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.