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  • Jan 25, 2018, 07:33 PM
    Allen Farber
    How to cure severe anxiety?
    How do I cure severe anxiety?

    So since I was in elementary school, I've always had an extremely difficult time comprehending and understanding what I'm reading and/or what's being said to me. I had been held back twice and was the oldest person of my graduating senior class with most of the people being 17-18 and I being 20. I am now in college studying accounting as that deals more with numbers and less with words but that is even too difficult for me. I've tried getting brain scans and going under neurological testing but nothing ever shows up for a learning disability or any kind of mental problems like autism, aspergers, or schizophrenia. The only thing I've been diagnosed with is anxiety and depression. I've also taken an IQ test and I was slightly below average. I've taken pills, natural remedies, been inside a hyperbaric chamber, done neurofeedback, and am currently exercising and changing my diet. Yet none of this has helped in the least bit and I keep getting worse. Now I misspell common words like "egg" and "milk". I noticed this when writing my grocery list. It's even worse when I have to write reports for my college courses. I used to sleep now I sleep almost never. I've lost countless jobs due to not understanding the manager's instructions. I've been told I should collect for disability or apply for welfare but anxiety and depression don't make you eligible enough. And even if I was able to get welfare, it still wouldn't help the problem. All I'd be capable of doing is just existing, not being able to read, write, listen to people, watch movies and understand the plots and dialogue, do math, or even sleep. Please help! This has ruined 22 years of my life
  • Jan 25, 2018, 08:31 PM
    Have you tried counseling? Talk therapy can be very helpful in cases like yours.
  • Jan 25, 2018, 09:11 PM
    Are you under a doctors care NOW? Who decide to take you off the meds you were taking that didn't work? How long were you on them?
  • Jan 25, 2018, 11:41 PM
    What sort of doctors have you seen? Have you ever talked to a psychologist?
  • Jan 26, 2018, 03:55 AM
    Allen Farber
    I've been to many therapists. But the one I'm currently seeing I've been to for a year. And all they do is just give me pep talks and the stereotypical therapist "mmmkay" no useful info is being shared

    I've been to a therapist/psychiatrist, a neurotherapist (which is the one that diagnosed me with anxiety and depression and performed neurofeedback on me), a psychologist (who took the brain assessment on me and said I tested negative on any mental disabilities), and an acupressurist (who gives me the natural remedies I'm currently taking)
  • Jan 26, 2018, 04:01 AM
    Allen Farber
    First I went to a psychiatrist who gave me zoloft (don't know if I'm spelling that correctly) and was on that for about two weeks and starting becoming more and more violent. I was on the lowest dosage so I just went cold turkey. Simultaneously, I was seeing a therapist who barely did anything to help me. Then I went to go see a psychologist to do an assessment on me and see if I had any kind of learning disability. He took the test and said I didn't have anything. He then recommended me to see a neurotherapist, who did the neurofeedback on me. In their own words, I was their longest running patient of 4 months, and it had absolutely no effect on me. So now I just see the therapist I mentioned earlier and an acupressurist, who provides me with natural remedies. My symptoms get worse everyday.
  • Jan 26, 2018, 05:37 AM
    I don't think you are being diagnosed correctly. What you said the other day about broken and jumbled words said a LOT about why your questions here are sort of ''different'' for the rest of us. Depression and anxiety don't come close to explaining your situation. If you could get to the Research Triangle medical centers for consulting, you might find very different results from what you are getting. (Forgive me if you already have.)
    However, the whole science of the mind is still kind of a crap shoot. It doesn't really matter what a diagnosis is, and they all sort of blend into each other. Doctors have to pick one (with the option to pick more than one as sub-diagnoses) for insurance and reporting purposes. Talk about pigeonholes!

    Anxiety is fear hormones (mostly adrenaline) without a direct object to be afraid of. If you see a truck coming at you, you produce tons of adrenaline, given to you to help you be alert and respond quickly; the fight or flight response. When you are anxious, you just keep pumping out adrenaline for reasons you can't pinpoint. Neurofeedback should have helped. Drugs won't. Drugs for anxiety are just bandaids to dull brains and allow people to get out of the house or go to work. The fact that nothing has helped is another reason for possible real brain wiring differences such as schizophrenia. If you are age 22, then that fits too - a typical time for it to be at its worst. And scans and imaging and tests aren't going to do much. Even the IQ test! You could be very intelligent for all anyone knows, but your 'translation' of those little characters on paper is holding you back.

    I HATE saying all this, because who wants to be schizophrenic, and besides, I'm not a doctor, nor do I even know you! So PLEASE, just think about how doctors misdiagnose people ALL THE TIME, and don't take my word for it!
    I suggested going on disability, not so you spend your life doing nothing, but to give you a break (yes it is very difficult to get nowadays). One college student knew she was schizophrenic because she was hallucinating, but not telling anyone, despite severe anxiety. She spiraled down into hospitals and eventually wrote a book and succeeded in life. There are countless such tales. I know several personally. Plenty don't hear things or see things. They just are wired differently.

    What's interesting to me is your excellent writing, spelling, and grammar. You put together thoughts and construct good sentences, much better ones than a lot of what we see here. Can you describe how the 'input' of broken words with lost meanings is able to translate into such articulate writing? (I'm NOT doubting anything you say; just intrigued by how it works in your mind. It is easy to see what a struggle it is for you.)
  • Jan 26, 2018, 08:32 AM

    Originally Posted by joypulv View Post
    Anxiety is fear hormones (mostly adrenaline) without a direct object to be afraid of.

    Do you know, or have a theory, as to why the adrenal gland produces an overload of adrenaline with no apparent cause (such as a charging elephant). I agree that this is the chief symptom of anxiety but I've never seen a reputable explanation why the body acts in this manner. Faulty wiring in the brain seems like an explanation that doesn't explain.

    I know of one case where the adrenal gland produced tons of adrenaline daily at the same time for 4 days in a row. The exact same symptom occurred for the same time period two separate times seven years apart. No other instance, I'm told, ever occurred. The "fight or flight" feeling was so strong as to be disabling.

    Not trying to hijack this thread, but I think your comment on "fear hormones" may be an important approach to the truth and therefore may be helpful.
  • Jan 26, 2018, 09:16 AM
    I wasn't equating faulty wiring of the brain with anxiety. It's just reasonable for an intelligent, aware person to be anxious if his brain does have faulty wiring. It happens in many situations, including people become aware that they have Alzheimer's. I'm 71, and have the usual CRS, usually very STM, and people's names. But the day I stood in the kitchen wondering what to have for breakfast and suddenly the toaster popped up, I was afraid, because the memory of putting bread in it never came back. I joke about such moments, and am not too worried, but Mr. Farber says he's getting worse, and that is something to be afraid of (anxious about), as is knowing that no one knows what's going on.

    Anxiety is very common in almost all of us, and most probably IS connected to a describable fear. Our pets do it too, usually with a more simple connection. We just don't often remember what that original fear was, and if it wasn't a single event, it becomes generalized. But we can generalize a single event too. You were 10 and were walking your dog on a leash. You dropped the green leash to tie your Keds. The dog ran to the brook, slipped into turbulent water, the leash tangled in a fallen tree, you watched your dog drown 30' downstream. You were wearing a plaid shirt and a Yankees cap. It was a Thursday. The noise of the water was deafening.
    So many associations over the years, with each of those descriptions, and who knows what else? Daisies growing along the brook etc etc etc?
    Guilt is another subject, in this case of the dog drowning.)

    Some situations really are caused only by what's happening in our bodies. Not everything is an emotional life-event trigger. Adrenaline, released by the adrenals, doesn't operate in a vacuum. Lemmings don't 'commit suicide' by running to the sea, they drown inadvertently running from overpopulation, but they all have enlarged adrenals from stress. Chronic stress gets all sorts of other glands and hormones going (cortisol is one). The pituitary, that tiny gland in the brain, gets so complicated with hormones going back and forth in loops, or nerves that trigger other glands to produce hormones, that it's a marvel of nature, and sometimes I wonder how we all get through so much as a supermarket check out line, except that our checks and balances are split second in many cases, unlike governments.
    The situation you describe, Athos, I have no clue about, except to guess maybe that it's both. To have a 7 year clock is very interesting. People in psych fields might be most likely to guess that it really does have the emotional memory as a trigger. And triggers can be really obscure. What if a little kid hears ''7 year itch'' and grows up to suddenly feeling an urge to cheat on a spouse? Or some ''7th seal'' image? 7th son of a 7th son?

    As a kid I had an upsetting recurring dream that had a certain noise in it, like a heartbeat mixed with a huge turbine. If I hear anything like it, I leave or get rid of it! I have no idea what it came from.

    (Later - another thought about twice seven years apart is anticipation. The 2nd time it happened was 7 years after the first - unexpectedly. Could the 3rd time have been feared, prophesied, or in some way expected, and thus self fulfilling? I don't really like saying that, but I think it helps cover all bases.
  • Jan 26, 2018, 09:39 AM
    To joypulv - thank you.
  • Jan 26, 2018, 10:20 AM
    Tell us about the violent episode you experienced Allen, that led to you being taken off Zoloft, and not put on a different med? I am stunned to be honest that your other doctors you saw didn't try different medications either.
  • Jan 26, 2018, 01:54 PM
    Allen Farber
    I appreciate your input but I doubt I’m a schizophrenic as I don’t show any of the other signs like hallucinations and whatnot. I do agree there might be a learning disability that hasn’t been addressed. As for being able to write sentences and such, I’ll be honest. Most of it is autocorrect. And even then, I use the words in ways that make sense to me. I tend to use words according to their dictionary definition but the problem is a lot of people use words that don’t make sense in the context... or at least not to me

    also, I think I should specify that words aren’t literally jumbled up to me. I just view words like how a normal person would view jumbled up words
  • Jan 26, 2018, 02:04 PM
    Allen Farber
    It was less external violence and more internal. Not to give off a serial killer type vibe but I would fantasize about hurting people around me wherever I was, whether it be school or work. I tried boxing as some sort of outlet but it didnít relive me any
  • Jan 26, 2018, 04:26 PM
    Yes, Zoloft and other SSRIs can lead to thoughts of harm. Usually not resulting in harm, but obsessive thoughts of it. And it goes away when the drug is stopped.

    I am happy to drop the schizophrenia suggestion (BUT I DID say that the symptoms are not always what most people think, such as voices. Visual hallucinations are actually pretty rare). You have more symptoms of Asperger's. It doesn't really matter. But you went from living in a dream with broken words, to just a learning disability. NOPE, in my humble opinion. You have too much anxiety and too many limits on your life. But if you don't want to go further, that's your choice. Good luck.
  • Jan 26, 2018, 05:14 PM
    Allen Farber
    Sorry but what are you saying "nope" to? And go further with what? Trying to figure out my problem?
  • Jan 26, 2018, 06:31 PM
    I'm saying nope to JUST a learning disability. You did a 180. You went from 'severe anxiety' and 'an extremely difficult time comprehending and understanding what I'm reading and/or what's being said to me' back to 'learning disability.'

    But you are the one who knows yourself best. It seemed like you didn't want to go further, as in going full circle back to learning disability. For all any of us know, you are right.
  • Jan 26, 2018, 08:00 PM
    Allen Farber
    I'm not ruling out the idea of multiple things causing my problems (anxiety, Asperger's, etc.) but what I am ruling out is the whole schizophrenia idea
  • Jan 26, 2018, 09:31 PM
    I have to ask, are you ruling out the schizophrenia because you're afraid that may be the problem, or because you know beyond a doubt that that's not the issue, because I have to say, I agree with Joy, schizophrenia is a viable diagnosis in my opinion. But then none of us can diagnose you, we can only give suggestions based on our knowledge and experiences. None of us are doctors, and all the doctors you've seen haven't been able to figure out what's going on, so it's very unlikely that any of us will.
  • Jan 27, 2018, 04:05 AM
    I was staying with simple schizophrenia for one reason: you say you are getting worse. IMO, that rules out other conditions, and fits with your age.

    I can't emphasize enough how primitive the science of the mind really is. There is no good way to diagnose any of the conditions we call mental illness. Schizophrenia, however, probably will be something that can be proven in the near future. It's not a sentence to a lifetime of drugs and drooling. ''Some of my best friends are schizophrenic,'' LOL. I wish I could explain what it's like, but it would take a week. Some hear voices yet hold good jobs, have real careers, while others live on disability yet have never had a single symptom that is easy to pin down, such as hearing voices. They just have a tough time. ALL of them had their worst years in their early 20s. This fits with very new research about 'synapse pruning' that happens in our brains starting in the teens, but doesn't happen in the schizophrenic, so the synapses are firing too much. Nature gave babies very active synapses in order to absorb a lot of information and in order to have active imaginations (even things like imaginary friends, a form of hallucination, but very 'normal.') You aren't hearing voices nor seeing things, but that is not relevant. Your input from the world is working OK, but then some of it gets jumbled. (Your output seems fine, as in your writing skill.) My question to you is this: is it worse to continue the anxiety of wondering what the heck is wrong, or accept that something physiological is going on that is beyond your control, and work on a life that encompasses that, the way someone with a missing arm does, or a blind or deaf person does?

    I'm not so sure about any of the drugs for schizophrenia (or depression, or anxiety)! I am anti-drug but would never ever try to stop anyone from taking them. I have tried many different anti-depressants off and on for about 40 of my 71 years. I'd say that two of them helped, but only briefly, then they wore off with a big disappointing thud. Talk therapy was better for me. There may be some new drugs I know nothing about, that may help calm down those over active synapses in your situation. (Maybe even for me, now that I'm losing my short term memory at age 71, LOL. But I don't believe such drugs exist, not yet, so for now I joke about it. My dad joked about it right into his 90s. But this is about you, at age 22!)
  • Jan 27, 2018, 04:21 AM
    Allen Farber
    I mean I just don't show a lot of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Even though you don't have to hear voices, have hallucinations, be paranoid, have a lack of emotions, etc. those would definitely be things that warrant an accurate diagnosis.

    The anxiety doesn't stem from wondering why I'm anxious or having a hard time processing things. It's just there and there's no way I can cope with it. I try reasoning with myself about it but it's all in vain. On the outside, people don't see anything wrong... that is until they look at some test scores or see me try to follow instructions. But on the inside I'm a complete wreck

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