Help, afraid of going mad

Hello, my name is aidan. Long story short, I started having panic attacks around six weeks ago. For around 2 weeks I was extremely anxious over having another panic attacks, it was horrible. Then I got over them by accepting them and felt like I was going to be ok. However my anxiety symptoms were still there, racing heart, tight chest, head ache etc. then a silly irrational fear of going mad popped into my head because I caught a fever and got delirious while I was sick, I knew it was sickness but this fear that I'd go insane started. So for the last 3 weeks I've had this onsessive fear that my anxiety will lead to me loosing my mind. It's horrible, I check if sounds I hear are really there. Like if I hear birds I'll ask the person next to me if they can also hear them. I know deep down it's irrational but it's distressing to say the Least.


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12 Replies

  • Hi Aidan. I can understand how distress and upset you must be having to deal with this illness. The first thing to say is that you are not going mad. What you have described are very typical symptoms of anxiety disorder. You are right - a lot of it is irrational, but that is the nature of this illness - it is psychological in basis. It is very unlikely that your anxiety or panic attacks will cause any serious physical illness, although the typical sufferer will often feel that they do have some serious or even terminal illness.

    I was very impressed when you said that you 'accepted' the panic attacks. That made me think you had been in some kind of therapy as that is a tool often used by therapists. But your post said the attacks only started 6 weeks ago - so I am not sure what, if any, treatment you are currently getting.


  • Thank you very much. I actually haven't had any therapy. I just did a ton of research about panic attacks and what they are and how they can't harm me. At first it didn't make a differance, I was still very afraid. It was one day, when I was sitting in class in school my heart suddenly started pounding out of my chest. I just sat there and didn't do anything, I let it do what it wants to do and I realised how unscary it really was. This fear of going mad started later. I get these wierd unreality sensations when I'm anxious, I feel dissconected and weird, not myself, is that normal?

  • Unfortunately yes, that is very normal for this illness and is depersonalisation or derealisation disorder. Anxiety is rarely just anxiety - it very often is accompanied by its friends ocd, sensorimotor obsession, depression and the condition mentioned above. You are right to embrace the symptoms and, as you found out yourself, it helps. It is like the naming the culprit so that it loses its control - very often these illnesses are spoken about in hushed tones because people link them with mental health issues.

    If things get worse then it might be wise to consult your doctor as to appropriate treatment for you.


  • Yes, Aidan, that's normal for anxiety that's been left untreated. You need to see your GP at the least, and a psychiatrist at the best. This is my opinion after 27 years with an anxiety disorder and having done lots of research, knowing plenty of people with such problems and 16 years of CBT therapy. I am not a psychiatrist nor a counselor, just a medical professional who has had many good years of successful treatment for GAD--generalized anxiety disorder-- and major depression.

    Although CBT--cognitive behavioral therapy--is extremely helpful for anxiety disorders, medication most definitely has it's part to play. That's partly why I recommend a good psychiatrist for an accurate diagnosis and the possibility of medication. Anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand, so do be alert for signs of depression in yourself. This also will be considered by a psychiatrist. Few GPs are capable of making these determinations accurately in my humble opinion, and carrying out the more difficult business of getting the medications right and balanced for the individual and their changing needs as time passes.

    Left untreated, you will probably continue to have anxiety causing all kinds of unwanted symptoms and fears. Some you will conquer on your own and some will continue to bother you. When you tire of the struggle you can see a Dr. who can help you with the prescription side of the problem and get a counselor who can help you with the mental side of the battle. I wish you all the best.

  • Thank you, I am seeing a counsellor and a nurse. I am getting better, thank you for replying

  • You're welcome. Your post sounded so needy it was hard to tell you had any help. I'm so glad you're getting better.

  • It's just a silly irrational fear which I developed from anxiety and then getting a fever, with help ill get better, especially with me getting better so early on. Thank you, I trully apprishiate advice.

  • Yes Very Normal and well done for letting it ride over you. If you fear your going Mad rest assured you can not be as you would not be aware of it,

  • Ok thank you, it's nice to know it doesn't mean I'm mad, I knew this in the back of my mind but when anxiety takes over you belive anything. Thank you for the replies. I very much apprishiate it.


  • Aidan,

    I apologize for not giving you the credit you deserve for the time you took charge of your anxiety and reduced it by accepting it, and then the feeling followed where you had a sense that you were going to be ok. You did that on your own with knowledge you found by researching anxiety information. That was a huge accomplishment and especially for someone so new to the subject. I hope you continue to be successful in applying things like this that you've learned and that you are feeling much better in the near future.

  • Thank you 😊 that's means a lot 👍 much apprishiate it

  • It's all to do with anxiety, worry and panic X we do question our own sanity sometimes as I'm sure we all have as that's what our mind tells us that we are going mad and our body is reacting to this X it's awful and we all fully understand X

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