honey915

Hi everyone, 

Those who read my despair post a few days/week back will know that after feeling really good for some time I had a little set back this week. 

I have only had a handful of these really dark days over my decade long time with anxiety. 


my question today is this:

Are there two sides to anxiety or have I been experiencing depression? I’m confused because when I’ve had physical anxiety symptoms eg heart pounding, rapid breathing, feeling of dread and fear- I’ve mostly been able to cope and accept them and they sure enough relax and die down... however when things get really tough I feel:
hot and cold? Tingly 
like a dark cloud has descended 
Constantly crying 
emotional and on edge of crying 
start thinking I’d rather die than live like this
cant think of anything but how I’m feeling 
everything that makes me happy in my life I no longer want to do because I am consumed 
despairing 
hopeless 
like I’ll never be well again 
can’t function very well
worse in the morning 
don’t want to get out of bed (more fearful that unmotivated)
even the smallest thoughts and jobs seem like climbing a mountain

is this sensitisation? Or anxiety? Or depression? 


this feeling motivates me only to do nothing. 

is this extreme anxiety? 


looking back to last week before I became overwhelmed with this feeling, I noticed for brief moments that this feeling was present. I accepted it but of course, I was frightened because this feeling doesn’t feel like the day to day anxiety I deal with and cope with ok. This feels very emotional. 

could anyone elaborate? 

Quote
Jonmike
I'd say it's all part and parcel of the same thing... there are many different symptoms that come with anxiety. Luckily it's the same rule for all of them. Let them be! Stop the analysis of how you feel. You wouldn't do this if you felt happy so why when you don't?  There's no need to find out why or what. It just is. So let it be this way... the quicker you let yourself have space for these feelings the quicker they will leave. They are temporary unless you hold onto them I.e analyse them.
Quote
miki
Anxiety and depression go hand in hand. I've noticed anxiety tends to come first and depending on how well I can get past it, low mood will set in and I'll start to feel really down.

Eventually I'll stop caring about how I'm feeling (that emotionally numb feeling) and funnily enough the anxiety dissappears and I'll start to feel better over time. I've recognised that it happens in cycles. 

Obviously, your own patterns may be very different, but it's certainly not uncommon to experience both anxiety and low mood simultaneously - whatever the order they appear. 

I'm unsure if you're familiar, but at the risk of sounding like a cult member, Claire Weekes has written about depression and offers some sound advice for overcoming it. 
Quote
honey915
Haha a cult member! Yes I’m very familiar with Claire Weekes but am going to have a quick rescan of her book because I’m a little lost at the moment although I have been quite accepting in the last couple of days and although the mornings are a little rough I am overall feeling quite calm for the rest of the day so already I am coming out of what I’ve been feeling through just getting On with life. I went to work and took each moment as it came. I got out of bed when anxiety was the most rough and just did a bit of housework and muddled through. Hopefully the end is in sight now and I will be back to my normal self again. Whatever that is! 
Quote
miki
You're doing all the right things 😉 

Glad you're finding you way through it! 
Quote
Jonmike
Well done honey. It's hard to see how temporary it is when you're in the thick of it. And it's hard to take advice too I find. You'll pull out of it with that attitude no problem. Stick to your plan 👍
Quote
Shen
That's anxiety, some symptoms there are related to Mood Swings, which its pretty normal for anxiety to have them.but It isn't depression tho, As someone who has been on periods of deep depression. Clinical depression it's almost the complete opposite of anxiety. You kind of stop having any kind of stimulating feeling, this includes any stimulating one, Which are the primary sensations on an anxious disorder, like fear, adrenaline, Strong emotions in general. But all of the emotions related to Fear like you mentioned, are completely death, or VERY numb down while you are depressed, It is hard to think, You feel constantly confused, The closest thing you have for a feeling it's a deep Emptiness like sensation, and a combination of A melancholic anguish that makes you constantly miserable. You feel in a dark hole. Its funny, when you are depressed, you wish to have a panic attack, or anxiety, or something. Because those feelings makes you feel alive, You seek Fear like sensations, because living in a constant Dreaded and foggy state it is horrible. But you simply can´t, You can literally go to the most stimulating place, (like your worst phobia, the thing you most fear, do the craziest thing) and you would get very numbed feelings at most. you just simply cannot feel anything stimulating anymore, this includes ofcourse, pleasure. which its why its such a horrible disorder.

This is good news for you at least, you are not suffering from depression, while both, anxiety and depression are terrible, depression it's very dangerous. It's much more complicated to treat than Anxiety, And can kill you. While you are deeply depressed, you even miss when you were miserable with anxiety, so yeah, Take always care of you to avoid depression. Anxiety can bring strong mood swings, and those can create very mild depression like states, But they are very related to your anxiety, so if you fix your Nervous system, your mood swings will stabilize.
You Can Do This~
Quote
honey915

Hi Shen, 

thankyou for your message and I’m sorry to hear you have suffered from depression so badly. It sounds truly awful. 

Your post was both reassuring but also a little worrying actually because I feel this ‘black hole’ and hearing you sum it up I do recognise this feeling a little in myself. It would help if you could elaborate a little more for me (sorry reassurance seeking I guess). 

So this feeling started to ‘creep in’ like spilled ink. It slowly came over me in clouds and I was going through a period of stress but like high stress life and not having much anxiety ‘disorder’ at the time. My nerves were coping ok. I was accepting of my anxiety symptoms and I was feeling recovered. I would be sat there typing on my computer and I noticed I felt low. Not just blah low I’ve had a crap day but ‘this feeling is quite alarming and doesn’t feel right’. I accepted it as anxiety (although it felt different to my usual states) and it passed for a few days each time I did this. Then one morning it hit me so hard that I spend the entire day crying because I felt despairing. I felt adrenaline sure because it was being added into my system through worry and naturally it grew and grew until I spent about four days in what I can only describe as a special place in hell! I couldn’t feel pleasure and felt despairing and hopeless as though this was always going to get the better of me. It felt chemical and out of my control. Nothing I usually enjoy could interest me even my children and getting up and doing anything felt like I was about to climb Mount Everest. I feared for myself as it is only ever during this low period that my mind has wandered to suicidal thoughts. The only time I could not cope with my mental health. Sure acute anxiety is stressful and annoying and frustrating and sometimes I get upset and cry but I’m usually hopeful. This was awful. I did feel a lot of anxiety at the time but it wasn’t like panic and like you say I too longed for the time I just had anxiety symptoms to deal with it. Getting up and getting on with my day helped a bit even in the thick of it and over the course of around 2-3 weeks things have improved and my mood feels stable again. I have some anxiety when I think about the low mood because it was just so sad and terrifying. The mood was always worse on waking up and it always started predictably at the same time each morning for example at 6am whether asleep or awake I felt it and it woke me up and if I woke at 5am with no feeling it would predictably start at 6am and taper off throughout the day with the morning being hell on Earth. Is this anxiety? I’m just so unsure and of course feel it is important to understand whether I have some sort of depression or not because it’s treated differently as you say and it felt different too. It came out of nowhere. Thankyou 




Quote
Shen
What are you describing sounds more like Dysphoria, Wich it's a very nasty symptom of more severe anxiety and sensitization. 
There is Dysphoria also on depression, but there are some clear differences.

This is what you need to know from depression, Its constant, it's not something that gets better thought the day, it's always the same. Also, forget about feeling adrenaline while depressed, you can't feel anything, even the dysphoria its very toned down.

The difference between the lack of pleasure on depression and anxiety, its that while you are anxious you can't experiment pleasure of course, because you are too centered on being anxious, which makes you miserable, so much worry interferes with your pleasure response.

While you are depressed, you just can´t regardless, Like nothing makes you feel anything, It's not like you worry about being on that state. In fact you don't really notice you don't feel anything, it's so gradual and insidious. that when you finally realize that you are depressed, you don't even react, because you can't even worry about it. so you just assumed you are f*cked up by that point.

I used to had very serious Dysphoric states while I was sensitized, because they gave me an antidepressant that caused me Akathisia, A very dangerous and serious side effect that causes such a massive an extreme adverse dysphoric state, I tried to kill myself on that horrid state 3 times, Fortunately We figured it was the antidepressant and I stop taking it, After some days, even If I was again very sensitized, I was no longer suicidal from akathisia at least.

I also was dysphoric while I was depressed, but it is much more toned out, and constant, like I constantly felt mildly dysphoric every second. Wich its more different than anxiety where the dysphoria is stronger, but fluctuates
You Can Do This~
Quote
honey915

Thankyou Shen that really helps me to understand what I am feeling better and of course eases the fear that I may be developing something else! I’m not sure health care professionals who haven’t experienced either can really confirm what it is because without the insight of suffering it’s just impossible to really empathise isn’t it? 

Depression sounds awful and I’m truly sorry you have experienced it so badly. 

Thankyou for your advice 




Quote
LuckyLife
JonMike had a great answer above, IMO.  While depressive elements can enter anxiety disorder, they're so similar in how they move through us... does it matter?  Perhaps if you feel your primary issue is negative thought loops for example, it may. But it sounds to me like your main issues are standard sensitization and anxiety 101 stuff. I've been there. We all have.  Try not to create more pressure on yourself by adding more diagnosis and labels. You have a stress disorder. Period. It's intense at times, and your long-term habits play into it. Let's change our long term habits and thinking and slowly... we see improvement.

The worry you express alone sounds much more anxiety-driven, IMO. Listen to Claire Weekes on depression in anxiety. It's all part of the same process. Just like Jonmike said.
Quote