Is this anxiety and could I get better on my own?

Basically, I had what I guess would be panic attack about 6 weeks ago after taking something I shouldn't have (I know I know, I don't plan on doing it again!). I had palpitations that felt like my heart was going to explode and intense shaking, although I felt it had more to do with my mind, thinking/worrying about my ex etc. since thats what actually kicked it off. I never actually got any sort of real diagnosis from the hospital or from any follow ups at my GP after having further tests, though the problem hasn't exactly fully gone away. I have now discovered that any substance including alcohol (over say a couple of pints) causes me to suffer a milder form of the original attack. However, what is more frustrating is that sometimes even when I'm not doing anything, I start to feel uncomfortable feelings in my heart region and of course the more I think about it which I find it impossible not to, the worse they get. In the last 2 weeks my bpm has been mostly around 85 which isn't all that bad but I use to be more like 60-65 being quite fit and healthy physically. I have shortness of breath sometimes too. Over the past two weeks I've had two episodes which I needed someone to calm me down and help me and a handful of uncomfortable periods. For instance today, this morning I felt brilliant, and this afternoon it just started to feel uncomfortable for apparently no reason. It seems just as I think it's getting better it happens again. I think I managed 3 days in a row of not having any problems. To be honest I am a very anxious person generally who is often accused of analysing and over thinking things and being 'too deep' about things that in the grand scheme of things really don't matter. I just find it a bit odd and unnerving that these things are happening when I am pretty my relaxed as far as I see it. I guess my question is, is this anxiety or is this perhaps something physical like a heart problem of which I have actually damaged my heart or something along those lines?

5 Replies

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  • Hi. From what you have said it definitely sounds like you’re experiencing anxiety attacks, possibly triggered from what you took but it if you’re a nervous person anyway then you may be suffering from a panic disorder. But don’t worry, you’re not alone and the feelings you’re experiencing are extremely common. Fear and panic feeds on itself, so whenever you over analyse any physical or mental sensations you’re getting yourself into a vicious cycle of over worrying, which brings on the panicking, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, palpitations, sweating, a feeling of morbidness or going mad, racing thoughts etc... The most important thing to when you feel this coming on is to regulate your breathing - deep breaths in through your nose and then long breaths out through your mouth. This obviously isn’t a cure but it will initially help elevate some of the panic. And obviously for the time being avoid things that may cause it such as alcohol and other substances. Ultimately though I think your next point of call should be an appointment with your doctor. You need to tell him or her what you have said here, and your concerns. Be 100% honest. They can offer advice and support for the future, and obviously check you over in case there are any underlying medical issues. Not everyone who suffers from anxiety attacks and/or depression needs medication or counselling, but the sooner you speak with your doctor the sooner you can address it. And obviously speak with friends and family as well if you feel you can. Good luck and know you’re not alone.

  • Good answer, I'm glad you emphasised these feelings are common and it has given me a few ideas about how I could control it so thanks for that. I plan to see my GP again once I'm back at Uni and hopefully I'll be cleared of any medical problems with a few more tests, wish me luck!

  • Good luck sweetheart,all the best x

  • Goodluck! x

  • I agree entirely with what Chopper has said but one point I would make. You say you are an 'anxious' person and have been 'accused' of over analysing and being 'too deep'. Please do not regard these things as being abnormal. If you feel deeply then you will suffer, but you can sublimate or channel these feelings into something useful and constructive. Especially to help others. Do not let anyone tell you (or accuse you) that having these feelings is wrong. They could be a rare gift that is so needed in the world today. Look at them but don't suppress them. Best wishes. jonathan.

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