Sudden anxiety after surgery?

I am 23 years old. I have never had any kind of anxiety before. I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and had surgery on Feb 2nd. Well on Feb 4th. My life changed and it feels like my world got turned upside down. It was around 2pm. I got up from the sofa. My heart started racing, it felt like I couldn't breath, I got super dizzy and just didn't feel right at all. I called 911 because I was home alone with my 4 year old son and didn't want anything to happen. I got there and they gave me a chest xray thinking I could possibly have a blood clot sense I just had surgery. That came back clear. Over the next couple of weeks nothing got better. I stayed dizzy all day every day and the other symptoms wold come and go. Several er trips and doctor visits later. I had a MRI of my head. 2 CT scans of my head and lots of bloodwork. Everythung was normal. So my question is, why up until my surgery did i never have anxiety, I've been perfectly healthy and this happens? It's been almost 8 weeks and a day hasn't past where I don't feel CONSTANTLY dizzy. 24/7. Being in a busy place or store males ot worse. I feel like my life is gone. I can't be the mom and wife I'm suppose to be anymore. I use to be so happy. Can it really be anxiety afyer surgery or is something more serious going wrong? I mean wouldn't anxiety dizziness go away? Atleast for a little?


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11 Replies

  • Really sorry to hear about the ectopic pregnancy and what has happened since.

    Do you know what anaesthetic was used? nitrous oxide can oxidise your B12 making it useless and one of the symptoms of B12 deficiency is anxiety.

    You can find a list of symptoms here in case anything else rings a bell


    You may have an underlying problem absorbing B12 as well ... and being pregnant may have caused your B12 levels to drop as B12 is used for healthy cell production so your supplies will have been diverted a little to the ectopic pregnancy.

    The CDC has a website on B12 deficiency - though it probably doesn't cover these particular circumstances

    You may also find this site useful

    If you think it could be down to B12 then it may be worth posting on the PAS forum. (PAS = pernicious anaemia society - PA being one of the better known causes of B12 deficiency ... though people on the site are focused on B12 deficiency and its effects rather than PA in the narrow sense.

  • Hi there & feel for you loads.

    i understand about the anxiety part. i had surgery in February. It was only a quick procedure and i was home very quick. however, the surgery was on thursday, friday i was fine but saturday and thereafters for about a week, oh god i was depressed, so anxious, miserable, dizzy constantly, nausea big time.

    i was told it was the anaesthetic in my system and would take time to filter out from my body's system.

    dont be too hard on yourself.


  • That's how I was! The next day I was fine bit the day after that it hit me and never went away. It's been almost 8 weeks! I always think something is seriously wrong and they aren't going to catch it in time. Because I was fine before my surgery

  • I know its been a year but your the only person i have found on line thats having yhe same exact problem as me. Its been 3 months and im still dizzy. Have you figured out what it is yet?

  • No I havent. And I am still like this. It sucks. I suffer bad everyday. :( 

  • Psychogenic dizziness - i.e. dizziness which comes from a psychological root rather than a physical one - can be one of the most awful symptoms of anxiety.

    As a first step, you should be talking to a counsellor - there are many therapies which can help; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or hypnosis etc. You could also talk to your doctor about a going on a good anxiolytic SSRI like sertraline (Zoloft.)

    I've suffered with anxiety for about 10 years, and mostly had it under control through a combination of hypnotherapy and talking therapy, but I had surgery last Friday and it's brought on severe anxiety symptoms including horrible dizziness. I'm hoping they'll dissipate - after all, it's not even been a week yet - but if not, I'll be getting some CBT booked!

    Hope this helps.

  • Have you found anything that is helpful? For me it has been 3 years and I still feel this way. Some days are worse than others, and I experience panic attacks as well, but I am dizzy almost all the time. I have tried b12, counseling, anti-depressants, acupuncture, exercise, changing my diet, and none of them have worked. I never experienced anxiety or panic attacks before my ruptured ectopic. I had a salpingectomy so I have always thought it may be a hormonal thing? Anyway, you are the only person that I have found that had this exact experience and I wanted to reach out and see if you found anything that was causing it.

  • I had an appendectomy almost a month ago, it was complicated by scar tissue on my intestines from previous surgeries like a laperscopy to burn away endometriosis and then later a complete abdominal hysterectomy. I was gonna have my appendix removed and go home the same day but the scar tissue removal made it a 5 night stay. I have always had anxiety and panic attacks but just this week it has gotten way worse. I wake up in a panic, I have a fear of going to sleep but I'm not afraid I'm gonna die or anything. Im already on antidepressants and anti anxiety medication (for 16yrs) but it just doesn't seem to be enough. I sleep during the day while my family is up and busy and I am up all night alone stressing out. I had my post op appointment yesterday and everything is good and she answered some questions I was worried about and I thought that would ease my stress but here I am and haven't been to sleep. Its 10am here. Its panic, I hate panic. I'm accustomed to generalized anxiety. I just don't get it. I also all the sudden hate being in my room and it use to be my safe place. Idk, its just not under control and I don't know what to do. I'm so tired all the time, still have some pain but I know I will be fine so why all the panic all the sudden.

  • Im 56, ive had 13 surgeries including 2 knee replacements , appendix and gallbladder removals etc. , let me tell you surgery is hard on your body, it takes a while to get all traces of the gas out of your system, you may be having a reaction to painkillers. I experianced the same thing when they cut off Percocet.( Knee replacents can take a full year to recover from).

    My suggestion, make sure your not on a strong painkiller, if you are do NOT just stop taking it, wean off it. UP your protein intake. I craved meat and cheese after big surgeries. Drink lots of fluids, sleep as much as possible. Your hormones are still freaking out to. Mine did after my hysterectomy. If it doesnt get better soon get to the Dr, you may need a little help from meds to get you over the bump for a while.

  • Thank yoi for commenting. I didn't take any painkillers after because I know I don't do well with them so I skipped them all together. My surgery was on Feb 2nd a Monday I was fine that Tuesday and then on that Wed the 4th in the middle of the day I just got very dizzy, my heart started racing I was tingly everyhwere it felt like I couldn't breath. Then ever sense that day my dizziness hasn't went away at all. It's been constant and I will still sometimes get the other symptoms as well. I get muscle twitches everyday too. It's been almost 8 weeks. How long does somethung normally take like this to get back to normal?

  • Hello Amanda I came across your story and its very similar to mine . I had a keyhole surgery and after 2 days I had the same symptoms. it's been two months im doing okay but my mine problem is my head I feel like it's very heavy I can't focus I can say I feel dizzy but I don't feel like the room is spinning but more like its heavy all day everyday , it's a very uncomfortable feeling and I don't feel normal or how I used to be before surgery . Is there something you did to feel better?

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