Panic attacks, possible depression agorophobia?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lurkernomore, May 30, 2006.

  1. lurkernomore

    lurkernomore New Member

    Does anyone else here feel that they may be developing or already feel they have all of these?

    I never thought I would wind up feeling so anxious at the mere thought of interacting with others, but here I am!

    I don't think I am a dyed-in-the-wool agorophobic because I am still capable of making it to church, most times. But many times I have gotten up and been halfway through being ready to leave and an anxiety attack will settle in and I wind up just caving and staying home.

    I sleep, I know, because I want to just escape reality and I know, sounds very much like depression and even I think of that.

    But most times, I wonder if it is fear, depression or just plain out fatigued. I think of a place I would like to go and then the next thing I know I am too tired to even consider it. The tired-to-the-bone, if I don't lie down, I am going to fall down fatigue is what keeps me from leaving home more than anything.

    I guess I am asking a crazy question, because I am wondering if I am depressed and don't want to leave my home because the fatigue is so bad or vice versa. I hope this makes sense to anyone out there. It suddenly reads as very puzzling a question to me right now.
  2. SusanEU

    SusanEU New Member

    Yes, I experience all of the above. I work from home so am also very isolated (but glad I can at least work!). I don't even want to go out and run into a neighbor and have to stop to talk to them so it is uncomfortable for sure.

    Cannot even go to the post office, library hardly.

    Started with the effexor a few weeks ago, it has helped my mood and my pain and I am hoping it will help with the agoraphobia/panic attacks. I also take 0.5 ativan/lorazepam as needed, usually only one at bedtime and sometimes one in the afternoon.

    The doctor said I could up that until the full effect of the effexor kicks in.

    Take Care and Good Luck

    Sue in Ontario

  3. lurkernomore

    lurkernomore New Member

    I can't help wondering if a large part of my fear of leaving home may have a lot to do with so many of the attitudes I was met with when they heard of my DX. You can't expect everyone or even most folks, to know much about it.

    But the part that has always baffled me is why, when these are the people who are supposed to care so much, can they not want to know or understand more about fibro than they do?

    The words were at times, very cruel and hurtful. And I wonder now, if I have not subconsciously opted to take the coward's way out, by just staying in and not having to deal with people other than immediate family anymore. Or because I am so tired I just can't be bothered by it all.

    I just don't even know anymore. I don't even answer the phone anymore because talking and trying to pretend things are so great just takes too much energy and frankly, it just is not true anymore. And the scariest part of it all is that I really just don't care if I ever leave the house again. And I know that *ain't* a good thing.
  4. Lalania1970

    Lalania1970 New Member

    I also experience panic, anxiety & depression. I do not even feel comfortable going to the store most of the time. I also have taken effexor which works. I would talk to your DR about letting you try it. The depression part I blame mine on "I miss my old life." I used to be very active and for 3 years seems like getting up everyday is a major chore.
  5. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Sigh... And you probably are. But whether the depression is the tail or the dog is the big question.

    I do know that the less I do, the less I CAN do. When I worked part-time, I was very fatigued but I managed it. When I could retire I really thought I'd be significantly better but that wasn't the case. Now, if I don't have to go out, I'd prefer not to. I think I'm fearful of that "hit the wall and die" feeling that can happen and would do almost anything to avoid it. Yet when I do get out, if I'm not in a huge flare, I feel much better emotionally.

    I do best when I find a balance between doing too much and painting the windows black.


  6. diva42597

    diva42597 New Member

    I experience a lot of anxiety and depression. Fortunately, I don't have agoraphobia, but I do find that I have more of a tendency lately to skip out of large social situations a bit early, or not want to initiate or continue conversations with people I don't know very well. I used to have no problem speaking to hundreds of people, but I have started to shy away a bit. I have panic attacks from time to time and I do feel depressed a lot of the time. I have found the only helpful aids are plenty of exercise and being overprepared. I find my biggest trigger for a panic attack is when I lose something...with brain fog it's very easy to do. So, I make sure to put my keys, shoes, etc. in the same place at all times. I also make sure before I go to bed that I have everything I need for the next day laid out. I also take st. john's wart, it has helped me a little to get out of the "numbness" when I get depressed.
  7. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    I sure can relate to every thing you have said.. With me I know its part of CFS..

    I have never had such weird unexplainable feelings, first the illness that tiggred the CFS ( probably EBV) then as you I would try to get up and do and end up back in bed..Then came anxiety because I didn't know what was happening to my body..From that came staying home because first of all most of the time I was to tired to go then became to scared to go...I got in walmart once and became so tired didn't think I could make it home..I think, with me I just feel safer at home..Then came the agoraphobia..

    I haven't been more than 60 miles from home in about 5 years..This mental state to me is so much worse than the physical but guess they go hand in hand..

    I am taking xanax daily, have been for years and have tried from time to time the SSRIs but the side effects scared me but am thinking of trying them again..

    Its such a miserable and misterious cycle. I would say get on some type of meds now before it gets worse..

    Please discuss this with your doctor, if you have a good understanding one..They are few and far between..

    Sorry, I can't offer much help but I sure can relate..

    God Bless,
  8. lurkernomore

    lurkernomore New Member

    I was so afraid I was coming off like a loony and you have all made me feel so much more understood! And for that, I thank you again!

    I think it really dawned on me that it had gotten really out of hand when I picked up (or my hubby picked up my last prescription at the pharmacy and my doctor had refused to give me the full amount. He had written on the label "PT. NEEDS TO BE SEEN!") I have made my appt. and I will pysche myself into going, but now I fear he will decide to "fire me for my lack of compliance."

    He would be within his rights. I am diabetic and have to take digoxin for my heart so I am supposed to have labs drawn every so often and I have really not been doing these when I was supposed to. I am to go to him on June 6th and I am really worried as to what will be the outcome.

    The ironic part is that the med he refused to fill was my Klonopin. Fancy that, I have a med which not only helps in controlling a familial tremor, but helps keep my anxiety under control and he tries, every single time I see him, to convince me that perhaps I do not need it anymore.

    I am sorry, but I don't know what to think about doctors at all anymore. The doctor I had before this one knew I had all the sx. of diabetes and yet he never bothered to do the one simple blood test to confirm it. He also was the one who told me he thought I had fibro and sent me to a rheumy, but on my last visit to him, came out and said he thought it was "all in the head." This, after him diagnosing it and treating me when I couldn't see my rheumy. I don't know what or whom to believe in, or trust anymore.

    As for the antidepressants, I think we have exhausted pretty much all of them, due to unpleasant side effects. I do have a script lying on my dresser right now for Wellbutrin, because I seriously want to stop smoking and am hoping it will help with some of the anxiety and depression as well.

    I just want to feel something pleasant again, to get some of the joy back that I took so for granted. I am going to mention to my doctor on this next visit that I want my thyroid rechecked as I was once told I was a bit hypothyroid, but never did he do anything about it. He also told me that diabetes alone would make one feel more tired and was a cause for depression too.

    Gosh, so much whining, so many questions, I have no idea where to start. But I guess the most important thing is just to start anywhere and keep going, right? Now, why is it that just the mention of all this is making me want to go hide under the covers and nap the day away? Ha ha, am I pathetic or what?
  9. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I have all of these .My Fatigue and pain seem to be at the top of my list.I am trying a new drug for me(effexor)hoping it will help fatigue and pain.
    My anxiety in the beginning would take over everything . I was unable to control my reactions to things and I knew that.I would pass on going around crowds or to new places.
    I guess I still do that now, but my Anxiety is nothing like it use to be.
    I also think Fatigue causes Depression and Depression causes Fatigue.Going in circles wears anyone out.
  10. janieb

    janieb New Member

    fibro. I once had a doctor who diagnosed me originally with the fibro. He was a neurosurgeon. My gp had been great for years, too. But, once they were stumped, they acted like this disease was my fault for not doing something right. Suggestions that I work half-time or stay home. I was carrying our benefits and had the major income. Couldn't do that. So, it was my fault!

    My solution was to change doctors. If that's a possibility and it appeals to you, you might try it. There are caring, helpful doctors out there. Sometimes they are hard to find, but anyone who sounds as strange as yours, would probably not be very helpful to you.

    In Wisconsin, though, there is a law that they can't prescribe a drug unless they've seen you in a certain amount of time. That could be the reason he refused to renew your prescription. Just to be fair I had to throw that in.

    Good luck with your appointment.

  11. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    Lurker I am replying to your post so that I will have it saved in my posts and can remember to respond. I am too tired right now. I feel what you are saying and hope to add to this posting to tell you how I am feeling. You are not alone.
  12. lurkernomore

    lurkernomore New Member

    All of what you all are saying to me rings so true. I was not at all like this until I got sick. I was very much the extrovert and loved being surrounded by people. When first diagnosed, I even grieved when the "people" went away. Now it is so different in that I don't really care. I just feel numb.

    Janieb, I pray that you are right, in that my doctor has to see me again before he can call my Klonopin in and that is all it is. I really do have as much faith in him as I have any doctor and don't want to be fired for being noncompliant. (But I AM guilty, not having labs done in a timely manner or having check-ups when I should have.)

    I started day before yesterday, just getting in my car and driving to the store, about five minutes from here. Yesterday I drove myself to have a mammogram so I can't be too badly agoraphobic.I did have to some deep breathing exercises and all, but I made it.

    I really think the fatigue is my nemisis and I have to battle it, and most times it wins. I will be sure and ask my doctor when I see him on Tuesday to check my thyroid again. Something just is not right here and even I know it.
  13. lurkernomore

    lurkernomore New Member

    I know you wrote that your post to me was not of much help, but it validated what I am feeling and that is a huge help, so thank you so much.

    I wonder if most of us don't feel as if we are having out of body experiences, in which we feel as if we are just looking down on our lives and not really included in them anymore. Did that make any sense? Well, it sounded good until I wrote it down, ha ha!

    What I mean is that much of the time now, I don't really feel like a particpant, but more like a spectator in my own life. And all I want is the energy and the motivation to care enough to fight to get some of that back again. Does that make sense?
  14. greatgran

    greatgran Member

    Oh, how I can relate to everything you have said..I do wish you luck when you see the doc..When I read what you say it sounds just like me..SO many unanswered questions..

    You know something is wrong with your body and but no answers at least after 5 years I have very few...My thyroid is ok and so is everything else, that is for my age..

    There are so few doctors that have answers or compassion, its all in our head..In fact I was told for two years it was anxiety...Well, I knew there was something more..So finally got a dx of CFS and no can tell me the two aren't connected...

    When you spoke of joy and to feel that again I pray for that everyday..Just to feel happiness...I posted once on
    "What Happened to Happiness"..

    Please keep us updated on what you find out.

    God Bless,
  15. lurkernomore

    lurkernomore New Member

    I see my PCP on Tuesday and I am hoping and praying he may have some answers for me. That is, if he's not having me come in so he can personally fire me. I know if I answer his questions as to why I have not been compliant with the fact that my anxiety is worse and possible agorophobic too, he will most likely send me to a therapist. But I don't even care anymore.

    I just want something, whatever it takes, to feel anything again. I like to, even for a few minutes a day, feel as if I recognize the old me at all. I have no idea who inhabits this body of mine anymore. But I ain't liking her much right now.
  16. ruby711

    ruby711 New Member

    Test out whatever theory you think may be true and try different approaches. Cfs & fibro are very complex and create such a variety of passing and chronic symptoms.
    When I had panic att. many yrs ago i used pamelor which helped tremendously. I presently have disabling fatigue but no panic/anxiety. I have been free of panic for over 15 yrs. If it returns I will try new approaches and may try other new drugs or supplements.
    My sister has cfs and never had anxiety until she got cfs.Her anxiety resolves on its own. She gets short bouts of it but then it subsides.
    You probably know that certain foods/drinks can worsen anxiety in some people. SOme of theses are caffeine, sugar and any substance you are allergic to.This might be a small step in the right direction if it seems plausible.
  17. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    Hey Lurker, sorry it took me so long to get back. I think that the agoraphobia may be caused by several things. It could be a mixure of depression, fear of getting sick while out, avoiding people because they make you feel guilty for being sick and actually being to tired to go sometimes.

    I think these are what makes me so secluded. I have gotten worse and worse. I am afraid of the phone, hate going out except for a few reasons like eating, or seeing family once in while. I cancel all doctors appointments and am too scared to even make an appointment.

    I am just tired of never knowing when I will be sick or get sick and also tired of people asking me what is wrong with me today or making me feel bad about myself.

    I hope you can begin to go out more. I am so glad you still go to church and a few other things. That is good and means you aren't completely agoraphobic. That is what gives me hope about myself.
  18. I get like this also Where I am so uncoftorable being!!I just want to hide.I think alot is the negativity with this illness. Ilook people in the eyes and know they wonder why I am not happy why I am scared what am I doing or not doing.Its strange I don't feel like this all the time but sometimes.For one no one believes you are sick they ask stupid questions about why you don't work more.You also get embarresed because idf you are having fog you don't make alot of sense its just frustrating,Ruthie
  19. petsrme

    petsrme Member

    You said it exactly right ruthie! It is all those stupid questions and looks and stuff like that. No wonder some of us want to hide.
  20. Scarlett65

    Scarlett65 New Member

    I have anxiety and depresion with my Fibromyalgia also. I found it very interesting recently that I have Mitral Valve Prolapse a heart condition very common in people that have panic attacks and lately Ive had a few, like every time I go anywhere outside my home. I am in treatment with medications and therapy that looks promising at least at this moment it looks that way so Im hopeful.

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