Dang! (The anxiety symptoms suck)

Old 06-27-2018, 12:17 PM
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Dang! (The anxiety symptoms suck)

This is the massive problem to my recovery with not drinking..... the anxiety symptoms.

As said in my intro post, i'm not an alcoholic but i'm very much borderline thanks to anxiety.

So my symptoms..... Well... i'm in therapy (CBT) and even the therapist has a tough time with it because I have severe anxiety, yet I have no fears, don't overthink, have no worries that affect me. So I !should! be all fine right? Well, er, nope.

This is the thing. I am isolated after death of family, I actually want to be out there, meeting new people, eventually working again and building a life for myself. There are no fears that bring on anxiety symptoms at all. The symptoms just happen.

Let's take a typical day when depression hasn't dragged me to a complete low. I want to get out. I want to potentially make new friends. I don't have any fears or worries. Yet when getting out and about those symptoms start massively.

Typically it will be shaking, dizziness, feeling sick, heavy eyes, twitching in corner of mouth and eyes, legs feel heavy. I struggle to communicate and when I do, my words get twisted up.

These symptoms cause me so much distress I often have ended up going to the pub, self medicating with alcohol and carrying on with my day with symptoms now seemingly at bay.

I know how bad alcohol is, I hate the stuff. I hate waking up the next day wanting to sleep more, even if I don't feel tired and all the other next day side effects.

It's just when anxiety/nervous symptoms are that rife, I give up caring about consequences or weather it's a good idea. All I know at the time is "The symptoms are horrid, i'm not coping well, pub, alcohol, symptoms reduced, I can go about the rest of my day without symptoms".

I guess some people might think is it the alcohol causing the symptoms? Nope. These symptoms have been present ALL my life, about 10 years before I touched a drop of alcohol. How did I deal with them back then? Avoidance of situations.

Now with the way my life is.... Isolation, family deaths (Still in bereavement), depression, i'm already feeling rubbish. Then I have to put myself in situations where I feel even more rubbish (Anxiety symptoms), which makes me quite vulnerable to saying "sod it, pub".

I had a situation earlier like that where I went to a coffee shop. It was hell and I was tempted to ease the symptoms by going to the pub. Thankfully I didn't.... but am I any better for it? Nope.... as the next time I go to a coffee shop it will be those exact same symptoms that area huge trigger.
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:10 PM
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Drinking makes anxiety a lot worse - a lot. When you get sober you'll have a lot of anxiety at first but it calms down the longer you're sober.
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:18 PM
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Hopefully you are having decaf at the coffee shop.

Have you talked to your doctor about non-benzo anxiety meds?
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Old 06-27-2018, 04:43 PM
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The thing is, I know a lot say it makes it worse, but is that meant as in, in that instance?

I have to just compare really. When I was 12, I hadn't even touched a drop of alcohol, symptoms affected me massively. To a point where it started as me never putting my hand up in class when I didn't understand, to a further point where I didn't understand (due to not putting my hand up) and leaving school....Well... "skiving" as much as possible.

Thats the key. The symptoms have always been there, no doubt about that, but over time, the more I have lost due to the symptoms.... Job chances, relationships, even seeing my mum in her final days, the harder it becomes.

Afterall, let's take the 'first date' scenario. Alcohol is 'dutch courage'. People use it for the reason of bypassing the nervousness and being more like themselves. Once they get comfy around that person... all good.

If symptoms are x10 each time, for no reason at all, it's so hard to manage.

Yeah, decaff all the way. Which shows really. Therapist doesn't mention decaff, even though I know I will avoid it.

Haven't spoken to doctor as I struggle to get to see them. The last app was him telling me to slow down, and just agreeing with me throughout
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Old 06-28-2018, 08:41 AM
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Hi Sam,

Have you ever been tested for Asperger's or Autism? I am not saying that is what is going on, but it seems a bit familiar. You might check into that. If you do have Autism, that might explain what is going on and it will give you a new starting place for help.

Don't give up.
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Old 07-01-2018, 11:54 AM
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I was this way quite a bit until I went to the psychiatrist and got help.

Everything changed dramatically.

I hope you consider getting help.
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Old 07-07-2018, 06:09 AM
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TY for comments.

The big key here is I have been trying for help for 10 years now. Yes I have been given help but it's always on a trivialised basis. There's never really any empathy, understanding or proper support.

I say about symptoms and how hard it is for me to go about my daily life. I'm pretty much told to just keep trying. There's much more to it than that of course but that's the short version.

As for Asperger's. I have mentioned it to GP's who dismissed it. 1 said to me 'well you dont look like you have aspergers' (No idea if they can diagnose just by looking at someone). I don't seem to get past first base with that as instead of being referred for testing, i'm told I don't have aspergers by people I don't believe are qualified to say that.

The last few days have been a prime example of why it is so hard for me to stop drinking.

On Thurs it was my nans birthday. She is the last remaining family member I have. Knowing I wanted to try and be there for it, she paid for a taxi for me to get there.

On the day, her sister's came up to take her for a meal. I wanted to try and get out there so I went with them....Wish I hadn't.

Symptoms were horrendous. I did things my therapist told me to try and do yet nothing helped. 1 of nans sisters said to me I am looking good and well.... Due to symptoms making my mind blank, all I could say was 'yeah' and nothing else back to her.

I sat there in silence. Even when they spoke about things I know about (Vaping, football), the symptoms were extreme and mind was blank so couldn't think up the words to say.

The next day for an hour, I sat trying to take some positives from it, but there were genuinely none. I might as well not even been there and really wish I hadn't gone.

Then Friday....

A beer festival was in town and after that meal for nan's bday, I couldn't care less if I drink.

I went and what an amazing time. Total positives from it.

I sat there at a table alone with my dog, drinking. People approached me to make small talk and fuss the dog. Due to reduced symptoms because of drinking, I had some great conversations.

1 woman came over and invited me to sit at her table in the shade with her friends.... I did.

Great chat, we had a laugh and I was greatly involved in conversations, asking questions and making people laugh with witty phrases.

What are the negatives from it? I spent money I can't really afford to spend and at the end, felt myself getting a bit too tipsy (but I then said my goodbyes and went home).

Thats the difficulty though. Had I gone and not touched a drop, I would have sat there in silence, no conversation with anyone and would have avoided sitting at that table with people when invited, or if I did sit there, I would have sat there shaking, fiddling with things, avoiding eye contact
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:50 AM
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Have you seen a psychiatrist? Not just a GP? Someone with some real knowledge about how to treat anxiety, as well as a knowledge of substance use disorder?

Anxiety is a difficult problem. Like all mental health issues, medication can be part of the solution, but usually not all of it. Alcohol will only make the problem worse in the long run.

Please go see a good psychiatrist if you haven't already. Substance use disorder is OFTEN co-morbid with other psychiatric conditions, especially GAD and depression, but also bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADHD, etc. A psychiatrist can help you sort through the symptoms to a proper diagnosis and assist with all aspects of your treatment.

You are far, far from alone with these issues.
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Old 07-07-2018, 03:09 PM
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Thanks mindfulman. Well, no GP seems the think it's that serious but when I was in hospital i'm sure they booked me in to see a psychiatrist. Went there with promises in hospital of better support and help.

Present was a CPN and another MH worker. We sat there for an hour and I will upload the letter I had in the post, very shortly (perhaps tomorrow).

Disgusting is the most polite word to use for it (Iv shown this to MH charities who were absolutely disgusted by it as well). It was like a rip on me summary. To take a few lines from it, a lot were lies by them or not relevant:

"Does not know his father" - My dad's dead
"Didn't do well at college" - No I didn't but that was due to symptoms.
"Has no friends" - Yes, due to symptoms.
"Never found his place in society" - Well, living with this illness kind of puts me at a disadvantage and makes it harder. Thus I went for help.

It was kind of like a letter making out how I supposedly feel so hard done by and life is so harsh and unfair I want to cry.

Total nonsense and they refused to refer me for secondary MH support.
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:22 PM
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I cannot advise on the letter- but it does suck.
As to anxiety- my first conscious, remembered emotion/ feeling when a toddler was anxiety. For me- a doc for the depression, a psychologist and CBT to work on coping now....and as to the causes? LOTS! I found Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings useful- but not when I feel overly anxious. I have to force myself to be around humans. A good place is at meetings...I have a home group which is small, safe and supportive and has a stable atmosphere.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:09 AM
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Thats a small snippet of the letter. Like said really, a lot of it was twisted to make it appear as if it's "boohoo me, i'm so hard done by, life is so bad".

Things like saying I was bullied at school. That was never the case and there's a vast difference between being bullied at school, and the reality that I told them was I struggled to make friends or interact with other people, due to symptoms, which affected my school work and in the last year, I ended up bunking off school at the time.

As for my grandmother "criticising me". Big difference again between being criticised and the reality (I again told them), that when I lived there, my grandmother would get angry with my disabled mother, sometimes shouting at her or pulling her arm hard (bruising it). I would defend my mum verbally, just like any son would, then the anger went onto me and I was told to pack my bags and go, among other things.

I think PhoenixJ I would definitely love some sort of home group thing, not sure if there would be anything here though, or the hard part would be getting referred to something like that.

The CBT therapist is trying to get me to join this church coffee meetup thing. Yet it's tricky because there will be symptoms there. Worst case, but most likely scenario is I sit there, shaking away, in total silence, giving occasional 1 word responses. I then leave feeling awful, like nothing was achieved and wont return.

Day's out and going places like restaurants, coffee shops and museums should be fun experiences. Yet I get there, symptoms, which make it uncomfortable and after 2 or 3 times of going and experiencing the same symptoms, I begin to dislike the activity.

I don't fear things. To some degree I could quite easily get dressed now, go out to a coffee shop, but why? It won't be a pleasant experience, symptoms will kill off any potential happiness I could get from it, which will make it a waste of money.
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