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New Here, Anxiety sufferer..

#1
Heya Folks!

I'm glad I found this forum. Nice lil website. I suffer from chronic Anxiety and PTSD. Had Anxiety pretty much all my adult life but it has gotten much worse over the last 5 years. I'm in my mid 40's. My main symptoms is not wanting to leave the house (happy being on my own, in the house, away from people and with my hobbies) Experience anxiety with pressures on the job or new projects. My body always feel it's tightly wound all the time, a nervous ugly knot in my gut and internal shakes. This is constant.

Reasons for Anxiety are many. Family genetics. Long history of mental illness in the family (Manic Depression, Paranoid Personality Disorder). I've been tested for these and do not have them, thankfully. My mum had both and was rather abusive. I went from that to a controlling relationship for 10 years. Divorced, met another man that was better but had a Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde personality. Despite that, I loved him. In his heart he was a beautiful and caring/compassionate man and did show his love often. We were together and married for 11 years. I was attacked 12 yrs ago by an unknown assailant in a pathway close to my home at 6:30 in the morning. I was stabbed multiple times, beaten to a pulp, strangled to unconsciousness, raped and robbed. I was found by a neighbor and rushed to hospital. The police never found the assailant but accused my husband. He went through months of hell and never recuperated from it or from what happened to me. In 2010, we separated for a time because his depression got so bad he wouldn't want to get help or talk to me. He'd explode all the time. I was getting very physically sick and had to leave. He got so desperate that he committed suicide. I tried all I could to help him, got his family involved, friends, but nothing helped him. The PTSD took full hold of me.

I've tried many meds like Paxil (worked fine but made me gain lots of weight) Effexor (worst drug in the world! Brain zaps, vertigo - every time I turned my head the world spins and I lose balance, and constant nausea) Wellbutrin (not bad but not great, made me feel numb and unfeeling) as well as a few others.

I tried going off the meds and I worked out three times a week which certainly helped for awhile but didn't completely get rid of the anxiety. I had to literally force myself to get out of bed to start the day and get a foot outside. By the time I finished my workout I'd feel better but it'd be the same routine day to day. I really wanted to wake up feeling refreshed and eager to greet the day and get moving. I'm also a light sleeper and sometimes get no rest.

The last drug prescribed to me was Paxil and I explained to my doctor the weight gain problem. (gained 25 pounds in 6 months) I weaned myself slowly off it after reading the bad side effects from dropping these kind of drugs cold turkey. Yikes! And for the last 3 months I've been taking 5-HTP. (L-5-Hydroxytryptophan) from an online pill order site called Puritan's Pride. By the time I visited the doctor I was taking it for two months 1 pill of 100mg at night. Taking it in the morning actually knocked me out the entire day. I told her I'm getting fantastic sleep for once, but not noticing much difference in mood so I upped the dosage to 200mg a night. She hadn't heard much about 5-HTP but heard that St. John's Wort had some really positive studies and results to help depression and anxiety and that I should give it a try. She suggested trying a small dose in the morning 100 or 150mg along with the 5-HTP and see if that works. She says if it does, then taper off the 5-HTP, stay on the St. John's until I'm off the 5-HTP and then up the dosage of the St. John's Wort (or stay where I am) if I'm feeling better.

I love my doctor! She's open to alternative medicine and monitors me every few months to see how I do. Right now I'm waiting for my pills to come in the mail. They should be here in about 2 weeks. I thought about buying some from a store just to get started but they are so expensive! The markup is terrible! (I live in Canada and pill costs are insane) I've been buying from Puritans Pride for awhile and the deals are worth it. (I really don't mean to plug them folks but in all honesty I've been happy with their products so far). I'm sure there are other online sites just as good. Right now I get Calcium and Glucosamine/Chondroitin tablets from them. The Glucosamine ones are for my arthritic pain. It takes a few months to kick in but I'm feeling positive effects from that too.

So now, I live in a sweet lil wartime cottage house with my two kitty cats. Purrley is my 8 yr old snowshoe Ragdoll and Phoebe is my 5 month old Tabby kitten. They keep me on my toes and I love them to bits! :smile: I quit my old 6 yr job (way too much stress) and enrolled in college for Fine Arts (just to pursue a passion) but found that I could not keep up. My mum then passed away and I knew I couldn't handle taking care of her affairs and keeping up with college so I dropped it. My doctor suggests taking a few months off to heal (since I haven't stopped running around since my husband's passing) and also to see if the St. John's Wort and/or the 5-HTP will work for me. I'll be looking for work again after Christmas. I'm keeping myself busy with my cross-stitch (I make my own patterns) my quilt that's 80% finished and memorizing music for a rock band I'm in. Right now, that's enough.

I hope you folks are having success with the St. John's Wort. I'll let you know my progress once I receive the pills and start. Thanks for reading my post. :read:
 
#2
On St. John's Wort now..

Heya! Just an update. I'm on my 3rd day of St. John's Wort. I take it in the morning (150mg) and I take one pill of 5-HTP (100mg) instead of 200mg like I normally do at night. I'm already noticing a positive difference! Let's see how much more I improve as time goes on.