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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am under a tremindose amount of stress from a divorce, 8

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I am under a tremindose amount of stress from a divorce, 8 kids, a new marriage, with ex-spose problems and a troubled teen now in a recovery center.
I know that I should be doing exercise and meditation and I do at least 3-5 times a week, or at least normally I always have. Right now I hurt in various places most days and feel disoriented and basically sad. I was on Effexor XR from 2001-2005 for the death of my mother. The withdrawal symptoms took months to get over. Now I am just a cronic worrier of everything. My 2 youngest kids just started off to college, so I know that is some of the problem. I am anixous all the time, can't sleep, don't feel like myself, can't concentrate on my real estate (or did I mention we just recently had to file for bankruptsy) and recently (last 3 weeks) my back hurts ramdomly but last for hours or days. I tried Cymbalta 30 last week for one day and it was like I had taken a hit of speed (I grew up in the 60s-70s) so I am familiar with that sensation but I gave that up a hundred years ago. I couldn't quit talking a million miles an hour and even 2 glasses of wine and an ambien at bedtime, I could not sleep for 24 hours. Needless to say, I stopped taking that immediately. I really do not want to take any drugs, but I am so frustrated with the fact that I can not control these feelings or sensations. Any advice?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you may have anxiety. Anxiety is very common for people who are under a lot of stress and feel they have little control over their own lives. That is the nature of anxiety- the feeling that you are out of control. Excessive worry, trouble sleeping, not feeling yourself and trouble concentrating are all symptoms.

You may also have depression caused by the death of your mother. You may not have resolved your grief or the stress of your current situation is reminding you of your loss and if you were close to your mother, you may feel her loss more right now.

You may also be experiencing the stress you are under through your body. Often, when someone is stressed at the level you are right now, they tense their muscles and may not even realize it. As a result, they become sore or develop physical problems related to stress.

What you can do is learn about anxiety, depression (grief) and stress. The more you know, the better you can cope. Self help is a good place to start. Here are some resources to get you started:

The 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques: Understanding How Your Brain Makes You Anxious and What You Can Do to Change It by Margaret Wehrenberg

A Life Less Anxious: Freedom from panic attacks and social anxiety without drugs or therapy by Steve Pavilanis and Patricia Alma Lee

The Instinct to Heal: Curing Depression, Anxiety and Stress Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy by David Servan-Schreiber

You can also learn relaxation techniques to help you stay calm and more focused.

The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) by ***** *****, Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman, Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning

Therapy may also help. Seeing a therapist will help you express your stress, learn ways to cope and provide support. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at

It sounds like you may be sensitive to medications. Some people are. You may try talking with your doctor about giving you lower dosages or trying less potent medications. For sleep, you could also try natural remedies such as melotonin. Melotonin is a naturally occurring hormone in your body that helps you sleep. But it is available in pill form. It can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. It is available at any drug store, Walmart or GNC.

I hope this has helped you,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I forgot to tell you that 5 years ago I was diagnosed with Meniers disease and stress seems to agrivate that to the point that I have to go to bed.

Then after my marriage in 2008 and the ex-spouse issues started heavily on both sides, I couldn't get out of bed one morning and finally after 7 trips to the doctor, they tested my thyroid and found I was very hypo and now I am on Levoxyl 75 mcg, and a fluid pill for the meniers, and estrogen for the hystorectomy 10 years ago.

Needless to say, I feel I am on enough meds to last a life time and I am wondering if the anti depressants and aniexty med are just not meshing with the drugs I am on. And oddly enough, I am not offically over weight at 5'6' and 138 lbs, but my normal weight before thyroid problems was 125. Also, I have a physical every year and on paper I am unbelievably healthy, But with the constant anxiety and panic attacks I feel helpless.

I have been considering going to a HRC clinic where they work with balancing all your harmones naturally. Do you have an opinion on that? Could the meds I am on be making things worse or affecting any medications I try?

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It helps.

Given that you have hormonal issues along with the medication you are taking, it might be a good idea for you to see an endocrinologist. That way, you could have all of your levels checked to see if there is anything the doctors are missing. It would at least rule out any physical cause.

Meniere's disease can cause stress in and of itself. It may also be part of your stress.

Many medication side effects combined with stress and hormonal issues could be causing your anxiety and panic attacks. It is always best practice to rule out any physical causes before you consider emotional issues. Talk with your doctor and see what can be done to determine if you are having medication side effects or other hormonal problems. If you are ok physically, then the resources I provided will be effective.


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