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- Mon Feb 05, 2007 2:19 pm
Hi, I'm a 28 yr old female. I have two children and I'm a stay at home mom. I've been going to therapy since Nov. 2006. I've always known that I had anxiety & occasionally panic attacks. At times it was scary/annoying, but never affected me much. It all started back this past Nov. My sister & I went to Walmart around midnight( I never get out that late!) one night to buy our daughters some dolls. Anyways, I was driving & all of a sudden I felt a rush of anxiety go through my body & knew immediately that I was going to have a panic attack. Before I had this sensation I had a fleeding thought "what if I all of a sudden hurt my sister". I did not have the urge or want to, but it totally freaked me out. I had never had a thought like that before. I was so terrified & knew that I had to be mentally crazy for thinking that. I did not tell my sister. The next morning I told my mom and husband & they assured me I was not crazy. Well, I just couldn't get over why I had that thought. So i've been going to therapy ever since. I was first told that I had GAD & depression. Was prescribed 50mg Zoloft & 0.5mg Ativan. Well, I took the Zoloft for almost 2months. I hated it! I cried constantly. At first I took the Ativan, but became scared that I would become addicted to it. The Ativan was great though! Well a few weeks ago I came off the Zoloft & my therapist told me I have OCD & not GAD because my thoughts are not realistic. So anyways, after the first thought I had, it turned into other "what if I hurt my kids", what if I just lose my mind and don't know what I'm doing. I'm nolonger having many instrusive thoughts, now it's focused on something is majorally menatlly wrong with me. I have thought that I had epilepsy, pre-menopause, brain tumor, schitzoprena?, or I'm just crazy. My therapist keeps reassuring me that I'm not crazy and that I do not have any of these. I just have OCD. I have never felt this way before. The reassurance only lasts so long and then I'm convinced again that the doctors are missing something. I did have my blood work done & that's normal. Also, I experience the derealization feeling at times, but I think maybe it's because I keep checking to see if my anxiety or fears are gone. I am now afraid to get a job working part time because of the what ifs. I'm so afraid that I'm going to get amnesia or something and just lose my mind. Please help me understand why I feel this way and my life seems like it changed overnight because of that instrusive thought. I go to herapy every week and I'm starting Celexa 5mg this week. My family history is heart disease, autoimmune disorders(Lupus, Bachetts), my grandmother has some depression & has experienced panic attacks before, and one of my cousins has bipolar. If you could please give me some advice because I want my life back so bad. Thank you
| Dr. K. Eisele
- Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:13 pm
From what you've told me, OCD does sound like a good possibility. Many people with anxiety disorders feel they are losing control, most likely because the feeling of anxiety is so uncomfortable, by definition.
Severe anxiety is the result of inappropriate activation of the sympathetic nervous system, the part of your "nerves" that charges you up when you are in a "fight or flight" situation. Anxiety disorders do tend to travel in packs and do tend to run in families; one anxiety disorder can easily lead into another anxiety disorder, which can lead into another, etc. So, if someone is diagnosed with panic disorder, the wise therapist/psychiatrist will be looking for signs of other anxiety disorders as well.
In most situations, a complete laboratory work-up is sufficient, if the individual is otherwise in good health. The kinds of medical problems that can mimic anxiety disorders will show up in laboratory tests. However, if you have any concern at all that there may be more to this, I strongly recommend that you see your family physician to address these concerns right away.
Anxiety disorders are not known to lead to amnesia by themselves. I think that you should continue therapy and medication, and reassure yourself that you will feel better. If you are not able to get your old self back again, try to see that we are changing all the time, and that the new you has come to be for a reason.
Good luck! Please come back and let us know how things work out for you.