Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Anxiety, Panic, and the Fear Center

Beyond Blue reader Kay e-mailed me just before Christmas to ask me to address panic and anxiety.
I feel blessed to have had a few months now without that dreadful knot in your stomach—actually I think of it as more of a croissant (it’s French and has attitude).
But, oh, I know that feeling all too well.
About ten months ago I visited a good college friend over St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The day after I got back, I experienced bouts of anxiety just like the kind I did very early in my recovery (like the weeks after I was in the hospital). I was so scared that I was going there again.
I thought I’d share with you the post that I wrote then, because it holds true for today. When I experience bouts of anxiety I like to pretend that I’m a newspaper reporter and figure out what, exactly, it is that is baking the croissant, and see if I can throw it away or hurl it at somebody.
I analyze my recovery program: Am I eating healthy? (HA!) Am I sleeping 8 hours consistently? Is my schedule off? Have I been exercising? Am I worried about something, or reacting to a recent conversation?
If the clues point to a source, then I go to that source and tell it off, or do something about it. But many times I can’t figure out why, all of a sudden, I’m hit in the face with the croissant.
Either way, I remember my FEAR CENTER. That’s the amygdala—the cluster of cells in the brain responsible for worrying. It has just posted signs for a toga party. I simply have to go there, to my amygdala, and tell it that parties aren’t allowed. I do that in a variety of ways (which I get to in the following piece).
Here’s my post from last March. I hope this helps, Kay!


I have ten topics in mind that I want to write about right now: the value of humor, not taking things personally, the relationship between food and mood. But those are just ways to avoid what I’m really feeling at this moment: anxiety and the fear of returning to the black hole.
Today is the first time in over six months that I woke up with that horrible knot in my stomach–the kind that, I suspect, a priest or sister might feel after robbing a bank. It’s like guilt in that I’m convinced it’s the result of a recent action, something bad I did. Yet, after searching my conscience, I fail to arrive at any major crime or sin (though there are plenty of little ones).
Early in my recovery I would take a sedative (or ten) on mornings like these, because a tiny seed of agitation was enough to turn and twist my thoughts into layers and layers of distortions, totally disabling me. Before long I’d be shaking nervously, unable to drive my car or load the dishwasher without holding onto something for balance.
Now I try to catch the anxiety in its birth, before it persuades my mind, body, and spirit to collaborate with it. I remember what positive psychologists like Dan Baker and Martin Seligman and neuroscientists like Joseph LeDoux say about a human being’s “fear system,” generated by that delinquent cluster of brain tissue called the amygdala, which sends messages of panic from my left toenail to my right eyebrow.
I put both index fingers into my ears and shout, “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.” And I wait for the more nuanced, intellectual part of my brain to help me sort out the issue.
So that’s what I’m doing right now. Having a conversation with the Harvard-educated part of my brain, which is assisting me in analyzing what is triggering such angst, and which instruments in my recovery toolbox I need to pull out in order to whack the sucker over the top of the head so he doesn’t start pulling me into that deep, dark abyss.
I have plenty of suspects:
• The argument I had with my best friend right before I left to visit her for the weekend: I regret what I said even though expressing my frustration seemed the right thing to do. Still, I absolutely despise all confrontation and the awkwardness that accompanies it. I’m wondering if this is just a natural stage in the progression of a close friendship, or if we have issues we need to work out. (Do friends go to therapy together like couples do? Why does every single part of my life require therapy? Enough of therapy!)
• Without kids for the first time in a year this weekend, I slept through the night. Twice in a row. Which could have clued my body in on the fact that it’s getting way ripped off in the sleep category and should demand more.
• The two and a half weeks before my weekend away, I stayed up past midnight almost every night to work because the sitters were on spring break. Thus, my current depression might be a kind of physiological meltdown once my body was allowed to rest. (This morning I didn’t want to get out of bed.)
• Any breaks in my routine–even good ones–and traveling always cause me anxiety.
• I returned after a small break to my usual load of responsibilities, and am feeling somewhat overwhelmed by it (two weeks of newspapers to read, days of e-mails to return, extra attention to give the kids).
• My diet is off. I pigged out over the last three days because I was feeling bad about the fight. I broke my sweets rule, and munched as many cookies as were available.
• I got on the scale and saw I gained five pounds. (That causes panic in itself.)
Okay, now that I have identified the anxiety manufacturers–the likely contributors to my nervousness right now–here is my game plan:
• Continue with my day as if I’m not feeling any angst. Write my blog (this post) with the confidence of a woman not scared to death of a breakdown.
• Work out extra hard today–giving my brain an extra squirt of endorphins, and burning off some of the extra calories consumed this weekend.
• Go to the grocery store–buy plenty of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and protein. Eliminate sweets today and tomorrow. (Sugar highs always crash in depression or irritability. Like knowing that will really help me skip the cookies….)
• Get back to a regular sleep pattern–aiming for eight hours at night. Call a few more sitters to get extra hours if I don’t have enough to cover my work so that I don’t have to stay up this week. I’m in fragile land, which means I can’t push it.
• Cut back on caffeine. Limit myself to two or three cups of coffee this week. Try to get down to two cups a day next week.
• Decompress for at least fifteen minutes today–time reserved for reading or journaling or sitting by the water, or zoning out.
• Don’t try to meditate today.
• Check in with a fellow depressive or friend (Call Mike. Tell him I’m starting to freak out. He will set me straight. As always.)
• Take out my medal of St. Therese–my security object–and finger it every time my breath gets shallow.
• Remember what my doctor said: It is normal to be scared when experiencing anxiety or depression in the months that follow a severe depression–that the more days of recovery I get, the more confident I will become that periods of unease aren’t necessarily signaling a major relapse.
Aah. That feels good. I’m already feeling better.
And I will feel even better after I finish visualizing smashing the almond-shaped brain tissue (the amygdala) responsible for my present panic with my medal of St. Therese. Because my faith is ultimately the best weapon against that fear-inducing scoundrel.

  • Donny

    We have good reason to fear the future of society and the rise of pure violence. With so many women encouraged to have children out of wedlock, the streets and prisons of America will be filled to overflowing with angry violent adults, the result of an immoral culture and society reaping what they sowed from fatherless and husbandless homes. If feminism isn’t the biggest moral failure in history it is a close behind secular-humanism and Jihadism.

  • Frank

    Doggone it! I wish I had some sort of special tool to offer any one and everyone who deals with panic, anxiety, worry and the like. My worry button is so polished that it looks as if everyone who walks by must caress that puppy like it’s a good luck charm. It certainly is not. When the worry begins to occupy center stage, my anxiety begins to climb and I start with the big sighs. I probably am shallow breathing but I’m so focused on the worry that I’m unaware of much else.
    I am going to try to work out extra hard and get some sweat equity in the mix. I’ll drink plenty of water and keep my sugar in check and I’m going to believe that this too shall pass.
    I’ll think kind thoughts and send warm regards to Kay, Therese and anyone else who deals with these issues. I don’t want to stick my head in the sand and ignore the signals but neither do I want to cave in under the pressure.
    Hmmm…a little bit of sunshine would help. I think that the light therapy might be beneficial to a lot of things. Maybe I can grow some
    gigantic tomatoes and smile all at the same time. That would be a good thing.

  • Larry Parker

    And this has to do with Therese’s story HOW, exactly?

  • stillgrowing

    Thanks Larry, I was wondering too. That kind of comment could get me going, but I’m going to give it the attention that certain behaviors it the classroom get: a stern look over the glasses with an inquiring eyebrow, “And, back to topic…”
    So, Therese, thank you for bringing up anxiety. It is comforting to know that others suffer from it to the extent I do. I remember when I was 8 or 9, my doctor and parents thought I had milk allergies due to my constant stomachaches. Yes, it was anxiety (or too much worrying as they put it to me). All of my life I’ve been told that I need to get over it and that I’m deficient for not being able to stop. Finally, I’ve been able to connect it with depression and am on medication. I cannot believe the improvement and wonder why no one ever helped me with this before – I’ve been to talk therapy, doctors for IBS (anxiety and stress make it worse) and talked to medical professionals. I thank God for my current doctor. It’s not gone and I have to work at it, but I can function now. So, it is good to know your coping techniques Therese; I can definitely try them and tweak them to make them mine.

  • marilyn

    therese i like the way you deal with the anxiety i may try something like that.when i get off course thats when i have the anxiety and depression.staying true to myself is very important and knowing my trigors. thanks for shareing marilyn

  • Tulip

    I Like the idea of large ripe tomatoes, and a sunny day.I also like rainy days as well.What I don’t like, is the fact that I have been dealing with agoraphobia since my mid twenties. I have been through three so called recovery groups, and have not recovered. I have had better times, then worse again. I would have to say my worse, was when even my home was no longer a ‘safe place’ for me. I then had to have a companion. I finally got on medications, and this was big help to me.Now I am in my fifties, and I am very ill. I have congestive heart failure, probably third stage. So, dealing with this, has become a literal nightmare for me. I stress so badly, and I do not want to go back to the place of having to always have a companion with me, but I fear that is where I am headed. I have many physical difficulties,everyday it is something, maybe even something new. This is SO hard to deal with, and now my husband is having a difficult time of it as well. I understand why, I have done searches on caregivers, and how it is for them. Most friends avoid me, I feel like the SS Titanic . People are uncomfortable around a very ill person, and I understand this.My main complaint, what is bothering me the most, is my fear once again, of being alone.I dont ever want to go back to that place, that being so dependent, when you know that you are a burden to others, even though they try their best to hide these feelings.One can feel that like something almost tangible.I dont know what to do,but I saw BB on anxiety and panic, so I decided to post here. Maybe someone has some ideas, some suggestons, some wisdom that I just do not have.I want to enjoy the time I have left, I do believe in an afterlife, I am very spiritual, yet this can drag a person to deep anguish and despair at times.So, any ideas would be welcome, prayers, good thoughts, anything. A word of encouragement .Anything ! Thanks.
    My heart go’s out to anyone who has or is presently dealing with A & P!

  • Margaret Balyeat

    The funny (NOT the ha kind) thing about recovery groups is that they’re a journet rater than a desirination; as long as ytou’re in the process, you DON’T reach a magic place called “Recovery It’s why alcoholics refer to themseves as recoverING, not recoverED. rECOVERY GROUPS. AT LEAST THE good ONES, imho, are but only one more tool for the tool box; as Frank observed, there’s no magic charm or button to rub despite the fact that we all wish there WAS! We just have t continue plugging away at it like it was the elephant in the room that can only be eaten ine bite at a time I also suffer from IBS which is exacerbated by stress and anxiety, and in spyr of the television ads which promote this or that new medication,I have yet to find one that actuallt CURES it. I spend so much time in the bathroom that I refer to it as my “throneroom” for obvious reasons. So the oly solace I can offeris that you are NOT alone, and filling your toolbox with the man tools (tips)found here will only HELP, not CURE! (..SIGH, AS lARRY WOULD SAY. i TRY TO APPLY A SENSE OF HUMOR TO MY THINKING (I.E., at least no one can say I’m full of SH**..well, they can SAY it, but examination of my throneroom will prove them wrong! I don’t know your age, but I CAN say that for me the rxacerbated loss of control of certain bodily funcyopn is one of the most difficult parts of growing old because it costs you what little dignity you have left. And while there’s truly nothing FUNNY about IBS, panic ot anxiety, for me at least, a good belly laugh is as much of an antidote as my fiber or antiacid medications. Try to allow yourself to laugh at it (At the disease, not at yourself!)while you continue doing all thing your docs recommendand no matter where you are, claim a seat with a direct(and hopefully short) route to the bathroom.

  • Kay

    Therese thank you for addressing the topic of panic and anxiety. Its good to read all about the symptoms i thought that only i experienced!! These fears of mine are so limiting my life….but i will try your suggestions. I too take a sedative each morning to be able to cope with the time ahead and then more pills to follow at various times of the day. Fear and panic are limiting my life to an absurd exyent. When i am alone its worse…..when i am in a crowd of people its worse…its best when i am with three people max.
    I wish so much to get over these symptoms which are shrinking my life to absurd proportions.

  • Cully

    re: “Without kids for the first time in a year this weekend, I slept through the night. Twice in a row. Which could have clued my body in on the fact that it’s getting way ripped off in the sleep category and should demand more.”
    the flip side (for me) is that after the two days and nights of bliss/freedom, I start to worry about if everything (my dogs) at home is okay – becuase without me there things could go horribly wrong and no one (but ME) can put them right. lol I can just hear that little voice from on my shoulder – “Calm down… you’re not Mother Theresa!”
    A year ago I cut a vacation to Portland after two days because one of my kids (dogs) was not eating… got home to find her EATING!! (of course I know she started eating because she sensed me returning and all would soon be well).

  • Donny

    And this has to do with Therese’s story HOW, exactly?”
    Posted by: Larry Parker
    A good family life prevents much mental illness. Drugs cannot replace the power of stability. Never.

  • Larry Parker

    I’ll grant you, I had a bad family life.
    Your statement contradicts massive amounts of scientific research, however. Medications CREATE stability for many of us with mental illness, they don’t destroy it. (Are you a Scientologist in disguise?)
    Your statement was and remains highly offensive and completely inappropriate to this blog.

  • Gina

    goodness! i thought i was the only one who felt guilt and panic over nothing!
    i went thru a deep depression a few years ago when i came clean about some terrible things i did. i was filled with anxiety and worry. i physically hurt all over. but at least i KNEW WHY! i had done something wrong. in any case, i became so accustomed to these feelings that a year later i started experiencing them for no reason. or i’d blow up a little misdemeanor (or even nothing at all) in my head and have a major anxiety attack!
    i still get them occasionally. the physical side afffects are chest pains and loud thudding pulse. even abdominal cramps! i turned into a hyperchondriac for a while b/c i was sure that (even tho i’m only 22) i was having heart attacks or cancer or something. but every test the doctors did (and boy did they do alot) came back showing everything as normal.
    the hardest part is when i get them, they usually dont have a cause like they originally did. now that i’m pregnant, i’m terrified of how i’m going to handle these attacks and the depression that might follow after giving birth. thank you for making me feel less alone in my problem, it gives me hope that other people can learn to live with this.

  • SeashellNancy

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. I’ve had anxiety issues
    for decades also…was dx’ed with cardiomyopathy several years ago,
    then had a severe CHF episode on May 25,2006 (stage IV). Medications have helped me enormously…as has trying to confront some emotion issues that were dragging me down, but still having a tiring battle
    with agoraphobia. I do feel better, though, than I did before the
    CHF episode…slowly finding parts of myself that I feel more positive about. I think part of it is beta blockers, but part of it is facing my demons.
    I send you many good thoughts and wishes…prayers that it will be better for you soon. Anxiety is so painful to live through and so exhausting. I hope you have some beautiful days soon.
    Warmest wishes….Nancy

  • jennifer

    It was such a relief this year to understand that anxiety can be a disorder- that the physical symptoms I’ve had since *childhood* were a manifestation of anxiety. I honestly never even described them to my shinks or my med doc because they were just a part of my life for as long as I can recall- four years of age for sure.
    When I notice a stomachache and can’t put my finger on what it is, I just say, Oh, anxiety. there you are.

  • Nancy

    Thank you so much for this article.
    I was reading Donny’s and Larry’s comments and couldn’t help chuckling for the bottom line is – only one suffering from mental illness can find the right combination to correct or at least stablize it – someone mentally ill CANNOT change their past nor their DNA makeup nor the amount of “mental drugs” that already exist in their heads.
    Only by trying different things like therapy, excercise, food, medications etc. can someone find what actually works for them.
    Next time I start feeling my anxiety flairing up I will have to remember they are planning a toga party without my permission and that I am showing up at the toga party with a search warrent to find out what made them think they could do it without my authority.
    God Bless,
    Nancy aka sixlittlekitties

  • Laura

    Dear Theresa,
    Thank you so much for sharing this information with us. It is very helpful to me, as I’m dealing with panic disorder as well as other mind/body issues. Keep up the good work!

  • Tulip

    Nancy, Thank You so much for responding to me.It really means a lot. I am sorry that you have both of these issues in your life, but glad to know that you are doing much better. I was actually surprised, pleasantly so, that someone responded !You made me smile . :-)I did have a very nice day today. My husband took me out for a drive, we parked on a lookout above a lake, and just talked and listened to music.The sky was so blue, as was the water in the lake, and everything just looked so beautiful to me. I too fight demons, or whatever, but I also am looking deep within myself, and finding that I am actually more OK than I think. I take nothing for granted anymore, I will say that. Little things mean so much to me.Your response was a big thing to me, and I treasure your words and your empathy.Warmest wishes to you too. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers , and everyone who posts here too.

  • Larry Parker

    Except I wasn’t anxious, panicked or fearful in the least in responding to Donny ;-P

  • Carmen Igartua

    amygdala: this is a latin/spanish word for tonsils, not a cluster of cells in the brain… if I am wrong then show me a picture of these cluster of cells in the brain… don’t remember in my anatomy class ever covering this cluster!!!

  • Ellen Scott

    Thank u so much for this blog. I deal with depression all the time, except when I sleep but I have nightmares too so what’s going on? Reading this has given me some very good tools to snap out of it. I find that picking up the phone really helps. I can get out of myself and listen to someone else. I also find myself in angry moods for no apparent reason. I then need to get up and do something to keep my hands busy and stay out of my head. I have a whole committee up there so I have to be really careful sometimes. I am a recovering alcoholic and just in general have always dealt with depression as a small child. I also “act as if” when my mind starts going for that deep black hole that enjoys my company so much.I will also be starting therapy next week. Then there’s the anti-depressants. I am on 2 of them. I’m still waiting to see if their working. I also take a sleeping pill at night. I have to “act as if” is any unhappy, bad thought, or a “I don’t feel like it mood”. It works everytime. If I start feeling a bad attitude coming on, I just act as if I’m happy and remember the things I am grateful for. I hope everyone that read this blog received priceless imput because depression really does suck!!

  • Vivian Turtle

    I have Depression problems too but mine is kinda Different from others Mine is about hiding out in my appartment and only going out only if I have too now I have not gone to see anyone yet cause I’m afraid too, I’ll tell you the Kind of Depression I got its the kind that is FullOf lonelyness Fear Afraid to go out to anyone to see, it has been my tool since I was a Child I’m in a pit wanting to get out to see light but it is my prison now how can I get out of my dark place I’m in I’m needing help of those that know the meaning of Happiness guideness love I never been loved like the way a real parent loves her children, Sad and Lonely

  • Gayle

    Hey up there, the one with the comment about the latin/spanish meaning of amygdala. . . .does it really, in the big scheme of things, matter what it’s called? For someone like me with huge anxiety/panic disorder, I’m just glad that another human being could relate to my situation. This is a great blog, and Therese could have called it a Volkswagon for all I care.

  • Gail Gamble

    I myself have been struggling with a panic disorder for a very long time I take medication and it helps me but I want to stop taking meds. This happened about 6 yrs ago, I was on my way to my weekend job on the 60 fwry and all of a sudden my heart started racin, and I had to get out of the car, I was sweating, I was scared nothing like that had ever happened to me before. Prior to that incident I was fine, Iwas in my 30’s at the time and had been driving since I was 16. Then it kept happening and it got to a point to where I didn’t drive a car for 2 yrs and to this day I can’t drive on the fwry streets yes but fwrys no and every once in awhile I still have the attacks I just wish they would go away!!!!

  • Anu Bose

    There is something called amygdala in the brain as well.

  • Sean

    Vivian Turtle,
    You are not alone in your experience of fearing to go outside of your home. I spent all of my teenage years hidden away in my bedroom too afraid/depressed to venture out, and I was horribly lonely, as you are now. When I was 21 my mother gave me the choice of either going to a counselor or going to live in a home for people with problems like mine. I went to counseling, though I was very scared, and slowly I began to go out and eventually began to experience living again, though now it was as an adult not a 14 year-old as I had been the last time I was involved in life. My dream had always been to be a teacher, and when I was 26 I began college with the goal of finally realizing my goal. As it turned out, I needed to go beyond a Bachelor’s degree so I’m still working on it but am very close now. Happiness comes and goes and depression and anxiety are part of my life. I know that this is what I must learn to deal with in order to live my life, and so I do one day at a time. I recommend you see a therapist, if possible, which will hopefully give you a very good reason to go outside your apartment. I would also advise you to pay attention to any desires or goals you may have inside you, though they may be buried very deep down inside of you now. Your dreams will give you hope and that is something we all need–especially when we are struggling. Though I now go out each day without any difficulties, I still feel very lonely. It is because I stay away from others so I don’t have to tell them about my depression/anxiety issues. I am trying to overcome that since in reality there are plenty of people who are struggling with the same things and even if they aren’t they are most likely understanding of those who do. I don’t think happiness is a state that is just going to happen for you without your effort to reach out and find someone who can help you. I wish you the best of luck and all the courage in the world to take that first step–and the second, third, and so on till it becomes a habit and not one that makes you depressed or anxious. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping you reach out soon for help.

  • Donald Brawders

    I am a singer/songwriter/musician/writer. Four years ago I was living in a cliff house in Whittier, California over looking the whole of So. Ca. from Costa mesa to Pasadena with a recording studio full of instruments and recording equipment.
    While dealing with anxiety and bi-polar depression, I was doing okay with my meds and my two under the table jobs pulling in a tidey sum every month. Then right around my birthday/Christmas I lost both of my jobs not of my doing. My boss sold his business and my guitar player moved to Reno.
    At that point I watched as my savings and my instruments and all the things I loved dissappear one by one, to try to keep up with the bills and not being able to find any other jobs to replace the ones I had lost since I was labeled a bi-polar then having to collect Supplamental Social security and not having a past job reference to fall back on. I am also suffering from a seperated shoulder and collar bone and a deteriorating disk in my neck which gives me severe head and neck aches that never go away. I am dizzy most of the time and I cannot sleep at night no matter what they give me. As soon as the sun comes up I can sleep but I wake up every hour to an hour and a half.
    After not being able to keep up with all the bills staking up, I lost my house and studio, furniture, equipment etc. Everything I loved was gone! I then set up a couch in between some stored furniture in a old seedy warehouse in El monte with rooming with a meth head and called it my home. There was an auto shop on one side and a sewing shop on the other noisy all day and into the night till about 1:00 a.m. with no shower etc. After a few months of that I could not take the hammering etc. and all the strange noises which started to freak me out. At that point I started to experiance ALL the symptoms involved with panic and fear. I think I was starting to have schitzofrantic delerium and thinking I was being watched etc. I was thinking someone was going to kill me for some reason. To say the least I was scared to death. I was a white man living in an all latino neighborhood. Even though everyone around in the neighborhood was very nice and accepted me I was still in my own well of darkness, fear, and paranoia while still having to reflect every day and night on all the things I had lost that I loved and cherished. I was thinking, and still to this day think that I am being punished and/or (as some people tell me) I am punishing myself and that I am dragging this big negative cloud around with me. Some people say I created it all to happen. If I did that sure seems like a joke to me because I was always a very happy person and the kind of person that people would come to for help when they were down or to help them with there problems. I don’t know to this day the answer to all of this, but it sure has been one hell of a nightmarish roller coaster ride.
    Anyways I still had my Volvo station wagon. After losing just about every friend I had by having to ask them if I could stay with them a few nights or borrow $10.00 or $20.00 bucks, I turned to living in my car, all the while still dealing with major anxiety and deppression along with great loss and very bothersome physical pain. I would try to sleep in my station wagon in parking lots, moving from town to town, until one day on the frwy my car blew a engine seal and fried my engine. I loved that car so much. It was my security blanket, my best friend, my house and home and my freedom. As I watched it being towed to the junk yard after selling it for 3 hundred dollars, my brother called me and asked me to move in with him and his wife in Florida.
    My brother is a very early morning person. When he gets up that is the time when I can finaly start to sleep. He did not like that at all. He tried to get me to go to bed at 9:00 p.m. and get up by 8:00 a.m. for weeks but I was not getting any sleep and started turning into a zombie. Needless to say all I did was toss and turn all night and as soon as the light of day would break I would sleep, but in would walk my brother and tell me that I was being lazy and sleeping alL day. So I got myself a new psychiatrist and had a whole bunch of test’s done with my physician. My psychiatrist took me off of Xanax 1.0 twice a day and kept me on Tegratol 200mg twice a day while adding klonopin 0.5 twice a day along with citalopram 10mg’s once a day. He said that the klonopin would put me to sleep, but it dosen’t do jack!! I still get depressed and have anxiety maybe worse than ever. I am going to see my psych in a few day’s and let him know the med’s arn’t working.
    I came to Florida with just the shirt on my back. My S.S.I. check was reduced from $930.00 a month to $610.00 a month. I feel like I have had enough of this. When is it going to stop? I live in a rural area and have tried to find jobs via internet and walk-ins no matter how bad I feel. Maybe a job I might be able to take a bus too or something but no one will hire me with no work history and being a labeled a Bi-polar, along with my physical condition. I don’t want to sound like I am whining but I just sit here every day in the middle of nowhere with no car or anything and feel like I am just wasteing away. My brother is now letting me sleep during the day until I can get the right meds to put me to sleep at night. Thank God for that at least and the roof over my head. But what I really want is to go back home and at least get my Volvo back and maybe a job and a place to live in San Diego. If anyone has got any Idea’s I would love to hear them.

  • Alese

    Sometimes I wake up and feel like everything is closing in on me. I take anxiety meds, but lately they don’t really seem to help much. I have been on them for a long time so maybe they need adjusting or changed again. I wish I did not have to take them at all. I have had that scared , knotted somach feeling since childhood. My therapist says I am a classic Adult Child of an Alcoholic.I just want to feel “normal” and not feel like crying for no reason.I just want to finally reach a place of true peace. Some days I don’t even want to get dressed or go out. I pray daily for the answer, but I know it is somewhere inside of me and I have to find it.

  • cheryl

    I have had severe depression for 50 years and still it lives on . I am very to myself and very lonely but that comes with my Il;lness and it’s very hard to make it day to day. I do find when I can get myself to do exercise it seems to help even walking and sometimes laying in the sun helps me to feel better and look less sheltered and shut inside most the time. I am lucky to live in a small town and very safe so walking does not bother me to much. I am on several medications and am being tryed on new ones when ever they come out. With gas prices so high I can not see a counselor and the nearest town with a mental health facility is a 3 hour drive so thats out . I have my husband but he’s suffering mentally and physically as myself and so we do not support each other to well. Crying is a every day thing for me and depression so bad I wonder when I will end up back in a menal in-patient again but I need to be home cause I just can not handle being locked up. One thing I do enjoy is the outdoors when weather permits here in Or. you do not see it much in sunny days to enjoy but I pray everyday that somehow this awful existance I live will change and am going to hold on to someday see that come and I can only say to others that time is hard to face each day but I have faith someday I will feel something better so please do not give up just live one day at a time and have faith in God. good luk, Cheryl

  • andrea eastman

    my name is andrea. im scared to death of going to prison. im scared i feel like im going to go insane from my fear and anxiety. i havent had an help for it because i never talked to anyone about my problems its hard for me to open up to people what should i do?

  • Sieed

    There is so much fear and anxiety these days that people are facing.But the Bible tells us in Psalms 46: Therefore we will not fear.even though the earth be removed,and be anxious for nothing but everthing through prayer thanksgiving making our request known unto God.So God is the peace giver in any situation!

  • Marilyn Lancelot

    I have been plagued by anxiety, fears, low self-esteem, etc. most of my life and then 17 years ago I joined a 12-step program and found relief. I have a compulsive addictive personality and became an alcoholic, over-eater, got into prescription drugs and lastly I became a compulsive gambler. I have written a book Gripped by Gambling, available on which tells my story on how I overcame all of the above problems One Day at a Time!
    Marilyn Lancelot

  • Cherryl

    I was about to cry. I read this and felt better. God willing i will have been in recovery for five years on 8-15-08. I’m concerned that I haven’t accomplished what I should have by now. Your thoughts remind me of lots of mine… God Bless you!

  • Tamera

    I have had three tragedies in my life over the last several years and the doctors say I have situational depression. The things that have helped me tremendously are these: Talk & Listen to God; Tell your story to someone or write it down- sharing a burden cuts it in half; Join positive groups; Find something new to learn; Focus on the positive; Eat & Sleep correctly; Find out what triggers your sad emotions and lean more about emotional intelligence; Stay away from unhealthly relationships or people who don’t support you; Exercise always.
    I ran accross a verse that has also helped me:
    It’s okay to have fear of changes but when we let our fears paralize us we are denying God’s ability to care of us.

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