so for um. for a year or more i've been experiencing symptoms related to anxiety/panic attacks. in that time, i've probably seen about 8 doctors, 2 family doctors, have been in the hospital, 1 specialist, 2 neurologists, and the redimed visits. all of these doctors chalked it up to a 'mental disorder' and told me to go to talk therapy. the specialist i was seeing told me i either go to talk therapy or she won't see me again- i knew that fixing this problem that came completely out of the blue with no warning signs in childhood or family history should be easier than a damned 30 week program with some 'talk doctor.'(ive been to them before, there's nothing wrong with me i promise haha) and besides, when i was seeing the specialist, she 'diagnosed' me with every anxiety disorder there is- generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, agoraphobia (fear of open spaces), depression, you name it. i didn't need a laundry list of new 'diseases' i had, i needed the reason behind it. i had real phsyical symptoms, other symptoms were obsessive paranoia, mood changes, behavior that was totally out of character, anger/violent behavior, worrying, paralyzing fear (thunderstorms, and a train going by were the worst for me), over analyzing. but the constant chest pain, the headaches, restless leg syndrome, the sudden panic attacks which were ranging from 4 a week to three times a day (it itself is just a ball of symptoms, high blood pressure, high heart rate, increased respirations)- it couldn't have just... come out of nowhere. and on top of all this, i started to not be able to tell which was a side effect from the medications and which was a symptom. i woke up every morning and felt like i had to evaluate myself to make sure nothing had changed- how's my heart rate... looking back, i can see how i was percieved as losing my mind. but i shouldn't have been treated that way.
so after i was dismissed from the specialist, i returned to my family doctor only for him to tell me he won't see me anymore until he knows for sure that i'm not seeing the specialist... as if i'm going to con him into writing the same script that she is? i felt like this new 'mental disorder' made me seem less intelligent, less trustworthy, more like i had psychosis... i don't know. doctors treated me like absolute... judgemental *****s. i refused to go back to him after he talked to the specialist because 1) i didnt need a doctor who didn't trust me and 2) he called me a drug addict and later apologized and said he was wrong in his accusation. so... after being denied by two doctors, i felt like the world was against me and on top of that, it was my fault because it was an emotional/mental *curable* disorder- something i should be able to just... deal with my problems, be a stronger willed person... but the problem was, i've always been a strong willed person, which is why anxiety was so out of character, so one night it disappeared? i was cut off from medicines that caused sudden withdrawls ontop of a return in symptoms and i still didn't have an answer.
a few days ago... i reached the breaking point, i had been up all night from chest pain (heart feels like its going to explode), and i realized that my symptoms had gotten worse since my neurologist upped my dose of my migraine preventative medication. so... i did some research on topamax. then i thought about how long i've been on the drug, and how long i've had these symptoms. why didn't any of the doctors stop me and say this to me? the doctors who 'treated' me would hand me some stupid perscription for a benzo that wouldn't get me past the next weekend, tell me to see a counselor, and send me on my way. i found tons of websites saying topamax caused anxiety, nervousness, headaches (even though its a preventative)... mood swings; (it even went as far as to cause psychosis in some people ) everything i was experiencing (and i told every doctor that i was on topamax). i found forums where 600+ people said it was so horrible, some after only being on it for a few weeks or a month or two, they had to discontinue it, and i was on it for a year. i lost 50 pounds on it, (20yr old female, 5'7, 115lbs) i constantly felt as if i was spaced out...
anyways. on to the good news. i'm off of topamax for my fourth day today from 300mg and everything is much improved. i'm hoping once it gets out of my system, all of everything will go away. i still have some of the symptoms, but they're much... more tolerable now. i'm braver- (ha) i'm more self confident, it's like a complete overhaul. i haven't had a panic attack since, either. i guess my only advice is listen to your intuition, atleast once in a while ;) . if you feel something isn't right- find out. i feel as if i lost a year of my life to anxiety disorder because it essentially took over my life, and i allowed it for awhile, but i could have lost more time had i sat around and let it take control. it took me a month after being dismissed from my doctors for me to find out what was wrong, and trust me... they will get a phone call when i'm symptom-free :)
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