Medical Questions > Mental Health > Anxiety and Stress Forum

Stressed out.. help with sleep patterns & meds

Despite how intimidating this long paragraph/question looks, PLEASE read it, and try to help me. It would mean the world to me.

This is my first post here, really have nowhere left to find answers I suppose.. I'm not even sure this is the right forum to post in, since it could apply to Anxiety and Stress, Depression, ADD, etc. This is just going to be kind of long, I just feel I should give a brief summary and background of myself in order to get some better help here. When I write, it's pretty detailed.. sorry in advance for the whole essay of scattered thoughts thrown down I'll probably end up with. Just please try to follow along as much as you can. But to start off, I'm finding it harder and harder to just live and even try to be happy everyday. I'm 18, male, and I just graduated from high school. Naturally, college is stressing me out. I've got no clue what I want to do, well, what I can do, since I can't even comprehend simple things anymore. And the one thing I wished I could do, Graphic Design, is out of the question. I've just got this artistic creative block, and I've had it for years. I never used to be that way, but I've given up on trying to regain that artistic side I once had. Plus, I had a job for 9 months, at a shoe store as a sales associate. I failed at that and got fired, for lack of passion. I put everything I could into learning that job, so now I feel that if I couldn't do something that simple, how can I manage a career.. But a lot more than that is stressing me out. I'd have to say the second biggest strain on my life right now is I have virtually NO friends. Just one in Florida, that I've talked to on the phone/webcam/texting for 3 years. She's the best friend I've ever had, and really the nicest I've ever had. But in the thousand miles away that I live, I've got no one besides family. And I can't even feel close to them anymore. I don't know why I have no friends.. I mean, I'm nice to everyone I meet. I try my hardest to be accepted and be enjoyable and pleasant. I feel horrible though, because when I would take some emotional abuse from kids at school, I would take it out on my family. But never the classmates. That started in high school, when I'd start taking it out on family. As far as I can remember, I've always been treated badly by classmates and "friends." I'd never stand up for myself.. because really, I didn't want to risk losing even the tiny bit of friendship I had with them. It didn't really have an affect on my personality and attitude until about 7th grade though. Starting then, my motivation to learn went down, my comprehension of things has vastly dropped. I used to be really smart as a kid, really advanced and every teacher said I'd have no problems applying myself in the future. Boy were they wrong.. But back on topic, I do remember I was the nerdy kid back in 6th grade, and thats when I remember I started to feel self-consious. For example, I was the kid with glasses, mom dressed me still, I was into like, yugioh trading cards and all that. And I just remember that I really liked this girl, and I'd make a complete fool of myself chasing after her. And thats when rejection started for me too. When that girl just laughed at me for "asking her out" everyone made fun of me. Since then, I've been rejected by every girl, been the receiving end of jokes. All that stuff. Junior high went the same, embarrassment after embarrassment. Only good thing about 7th grade was when I picked up the guitar. To this day, that is the only thing that keeps me happy, playing blues and collecting guitars. And its the only thing I'm ever told that I'm good at. I find comfort in old blues music, and some songs by Led Zeppelin and others that actually have some deep lyrics that relate to me. High school is where things got ugly.. Freshman year, same old thing, get picked on by older kids. I kind of lost the nerdy thing halfway through that year. I adapted to the whole fit into a certain clique thing, only kinda though. I was never really accepted into any group of friends.. They just pointed out that they couldn't really get rid of me. Like the people I'd sit with at lunch, they were friends of the kinda-friends I'd had from grade school. Well, all these people just made fun of me, ridiculed me. They didn't care about how I felt. And this is when I started to be embarrassed of my body too. I'm really skinny, alright. But I've got not so manly features, even to this day. Such as wider hips, but I think thats more to do with my large, well, butt. And that embarrasses me to the extreme. I've been made fun of for it, plenty of times. But back in freshman year, I was walking down the hall, and some of these "friends" I had came up behind me, grabbed my shirt and pulled it tight around me to show off my not so V-shaped of a body to everyone in halls during passing periods. After that, I just hated myself. Sophomore year I grew my hair out, didn't bother to get it cut, I didn't care. I didn't try to look good for anyone, didn't try to look handsome or anything. I used to be interactive, really social. But at that point, I wasn't so much. The second semester of that year was the worst point in my life. I was out of school for 2 months with severe panic attacks. I couldn't go to school, out to eat, anywhere without shaking violently, going completely cold and numb, and my gag reflexes kicking in. I would always have to go the the bathroom because I felt I would throw up. The end of that first semester, back when this started, I had no clue what it was. I thought it was an ulcer.. and it was embarrassing when in the middle of class I'd have to shout that I need to go to the bathroom.. people had the wrong idea, you know.. When my doctor finally requested I go to a counselor over Winter break, and he sent me to a pyschiatrist for medicine. The psychiatrist was, in short, a jerk. He gave me medicine alright, Lexapro to be exact. But he would say things like "why don't you get yourself some muscle, look at your little brother, take after him" and etc. The counselor helped for awhile. I was vulnerable back then so it was easier for me to talk to him about it. After 6 weeks out of school with a tutor, I made it back on my birthday. And things were fine until the end of Junior year. I had been off the medicine for a year by the time I started to be really depressive. I took a small dose of Lexapro again for a few months, till my parents took me off of it because I seemed more and more angry. So for my Senior year, I was medicine free until a few months ago. Over the 4 years of high school, I had trouble focusing on homework and reading and even guitar. My parents just said I was lazy, and I would get angry at them when they'd say that. My dad finally read up on it, and agreed with me that maybe I had ADD, and that was what was wrong with me this whole time, and why things never seemed to truly get fixed. Well, I'm on Aderall now. And Nuvigil and generic sleep aids, to try to get me on normal sleep patterns, since I've been only getting 5 or 6 hours for the past 4 years. Honestly, I can play guitar for hours now, but beyond that, it seems Aderall lost its small affect it had on me in the beginning. It made me hyper, lose my appetite, not able to sleep. I still have no appetite, I can't work on one thing or even begin working on one thing, and now I'm awake throughout the day. Thats it though. I've lost 5 pounds, and really, it doesn't bother me. I'm uncomfortable with the fat in my "bottom" area, and I'm not motivated enough to work out and get rid of it. And to add to those problems, Summer just started, and I haven't done one thing in the 3 weeks I've been out of school. Near the end of the school year, the one friend I thought I could trust, my best friend, had turned on me. It was partially my fault, because when he was cheating on this girl that was my close friend, I told her. But I had to, because she had just lost her dad to cancer, she was depressive, and suicidal. I had to tell her before it hit her hard. I'd hoped he would understand, since his dad is 90 something, and I'm sure something like that happening to him after his dad dies would really hurt. But after I told her, things just got rough, no matter how much I apologized. He told me he didn't do that stuff anymore, wasn't a bad guy to girls anymore, you know. I felt bad that I thought he was doing that, and hated myself for thinking that way. Well, he was caught again with another girl, while he had a girlfriend, and I'll skip the details, but I lost all respect for him. But he felt that I knew too much about him, and he made my life hell. For some reason, everyone believes what he says. He's the most manipulative person you'd ever meet. And he turned everyone, even people that I was semi-friends with, against me. Even that girl and her friend, they knew he cheated on the one girl, and he was leading the other on, well they believed him when he said it wasn't true and I lied. Even after I put so much effort into making them happy and helping them through their depression. They turned on me. So it seems every friend I've ever had has abandoned me. And today, I can't seem to make conversation with the people I meet. I've got no social skills anymore, I stutter, laugh after things I say to try to alleviate the tension, just stand their in awkward silence. People just seem like they don't like or want to be around me. I don't even want to be around people anymore, I just want to sit in my room, behind the computer. Yet I hate the computer because I feel it helped me hide from my problems when I was younger. And I'm at the point where I can't even think anymore, I've got so many things going through my head. I'm such an angry person now, I've had sudden outbursts lately that pull my family apart, make my mom cry, my dad wants me to move out at some points. My 13 year old brother is just scared when it happens. I don't want to be that way, I know its a problem. I just don't know what my problem is, or how I can even fix it. I've got absolutely no motivation, the only thing I enjoy is getting on stage to play music. But I have no opportunities for that around here. I've got a counselor and a doctor, I'm on 2 major medications, I've been on anti depressants, and I've been to 2 psychiatrists in the past, one even sent me for an MRI and sleep testing with no results found. I don't know how many times they had to put those diode things on my head.. I feel like maybe I'm just insane, and there is no cure for that or hope for me. I know I'm expecting too much from an internet forum, and it's likely no one will read to this point.. But if anyone does, well I'm just hoping you can help. I almost see no future for me, I can't even see myself in 2 years.
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replied August 21st, 2010
i know this isnt a reply your hoping for but i read all of what you had to say and im sorry i cannot give you answers =[ i know some other people,some of whom are my friends, in similar situations as you.the only thing that is helping them is having me as a close friend pushing them to find and follow their passions,no matter how impossible it seems. maybe what might help you is a change of scenery, and i dont know if its possible for you to do but go on a vacation like a road trip, maybe visit your friend in florida,spend time with her. and i know what its like to feel so depressed(i have server manic depression and anxiety) and stressed out that u cant sleep and dont want to eat =[ and as for that job,crap happens for a reason and you need to just try and pick up the pieces and find another job which ishard to do right now but just go on like and fill out an application a takes time but it will get you going. but really i just wanted you to know that your not alone in this and that people do really care.i know i do...
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replied August 22nd, 2010

I feel like I owe it to you to reply, as I wish someone would have done for me.

1. -- Your not alone.

You would be suprised at how many kids go through this same thing. Keep in mind, when we find ourselves in the gray like this, we tend to lock ourselves inside our heads. The whole world seems like its against us some days. the rest of the time, it feels like we are just ignored (which is strangely comforting). I know for one, struggled with the same issues for a long time. I was the nerdy kid throughout middleschool, and into high school. I too lost the glasses and tried my hand at the clique thing (ended in disappointment). I also was ridiculed for my body type, even by so called friends. At the time, i thought i was doomed to suffer screaming at the world from inside my head. I was wrong.

2. -- so-called "treatment"

Your "doctors" and "counselors" dont know they're talking about. the best way to explain it is through this old joke. "what do u call a doctor who got C's in med-school?"... "a doctor". Remember, doctors work for YOU. If what hes doin isnt helping you, find another one. I went through 5 doctors and 7 different meds till i found the right doctor and the right med combo. There are doctors that specialize in adolescent psychiatry, google is your friend. Also, when you find a good doctor (check review), have him test for bipolar affective disorder. Its commonly misdiagnosed, but some of what you said lines up. Fun-fact about bipolar, anti-depressants (such as lexapro) can seem to work, but instead exacerbate symptoms (anger, more depressed, suicidal). If youre bipolar, you need to be on a mood stabilizer or some related med. I've found lamictal, or lamotrigine for generic, to work very well. Adderall (all stimulants) also exacerbate symptoms, as well as become less affective overtime. Look into Vyvanse. Its less destructive on ur stomach thats for sure. In short, you can go to all the therapy in the world, but if its a chemical issue, theres only so much you can accomplish with it. I'm sure many have told you, "just relax, dont take life so seriously. Dont try so hard. blah blah blah." don't let anyone pretend to know what you are going through, when obviously they're incapable of empathy. although, you also can't derive your selfworth based on comparisons with others. Graphic design is great, but take care of YOU first, then try and tackle the world. Its awesome that you have guitar to vent with. I had my poetry, and i bought a guitar, even though after 6 years of playing i still suck pretty bad. In short, the best treatment is to take care of YOU with whatever means possible. Sometimes you have to grab the wheel (parents kinda suck in this department).

3. -- sucky friends

Highschool bullies (have to keep myself from saying ALL highschool kids) havn't changed in a century. They still are, and always be, carnivorous little monsters that prey on the vulnerable. Vulnerability is NOT weakness. I too have what alot of people call "a big heart" which is easily taken advantage of. But in time, you will have great pride in this. Why? Because you will see that so many people keep their walls up all the time, so much so that they miss out on a lot of things you won't. After time goes by, you will have felt so much (good and bad), that you can stick your neck out for someone without regret (again, good or bad). You WILL feel strong again, and you WILL someday understand the world. Don't ever stop sticking your neck out, just have pride in the fact you are among the few that still do.

4. -- my story

my oldest memory is about 2nd grade. although hazy and incomplete, I remember going up to my teacher and asking her if anyone would miss me if I died. Probably not something a 2nd grader should wonder about. At 12 years old I was diagnosed with Bipolar affective disorder. During this time (and still now) it was commonly misdiagnosed, so my parents blew it off. The next few years it would get worse. Fights, outbursts of rage, even self mutilation at one point. Fast forward to the end of my freshman year in highschool. At the climax of my depression, I had what they call an "episodic trigger". I literally snapped. I shut myself off, stopped talking to people, didnt even leave my room. Last thing i remember is sitting in my room with a handful of pills. The next 2 years are lost for me. Due to the severe chemical imbalance i went through, I ended up sustaining brain damage to the memory and sequencing portion of my brain. I spent the next 2 years recovering. By the time i started getting better, my grades were so bad it wasnt worth salvaging. I dropped out when i was 16, got my GED the next day, and enrolled in college the week after that. To manage my stress and stay healthy, i took one to two classes a semester. I spent the next 2 years stablizing myself, and learning. College is different. You will see that many people in college aren't there to socialize, but to learn. Don't kid yourself, highschool has NEVER been about learning any kind of useful knowledge. When I turned 20, my mom lost her job and could no longer afford my school. It was around this time I caught up with the girl I had a crush on over half a decade before (the one that laughed at me when I asked her out). She told me about how she had grown up, how she had suffered her own internal battle back then, and she told me how she secretly had a crush on me (bahahahah!). I realized right then, that EVERYONE suffers, but each person shows it differently. I found out that little punk that picked on me in highschool, laughed in my face and called me "gay" and worse names, was suffering serious abuse at home (things that I don't feel comfortable mentioning). I look back on all those messed up things people said and did, and find peace in that, even though I have suffered, hurt myself, others, I will never do that again. Every time i see those people who picked on me, did those things, I see in their eyes they don't have the strength to stick their neck out for even themselves. They would still rather push deeper inside themselves day by day, by treating others so horribly.

5. -- Don't ever give up on yourself!!

Though you are different from me in the fact that you have different struggles, and different emotions, and a different life, I still think of you as one of the last sane people on the planet. Just DONT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF.

My name is Keenan. I'm 22 years old and I'm married to my highschool crush. I have a healthy 9 month old son, whom I absolutely adore. I never grew out of being a nerd, but now I have my dream job working for a state of the art software company. I own a house, and I pay my bills. I have no debt, no doubt, no hate, no anger. I have only love and forgiveness for the world and its people. And, I love and forgive myself. Theres light at the end of the tunnel, my brother. Even though the days seem dark in the sunlight now, remember even the most violent storms eventually subside.
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