Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online
Hi, I'm happy to try to help you. I will need to ask you some questions to better understand your situation and help you.
Can you tell me what happened a year ago?
I was at church and suddenly became very confused and my heart was beating rapidly and I truly felt like I was going to have a heart attack and die. I calmed myself down after about 30 minutes and went to the emergency room. They checked my heart and sent me on my way, as they aren't concerned if you are not dying at the moment. Since then I have always felt just kind of out of it. Foggy or blurry like being slightly drunk...
Was that the first time that happened?
Has it happened again? How often?
Well, since then I had a few panic attacks. I did not feel comfortable around large groups of people. I have not had a panic attack in probably 10 to 12 months. Large groups of people don't bother me as much as they did. I just feel out of it all the time now and confused at times
What medicine are you taking?
i am not taking any
What meds have you been tried on?
Its been a year or so, but if I remember right I think it was zoloft, and something similar to zoloft they said. I also tried a migraine med but am not taking it
So just one med for the anxiety or two different ones?
two different ones
And they didn't help at all?
Well, the anxiety meds didn't help the problems with the feeling out of it and I was no longer having panic attacks and I do not like taking meds in the first place so I felt as if anxiety meds would be useless
so i stopped taking them
Are you still having any anxiety in addition to feeling tongue tied, trouble forming sentences etc?
Not so much anxiety, but I just aggravated very easily due to the way that I feel. I just feel dumb and I have always been a very sharp minded person. My quality of life has gone down extremely because of it and I find myself very unhappy on a daily basis
It sounds like you are probably depressed due to this difficult situation which would be understandable. Are you feeling suicidal and/or have a plan to hurt yourself? You said you dont see much point in continuing.
I am not suicidal at the moment but I just can't see myself continuing through life feeling this way if I can not see it reversing in any way.
Do you have health insurance or other access to health care?
Honestly, I am fearing that I have had a stroke?
Is that possible?
Have you gone to your primary care lately for this or seen a psychiatrist or therapist?
I can't say if you've had a stroke or not but I was going to suggest maybe seeing a neurologist
Well, since the original incident I've had two MRIs done a couple months apart. They claimed that my brain looked to be operating normally
I have not been to a psychiatrist or therapist
Ok that's good. The mind body connection is very strong. Sometimes we get various physical or psychological symptoms due to the stress of certain things.
Do you have any other medical problems or use any alcohol or drugs?
I used to drink quite a bit. I was in the Navy and it was a common practice to get quite drunk on our down time as many of us were single and very young. I have cut down on my drink drastically since then. I only drink once or twice a week and do not get completely drunk
No medical problems that I know of
Ok so I need to ask you how much you do drink when you drink?
A six pack of beer
A six pack twice a week?
Ok, thanks for your honesty. Do you still have times where you drink more and get drunk, even if it's not regularly?
Very seldom but yes
Ok, so again I appreciate your honesty and I in turn will be honest with you. From a professional standpoint even a 6 pack twice a week is a lot. Alcohol can hide medical issues etc that are going on. When someone is drinking, it's hard to know what the true picture really is. If your health insurance covers seeing a psychiatrist, would you be willing to see one?
There are physical symptoms that can occur due to alcohol use.
Well, I know the obvious ones. Are there some lesser known symptoms you can tell me about?
There are possible longer term issues due to heavy alcohol use. You had mentioned you drank heavier in the past. I'm not an MD so don't want to advise too much on that but here can be damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, and I'm not saying you have that at all but do think you should be evaluated by someone who specializes in psychiatry.
Have you had any periods of time since last year where you stopped alcohol completely?
for about 3 months
And did you feel any better as far as the things you are reporting, tongue tied etc?
Not really, no
Ok. Well the other possibility is depression. Feeling foggy, confused, forgetting things are all possible symptoms of that too.
So, you're saying it is a strong probability that it is either due to alcohol use of depression
It could be, but you'd need a proper thorough eval. Here are some other sxs of depression: sadness, crying spells, guilt, hopelessness, sleep problems, appetite problems, anxiety, panic attacks, racing thoughts, fatigue, no motivation to do things, lack of interest in things you usually enjoy. Do have some of these?
Absolutely but that's misleading don't you think? I mean, doesn't everyone have some of these feelings over things throughout their day?
I just curious, I'm not arguing
They can but it depends how many symptoms you have and whether they are mild, moderate or severe and if they are affecting your ability to function at work and in your personal life.
Well, I do not function properly in my life like I feel I should be and I do have at least half of the symptoms if not more. The largest being the racing thoughts and no motivation. I find it difficult to even muster the proper motivation to take out the trash or clean up something
Well that definitely sounds like depression. I think the best advice at this point, is for you to see at least a therapist for eval. If they think you might need meds but you don't want to take them, you don't have to, working with a therapist can very often help a lot without meds.
Thats what I've been told in the past... I guess the determining factor is how much the out of pocket cost is. I have a low income and a family and can't afford to see someone a few times a month if Im paying a large sum each time, ya know?
Anyway, I do appreciate all your help. I don't really know where to go from here but I do think I will try to find a therapist
Of course. You said you had health insurance. It may cover a therapist, can you check?
I can, I guess it will have to wait until tomorrow though. I don't think I can call them now
Sure. But please check what you might be covered for and if that doesn't work, check your local/county resources. There are services available usually most places.
I hope this has been a little helpful. If so please click accept and give some feedback if you feel ok to do that. I hope you feel better soon.