New to the site and to anxiety!

Hi Everyone.

I have just joined the site today after experiencing what I believe to be anxiety.

Two weeks ago I was sat at my desk at work when I developed a small twinge of pain in the left of my chest; my chest tightened, my heart started to beat frantically, I couldn't breath and the room started to spin. Realising I was at work I tried to act normal and walked into the lobby where I had such intense stomach cramps and then the biggest wave of heat travelling from my feet to my head. I thought 'that's it, my heart is going to stop, i'm going to die'. I was making my way to the bathroom when I decided to avoid it just incase I did pass out somebody would find me. My partner came to pick me up from work and this lasted around 15 minutes until I started to be able to breathe again, then I started violently shaking which I put down to shock. It was completely out of the blue. For about 3 days my heart was constantly pounding, I had butterflies in my stomach, I was wretching to be sick. But I thought I better get back to work...

I ended up leaving early as I felt so horrific, like I couldn't breathe quite right. Then at 12:30am it started again. I was sitting in bed and I felt the wave of heat, my heart rate sped up to 128bpm (my partner had to attempt to take my pulse!) I couldn't breath and had to pace the floor. This lasted again around 15 minutes. I was shaking uncontrollably in bed until I finally decided to go to A&E. I was hooked up for an ECG and everything came back normal. That night I slept with my hand on my chest so I could feel my heart beating.

I visited the doctors and was told it was a problem with the electrical signal in my heart causing an irregular heart beat and was put on Beta-blockers. My heart rate dropped to 53bpm and I couldn't get out of bed without wheezing, so I stopped taking the tablets and slowly started to feel better. I still believe this is anxiety rather than an issue with my heart as the ECG was clear.

Initially I was scared of going outside. I didn't want to be left alone (god love my dog for lying with me during the day!!) When my partner left for work my Mam would come and visit. I felt a mess. I didn't want to get out of bed. I felt like this for around 4 days until I realised I couldn't stay like this. giving myself some breathing space from work, the symptoms slowly started dissapearing.

After everything dying down I spoke to the doctor to say I felt better and I am now back at work. However I'm starting to experience the flutters again and last night I was overwhelmed with panic although nowhere near to the attacks I previously had. I've developed the attitude of 'OK then so if you're going to happen, do it! I know what to expect' (however I have to say when the symptoms do come on I'm praying for it to stop!) I think this is such a hard thing to understand and to not be in control of your own body is so scary. I'm still not confident to get my hair done or go out in public places in case it happens and I can't get out of the situation, but I am trying to get stronger slowly. My way of thinking is 'I've not actually died from this, it is a horrible feeling but I know that it will go away, I always come out of it'. I believe it is something that can be conquered. Yes it's a horrible, scary thing to happen but when you feel that inner peace and calm for even half an hour, the mental fight is worth the effort.

xxx

3 Replies

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  • Hi there sorry to hear of your problems but they all sound so familiar to me . My first massive panic attack was at work and it frightened the life out of me,That night it happened i did not know what to do i was so frightened i lay in bed that first night clinging to my wife wondering what had happened to my life. A visit next day to my GP found me been told i need more exercise and i was put on beta blockers to bring my heart rate down these made me wheeze so bad i could hardly get my breath this stupid doctor has since retired thank god!! a further visit to another GP told me i had-had a massive panic attack i was put on citalopram and 6 years later i am on it again . although i can control the panic attacks because i know what they are, i am still left with panic /anxiety/sickly feeling and depression most of the time . on bad days i have headache feel as though my heads in a bubble and i loose interest in most things you feel removed from what is going on around you and you just want to get through the day and wonder is it always going to be like this i don't like busy places or noise it gets me really worked up and light headed i hope there is light at the end of the tunnel I myself am seing a primary and mental care specialist and it helps to write every tthought down when your feeling bad you can then talk to your councillor about it to try get to the root of your problem. but you are certainly not alone and they say the only thing to fear is fear itself hope you feel better soon . Allen

  • Hi Allen,

    I'm really sorry to hear you are also suffering from anxiety. I hadn't realised how common it was until I started reading into it. My Mam also suffers.

    It wasn't until I started reading that I understood it's all about tricking the mind and creating new messages to the brain. It's amazing how much hearing about other peoples experiences can help. I understand what you mean when you say you still have that anxiety feeling. It's a hard thing to describe but I feel the same.

    I'm also trying to be strong for my partner as I know it's really effected him. Most days I have just wanted to go to bed and curl up into a ball until everything subsides but I know that's not the way to be.

    Have you found anything in particular that helps calm you down or keep the attacks at bay? It sounds like you are coming a long great as you can now control them but I understand how frustrating it can be regarding public places.

    It sounds so silly but whenever I feel the symptoms of an attack, I feel my heart or my pulse and confirm to myself 'yep, still beating and pretty good too' then I know I'm safe and it's my mind playing tricks. I also used the technique of breathing from the stomach rather than the chest and found that calms me down too.

    Amanda

  • Hi there Mandy just found your letter after bank hols .When i first went to see a councillor he noticed my breathing was fast and shallow he showed me how to control my breathing and i am now conscious of it most of the time he also recomended keeping a brown paper bag handy to breath into at the onset of a panic attack. This helps when you get two much oxygen in your system. The councillor also asked what i did when the panick/anxiety came on and like you i said i go to bed curl up and try and reset my brain my bed is where i feel safest!! On very bad days i can't get up i feel safer where i am so i stay there. The best cure is to make a list of things to do and try bash on with them it keeps your mind busy i know this is hard because on very bad days you loose all interest in most things . Hobbies can be a good way of keeping your mind active and away from the dark thoughts also i know its hard but a good laugh helps try cheer you up( Lee evans does it for me) -- sorry to be light hearted about things but when i feel better thats what i feel when i'm in the depths of depression its another story hope you feel better soon. Allen

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