I just don't understand anxiety!

Hi everyone, I have read endless amounts of information on the internet since I got this but I just have so many questions.

I got anxiety about 5 weeks ago out of the blue. It started with palpitations at night. I have had and still have a really hard time believing that this is due to anxiety. I definitely agree with my doctors that I have anxiety NOW but am not convinced my body is alright. Even though I had several ECGs and blood tests done and they were fine. I am 23 years old, 60 kg. I enjoy drinking on some weekends and don't exercise regularly but make sure to lead a quite healthy lifestyle.

My symptoms are tight chest, heavy breathing, tingling chest, palpitations, dizziness and they come and go.

Can anxiety symptoms start out (for the first time in your life) of the blue when you are not feeling anxious?

Can anxiety start off with just physical symptoms?

Is it normal that anxiety symptoms just come and go whenever the hell they want?

Even when you are feeling ok or even good?

Why do these symptoms just overcome you and stick around for a bit (anything from an hour to several hours) and then go?

What tests do I need to get done to definitely rule out a problem with the heart/something else?

6 Replies

  • I'm going to answer your questions in order.

    1. Anxiety can indeed come out of blue or build up to it. Symptoms can appear when you are seemingly not stressed. This is the misfiring of anxiety because though unaware, your body is reactive.

    2. Anxiety can start out with physical symptoms. In fact, it's quite common for people to have a random episode of just being dizzy that leads to a panic attack so it would appear from an outside viewer that the physical symptoms came before anxiety.

    3. Anxiety symptoms can be very random, can come for a moment, hours, or persist indefinitely. I've had all three variations. Your body is overly stressed so that means, even when you are calm, it will misfire anxiety and you will experience physical and physiological changes.

    4. They can be debilitating because they attack your core fears. Plus, anxiety makes you feel out of control or in fear of death. Anxiety begins in those that think overly apprehensively. It is not a mental illness. It is not insolvable.

    5. You had ECGs so I'd assume if your doctor was concerned, he'd go through a different testing. Some say heart monitors but this symptom is everywhere, I doubt you'd need it.

    One last note. It can take the body four times as long to return to a non reactive state than it does to initiate a hypersensitive one. Anxiety can appear out of the blue, and take four times as long to leave the system. That is of course, when you don't continue to stress the body with worries, concerns, fearful thinking, etc. cause that provpduces more stess hormones which stresses the body which in turn produces more symptoms. It goes in a circle.

  • Hi cat I had a similar experience my anxiety came suddenly without warning but I did have a lot going on the time but I get the same dizzyness lightheaded racing thoughts tingling sensations and feelings of dread I was goin round in circles thinking how has this happened to me wots wrong waking every morning and questioning how I feel am I better today has it gone away only to get caught in the same thing all over again I learnt to stop trying to find answers and cures and just accept I have anxiety and the best cure is to just let it be there which really helped me I still get the palpitations and panicking but I know its just my anxiety and let it pass and it usually does pretty quickly but in answer to ur question you dont get any warnings with anxiety it just tends to appear unfortunately lol I hope ur feeling better good luck ;)

  • Hi Cat.

    It does sound like you have the symptoms of anxiety. These symptoms are your body telling you that it thinks something is wrong. So yes - anxiety can seem to start out of the blue. Perhaps you are worried or stressed about something, at the back of your mind, even though you may think you have nothing to be anxious about.

    Anxiety can hit any time - depending on what your triggers are. It could be when you are at work, or walking down the street, or sitting watching TV...even when you are 'OK or even good' as you said.

    They feel overwhelming because that's what anxiety does - it makes us focus on the bad thing or feeling that is happening right now. The anxiety feelings can feed off each other, so you feel bad about one thing, and then there's another, and another and.....so on. So something that is really quite a small factor can make you feel bad for hours.

    Adrenaline ('fight or flight') will kick in when you feel stressed or anxious. If you have a panic attack then it can last between 3-20 minutes, but as I said before the general feeling of anxiety can extend this period, and make it seem like one continuous panic attack, rather than a series of them.

    If you've already been to the doctor and had blood tests then your doctor should be able to help you with any further tests to rule out anything else.

    Hope this helps,


  • Hello lovely people and thank you for your detailed answers.

    Despite all the research I've done on the internet, what I've read in Dr. Claire Weekes self help book and been told by doctors (not much useful information from them really), the fears remain. Obviously that is part of anxiety.

    I just keep thinking it's so odd these symptoms just suddenly appeared when I have never had any concerns or even thought about my heart or breathing at all. I would have thought that with anxiety you experience symptoms in a part of your body you have maybe worried about before. I also always thought I was very well in touch with myself and that something subconscious couldn't just overcome me like that. I am usually not afraid to think about problems and be realistic about things and honest to myself. Then again I think it must be exactly this overthinking that has caused me anxiety.

    Anyway thank you for your answers, they have been very helpful xx

  • Hi,

    I know exactly how you feel. I'm 27, perfectly healthy and happy, then in August last year boom, woke up with a racing heart, and dizziness, I had to get an ambulance as I thought I was dying. I've never had any form of anxiety or anything before now. I've had to go in a an ambulance twice, as initially I was scared and really worried about my health. Now I will feel anxious and get the occasional chest pain (mainly at night) but I just tell myself that logically, I'm not actually dying, my brain is just being silly, and I acknowledge that it's anxiety and try to ignore it. I find sometimes that just getting up and getting a glass of water will distract me enough to stop a full blown attack.

    I still struggle to understand why I get anxiety as I've got a great support system, friends and family. I've been very open with them all about it, and if I'm feeling anxious I let them know to help distract me. I haven't stopped doing anything even if I feel anxious, as I don't want an yone circumstance to be a trigger, or to stop me from doing the things I love. I still go out and drink as well, but anxiety is worse with a hangover; so I make sure I get up and go for a walk, or have people around me!

    I hope it settles down for you as well!

  • Spot on Kiral! Cat - take note! some excellent advice there. distraction is a great thing - it often really diffuses the situation you are in. When you get anxious you worry about it, bring on symptoms and get more anxious. Vicious circle! distract yourself - recite a poem in your head, or a song - if you aren't sure of the words - look them up! anything to take your mind away from the anxious feelings. concentrate on your breathing. deep and long. And most of all - get a good network of understanding friends/family round you so you don't feel like your doing this all alone. Theres so many people in the same situation and you never really know it til you talk about it.

    you know we're here too.


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