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  1. #1

    Anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, and not feeling myself

    Hi everyone, I'm 22 and new here. I just want a little guidance and help if that's ok? 7 weeks ago I left a stable apprenticeship job to try and find work. I knew I was going to be unemployed and have been dreading it for a while as I was unemployed for about 3 weeks before my apprenticeship. Anyway I've been feeling really low and angry that I couldn't get a job, trying to find a place in the world has been terrifying. I've always been a worrier anyway. Worry about how I'm going to look after myself when I'm older, live by myself. Basically live in the world, because I've never strayed far from home.

    Anyway I was in my local shopping mall with a few friends a couple of weeks ago and I was confronted by a gang of kids who threatened to kill me, amongst other things. Anyway it really shook me up and I noticed that when I went out to a different shopping mall the next day, I was really nervous of the big open spaces on the drive there. Anyway I did ok with the large numbers of people but I noticed that I would do everything in my power to not be noticed, to not catch people's gaze. I went to my local doctor and she diagnosed me with panic/anxiety attacks (I would get shortness of breath, pins and needles in my hands and face etc etc). She prescribed me 10 valium tablets and they work great. Though I've only taken 5 because I'm scared of becoming addicted to them. She also put me forward to a counsellor on the 6th of October.

    Anyway I got a job in the same place as where I was confronted by the kids (a really, really boring data entry job) and I noticed I was terrified walking around or being in a que for a bus. Being inside slighty eases the feeling but my thoughts escalate into, "Oh my God look at the sky, I'm standing on a planet, in a universe" or horrible thoughts about reality like, "What is making me move my hand right now?", "It doesn't feel like I'm talking to my mum right now." etc etc. Those thoughts especially disturb me, like I have a detachment from reality. I went back to a different doctor about the problem (my usual one was away on holiday) and explained to her that I didn't feel I'd be able to last until the 6th of October and I needed something to calm me down now. She prescribed me, the non-addictive, chlorpromazine and it doesn't work too well. It doesn't stop all my escalting fears and worries like valium did. It just makes me a little sleepy and harder to do my job.

    Sorry for the very long post but I don't know who else to turn to right now. I'm worrying even more because I'm worrying my mum, I don't want to lose my job, and everything seems on top of me right now. I'm terrified I'm going to snap and start hearing voices in my head because of all this worry (which is another worry) and I feel like, "Well worrying has got you into this, so doing it more will make your mental state worse". Please help me.

  2. #2

    Anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, and not feeling myself

    She prescribed me, the non-addictive, chlorpromazine and it doesn't work too well. It doesn't stop all my escalting fears and worries like valium did. It just makes me a little sleepy and harder to do my job.
    I don't think it's chlorpromazine you mean. That's a major tramquilizer used in the past to treat psychotic conditions. Possibly clonazepam? That's a mild tranquilizer... or alternatively, the doctor may have given you an SSRI or a beta blocker...

    All of the symptoms you are describing are consistent with general anxiety disorder, heightened by your recent traumatic experience. I think you could probably benefit from one of the SSRIs like Prozac or Luvox and I'd suggest you talk to your regular doctor about that when you can. You'd probably continue taking the clonazepam while that is going on.

    The medications will help you to manage the GAD and panic attacks but seeing a therapist who can help you learn to manage the symptoms via cognitive behavior therapy techniques will also be necessary for the long run.

    While you're waiting for your appointment, have a look at some of the resources deiscussed here: -- in particular, see if you can find a copy of David Burns, The Feeling Good Handbook (Penguin, 1999).

  3. #3

    Anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, and not feeling myself

    Thank you so much for your reply. Unfortunately I was given Chlorpromazine on monday and I'm kinda worried now after researching more about it on the internet. I haven't been taking them regulary (though I was advised half of one three times a day), just once before I go to bed to help me sleep or in the morning before work sometimes but will it harm me to keep taking them? The doctor told me they are for treating patients who can't sleep. Should I stop taking them?

    I kinda had a hunch that I had GAD but wasn't sure. I did have a breakthrough today. I felt a little better walking around (not much but an improvement) and I realised my deatchment from reality was because I was looking at myself in the third person. Worried others are judging me. It's hard not to though.

    Thank you for all your help.

  4. #4

    Anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, and not feeling myself

    No, don't stop taking the medication until you talk to your doctor. It's possible that it was prescribed in a smaller dose than would normally be used for controlling psychotic symptoms. It is also has been used to treat very high levels of anxiety in the past - it's just an unusual medication for that purpose these days.

  5. #5

    Anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, and not feeling myself

    Ok I'll continue taking one before I go to bed (and maybe one before I go to work if I need one) like I have been.

    Thank you so much for your help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Sutton, Surrey. England

    Anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, and not feeling myself

    Hi UK Guy and sorry to hear your reaction to those kids. It appears an isolated incident has left you re-creating it over and again and assuming a similar thing will happen again.

    Anxiety is an emotion based in time and basically is fear of the future and highlights that you are not focussing on what you want in any given circumstance.
    In Time Line Therapy(TM) we take you out to 15 minutes after the succesful completion of the event you thought you were anxious about and then when you look back toward now - where's the anxiety? That's right, it disappeared.......

    There is a little more to it than just that, but that is how the technique works in principal. It is highly effective. You can leave that anxiety behind you.


  7. #7

    Anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, and not feeling myself

    Hi Nigel H, thanks so much for your input! Sounds like a really interesting method of therapy!

    Since I last posted things have changed a little. I'm now nearly back to normal when walking around crowded places, and I can block out most of my horrible thoughts. I saw the counsellor a week ago (it feels like forever though) and he said that he doesn't feel I need anti-depressants or medication, though he is going to recommend me for therapy to try and get rid of some independence issues I have from my childhood.

    One part of me wanted to go on meds, and the other was terrified by it. I was geniuningly happy speaking to him, but maybe I've made myself look too good? My worries have started escalating again as I have to start a new job soon (more upheaval), and the fact that I might be put on a huge waiting list for counselling because I didn't seem to be depressed when speaking to the counsellor.

    Also, these last few days, I've had a lack of energy, drowsiness and a nausious feeling. I'm hoping it's down to some kind of flu (currently doing the rounds in England) but I'm terrifed I've taken a step back into depression again (because these are common symptoms). I'm looking forward to starting my new job (because I hate the old one, though I can get out of bed for it), but also I'm terrified of the new one. I just need a counselling date to focus on again.

    Sorry to vent lol.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Sutton, Surrey. England

    Anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, and not feeling myself

    Hey - the Flu is doing it's thing round my way too!

    You will get through this and congrats on the job situation.....

    If you need any help in the counselling area then let me know, although it sounds like you may be getting the help you need.

    Don't let venting bother you - that's what this thing is for isn't it !!?!?!


  9. #9

    Anxiety, agoraphobia, stress, and not feeling myself

    Thanks a lot for your help Nigel! It's really appreciated ^_^

    I can't wait to start counselling and I think this is one of my biggest problems. It's been nearly a week and a half and I haven't heard anything from my doctor yet so it makes my worries escalate. If I don't hear something by the end of the week I'm going to have to make an appointment I think, just to put my mind at ease.

    Thanks again ^_^



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