How to handle those who don't understand

Old 07-22-2011, 10:09 AM
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How to handle those who don't understand

I have severe anxiety and panic attacks and I have huge problems, maybe you can give me some words of wisdom.
My bf just doesn't get it. He gets angry when I have a panic attack and doesn't understand that I don't do it on purpose. Otherwise he is a great man but when I have anxiety or panic attacks he suddenly becomes very mad at me, is verbally abusive and somehow I guess he thinks it's only an act. How can I explain it to him so he can understand me? Or is it hopeless? Should I just hide away when I have an attack? The problem with this is that the attack is so intense and so terrifying, I don't think that I could do that.

My other problem is my mother whose friend commited suicide and it all started with an anxiety medication they prescribed to her. So she absolutely is unsupportive, she thinks that I must deal with this and only my willpower is enough and when I wanted to take medications she acted like I was going to die and it was horrible, I don't want to do that one more time. I don't know what to do with them. Any advice? What would you do?
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:38 AM
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i also have severe anxiety and panic attacks and my boyfriend doesn't really know what it is like. it's difficult to try to explain to someone who hasn't really been there themselves, but i have tried to explain to him what is happening inside. sometimes he really tries to get it and he is supportive, but other times he also gets frustrated.
i don't think that your boyfriend intends to get mad at you, i think that it is just very frustrating for him because he is helpless and doesn't understand. i hope he doesn't think it's an act -- i am sure he sees what you go through and understands it isn't an act.

i am sorry that your mother is unsupportive. it might be difficult for her to be if her friend committed suicide as a result of anxiety medication. all psych meds carry that risk and normally it says that in the medication description, and they all affect different people differently. i don't really know what to say about that

i wish you all the best with this and am sorry to hear of your struggles.
take care of yourself,
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Old 07-22-2011, 10:44 AM
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It is quite frustrating and hurtful to deal with those who can not understand anxiety. Unfortunately those who do not deal with it can not comprehend how debilitating it can be and most believe that it is a "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" type of thing. Until I started experiencing it myself I also believed that will power could take care of it and that people who were experiencing it were just out for the drama and attention. I did treat them with compassion though but was unable to show empathy until I experienced it myself.

I am fortunate that my partner is compassionate and tries to be understanding of my mental health conditions including anxiety. If it were not for her I don't know what I would do I quite possibly would have committed suicide as I have been that discouraged many times because of my mental health conditions. There are many in my life who do not understand and truly wonder why I am unable to work, have agoraphobia, and take anxiety medications. Although few realize that I do take medications to help me with these episodes. I also deal with people that think that I am not sober simply because I take medications to deal with this very real medical problem. It is frustrating and embarrassing to deal with people who can not understand because they do not deal with the severity of a severe anxiety problem.

What I can suggest is that even though your mother is against medical help for your problems please seek medical advise. What she does not realize is that people do commit suicide due to anxiety problems so not taking medications to treat it really makes no sense. The only thing that keeps me going some days is the hope that things will get better and I know that the only way that it will get better is if I do all that I can to treat my anxiety. That for me includes medication, therapy, yoga, positive readings/meditation, and exercise. All of those things combined have helped but have not cured my problem. I keep going because they have helped and it gives me hope that one day I will find a cure for my anxiety.

I can only imagine what it is like to have a partner who is not supportive. Although my partner gets discouraged and can not totally understand she at least does not belittle me when I am experiencing an attack instead she is supportive and usually can recognize the beginning of an attack before I even see it and tells me it is time to take my medication. Sometimes that frustrates me but I am thankful for her. I do hope your boyfriend learns to understand that the anxiety is a real medical condition and can become more supportive. In the meantime I hope you find the support and encouragement that I have found on these boards.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:14 AM
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Thank you for your support and advice, it really helps a lot!

I think my boyfriend is really frustrated with being unable to help me and I'm astonished that an otherwise intelligent person can't understand a thing like this. I'm hurt by his behaviour but I don't want to give up the hope that one day I'll be able to make him genuinely understand.

I think as soon as I can afford it I will seek medical help even if it means a confrontation with my mother (which will be hard because I don't want to hurt her). Now I'm moving to a different country and changing jobs so I'm broke and I would have to ask her for money to go to a doctor, that's why I'll wait a little longer, but you're perfectly right, people do commit suicide because of anxiety disorders so it doesn't make sense to not seek medical help.
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:22 AM
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Excellent advice from nandm.

I have bipolar and a new dx of anxiety disorder that came on abruptly last year. I see a psych regularly and take life was like a horror story until i found relief and support from Behavioral Health Services. I can't say evreyone could they? I don't broadcast my meds in my AA meetings, but my sponsor knows all, and is
supportive. The way I see it...others are not having the panic attacks and grinding what if they don't agree? Take care of yourself first and foremost...

Hugs and blessings))))
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:16 PM
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I never really knew what anxiety was until I started having it from withdrawal after a couple years of heavy drinking. And I REALLY didn't know what it was until I went to the hospital a couple times for panic attacks. I still get made fun of for going to the hospital, and those hospital trips were two full years ago.

That said, I think it really is something that you have to experience to fully understand it. Unfortunately I can't give advice how to solve this, since I never figured it out myself. Only a select few people I know understand it since they go through it as well.

As for the meds, it is good advice to toss them, imo. It's been shown that cognitive therapy is much more effective in the long term than are meds. Not to mention they are dangerous. I weened off my celexa in 6 weeks and I don't regret a thing.

But you really have to analyze your situation and get to the source of your anxiety, then decide how you're going to address it with/without meds, and of course do so with a doctor. That's what I did. Made a plan, stuck to it and never looked back.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:01 PM
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I have been Suffering severe anxiety for years.I was on medication as well to help free me from my anxiety.
I feel hopeless,helpless,But I cant ever give up on me.
I am free of Alcohol and all medication now for years as well.
I've tried Everything,.................Still have Pains in My Head,shoulders,Gut....and a Constant mental search going on in my head for a way out.
I find it hard to get a breath................At times.
My biggest fear is Travelling,Going to Strange Places High up,mountains Etc.
Plane flights,Crowds not as bad as it used to be.
I am now for a few years attending ACA Meetings.
The First Time I read the Laundry List a couple of years ago.........I seen they all applied to me.
As well as the way I abused myself, with Alcohol/Drugs............I was Emotionally and Physically Abused as a Child and Young adult.
This Program is my Last Hope...........
I will recover Sometime...............thats for sure.Cheers
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:59 PM
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Hi. completely empathize with you. I can be extremely fustrating when people dont understand. The way i look at it is, if i didnt have suffer from anxiety on a daily basis then i wouldnt understand how it feels to live with it everyday. I do not blame anyone who doesnt understand for not understanding, its just the way it is. Dont really have any suggestions for you, just wanteed to send my empathies.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:09 AM
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Micealc, I'm sure you will recover soon! You already started it!
I'm allright most of the time (I have some anxiety but managable) but sometimes I have terrible panic attacks, I don't know why, I don't know what causes them...It feels like I'm in hell. I'm afraid of losing my loved ones. For example my bf visits his parents and stays for a few days and I have a bad feeling about it but at one moment something "kicks in" and I start to panic that something has happened to him and I'll lose him, etc., and I have a full blown panic attack. I have no reason to think that he is in any danger whatsoever but this is not a rational fear. I'm fighting this but it's too hard as it has some probability of happening. If anyone has ideas, advice, don't hesitate to share I'll move in two days back to my home country and me and my bf will have to live with our parents for a few weeks, maybe months and I have no idea what to do because I'm afraid I'll have many panic attacks
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