I had a reply to my previous question in May this year from Dr Mark - thank you very much, and now I have another question.
Since May things have got much worse. Just before the summer school break my anxiety
got really bad, so much so that I virtually stopped leaving the house. I've become a complete wreck, just sitting at home with no energy for anything, scared of going out, scared of being in without either my mum or husband, not enjoying anything, not even able to play with the children. My mum would take my daughter to school, I'd do online shopping, and my two little boys would have to play by themselves or watch TV because I just didn't have the energy (as a result they are having some behavioural problems for which I know I am to blame). I've been asking my family doctor for help but nothing much happened: he tried me on Paroxetine (I had awful side effects and stopped it after 5 days), then Propranolol 40mg (my pulse dropped to below 50 after just one and didn't take that anymore and the doctor decided that perhaps medication is not for me); then he suggested therapy/CBT which I had around 10 sessions of with a trainee, and that's done nothing at all for me, in fact I was still getting worse; the doctor then tried Propranolol 10mg and Diazepam 2mg (not simultaneously) after I virtually begged him for something again, but they don't really help either, other than making me even weaker (I feel very weak physiclly a lot, exhausted you could say despite not doing much). I finally decided that enough is enough (after having what felt like a near-breakdown again), and went to see a psychiatrist privately, and amazingly after just a few minutes of talking he was able to tell me exactly what was wrong and what I needed - I seem to suffer from a mixture of GAD
, health anxiety, panic
, a little OCD, and now also depression (what a list!). He's given me Imipramine 25mg (to increase to 75mg, but at 50mg I had side effects in the form of bad "shakes", so stayed on 25mg on his advice, which seems to work-slowly-I've been on it for just over 4 weeks and my family are noticing a small difference in my mood and general basic day-to-day activity), he also suggested an experienced psychologist for CBT (I've had 2 sessions so far). I now understand my problems (I have also read up about it, I understand the mechanism, the triggers, the processes, but obviously am unable to put them into practice) and see a light at the end of a (very long) tunnel. I know this is a long road and I'll have to do a lot of work...I am very impatient though and have been getting very teary the last few days again. I want to be a mum, a wife, and a normal human being again. I want to wake up in the morning and not feel anxious, nervous, pins and needles all over, I want to be able to take my daughter to school and not be scared of going into the school playground, or take the children for a walk to the park or a playground... I don't want my children to see me like this and have to worry about me, I want to be a part of their life!
Let me just say here that my husband is extremely supportive, he is happy to feed the kids, bathe them, put them to bed and then tidy up the kitchen after having a stressful day at work himself, he's there for me no matter what, patient and loving... And my mum comes here every day to help me (but it's getting her down too, physically and mentally, and my family are blaming me for that...) - takes my daughter to school and just sits here with me so that I'm not alone (I am scared of being at home with the children without another adult, in case something happens to me there is someone to look after them - illogical, I know, but so is the rest of this illness).
My main problems are more of the physical nature - caused I assume by the anxiety: I feel constantly exhausted, my arms and legs feel like they are made of lead, and worst of all, I constantly feel like I am shaking on the inside, from the moment I wake up, and this is causing me to worry quite a bit - is this normal? What can I do to stop it/make it less noticeable? And how can I speed up the process of getting better? My biggest problem and also biggest wish is to be able to take my daughter to school again. How do I break the vicious circle of fear of fear? I know I am already getting help, but I am DESPERATE to get better and am clutching at straws. Do you have any comments / advice please?