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  1. #1
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    Default Anybody else irrationally anxious about stupid things (happy update post 44)

    Right now in my head, I'm having an argument between going out to the barn and not wanting to leave the house.

    My head says, "You love your horses. You're happy at the barn. You like your BO. You're not afraid to drive. You're NOT afraid to ride. Get the hell OUT THERE!"

    Yet my body, in particular my arms (how weird is that?), just screams with tension. I feel like a rabbit in the headlights and I'm losing the battle again

    The really stupid thing is, once I can break through the anxiety on a regular basis, I'm fine. For crying out loud, I used to show all over WI, IL, IA and even went as far as KHP. I moved to NoVA sight unseen, with less than $500 to my name. I hauled my cats and all my worldly possessions in my horse trailer (which has since been sold to Texas) and backed that thing up IN the assigned parking spot in front of my rented townhouse in a single shot. I AM capable. I DO know what I'm doing!

    I want to spend time with my horses again. They've been a constant source of joy when all else has gone to pot. I don't want to sit in my cozy apartment all the time. A friend keeps inviting me to fun horsey things and I really do want to go, but thinking about actually doing it freaks me out.

    So why am I such a basket case chicken shit now?

    I do have a prescription for Ativan that I take only when I really need to chill (like after thinking the building was coming down on me during the earthquake ). They work nicely except that I get extremely drowsy and should NOT drive, particularly on Rt 15/50. I just took one

    Anybody go through anything similar? What helped??
    Last edited by HighFlyinBey++; Mar. 17, 2012 at 04:19 PM. Reason: updated
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  2. #2
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    I get like this sometimes if I get too stressed at work. I'll obsess over stupid stuff, and not want to leave the house. I find that not getting stressed helps. I also find that it happens more if I have PMS. I think the hormone changes have something to do with it.
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  3. #3
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    Oh yeah, I'm familiar with this scenario It's hard to explain to anyone that I'm really my own worst enemy sometimes. For me, it was a combination of things. Crazy wacked out thyroid that caused fatigue from hell. I knew if I went out, I'd have to sleep for 3 hours after. And depression in general, which made couch sitting even easier cause it was too much bother to go out. Now that both those are under control (finally) and with med changes on both sides, I'm beginning to see my old self coming back.

    Have you looked into depression meds? From what you just posted, I read a lot of my thoughts too. Mixed with anxiety over berating myself for WHY I didn't feel like doing things. Maybe there's something between nothing and the ativan that would work better for you. I know there's times you need the big guns (vitamin A, as we call it at work) like when there's earthquakes. But for the rest of the time,something else might help control the bad times better.



  4. #4
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    I am exactly the same way (right down to having the same argument right now about going to the barn). I have been thinking about going to the doctor to try out anxiety meds, because I shut myself down and overthink things and become too stressed or anxious to make a decision. So I don't have any advice, really, but sympathize and hope that someone points out a magic cure for us both. (:

    It does help, for me, to schedule things... I will go to a lesson, for example, but "I have all day to ride" results in me sitting around thinking about how I should go ride. Sometimes I'll do things like ask the BO to leave my horse in on a Saturday morning, so that I have motivation to get out there and ride so I can turn him out--otherwise he'd be stuck inside. Ditto with going out with a specific plan in mind for what I want to do.



  5. #5
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    I've wondered about hormones, but this has been going on in one form or another my whole life. I freaked about learning to drive a car until my younger cousin was about to get his license before me. I'm also 3 year post-forced-menopause, so I don't have big hormonal swings, just little ones.

    It seems to run in my mom's side of the family. Mom has irrational fears of going over bridges. She'll shriek and put her head in her lap as a passenger. Multi-lane traffic upsets her. Now that my dad lost the use of his hands and lower arms, she's become the designated driver and has no choice but to deal, tho she gets angrily defense when talking about it.

    Whacked out thyroid?! I have that! I am going into my 4th month on the dose that got me down to "normal" and, along with the right combination of vitamins, I finally feel GOOD. It's been years since I've felt this good! I don't feel depressed at all. I was treated for that years ago and I definitely don't feel the same.

    I tried talking to my doctor about the anxiety and that's how I got the Ativan. I don't feel like I need a daily Happy Pill, but maybe I do?
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  6. #6
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    Sarahandsam, my twin from another mother--and the name I'd have chosen for myself, too!

    Do you find that you do better if your plan starts out first thing in the morning? I do, but if anything gets in the way, I'm screwed. I have no problem going to work. I love my job & coworkers. I'll sit in my cube and think about all the things I have to do, like grocery shop, and make a mental plan of attack. Then I'll start walking home and by the time I've gone 3 of the 4 blocks, I've talked myself out of going. There are times I won't go until I'm out of cat food.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    I tried talking to my doctor about the anxiety and that's how I got the Ativan. I don't feel like I need a daily Happy Pill, but maybe I do?
    There's nothing wrong with giving it a try. If you do, keep in mind, you may have a try a couple different kinds before you find the "right one".

    If you are hesitant about taking a Happy Pill, you might consider working with a good therapist.
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  8. #8
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    DD went through this - still working it out a year later. Took a while for her to get to the doctors to get meds, and then they are slowly introduced to you and increased until effective.

    Please see your Doctor now - don't wait. She said warning signs were there - she just didn't know that was what they were until now.

    I thought hormones, but DR wants to test for thyroid. Said that can be the cause of her anxiety.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenm View Post
    If you are hesitant about taking a Happy Pill, you might consider working with a good therapist.
    I'm not averse to the idea of taking pills. I had a couple different ones that helped me get through cancer treatment 3 years ago. It's just...how do I explain this...it's the thought of a DAILY pill that I wasn't sure about. Then, as I was in the kitchen just now cleaning up the spill from the overflowing crock pot of coq au vin (I just HAD to add in extra carrots), it occurred to me that a daily Happy Pill wouldn't be any different than me taking a daily vitamin D. Just because I feel better, doesn't mean I get to stop taking the vitamin!

    Quote Originally Posted by ddb View Post
    test for thyroid ... that can be the cause of her anxiety.
    What kind of test? I'm being treated for hypothyroid. It took me a full year (dr first said I was too borderline for her to treat comfortably, then a year later when my levels were much higher, she said, "I treat on symptoms not labs." ARGH!!! But at least she educated herself in the meantime *headdesk*) I've only been taking the correct dose for a few months and none of the anxiety issues have changed.
    Last edited by HighFlyinBey++; Oct. 10, 2011 at 04:33 PM. Reason: improper grammar
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  10. #10
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    My sister had horrible panic attacks, palpitations, sweaty palms, and started freaking out about going outdoors.

    Went to several doctors, who gave her drugs and referred her to a shrink.

    Her heart palpitations/anxiety got so bad she stopped on the side of the road and called my Dad to come get her child and get her home - while she waited for an ambulance. She thought she was having a heart attack.

    Hospital kept her overnight - then referred her to a shrink. No help there.

    Her ob/gyn suggested she get her thyroid tested - - and they also tested female hormones.... she was all wonky. With the help of her gyn and an endocrinologist she got the right medication. But it did take many months until whatever they put her on started to make a real difference.

    Now - her heart is normal, no abnormal anxiety, and her weight is back to within normal for her height.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    Sarahandsam, my twin from another mother--and the name I'd have chosen for myself, too!

    Do you find that you do better if your plan starts out first thing in the morning? I do, but if anything gets in the way, I'm screwed. I have no problem going to work. I love my job & coworkers. I'll sit in my cube and think about all the things I have to do, like grocery shop, and make a mental plan of attack. Then I'll start walking home and by the time I've gone 3 of the 4 blocks, I've talked myself out of going. There are times I won't go until I'm out of cat food.
    Yes! That's exactly me. Morning plans are way easier to make--it's once I have a chance to start thinking and doubting and second-guessing that it becomes harder. I'm better off if I hop out of bed and get to the task, rather than if I let myself sit on the couch and have a cup of coffee or do anything else that puts it off even for a minute... and I have no issue with going to work (though it would be awfully nice to sleep in instead), it's more about doing things I want to do. Obviously, I still haven't made it to the barn yet today, but I am signed up for a yoga class later to at least haul me off my butt. (:



  12. #12
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    So things could be/get worse. OK. Does this mean I need to find an endocrinologist or do I start with Happy Pills that may simply mask the underlying cause?

    **overthink things and become too stressed or anxious to make a decision**

    That's me to a T.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarahandSam View Post
    Yes! That's exactly me. Morning plans are way easier to make--it's once I have a chance to start thinking and doubting and second-guessing that it becomes harder. I'm better off if I hop out of bed and get to the task, rather than if I let myself sit on the couch and have a cup of coffee or do anything else that puts it off even for a minute... and I have no issue with going to work (though it would be awfully nice to sleep in instead), it's more about doing things I want to do. Obviously, I still haven't made it to the barn yet today, but I am signed up for a yoga class later to at least haul me off my butt. (:
    Daymn, we ARE twins. I quit the morning coffee once the vitamins & thyroid stuff kicked in. I got way too comfortable holding the cup, kicking back with The Weather Channel. My next step is to get my fat arse on the NordicTrack that lives in my bedroom.

    Barn's not happening Sometimes I wonder why I still have them, then I finally get out there and I know why. Even if all I do is groom (I haven't ridden in a year), they make me happy and I finally feel whole. And it pisses me off that I won't let myself go out there.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  14. #14
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    Occasionally I'll have panic attacks, but usually it's just a very very uneasy, upset feeling that is hard to pinpoint. I have anxiety about certain social events, and if more people are at a gathering than I anticipated I can get really anxious, like a trapped animal, really.
    I get worried about random things. If both MrB and myself are gone from the house all day I worry about something happening in there and the dogs being in trouble. If he and I drive somewhere together, especially at night, I worry. If we're both driving separately home but on the same road at the same time, it makes me uneasy. Weird, i know!

    Usually I don't try to shove the thought out of my head-that makes it worse! But I do this weird thing where I visualize the thought, like a balloon or bouncy ball. Hold it up, look at it, realize it's just a thought, turn it over and look from other angles- yep, it's still just a thought. Doesn't mean it (whatever bad thing) will happen, it's merely a thought. Then I set it down and imagine it rolling or floating away. Breathe deeply, and repeat as much as I need. If I focus well, i usually get bored with staring at the thought-balloon for so long!

    Also just a change of activity or position will help shake that unease. Jumping jacks or lifting and weight or just stretching helps my arm tension. If I'm sitting down, getting up and going into another room helps. I may decide to put away three items lying around. That helps two-fold because sometimes my messiness contributes to feeling overwhelmed, so I'm helping to fix the mess too!

    Mostly though, just getting out of the house helps immensely. It's that first big leap-step!

    You're definitely not alone here with weird and random anxiety. :-)
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  15. #15
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    I guess it's reassuring to see others who deal with this. I have no idea why I struggle with anxiety- it's not stress, not that I don't HAVE stress, but I can't correlate stressful situations in my life with this feeling. It just happens. It impacts among other things, my riding and not in a good way. I'm Little Miss Confidence this week, but next week might be a different story-I start obsessing and worrying and scenarios start playing out in my head, and before I know it I'm a freaking anxious mess. The same irrational fears creep into other areas, too. For no apparent reason. Then I talk myself out of doing anything, which cycles around to making me feel crappy for not appreciating my horses. Showing can be a nightmare, if I'm on an anxiety streak. I've bailed out of my class because it was cloudy and it was freaking me out. I have toyed with asking for meds -maybe even Paxil or something along those lines-but just haven't gotten around to doing it. This isn't something people who don't have it really understand, if you know what I mean.
    Oh my gosh, yes to the get up in the morning and get it done before you think about it! I've finally gotten myself into mental shape for afternoon riding but all summer if it didn't happen in the morning, it didn't happen. And that had nothing to do with being busy or the heat.
    Last edited by TBROCKS; Oct. 10, 2011 at 04:52 PM. Reason: forgot to add...



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighFlyinBey++ View Post
    Daymn, we ARE twins. I quit the morning coffee once the vitamins & thyroid stuff kicked in. I got way too comfortable holding the cup, kicking back with The Weather Channel. My next step is to get my fat arse on the NordicTrack that lives in my bedroom.

    Barn's not happening Sometimes I wonder why I still have them, then I finally get out there and I know why. Even if all I do is groom (I haven't ridden in a year), they make me happy and I finally feel whole. And it pisses me off that I won't let myself go out there.
    That's the worst--I have a great time when I do make myself go to the barn, but it's really hard to hold on to that feeling the next time I'm making the decision.

    And after it's too late to go, and you've already decided by default, do you find yourself sitting on the couch thinking about how much you want to go to the barn right now but you can't?

    I will say that the coffee helps me, if only because I am competent at work with a coffee mug in my hand, so I can tell myself that Yes I Can Go To The Barn by filling up my thermos in the morning... but I also am not on meds that would give me problems with the caffeine. I don't know if I could kick the coffee habit!



  17. #17
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    The best thing that ever happened to me was losing my job in 2004 and becoming the "barn manager" to work off the board of my 4 horses. I had a reason to get up in the morning! I was rarely sick even though I was out in subzero weather for hours on end, twice a day for the whole fall and following winter. I got my kid to school, did chores, went home for lunch, picked kid up and went back out for evening chores. Somewhere in there was house keeping and cooking dinner. I got another job out of my field (selling tickets at a Ripley's museum) and was easily working that in with everything else.

    Then my 4 y/o gelding died in a preventable pasture accident. He wasn't my favorite horse, but nothing has been the same since. I moved barns twice, then got divorced and moved to NoVA, then got sick and 6 years later, I'm still lost.

    I'm keeping my eye out for self-care that's close to home just to force me to get up and out every morning again, but that's few and far between around here and I really do love my barn.

    And after it's too late to go, and you've already decided by default, do you find yourself sitting on the couch thinking about how much you want to go to the barn right now but you can't?
    Are you spying on me? I don't think you can see in my window from NY... In other words, hell yes! Then the guilt starts in.

    I've found that the caffeine ups my blood pressure too much. I've switched to decaf or a mix of the two or some awesome herbal teas my neighbor brought home from the UK.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBROCKS View Post
    This isn't something people who don't have it really understand, if you know what I mean.
    I can relate to this statement. I have started having anxiety issues too. I've always been a huge worry-wart my entire life and a very shy, introverted type person. I have long, drawn-out conversations with myself in my head about what what I SHOULD have done in certain situations or what COULD happen in other situations. It's like a broken record you can't shut off and I will work myself up into a nervous wreck. It wasn't until the last year or two that I really felt like I had true anxiety. This was mostly triggered by stress at work and experiencing a couple of panic attacks. Now I feel anxious about being put in situations where I might have another panic attack. I've always had anxiety about social situations but now I'd just prefer to avoid groups of people if possible I sometimes feel trapped/claustrophobic when I get around a large group of people. When I mention these feelings to people who have never experienced them, they think I'm just overreacting or being a huge wimp. But unless someone has felt the way that anxiety can completely shut you down, they don't understand.

    I was having heart palpatations (due to a lot of stress from my job, moving, dog passing away, etc) which really freaked me out and caused me to have even MORE stress/anxiety from thinking I might be dying. haha Bad cycle. My Doc put me on beta-blockers which kept my heart from skipping beats so much and in turn helped my anxiety. . I also find that they help level out some of the adrenaline surges that come with anxiety attacks (I think one of their prescribed uses is actually for social anxiety!). They're very cheap and quite harmless in low doses so I recommend asking your Doc about them if you're not quite ready to try anxiety drugs. I haven't gone the route of actual anxiety meds yet although I do have a script for Lorazepam in the emergency situation that I might be required to fly for work (eeeeek!! whole different story!)
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  19. #19
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    I used to suffer from paralyzing anxiety that kept me from leaving the house some days. Trust me when I say I know exactly how you feel. It sucks!

    There were 2 things that have helped me immensely.

    1. Tested my thyroid. Turns out I have Graves Disease - my thyroid was VERY overactive and causing some of the anxiety. (if you need a good endo in NOVA I can recommend a great one)

    2. Stay away from the Ativan/Valium/Xanex, etc. They are addictive and don't really address the underlying problem - just cover it up. There are many other pharmaceutical means of helping with anxiety.

    It's too bad there's such a stigma about taking "happy" pills. I am the happiest and most stable I have been in my life - thanks to those pills. And I am not ashamed to admit it.

    I finally found a great shrink who was willing to work with me to find out what works best for me. A cookie cutter approach to medication is not the way to go. There are so many options available.

    And it really helps to talk to someone as well. A good therapist is important - shrinks really only manage the meds.

    Being paralyzed by your mind is a terrible thing. And it's hard to explain to people.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to talk!



  20. #20
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    I, too, wish there wasn't a stigma with Happy Pills. I don't mind them whatsoever. My cat was on Welbutrin for a few weeks before we moved (my ex terrified her). I called them her Happy Pills. She didn't even mind taking them. The difference in that cat was night & day. If it can help a little basement kitteh, I'm all for trying it myself!

    I only take the Ativan when needed, which isn't often. While I like the relief from the constant "screech" of the anxiety, I don't really like how I feel otherwise. I'd rather not take it.

    What's the difference between Grave's Disease and hypothyroid?

    Confession time: I like the idea of finding a good endo. Then I think, "OMG, I'll have to drive out of Leesburg to get there!" and the freaking begins. I also have a serious needle phobia. I can manage with numbing cream IF I do it right and IF they only stab me once and for HEAVENS' SAKE do NOT move the damn thing around looking for the vein! One of these days, I'm gonna puke.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.



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