Does your anxiety make you feel like this?

I had anxiety triggered 4 years ago. My brother tried to attack me, the previous year he attacked my husband. He has serious MH issues (Bi polar, BPD, depression, anxiety, OCD) and is causes him to be aggressive randomly. After he tried to attack me he was arrested and I cut all contact with him. During these 4 years I have had very little contact with my siblings and mother as I was resented for cutting him out of my life.

Shortly after his attempted attack on myself I became anxious, it started as a fear of going out incase I saw him which led to panic attacks in shops. I then became agoraphobic for about 6 months where I rarely left my home. I saw my GP a few times and was told I had anxiety and it was in relation to what my brother did to me. I was offered counselling but there was a long wait so I went private and had talking therapy for 6 months which did nothing but make me wallow in my situation and she had me reliving what had happened every week, I just sat sobbing. I then started suffering from intrusive thoughts of harm, towards myself or my precious loved ones. This terrified me and I thought I was going mad. I saw my GP and he said it was now an anxiety disorder, I insisted on a referal to the mental health team, he didn't think I needed it but I wanted to a full assessment as I became afraid I was ill like my brother.

I was assessed and told I had general anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and mild depression which was due to my awful situation. I had lost my Nan July 2012, 3 months later my brother attacked me and my family turned their backs on me. It's no wonder when I look back I was an anxious, low scared young woman. My brother had hurt his children and his partner and I was afraid of being like him. I was offered CBT but it was an 18 month wait. I decided to go private and I had ERP for 18 months to help the intrusives and my agoraphobia. It helped and life got much better for me.

In late spring last year I started with fatigue and feeling unwell, I'd have to rest most afternoons as I felt terrible. By the summer I was feeling chronically fatigued. I saw my GP and he thought it was my thyroid. I had bloods done and it showed I was suffering from subclinical hypothyroidism but my GP said they wouldn't treat me as they don't until a TSH reaches 10. Mine was 5.35. I had to plod on feeling like death. Then in October my 11 year old son, after months of bullying told me he was suicidal. My world fell apart and I think I had some kind of break down. Between October and January my daughter was ill 3 times with a nasty bowel infection, then croup and ear infections and hospitalised twice due to how ill she was. During this time I was also unwell with chronic fatigue, dizziness and body weakness. I was also trying to help my poor son. He was being sent home from school most days as he was being violently sick during his panic attacks and unable to cope in lessons, the school had no idea what to do. Every morning he begged me not to send him in, it was just awful. I took him to the GP and our GP referred him to CAMHS who basically said I'd be better off helping him as I had experience of anxiety. My son deteriorated and one morning I left him with teachers, he was begging me not to leave him and I had to walk out. I got home and just collapsed on my living room floor sobbing and had no strength to move. I felt terrible and so unwell. My GP came out to see me 3 days later after a weekend in bed resting. He diagnosed me with acute stress, he said I'd experienced a trauma seeing my son so unwell and he was disgusted at the lack of help I'd recieved.

During this awful time I stupidly called my mother and broke down crying, I begged her to be a mum to me. I was physically ill, my daughter was unwell and my son was struggling and I told her I was afraid I'd lose him as he told me he didn't want to live anymore. Her resonse 'you know i would if I could'. It just broke me. I was so ill, bed ridden most days with my crippling fatigue and had nowhere to turn.

Sorry for chapter and verse. So fast forward and my son is now the happiest I have ever seen him. I gave him CBT that I had learnt from my own experience and what I had read. He is in school full time, his attendance we got up to 83% for the year and his report sang nothing but praise for him. I am so proud. I still have some flashbacks to those awful days of him suffering and I cry but they're fading. I am now on thyroxine, I started a trial 6 weeks ago. My TSH jumped up to over 9 so my GP agreed it was time to treat. I have hypothyroidism and chronic fatigue. I still have days I 'crash' and end up in bed but I am trying to learn how to pace myself so I don't over do things. We went on holiday in the UK last week, I was terrified I'd collapse and find it too tiring but I loved it, tired but I pushed through. I crashed this weekend but it was worth it lol!

Since all the ill health these last 8 months especially I have become so scared of how ill I feel. It's hard to know now if it's anxiety, this is where I wondered if anyone else suffers anxiety like this. I don't experience the fast heart or shakes, for me it's a general weakness, woozy giddiness, light headed at times, unreality. Randomly I get a sudden general weakness, I am exhausted when I wake up and 3 times in the last 2 weeks I have had a sudden spell where I feel weak, feel sick, light headed and panic I will faint. I then have a fast heart and my bowels start popping. i am told this sounds like an anxiety attack? I of course have been terrified it's a funny turn as I can them, is it health related? am I ill and going to faint and end up in hospital? Those kind of fears. I then have lived in fear of another 'turn'.

Since being physically ill my agorpahobia reared it's ugly head again but after a panic attack during a blood test at the nurses room. Worst panic attack I have ever had, i rarely suffer them but it was a big one. Since then I now can't do appointments again, I am terrified to go back to the doctors. It's why when I feel ill I am scared stiff of ending up in hospital. I fear being taken into hospital, they'd see how anxious I was and section me. Since being ill I have obviously spent alot of time at home, I now can't do social events, rarely mix with friends or family as I am so anxious around others. I used to be like this but overcame it all and could do appointments again, parties etc... now i am back struggling to be social and appointments are a HUGE mental block. Even my GP coming to my house i find very tough but he has been 3 times since November to keep an eye on my bloods and health.

I worry am i too complex to overcome anxiety, am i seriously mentally ill. I seem to be afraid of every physical symptom I feel like i am hypervigilent to every sensation, I can't seem to decide which is a health issue and what is anxiety so I panic I will collapse and need to go to hospital (the route reason I fear physical symptoms). THen I beat myself up I am a bad mum because I can't take my kids to appointments anymore, I can't take them out alone, having had intrusives I worry am I a terrible ill person, is the unreality normal or am I ill..... I worry is this all 'just' anxiety?

Can anxiety make you have physical feelings without the fast heart etc.? daily I feel unreality where my head feels floaty and everythings unreal and dream like, I feel like low sugar turns sometimes (they aren't), sudden weakness and I almost panic, everything is too bright and i need to wear sunglasses when outdoors (even the brightness causes me to feel anxious), I will get a hot feeling in my body which causes a dry mouth then I feel faint, afraid to drive my car far due to the physical symptoms I have daily, everytime i feel physical symptoms I get high anxiety I will end up in hospital which makes me fear how I'd cope, would they section me seeing how afraid I was being there away from home.... Can anyone relate? Can anxiety cause the physical feelings all day without a racing heart and typical anxiey symptoms? My GP says you can as its general anxiety.

Sorry this got long. I am so disappointed because until I became unwell physically I was doing so well and had overcome so much. I could shop alone again, go for walks alone, socialise a little, do appointments with hubby with me.... IF anyone could relate I'd love to hear from you. I worry I sound so complex. I honestly get on with my life, I am a busy housewife, 3 beautiful children and a zoo of pets, I can go to shops again with hubby and the kids, we just did a holiday an hour from home.... I am building up on things but this agoraphobia ruling me preventing me from doing appointments has caused me to really fear all my physical sensations incase they aren't anxiety and i need to see a doctor or go to hospital. It frustrates me because so many people have physical ill health but are not anxious about it. I have hypothyroidism and the CFS and everytime i wake in a crash day where I am fatigued and weak and need a rest day I am anxious all day, terribly anxious and scared I will collapse and end up in hospital. I wish I could just be unwell and not add so much fear lol!

Thanks again if you read this, you deserve a medal lol! My hubby and children are absolute stars, I'd be so lost without them. They've been amazing and my reason the last 4 years. My world did become smaller, but as my GP said 'your world became richer away from the toxic people'. So true.

12 Replies

  • Hello

    I saw your reply on another post and saw you said you had not had any replies

    Sometimes they are not many on when we post so we have to wait a while and I totally understand that you wanted to get everything of your chest but when we do long posts like you have said yourself we can have a medal if we read it all :-D some if they are feeling a little of cannot always take in long posts so just a tip I use is to try and keep them as short as I can because I have found there is a better chance someone may read and reply :-)

    O Wow what a lot you have been through , I am not surprised of the up's and down's you have been experiencing , you are one strong lady though even though you may not feel you are !

    My heart does go out to you , I relate to family been split apart and how it leaves you feeling and your Mum not been there when you need her in my case was my Dad but like you say you are blessed because your family are your Children and hubby and for all the wrong people in your life you have been rewarded with your own loving family , focus all your time on them they count and deserve your love :-)

    I do not think you are beyond help at all , far from it , but finding the right kind of help

    You have got a lot better before you will and can do it again

    Maybe taking your lovely husband with you to the Doctors or letting the Doctor come to you again and together insist they get you some treatment

    I know you are fearing you will be like your Brother but believe me you won't , the thoughts are the anxiety tormenting you and if you were anything like your Brother you would not be fearing them as you do and finding them upsetting

    Let us know how you get on :-)

    Take Care x

  • Thank you Bounce

    It helped to just type it out. I didn't think many would read it and I am not offended I didn't get any replies, honestly. I just wanted to reassure other posters that they aren't the only ones who don't get responses straight away :-)

    I have seen my GP and as I said they offered CBT with an 18 month wait, little else they can do. I take medication, have for 3 years but it's not really the answer, I know how to over come anxiety as I have done it before. It's just since being unwell it's crept back in a different way and focussed on health and how I feel physically. In the past it was mostly intrusive thoughts and agoraphobia to the point i couldn't leave my house which I can see was a very normal response to what my brother did.

    I think I just wanted to know if others have the physical feelings i have and whether others have overcome it. I probably didn't need to give all the background info.

    Thanks for replying.


  • Hello Julie

    I know all about the waiting time , I had to wait 18 months to

    If you have a phone number for who you have been referred to I would suggest maybe once every 4 months giving them a ring and asking where you are on the waiting list , sometimes reminding them we are still here does not go a miss , I know I kept reminding them :-D

    Shame we could not afford private , not sure if they are any better but we would get seen quicker !

    The thing is with anxiety it will always try and find a way in , you have shut it out with the other symptoms it gave you which it will be most annoyed about :-D but now it has found an opening in your Health , but if what you did last time you can do with this then it will start to help before you get seen , a positive is that you recognize what is happening , that can be half the battle won :-) x

  • I've already had therapy. I went private for 18 months at £60 a week! It helped and did wonders to get over it all. It's just reared it's ugly head again since being physically unwell. So if I did go back to therapy I'd go back to the same lady but it is an expense we could do without for sure.

    Thank you 😊

  • Wow that is not cheap is it :-o

    Even though well worth it if it worked :-)

    I would see how you go but if you really feel you need help before the 18 months then raid the piggy bank :-D x

  • Haha!! I just don't see the point in seeing the gp. All he offered was an increase in medication which I want off not increasing lol. So if I do find the anxiety doesn't settle as my health improves I shall just go the private route and not bother the gp. I spoke to him in January and he just offered me Meds. No use lol.

    Better get saving lol!

  • Hey julie,

    Yea I get the physical feelings quite a few times and yes my anxiety has got worse after I have been ill and stayed in the house and the only way I over come it is to take myself out and put myself out through the horrible feelings even if its just for a coffee or for lunch with your husband but make sure he pays ;-) But when you are well I find staying in makes it 10 times worse because you are letting it take over. So try not to do this, I know its easier said than done, but you can do it :-)

  • Thank you so much Sophih.

    Do your physical symptoms feel the same? I don't get the obvious fast heart etc I just seen to feel hypervigilent and notice every symptom I have and feel unreality and like everything's floating. Which yes does stop me going out. I just worry I'm beyond help lol.

    You're so right, since being ill staying home has caused so many problems. It brought my anxiety back full pelt and my agoraphobia triggered again. Now I just feel so upset and down on myself I can't do appointments or socialise again. It's very frustrating.

    I agree on my well days I need to get out while I have energy. I do on weekends. It's tough during the week as I'm always by myself. It's certainly taken all my confidence away. I had started going out, Costa alone, taking my son to appointments, small shops alone, drives further from home.... now I am back to not doing anything alone and only managing shops etc with hubby butility since my panic attack at the doctors I've a mental block and I can't go back. I need to find my strong head that overcome all of this before but this time the feels like my mental block is even worse and I won't be able to ever go to the gp alone or see a friend.

    Thank you for replying to me.

    Julie x

  • Please read the book by Dr Claire Weeks. It's called peace from nervousl suffering. She also wrote one called complete help for nervous suffering, something along those lines.

    These books were written decades ago but they are still relevant as they explain all,of,Hess symptoms. They're worth a read. Strength to you as anxiety can be all consuming and you've certainly had a rough time. Hang in there. Life will get better. I'm so glad your son is much better also and I wish your daughter a speedy recovery also.

  • Thank you for replying.

    I do have both her books, one being Self Help for your Nerves, they are amazing books. I have her audios too.

    Thank you.


  • You're welcome. It's nice to know we are not alone. I refer to her books when I need reassurance that I'm not losing it. Hope you're on the mend.

  • Hey julie,

    Yea my symptoms feel exactly the same sometimes, but I do try and go out to te shop to buy something if i'm not working and if I am working I will usually go in, even though its horrible and I hate the feelings and symptoms especially the floatyness and not being able to concentrate just because if i don't for me it gets worse and worse and worse. But I have managed to pull myself out of being afraid to leave the house after weeks of not wanting to. And as soon as you break that cycle it goes away after a few days. I tell myself my mind is being ridiculous, but everyone is different so you have to find what works for you. You just need to keep working it and don't give up faith in yourself.

    Do you work julie?

    I hope you are feeling a bit better :-)

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