Please help! I'm adamant that a very short term health worry is now not a cause for anxiety, but 6 weeks on I'm battling extreme symptoms

Hey folks, I'm very new to anxiety symptoms having only had my first of 2 panic attacks 6 weeks ago, and first diagnosis of severe anxiety 5. I've experienced all the classics, physical lump in throat, racing heart, massive adrenaline surges, but had ecg's, blood tests and xrays to no avail. I'm really struggling, because I strongly feel that other than the first experience which was links to a soon-remedied benign health worry, I am not stressed or worried or indeed knowingly anxious AT ALL. I have heartburn and chest discomfort throughout the day, and without affecting my breathing my chest really tightens as if the bottom of my ribcage is being pulled to the ground. Since 6 weeks ago my heart rate no longer raises and I don't get adrenaline rushes, but it often pounds so forcefully it makes my t-shirt move. I'm not overweight, never drink, don't smoke, low caffine intake too, plus I run 2 miles 3 times a week and swim, skip and weight train every other day, each of which does not produce any adverse affects on my physiology. My ears ring like hell in the late evenings, and its all worse at night. What the HELL is going on? Of course there seems to be little more they can test for, and i'd love for someone to really go over it and say "yep, its definitely psycological" then i could work on working through it, whereas all that ive tried to now is a combo of beta blockers (which REALLY messed me up, made it worse in fact, I guess as my body isn't used to ever taking ANY meds it reacted badly), and ignoring the symptoms until they pass, which they do, but then return in force unexpectedly.

Jesus Christ this is awful, I can't emphasise how hard i'm finding this, any advice is hugely welcomed, I really feel let down by my GP as an instant massive precription of meds was surely not apporopriate, nor a two-month wait for a session of cbt when I'm sure I don't worry. I mean, I went comfortably to watch the olympics amongst a crowd of 35,000 yesterday. Anyways, everyone on this site is a hero for what you battle through and the support given to others, chuck some my way and i'll be your best bud x

Jonathan

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  • Hi Jonathan

    I'm pretty new to all of these feelings of anxiety too, In particular health anxiety. I think it has all surfaced since having my two boys who of course mean the absolute world to me and are now growing up, and I just worry myself with the question: 'How would we all cope if there was to be something seriously wrong with me?' Parental responsibility I guess, just lovely but also a huge weight if that makes sense?! I have been suffering with chronic heartburn constantly for the last week or so and it is really panicking me. My biggest mistake is then Googling and putting two and two together to make ten.

    Similar to you, my worries started after a 'medical' cause in that I went throughout two miscarriages and then an operation before being blessed with my first son. Complete feelings of helplessness and being out of control then surfaced....the fact that you never know what s**t life will unexpectedly throw at you I suppose.

    I have recently been to see my GP about all of my worries and I have to say she has been great. I am also having counselling to look at what is underneath all of my anxieties and this has-surprisingly to a quite cynical me-been really helpful. My GP was pretty 'keen' to offer me meds too but I really, really don't want to go down that route so I am looking at other ways of dealing with it as best I can. It is ridiculously hard though, I agree.

    I know I probably haven't answered all of your questions here, but I just wanted to let to you that you are by no means alone and that a problem shared is definitely a problem halved. The fact that you are clearly into your fitness should really help-wish I was lol! I don't drink either, but my vice is certainly cappucinos and more cappucinos which I know isn't probably the best thing when stressed! Hope things get better for you soon x

  • Thankyou so much for your reply, i feel like a bit of a pansy when i compare myself to some of the things folks have gone through on here, you all deal with such overwhelming issues its inspiring to read all the different approaches to the 'A' word! The main problem i have is just finding it impossible to disinguish between such physiological symptoms and the fact they're occurring randomly. It is getting less and less, but soon as one lessens, another crops up! I'm keeping on with the fitness regime, so i know where my physical boundaries are, and i think thats helping as a kind of self-reassurance. If that makes sense?!

    Thanks again xx

  • Hi Jonathan, anxiety is a sneaky **** (you can fill in the gaps) my interpretation of it is it rewires your system when something happens, mine was an accident, so all though I have now gone through the whole crisis, hospital, discharge, follow up system and no longer in danger my mind/body won't give up thinking it's in danger. On the face of it I have nothing to be anxious about but somewhere in my mind that primitive fight/flight/freeze response has got stuck and keeps tripping for reasons I don't see coming, like going to bed, getting on a train, sitting in a meeting, going the local shop things I've done thousands of times before with no fear of anything happening. It sounds like you are doing all the right things but maybe try your GP again as I wouldn't dismiss some from of talking therapy, it can sometimes help to get a fresh perspective from someone unrelated to yourself. Ringing in the ears is common with anxiety there are many theories as to why this happens but i notice mine more when I'm feeling stressed or run down especially if I'm having sinus trouble. I can hear the blood pounding in my head I've learned to live with it as c**p as it is. I hope I've made sense, what I'm trying to say is that although you can't see any reason for your anxiety your body/mind does and is reacting in that primitive way to unseen dangers. Your mind and body is not your own when anxiety comes to stay. Keep doing what you are doing, it can take some months/years to do what you are in terms of riding through the symptoms. Easier said than done I know but try not to let it get you down beacause that's when it can really get it's claws into you. Good luck.

  • Apologies for the typos I've had a tiring day :)

  • Thanks so much that's genuinely and quite wonderfully helpful! Just the reassurance that each little bugging new symptom is actually traceable right back to a seemingly old event and the body remembering how it reacts, is valuable to know. The bloody ear ringing is a huge bugbear at the mo, especially at night but i do find myself wondering if it's just because i'm more aware now from the whole experience. Thanks for the insight buddy, you're all saints on here for offing your own experiences to others x

  • You sound very much like me Jonathan, back in 1993.

    I was fit but had a very stressful job (which didn't bother me consciously) and I worked in unpleasant damp and dark surroundings alone. If Health & Safety had ever seen it the place would've been closed down.

    A close friend had died the previous year of a brain tumour which I now realise was the beginnings of my Heath Anxiety as I kept thinking about him and the illness - fixating would perhaps be a better word.

    I then found a lump where men don't want to find a lump! I went to the doctor and happily it was a cyst but from that day on I started to worry about my health.

    Within a couple of months I was a wreck worrying constantly about brain tumours and testicular cancer. Of course all the stress and worry gave me indigestion and IBS (more worrying about that) and all the familiar symptoms of anxiety (more worrying about them)!

    I had councilling and came to understand the mix of my friend's death, very bad, lonely working conditions and finding the lump 'down below' were all triggers which on their own would probably not have caused my HA but together they added up to a powerful mental force strong enough start me on the path I'm still on nearly 20 years later. I had also been made redundant nine times in 12 years which didn't help my stability.

    Understanding has helped me but when I have a bad 'session' then nothing helps at all until I can calm down and think rationally again.

  • Mate, you've hit the preverbial nail on the head at least three times over! Thankyou so much for replying to my post, i'm slowly building an arsenal of rationality from others experiences to apply to my own, i'm continually amazed by how folks such as youself have found such resolve to teach themselves to explain, apply and deal with these symptoms over such long periods of time. My job was extremely rewarding, but hard fought and with a heavy stress on me day in day out, plus i had a very similar health scare. Fortunately i have been able to completely change my work situation and i'm finding it has helped, but the health anxiety seemed to loom over me and threaten a severe spiral, which as i said i'm traing my own way out of with new found help from experiences such as yours. Thanks again buddy x

  • Hi all. I only joined this site tonight as i was feeling rather bad myself but i never knew it existed, anyway im here now so i will give you a bit of run down on my own experiences. I started with my panic attacks/disorder in 1983 after a night out with my new work colleagues, it was a little get together to get to know each other a little better. Anyway after this night out i was worse for wear and i ended up back at a mates flat whom i had gone out with. In all honesty i had no idea how i got there, i woke up at 5am in a mans flat whom i had only known for weeks in work. I was devastated to think i had been in his flat all night and had no idea how i got there. I went home to my parents home and i showered, got myself ready for work and kissed my little boy goodbye for the day, yes i had a son whom i had left with my parents over night, i was meant to be going home not staying out. Anyway when i got into work my colleague was there so i asked him why i ended up at his place and was i that drunk that i could not remember. to cut a long story short someone had spiked my drink while we were out but it was not meant for me, That very morning i started feeling sickly, shaky, panicky and breathless, i had no idea why, i left work and went to see my GP who immediately told me i was suffering with panic attacks, he told me what i should do and go back in a week. After a week i did begin to feel much better but it scared me the way i was feeling, the the thoughts of being unable to breathe properly and the tight feelings in my chest were awful but i got through that week and the symptoms had gone. great i thought, this is it. And so for over 3 yrs it was it until a night out with my mum and it all started again, it came from no where, no reason for it, nothing at all, or so i thought until i eventually found out it was subconciously knowing my son was in hospital, he had ju

  • just had an operation but he was fine, myself and mum had just come home from the hospital and i was feeling ok until it all started. And from then in 1985/86 i think it was i have suffered with the attacks on a daily basis. There is no such cure as we all speak about and hope there is, deep down it is ourselves who get us through this, we learn how to deal with things better, we learn to calm down, we learn to breathe again. All my life i have suffered with these attacks and they have run my life for me. In 2003 i started caring for my father who had lung cancer then sadly in 2005 he passed away, another big shock to the system. I was working full time then as well and had to take some time out but i knew i had to go back and for a week or two i did but i became ill myself very ill with other problems and also my mother became sick too so i was trying to hold down a full time job, deal with my fathers death, deal with the panic attacks and other family issues as well as take care of my mum, it all got too much until i had to go on long term sick. I was eventually finished from work in 2007 on ill health grounds and immediately after this i took the role of full time carer for my mother. I had no time to think about myself and my health, it was too much to deal with, i had to be there for my mum, so i was and for a short period the attacks became less and less although i had some very bad days on and off but i could feel myself becoming more depressed, everything was getting too much for me. Don't get me wrong i always made sure my mum was looked after and helped out, which is why i took a turn for the worse. IN 2010 my mother passed away suddenly and with no warning of this, what a shock to my system yet again, and since this time i have suffered with the panic attacks on a daily basis again, i cannot breathe properly, i also have spinal problems, asthma, and other health problems which right now are not helping me, as well as suffering with severe depression. I have also developed a obsession to gamble due to trying to punish myself as i feel losing my mum was my fault, although i know deep down it was not but its hard to deal with, losing my father and mother has put me grieving for bother parents at the same time as i never accepted my fathers death. So with all the day to day problems and my own health problems i suffer this really bad depression and panic disorder, as well as all the other problems and talking to people does not really help me but i like to be in a position to help others so this is my reason for joining here and hope that if there is anything i can say or a way i can help with how your feeling and knowing my issues then maybe i can feel good again myself. I do not possess to be an expert at my panic disorder but it has been a big part of my life for over 25yrs now so i know a great deal and one thing is for sure, medication for panic disorder does not work, medication for depression just makes you feel tired and lethargic all the time, the only solution to getting through such problems is to believe in yourself, get yourself out there and do whatever it takes to make yourself feel good, do it for you and no one else. Do not feel bad or silly when you have an attack, when you feel low or down, remember there are worse people than us as some have no one at all and no means of contact so i guess we are lucky we have each other and being here to share a problem is better than being alone to go deal with it. Hope this has all made some sense to everyone and if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask. Oh i have had the suicidal thoughts, the punish myself attempts, everything but im still here and the medication for me is to slow me down and stop feeling anxious not to get me out the depression because i do feel that the only thing that can help us out of this is ourselves. Be happy, be honest and be truthful to yourself and others xx good luck and best wishes to everyone and remember a problem shared is a problem halved.

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