I don't think it is anxiety

Hey everyone.i will try and keep it quick as it will take forever to cover my last 12 months in detail so I will just add my feelings/symptoms.

Head pressure/lightheaded (not dizzy though)

Dull ache in my left arm, left side of my chest under the armpit and lower left stomach.

Weird breathing like I'm fully aware of every breath

Eyes feel weird, kind of different to what they used to be. Eyes test showed nothing at all wrong with my eyes.

Tired all the time with it weak legs

Lack of enthusiasm to do things I used to love doing

Stomach ALWAYS feels tense (could that be what's causing the breathing issue)

Palpatations from time to time which scare me as I then get breathless.

Sometimes feel I'm shaking inside.

Very tired after eating.

Anyway - all this started after my one and only panic attack April 5th 2016 (my birthday) I don't feel anxious about doing anything, I still work, although I find it more difficult now as it's a mentally demanding job. I've had a chest x ray, thyroid check and ecg/heart beat check and all are fine. I noticed that all my symptoms would go when I would go out socialising in the early stages but now they don't, they are constantly there (not all of them - mainly the arm/chest/stomach pain and lightheadedness remain)

Doctor says it's anxiety but if I'm not anxious about doing anything then how can it be.? Can aniexty effect you subconsciously.? If it is anxiety will it just go away eventually if I continue to do everything I would normally do.?

I can get by with the pain, but the lightheadedness and weird eyes are horrendous. Tiredness is most likely caused by not doing as much excercise as I used to maybe.

Thanks for listening

Andy

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46 Replies

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  • Hi I had anxiety since childhood and only really figured it out age 32 after developing high anxiety levels and panic attacks. I do think anxiety can be subconscious I find it's worse now that I know and realise I have anxiety. Have you worked through what your panic attack was related to or what triggers might be? X

  • Hey Nicki, I was out with my 32 year old brother in law the night before celebrating. He went to bed that night and never woke up. When I found out I was in my car on the motorway, as I was driving home I became short of breath so I had to stop at every service station to get out the car and walk around. By the time I finally got home, I was convinced that I was going to die in my sleep that night. Then the panic set in. It scared me like ide never been scared before and I haven't seemed to have felt the same since. I can't seem to shift whatever it is that's making me feel "not normal" if that makes sense

  • Hi Kel4781, Anxiety doesn't come out of nowhere. That's always been my belief. And yes, we can harbor our anxiety, our fears in our subconscious. It waits until we are most vulnerable and then hits us.

    Losing your young brother in law that way shocked your mental and emotional state. After all if it could happen to him, then whose to say it won't happen to me. And the thought is then processed in your mind waiting for the physical symptoms to appear and start the fear cycle.

    The symptoms you describe have to due with tight muscles, yes even your eyes. The tiredness you feel after you eat is a most normal feeling in that your body is working on digestion and not anxiety. Breathing is a most important function of the body but when we are tensed, we can tend to hold our breath or shallow breathe. Those 2 things can give us that lightheaded feeling as well as feeling like we cannot take a deep breathe.

    Our body is well prepared to take over when we feel we can't. These are automatic functions of survival. Let go and let your body and not your mind take over. Finding different ways to release your stress, to calm your fears and negative thoughts will help immensely. Short term therapy addressing the sudden death of your brother in law may be the key to turning your anxious thoughts around.

    Remember we may not be consciously aware of what we fear, but deep within our minds that fear hangs on until we are ready to release it. Better days, feeling better are coming for you.

  • Hi Agora. That makes a lot of sense thank you. I had the worst year last year. That happened to my brother in law in April. Then in July, my 11 year old nephew who I adored sadly passed away from an anaphylactic shock. It broke my whole family. As I was already suffering this, it had a huge impact on my health. I was off work for a month feeling as if I was dying myself. I couldn't sleep, eat, go out the house or anything really. With time it became a little easier and I went back to work. I know for sure I'm not over it as I still get upset when I think of him bless him. I'm hoping time will bring better times and these feelings I'm having will disappear as quickly as they came.

  • Oh Kel4781, I am so terribly sorry for both of your losses. I feel sadness come over me when I hear things like this. I can only imagine the impact this has had on you. Well time does help with healing although we never forget those we loved and lost.

    Is there something you can do to keep the memory of your nephew alive in a positive way not filled with sadness? For instance, plant a small tree and watch it grow. Release balloons in the sky on what would have been his next birthday. The list can go on and on and a therapist may be able to help you in releasing the sadness you feel which in turn will calm down your physical symptoms which are stress related.

    I can only wish you well as you go forward in life. Hold the happy memories in your heart, your nephew would want that.

  • We had the biggest funeral for him. He was already planning his prom as he was due to start high school this year. He wanted a lamboughini as his prom car so we got him one to lead the procession. He would have loved that. We are to play a charity football match in July to mark his anniversary against a cancer research team (he was a massive football fan) the hospital donated a big trophy with his name on so that we can play each year for it against other charity teams to raise money for anaphylactic research and other charities. Really looking forward to it. Just hope I feel ok on the day. The excercise will do me good I guess ☺ we all meet up as a family and all his friends from school still come round to see us. They've been amazingly strong. He will be remembered at every chance we have. Sorry , I'm going on a bit here. He was beautiful though and I miss him greatly.

  • Kel, That is beautiful. You have more than started the healing process. I have a special place in my heart for Anaphylactic Research since I almost died from that years ago. I'm glad you have the support around you from family and his friends. Hang on to those wonderful memories. God Bless...

  • Sorry to hear that and glad you didn't.. I have looked into it and was amazed how little research there is on it. We will have the local news and newspapers at the match so with their help it will highlight the importance of it. If it helps a little then atleast that's something. Thanks again for your kind words

  • Wow you have been through so much we never stop grieving and there is so much to process anxiety is a result of all the stress and emotions. I guess try and find things that work for you ways to relax etc keep looking after yourself x

  • Thanks Nicki. X

  • Great reading x

  • There Agora1 goes again. Someone give this person an OBE for their services to Anxiety Disorders. "Agora1 OBE" sounds good doesn't it

  • So sorry to hear of your experience your stress/anxiety will certainly be stemming from this experience you will also be grieving as dealing with death can be traumatic. Would really recommend counselling to work through feelings and process what has happened. You may not be having anxious thoughts but your body responded and is still dealing what has happened. Has your doc suggested some counselling? X

  • I was sent to a CBT clinic. 1 hour per week for 4 weeks. As it was a group of around 15 people not one to one there was no interaction at all and I left at the end of 4 weeks without them even knowing what I was dealing with or even my name for that matter. A complete waste of time really, but worth a try I guess

  • That's the problem they throw everyone into the same pool without making it personal or constructive for you. I went to a private therapist as the waiting list was long and NHS seems to treat all the same x

  • I went back to the gp afterwards as he wanted to know how it went. I told him exactly what I thought of it and he had heard the same from previous patients who had been to it. Hopefully they have listened and will change the process. It needs to be one to one or only a couple at a time.

  • Subconscious! That is a VERY key word, as I have had anxiety, panic disorder, and depression for 10 years. And I truly feel that 90% of all my mental related things are subconscious!

  • Yes it's axiety I going threw everything except the pain under armpit...but I did a little research to where axiety can affect your whole body it can do whatever it wants but fur as going away I'm still trying to figure out myself because I want relief..but any who I got blood drawing everything look good except my viatim d so I'm currently taking those..so I think the more we contrate on the axiety the more it will try to bring us down...so as long as we stay active. Don't put our minds into it we will be OK because it's not life threatening

  • Hi Msgriffin. Thanks for your reply. I'm finding it difficult to understand it. I'm fine in crowds, football matches ect so this confuses me because I'm not anxious about anything I don't think. I just don't feel the same as I used to before the panic attack. Can 1 panic attack really have this huge effect.? Both physical and mental.?

  • similar to you my symotoms started after one panic attack. its been half a year now and some of the symptoms still presist. I just want to be the old me again yet it seems so hard

  • It really is Luky. I guess we over think what's normal now maybe.? Question everything about the way we act, feel ect. Know we're doing it but yet can't stop doing it.!! It really is a horrible feeling

  • yeah sometimes I question myself if I am just being oversensitive to everything but the physcial symptoms are so real its hard to ignore.

  • They are 😯 I wish there was a way just to go back to normal. A magic pill or anything. Keeping positive and busy is helping me the most. As soon as I slow down or try and relax, that's when the feelings are worse so I feel like I get no rest at all. I'm either busy or feeling rubbish.! We can beat it though I'm sure. Just keep at it and keep positive, try every method you can and hopefully you find one that works for you

  • Thank you! Yeah I am doing a whole lot to try to get back to where I want to be. I have been exercising, eating healthy diet and more. Yeah we should continue to have faith, I tell myself the hardest climbs will lead to the greatest view.

  • Will yes n no because I had a panic attack to...after I had it I was fine for two whole weeks then it came down on me hard to I almost couldn't control it but everybody experience their axiety different

  • Hi Andy and yes, Anxiety is subconscious. Take it from someone who had every test done under the sun. We have the same symptoms and it's all pointed back at anxiety. Though I didn't believe it for the longest time.

  • Hi Rockster. Did you manage to overcome it.? Will it go away completely or will it be there forever.?

  • I think there's always room for it to come back if we dive into the negative thought patterns again, but going from being afraid to drive down the block to driving across the country a few times without any negative thoughts of all that could go wrong, I'm pretty happy. This last week has been great and I look forward to it getting better.

  • Do u know anyone who overcome axiety

  • I have met a couple of people who said they had it. 1 for around 7 months and the other who had it for just over 2 years. Both said it simply just faded away. The guy who had it for the 2 years is now 51 and hasn't had any unhealthy anxiety in over 25 years. I'm holding on to that and genuinely believe that one day it will go. I think if I didn't then I would go downhill very quickly and panic would set in as from time to time, i can feel a panic attack lurking but I can always seem to stop it. If there was no hope then I'm certain it would take over.

  • Anxiety will always be within us, it takes trauma's to trigger it and then how we deal with it from then on interprets which way it goes. If you have ongoing life troubles it will prolong the anxiety and can make you ill. I lost my mum, then my nan, grandad, my dad, then my best friend, so I myself can't find the strength to cope with all of my losses. It's like I grieved then lost then grieved etc.., ongoing long road for 17 years, I need a break...not dealing with one trauma but many has taken its toll. Allow yourself a setback as it does happen but try to work at it a bit to get better quicker xx

  • Sorry for your losses. I hope you manage to get to a happier place soon and start to feel better within yourself. So many losses would effect anyone so don't be down on yourself because you feel your not coping. It must have been an horrendous time for you. 😕

  • Thank you, yes it was very difficult to cope, my depression got really bad after and it didn't end there, I have had nothing but trauma in my life so to feel better would be great x

  • That's so sad to hear. Some people just never seem to get a break do they. I sincerely hope things pick up for you. Sounds like you deserve some good in your life.

  • Yeah true, I can live in hope, I have a lot to give but I'm scared to let go incase I fall again. It's like I set myself up to but i don't know how else to see life. Relationships never worked as I was not in as good place, I thought it would help but it just made things worse, so now I'm on my own

  • I think (only my opinion) that you need to grab life and try your best to live it as best you can and embrace friends/family/partners as they will make you stronger. I think by being on your own afraid to commit could make things worse maybe.?

  • I've gotten rid of it twice for about a year each time, but I always feared it coming back. It's a journey, but I'm pretty certain mine will not return.

  • Kel4781 this sounds exactly like me! Mine started after a death in the family so I understand stress is a factor but we're now over a year later and my body just won't settle but my brain feels ok.

    I'm also convinced it's not anxiety but like yourself have had all the tests. Initially I had low b12 which I had injections for my vit D and folate are low so on supplements. I also had antibody test for thyroid done which gave a non negative or positive result but my gp doesn't believe the test.

    Have you had your vitamins checked?

    Also Does your stomach feel like someone is constantly sat on your upper stomach or similar?

  • Hey Button11. My stomach problem (can't really call it pain as its not really painful - more of a tense/pressure feeling) changes between the top and bottom left. But yes - right in the top centre around 70% of the time. Like it's really heavy/tight and difficult to feel a full breath. My stomach is always churning too.

    To be honest my doctor hasn't checked anything apart from the ecg/thyroid/chest x ray and blood count. It may be worth a trip back there to ask if I could have other tests to rule out a vitamin deficiency.

  • Kel4781 yeh mine is only left side too in the lower stomach but I've had ultrasounds etc and clear. I would definitely get your vitamins checked and have they mentioned ibs to you?

  • No but I have looked into that. I never had any problems before the panic attack though. Everything going on with my head/body started the day after the attack. I'm guessing that one thing is causing everything.

  • Basically everything I felt when my anxiety started

  • Hi Nathsam. How long have you been suffering for if you don't mind me asking.? Have you found anyways to cope with it better.? Is it getting any easier.?

  • Hi Andy I totally get all you have said. Sounds like stress too, stress gives you physical symptoms is what you feel.. I had to give up work in the end as I couldn't cope. Has your GP suggested medication support as it sounds like you are still not right even after seeing him/her. Persistently​ feeling this way will bring you down xx

  • It all is anxiety. If you had chest pain from your heart that lasted that long it would have progressed and you would be dead already. It is the what if that is torturous. . . CBT can sort of work with the right skilled counselor. When our bodies are "locked up" it is hard to break out of the cycle. Anxiety/depression, any non pleasurable mental health state, can cause all types of physiological/body discomfort. It may or may not be comforting to read the posts on here. So many people are suffering like you are and many have similar physical issues with a wide range of symptoms. And with anxiety it is really easy to get caught up in the symptoms and what they may mean. We begin ti think of our bodies that are vessels that will go wrong and kill us. I can't even count how many specialists I have been to for all my symptoms over the years and the toll my anxiety disorder has taken on my life. Most people with anxiety feel worse when they can ruminate about their symptoms. For example, being busy at work or with other people can allow you the chance to distance yourself from it and provide some relief, but when you bring your focus inward to your body or being quiet anxiety can become much worse because sitting with our own feelings and sensations can be very upsetting. I have found one non medication / non traditional therapy to be very helpful. I noticed dramatic results after one week of doing it. And I am a middle aged male professional who believes that all meditation spirituality stuff is complete hogwash, but this has actually provided me with dramatic relief. Not sure if it will help but there is not much to lose Try it. Only thirty minutes a day for a week. Lay down in a quiet place and just follow along. You can look up the guy on the link Jon Kabat Zinn. I think you may be surprised at the results you have.

  • Thanks roninmd. I'm willing to try anything that may help so I will certainly give it a try. You never know until you try do you. Good to hear that you have found something that helps you. Gives everyone hope that they just need to keep looking and trying new things until they also find one that helps

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