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Forums / Anxiety / Anxiety out of control

Topic: Anxiety out of control

19 posts, 0 answered
  1. jsm1974
    jsm1974 avatar
    58 posts
    7 October 2021

    Hi all,

    My wife and I are (probably) separating due, ironically, to a bout with either anxiety or depression (or both) on her end which has made her feel numb. As a result, my own anxiety has been out of control....multiple panic attacks every day and 'fight or flight' jitters the rest of the time....to the point that I cannot even eat, let alone do anything to distract me. I've been on medication for dysthymia, MDD, GAD, and ADHD for quite a while, but medication isn't really cutting it. I have never in my life experienced anything like this. I'm trying so hard to be there for her and to give her the time and space that she needs, but I feel as if I am failing in that regard as she can see right through me. I know I need to get my head right before I can be of any real comfort to her.

    I've been working at using mindfulness techniques, but much of the time I can't even identify the offending thought. I have had a few moments of respite here and there, but I can't seem to identify a pattern there. Does anyone have any techniques or strategies that I could use to calm my head/body down enough to be able to use mindfulness? I've been like this for well over a month, which simply can't be healthy and is definitely not helping me support my wife.

  2. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    3219 posts
    7 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    Hi jsm1974

    I'm sorry it seems your post has been here for some time without any response!

    You're clearly going through a tough time. Panic attacks are horrible and no wonder you're having them with the stress you're under. A relationship breakdown is incredibly stressful, you're going through a major life event!

    Would sitting listening to soothing music using headphones help? Mindfulness takes some practice and I found a couple of books about techniques from my local library helped me.

    What about trying it outside in nature, somewhere quiet and peaceful?

    I hope someone will come by with more ideas!

    I'm sure others will come by and offer support and suggestions.

    🌿🍃🌱

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1359 posts
    7 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    Hi jsm1974,

    Im sorry that your self and your wife are going through this I understand anxiety is difficult I went through severe anxiety OCD, I have now recovered from this condition thanks to the help I received from health professionals.

    Has your wife and your self seen your gp and discussed the way you are feeling?

    You could do a mental health plan together, this will enable you to see a psychologist who can give you many strategies for anxiety.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. jsm1974
    jsm1974 avatar
    58 posts
    8 October 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Thanks for responding Hanna3 and Petal22. It helps a bit just being heard.

    I haven't been able to listen to music or watch tv in weeks, as in both cases I can't help but think about my wife and my situation. Nearly everything around me is a trigger, most regrettably my beautiful cat. I'm still giving him affection, but I think even he knows it is forced. I've been working on mindfulness techniques, but it's difficult when I'm in full panic mode and can't control my thoughts or even identify them.

    I've been under treatment for "double depression", anxiety, and ADHD for a long time. I have been on every class of medication there is and nothing has worked, so my psychiatrist is recommending ECT. Unfortunately it is apparently impossible to get this done on the public health system and I do not have private health insurance (and can't afford it right now, under the circumstances), so I have applied for alternative procedures (Direct Brain Stimulation and TMS).

    My wife is currently on medication and seeing a therapist, but her symptoms have grown noticeably worse since she started the medication. Her initial problem was that she was feeling numb/empty, but her medication has amplified this significantly, so now she is in the process of weening herself off of it. I'm hoping that this, plus her getting out of the job she hated and lockdown ending, will help her feel better, but who knows. This has been going on for so long now, like a nightmare that just won't end.

    Thanks again for listening. This is such an amazingly supportive community. I only wish I had more to give back to all of you, but I will certainly do my best to share the love. This is so, so important, particularly as society seems to be growing more fragmented. We need to be doing the opposite, as people are doing in these forums. I think everyone who contributes here should feel proud of themselves for being someone who cares and proves it. Thank you for existing, all of you! (wow...actually crying writing this, but in a good way haha)

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Avery lam
    Avery lam avatar
    5 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    I’ve had anxiety for more than 20 years. The worst right now. I don’t go out of the house, but I still manages to pretend to be normal while I am totally not. I still need to work because life ain’t easy, especially when you have no money, another problem comes. I don’t know what to do also. I honestly need help, but being able to know that I’m not the only one and coming onto this forum Is a good start. 21 years of anxiety ain’t going to change overnight. Thank you for your post and hopefully we can and everyone else can help each other one way or the other,

  6. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    5944 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to Avery lam
    Hi Avery Iam,   Thank you for sharing your experience with anxiety here with our community on the forums. Anxiety can be extremely debilitating and you are right in that you are certainly not alone in this. Anxiety can look different for different people. It sounds like things have been really hard lately for you and encourage you to seek some support.     If you would like to explore some support options or talk through some of these feelings we would recommend that you get in contact with the Beyond Blue Support Service. They are available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.    Below we have linked an article on our website that you may like to read about treatments for anxiety https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/treatments-for-anxiety    And another now on anxiety management strategies https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/treatments-for-anxiety/anxiety-management-strategies   
  7. Petal22
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    1359 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    Hi jsm1974,

    I’m just checking in with yourself and your wife I hope you are doing ok..

    I just wanted to mention …. I’m not sure what medication your wife is on but with antidepressants they usually make things worse before it gets better……… in my case I was worse before getting better and now I’m fine….. maybe your wife can discuss with her gp …

    By yourself seeing a gp and doing a mental health plan does this give you access to a phycologist? It did for me and the first 10 sessions were free…..

    Thank you so much for you kind words to us it means a lot …

  8. Stui
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    Stui avatar
    18 posts
    14 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    Hi jsm1974,

    I can associate with your situation from my own life. This is a really hard time for both of you from what you have written, I know it was for me. I went to my doctors and he referred me to a psychologist maybe that is an option for both you and your wife to consider? The other thing I went through were mood swings and they made it more difficult but they did settle down. Seeing my GP was a good start because he knew me and helped me to developed a plan of action.

  9. jsm1974
    jsm1974 avatar
    58 posts
    15 October 2021 in reply to Stui

    Thanks for the responses.

    Sadly my situation has not changed and with each day I lose hope. Even with lockdown over I still find myself isolated and stewing in constant anxiety.

    Both my wife and I are seeing therapists, but I get the sense that her therapist is sort of validating her constant escapism. That, and she doesn't seem to get that she will have to work at this outside of therapy. Her parents love me, so at least they have been very supportive, but that's about it. She left for the weekend yesterday, but I'm staying in a tiny rented room next week to give her a longer period of space. That oughta be fun.

    so yeah, not going well. My marriage was so amazing for nearly 8 years, then broken in a span of a couple of months. If that's the best life has to offer, I'm struggling to see the point

  10. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1359 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    Hi jsm1974,

    Im sorry to hear that your situation hasn’t changed.

    I understand how difficult anxiety can be it bought me to my knees at a stage in my life…. I’m now recovered.. please don’t loose hope… hang in there…

    Im glad yourself and your wife are seeing therapists ..has your therapist been able to give you any helpful strategies?

    I did metacognitive therapy this therapy changed my life…. Maybe you could look into it and see if it’s a fit for you?

    here to chat

  11. jsm1974
    jsm1974 avatar
    58 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to Petal22

    My therapist has mentioned metacognitive therapy, but has said that first I need to work on emotion regulation and distress tolerance. The feelings are still too raw.

    Hard not to lose hope...I've always struggled with the idea that this world isn't worth the effort, but my wife changed that by showing me how much better everything is when shared with someone you truly love. Now it seems that even our bond was an illusion.

  12. Stui
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    Stui avatar
    18 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    Hi Jsm1974,

    Sorry to hear that you still feel this way. After I posted I thought of something else that helped me which was I was a member of a social group perhaps you and your wife could find one either individually or as a couple I'm not sure where your based but try asking you counsellors I'm sure they would have some ideas.

    1 person found this helpful
  13. jsm1974
    jsm1974 avatar
    58 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to Stui

    Hi Stui

    Do you mean something like a support group? I'm in the very southern part of Sydney ("the Shire") and have checked around but haven't had any luck. I'm having to turn to dating apps to meet friends, but not having much luck. Good idea to ask my therapist though....I'll ask him at my next session next week.

    My wife has her group of friends, whom I've never met and where she is every weekend just to get away from our place. Her avoidance is, I believe, perpetuating her problems, which is why I've lost hope in us saving our marriage. She feels no connection to me anymore, but she refuses to explore why that is. I think she'll just right it off to the laziest concept ever: "well, people change".

  14. jsm1974
    jsm1974 avatar
    58 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to Stui
    I also should have mentioned that I'm currently on 3 different medications for depression and ADHD and have already been referred to the Black Dog clinic, as I am considered treatment resistant. Hopefully I can find something to deal with this once and for all, as this has gone on for far too long.
  15. Petal22
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    1359 posts
    16 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    Hi jsm1974,

    Has your therapist been helping you with emotion regulation and distress tolerance? I understand it all takes practice. I’m glad your therapist has mentioned metacognitive therapy it’s well worth a try at it if you can some time.

    Im sorry that things are the way they are at the moment with your wife, has her anxiety symptoms made her this way?

    Do you feel better when your around people?

    Have you tried meditation?

  16. jsm1974
    jsm1974 avatar
    58 posts
    17 October 2021 in reply to Petal22
    My therapist only told me to check out those concepts at the end of our last session, so I think the plan is to talk more about them next time. I've been trying meditation and mindfulness techniques, but nothing seems to mitigate the emptiness I feel. I can't seem to conjure any sense of hope at all. My only respite from emptiness has been the occasional random and explosive boutique of crying. Not a great lifestyle.
  17. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    Petal22 avatar
    1359 posts
    17 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    I’m sorry jsm1974 that you are feeling this way, I really hope things get better for you.

    If you would like to talk to someone please call one of our caring Beyond Blue councillors 1300 22 4636

    We are all here as a community on this forum to listen to you, please chat to us anytime.

  18. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    blondguy avatar
    11220 posts
    17 October 2021 in reply to jsm1974

    Hi jsm1974

    your thread reminded me of my own 'chronic anxiety' back in the 1980's...I understand and feel your pain

    Can I ask (if thats okay) how often you see your doc?

    my kind thoughts

    Paul


  19. jsm1974
    jsm1974 avatar
    58 posts
    18 October 2021 in reply to blondguy
    I've been seeing my therapist at least weekly, but not for very long, so we're only now getting into what might be happening. I know it is a slow process, but I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. Every minute of every day is a struggle and nothing seems to mitigate that. Perhaps it's the fact that my marriage is dead due to no fault of my own, yet I can't do a thing about it. My wife refuses to face the reality of the situation...having to move, split up the finances, etc., so I'm stuck in limbo.

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