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Anxiety

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Does anyone else here suffer from anxiety problems? How do you deal with it?

For the last few years, I have suffered from isolated episodes of anxiety/panic problems. They usually last a few days and most of my anxiety is about physical symptoms that I can't explain. That is, anxiety is caused by actual stress in my life, but then when the stress causes physical symptoms, I get extremely anxious about these physical sensations. (especially chest discomfort, shortness of breath, etc.)

Well, after many months without a crisis, I'm suffering from anxiety again. I finished my university degree a few weeks ago and now I need to find a job. Job search and the uncertainty associated with it has always been a big cause of anxiety.

In the last few days, the simplest physical sensation gives me that sinking anxious feeling, like something really bad is happening. I notice every skipped heart beat. Until today, I kept worrying about a strange pressure I felt in my chest, until I noticed that it was just the wire in my new bra The list goes on. I've also been feeling really tired.

After a truly horrible day on Monday (I didn't leave the house all day because I kept having anxiety attacks), I went to the doctor on Tuesday. She gave me some medication to take in the evening and wants me to go back for blood tests. I do go out now, but no more than needed. I get tired too easily and I hate having anxiety attacks in public (I have become an expert at hiding them, but it's still not pleasant)
But now I really need to get back on my feet and functioning normally again. I need to find a job, and once I find one, I need to be able to get through the work day.

So I don't know why I post this... I think I just needed to write it down. Actually, I feel a little better already.

So far meditation and progressive relaxation has helped a lot. I think the skills I learned through mediation are what have kept me from having full blown panic attacks.

Has any of you ever had similar problems?
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by marie-p View Post
Does anyone else here suffer from anxiety problems? How do you deal with it?

For the last few years, I have suffered from isolated episodes of anxiety/panic problems. They usually last a few days and most of my anxiety is about physical symptoms that I can't explain. That is, anxiety is caused by actual stress in my life, but then when the stress causes physical symptoms, I get extremely anxious about these physical sensations. (especially chest discomfort, shortness of breath, etc.)

Well, after many months without a crisis, I'm suffering from anxiety again. I finished my university degree a few weeks ago and now I need to find a job. Job search and the uncertainty associated with it has always been a big cause of anxiety.

In the last few days, the simplest physical sensation gives me that sinking anxious feeling, like something really bad is happening. I notice every skipped heart beat. Until today, I kept worrying about a strange pressure I felt in my chest, until I noticed that it was just the wire in my new bra The list goes on. I've also been feeling really tired.

After a truly horrible day on Monday (I didn't leave the house all day because I kept having anxiety attacks), I went to the doctor on Tuesday. She gave me some medication to take in the evening and wants me to go back for blood tests. I do go out now, but no more than needed. I get tired too easily and I hate having anxiety attacks in public (I have become an expert at hiding them, but it's still not pleasant)
But now I really need to get back on my feet and functioning normally again. I need to find a job, and once I find one, I need to be able to get through the work day.

So I don't know why I post this... I think I just needed to write it down. Actually, I feel a little better already.

So far meditation and progressive relaxation has helped a lot. I think the skills I learned through mediation are what have kept me from having full blown panic attacks.

Has any of you ever had similar problems?

You have described myself in a nutshell! I would often have discomfort or chest pain, but I didn't know what caused it. It would hurt for a short period of time out of no where.
I get paranoid very easily! Once I have a thought in my head, no matter how irrational it may be, I will always think the worse thing possible. I try to read books to escape my reality and venture into another world.
I also run to clear the cobwebs. I have been very tired over the past month and I could not explain why. I can fall asleep at at instant even if I am wide awake. I never thought about it being related to stress and anxiety.
I used to have panic attacks while I was in school. My biggest fear was failure. If I got a C in any class as a final grade, I considered that failing. I have been doing better since I have finished with school, but then life continues and brings up new things to worry about.
Just know that you are not alone. I am so glad I am NOT the only one like this. I know it is hard to fit in and be social because you are just so afraid of doing or saying anything wrong. I pretty much stick to myself to begin with, but that's not always a good idea. I can not always control my mind and can get myself into an argument with myself. That's only when I'm trying to get back into control. I know exactly how you feel.
post #3 of 21
I used to have what I now know to have been "Panic Attacks". I think they started sometime in 2001 after a rather difficult breakup. I felt overwhelmed and freaked out and panic to the point of terror at times. I lived with those feelings for a couple of years before I finally went to my doctor because I felt like I was having a mental breakdown. The feelings were getting worse, stronger and more frequent. I couldn't live like that anymore.

He put me on Celexa, 20 mg per day. I started to feel better within a couple of weeks, but I still didn't feel "like myself", so I went back after 6 weeks and told him that I felt there was still room for improvement. He increased my dose to 30 mg once a day, and that seemed to work very well for me.

However, when I initially started to take Celexa, I had a terrible side effect from it. I suffered from "stress incontinence" and something called "micturition" which is basically the sudden and uncontrollable urge to pee. Luckily in my case it wasn't a full emptying, just a "squirt" every now and then, but it was enough for me to have to go and buy those "Attends Pads". I talked to the pharmacist about the situation and she said that it's not common, but some people do experience urinary side effects from Celexa, and that it usually settles down in a couple of weeks. However, in my case it was longer than that.

I was dismayed that suddenly in my early 40's I was having to wear incontinent pads But I waited longer to see what happened. If it wasn't going to stop then I planned on talking to my doctor about something else. It took about 3 months, but my body finally adjusted and I no longer had any urinary side effects.

I now feel "normal" again: like my old self. However, I also realize that if I wean myself off of the medication I will probably slide back into the depression that I was in. The reason I feel "normal" is because of the medication, and I'm prepared to take it for the rest of my life if I have to in order to continue to feel "normal".
post #4 of 21
I get migraines really bad when Im stressed out. Especially on nights like tonight. My kids were horrible, the kittens were...being kittens...And the dog...Ohhh that dog of mine! I have pills that I can take for my migraines but they make me really groggy and witchy in the morning. I read my Nora Roberts books, specifically my Chesapeake Bay series...It just helps wind me down. Anything else its basically junkfood and my special noodles as comfort food to just mellow out and wind down....When Dave gets home I vent and gripe and moan to him and he just looks as me and says hunni you havent shaved your legs for a while, but I love you. You complain all the time but I love you. You turn my life upside down but gave me the best family in the world. And I love you. It bas basically become his own little phrase to make me smile and feel better. I couldnt manage all my stress and anxiety without him. And of course my food!! lol
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
The medication I have is Oxazepam. It's not meant to be a long term solution, it's just to help me settle down in the evening before going to bed. (my anxiety is always worst in the evening)

I don't know if permanent medication is a solution for me since I can go months without a crisis. I'll talk it over with my doctor after the blood tests.

I think things are starting to improve now. I just went outside for a walk and had no problem at all. In fact, it was really relaxing and pleasant.

I will have to try to practice visualization too. I think meditation works almost the same, but visualization might be more concrete and therefore more useful in time of crisis. I'll try that.
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhosaMyHercules View Post
I get migraines really bad when Im stressed out. Especially on nights like tonight. My kids were horrible, the kittens were...being kittens...And the dog...Ohhh that dog of mine! I have pills that I can take for my migraines but they make me really groggy and witchy in the morning. I read my Nora Roberts books, specifically my Chesapeake Bay series...It just helps wind me down. Anything else its basically junkfood and my special noodles as comfort food to just mellow out and wind down....When Dave gets home I vent and gripe and moan to him and he just looks as me and says hunni you havent shaved your legs for a while, but I love you. You complain all the time but I love you. You turn my life upside down but gave me the best family in the world. And I love you. It bas basically become his own little phrase to make me smile and feel better. I couldnt manage all my stress and anxiety without him. And of course my food!! lol
Awwww... you're really lucky to have someone like Dave. Sorry to hear you had a stressful day though.
post #7 of 21
Count me in the anxiety group. I've posted about it here before but how I got over it was therapy at the hospital, meditation and other relaxing techniques, positive self-talk, encouragement from family, and meds (Prozac, amitriptyline, and was on lorazepam). A few people I know say that the meds create "false happiness" but to be honest, I'd rather have that instead of being awake all hours of the nights thinking I'm going to die.
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moz View Post
Count me in the anxiety group. I've posted about it here before but how I got over it was therapy at the hospital, meditation and other relaxing techniques, positive self-talk, encouragement from family, and meds (Prozac, amitriptyline, and was on lorazepam). A few people I know say that the meds create "false happiness" but to be honest, I'd rather have that instead of being awake all hours of the nights thinking I'm going to die.
I think a lot of people believe that medication for mental illness makes you "high" or puts you in some sort of eternal blissful state.
I'd just tell them that whenever they take aspirin to get rid of a headache, the aspirin only creates a "false pain-free state"

Great job on getting over your problems. You should be really proud of yourself.


time for me to do some meditation, have a cup of herbal tea and put on a movie to fall asleep to.
Good night!
post #9 of 21
Yup-sure do!! Mine all started after my dad passed away. And I am currently on Lexapro(10mg) It works....but I really would like to wean off of it.....

I wish you best of luck!!
post #10 of 21
How i dont have it, I did have one attack, due to the meds i was, along with being very very tired. My arms and legs went numb. felt like my heart wanted to break out of my chest, etc . After talking it over with the doc,
he said that it sounded like a panic attack,

i hope you feel better and can keep it unable control
post #11 of 21
I have anxiety/panic attacks. They started in 2001, and I was riding in the car with my mother and suddenly couldn't breathe. I attributed it to the heat since it was over 100 degrees outside. On the way to her house, we stopped at a store and she asked me to run inside for her. While I was standing in line, I got dizzy, couldn't breathe, and was just completely terrified. I made it through the store, and was fine the rest of the day.
After that, I'd have panic attacks and random odd times, but then I was working at the animal shelter and going and cuddling with the puppies and kitties always made me relaxed so I had very few attacks.
After we had to leave the shelter, I became quite a mess. I no longer had an outlet, had another job but I didn't like it. I couldn't go into stores, churches, offices, or be in any open space... I had to be in a confined space. If I HAD to go into a store, for some reason as long as I had a shopping cart I felt better. I finally went to my doctor who put me on a medication, I think it was xanax, but I'm not positive. At the time I was working with Arabian horses and the meds just were not working out for me... even a tiny amount of the meds caused me to fall asleep and after nearly falling asleep many times while standing up and grooming a horse I stopped taking the meds. I didn't ask the doc to give me something else, I just decided I'd try to work through it on my own.
Over the years I've gotten better and meeting John was the best thing for me. He makes me go into stores, and makes me go to crowded public places like auctions. We even travelled last summer... we went and walked around Gatlinburg, that was a HUGE step for me because it was soooo crowded and noisy.
I still have anxiety, mostly if I'm alone. And I have increased anxiety about riding in a car right now after witnessing three car accidents a couple months ago that if we had been in that spot literally half a second later we'd have been involved in. Weekends are usually bad for me because John always wants to drag me some where. So it's a lot of riding in the car, and going into places and stuff. I don't have what I consider "panic attacks" anymore... I consider that the chest pain, tightness in chest, trouble breathing, lightheaded, shaky, racing heart. My only real problem now is what I call a "nervous stomach". On the weekends I have a stomach ache the entire weekend until John's in bed on Monday night, ready to go to work Tuesday morning, and I know we don't have to go anywhere else that weekend. In the evenings when he gets home from work, I'm ok with going somewhere, but I guess that's because I'm home all day and can relax even if I am cleaning all day.
I've found that Bach's rescue remedy helps me. And many people might not believe in this, but I two necklaces... one is jade and moonstone and it was charged specifically to help anxiety and the other is a gold dipped crystal that was charged for healing. I know that not a lot of people believe that stuff is real but it does help me. I know that my anxiety is a psychological problem and if I think that something will help me then it usually does.
post #12 of 21
I had panic attacks when I was pregnant with Derek. I used meditation and it helped. Now with 2 kids I feel one coming and I actually am able to force it down (mostly).

Good luck dealing with yours, and never hesitate to talk about it, I found talking helps.
post #13 of 21
I'm seeing a trend here -

I started having anxiety in college but never realized what it was until i graduated......i think it was stress related anxiety attacks followed by depression states.

at first it was on sundays - i didn't want to go back to work and 'real life' on mondays.

then when i got engaged it was the wedding.....stress

then afterwards it was work and married life. . ..

i finally got on meds and it helped me a lot. i stopped taking them this year and i was fine until some stuff started happening at my job. so now i'm back on wellbutrin. the side effects were AWFUL, i missed three days of work!

i thought having cats would help - but i have panic attacks about their health.

i watch and read agatha christie and do puzzles to help relieve my brain. but i still wake up tired from thinking about work all night.

there's room for improvement - i'll be talking to my doctor.
post #14 of 21
I have PTSD along with a mild form of Agoraphobia, as well as some OCD issues.

I take Welbutrin daily (75mg) and generic Klonopin as needed - usually to help me sleep, or when a full-blown anxiety/panic attack sets in.

I found that yoga breathing exercises can help, but they don't make it better and they don't make it go away, they only help me cope while my heart is pounding and I can't think of anything except escape - even when there is no need for flight.



It isn't easy, we all just do the best we can.
post #15 of 21
I think I may be a very rare case, but I suffered from anxiety, oh about 4 years ago or so, i had just married, was miserable, my ex was in and out of work, etc etc. I never had panic attacks, but I would have violent temper tantrums, like throwing things, screaming crazy things I went on Zoloft for about 6 months and then weaned myself off, bad I know, but I honestly think that the meds permanently rewired my brain I don't stress about anything anymore, what will be, will be, is my motto i guess I think meds can be a GREAT help in these kind of situations
post #16 of 21
My panic attacks are similar to yours, but usually are years apart.

About 1-2 years ago when fiance was without a job, I suffered from panic attacks due to the stress of a low paying high stress job and supporting the both of us.

The one thing that I really really hated about the Klonopin was that I suffered depression as a side effect for another 6 months after I stopped taking it. I loved it because i lost a ton of weight due to all the sleep I was getting, but I just hated feeling insecure and depressed.

I found that when I am feeling stressed that a cup (or two ) of Chamomile tea helps just as much as the klonopin did.
post #17 of 21
I've had anxiety issues for the last few years. I've always been 'shy' or just not one for taking on new situations. I did go to some counseling once when DH was overseas and it was really bad. St Johns Wort helped but then I found out it can interfear with your birth control.

I find that getting through the actual attack is easiest if I just try some deep breaths and focusing on only that. Whatever brought on the attack is still there afterward, but the 'crisis' feeling is less. I'm one for getting every symptom from chest pains (I do have a minor heart condition also, but this makes it more noticeable) to a sick stomach, etc etc etc. It's no fun, but I've kind of learned that it's easiest for me to fight through the anxiety over the situation when it first comes on, than to just let myself really feel it. It just feels like then it has had a chance to 'take root' if that makes any sense. That approach might not work for everyone, but it's something I've learned to make work I guess.
post #18 of 21
I have socail anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and OCD. I started having panic attacks around..hmmm 19 i think (I'm 21 now). The 1st one I had I was just watching tv and it happened out of no where. I couldn't breathe, felt dizzy and my chest hurt...it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I was terrified! I though I was having a heart attack or something. I am on paxil and klonopin (like xanax) now and it does help but I still have some bad days. It helps to have the klonopin to take if I have to go somewhere (like a doctors appointment.. I still don't leave alot) or if I feel an attack coming on. I am working on trying to leave more but it will be a long road to get back to normal...baby steps.
I try to do breathing excersizes to help calm down...and I try to go somewhere thats quiet when I am having one to settle down.

I hope you start to feel better soon I wouldn't wish them on anyone.
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. It's really comforting to know that I'm not alone and that other people understand how I feel.

I'm feeling much better today. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for this anxiety attack.
I did a meditation exercise last night called a "body scan" (where you basically scan through your body and observe the sensations in each part of your body) and it made me feel so good. I think that cd will stay in my cd player for a while.
post #20 of 21
I have experienced mild panic attacks while travelling. I LOVE to travel, but I find that sometimes at night I cannot sleep as I start to worry about crazy things like my heart stopping. I would actually start to feel short of breath, but I was embarrassed to tell anyone about it. I thought perhaps it was OCD, as I would wake up and check windows and doors and make sure they were locked numourous times.
I have since dealt with this mentally, by thinking relaxing thoughts and trying to reason with myself.
I have never taken medications for this condition, as it usually affects me a handful of times during the year, however I am very aware of it and I hope it does not get worse.

I read a good article today about panic attacks and OCD. Check it out if you want at: http://www.squidoo.com/lensmaster/wo...cattacksandOCD

and I am happy you are feeling better Marie P.
post #21 of 21
I have exactly the same problem. Except it has lasted 2 years in a row, starting off with agoraphobia and general anxiety disorder. I know what you mean with the recognising all physical symptoms and snowballing them into something alot worse. I have found cognitive behavioural therapy a great help and maybe you could try it =] The doctor should be able to suggest some thought challenging techniques.
And how about trying to ignore your next anxiety attack? Or deep breaths when you feel one coming on. When I say ignoring I know it may sound impossible but if you don't focus on it so much and tell yourself, 'It's just anxiety it can't ever hurt me' then it should help
GOOD LUCK XX
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