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Hi....

I just saw this and thought I'd reply real quick, as I have to leave on some errands.

I too suffered from exactly what you are going through...but at least you are still young enough to do something about it, (get on some good medication that works for this problem), and unlike me, suffer with it until I was about 41 years old.

My problem was a lack of self esteem all of my life, thanks to an abusive mother, who said a lot of things that destroyed any self esteem from developing while I was growing up. No amount of cognitive behavior therapy worked for me....and unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of good meds out there when I was in my 20's like there are today.

I was so shy to speak to people, really afraid to meet people, that I would drink to "medicate" myself, in order just to be able to go out and socialize. Then that turned into a problem, and I got sober when I was only 27, thank God.

It was difficult, as my husband was a career man in the military, and we moved around often....and I was the mother of 2 kids, and he was away from home very frequently.

To make a long story short...I got to the point where I was terribly depressed after our oldest child left for college and then when our baby was a senior in high school my depression then led to agoraphobia and panic attacks as well. Good thing our local super market was open 24 hours a day, as I could out and buy our groceries late at night... (midnight or even later), and not have to be "stared at" by anyone...or so I thought. I wanted to be able to go to work and do something for myself after my daughter left for college. So I finally went to see a shrink and a good therapist. He put me on Zoloft....it's an antidepressant, which also happens to work well for anxiety....real well, for me.

It took about a month, and my entire outlook started changing. I began to feel happy and upbeat, self confidance for the very first time in my life, and no longer afraid or nervous about meeting people. I finally was able to realize all of my strengths, and not feel like a loser, and no longer felt like everyone was smarter than me, or prettier than I was. (Looking back at pictures of myself, I can't believe I ever felt that way, as I was really very attractive and had a great fit figure)

I went out and got a job working in a local group home for developmentally disabled adults and from there I went to work for a non profit org. that provided day programs and work assistance for DD adults....I loved it and was very popular and well liked, not only by the clients, but also by parents, (I was told by many I was their "favorite"), case workers, and other therapists and many other people I worked with. I was having a wonderful time for the first time, just for ME. Working with other women, I discovered I was a lot smarter than I ever gave myself credit for...I was awarded for achievements at work, and applauded often for my ideas, many of which were implemented into our program.

No longer did my eyebrows quiver, upper lip quiver, legs shake while I was speaking to someone new. I wasn't even nervous when I had my job interviews....I was very calm and spoke very easily.

Zoloft is an "SSRI" type of antidepressant....and there are many others...you just have to find what works best for you. My younger brother started on Zoloft the year after I did and it helped him tremendously too. Shyness wasn't really his problem, but he did have major anxiety and numerous panic attacks, daily.

Anyway...I stayed on the Zoloft for approx. 5 years.... the good news is, even though I've been off of it for around 5 years now, I still am [pretty much] as self confident today as I was while I was taking it....(although I am having anxiety problems again, but this time due to some health woes of my own and my dad's passing last year, etc)

Perhaps it might help you as well, NW... and maybe you could just try it out, and if it helps you, (I think it would), then after a year or two, you could try weaning off of it, and you might still be fine after you're off of it, like me. Of course all drugs have their drawbacks too... this one really interfered with my sex drive, [that's why I finally got off of it, otherwise, I'd probably still be on it], and my husband wasn't too happy after 5 years of so little sexual activity. It was worth it to me though, it honestly was. :rolleyes:

Hope this helps you...and feel free to ask any other questions. I hate to hear of anyone going through this, as I know how horrible it can be.

Best of luck my dear...
Deda





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