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Severe emotional and mental disorders

I'm amazed that I'm even able to log on to this forum and post. I'm afraid I'm falling apart and am doing whatever I can to hold it together.

I grew up in a small midwest town and I belong to a religion that mentally I know is true but I have a really hard time belonging to it. Leaving it is not an option. Due to my fears of the end of the world (from my Christian upbringing), ever since 4th grade (I'm 38 now) I've suffered from a phobia of Armageddon. Add to that my father is handicapped, was almost killed in a car wreck when I was in 4th or 5th grade, and I come from a family where nobody ever said, "I love you" and hugged or anything. To this day, it feels painful to me to tell my parents I love them and hug them - like I'm a pansy.

So as life went on, I did everything in my power to run from my fear of dying at Armageddon, eventually just telling myself, "Oh well, you're gonna die anyway so why try to be good?" Any stinking moment I would stop, that fear would creep in so I stayed busy - manically so - to aid as a distraction. I thought I was gonna die when 9/11 occured and my life has not been the same since. I was hit with the horrific sense that Armageddon was starting and I was going to die. I prayed hard forgiveness, sought helps from church elders, tried to do everything Christian I could and I still feel the fear. After reading many websites, I've diagnosed potential problems in my life and don't know what to do. Finally, I've ended up spending all my spare time in a recliner in the house in front of a fan that reminds me of my childhood (the sound is soothing) and practicing biofeedback that I learned from a counselor. I no longer have any interests in anything I once did because I feel guilty for doing it. My faith demands I stay seperate from the world and so I do - not being involved in any activities. The people at my church are a small group and all they do is talk religion which scares me to death. Matter of fact, I fear God in the worst way.

I've been on celexa, paxil, and cymbalta and eventually came off of them on my own because I felt I was doing better, however they numbed me up inside. In the past 3 years dealing with the side effects of the Armageddon phobia, getting teased for my faith growing up, trying hard to forget the past, dealing with guilt for treating my siblings horridly while grown up, etc. I slipped into a porn and masturbation addiction. I confessed that to church elders, felt absolutely lower than dirt when I confessed, was helped a little bit with the recovery and am doing much better with it now. Now I have a hard time facing them knowing I was bad. But still, every morning when I wake up, I'm in a very low mood, riddled with panic and anxiety, and oftentimes want to die. I don't trust people, I never bond with anyone, and can see that as recently as last year I was manifesting many of the signs of sociopathic behaviour. I've had chats with my mother about my plethora of phobias - not only end of the world ones, but fears of turning into a religious zealot who has fair skin and is a goody 2 shoes. My mother thinks the root of my problems is Social Anxiety Disorder - being overly sensitive to the judgements of others and I admit, I do like to please people with my talents - what's left of them.

All these fears just cycle over and over in my head constantly. I spoke with an elderly relative tonight who even made a hopeful comment about the end of the world being really close and it sent me into a tailspin and forced me to write on this board. I've been to a counselor and the family doctor and I really despise being on meds. I have a hard time feeling love, hate feeling sad, and feel anxiety. It really helps when I can tell someone how I feel, read about how others feel, but I don't really see a solution. It's nice to know others suffer like me but the relief from that is short-lived.

I'm feeling down most of the time, I feel regrets for people I callously mistreated in the past, and then when I do feel good, I seem to swing into super mode and get a lot of things done in a short amount of time - trying to super budget my time. As a matter of fact, I was constantly on a mental run for the majority of my life and only now, it seems to be crashing, slowing down, and leaving me mentally exhausted and depressed. Seriously, what is the bonafide solution to getting rid of or at least managing all these problems?

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replied June 1st, 2009
Experienced User
Can you elaborate a bit upon the beliefs of the religion to which you belong? You mentioned that this is a small congregation.. Are they affiliated with some type of government (i.e., Church of God, Church of Christ, Baptist, etc.?) Do they encourage to or discourage you from attending services such as revivals outside of your particular congregation?
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