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I am a caregiver. Or trying to be.

1

104goodbuddy

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Joined
Oct 9, 2019
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3
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United states
Not sure where to post or if there is a totally different forum I could go to....

My girlfriend has been to her doctor or the emergency room 6-8 times in the last 4 weeks. This week has been the worst. Anxiety attacks. No known cause. Tons of tests done to rule out other causes.

Her physician gave her a few Xanax to take. When she went in to see physician symptoms were milder so 10 Xanax seemed appropriate. Symptoms keep getting worse. She used the pills up in a few days. When they ran out she went to emergency room. ER gave her a few Ativan and Atarax

The meds do help but she hasn’t gotten in to see a counselor or back to her physician for more direction. If she doesn’t take meds quick enough she sometimes has another attack and winds up in ER.

I’m posting because I don’t know what to do. I have not been able to help with the panic attacks. I also feel like I have lost my girlfriend to this. She talks non stop about how she feels or what she read online. When she takes the pills they work to calm her and keep her out of the ER but turns her into a zombie. She sleeps or sits on the couch all day. I feel like I lost my girlfriend. Conversations are not normal. She doesn’t want to go or do anything. She isn’t really even doing any self care.

Her first counselor appt is tomorrow as well as primary care physician appt I’m hoping she gets direction and ways to talk herself down from the attacks as well as more/more thoughtful prescription now that her doctor sees it is more serious then 10 Xanax will fix.

I want to help. I want my girlfriend back. I’m also very worried and have my own problems to take care of.

Any thoughts?
 
daffy

daffy

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Dec 16, 2007
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hiding behind the sofa
Wait and see how the meeting goes. Will you be going with her because you could always have a word with them to put your view forward. It’s easy enough to say its anxiety but you need to find the cause of it. I guess this is something relatively new to you both. Try and figure if something has happened or changed i the last few months, new job, bereavement ,assault anything you can think of. Also when she’s having an attack get her to control her breathing and focus on something some distance away. Try and get her centred and calmed down. Her instinct will tell er to run and get away from whatever is stressing her but just try and keep her calm and count her breathing. There’s lots of good breathing techniques on you tube
 
1

104goodbuddy

New member
Joined
Oct 9, 2019
Messages
3
Location
United states
Thanks!

I’ll add that about 6 weeks ago she felt crappy and blamed it on a med she was taking for hip pain (anti inflammatory.)
She stopped that med as well as all caffeine and alcohol.
she thinks she is having alcohol withdrawal. Maybe, but I stopped when she did and no signs or symptoms at all. And I really never thought we drank that much. Just after work or with dinner. We would share a bottle of wine or go out on weekends. Might qualify for binge drinking but we never woke up and started or hid drinking from anyone.

I’ll report tonight after appointments.
 
Z

Zoe1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
3,154
Location
Nowhere
hi good buddy :welcome: !

your not having withdrawal from alcohol
doest mean that she wont
some people are addicted to alcohol
and will get physical symptoms from withdrawing

alcoholism is not about how much you drink
its what it does to you
which varies enormously from person to person

:grouphug:
 
1

104goodbuddy

New member
Joined
Oct 9, 2019
Messages
3
Location
United states
She has perked up knowing she has help in place. Her pcp now understands severity and was more helpful then last visit. We don’t expect massive changes right away but we both have a sense of relief knowing therapist and pcp “get it”. That was lacking during early visit to pcp and several visits to ER.

This forum is helpful. Been reading other posts. Thanks to all.
 
F

Freesong

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
24
Location
US
hi goodbuddy. welcome to MHF. Sorry to hear you gf is suffering from anxiety.

The most important thing, which may be counter-intuitive, is to take care of yourself first. Just like they say in the airplane in case of emergency put on your oxygen mask first. Then help the others around you. If you fade out who is going to help them?

As a caregiver myself, I learned it is not easy when there are crises happening all around me at unknown times or frequency, but having a designated time and place for me to unwind can be the lifeline I need to keep it together in these challenging situations. It might be exercise or yoga, meditation or mindfulness, support groups either IRL or online. It might be a time with friends or family, but it needs to be designated for the caregiver.

Anger and depression in a caregiver can appear at the least opportune times. It can take years to learn to manage emotions, hopefully better than our parents did while we were kids.

Mental health challenges may resolve themselves, but a caregiver cannot be sure the symptoms will be gone shortly or hang around for a long time. But it is also a time one can grow into being a kind and compassionate person. The relationship may not be all I hoped for in the early phases of knowing that person, but it may be just what I need to overcome the things in ourselves that have made me suffer all my life.

Support is good. NAMI
has a family to family program that is free and offers info about mental illness and how it is a physical illness that may be aggravated by environmental factors. That link shows you several options for support. There are many others either online or in person.
 
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