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I'm struggling in general + Scared to leave my house


I don't really know how to start this but I have had GAD with OCD tendencies and some depression and specific phobia for about 3+ years Iv seen 3 therapists a psychiatrist and been on 2 meds. None of the therapy really worked and I recently was sent back to my GP because my therapist said my issues were treatment-resistant and she couldn't help me anymore, I stopped the meds that did help because I put on 15kg and it was making me suicidal. I did actually get a bit better but lately iv been getting worse again. 

The main point about this post is I'm finding everything difficult I'm feeling more depressed, I'm easily stressed I keep crying a lot which is abnormal for me. I feel lonely as I only have 1 friend who will listen to me about important stuff but she replies very irregularly so I can't talk to her. 

I'm studying psychology at uni and I'm a 2nd year and I'm finding class boring so I'm stressed about maybe changing degrees and choosing medicine. 

One of the biggest issues at the moment is my health anxiety, its not as bad as it used to be but its gradually getting worse again, I have IBS so my digestive system is whack and I have been controlling it for a year or two but in last few months its started getting irregular anf very temperamental, I'm getting sick when im out and getting stuck in public until im well enough to get home on the train again and I'm scared to leave my house, example today I had dance class which I really enjoy but I started feeling off before I was meant to leave and then I started feeling nauseous and panicked and I couldn't decide if I should go to class or not and I ended up not going, I paid for class so I wasted my money and I feel guilty not going because I know that I'm probably perfectly fine health wise and I would be ok but I can't seem to ignore that small chance that I am actually going to get sick in public and can't find a toilet. I rarely go out and when I do I keep having to leave early because I get sick. But once I'm home and I am sick for 15-30 min I'm ok after that. Being sick all the time is making me feel depressed and a bit suicidal I'm 19 i'm meant to be experiencing life and not being scared to go to uni or go out with friends. All I do is study to keep my perfect GPA (the only thing in life that gives me the purpose is having straight HDs) and I can't even go out with friends anymore or go to dance class without being so anxious I feel sick and cancel which makes me feel weak. 

I'm not even sure what the point of this is other than life sucks. 


Re: I'm struggling in general + Scared to leave my house

Hey @Charlie-29-1999 , 

I'm really sorry to hear how you've been going through such a tough time. It sounds so difficult to be so fearful of leaving your house. Because your concerns are so heavily based on your physical health and capacity, have you spoken to your doctor about strategies or things you could do to help relieve your IBS? or what you can do if you're feeling unwell in public?

I also just wanted to double check a few things you mentioned in your post, first of all you stated that you have stopped taking your prescribed medication. Unless you have been instructed to stop taking medication by your doctor, you should not do so as it can have very bad side effects. I strongly recommend speaking to your GP or Psychiatrist about wanting to discontinue with your medication safely. 

You also mentioned that you have been feeling suicidal recently, can you confirm you are safe at the moment?

Re: I'm struggling in general + Scared to leave my house

Hi @Andrea-RO 


My GP and I have been managing my IBS since I was 14 and it took years to get it to a managable place, I have been doing the same things to manage it for 3 years and it has worked up until now and I have seen my GP about the changes in symptoms but she can't help as its a functional condition and physically my digestive system is all ok Smiley Sad She said all I can do is continue doing what I have been doing and take a gastro stop or imodium if I get sick in public and wait for it to pass. 


Ah sorry I didn't mean to make it sound as if I stopped suddenly taking meds no, I was on same meds for almost 2 years and due to the weight gain my GP and I decided to wean me off of it about 5 months ago. I did it under the guidance of my GP I'm way too health anxious to just stop it I also do physiology and anatomy classes at uni so Im definitely aware how bad it is to stop medications. 


I'm not currently suicidal and even when I have said feelings I would be unable to go through with it as I'm scared of dying. I just feel sick of everything. 

Why am I practically killing myself to get perfect grades in a degree I don't know if I like for a job I will be too scared to go to?

Re: I'm struggling in general + Scared to leave my house

@Charlie-29-1999  Wow, Charlie! That sounds like a lot that you are dealing with! The constant toilet rushes sound painful and the anxiety and fear behind questioning whether you need to go to the bathroom to be sick or not, and for how long, I can hear how much this is affecting you. I feel like to some degree I can relate as I was also diagnosed with IBS and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Not recently, but in the past I have constantly had to rush around and spend ages away from people because I have been sick. It can give you that sinking feeling and it is understandable to feel a bit helpless. It is good that you are taking steps to try and get better. I am curious, has your GP mentioned anything about diet? I found a huge trigger for me is anxiety, but also lactose and fructose. I wondered if you had any intolerances or things triggering your digestive upsets? It took a long time for me to realise certain foods were triggering my reactions as well. I completely cut out dairy and now I am Vegan which has helped immensely. I wonder where you stand on this? 


Thank you for confirming that you are not planning to act on suicidal feelings. In answer to your question about "why you are killing yourself to get perfect grades," to that - I am not sure. I think your determination to give yourself purpose and make achievements is a great sign that you have so much to live for and skill for what you are doing. I read that you were considering changing degrees and what not - how serious are these ideas? Have you done some research to get some information? This might help you decide what is best for you. 


Lastly - have you thought about possibly finding something else to direct your attention and energy towards? as you said you feel like you are directing it all to your studies (which isn't a bad thing), but I could think of one thing that might be helpful to you. Perhaps self-care with an activity that you are interested in, to help give yourself some of that self-love. 


You are doing really good work! Again - thank you for sharing. I hope this helps!!

Re: I'm struggling in general + Scared to leave my house

Hi @mspaceK 

Yes, I have seen GP and dietician for the IBS I have done the low-fodmap diet and found nothing that had an effect on me unless I ate like a kilogram of it. I know that I can't touch dairy, I have been dairy free for about 7 years and I don't drink alcohol or any soft drink or anything with carbonation of bubbles.  


I have considered changing degrees often, I have been doing a lot of research since I was 15 on uni and jobs. I always switched between health and medical science, psychology, nursing or medicine. I have almost applied for med school 5 times but I always chicken out because it seems so unreasonable that I would ever get in. I just really like health and med and particularly neuroscience. I already have done a year so I would have to repeat the year if I change degrees. 


My only activity outside study is volunteering which I do a decent amount of and dance class but I'm scared to go to dance class. 

Re: I'm struggling in general + Scared to leave my house

@Charlie-29-1999 That sounds like all the food I try to steer clear of to! Yeah - it sounds like such a pain to have to deal with. I found low fodmaps helped though. So it sounds like your diet is okay? Have you been able to work out your triggers? It seems to me that it might be stress and anxiety related that's really setting off your IBS reactions, which is counter productive because the reactions are what is stressing you. Which sucks! Am I right about that?


It sounds like you really do want to apply for med school, having read that you have almost applied 5 times. Taking those initial steps is so difficult! I can remember wanting to do a volunteer experience overseas when i first saw a flyer when I was 15, and I remember saying I really wanted to do it. It took me 4 and a bit years to work up the courage to do it and once I applied I was terrified. I was scared the whole time and managed to pull through. Now I am so grateful that I challenged myself and went through with it. I think one thing that stopped me was my fears of what could happen and my own self-confidence. But I decided that worst case scenario I could always stop and do something else and come home. I think it is important to realise that you are not locked in to any decisions. As well as - you said you're worried that it is unreasonable to think that you would get in, why is that? 


You know what, volunteering can be so good. Are you enjoying that? 


Again - I am sorry you are scared about going to dance class. 

Re: I'm struggling in general + Scared to leave my house

Hi @mspaceK 
Yeah, I think my diet is ok for the most part. Its probably partially anxiety related but It seems to hit out of nowhere and I think stress may only be a small part because my anxiety is probably at a 7/10 in general but back to last year when I had my stomach under control my anxiety was a 9.5-10/10 so I'm not sure why it would be acting up now. My GP mentioned it may be related to me stopping my antidepressant. 


I 100% want to do something in the health care field and almost certainly something with a hands-on clinical or treatment component of the job I'm just not 100% sure if this will look like clinical psych, going to medical school, being a nurse or even allied health like audiology or something. Medical school is practically impossible to get into particularly if you don't have the money to spend on prep courses or interview training etc. I always knew it was hard but I never truly understood until I really researched it. 


I do enjoy my volunteering I have done it for 3 years, however, I may need to stop next year as its very time consuming and transport is difficult as I don't drive. 

Re: I'm struggling in general + Scared to leave my house


I don't know much about the effects of stopping medication on digestion but it sounds like your GP could be onto something. If that is the case, maybe it'll take a little bit of time before it is back to normal.


Those all sound like really interesting fields of study and definitely complicated to get into. One of my favourite quotes to remember though, when I feel like trying something out, particularly a profession is this:


"Think of it this way. Every great witch or wizard in history has started out as nothing more than what we are now. Students. If they can do it...why not us?" - Harry Potter


This is a quote that constantly reminds me that I don't have to be perfect and that it takes time, perseverance and resilience in order to achieve something we want, but not impossible! That doesn't mean it will be easy - but it will be worth it! Do you feel like the fields of study are worth fighting for? What would that be like for you to think about? 


I'm glad you are enjoying your volunteering. It sounds like you have a good understanding on what is best for you in terms of continuing it or not! Smiley Happy