Can someone become so anxious they become ... - Anxiety Support

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Can someone become so anxious they become psychically ill?


I'm going through a blip of anxiety right now and its a bit bigger than previous blips. I feel sickness coming on sometimes and my left arm gets small pains, not all the time but sometimes. Even though I'm in my early 20s I fear of either a heart problem or my anxiety could kill me by making me so ill. :( Can anxiety do that or will I be fine? Thanks.

16 Replies

Yes. But breathe. Anxiety will not kill you in your 20s if your heart is good. Check with the doctor, tell them your concerns they'll check you out and then you can have peace of mind if you wish. But the best thing you can do is to take a step back when it comes on and you're getting physical symptoms and just breathe... slowly in.. hold it for a second or two.. slow release.

Marco133, it's well established that anxiety disorder can manifest itself by mimicking physical illness. At least half the people we see here experience Health Anxiety which is what you describe.

But first, if you haven't already done so, it's important to talk this over with your doctor and have some tests if necessary to make sure that your symptoms are health anxiety and not real physical illness.

The symptoms of health anxiety are fake symptoms: they never show up on a scan, they can't be found on an x-ray, they never reveal themselves in blood tests and they're a No Show on an endescopy. Although they feel like the real thing anxiety is a reaction of your nervous system becoming over sensitised by too much stress, worry, overwork, loss, grief, disappointment etc.

As the fake symptoms of health anxiety can't block your arteries or weaken your heart muscle I would say your fear of dying from a heart attack caused by anxiety is completely unfounded.

Best just to accept the symptoms for the time being rather than generating extra fear which only further sensitises our nerves.

It’s gonna be okay your safe breathe

Daniellesparkles those are the most reassuring words an anxious person can hear. :)

How have you been? xx

I’ve been well! I’ve been less anxious lately which is great

I was given a potential job offer so that’s exciting

Anxiety can make you feel so ill that it's hard to believe that it's 'just' anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety can be :

- Pounding heart (pounding so hard it's a wonder it can't be heard by others)

- Sweating.

- Headaches.

- Stomach upset.

- Dizziness.

- Frequent urination or diarrhea.

- Shortness of breath.

- Muscle tension or twitches

- Pains in the chest

There are some breathing techniques that help me sooooo much..... in my earlier days of this disorder it would take me about 10 minutes for the breathing technique to help, now it's a matter of seconds. We get so far into our heads and are so hyper-vigilant that any new sensation can set us off.

Calming Breath

Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs,

then your upper lungs.

Hold your breath to the count of "three."

Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.

One poster Jeff1943 wrote some very sensible things in his response to a question regarding Anxiety. He quotes from an excellent book written by Claire Weekes.

She was born in 1903, and has long since passed, but it's amazing how she really got it !.

From Jeff1943

Face, Accept, Float and Let time pass.

Until we Face the fact that we are experiencing anxiety we cannot move forward to the next stage on the road to recovery.

Weekes famously said that the stomach is the organ most sympathetic to anxiety. We should never underestimate the versatility of anxiety in expressing itself.

I also have a lovely warm to hot shower. Not too long but enough to be able to be comforted by the warm water all over. It distracts me, it also allows me to have quiet time to do my breathing exercises. It helps regulate the oxygen and carbon dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is the real culprit. By not allowing oxygen to go deep into the lungs, it's easy to start hyperventilating which 'anxiety' loves.

It may be difficult for you to accept right now, but nothing dangerous is going on here. There's nothing extra special about your symptoms, they are not new, and you are not alone.

Maybe a simple chat with your doctor might be enough for you. They may suggest seeing a Psychologist if they sense you might be too stubborn in accepting that using simple techniques could and should ease your symptoms and stop you from freaking out from little things like a pain here or twinge there, or thinking your brain will explode from all the thoughts racing and pounding through your head.

You can get through this, and you need to understand that anxiety is part of the human makeup. It's just how we respond to it that you need to get back to normal levels.

This will pass. Nothing dangerous is going on here, but it sure as hell feels like it at times, but it doesn't have to be that way.

My anxiety makes me feel like that and I’m only 16, I think it’s normal? I’m not a doctor obviously but I tend to just drink some water and try to destract myself with the 5,4,3,2,1 method my therapist taught me it helps so much

in reply to Iceeeeeee239

Hi Iceeeeee, is that the "5 second rule" The first couple times I tried it, I was amazed in how my symptoms disappeared immediately and was symptom free for 2 days.

Whatever works :) xx

in reply to Agora1

Agora what is the 5 second rule. Would be very interested to hear what it is. Thanks.

in reply to Agora1

Oh I’m not 100% sure if it’s the same one aha it’s basically I have to look really hard for 5 things not many people will see, 4 things not many people will touch, 3 things not many people will hear, 2 things not many people will smell and 1 I can taste, it really helps to destract my mind from everything that’s going on and before you know it the anxiety has past

But if it’s not the same thing I would love to know what the 5 second rule is :)

in reply to Iceeeeeee239

It's not the same Iceeeee239, my therapist does what you do and calls it grounding which always brings me to a calmer state when the mind is going all over the place. A great tool.

I'll get back to you on the 5 second rule. :) xx

in reply to Agora1

Ahhh okay, I would love to know the 5 second rule I’m intrigued :) x

in reply to Iceeeeeee239

Hi Iceeeee, I'm not condoning this method but it's just another thing out there that I found. Like I said it worked for me for 2 days. I'm back to Meditation/DeepBreathing etc.

Take a look at YouTube and see what you think.

"How to Curb Anxiety in 5 Seconds" by Mel Robbins Emotional

Hope you get a couple days relief out of it.

It boils down to what you believe is what you get :) xx

in reply to Agora1

Thank you! I will check that out later on :) x

Hi Marc

I would deffo go see your doctor. Depending what level there are lots of treatments available. It may help to make list of the things that causes anxiety and rate from 1 to 10 with 10 being serious. Start work on minor things first.

May also be worth go to your libbary there are few books that explain all about living with anxiety.

Anxiety can cause all kinds of weird sensation in the body including feeling ill,you will be fine

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