Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
hi dr Z
I am so sorry that you experienced this tonight, I think because it was dark, your eyes play tricks with you sometimes and that can cause anxiety too.
it never used to do that
These are called illusions sometimes and these men may appear more frightening to your subconscious
it was pretty dark though & not many people
This is called hypervigilance where minute and innocuous events can cause you increased anxiety and a startle response, thus possibly leading to a panic attack
Its like your subconscious is thinking its dark, there are two guys there, they want to hurt me. This is 100 percent true. When in reality it is not.
See now that you have gotten hurt, your mind is in an overprotective mode to prevent you from getting hurt again
ok, that is interestinng, that makes sense
but how do u make that stop
Well it does take time Lauren, remember it has not been 5 weeks yet since the incident. As you focus more on being objective these events will happen less and less. But the good news here is that you are responding to a trigger that we can identify and focus on. Most individuals who suffer from panic attacks do not know the trigger, which makes it difficult to treat
So during that moment, you have to think. not all men want to hurt me. They are just talking. I can still have guard up and my keys out just in case, but I will be fine. I will do deep breaths as I walk to help me too.
These are some ideas to help you not focus straight to the negative.
ok , then this is good,, there is a way to make it better & yeah, it only happened not that long ago,,
I know it is difficult sometimes to fathom that it happened such a short time ago, but that is because of all the progress you are making and how much better you have gotten too.
Eventually though I am going to want you to confront this panic head on and try some of these objective thoughts during an attack to see if you think your way out of it. It will be hard, and we can do this later down the road of course.
But remember right now you are safe, there is no reason to panic now.
ok,, yeah, & i feel safe again when i can talk to u, i calm down., but yeah later down the road would be good for the confronting part
Good, I am glad that I can help you feel safe :)
Maybe you should print out some of my sayings and put them in flashcards to keep with you to help you calm down when you get anxious, haha
lol,.. actually i should print them out & post them up where i can see them constantly
Thats a lot of pressure on me, I better say some profound and meaningful things now, lol
lol,.. nah whatever u say is good as far as i'm concerned., i did watch moneyball btw today, actually i think i own it now since its now in my video library on amazon for some reason, lol
Thats awesome, how did you like it?
it was really good,, & now i think i can understand your pain, lol
i actually didnt stop it once & thats how i rate how good movies are, so that was really good
Nice, I am glad my movie selections meet your approval :)
So I would like to ask you something and I keep forgetting to
Is it okay if we switch topics temporarily?
yeah of course
Okay, I do not believe in all of our chats you have talked about your family. Why is that?
im really only close to a few family members, but not really so much my immediate family, i have a cousin i'm close to,,, my brother is their favorite
i mean they support me financially & all of that if i need it
But not emotionally?
no not really, i couldnt wait to leave home & thats prob alot of the reason i was with my ex boyfriend, who they hate btw
And they have good reason to hate him more now. Did you tell your family about the rape or is it too soon for that?
no i didnt tell them,, they would probablly say i told u so
Wow, they would say that! I am so sorry. I just was curious about your relationship with your family and to see if they could be a part of your support system, but it appears that is not a good idea at this time at least
no & i dont think i could talk to them about the rape to be honest
I understand, I was just curious. I am not going to force you to do anything you would not want to do either. Also I trust your instincts and I think it would be bad for your progress to involve them
yeah i like to leave them out as much as possible,, except like i said they do give me money, so i cant say they are completely bad or out of my life
i wish it was more than that
That is nice that they support you financially and that will help when school comes around. You should tell them that you broke up with your ex-boyfriend and that you want to go back to school, I think they would be proud of you
yeah taht is a good idea,, that would make them happy to hear that actuallly
I think so too, and you do not have to go into details of why you broke up
yeah that should work,, i dont think they will press for details
I do not think so either
They all live around here too, & i think i last saw them? its been awhile
when i was with my ex boyfriend he didnt really want me seeing them so thats not really their fault
I know, maybe this can lead to you repairing the relationship with your family because your ex-boyfriend tried to control you so much and prevent you from seeing them and they did not like him at all.
yeah thats true, its been so long that ive felt close to or a part of my family but youre right this could change that, atleast make it alot better
Well take it slowly, I do not want to push this on you. I was just curious about your relationship with your family
yeah i will probablly start by talking to my brother
I think that is a good idea. Obviously your family still cares for you by supporting you financially, so I think this can help
thats true,, all ive heard for so long now is all the bad things my ex had to say about them but youre right if they didnt care they wouldnt be supporting me at all
Good, I am very happy for you, I hope you can really reconnect with your family :)
:) me too,, esp now that it is getting closer to the holidays, i have felt bad not seeing them esp then
so now i have to find a way to sleep tonight,, after last night
Yes very true, what do you have as techniques that you can do to help lessen your anxiety and sleep better that have worked for you in the past?
well sometimes i stay up so long i completely exhaust myself & pass out finally,..but listening to music & reading helps
Yeah lets put the staying up late enough to exhaust yourself as plan B. There are also the progressive relaxation exercises too. And of course you have the Ativan as well.
yeah thats true i always forget about the medicine,..& yeah the relaxation exercises, i have a very stupid question,, are you supposed to be reading through them while doing them so u remember what youre supposed to be doing?
You can do that at first, but hopefully they will become more of a habit to you. Here is another link for other relaxation exercises too
Also if you are concerned about the medicine and its addictive properties, you can try buying an over the counter Melatonin to help you sleep. I use it and I think they are great.
ok , i will try that,, its not so much the addiction im worried about as the fact by the time i remember to take it its so late & then im tired from it the next day
Well try to take it earlier then
for the most part i only use the ativan if im really scared or panickd or when i happen to remember it earlier when i cant sleep,,, it makes my thinking slow down so much
It will be hard to remember, but maybe you can set an alarm
Yeah that is one of the side effects unfortunately, but this is why you use at night when you do not need to think efficiently
an alarm is a good idea, i will set that on my phone so i will remember
Good idea, that will help you
i have to get up sort of early tomorrow but maybe if i take an ativan now this is early enough to be ok?
right now im still pretty wide awake, i guess still from the earlier anxiety
You can split the pill and still be tired to go to sleep and not groggy in the morning
Most likely it is from the anxiety, but also I think you are a night owl too
ok yeah i didnt think about being able to cut it,, & yeah thats true, lol, u caught me
i guess that explains why mornings are so hard
Well I am a night owl too, so I know the signs, lol. I think splitting the pill will still give you the benefits of lessening your anxiety and helping you sleep
ok,, i will go cut one then & try lying down, maybe, & maybe listen to music
Good, what music do you usually listen to?
usually the kind u wouldnt associate with sleep, but it puts me to sleep,.. if u have XM radio its channel 51, club music mostly
I used to have XM radio actually for my car, but then I got a new car and now I can plug in my ipod and voice activate all my music, so I just got rid of the XM radio, but it is good. Well if the music puts you to sleep then by all means listen to it :)
yeah thats nice,, the music on my phone is almost all the same as i listen to on XM, so its sorta redundant, lol
Haha, well redundancy is not always bad. We all have our own taste in music, its just part of our uniqueness as human beings
can i ask, what do u listen to?
Sure you can ask that :) I absolutely love Bruce Springsteen, even though I am way too young to like him, lol. I also listen to acoustic alternative music a lot too like Glen Hansard, Joshua Radin, Cary Brothers. I like listening to music people have never heard of, lol.
lol, well thats cool, that is usually the best kind,,, im not sure why mine puts me to sleep but it does.., well i hope u have a really good rest of the night, i have kept u again a really long time (sorry) , & hope u have a great day tomorrow as well :)
You never have to be sorry Lauren! I enjoy talking with you and I am always happy to help you. I hope you have a great night too and a great weekend. Feel free to keep me updated to this weekend as well. Enjoy your music and I hope you fall asleep soon :)
:) thank u,... goodnight dr Z
Good night and pleasant dreams Lauren :)
Thank you very much Lauren for the positive review and very generous bonus, I really appreciate it a lot! I hope you sleep well tonight, and that your weekend goes splendidly for you :) Feel free to contact me at anytime you like, I am always here to chat with you and help you through anything.
Hi dr Z,, I never needed this much sleep in my life but today i slept in & then have been sleeping on & off for much of the day.., i was up long enough to take a shower & go to Sonic but that has been it? i was only able to eat alittle bit,, its like after i had those flashbackcs last Sunday.., anyway i hope your day has been nicer than mine, i hate feeling this tired & run down all the time it feels like lately..., i am going to try to watch something funny tonight maybe that will hhelp..Lauren
Hi dr Z,, i just wanted to let u know i took your advice & have tried to make myself be more active,. it was actually beautiful out today, sunny & like 75 degrees so i wouldve felt guilty if i hadnt.., so i went on another bike ride with a friend. But a spinning class is a really good idea too, i do belong to a gym but havent been there since forever & when I was there i was using it for tanning, lol.So far my ex & his friend hav been leaving me alone so that is good too.., i hope it stays that way when things with the court get closer, i have some anxiety about that,, i do think the lexapro is helping though..
I hope youre having a great day too & that its been nice & quiet :)
Hi dr Z,, I guess I have been slacking to tell you the truth.. I haven’t been pushing myself probably like I should but the past 2 days have been hard,. I know you said it would be like this some days & I’m sure it will get better as it always has. I’ve just been having some more flashbacks & I’m not exactly sure why, which makes me just basically close myself in this room where it is safe.. I saw on the news about another girl who was raped, not here but in another state, & it was a complete mess & the guy is getting away with it, which made me sort of break down again.. I’m trying to be strong, I really am, as much as it probably sounds like im not..
Also, my ex has some pictures that he took of me that I know now he is showing his friends, I guess to prove I’m a s--- or w---- or whatever word you want to use. I’m not completely naked but they were only supposed to be for him to see of course, can he somehow use those against me in court?? Its really too much for me to think about right now
Anyway I just wanted to give you an update,,, I need to talk to you probably, I would like to in any case so I will be back later if you will be here,, Lauren
Hi dr Z,,, so I do have some good news to tell you about first,,. so I ended up telling my brother what happened. He was of course really angry, I mean not at me, at my ex boyfriend,, but he was pretty upset that I hadn’t told him & that I was just now telling him.. Anyway he thinks that I should tell our parents but he did promise me that he wouldn’t tell them himself. He is being really supportive so I do feel kinda bad since we had always been really close up until I got together with my ex.,, he feels guilty too but there was nothing he could’ve done since I was the one who sort of pushed him away, or let my ex push him away from me..
I really read and re read what you said about the flashbacks & youre right I’m not a victim anymore., so today Im getting out of here & going for a bike ride :) Also maybe watch some more funny movies or shows. I meant to tell you Identity Theft & The Heat I thought were both funny,,, I think Melissa mccarthy is really funny & she is in both , if you haven’t already seen them..
I hope your day is going great & is not too crazy :) And I will talk to you soon..