Anxiety and Depression: Does it go hand in hand?

  1. Hey, everyone. I need some help. (It feels so good to finally admit that.)

    A quick history...I battled depression 6 years ago, but I got pregnant 3 months after starting on antidepresants and had to stop but after my son was born, things got better (so I thought....).

    A year ago I got promoted to a supervisor level at my job and knew that for me to be successful, I was going to get my emotions under wrap. I have always been emotional, sensitive, whatever you want to call it (my first reaction to any emotion is to cry...) That doesn't fly so well in a professional invironment.

    I did ok with that. The first two months I shut off everything to the point that I don't really think I felt anything. I didn't like that at all. I went through a pretty stressful time at work from January to May with a super huge project at work. The day it rolled out, I bawled for 20 minutes. I am sure it was the relief of all the pressure, but that was what I did.

    So this past month I took on an additional function at my job. I still supervise a department, but then I took on an entirely additional job, which was done all shady-like and deceptive by my own management team. I got 2 1/2 days training and then I was dumped into my position, left to fend for myself. The girl who did it before never came back to work and so I have no one to help me.

    So yeah, I am a little freakin' stressed. Today I had the beginnings of an anxiety attack. I had them years ago and so I was able to stop it before I got too bad, but then I decided at that moment that I cannot handle this without some help. My family life is starting to suffer, and just when I thought I was on the right track with getting healthy (eating better, working out, quit smoking) I now have this in my way.

    I cry. Everyday. I was in tears at 5 am this morning because I thought DH was being a jerk. The sun wasn't even up yet.

    I know I put a lot of pressure on myself, but this new job is not something that I can half-a$$. I am dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars each day and one mistake could cost someone thousands. I refuse to fail.

    In the meantime, I am suffering. My body hurts all the time, I have stress headaches and I cannot for the life of me get to sleep at night.

    So after all of that I ask, do you think that anxiety (which I think I am feeling first) leads to depression (which I know I am at that place)? One minute I am bawling and the next I am rolling on the floor with laughter. I have lost all control of my emotional balance and have scheduled an appointment with my dr. for Thursday.

    I just wanted some feedback, if you have experienced this in your life (or know someone who has). I hope that this is temporary (and I think it will be, and then I go back and forth with, "do I just suffer through this" or "do I get prof. help?") but I just can't do it by myself anymore.

    I appreciate everyone's thoughts. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read and respond!
  2. Wow, I felt it as I read your post. I don't know about anxiety leading to depression but I think they go together very often. Most anti-depressant meds have an anti-anxiety component, so it must be a very common dual problem. I have both and actually take an anti-depressant as well as a low-dose anxiety med. I've had panic attacks and they're terribly frightening.

    It sounds like health-wise you are doing the right things. There may be coping skills for your job stress and also you may have a chemical imbalance that causes the emotional swings. Have you considered talking to a counselor to assess whether you would benefit from medication? Ask you doctor when you see him or her if a referral would be appropriate. The extreme range of emotions must be exhausting for you.

    ((hugs)) People who don't deal with abnormal anxiety have no idea what it's like.
  3. Boxermom, thank you SO much for taking the time to respond.

    I never did talk to a counselor before, and the dr. i saw back then worked specifically for a mental health clinic and he was pushing me to the highest doses as quick as possible and I think that was a lot of my problems before.

    My manager is coming to town this week, and I plan on sitting her down and having a good heart-to-heart. There are things that she has done (or, not done) that has caused a lot of my stress and while she says she understands, I can hear her typing the background, which makes me think she's not really listening. Her and I have a long way to go. I hate that I am so angry with her, but that she doesn't know it.

    There was a post here a while ago about a professor giving one of his last lectures, and one thing that he said what that if you someone enough time, the good will come out of them. Hopefully we can meet in the middle and find some common ground.

    I am so proud that I have a family who loves and supports me, but I am so sad that work is such crap right now. I had worked so hard to be in such a great place with my career, and now I just think things are spinning out of control. I have learned, though, that I just can't quit and go somewhere else. "Work" sucks sometimes no matter what you are doing, so I know that I just have to be patient and work through all of this. It just seems like such a long road!

    Thank you again, Boxermom! I really do appreciate your words!! :flowers:
  4. YES!!
    I think for a lot of people they do go hand in hand unfortunately.
    My Mom has depression and anxiety attacks.
    It's a terrible coupling and it's definitely hindered her.
    I think you should see a therapist soon who can choose the best 'cocktail' for you specifically and monitor you.
  5. In college, my depression got pretty bad and then all of a sudden anxiety showed up. I went to a psychiatrist and he put me on a couple of drugs for it.
    I still take BuSpar for the anxiety but the depression has pretty much cleared up. I run and relax and slow down my life when I need to. I can talk to my friends and family and my fiance when I get overwhelmed or scared. Honestly, a few years back when I was in a pretty good phase, I decided I was absolutely not going to live my life feeling so bad. It was a challenge to myself because I have to fight the blues sometimes.
    I would see a doctor and perhaps step away from some responsibilities if they are too much for you.
    Lastly, I would say that you cannot be too hard on yourself. This is an illness and you can live with it by managing it! Sometimes just being really open about it helps a lot. Hope you are feeling better soon!
  6. Yes, they often go hand in hand, as a matter of fact there is a specific diagnosis, "depression with anxious features". Also, the body pain you mention? There is a new anti depressant, Cymbalta, that addresses that very well. A lot of people will report feeling pain, achy, flu like, headaches, and so on to the point that they are looking for a physical reason for the pain that sometimes goes with depression. Hope you get some relief fast!
  7. Hey SunnyFreckles,

    I hope you feel better soon *HUGS*

    I think they often go together BUT both are not necessarily pronounced. ie, one more serious and the other more mild.

    I think it'll help u if you go seek out a psychologist or counsellor that you can talk to you and help you. it may take a few tries to find someone that is right for you.

    As for talking to your manager, it is good to communicate and be open HOWEVER, i would also caution you to be careful what you say and don't say more than you need to. Telling your manager that you are crying, stressed out , depressed or anxious may come back to bite your ass later. i would leave all this out.

    Also, don't put too much pressure on yourself that "this is a huge deal and if i screw up tens of 1000 of dollars will be lost!!! " I think it'll cause u to be more stressed and anxious. Yep i know easier said than done, and i put alot of stress and pressure on myself too but try all the same LOL.

    let us know how you're doing and if you have a bad day etc, just write it out here. we're here for you.

    HUGS Bubbles
  8. Thinking about you today, sunnyfreckles. One thing I'll add is a concern that a previous dr. tried to up your dosage so quickly. My dr. is conservative about trying the lowest amount first. There are side effects to everything, so those of us who take meds of any kind have to be informed and careful.

    Be kind to yourself--if you're like me, you are harder on yourself than you are with anyone else. Why do we do that??!! Treat yourself gently.
  9. I am experiencing that the most, I think.

    The first thing that happens is my left side of my neck...that tenses up first. Then, my arms ache. Then, I get a horrible headache. In that order, every time.

    Monday was just so scary because I was feeling all of that and then started to creep into an anxiety attack. I think so much of my problem is that with my new position at work, I don't know what I am doing (which means I don't have control of anything). I've had stressful projects before, but that was a different stress (if there is such a thing).

    I go to the dr. tomorrow...I go back and forth with if I even need to go, but I just don't think I can get through this without something...I just have no idea what that will be!
  10. Thank you SO much for your thoughts today!!! I have a very conservative dr. as well, but we've not travelled down the world of the sad and depressed. I used to work as a pharmacy technician (you know, it is so amazing how for the longest time I thought people were making illnesses up, until it happened to me...) and I have a ton of knowledge about side effects and am just afraid of having them. Again, that is me being selfish.

    My DH has been lost, I think, with how to help me. I am not sure if he talked to someone today, but we IM'd back and forth at work a bit today. He said he was sorry I was not feeling good, and I said I was sorry that I was putting him through this. He told me that he just needed me to know that he wasn't going anywhere, and so I said "than we'll just get to be miserable together!" I have always tried to fix a hairy situation with humor, so at least I am still laughing, even if it is to just get through the moment.

    I don't know what to say anymore. I just hope and pray that I get some answers, or at least a bit of direction from my dr. tomorrow. Like I said before, I don't know what I am looking for (that's a good thing, I think, as at least I am going in with zero expectations) I just know that I can't be fixed overnight. That, too, makes me sad...

    Thank you all again for listening to me. I look forward to coming here at night to just see if anyone has responded to me...I feel so good knowing I have no shame here and that I do have a refuge after being at the place causing me all this grief! Thank you!!!
  11. You're definitely not alone. If you feel like sharing, let us know how the doctor visit goes. Your attitude is realistic, so that's a big plus.

    Best wishes!
  12. Just an update for those reading...

    Two big things happened today. My boss came from out of town yesterday. Apparently she could sense my distress. (Was I that obvious?) So I got an agenda together and typed out all of my concerns (because I would chicken out if it wasn't on my list of things to talk about), and we made a lot of headway. We were able to learn what we needed from each other and so we'll see if I see an improvement. I am thankful because she has apologized and she has also opened her mind to some of my ideas about making's so nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if it is far away!

    And this afternoon, I also went to the dr. I spilled it all out...he wanted to know specifically how my highs and lows felt (my highs when I am laughing and happy and can't figure out why people are looking at me like I have a folk stuck in my sweater, and my low's where I just can't stop crying...) and he wanted to know if this was in my family history, and we talked about my previous treatments...and how the drug I was on before was way worse than the original problem.

    We got through it all and he said, "Well, this is easy. It sounds like bi-polar disorder." Fantastic.

    So we talked a lot more about why it's so much worse now and how my previous emotional behavior really had all the "signs" and has for years now (he was able to stir up some memories that I had from when I was growing up and how one minute I'd be laughing uncontrollably and literally the next just bawling...for no reason at all!).

    So we are starting on a med regimen...I have to start it Friday night to see how I react and then I will call him back on Monday to see what to do from there.

    I called my Mom afterwards and talked to her for a long time. She told me that bi-polar is in our family on her side (funny how she forgot that when I asked earlier in the week, but that's ok!!!) and that I can't be sad or mad or whatever. She said that I should look at this now as a time to begin mending...and so begins the new chapter in my book!

    I have a lot still running through my head, so I am sorry if I seem like I am rambling on and on, but I wanted to come give an update to those of you who are reading, and those that have been so wonderful in sharing your responses with me! I really appreciate all of you for your continued support!!!

    Love, J.
  13. oh it's SO nice to have answers though yes!?
    Keep us updated, we're thinking of you!
  14. You are so right! An answer was exactly what I was is amazing how much hope that gave me!

    Thank you, again, Swanky!
  15. Thanks for the update. I'd always rather have some kind of answer than walk out not knowing any more than when I walked in.

    It sounds like the job situation is being handled well by you and your supervisor; that's a big positive. I hope you see improvement with meds. It sometimes takes awhile to get the right dosage, so be patient.

    Things are going in the right direction. You're smart enough to know there will be good days and bad days. Hopefully the extreme anxiety and wild highs and lows will reduce a lot. Best of luck!!!