Anxiety Support
34,483 members38,451 posts

Sinking into the floor feeling?

For 11 weeks I've been suffering from heavy thighs and like the ground moves as I was like I'm bouncing on a trampoline. My gp did tests and bloods, all normal. He saw me twice and said as I'd been under a lot of stress it was high anxiety and stress. It eased a little over christmas but in the last 2 weeks it's back again. But also what's scaring me is when I walk I feel so heavy all over my body and like I'm sinking into the ground. It terrified me and I have to lie down.

I am suffering from high anxiety since recent stress with my son being ill but he's fine now. I'm just scared of these symptoms and as a result I rarely go out and even get anxious walking around my house. It's been a horrible 11 weeks.

Last night I went downstairs to make a drink before getting in bed and I felt heavy all over and like I was sinking or falling into the ground. I panicked I'd collapse. I'm terrified of collapsing and ending up in hospital because of my agoraphobia.

Can anxiety cause this sinking feeling? Can anyone relate?

Thank you.

__________________

11 Replies
oldestnewest

I used to get this a lot, it's really scary, I get all kind of symptoms, this one makes me feel like I'm going to collapse, like you said. I've just dropped my kids off at school, and I felt like that then, I hurried as quick as I can back home. I don't go out much either, are you seeing a therapist? X

1 like
Reply

It'd so scary. I have the sinking and the ground moving every day.

I have come home upset. I dropped my daughter off at school and when I stood up out of the car I felt all dizzy and shaky infront of all those people and I panicked I'd faint feeling dizzy so I watched her cross and walk herself through the gate. Shes 10. I have come home feeling a terrible mother😢

No I saw one last year and it helped my intrusives but I doubt she would be helpful with this as she mainly focused on OCD and intrusives. I mentioned these symptoms to her before Christmas and we spent the session spinning around in circles making me bring on the dizziness. Urm no thanks lol. I paid £60 for that 😂

Reply

I've had these and other feelings for about 15 years now. Initially it was caused by the stress of losing my job, & since the first attack when I thought I was having a stroke, the symptoms come & go with varying severity.ive had all the tests under the sun & all have come back normal. Its difficult to imagine that these physical feelings can be caused by anxiety, but it always happens when I become worried or stressed.Diazepam worked for a while but is highly addictive, & is only effective for a short period of time. I've found that trying to keep active physically & mentally helps, although as sufferers know the last thing you feel like doing is going for a walk, however I try to push myself, and usually at the end feel better for it. Anxiety is a very difficult condition to explain to others, particularly the crushing physical feelings.i think it's important to focus on the good things & when you have these awful feelings keep telling yourself to be calm & roll with it.

Sorry for the rambling, hope this helps

2 likes
Reply

I too have been agoraphobic for close to 6 years now. This past year I have been pushing myself to go out when I need to otherwise I stay home. That doesn't mean that the symptoms I experience outside don't happen in my home. They do. The heavy feeling, the feeling like I might pass out when I get out of my car to go grocery shopping. I'm aware of every step I take because each step feels like I am wearing

leaded boots. The sinking feeling and floor moving are there in the store. It is so nerve wracking. I'm exhausted before I even get started. When my foster daughter was in elementary school, I found a home 4 houses from the school so that I could

stand out in front of the house and watch her go to and from the school. It's not only

the fear of collapsing but doing it in front of people and feeling foolish.

So I guess what I'm saying is "YES" I can relate.

1 like
Reply

I feel the same. I can't even cross my daughter across the road to school right now because when i stand up I feel weak and fear I will faint. I actually go all dizzy in my head 😢

I feel useless like this right now.

Do you ever get the weak heavy legs and trampoline feeling at home? That's why I'm scared as it's even when at home.

Reply

Yes I do get that feeling at home. Then it's a different kind of scared.

When out, I fear causing attention and looking foolish should I faint. (which I never have) At home, it's what if I can't get to the phone, how long before someone would find me. It's all crazy thoughts when feeling this way. I have though of purchasing one of those buttons around my neck but then I will be giving into my fear. I even have stopped carrying my cell phone in my apron pocket. I truly understand your fears.

Reply

Is it normal to feel this way? is it just anxiety?

Reply

I'm getting exactly the same thing right now. It's so hard to describe to other people, even those who love you. Tonight, after driving for four hours to get to my sister's birthday gathering (two hours there and two hours back, but driving is cathartic to me and I really do enjoy it) I was with my son and as soon as we arrived, I pulled up and I got out of the car. I immediately felt that same old crappy rushing, wooshing onset of feeling unable to cross the road and walk in (20 metres max). To my own family's gathering ffs. I got back in the car and had to send my son in on his own with the birthday card and ask him to tell my GF to come out to the car. I am absolutely furious that this is happening to me but nothing I do seems to help.

As soon as that slightly 'not right' feeling happens, I then think I'm going to collapse, and worse still, in front of people. It's that last bit which in hindsight makes me realise that it's Anxiety (with the big capital A), but it's so tough to deal with.

I'm going to my Doc asap to bring this up again (not the first time but only given some websites and leaflets to read which didn't help).

Just wondering if anyone has overcome this terrifying situation, and whether it was meds / CBT / counselling that helped you?

Note: I had my first Anxiety Attack aged about 15 and it was completely out of the blue. I've probably had them ever since, but have been able to 'manage' most of them until fairly recently

Reply

Yup it's sucks

Reply

I don't normally comment on anything when scrolling through the internet but seeing this page made me want to say something because I for one Know how all of you feel. I have had anxiety and panic attacks for the past 7 years. I was 14 when I had my first panic attack which set me on the course of being an anti social recluse. I finished high school then attended college. I lasted all of 1 month before quitting when I had repeat panic attacks within a week. Anxiety obviously makes you fearful but it also makes you feel hopeless and quite often frustrated. I kept wondering why I couldn't do all the normal things other teenagers were doing, why it was me that was suffering rather than someone else. I hated it.

I simmered with my anxiety for 5 years doing nothing about it. I only went to out of my house if I had to. I would even refuse to go to family gatherings or birthdays because I didn't want to panic. At the start of 2016 I lay awake and was just thinking "Why am I letting this happen?" that was then when I decided "It can't get worse than this". So as I lay there I thought something through. I formed a plan.

Over the next year I worked on it. Slowly. That's the important thing you see. Rush things and it will make it worse. So I began experimenting. I wanted to know exactly what caused and at what point did anxiety or an attack occur for me. I intentionally put myself in a situation that would cause me to panic. It didn't work though. The thought of going outside my house was horrifying enough. So that's when I realised. I don't just fear having anxiety or and attack, I am fearing the fear itself. That is why I am avoiding the situation in the first place. With this In mind I started again.

Our brains have a natural danger response. I am sure you have already heard of this but our brains are wired in such a way that if we see or feel a danger the brain automatically releases chemicals to get our body ready to fight or flight. Better thought as, to fight against a threat or to run away from them. This chemical release is what causes the many different symptoms we experience when having anxiety or an attack. This biggest problem however is when we when have that very first moment of anxiety our brain stores the moment. Files it away for later use. So if you are in the same situation you brain will release the chemicals ready you to get away from the "threat". So thats when I realised this is what I had to do. Remove the "file" and you will remove the fear. Now easier said than done! This takes time.

It has taken me well over a year to get to the stage I am at now. Still, I have wobbles here and there but I know now that it's OK because I can handle it. The first step like I mentioned earlier is to know exactly what causes you to panic. At what point do you go "Oh Sh*t!". For me it was the very thought of having to go somewhere. I would think "What if I can't get out?" "What if people look at me?" "What if I make a fool of myself?". So set myself a goal. Little challenges. I would go to my front door, open it and walk to the bottom of my drive then come back. I would repeat this sometimes a few times a day or everyday for a week. Then I went further, down the street and back. It wasn't long before I found myself walking to our park and then a few months later, to our shopping district. It is very, very important to NOT push yourself. Don't just jump in the deep end as this only exacerbates the fear, thus making it harder.

Within 6 months I was walking to my local town to do little bits of shopping. Within a year I was using public transport again, buses and trains. Don't think however, that it all went fine, because there were days when I would go out and suddenly have that fear creeping back. But it is knowing how to handle it. There are things that I can recommend that will help. Now it might not help everybody because we all have different levels of anxiety however experimenting is key. The Only way you are going to overcome the fear is to reprogram your brain to not see the situation you fear as a danger.

You need to expose yourself to the danger while keeping yourself in a calm state. Start off slow like I did. No matter how small, it could be just getting out of bed. The smallest of steps is an improvement. Allow time for you to do this. Don't rush. Do a little bit then have a break. Do it once a day or once a week. But don't give up. The more you can expose yourself to your trigger while remaining in a state of calm then your brain will register the difference in your state of mind in that situation.

So to keep yourself calm while you are exposed what do you do?

Distraction is one of your biggest weapons. I would not have been able to get to where I was without it. Now I'll start off with the simple stuff.

Breathing exercises. Slowly, breath real deep, through your nose for 5-6 seconds depending on how big your lungs are. HOLD in for 2-3 seconds. Breath out nice and slow for 7-8 seconds. Change the timing to suit. Not only does this distract you but it actually slows that beating heart of yours. Don't be afraid to count the seconds either. Whether that be in your head, out loud or tap the seconds with your fingers to be discreet. Listening to music helps, hum or even sing your favourite tracks.

Imagining you are in a place of safety and comfort helps. I visualise my room. My sanctuary. I think about what my door looks like, then I walk into my room. I visualise every bit of detail in the room. Pictures, colours and objects. It also helps to write and document your thoughts. It can be little things. What you ate for breakfast, how you felt at a certain time. Getting your emotions of your chest really helps. Exercise helps with this too. If you can't leave the house or even your room, yoga is a great alternative. There are hundreds of videos on Youtube you can go watch and follow. With the release of adrenaline when we get anxious pumping it out of the system is a quick way for relief. Sometimes we have to change our diets.

A year ago I stopped taking anything with caffeine. Originally it was because I drank tea every day then one day I had none I had the mother of all headaches until I drank tea again. I stopped drinking it, had about 3-4 days of head ache until finally nothing. I noticed the improvement immediately. Even now when I drink anything with caffeine in it I get the "Sinking into the floor" feeling aswell as hot flushes and erratic thoughts.

I never drank alcohol but if you do try reducing the amount. I ate more greens, fruit and ate more regularly. I wasn't sure whether to mention this next thing, however after looking online about things similar I realised it had some ground.

If I was feeling anxious and thought I was about to panic I would pinch myself. The quick stab of pain would distract me. Almost similar to how acupuncture works.

It does help to "get the weight off". Talk to a family member or friend about how you are feeling and explain to them that they need to have patience and even show them information regarding the problem you are suffering with. There is nothing more relieving than knowing that you can have someone to rely on.

Whatever you find comfort or calm in, try applying it in the situation. Read a book, watch a video whatever it might be give it a try.

I would however recommend to everyone to go to their Doctors. When I went to my Doctors they didn't really listen to me and just prescribed me Diazapam. Now if you are not aware what Diazepam is, it is a highly addictive drug used to help anxiety disorder, alcohol withdrawal and muscle spasms. Its effects can be short term, however as I stated it is highly addictive. In fact this drug is used on the streets and is known as Valium. There has been a sharp increase in the overuse of this drug for none medical means in Ireland in the past few years. It is used all over the UK because of how easily it can be obtained. Now there are drugs that help some people, but please consult a doctor and ask about other options. There are other prescription drugs available that might suit better.

The main reason of talking to a Doctor is to get referred to a counsellor or therapist. They offer "CBT" Cognitive behavioral therapy which differs slightly depending on the therapist. Some will talk with you to understand what tiggers your attacks and help to retrain your thought process when this happens. Others will put you in a state of panic in a safe and controlled manor to demonstrate that it will not get any worse than that stage.

If you don't have someone to talk to about your troubles then counsellors or therapists are the way to go. Unfortunately, here in the UK to get a counsellor on the NHS is free but has the cost of up to a 3 month waiting list. You can go private if you can afford it, paying on average £40-60 a hour. I highly recommend seeing a counsellor or therapist if you have high levels of anxiety or depression. Having someone to talk to is highly comforting. In the meantime while you wait you can try the things I have already suggested.

Something else that helped me was to pick up a hobby. Having something to look forward to helps takes you mind off things.

Also don't be afraid to take a break. Even if it is as small as spending time in your garden or taking a holiday. Forgetting about the life you exist in and living in the moment helps. It gives you an idea of your goal. Of the person you want to be.

I didn't intend to write this whole essay at all, but as someone who has suffered in silence for far too long I hate knowing that other people out in the world are in the same shoes as me or are feeling worse. If what I have written helps just one individual then it is worth the time it took to write out. I think the thing that is most important when we suffer with anything, no matter how big or small the matter is. Do not forget that you are not alone. The saying "time heals" definitely applies here.

A year ago I would have anxiety and panic attacks at the thought of leaving my house, now as I write this I have flown to the other side of the globe for a holiday to finally start living my life.

Here are some resources I would recommend :

anxietycentre.com/index.shtml

anxietyuk.org.uk/

anxietycoach.com/anxietydis...

The following links are for Youtube videos:

This is a music track called Weightless by Marconi Union. It has been scientifically proven that it helps calm and reduce the heart rate because of the tempo. The video itself is pretty cool to watch too!

This guy, I can't praise him enough. His video ironically was released a year after my first panic attack and I never came across it until a few months back. He explains the whole "reprogramming" of the brain perfectly. Highly recommend you watch.

2 likes
Reply

Thank you

Reply

You may also like...