Blindsided by anxiety and panic

I recently turned fifty and, until recently, can only remember twice that I had experienced panic attacks. 20 years ago when I split with my wife and last year when I almost fainted in a mall while battling a virus. So this year I have developed health anxiety. My ex-girlfriend had serious bouts of anxiety and panic and although I would try to comfort her thru it, I never truly understood it until I experienced the last six weeks. I went to the ER three times in 10 days. It started when I almost fainted at home which led to panic/chest pains. After stress test, artery CT scans, brain scans and what seems like enough blood for a family of vampires, they have concluded that my heart and arteries are perfect. Still have to follow up about the almost fainting but the anxiety/panic is still intense. I became afraid of the gym and hiking alone. In August I was hiking alone on glaciers in Iceland and now I get dizzy on elliptical as I stare at my heart rate. Monday I am going to Caribbean and anxious about flight even though I have been all over the world. Feel blindsided by this sudden appearance of anxiety.

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12 Replies

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  • The feeling of fainting could be an anxiety symptoms and the dizzy is too. It sounds like it's become a focus which will trigger the panic and anxiety. It's like we're always waiting for the next one which is what causes all the other symptoms.

    I'm a spiritual person so when I start feeling anxious or find myself thinking obsessively about it, I stop what I'm doing and out loud I say I can't do this alone and im giving it to you, take this obsessive thinking away from me ... Sounds weird but it works for me. I also keep lavender essential oils readily available and chamomile tea bags. I even put them in my ice water and let it sit for a while and sip on it all day.

    Hope this helps and enjoy your trip... Don't let this stop you from living... I did that for way to long

  • Thanks, glad the spirituality helps. The dizziness/almost fainting became a trigger because I was alone at work and at home which made me avoid those situations for a bit. Now that all tests have come back ok, I recognize the panic for what it is. I was looking at other factors that might have brought it on out of the blue like Lyme or something. I also have a shoulder injury which causes shooting pains in the arm and chest which also triggers some panic. Definitely better than I was a month ago.

  • I'm glad everything is OK with you regarding all the tests... I've done all that myself and I till get triggered by how I'm feeling

  • Hi Steve, Do you think splitting with your girlfriend triggered the anxiety? So now you're all alone. Does that bother you? Depending on how long you were with her, being alone could be bothering you. I work by myself at night.Plenty of time to think and let my nerves take over! Ruby🌹

  • Ruby, I think the alone part is a trigger but we split three years ago so not that recent. But I agree the health issues trigger being alone, thinking that something will happen when nobody is around. I also work late alone in my office and feel the same fear, that someone will find me in the morning.

    After the split, I had different kind of restless anxiety. Not panic, but anxious where I started smoking and walking around the neighborhood at night, thinking about everything. Now it's more related to health. Unfortunately, as I have gotten older I have more aches and I believe some normal symptoms trigger these anxieties about serious problems. Then anxiety creates more real symptoms which increases panic. Another potential aspect of this I have two friends/clients that died instantly. One three years ago waking in morning and another older friend this Summer. Thanks

  • Health issues can definitely bring it on. I went 8 years with no anxiety than got a bad flu that led to 2 months of respiratory issues and then my anxiety came storming back full bore. I'm better now but for several months I was in bad shape.

  • Yes, health anxiety is no joke. Glad you are doing better)

  • Has something happened in your life to cause you some areas?

    You seem to have written my exact story! Mine all started about 6 months ago....and now like you, I have had all the tests, I finally am beginning to see it for what it is...although the dizziness out of the blue still scares me.

    I have for the past nine years been commuting to work a 100 miles each week and staying away from home. I am not young anymore and I think my body was exhausted and sleep deprived. I have had to leave that job and put my health first and I am slowly beginning to feel better.

    But I do still get dizzy spells out of the blue. And also I am flying to Spain next week to spend Christmas with my son and I am nervous about that, but only because of the way I have been feeling, but I am going.

    I get cross with myself and strangely I too give away my fear to the universe or whoever may be listening and say those exact same words " I can't do this anymore, I am giving it to you to help me" Then I feel I can let it go because I know I am being helped.

    After all if we don't let things go, how can we be helped?

    I wish you luck and health and I am sure you will be ok and get stronger. ff x

  • Hello, yes very similar. I had a habit of burning the candle on both ends and maybe everything just catches up. Probably have to make some changes also. Health is more important. Enjoy your visit with your son.

  • That should say stress Steve, not areas , blimin phones! :-)

  • The feeling of fainting is definitely a symptom of anxiety. You didn't faint and that's a good sign. I have health anxiety, my eye lid flutters and I'm worried

  • Doctors always say dehydration and sleep. But definitely something that I have to work on. Sorry you are dealing with this aw well.

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