When anxiety knocked on my door

When it first happened I was really stressed, upset and a bit angry. Walking down the street at the end of a long working day I lost it, my legs went numb and suddenly my whole body was gone. Muscle pains in my chest and arms, breathing heavily, I thought this was it, I was going to die. It lasted three days and at first I thought it might be food poisoning, anemia and/or low blood pressure. I only felt better when I had something with sugar in it, e.g. a chocolate bar or fizzy drink. It went away...

Exactly 30 days later it came back, I was working long hours and feeling very tired and stressed out. Once again, while walking down the street I felt dizzy and exhausted but only when I went outside, if I was in the house I was ok. So I thought that maybe I had some phobia with the outdoors or I just needed a rest and surely enough it would slowly go away. In the end it went away.

Then two weeks later it came back full force, after some disappointing news and more stress I had the worst attacks this time at home. It started on a Thursday, my heart was pounding, my head hurt and my chest muscles were aching. I called the NHS emergency number and they said it could be anemia. I spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday thinking I was going to die, I couldn't sleep at all, my head kept spinning and my muscles hurt so bad, But when I called the emergency number and spoke to a nurse or to a doctor I immediately felt better.

Finally I went to the doctor, did some blood tests and other kinds of tests and the doctor told me everything was absolutely fine with me and that probably all of this was in fact anxiety. It all made sense to me, I connected every attack with what was happening at the time and it all came together. Still I was very worried because I always felt that I could control my body, my emotions and nothing could bring me down, suddenly I faced the fact that none of that was true. Stress, depression and exhaustion had taken over me completely and I had to fight back to live a normal life again.

I still have the attacks and I need to remind myself that it is only anxiety, it's not easy, there are moments when I feel that I am losing control, dizziness, heavy headed, numb body, it's such a horrible and boring feeling. It will take time to overcome all of it, and I know I must try as much as I can to relax. The truth is that is has only been 3 months, full recovery might take a bit longer. There is hope though.

5 Replies

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  • Hi ReggieA. It still worries me when people say they have to "fight back". DO NOT FIGHT. As I have said in previous blogs.Fighting means more stress, more anxiety, more adrenalin (which is basically the cause of the way you feel). You say "exactly thirty days later it came back". You were expecting it so it came. All anxious and tensed up waiting for it to happen, so, being in that state "IT" will certainly return. All the symptoms you describe are those of an anxiety state. All of us on this site have had or are still having them. You are not alone. If your doctor says you are ok then believe him or her. Full recovery may take time so you must not get anxious about time. Go with it. It is extraordinary what our bodies can do to us in this state, but, having got a clean bill of health, you can take them for what they are, the symptoms that a normal person would have greatly exaggerated. Good things make us feel better; bad things make us feel worse. They do with normal people but we, the sufferers, fasten on to them and get disproportional feelings that we cannot understand when we used not react in this way. Fear is at the root of it all so we must ACCEPT fear and go with it however painful it may seem. Very difficult I know. Go to Amazon and punch up Dr.Claire Weekes books; you may find them a great help as I have. Bear up and good luck. jonathan.

  • Hello Jonathan,

    Thank you very much for the reply and for the wonderful and very useful advice. I will definitely take it on board. It's great to know I am not alone on this and even better to share it with others as well as reading other people's experience. It has soothed my anxiety quite signficantly every since I found this site.

    Thanks again and all the best to you.

    Reggie

  • Hi Jonathan your in a growing club of people with anxiety I hope with help your stay is a short one I worked for over forty yrs and iv had it on and off for yrs I saw quite a few drs had numerous tests all clear as yrs went on it got worse as the stresses of modern life over the years got worse I took many different anti depressants they never suited me because i worked up high ladders scaffolding cherrypickers and some used to zone me out we can all find ways of dealing with this through meds or CBT therapy or even self help iv tried to find out as much as I can about anxiety panic attacks phobias, I know my enemy better now I know when it's going to have a go and I say alright we've been here before what new trick are you going to try this time because it won't work it's a strategy that mostly works for me but unfortunately some times it doesn't but next time it won't always be positive and everytime it doesn't win it gets weaker it stops controlling your life it's a long road with the occasional bend in it but we do get there eventually il wish you the best and you leave this club behind you good luck. Mel

  • Hi Melgil58. You seem to have found a way that suites you so good luck with it. I would not leave this site even if I was cured because the help given to others can only be given by those who have "been there". There is so much suffering out there these days with all the trials and tribulations of just living that help is needed urgently, not only from the medical services, which are sadly lacking, but from fellow sufferers. It helps greatly to know we are not alone. Good luck to you and I hope you continue to make progress. jonathan.

  • No I won't leave here as you say experience learned we can share with each other is valuable help to each other I agree sometimes about the drs they must see so many of us with these problems and some still don't accept how serious a problem it is myself however went yrs without help but now I'm looking for some answers myself and if I can help I will. Good luck to us all Mel

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