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Monday, February 06, 2012

Notes to self in Pictures

just wanted to share those photos with you guys :)

and check this one out, lol



Hi and thank you for a very informative and helpful blog for people that are in the same situation as you were before starting on this medication!!!

I've just read through you whole blog and it gives me even more motivation to start with the cipralex that my doctor now has prescribed...

Of course all people are different. Both in the way their problems keep them from living a "normal" life and the way medication works on them.

I have all my life (35 years) suffered from severe claustrophobia (fear of narrow/closed spaces and rooms). This has been a problem that I've been able to live with all through my life - only giving me problems when I would take an airplane or use an elevator...

Last year in April after going through some tough and stressful years I suddenly experienced a full blown panic attack when sitting by myself in the living room eating my breakfast on a day off work!
It felt the same like when I would use an elevator (which I've only done a few times the last twenty years) just ten times as worse!! I literally thought I was going insane. Body shaking, heart pounding and I felt i could almost not breathe...

This lasted a few days and I finally got out and saw a doctor.... He said it probably was a lot of emotions I've kept inside for many years that made me have this "attack"...

Since that day in April almost a year ago I have tried to live with the anxious feeling that never really have gone away. I have almost not missed a day at work and my wife is very supportive although it surely affects her as well since a lot of things that I could do before - like driving on the highway, talking the train through long tunnels and going to social events - is now impossible or at least a big struggle for me to do!

I describe my first panic attack in April as 100% and since then I've been living the past nine months with anxiety ranging from 20-60%.

This situation I guess has also left me depressed as I can't seem to find the joy I had in life before this happened.

My biggest problem since all of this started though is that about 3-4 months ago I started having problems swallowing solid food. I initially thought this was a physical problem since it felt like a lump in the back of my throat. But now almost four months later, and several tests at the hospital, it seems there is nothing wrong with least not physically in my throat.
I am at the point now where I've lost about ten kilos of body weight and I can almost only manage to drink liquids not much thicker than water :-(
This whole situation feels both very frightening and claustrophobic to me and the anxiety level the last 2-3 weeks has risen to 70-80% at times...eating out with friends is no longer an option and my wife is frustrated after making dinner for the last 3-4 months and me not eating at all. Imagine not eating a solid meal for more than quarter of a year and only surviving on nutritional shakes....not good at all!

After consulting my doctor he suggested to start with therapy with a psychologist and also to try cipralex. The shrink has 3-6 months waiting list (unless I could pay for a private one - which I can't afford) but the cipralex is already waiting at the pharmacy ;)

I have an appointment with my doc in two days and I guess I will be starting up with cipralex later this week. The good thing (for me) is that you can get cipralex as drops - not pills.....hence my swallowing problem ;)

Sorry about this long comment but maybe some others can relate to my situation as well!

I don't think cipralex will instantly cure my swallowing problem, but maybe I after a while the stress and anxiety will go down a bit and I can relax more and then hopefully get some therapy and start learning how to swallow again without the fear of choking and maybe all the other things I per today avoid and feel nervous about will also get better and I can overcome them all and once again feel like life is worth something.....

PS. Thanks for your blog and keep posting!!!

Thanks much for sharing these positive images. At this stage of mine it gives me a brightness and hope to be totally self dependent one day; trust me this is the best thing I can look forward to in life.Please keep posting such positive thoughts for us .

I feel a bit difference in my situation in my 3 months stay with cipralex. I am a little confident to face this world here in a new country and have a mental strength now to start taking charge of myself. It is very tough as I stumble with fears and night depressions often but at least I am conscious of it and therefore can start making focused efforts to defeat these.
I have noticed one thing here with me in using cipralex.If I have a coffee just before or at least 60 minutes before taking my cipralex with some food, this does not work. I feel rather very nervous and defocused. But if no coffee and just something to eat and then cipralex-it works for the day often.
Dear Anonymous I understand your point as I have been suffering many phobias myself. Trust me as mentioned in Blog and I am experiencing too in my 3 months that cipralex works but needs patience .Allow it some time and allow some time to yourself with it, you will find it working for you .I can feel the change in me .I know it is a long road to get myself but it is worth it . Best-Sarah

To Anonymous with the Swallowing Issues:
Hang in there! I went through a period where I had such a hard time to east. I wasn't totally off of solids but it was VERY hard to eat them. Lived on Boost, Ensure, Smoothies mostly.

I also started with panic just out of the blue and it got worse to the point I thought I was losing my mind. I ended up in the ER on night not knowing what else to do.
I hadn't felt depressed in the years previously but had loads of unexplained physical symptoms that no doctors/specialists could figure out.

So that night in the ER I agreed to see the psychiatrist on call. We talked over things for a long time and I agreed to try Cipralex and I felt I was at a breaking point and needed to take action immediately. It took awhile but the Cipralex has helped immensely.

I am now able to get back to eating solids and only use Boost a few times a week. My strange physical symptoms have mostly gone too.

I realize everyone's reaction is different but keep hope out there for yourself with the Cipralex.

Sometimes we're anxious without really knowing it and our mind manifests it by bringing on physical symptoms to sort of try and keep us out of situations that are stressful. For me, eating out with others would make me feel nauseous and I'd back out.

Be aware when you start Cipralex that it can cause a lack of appetite for awhile so don't be alarmed. It's just your body adapting to the med. It will get better.

Sorry for such a long post. Didn't mean to hijack your blog Johnny. I am in the middle of starting my own blog but then found yours and have been going through all your posts. Great stuff!

Hey everyone,

I started experience depression and anxiety at the age of 17, after 2 years of suffering from an eating disorder. It is not until recently (after going through my first break-up and experiencing the effects of depression all over again which triggered the purging and an abnormal obsession with food) that I decided to admit to the eating disorder and try to get help. Like a lot of women these days, food is a way of coping with my emotions- something I am trying to work on.

I have always been scared of taking antidepressants, partly because I thought that "I can get over this on my own", and because I hate the idea that I actually do suffer from depression.

Before I started taking Cipralex, I had the impression that in taking the drug I would just overcome everything I was feeling. When I started taking the 5 mg of Cipralex and I noticed a huge difference, and got overly excited. I thought to myself "this is it, it's over". That is, until the effects of the medication subsided significantly, and I started feeling low again. I think a month later or so, I upped my dose to 10 mg. Again, I got overly excited, thinking "this is it, I'm over it"... until the effects subsided and I started feeling low again thinking they weren't going to work and that they are only making me worse. I was afraid to take on the days, experienced countless crying episodes, and thoughts were just ruminating. I felt as i I had no control and all I wanted to be was myself again. I was veryyyyy hesitant to up my dosage from 10mg to 15 mg, but then I thought to myself- anything is better than what I'm experiencing now, so I talked to my doctor and took the risk.

As soon as I started taking it I noticed a difference. Like the creator of this blog said, "it won't change who you are... it will just help you do the things you want to do". Well, it's day 4 and I am definitely feeling like more like myself, and thinking much more clearly. I noticed immediate results, however, this time I am being more cautious. I don't want to get overly excited in case it starts to subside again, in which case my doctor said I could increase my dose to 20mg.

I am taking this time to learn as much about depression as I can, and learning to accept it as an illness. An illness in which I need medication and therapy for! So far, I have been experiencing side-effects such as insomnia and increased appetite which I've heard are pretty normal.

Anyways, I would love for some support and advice! Is there anyone out there who has experienced an eating disorder, and has antidepressants helped?

Thanks :)

The only thing I'm slightly sc

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