supplements have really helped me along the way, actually.

    And again, it's nice to meet you too!!
  • Hi Lola

    It definitely starts with anxiety for me, and then moves to depression too. I mean, having a problem with anxiety IS depressing!

    It's so great that you've had periods on top of it. I'm sure you WILL get there again! If you ever need to talk, drop me a line. It feels awesome to talk with other people who're coming from the same place. I haven't really had an opportunity like this before.

    Should have come here sooner, eh?
  • You know what? That is exactly right. First I have a period of anxiety and then the depression seeps in. Honestly, that has never occurred to me. I almost think my panic attacks were instilled in me as a youngster. I know getting away from my stressor isn't actually helping--just a mere bandaid. But you feel like you are bleeding to death, the bandaid is okay ya know?

    Yesterday was a wee bit better. I got up and ran after I got everyone out of the house, I got a shower and went out for the day and into an area of town where no one knows me. I did some shopping and had some lunch. It sounds a wee bit weird I am sure, but in some way it's soothing for me to be away from everyone and be some ant in an antpile.

    Today I am going to stay close and clean my house. That usually makes me feel better--to have tidy home.
  • I love this statement, TBG: "I know getting away from my stressor isn't actually helping--just a mere bandaid. But you feel like you are bleeding to death, the bandaid is okay ya know?" It's SO true. When I moved out and away from the people/situations that was hurting me, it helped but the anxiety still lingers. There still feels like there's things I have to make peace with, you know? But sometimes that bandaid is such an extremely needed relief... I would have gone insane without it.

    Interesting that you mentioned going to a part of town where no one knows you. I can never go back into the part of town where I grew up. There's so much baggage, as soon as I get into the area, I can already feel myself getting tense and upset. A part of me thinks moving away might really be healthy for me, but again, this might just be a bigger bandaid.

    Funny thing, every time I go into that area? I ended up coming back with some kind of unhealthy food too. Eating, for me, totally feels like some kind of coping mechanism that I can't really get under control just yet. I think it'll make me feel better or help me relax, when it totally doesn't. Instead, after the fact, I end up feeling paranoid that I've made myself sick!

    I'm happy to hear yesterday was a bit better for you. I really find anonymity to be a relief too. I wonder if that's common for people who struggle with anxiety?
  • Quote: ...snip...
    Today I am going to stay close and clean my house. That usually makes me feel better--to have tidy home.

    I was just telling my doctor that the other day! Since getting my eating, drinking and smoking all under control....the only thing that gets my mind off the pain of anxiety is to clean my house. I bet I have one of the cleanest houses in southern Nebraska!! LOL Oh...and fresh paint! I recently started repainting too. Anything to feel better! I really think vigorous workouts would help, but I guess I have a little OCD mixed in. I can't justify spending an hour working out when I could use that hour scrubbing the floor...It's physical and needs to be done weekly...same with 100's of chores...LOL
  • Mmhmm. Anxiety will happen, and then depression hits, and then it's just an awful cycle. The other part of my viscious cycle is stress.

    TBG- it's always a push to get the house cleaned, but it's so, so worth it because mess always makes me feel a bit low and a bit stressed. Ya always feel a bit better afterward!

    Anna- thanks! It's so nice to have a buncha support. I'd love to get off my depression meds. It just kind of worries me- what if I start getting worse again! I have a natural therapist and she would LOVE to see me off them as well. Hopefully, like you say, a combination of diet, herbal suppliments and trying to manage it myself will do the trick.

    Isn't Kava that hallucinogenic stuff they drink in Fiji?!