Hi, I just recently found this site and thought why didn’t I think of chat rooms sooner!! All the information is very relieving to know that I’m not the only one to think I’m going insane. I have a lot of thoughts going through my head 24 hrs a day, and not all positive. About 3 years ago, an incident triggered anxiety and panic attacks. At that point in my life I though I was at deaths door (bearing in mind I was 21), I couldn’t go out and drink with my friends for fear of bringing on a panic attack and knowing that my friends wouldn’t understand. I have always been a very sociable, fun-loving, easygoing, high achieving person, and to have this enormous, unexplained set back in my life was inconceivable. School was always very high pressured, and I always felt that people close to me expected a lot from me (without realizing it). Over the past 3 years, my anxiety has changed. Firstly, I had quite severe panic attacks, which would bring on very ‘real’ physical symptoms (such as racing heart, dry mouth, tingling sensations in my hand), and the amount of times I self diagnosed myself and went to A&E is ridiculous. But I would sit in my room, in fear and dread, shaking not knowing what was happening to me. The more I have researched and learnt about anxiety disorder and panic attacks, the symptoms have changed. My panic attacks have disappeared, as I have learnt to control these panic sensations. The only time that I still panic is on an airplane. My fear of flying was brought on around the same time, and something that really burdens me. If anyone has any advice for this, I would be grateful) So now I have episodes about 4 days a month, where I feel my anxiety creeping back and my whole state of mind changes. Those 4 days I live in dread, fear of insanity, racing bizarre thoughts, very emotional and irritable. I went to my docs, as I felt like I have not yet combated the disorder and need a little help. I have been undergoing CBT with a 6 session course, and coming to the end of it now, I have to say I’m a little disappointed and upset that it didn’t make a bigger impact. I feel like my therapist has studied anxiety from a text book at uni, but does not fully understand what I’m going through. I really need to be talking to someone who is inspirational and positive about recovery. Health anxiety has been a big factor of the past year, where I panic about every niggle in my body. Headache= brain tumor, racing thoughts = insanity, back pain= spinal cancer, blurred vision= brain tumor. I have to say, my visits to the docs has reduced 100% which has to be a good sign, and I now put odds on everything. If I had to put £100,000 on actually having a brain tumor over a simple headache, then headache wins everytime! So I’m not saying I am anxiety clear, but I am proud of the progress I have made up to date. I have been very lucky to have a very understanding family and boyfriend to talk to when times get rough. So to get over this last hill, I’m planning on doing meditation, I also find the sun helps as well as yoga, moving away from hectic London to calmer Oxford, new job on a graduate scheme (which I still fear that I can cope with), and no alcohol or caffeine. Fingers crossed I get through it and can start enjoying life again!
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