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Topic: New to forum - I can't work and hardly function due to my anxiety

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. trueblue
    trueblue avatar
    4 posts
    6 January 2014

    Hi everyone,

    I am new to the forum and this is my first post.  I 40ish year old male who has always led a very healthy life and have always excelled in my professional life.

     However, my life has spiraled out of control over the past 2 years and my anxiety is so bad that I can't leave the house.  I had to quit work a year and a half ago so I could try to recover.  However, I haven't improved and if anything I have gotten much worse.   My life started to change when I started to suffer from severe back pain which restricted my life.  On top of that, I have a chronic knee problem as well.  This hasn't been such a big deal but i know it was the start of my decline.  The restrictive nature of my injuries made me become somewhat reclusive.  During this period I had some financial stress and then had a family member become quite sick which again fueled my anxiety.  I was able to cope ok during this period of time, but became aware that I had some anxiety issues.  I know that I am predisposed to anxiety issues because it runs in the family and looking back on my life, there were times I was not aware, but i suffered from anxiety.

     Anyway, the above issues were not such a big deal for me as I handled it ok and function normally with bouts of what i thought was anxiety and depression.  The real trigger for my anxiety was when a contracted a skin disease on my face called rosacea, which is quite common (burning sensation and redness in the face).  There are many reasons for contracting this disease and one can be from high levels of stress and anxiety, which i am sure is the cause.  This condition made my anxiety go through the roof and I actually took time off from work to get my anxiety under control and to fight this condition.  I was still able to go out and do things but i did cut myself off from a lot of people especially some family members and friends, but i was doing my best.

     It was at this point of my life something happened which has totally ruined my life.  I went to a skin clinic for something else which was more for aesthetic reasaons around my eyes.  I informed the practioner at this clinic that i suffered from rosacea but didn't want it treated.  During two separate phone calls I had to tell the practioner I didn't want the treatment for my rosacea on my face which is done by IPL (similar to a laser).  I remember at the time being a little annoyed during my conversation because i twice told her i didn't want treatment for my rosacea.  Then i went for my appoinment for my eye treatement and I went into the consultation room.  The practitioner started to go on again about my treating my face with IPL for my rosacea.  Again, a little annoyed, i said "NO".  I told her the reasons, 1.  being that I am on beta blockers which have greatly reduced my burning sensation of my face 2. That my rosacea is very very mild and unoticeable to people 3.  That I have really struggled mentally and am at a point of acceptance.  4.  I am really scared of IPL/lasers on my face.  The practitioner responded by laughing at me.  She then informed me that IPL was totally safe and that she has 17 years of experience and she treated her ex husband who had the same condition.  Again, i said no to her and then went into the treatment room for the treatment on my eyes.  Whilst laying on the table, she again kept at me about how she couldn't believe i was scared.  This is where i made the biggest mistake of my life.  I gave in and said, "OK, do it but can you "test patch me"?  I had read on websites about test patching for my condition.  She said, ok and test patched a spot and waited 5 minutes (later I was to find out that test patching of IPL should be a 4 week wait, not a 5 minute wait).

     The result of what I was told was totally safe was a small 3rd degree burn on my face next to my nose, like a severe cigarette burn.  On top of that, she made my face much worse and traumatised my skin from what I believe was an IPL with levels of heat being way too high.  The skin on my face is now super super sensitive and noticeably damaged.  My face has gone from being unoticeable to noticeable and is hyper sensitive to the elements.

     This all happened a year ago.  I have left the house 3 times, all for doctors/specialists appointments.  It took 11 months for me to be able to leave the house to see the specialists as i was just too scared and depressed to leave.  I refused to step foot out of the house.  Now, my life is in ruins.  I am on anti anxiety meds which have taken till now to work a little.  My anger over my IPL treatment is something i find hard to overcome.  In hindsight, the practioner showed gross negligence on so many levels and when i think back to it i just can't believe i relented.

     I just can't ever see myself leading a normal life.  My anxiety and depression were bad enough prior to this treatment disaster and it just sent me over the edge.  To make matters worse, the skin problem i had has spread to my eyes which means i have extreme light sensitivity and can't watch tv and it is killing me just to type this message.

     With my depression and anxiety, i just can't work.  I can't ever see myself working.  I now have a chronic back, knee and eye problem.   On top of that I have the skin trauma to my face wich was the final nail in the coffin for me.  I have always had beautiful skin and above average looks.  Physically I can't work and mentally I am stuffed.

    I have been too scared to leave the house and speak with a psychologist.  I have made several appointments for dermatologists, eye specialists and doctors but continually cancel and postpone.  I don't really want to speak to a psychologist because they can't fix my physical problems, mainly the trauma to the skin on my face and my eyes.  If i could fix those two things, it would get me back on track but i know they are not fixable.

    I have had some horrific days where i just breakdown and have that feeling of complete dispair.  I have had some seriously bad thoughts.  I get little to no pleasure in life as i am housbound and am confined to listening to the radio because of my eyes.  I have lived the past 2 years off my savings, but i know i can't continue living off my own money.  However, i just can't work because my anxiety and depression won't allow me too. 

     I am angry, have no motivation and have no happiness.  All i want in life is to live a reclusive lifestyle.  I will not go out in society again but i am scared for my future.

     Sorry for the long post.  I know i rambled on a lot.  This has been torture on my parents.  I have cut myself off from all of my friends and my extended family.  My best friend lives 300m from me but i haven't seen him for 1 year.  All i want is to be alone for the rest of my life.

     Cheers :(






  2. charliegirl
    charliegirl avatar
    3 posts
    7 January 2014 in reply to trueblue
    Hi trueblue, I am also new to this forum and joined to get some insight in to my mother's anxiety.  I am far from an expert on any of this stuff but I am also a mother of 2 adults and hate it when my kids are down or having issues.  From reading your post it is your physical issues that have caused or exacerbated your anxiety. If I were you I would go and see a trained dermatolagist regarding your skin, not a skin clinic but a someone trained in this field, I feel once you get on top of one thing you will start to feel a lot better, you say they are not fixable but I'm sure you can get some sort of results that will make you feel more confident.  Baby steps, don't put too much stress on yourself trying to solve too many issues at once, write a list and cross one off as you do it.  You can do it, you have made the first step by speaking up about it. Good for you!  Good luck!
  3. trueblue
    trueblue avatar
    4 posts
    7 January 2014 in reply to charliegirl

    Charliegirl, thanks for taking the time to ready my lengthy post.  You are 100% right.  My physical state is causing the anxiety.   I did have a lower level of anxiety prior to my physical problems by the skin issues sent me over the edge.

    I've been too scared to leave the house and see a dermatologist.  My anxiety wouldn't let me.  I finally found the courage and am actually going to a derm tomorrow, but in all honesty, i know there is not a lot more that can be down to improve the damage.  Maybe he will tell me something I don't know but i am not confident of it and feel as though the damage to my face is permanent.

    Anyway, i pray something can be done.  Thanks again!!


  4. Perkin
    Perkin avatar
    19 posts
    7 January 2014

    Hi trueblue I can understand the back pain having such a profound effect on your mental state, I had chronic neck pain for about 10 years.  I agree with charliegirl about a trained dermatolagist. Also there are a lot of psychologists that will visit you at home.  I understand that the physical problems are the cause of your mental state but it sounds like someone to talk to may make you feel better right now. 

  5. Daisychain
    Daisychain avatar
    7 posts
    8 January 2014 in reply to trueblue

    True Blue, please don't give up.  I felt that way too and am finally able to deal with my anxiety but it doesn't mean it is not a constant day by day effort.  You are worth more than sitting at home feeling like rubbish.  Don't ever forget that and don't give up.

  6. EmJay
    EmJay avatar
    1 posts
    8 January 2014 in reply to Daisychain

    Hi True Blue, I am new to Beyond Blue and yours is the first post that I have read. I've had problems with anxiety and depression since age 17 (almost 20 years) so I can totally sympathise with how you're feeling. I have found throughout the years that having a close friend/family member or therapist to talk to really helps. Often with anxiety we build up stresses in our minds that become magnified and spiral out of control. If you have someone to talk to those thoughts and feelings become lighter as you release them. Perhaps call you GP and get them to arrange a therapist to come to you at home. Personally I have found Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to be helpful as it gives you tools to draw upon when you start to feel anxious. 

    I am about to re-start my mental health plan and perhaps try some anti anxiety medication with the CBT to reinforce it. I've not seen my therapist for over a year and have recently encountered a pretty intense episode of OCD. I can make light of it now as I realise they are simply thoughts that have no real meaning but when I'm in the OCD zone they are very real to me.

    Just remember that you are most definitely not alone, you are a good person and your situation will get better with time. Make those first steps to getting your life back to where you want it to be. 

    All the best : )




  7. Sleepy21
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Sleepy21 avatar
    1495 posts
    24 August 2020
    i'm just reopening this old post for anyone who has issues related to skin, self-image like the original poster. I'm so sorry what he went through with his IPL treatments... it is hard when we have depression and anxiety sometimes we do things we regret, I also had an IPL treatment with complications and burns.
    i am sending healing to everyone out there

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