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You have a very serious anxiety disorder. I also have an anxiety disorder. Medication can only do so much and after a while it doesn't work very well. If you are taking it often enough, sometimes it s

Why can't you still go on retreat and be on the core team? I suffered from a chronic anxiety disorder for years, and although I no longer meet diagnostic criteria I still have quite an anxious temp

"Pray hope, and don't worry." Everything is in God's hands. The other day, I saw a man walking his little puppy down the road. When he went to cross the street, he picked up the puppy into

Holding you in prayer, the171. I'm a trained counselor, but not an expert in anxiety disorders. You do need to work with an appropriate mental health specialist, and probably get the right meds going on.

This kind of thing is rather like having had the brakes fail on your car at the top of a steep hill. You make it to the bottom of the hill somehow... but next time you are at the top of the hill, your body recognizes the situation and starts to react as if your brakes were failing again. If untreated, you start to become afraid you MIGHT encounter a hill, so you don't even want to get in a car... and eventually all sorts of things start triggering it.... even the fear of it getting triggered. It is a vicious cycle.

But the171, working with a good therapist can help you learn to break the cycle. It takes time and it takes work, and courage and patience. This is what God wants from you right now, and working through it is your gift to Him. What you are learning is something you can use to help others down the road. God has His reasons.

A good therapist, and appropriate meds, are all part of the work you need to do for God right now. We can pray for you and support you, but we aren't going to be in the front lines with you. But we are here.

As far as the Lafayette Carmelites and participating in the retreat, God knows the best timing, and the best role for us to take in all of this. St. Therese is well-known for stressing that we can find God in all things, and it is little things done with love that constitute the best way to serve God. Right now, taking the stress off, taking meds and working with your therapist constitute what God wants for you today... and will be your way of saving and transforming souls.

One Carmelite prioress said to me at one point that the hardest thing about being a Carmelite nun is the lack of feedback....that you never know if your prayers or sacrifices are 'doing' anything, becuase you don't see the results. People ask for prayers, but often don't let the Sisters know what transpired. If you can't attend the retreat, or have to give up some of the active apostolate that you have been doing, you may feel the same way, but the reality is that it doesn't mean you won't 'be' there with them... you will be with them by obediently taking care of yourself and doing what you are asked to help you get better.

You have all of our prayers and loving support... help us to know what we can do best to help you.

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Beatitude, working in mental health myself I have to say I agree with you. I think part of the problem is that medication was overprescribed in the past and now there is a fear of prescribing it.

You use what works for you in conjunction with your doctor and other healthcare professionals. I am a big advocate of counselling but I personally found Cognitive-Behavioural therapy horrible and very unhelpful

the171 as I've already said you have my prayers. If I can do anything else please let me know.

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Again, beatitude I respect your opinion but I have had "experience" with mental illness. I was in a mental hospital for 14 days in 2004, in Chicago, Cook County no less, involuntarily committed. I no longer take medication or therapy. I did, and it helped. But at some point a person has to learn some tools to cope with life. I was told by a psychiatrist, "You can't keep falling apart everytime life deals you a bad situation or it is not turning out as you expected!"

I would also just like to state that there is a coalition of psychiatrist against pyschiatry. Many do not believe these mental illnesses even exists outside of the DSM-IV (don't even get me started on that!). You can find a plethora of information on that if you do some research.

In any case, I know this is a contentious issues so I will say no more about it. I hope the171 gets some help she needs and understands that this anxiety disorder does not have to limit her or label her.

Edited by ACS67
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[quote name='FutureCarmeliteClaire' timestamp='1335547836' post='2423961']
On a medical note, you should get yourself tested for strep throat. Sometimes un-detected strep throat can cause abnormal anxious behaviors. Yes, you have an anxiety disorder, but maybe you have something else that is making it worse right now.

Also, I am going to repeat what the others have said. Take some time to focus on yourself. Have some chocolate, rest, and see that therapist. Just the same way that you can't know God until you know yourself, you can't help others until you help yourself.
[/quote]
On this note, too, if you are taking meds for anything other than your anxiety, ask your doctors to check the side effects of those, 171. When I was in college, I started having panic attacks and discovered that it was mainly due to a side effect from a medication I was taking for something entirely different.

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[quote name='MissScripture' timestamp='1335553525' post='2423994']
On this note, too, if you are taking meds for anything other than your anxiety, ask your doctors to check the side effects of those, 171. When I was in college, I started having panic attacks and discovered that it was mainly due to a side effect from a medication I was taking for something entirely different.
[/quote]

Actually I *know* one medication that for me specifically triggers anxiety/moodiness/etc. without reason. So yes check the side effects of what you do take. Even the over-the-counter ones (the one I can't take is an over-the-counter pain medication).

Kudos MS!

Edited by cmariadiaz
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You might also ask your MD to check for hormonal things as well... grew a cyst at one point that, well, made me look like I was going CRAZY! Once they took it out... and I had a few months for the hormones to move out of my system... I was NORMAL. (well, as normal as I get.... :paperbag: )

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I can't control my anxiety. It isn't just in my head. It stems from an actual incident that ACTUALLY hurt me. It is an ACTUAL fear. I can't touch it, but I also can't control it. All my meds are in check, they checked for infections diseases and all that today as well as at the ER, I am switching one medicine to natural supplements just to be sure that nothing reacts badly, I have an appt with a counselor this Tuesday at 3:30 CST. Why did I put commas? God only knows. I haven't had an attack today. Though the symptoms have been lingering. Like the smell of old milk. I swear, if I ever go to the ER again or think about my time in the ER I might just stab a kitten with a fork. IT WAS SO SCARY AND STRESSFUL. They gave me a medicine to take 3 times a day, but my school and my mom won't let me take the medicine the second time because the school banned that medicine and my mom doesn't want me becoming a pill-popper. I hate this. I am afraid to go back to school Monday. Everyone thinks I had a seizure, or I am insane, and some person said I died. We're in finals and I am scared I will have one during finals. What a joy is my sophomore year!

And they checked the hormones when they did the urine test at the ER.

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171, that does sound stressful and also infuriating. School can be a very gossipy place. My advice would be for you to just quote Mark Twain ("Reports of my death were greatly exaggerated") if you are subjected to any inappropriate curiosity. It might be helpful for you to discuss your anxiety with your close friends, so that together you can work out ways for you to stay comfortable at school. Perhaps they could stick close to you at breaks and lunchtimes until you adjust to being back in that environment?

It infuriates me to hear that the school and your parents won't let you take the medication that has been prescribed to you. This is exactly the sort of thing I meant when I talked about unhelpful prejudices against psychiatric medication. I really doubt your school would feel qualified to mess with the prescription of a student with an obviously physical illness. Use of the phrase 'pill popper' reinforces the stereotype that people with mental health problems are druggies, which is also completely inappropriate. You are discovering what most people with MH problems find out sooner or later: other people's attitudes are often more annoying and difficult to deal with than the symptoms themselves. I will pray that you are able to get good treatment without interference.

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I'm so glad you've got an appointment to see someone to talk to. You are strong! The ER experience was scary but you got through it. You don't have any quit in you that's clear! You got through the last week and that's a clear sign you will be able to get through the next week, too. Remember you have no evidence to believe that you won't be able to handle this. The best indicator of what will happen in the future is past history and all the past history shows that the attacks come and go, they don't last forever and you are still there at the end.

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[quote name='the171' timestamp='1335579939' post='2424211']
They are beginning to last longer and longer though. The first was 15 minutes. The second was 30 minutes. The last one was an hour. Will the next one last for 2 hours?
[/quote]

Ok you are working yourself up. Take a deep breath, go put on some relaxing instrumental music , put your feet up and shut your eyes. Think about puppies. Or ponies. You can't panic thinking of puppies, its just not done.

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Maybe they will get less now that one lasted 30 minutes? If we assume the worst can't we also assume the best with at least as much accuracy? :hmmm:

School gossip is[b] so annoying[/b]!! I teach so I get it. If I was with you I would scowl all those ner'do-wellers to the ground. I have a very evil teacher stare.... puddlefying all in my line of vision.

God bless you for your strength with all this. I really doubt they have a clue how much you are able to overcome despite it all. I'd be cowering in a drawer. You're still doing what you need to do with the best of your ability with what God has gifted you with at this time. God bless you. I've got your back in prayer and ask my guardian angel to glower at the gossipers on my behalf. No messing with the Pham! :)

Edited by mantellata
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