Nothing seems to help - now what?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-30-2002
Nothing seems to help - now what?
8
Mon, 12-10-2012 - 4:12pm

I've had anxiety, depression, and OCD since I was little, but was never diagnosed until about 20 years ago as an adult.  I've tried most of the medications there are, and had lots of therapy.  I've always been "functional" but I'm tired of dealing with this most of the time (some days are better than others).  Any suggestions about what I should do?  I do take Ativan or Xanax when I feel severe anxiety (and it does help) and I've been taking a small dose at night for a few years.  In the past I've taken one of the SSRIs and it did help some, but I had a doctor convince me to stop taking it.  A few years later I tried it again (two separate times) and it didn't help any more, even at a high dose.  I've tried most of the other meds, and my current doctor has told me I've tried pretty much all of them, and there's nothing else to try.  I could try a different med doctor, but I've seen a few others in the past 20 years, so I don't really think that a new doctor would suddenly come up with something that I haven't already tried.  Recently I tried 2 different therapists - I didn't get anything out of either of them.  I know what my issues are and am very willing to work on them - I just can't seem to overcome them, and the therapists really weren't helping me with the "what do I do" part?  I've even tried alternative medicine in the past (acupunture, herbs, etc) - didn't help either.

Any ideas on other things I could try?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2000
Thu, 12-27-2012 - 4:19pm

I know exactly what you're saying.  You go to a therapist and seem to be covering the right topics, but it's like you are talking AROUND things rather than getting advice on what to really DO.  I've told my husband I always learn things from therapists, but when it reaches the point where you realize you still feel like crap, anyway, to me it's the same as them advising me "ok, open the hood on this car - the engine won't start, so fix it".  They tell you WHAT to do, just not HOW to accomplish it - not really, and that's what you're there for, and that makes me feel like I'm forever back at square one.  I think you get to feeling so helpless/hopeless, believing it'll just go on forever, that you cannot seem to come up with solutions and are hoping and praying one more therapist will do that.  Anxiety is pretty horrid, you're grateful for the days it's not quite as bad, and if you pair it up with depression, ugh. 

 


~~joannaran~~

Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
Fri, 12-14-2012 - 6:48pm

When you can really truly forgive yourself, you will be past it.  It really is that simple.  The hard part is truly forgiving yourself.  In that situation you described, look at it and break down those feelings and see what you should have done or least felt you should have done.  Then you forgive yourself for not doing those things that you felt you should have done and accept that you were (these are just examples that might have popped in your head) weak, insecure, too young, had low self-worth etc...  It took me a year to reach that point.  It didn't happen over night and it was an extreamly emotional thing when it happened.  I distnctly remember sitting in the spare room on the floor in front of the computer and just breaking down and crying.  It was triggered by something I saw or rather read on the internet.  It just happened in that moment.  I had been trying for a year to force it but then it just happened.  I was angry at me and at my abuser but mostly me.  I had to forgive myself for being me.  I was a child when the abuse was happening.  I was helpless. 

It will happen for you.  I don't know how it will happen, I just know that it will.  I remember I did a lot of talking to others about the inner child and I just couldn't get that concept until it happened to me. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-30-2002
Fri, 12-14-2012 - 10:18am

I had a therapist a long time ago who had me "talk" to my inner child.  We did this for months, and I didn't really get anywhere.  I also had the most recent therapist I went to uncover that I really don't like myself.  But again, the hard part is how do I move on?  For example, something that happened 20 years ago with my husband still bothers me.  He didn't do anything intentionally wrong (he never cheated on me or abused me or anything and he is a wonderful person), but it had to do with his own issues at the time.  He has since overcome the issues, and things changed about 10 years ago, but I still can't get over how it made me feel (and that I put up with it because of my insecurities, as well as because I really love my husband).  It would really hurt him if I told him how much this affected me, and I feel it would really harm our relationship if I brought it up (like I said, this issue was fixed about 10 years ago - I need to let it go.)  Any ideas at "getting unstuck?" 

Thank you nawleansdarlin for all of your responses!

Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
Thu, 12-13-2012 - 8:58pm

In my humble unprofessional opinion, you are blaming yourself.  Ever heard of the inner child?  Inside of you there is a part of you that is emotionally stuck at each one of those events.  You have forgive yourself for being young and accept that you did the best you could at the time.  That was hard for me because my keeping quiet about what happened to me might have caused others to get hurt. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-30-2002
Thu, 12-13-2012 - 6:35pm

I'm pretty sure I'm able to look at the issues objectively, and I think I can come up with some root issues.  I can go back to the past and come up with defining events (none of these events are anything of the magnitude that alot of people have had, but they still have affected me and my thinking).  I can go back and look at my parents'  personality and how that defined me (one parent was a worrier, feeling like I could never show my emotions, etc), but I know that I need to move on from all of that, and I'm not blaming my parents for being human - they did the best they could given their own personalities.

I've seen stuff about how people hold onto things and don't want to get better because they are getting something out of it (for example people with weight problems who are afraid to lose weight, because then they can't use their weight as an excuse for other things), but I can't identify any reason I can't overcome this.  I am holding onto anger about things from the past, but I'm not sure why I can't let all of this go, since most of these issues are no longer a problem anymore.

Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
Wed, 12-12-2012 - 6:45pm

Are you able to look at your issues objectively?  If you were advising someone else with your issues, what would you tell them?

I was totally convinced for months that if I went to sleep I would die of suffocation in my sleep.  Logically, I knew that silly but still I couldn't get past that fear and thought.  It was there and not going anywhere.  My whole life I have had trouble breathing especially at night.  I have slept for years with a vaporizor in my room, right next to my bed.  I have spent massive amount of money on sinus medication and cough medicine over the decades.  For at least a decade I would breath exclusively through my mouth at night.  I knew, I really knew logically that I wouldn't suffocate at night, yet at some point I suddenly devoloped that fear and nothing worked to get rid of it.  I took sleeping pills at night.  This caused me great anxiety.  On the one hand I knew I had to sleep and on the other hand I knew I was going to die if I did.  Taking that pill was like giving myself a death sentence.  I took that pill every night but it was so hard. 

Then I moved back home and ended up in the hospital with a totally unrelated infection that wouldn't go away.  After they got that to start to respond to treatment I had my lungs fill with fluid.  They would drain my lungs and I would get better and go home and a day later, I was back with lungs full of fluid again.  This went on for months.  Finally I went to see a different doctor at a different hospital and I have asthma.  I've had asthma my whole life and never knew it.   I have had so many doctors tell me my problems breathing were all sinus and allergy related.  She put me on asthma medication and I can breath at night.  I do not use a humidifier anymore and dicovered how loud my cats are snoring at night.  The fear went away the second I used that inhailer.  Gone with the first puff. 

Perhaps you can't get past your fears because there is something your body or mind needs you to know about that fear.  Instead of looking at the issue and wondering how to get past it, perhaps you should look at the issue and ask yourself what is there learn from this fear over this issue. 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-30-2002
Tue, 12-11-2012 - 6:49pm

Thanks for the response.  I've probably had 5 or 6 different therapists - most of them covered some amount of cognitive and behavioral.  They did help me uncover alot of what my issues are.  Some of them would tell me "you need to do x" and I would put up roadblocks for why I could not do x.  I know that I do that, but for me, alot of the advise was kind of like telling someone "you just need to just stop worrying."  Sure, I know I need to stop worrying, but they were never able to help me actually do that.  My last therapist told me to just be aware of my thoughts and issues, and eventually that would help.  Well - I am aware of them, but he was never able to give me actual steps to overcoming the issues.  I've read plenty of books about thought-stopping, how to diffuse negative thoughts, etc, but I've never been able to use these techniques successfully.

As for EMDR, one of my doctors in the past tried it and it didn't help either (I've also tried hypnotherapy with a different doctor.)

Avatar for nawleansdarlin
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-1999
Mon, 12-10-2012 - 7:24pm

Welcome!

What type of therapists have you tried?  I personally prefer one that mixes cognitive and behavioral therapies.  It usually means homework for me.  I respond quite well to homework.  I have two links for you.

http://www.netplaces.com/controlling-anxiety/talk-therapy/psychotherapy.htm  This one is a pretty good brief description of the types of therapy usually available.

http://www.emdrnetwork.org/description.html This one is for a type of therapy that has some controversy around it.  I mention it because many of the people who have been helped by this type of therapy have tried everything else and it didn't work. 

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