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I hope this is in the right place. If not, mods, please move with my apologies.

So, let me first say that I'm not looking for a diagnosis, partly because I know you folks aren't doctors, and because I don't want to get any silly ideas in my head about what I do or don't have going on.

What I do know is that I started experiencing horrible anxiety derived from the consuming fear that I was losing my mind. I didn't do anything about it in hopes that it was temporary and would go away, but it has unfortunately gotten worse and I've started experiencing what my GP called dissociation/detachment, which makes the anxiety spiral into outright terror, yadda yadda, plus starting to experience paranoia that I know isn't real. (It's almost like experiencing two halves of myself, one that's freaking out and one that thinks the whole thing is stupid.) It comes in episodes and right now they are internally manageable if for some odd silent crying spells, but I know if I start seeing things I'll be half-dead of fear and probably have a complete breakdown.

I was offered Seroquel or Zyprexa until I could get in to see a psychiatrist for evaluation (appointment pending). I don't know too much about either -- wondering about experiences with them, by the way, seems like a lot of folks hereabouts have encountered them -- except that they both cause sleepiness and weight gain. I don't really want either, so I turned them down with the caveat that I agreed to try a low dose if what I'm experiencing gets worse in any way.

I was diagnosed ADHD inattentive type when I was 15 and it has resolutely stuck around (I'm in my early 20s now), tried Adderall, hated it, am not currently on any medication. I'd rather not have meds unless I truly need an antipsychotic to function. I suppose my question is if anyone has any advice on how to cope with the anxiety or thoughts on any of what I've described?

Suppose I'm just trying to reach out; I don't really know where else to go.

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How is your sleep? Sleep loss makes mental issues worse. If you are having loss of sleep due to your anxiety then I encourage you to try low dose Seroquel. Try it on a night when you do not need to get up early for work or school.

There is of course long term therapy for anxiety - CBT is one mode. There are also short term meds, called benzodiazapins which manage anxiety well. Xanxax and klonipin are two examples. They can become habit forming but if someone is suffering, like you are, and waiting to see a psychiatrist then they are very useful. In fact, they are very useful in moderation and under a doctor's care. I am not sure why your GP did not offer you that. But it could help you get through these days/weeks waiting to see the Pdoc.

I think you need to be open minded about medication. What you are experiencing sound miserable. I won't offer any amateur shrink theories.

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How is your sleep? Sleep loss makes mental issues worse. If you are having loss of sleep due to your anxiety then I encourage you to try low dose Seroquel. Try it on a night when you do not need to get up early for work or school.

There is of course long term therapy for anxiety - CBT is one mode. There are also short term meds, called benzodiazapins which manage anxiety well. Xanxax and klonipin are two examples. They can become habit forming but if someone is suffering, like you are, and waiting to see a psychiatrist then they are very useful. In fact, they are very useful in moderation and under a doctor's care. I am not sure why your GP did not offer you that. But it could help you get through these days/weeks waiting to see the Pdoc.

I think you need to be open minded about medication. What you are experiencing sound miserable. I won't offer any amateur shrink theories.

I sleep okay -- I was once a pretty deep sleeper but now wake up once per night reliably and generally can only sleep for about 6-6.5 hours.

Historically I've responded very well to drugs -- almost too well, to the point that I suppose I'm more afraid of losing myself on an antipsychotic than anything else; I can deal with a few pounds in exchange for my mental health but I'm afraid of becoming somebody else. It happened on Adderall, which is why I stopped taking it when I was younger. I've taken Xanax for plane rides before -- I really don't like flying -- and it's almost too relaxing.

I do try to be open-minded and may try Seroquel for a little while until I can see somebody (a pdoc? is that the vernacular 'round these parts? ;) ).

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You need to see a therapist and psychiatrist. Therapy for this kind of thing is indispensable.

I would be cautious about starting an AAP before seeing a psychiatrist because they can be tricky to prescribe properly and they have serious side effects at most dosages. I'd maybe ask your GP for something else for anxiety? Then again, it may give you a lot of relief very quickly.

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What do you mean losing yourself on an anti-psychotic? If you feel flat or zombified, you need to get a med change, that is not how you are supposed to feel.

Meanwhile, if you are as anxious as you say, you are suffering concrete problems right this very minute. This is not the time to limit your treatment options because of side effects that may or may not happen in the future.

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I don't think you should worry about 'losing yourself' on meds. The meds don't make you someone else. Side effects can include being sleepy and groggy but you work with your doctor to adjust the med. Ideally I function better in the world with my meds. But it was a process......

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Thank you all for your wisdom. I'm going to ask for something for the anxiety and wait on antipsychotics to find out if I need them (i.e. if it isn't dealt with by something antianxiety). I do have one more question -- are there any red flags I should look for wrt being prescribed something? I know it's a terribly broad question, but I don't want to jump into a medication I don't need or won't deal well with ... there's an unfortunate lack of information in some regards.

Thanks again.

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Umm, your doctor is fully trained on meds. Until you complete your M.D. degr ee follow his recommendations. ;)

You are unlikely to experience "serious" side effects from most meds. If you do, then your doctor will make adjustments. Millions of people have been helped by psychiatric meds. They don't change your personality or make you a zombie.

You should be working toward getting appointments with a psychiatrist, and with a therapist who can help you deal with things immediately. You should consider accepting the meds your doctor has suggested (I like Seroquel).

best, a..m.

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I was offered Seroquel or Zyprexa until I could get in to see a psychiatrist for evaluation (appointment pending). I don't know too much about either except that they both cause sleepiness and weight gain. I don't really want either, so I turned them down with the caveat that I agreed to try a low dose if what I'm experiencing gets worse in any way.

All I want to say, is that if your doc ends up wanting you on the Seroquel, and the sleepiness is a deal-breaker for you.. the higher doses are actually alot less sedating than the lower ones - which can be fairly strong.

Just something to be aware of.

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Guest Vapourware

If what you are experiencing is anxiety, then therapy would be the best way of assisting you. With a lot of issues, a holistic approach is the best - having both medication AND therapy. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy [CBT] is the usual therapy mode for assisting with anxiety issues.

No drug is meant to have you "lose yourself". Medication is meant to help you with your symptoms. If you feel adverse effects from the drug, then it is likely the dosage or the drug needs to be modified. Doctors have no intention of lobotomising you chemically.

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I simply question the wisdom of a general practitioner prescribing an antipsychotic for what appears to be anxiety. AAPs are simply not first-line drugs for anxiety-spectrum stuff, and for good reason. I know the party line around here is supposed to be trust your doctor and take your meds, but most GPs have gotten a lot of education about psych meds from drug companies and not from experience. AAPs aren't all-purpose bandaids and they do have significant, life-altering side effects for many people. Most of us around here have been on a lot of meds and have complicated needs. Sometimes comparing our needs and experiences to someone who is med-naive is just not the right way to go.

However, trying it out can't really hurt in the short term, and the benefits to the OP might be great.

I just really think that this needs to be managed with a therapist and a psychiatrist as soon as possible.

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If the gdoc is anti benzo, AAPs are not THAT bad a choice for anxiety, in the short term. They'd work quicker than an SSRI, which is also a possibility for you.

That said, I've been taking AAPs for years, so I don't find them that threatening. I do agree that pdoc and therapist need to be consulted ASAP, and to be honest, benzos are safer in the short run, especially if you don't have addiction problems in your past. But some docs don't like using them.

My Gdoc gave my husband low dose quel for a week or so until he got in to see pdoc, it was fine. He was a little dopey, but it was better for him than being unmedicated. He did not stay on it in the long run, but was on it for a few weeks. It was helpful (granted he was off work and REALLY messed up, like suicidal/homicidal non functional messed up.....)

So if you need to work/function, I'd suggest you try one of these AAPs on the weekend and see how you react. AAP naive people are GONNA be sleepy on these meds for a bit, has been my experience, especially quel or zyprexa.

Anna

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Historically I've responded very well to drugs -- almost too well, to the point that I suppose I'm more afraid of losing myself on an antipsychotic than anything else; I can deal with a few pounds in exchange for my mental health but I'm afraid of becoming somebody else.

Hopefully you will not become somebody else. I personally am not familiar with the side effect of losing oneself on AP. I have been on mine for about 6 months and the only side effects I have experienced are sedation (which I love) and some annoying 'lost in space' feeling (though with my sense of reality not my personality). Though I do understand that I have been lucky.

I have not changed my personality in any way since going on meds. In fact my friends say I am better to be around now than what I was when I was having symptoms every day. But that is because of my symptoms and not a personality change. I have a very strong sense of identity, and would probably know if my personality was changing.

Whatever meds your doc is suggesting it is probably worth giving at least a try. One of my biggest regrets is refusing meds a couple of years ago, at a time when I was far too psychotic to know I needed help. If the side effects suck or the med doesn't work for you, you can always ask to change.

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Thanks again, all. I'm working on finding a psychiatrist but unfortunately most of them seem to be associated with a specific hospital or group and won't see patients outside of that. Hopefully someone turns up. I did agree with my GP that if I can't get in to see someone within two weeks of last having spoken with her, I would try Seroquel, and I intend to keep my word on that, so we'll see how things go. After having thought about it, I don't know if I'm not experiencing derealization + anxiety rather than creeping towards true psychosis, but the fact that chancing it could turn out really, life-alteringly badly if I'm wrong encourages me to not even go there.

In any case, I think I'll stick around; I find I like this here forum. :)

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Thanks again, all. I'm working on finding a psychiatrist but unfortunately most of them seem to be associated with a specific hospital or group and won't see patients outside of that. Hopefully someone turns up.

I know you're hesitant to take the large initial step of seeing a psychiatrist (pdoc) because I'm sure you're thinking, "Holy crap! Am I really that crazy?" We have all been there before. But if you found us, then I suspect you need treatment, or at the very least a professional diagnosis by a specialist. A GP isn't enough, and I haven't met one yet that's qualified to deal with any type of mental illness (MI).

I know first-hand that finding a pdoc is a hassle, and can be frustrating. I move a lot for work so have been down that road many times. If your GP doesn't have a referral in mind (or you're not comfortable asking for one), then start looking in the yellow pages (yes, I'm old!) or online. I have had just as much luck with the yellow pages as I've had with referrals, so there's no sure way to know without actually going for an appointment.

The fact that someone is associated with a hospital or group doesn't automatically mean they're not taking new patients. The only way to find out is to call. When you call, say you're in distress and need to see someone ASAP. If that office can't get you in within a week or two, keep calling until you find someone who can. It's well worth the effort.

A tdoc (therapist) is important, too, but I would start first with a pdoc and get correctly diagnosed. Good luck to you.

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Thanks again, all. I'm working on finding a psychiatrist but unfortunately most of them seem to be associated with a specific hospital or group and won't see patients outside of that. Hopefully someone turns up. I did agree with my GP that if I can't get in to see someone within two weeks of last having spoken with her, I would try Seroquel, and I intend to keep my word on that, so we'll see how things go. After having thought about it, I don't know if I'm not experiencing derealization + anxiety rather than creeping towards true psychosis, but the fact that chancing it could turn out really, life-alteringly badly if I'm wrong encourages me to not even go there.

In any case, I think I'll stick around; I find I like this here forum. :)

Well Seroquel has helped me loads with my anxiety.

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