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Hi everyone. This is my very first post here. Even with a great support system of friends and family, it can feel very lonely going through something like this Ė so Iím reaching out to people who are dealing with similar issues, and Iím hoping to gain some insight and maybe a little inspiration.

I think I have been anxious all of my life, but it wasnít until about 6-8 months ago that the physical effects really started to become noticeable, and I started doing something about it. I have always had what I refer to as a very active digestive system. I quite often have go use the restroom immediately after eating. I used to have to use the restroom for a bowel movement in high school Ė and I donít know about anyone elseís high schools, but going #2 in high school is a no-no. Other boys would shout things at me from outside of the stall, bang on the doors, comment on how gross it was to go at school, etc. Iím sure that had something to do with developing anxiety later in life.

I have always just sort of dealt with the fact that I sometimes have to go to the restroom immediately. It seemed like an inconvenience, but something that was ďnormalĒ. That started to change last year, however, sometime in November. I noticed that I would get little bouts of unexplained nausea. It would just come and go. It would be very intense for a few moments, and then it would go away. I was always afraid I was going to throw up, but that never happened. The incidents of nausea seemed to increase along with more digestive issues as well Ė an increase in running to the bathroom multiple times per day, etc. And along with that, the anxiety of becoming ill obviously increased.

Additionally, I have had a few (a very few) instances of feeling sick while out in public and having to run to the restroom immediately to have a bowel movement. This occurred once while on a date, and once while at a dance club. As you can imagine, neither of those are ideal situations to have to run to the bathroom.

I decided to go to my primary care doctor in December for a physical and to discuss some of these digestive issues. At this point, I hadnít identified it as anxiety, nor had I even really considered that. My physician diagnosed me with IBS and told me to monitor the symptoms, try to find ways of dealing with stress, etc. I was to come back and see him if things got worse. I sort of dealt with it over the next few months. December Ė March. I would get my little bouts of nausea here and there, and, while very distressing, I continued to just deal with it. I powered through. Then in March, after a particularly bad night of nausea (which resulted in me staying home on a Saturday night rather than going out for karaoke which is one of my favorite things to do) I decided it was time to really address this. I went back to my PCP. He said that my symptoms are most likely related to IBS/anxiety/stress since my physical findings were all normal. He referred me to start seeing a therapist which I did. I met with my therapist for 5 sessions. I did learn some great tips and ways of thinking when I start to feel sick, but the fact remains that the sick feelings still come and go. I went back to my PCP for a follow-up, and he brought up the topic of medication. I have always been very afraid of medication, and especially afraid of any kind of anxiety medication. He wanted to start me on Lexapro with Ativan in the interim as a ďbridgeĒ until the Lexapro kicks in. I was resistant, but I finally agreed to at least start with the Ativan and take on an as-needed basis. I didnít take the Ativan for about 3 weeks out of fear of the side effects.

Along with the nausea, I have now started to realize that I am experiencing just plan anxious feelings. I will have moments throughout the day where I get very nervous for now reason. Like something is about to happen, or that I need to be doing something. I canít really explain it. Just a nervous feeling. One day when the anxiety was particularly bad, I took an Ativan. I had a very good night that night. No anxiety, no nausea, fell right to sleep. The next morning, I had the anxious feelings again, and experienced some diarrhea.

I saw my therapist for a final session, and she strongly recommended that I speak to my PCP about starting the Lexapro. She also recommended that I see a psychiatrist for a second opinion on the medication, and to follow up with the psychiatrist while on the medication.

So Ė thatís my story. Has anyone experienced anything similar to this? Specifically, the anxiety causing otherwise unexplained nausea? Did you go on meds? What meds and what side effects did you experience? Did it help? What about weight gain? Alcohol intake (I do drink socially on the weekends, usually 2 nights/week)?

Just some general info on me Ė Iím a 28 year old male living in LA. I have a wonderful (and demanding) job in management for a health insurance company. I moved here from Pittsburgh 2 years ago for a work opportunity. I truly love my life, and I want to get back to enjoying it. I refuse to let the nausea/anxiety prevent me from doing the things I love (aside from that one night of karaoke where I had to stay in) but the anxiety I get before going out and doing something (the fear of getting sick or having to go to the bathroom while in public) is sometimes unbearable. Still, I refuse to let it hold me back. I just want to feel normal again. I donít want to randomly feel nauseous out of nowhere. I donít want to be sitting alone in my house and all of a sudden feel anxious for no reason.

My hope is that the Lexapro will do what the doctor says it will do and alleviate my anxiety with minimal side effects so that I can get on with life.





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