I’m at a loss : I don’t know what to do... - Anxiety Support

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I’m at a loss


I don’t know what to do anymore. I spend all day long thinking I am dying. I can’t carry on like this. It’s severe “anxiety” (heart problems) which has made me very depressed. I just don’t want to wake up anymore. It’s absolutely hell. I don’t know what to tell the doctors. On holiday last week I had to stand away from my balcony as I had urges to jump off. I don’t want to be out in a straight jacket but I don’t know what to say to the doctors. I’ve seen them so many miles I’m out of things to say. But I just don’t know how much longer I can carry on with this. It’s not a life anymore. It’s horrific!! Fluoxetine 40mg a day. Maybe I need to change this. But I know hats a guaranteed 4 weeks of hell!!!

17 Replies

I have the same thing anxiety "heart condition". I take 1mg Ativan when I can't cope anymore. See if they can give you just a 30 day supply to maybe help reset so your meds you are on can start helping again. I think the docs refer to it as a booster when it's just a temp med to help. I can go weeks and months without it and then sometimes I need it everyday for a week or month to reset my nerves. Talk to your doctor about maybe something he can use for you as a temporary boost to your current med. Gentle hugs, this to shall pass.

Sandy1710 in reply to Fearoffear

UK literally will not give this drug or anything like this drug to anyone!! it has lead to me going to the black market to source diazepam - I have also found my self taking painkillers as they make me drowsy which takes edge off of things!! great isn't it! thanks for your words!

Hi Sandy, I agree with Fearoffear in that maybe getting your doctor to add a little something you can take once in a while to break that fear cycle. Depending how long you've been on Prozac may indicate that you might need an increase or that it's just not working for you anymore. Have a talk with your doctor not about the symptoms as much as your medication and where you go from here.

Once you get that break from daily symptoms, it gets easier to move forward. You need a refocus whether it be with medication or therapy (CBT). I hope you have a serious talk with your doctor, he holds the key for you.

Sandy1710 in reply to Agora1

i am going to taper off of Fluoxetine and see if sertraline is any better, its going to be a hard few weeks!! He listendd to heart and took bp and said everything is fine again!! how can this be!!

Agora1 in reply to Sandy1710

You know Sandy when our medication is no longer working, we go through the same withdrawal effects as if we weren't even on it. Your doctor has a plan, trust in him. He knows your history, your heart is okay. How can this be?? Because it is not a physical issue but a mental one. Going on Sertraline will help restore the chemicals in your brain that are sending out these false signals. Believe in your doctor but mostly believe in yourself. This will all come to pass, one day at a time.

Use the forum for support, no one understands this more than us. We support each other and with that we are able to go forward and not stay stuck.

Sandy1710 in reply to Agora1

I have still felt awful all day - like something is defo up with heart!! I think I am constipated and having stomac problems, I think/hope this can cause chest pains - mainly right sided luckily enough but feels like it cant be stomach related!!

Agora1 in reply to Sandy1710

Sandy I can only relay what has happened to myself at times and that is fear and anxiety causes the stomach to get irritable and in turn I feel it in my chest. You have GERDS I believe. You should let your doctor know and have him give you something for the acid reflux.

Agora1 in reply to Agora1

Sandy, another thing you might want to do is call and set up an appointment with your therapist. The therapist may be able to work with you on lowering your health anxiety worries. Just a thought.

Sandy1710 in reply to Agora1

Going to start the therapy again soon. Just feel so ill. Whole upper body is just not right I don’t think.

Sandy, are you saying that you have been diagnosed with heart problems or you have heart symptoms which are caused by anxiety?

If you ever feel like self-harming you must go straight away to A&E up at St Georges or St Helier and tell them how you feel. Nobody is going to put you into a straight jacket, not these days.

Sandy, can you pin down exactly what is causing your anxiety? If you can then the first thing to do is to sort it in order to protect yourself.

Of course, once it gets started anxiety is self-perpetuating: your over sensitive nerves cause symptoms which cause fear which causes more anxiety causing more symptoms causing more fear and round and round it goes.

If you have a real heart issue then these days that can be easily controlled with meds. But I think maybe your heart symptoms are caused by the anxiety.

Sandy, anxiety's bark is worse than it's bite. It makes you feel lousy but it can't kill you or make you disabled or send you crazy (anxiety disorder is a neurosis not a psychosis).

Try and keep a sense of proportion: you can heal yourself of these awful feelings given understanding, reassurance and practice. You aren't going to feel like this forever and you can do something about it. What you have to do is the opposite of what you've been doing so far: change your approach and you will regain your peace of mind.

Firstly, face your anxiety: don't try to hide from it, forget about it or lose yourself in distractions.

You need to face your anxiety because the next step is to accept it for the moment. Agree to go along with the anxiety because if you can learn to accept it (knowing full well it can't do you any physical harm) you can lose your fear of it and that's the key to recovery, Sandy, lose the fear: fear isn't necessary because there is nothing threatening you other than your own fear of fear. And it's constantly stoking the fires of anxiety with fresh fear hormones that keeps the anxiety and the rotten feelings alive.

Learn to endure the anxiety - and before long you won't need to endure it any longer. That's the long and the short of it Sandy.

You've read about Claire Weekes' acceptance method, you may even have read her book 'Self help for your nerves'. Remember what I call her four imperitives: Face - Accept - Float - And let time pass.

Calm yourself, Sandy, you are in no danger, nothing threatens you, you can and will recover if only you will replace fear and fighting with acceptance. It really can work wonders but you have to take charge and do these things and I know you can do it.

Sandy1710 in reply to Jeff1943

Thanks for your reply Jeff - I haven't been diagnosed with Heart Problems, YET! how can they not find anything but I feel like this everyday? The way I feel I must have something wrong with heart or lungs as my breathing is impaired I always have to take a deep sigh in and also the weird feelings in my chest keep me petrified! I have changed my meds today hopefully that helps! it's mad you are so close to me, I was thinking how does he know the hospitals! they know me very well in there! I spoken to doctor today, he listened to chest today and took my blood pressure, again they said everything is fine!! what a nightmare!!

Jeff1943 in reply to Sandy1710

Sandy, you've had a lot of tests and examinations. Not just by one doctor but several. And they all say the same thing: there is nothing organically wrong with you. Your hearts and lungs are fine.

But you're in denial, Sandy, it's that phrase we read so often 'the doctors must have missed something'.

Fortunately, they haven't missed anything. All these strange feelings to do with your breathing and your lungs are down to anxiety. You greatly underestimate the power of anxiety to mimic the feelings of real physical illness.

I said 'fortunately' because it's easier to cure symptoms caused by anxiety than symptoms caused by diseased organs.

What you're doing wrong is too much introspection. Actions like breathing and walking along the street we do automatically without thinking. But if for some reason we get the idea that there's something wrong with our breathing and keep testing it and thinking about it all the time then our breathing becomes laboured and feels strange. I've done it myself imagining I'm breathless and thinking and worrying about it too much and before long I really am feeling breathless. And then it goes out of my mind and a month later I think 'Hey, what happened to my breathlessness?'

Same happens with walking, most people just walk without thinking about it but if you concentrate on your walking too much and start imagining you can't control your legs as you should, well, after a while you only feel at home walking with a stick or shopping trolly to steady you. And it's all pure imagination, too much introspection.

That's where you're going wrong, Sandy, too much introspection. And in the absence of anything else the weird feelings in your chest are the classic symptoms of muscular tension.

Then all this worry and stress about your imagined physical illnesses cause you to pump out fear and stress hormones and you start to feel really ill and worried and depressed and like you must be dying.

Sandy, you're doing all this to yourself. There is nothing wrong with your heart, there is nothing wrong with your lungs. I'll say it again because it's so important: you're doing this to yourself. And you will go on feeling dreadful until you call a halt to all these self-inflicted illnesses.

So here's your escape plan:

FACE the fact that all your problems are caused by anxiety disorder not some organic illness all the medical experts have missed.

ACCEPT all the symptoms for the time being, you know they're not life-threatening and will disperse before too long. So accept them without fear.

FLOAT through your daily life as if you are being carried forward by some powerful force gently on a cloud.

And LET TIME PASS: don't expect a quick fix, you have to practice replacing fear with acceptance for a while before your nervous system calms down and you are fully recovered.

I know these symptoms of illness feel real. But either the whole world is wrong and you're right or you're wrong and all the medical advice you've been given is valid. Please think about it.

Sandy, everybody here wants you to recover and get back to feeling normal once more. If you make the right choices you can.

Indigojoe in reply to Jeff1943


Hi Sandy, You have probably heard this before but nothing is easy apart from slipping into depression. I am not going to say I know how you feel because I dont! I suffer from long term physical illness /Disability, and the depression does get deep! just found out after a suspected Heart attack that I have Angina! have to take more pills and carry a Glyceryl Trinitrate spray , all I hear from those who know is "You will be ok nothing to worry about" even the old "IT will get easier" yes I get depressed some could be because of my meds I dont know,but I do know I am not going to let it beat me! we need to try to keep smiling even though inside we are crying! because thats what is expected of us, I hope you can find something to make you feel better inside because that is the first step in beating these ailments!!!

Hidden in reply to Delzek

I just read your response to Sandy and I almost cried at the sentence "we need to try to keep smiling even though inside we are crying" because that's exactly what I've been feeling like off and on the last 5 or 6 weeks for the same reason: health anxiety. Dr says it's anxiety after a long period of off the charts stress. Mine has been stomach/gut problems with little to no appetite, nausea after I eat and sometimes having to force food down because I have to, only to be bothered shortly after sometimes with a knotted up, burning or knowing pain. I know I have gastritis and dr thinks it's flare up. I've had some days of feeling pretty good and eating normal but others where I'm on the couch exhausted and no appetite and just want to sleep so I don't feel like this. It's makes me feel awful as hard as I'm trying to "accept it" because I'm scared it's something serious.

It is very difficult to explain to DRs how you are feeling Mentally the physical ailments are easier to explain because we know the right words , I have a degenerative Skeletal problem Chrones and Diverticular disease now Angina .the pain is horrendous at times ,and its manageable at other times! I used to worry it was something worse but now I accept what I am told it is . I also have PTSD and yes Depression which I hope I am being able most of the time to keep in control! some times accepting and being able to talk to the right person/people can make that happen sooner rather than later! I hope you find the right balance soon!

Thanks for you reply. Sorrry to go on when you actually have a real heart illness. I’ve just never been through something so hard like this. I’ve tried everything to get my quality of life back

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