Worst 2 months of my life... How did this happen? Where did this anxiety come from?

Hi all,

I'm new here and this is my first post. I'm 27 year old man who is currently living through his worst 2 months of his life.

I moved into a new apartment 1,5 years ago together with my girlfriend. I have a job on the university that I love. I have supportive family and girlfriend and I thought my life is going pretty well.

2 months ago, on Sunday, I had sudden feeling that something is wrong with me. I didn't feel what I would call classic symptoms of panic attack. I just suddenly felt ill. That feeling followed me through the rest of the day and finally giving me one of the worst nights of my life. I couldn't sleep at all and felt so uncomfortable in my bed. The next day started bad for me. Still that ill feeling, but I went to work anyway. After about 30 minutes at work, I just couldn't sit in front of my computer. I felt terribly uncomfortable. My heart was racing, 120 bpm. I went to the doctors office immediately where I had to wait for quite some time but my heart continued to race. At the end, I was taken to hospital where they did blood tests, ECG and listen for abnormalities and murmurs. At the end all tests came out good and no issues were found. After several hours my heart rate went back to normal, but I was still experiencing that ill feeling.

I came back home and tried to relax but all my mind could think of was the reason why I ended up in hospital and why am I not feeling well. My mind finally found the reason - my bowels. I have been experiencing problems with diarrhea for several years which I have never checked out. Of course, I immediately thought of worse - bowel cancer. I was scheduled for all possible exams regarding GI tract but I had to wait 1 month. Colonoscopy, gastroscopy and ultrasound of the abdomen. Every minute of every day of waiting was true hell for me. So many different symptoms were occurring... Pacing heart, nausea, pressure in abdomen, headaches, diarrhea, fatigue, warm face and neck, hands cold or sweaty, etc. I wasn't functioning at all. All I was thinking of was that I'm dying. I cancelled my business trips and stayed home alone doing nothing. I did some more blood and thyroid tests in the mean time and again they were good. I had numerous visits to my GP but I was always confronted with the facts that all the test were fine and that the problem is Anxiety. 2 weeks before the GI exam I went to psychiatrist. Told him my story and the conclusion was the same - Anxiety. He didn't prescribe me any medications on the first visit. The next week was terrible. I had to call him and move our appointment to Monday because the weekends were killing me. I wanted to enjoy it with my girlfriend but i just couldn't. My mind was bricked. I was only thinking about the disease. On Monday, we had a session and I was prescribed with Rivotril (Clonazepam) - 0,125 mg in the morning, 0,125 mg in the afternoon and 0,5 mg before sleep. Till this point, my sleep was terrible. I would fall asleep for 2-3 hours and then wake up with the disgusting feeling inside me. Instead of relaxation, I would get up in the morning totally distressed. Rivotril helped me a bit... I was able to do at least some stuff around apartment but still couldn't work or do anything important. Still the waiting was easier and finally after a month I did all the scheduled tests. The test results were excellent. The only problem that was found was some very small acid reflux. I was relieved. I went home and enjoyed the rest of the day. The day after I was back to work and I felt good. However, after 3 days, my problems came back. Again that feeling that is eating you from the inside together with several new symptoms - cough, muscle twitching and pain, dizziness, high blood pressure, etc. I upped my dose of Rivotril to .25 in the morning, .25 in the evening and 0.5 before sleep. This helped me to go through the working day.

Several weeks have passed by in the mean time. A lot of things improved but still I don't feel like myself. One question that I ask myself every day is - How did this happen? Where did this anxiety come from? Is this really anxiety? My psychiatrist is helping me find the problems that caused all this but everything I dig out isn't something I consider a big problem that would cause all this to me. I know that I was experiencing health anxiety after my admission in hospital but I just don't see what was the trigger for me to even finish up in hospital. I try to relax as much as possible but it is very hard for me to confront a problem which I cannot identify. I tried to exercise but doesn't work for me to good. I get this lightheaded and dizzy feeling during the exercise and end up in more problems than before exercise. I played some table tennis few days ago and after 10 minutes of game, I was unable to keep score in my head. I played fine but I felt like my mind was gone. Sorry for the long post. At the end, I always go back to the beginning of my problem - Sunday afternoon and sudden ill feeling. What happened???


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9 Replies

  • Well first of all welcome and know your not alone, As I read you know what going on it is just how did it start, it can be 100 of things that started it and as you said you have a great life from something that you saw on TV and it stuck in your mind without you knowing, a nightmare that you had but did not remember. Something in the news close to home. as I say many reason without you realizing it even lack of sleep due to a busy lifestyle and not having time to eat right

    For me I did not see it coming I started with O.C.D from a young age always had worries/fears but slowly it became worse for me from being scared of Asteroids to nearly anything now .

    I'm I right on thinking you are feeling guilty? because if I am please do not you can not help it.

  • Yes, I am blaming myself which makes me irritated and angry. I feel like I'm destroying everything good I've made and leeching positive energy in people. The worst part is that Christmas is coming... I'm not really sure that I can enjoy the holidays... I don't want to hang out with people. I just want this feeling to finish.

  • You can not blame your self, I used to think someone always worse off than me so stop being so selfish. But you know you do not want to be like this and there is no magic pill but you are seeking the help you are fighting this and not giving up you have not walked away from loved one nor life so this year is not the year. You will have more Xmas days so this year just try, For me I find when my family round me and close friends I feel fine and for a few hours I forget :) Strangers I still will not be around but main thing is your loved ones and sounds like they will understand

  • Anxiety in my opinion is 10 times worse than a general other illness because it is so much harder to treat. I too suffer with being poorly - I am ill everyday what be it stomach ache, sickness, headache, lightheadedness and recently a loss of appetite!

    You're not alone and people have been telling me things will improve, but like you I am not convinced

    I was enjoying my life, managing my anxiety and the past couple of weeks it has just escalated out of control. I too thought that it would impossible for such physical symptoms to come from your mentality

    Good luck and I hope you start to feel better soon, try to google some tips on keeping calm when you feel your worst

  • The thing is that I don't experience classic panic attacks... At least I don't think so. At moments I just start to feel terrible. I may not even think about any problems or anything. It can occur anytime. I will stay calm. I will not hyperventilate. My pulse will remain steady. But I will feel terrible. Then I will become hypersensitive to all bodily functions for some time. I will think that my muscle twitching or pain is some serious illness or check some lymph nodes which are maybe enlarged And then, after some time I will stop with this hypersensitivity and become irritated and angry at myself. It is like a routine.

  • Honestly I am the same - there is no obvious trigger! Symptoms just appear and won't leave! Honestly you're not alone :)

  • I feel the same way. Ugh 😫

  • Leon, it seems from what you say the whole medical profession is agreed that your illness is not organic and those symptoms, even the pounding heart, are not life threatening. Accept what they say and give thanks your body is fine. Don't keep worrying what started it, that's not important, what's important is that when you understand the tricks anxiety plays on you then you can learn to overcome your symptoms. Your symptoms have understandably become your obsession, you have entered a vicious circle of anxiety causing symptoms which cause more anxiety which causes more symptoms and so it rolls along as a self perpetuating nightmare.

    Your symptoms are fraudulant and can do no permanent damage though they have temporarily caused your whole netvous system to become over sensitive. Cure comes when you can break the vicious circle described and bring rest to your depleted nervous system. You do this by Acceptance. When the bad feelings come you just Accept them as a temporary nuisance and carry on as normal. Don't keep testing youself, let the symptoms come if they want and laugh in their face because you now understand that they are fake. Acceptance robs anxiety of its power to cower you - but it must be utter Acceptance, not pretend Acceptance, and that's the hard part. But with practice and the passage of time (no quick fixes I'm afraid) you will perfect Acceptance and you will lose your fear of those symptoms and your nerves will become desensitised and your well being will return.

    This is the method that Doctor Claire Weekes, herself an early sufferer of anxiety disorder, describes in simple words and more fully in her first book 'Self help with your nerves' published as 'Hope and help with your nerves' in the U.S., available on Amazon. In the past 50 years that book has healed a million people by directing them on a journey of discovery and recovery. A million people, Leon. And there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't be next.

  • Reading your post I couldn't feel as if I was reading about myself. The main question I had after first ever full blown panic attack was what has caused it? I looked at immediate reasons but nothing made any sense. The was no one single reason that was logical as to the onset of anxiety. After several years I have realized that our body is an incredible biological machine. It's capable to constantly balance itself to be in the best possible shape at any given time. However, the years of abuse take a toll. Sometimes very heavy. The onset if anxiety, in my opinion, is the final alarm. The body cannot continue to balance itself, is loosing grip and sending alarm signals. Thus the reason for anxiety is an accumulation of a variety of things. School, finances, relationships, career take an emotional toll. Sleep, what we eat, air we breathe, what we drink take a physical toll. It all adds up until the breaking point. We all have different breaking points. Most of the time we abuse our mind and body without being conscious of doing so. After all, everyone is doing the same. We have no reason even to question it. When it blows, we are shocked. How could this happen to me?

    With you, having problems with your digestion this should be a big clue. You may be allergic to certain foods or chemicals contained in those foods. I could eat anything before. Now, I have to be careful. For example, after Chinese fast food I had severe heart palpitations and heart rate of 120 bpm. The clues are there but we refuse to listen to our body. In my opinion, radical change is often required. Pharmaceuticals are nothing more than a bandage that covers the wound. Often they may be required, however, for a real healing to happen one has to face oneself without the illusions. If you look at your life with uttermost honesty I am sure you will quickly find reasons for your anxiety.

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