Struggling with anxiety (+ hi, I'm new!)

I'd first like to introduce myself and say hello since I've just signed up here! I've been suffering from on-off GAD for about 4 years, however it's never seriously bothered me as my worst 'spells' only last no more than a couple of weeks until recently. In May I had a kitchen accident which ended in a few burns but nothing ridiculously major, but since then I've suffered from terrible anxiety every single day. It began with just consistent light-headedness, and I approached it with a "just-ignore-it-and-it'll-be-fine" attitude which hasn't worked for me this time. Since then I've been experiencing alot of the symptoms, most notably a tight chest/throat and severe derealization. I've literally just had a panic attack and the derealization is affecting me the most, which is infuriating since I had one of my better days yesterday (little/no anxiety).

I'm just wondering if anyone else is going through the same kind of thing as me in terms of symptoms, or if anyone has any advice to give? Just to go into a bit more detail:

- I'm a student, 19, live with friends. This makes it tough when i'm suffering particularly bad as I'm scared that they'll think i'm being strange when I'm panicking.

- I'm a smoker, 10-15 cigarettes a day, smoked for 3-4 years (I know smoking is bad for me, I know that it won't help my anxiety physically but I don't want to quit until I've fully recovered from this bad spell)

The symptoms I suffer from are:

- Lightheadedness: the most consistent symptom, this has been constant since May. This scares me into thinking there's something beyond anxiety that is wrong with me (brain tumor, etc.)

- Tight throat/chest: I know this is anxiety related as I don't feel it unless I think about it, which makes me breathe funny. I've woke up in the middle of the night hyperventilating.

- Lack of energy: given.

- Headaches: both tension headaches and normal ones

- Derealization: I'm constantly hyper-aware of my surroundings, to the point where there's so much on my mind I can't pay attention to anything and my short-term memory is horrific.

- Panic attacks: I suffer more from consistent symptoms than full-blown panic attacks, however they do happen every once in a while and I've just had one.

These symptoms are making me convince myself that there is something physically wrong with me (cancer, brain tumor, lots of other scary things!) although I know deep down that it's just anxiety, it's just convincing myself i'm fine when I'm suffering. I'm also wondering if anyone feels their sleep is affected by anxiety? I have no problem falling asleep (normally takes about half an hour, this is normal for me), and I get plenty of sleep but I wake up feeling hungover, with tension in my head and I feel as if I've not slept at all? I feel this may be due to subconscious negative thoughts which mean I am restless when I sleep.

I've tried anti-anxiety medication (20 mg citalopram, I tried one but I couldn't deal with the side-effects and swore to myself I'd get over this without medication). Meditation helps, but I struggle getting the time since I live with 4 friends and my girlfriend but I'm going to make sure that I get 20 minutes a day to myself to make sure I carry it on daily.

So yeah, if anyone has any help or advice they can offerr, or can just reassure me that these symptoms are normal just so I can chill out that'd be great! Cheers :)

6 Replies

  • Hey JDF.

    All the things you have said is anxiety.

    You feel hungover because your muscles are tense all the time. Try to keep off coffee,tea unless it is decaf, you may have a headache come down from the decaf for a day but camomile tea is really relaxing.

    I feel dizzy all the time when I have anxiety. The more you think you have a tumor or aneurism etc the more your anxiety will increase... YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS it's your anxiety causing you to think this way.

    If you are not eating enough to get fuel into you that will cause lightheadedness, smoking also causes lightheadedness too.

    Regarding your panic attacks: these happen because of fear of something, it is your body going into fight or flight mode. Your body pumps adrenaline into your muscles, shuts down unwanted organs such as stomach,bowel (that Is why some people deficate or pee themselves in times of fear) so that you are lighter and can run. However this would be usefull if a TRex was after you but your mind thinks there is a danger so it elicits a panic attack.

    If you feel one coming on look up at the sky put your arms up too, take a deep breath and un empower the thought that brought on the panic attack such as I don't have a brain tumor for eg.

    I hope this helps buddy.

    You are not alone mate .


  • Hello my names Amy I'm 19 too, I've got,GAD,PTSD, socialised anxiety, extreme phobias,health anxiety and an unstable emotional and personality disorder, plus I get de realisation quite regular too, I hope you are coping well Hun! The symptoms what you have described are the symptoms of anxiety, I'm sure plenty of people on here will agree with this. Don't worry you won't die, there's nothing wrong with you and no one has ever died from anxiety just to give you some reassurance!i know these feelings can be emotional, physical and mental and they can be extremely uncomfortable. I used to have every check done to make sure I wasn't dying ect but I got told all my tests were clear and I was told I was healthy. Your lucky you can sleep straight away too :) It takes me 6/7 hours to get myself to sleep because I'm petrified of dying in my sleep and yeah I've felt like I'm hungover the next morning and my headaches are terrible, your not alone Hun. Xx

  • You are a beautiful girl, you shouldn,t be suffering that at your age, i have had it since age 28, 39 years, i now regret my life of giving in to this illness but unfortunately we are made that way. You will not die and eventually you will learn to cope with this illness, and live a normal life. Getting a job helped for me and of course i had children, it was difficult at times and i have had many years on and off antidepressants. I do not live a normal life but its near to it, i have my phobias and bad days but tomorrow is always a better day. Love xxx

  • Welcome JDF. You will get a lot of support from all of us here. You definitely have anxiety. I have suffered with the same things since 1999 of and on. I take Zoloft and Xanax when I need it. But I do meditation and also listen to soft music with nature sounds on YouTube and visualize during meditation a beautiful place by the ocean with grass and many trees blowing in the breeze. That seems to help. God bless. Peace ~ Brian

  • Hi I've just joined and am a fellow sufferer of anxiety and panic attacks .. have you ever heard of eft .. emotional freedom technique ? Look it up as ironic as it looks and seems it miraculously does work ! ×

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