Will I ever be 'me' again?

I apologise I'm advance if this post is too long to read. Please bear with me, this will be the first time I halve spoken on an online community about myself.

I've always been an anxious person. At the age of 4 I was petrified to go to the toilet so would hold it in and cause myself damage. At the age of 5 I would stand by the school window all day crying because I was convinced my mother had died and would not collect me from school. I grew out of it for a while but I maintained an anxious edgy personality throughout my teenage years.

I am 28 year old female. I would say I was 21 years of age when I had my first episode. I was sat at my computer and it was around midnight. I felt this sudden surge of dread and hotness. My heart was pounding out of my chest and I had the urge to flee. I had no idea where I was running to but I ended up in my parents bedroom begging for them to call an ambulance. I was dying and there was nothing you could say to convince me otherwise. I looked in the mirror and I was grey. My lips were white. My heart rate was around 150 bpm, I was having a heart attack and I knew it. But in fact no, they said it was a panic attack and I was sent home with duloxetine.

I remained on duloxetine for around 7 years and the panic attacks were very few and far between. Sometime in 2013 I decided I hated being reliant on medication and I weaned myself off of them. Since then, I got my life together. Me and my partner got engaged, I found a good job that I absolutely love and I have lost 5 stone in weight. I am debt free and quite frankly there is nothing more that I want or need. That's how I have been feeling up until 4 days ago.

I had a heavy night drinking on a Christmas work night out. Bear in mind I only drive twice a year and I got so drunk I can't even remember getting home. 2 days later I had a black cloud over my head and to cut a long story short I went to see my GP who put me back onto duloxetine.

2 days after taking duloxetine, was driving home from work (30 mile drive) , I had a car full of colleagues because we car share. All of a sudden, my tongue started tingling, my chest and back started burning, everything felt like it was getting darker, my heart was pounding out of my chest. I wanted to flee again but I couldn't, I was driving. I pulled over and put my hazards on hut I couldn't find the words to tell the people in the car what was going on. I was absolutely petrified, I was dying again I was having a heart attack, a stroke, a pulmonary embolism, a mitral valve prolapse and to top it off I was losing my mind !

I somehow managed to get us all home and since then I have been sat on the setee and have been crying non stop. I feel so afraid of life, I feel I have never felt so bad, I can't find any joy in anything. I stopped taking the duloxetine because I was convinced it was that, that was making me feel this way. I haven't had a panic attack in around 3 years and 2 days on duloxetine I get a massive one? I also found that my eyes were so wide and my pupils were so big that I looked like I had been using recreational drugs!

Like many of us, Christmas is my favourite time of year. I urge to get the Christmas tree up in October (lol) and I have been looking forward to it for so long but I now feel it is cancelled. I feel like I can't find any joy in anything in life because the worst thing is about to happen. I feel like there is no point in getting excited over any future plans because we're all going to die. It's an absolute nightmare and I would gladly lose my arm than feel like this. Every twinge I feel is a deadly condition, pressure in ears = brain tumour. Twitch in leg = blood clot. Pain in eye= high pressure in eye. Pain in chest = heart attack. Etc etc. I am literally running around in circles in my own mind.

If you have read this far then I thank you so much. I just have a few questions I would like to put out there to you all.

1. Is this just anxiety? Does it sound like a more serious health condition?

2. Will I feel like this forever?

3. Will I get my personality back?

4. Can too many panic attacks in one day kill you?

I'm sorry if I'm sounding irrational but you will all know that it's impossible to act in any other way.

Thank you for ready and I wish you all a very happy and healthy Christmas.

Love,

Jemma x

18 Replies

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  • I'm also sorry about my spelling mistakes

  • Hi Jemma.. all I can say without addressing every issue you raise is I have had all of them :) Your not alone it is the bogey of anxiety and depression..they are awful to live with BUT harmless as such although having a life time of this I know it is one of the hardest conditions to actually endure.. try to calm yourself by seeing many walk the same road and as for myself I have been like this for as long as I can remember and being 65 yrs old now I am still here :) You will live.. you will live to a ripe old age and look back and one day you will be replying to someone on a forum like I am doing to you.. take heart sweetheart and enjoy Christmas xx

  • Thank you so much Pat. Your post has really calmed me tonight. I hope you have a fantastic Christmas xx

  • your welcome Jemma have a very Happy Christmas xxxx

  • Hello Jemma

    First don't ever worry about your spellings , luckily this is not an English test or I would fail :-D

    Well done doing your first post that can feel so daunting as I know I sat there wondering if anyone would reply & I hope as more members see your post they will reply even if just to Welcome you :-)

    I could really relate to how you felt as I child , I am quite a bit older than you but still I can cast my mind back to feeling afraid at 5 just like you worrying something may happen to my Mum , I would hate her leaving me at School or worry when she went out in case anything happened to her

    I have read all your post & you may not see it because you are feeling so bad at the moment but you have done really well , dealing with the anxiety , then weaning of meds getting your life back together , you should feel proud you achieved all that & ok you seem to have taken a tumble at the moment but you have been there before & got back up & you will do it again you won't feel like this forever

    I don't know but the meds this time did you drink while you were taking them because sometimes they don't mix very well at all & could give you a bad reaction

    We are not Doctors so can only say what are experiences are or opinion but I would say go back & speak to your doctor before you decide to give up on the meds & also maybe even if you have had some before ask about been referred for some counselling , it can be very helpful talking things through & finding out where your thoughts & fears are coming from & how to put them in perspective because that is what anxiety does , makes our thoughts irrational causing the fear & anxiety we feel

    I think it sounds like anxiety & as you have been checked over & everything is fine the chances are there is nothing physically wrong but anxiety can make us feel like there is

    I really don't think you will be like this forever & I bet you still have your personality it will be there you are just feeling so bad at the moment you will be feeling like it is lost but you are still you & once you start to get this under control again it will come flooding back

    Personally over the years I have never heard of anyone dying through having several panic attacks in one day & I don't think you will be the first , panic attacks can't kill you honestly

    Don't cancel Christmas , that will let this anxiety win again & sometimes we have to look at it straight on & say come on do your worse & when we start to challenge it then it looses it's control & things are not quite as fearful

    I would go back to the doctors tell them how you feel , I am sure they will reassure you , but know everyone understands on these anxiety forums & you are not alone with how you feel

    Take Care

    Love

    whywhy

    xxx

  • Thank you so much whywhy for replying to my post. It really means a lot.

    It feels comforting that you can relate with my story. Makes me feel that I am not alone.

    I am trying to face the anxiety but it is overwhelming me. When I think irrationally (which is 95% of the time), I try and talk out loud and say things such as "no I don't do this anymore , I'm bigger and better than you' but every single time the &@&$&$& wins! :(

    I drank a lot of alcohol last Friday. And then I was put back on duloxetine on monday. Tuesday is the day the "episode" happened. I did not take any medication on Wednesday. And today I feel at my worst.

    I realised something a moment ago. I read the label on the duloxetine box and it says "take one on alternate days". ..... I took one on Monday and on Tuesday and im wondering whether this is why I had the episode? However they're only 30mg and the last time I took them a year or so ago they were 60mg so it doesn't make sense.

    There is a part of me that is tempted to start taking them again, as prescribed. But I have a fear it will make me have an episode again. But then again I don't think k it's possible to feel any worse than I do.

    Thank you why why for letting me speak my mind.

    Take care

    Jem

  • Hi jem

    I know you said before you were taking more of the meds & you were ok but can you remember if you slowly went on them till you got on to 60mg

    I think & I am no doctor that it could have well contributed to the episode you had by not taking them alternative days

    If it was me I would try them again taking them every other day & sometimes we have a few side effects when we start meds but if you take them as prescribed I think you could be fine with them & if not then you could tell the Doctor

    I know what you mean as well when our anxiety has reached it's limit it seems nothing we do or say to ourselves works , but think of it or try like this ....If you think you could not feel any worse than you do now , then what can happen ?

    You can only start to slowly start to feel better :-)

    If that makes any sense :-)

    xxx

  • Hi Jemma,

    It's diffenatley anxiety.

    There have been people that were able to live a long happy life after dealing with anxiety. So it's possible to get over it. It just depends how willing your able to get through it.

    I was doing well then after a night of drinking, in the morning when I woke up my heart sped up like crazy 160 bpm probably more, I was rushed to the hospital while there I kept on having episodes about 8 so no I don't think you can die from repeated attacks I was connected to machines and they kept on telling me my heart was speeding up but nothing to worry about since there was no arrhythmias.

    Since that day it's been hell but slowly I'm gaining control again :)

    Last night it was a dark thoughts that scared me but I prayed that in the morning I would be happy and that nothing would bother me so far so good know on wood :)

    Drinking can screw up your electrolytes and potassium levels that cause the heart acceleration and palpitations at least that's what they told me just don't over do the drinks next time, mixed strong drinks are the worst :(

  • Thank you for your reply always afraid. I totally agree with you regarding spirits. I think k that night I drank a whole bottle of southern comfort. I felt absolutely terrible the next day. Heart rate was about 160 too.

    It really is so comforting to know there are other people like me and I thank google so much for allowing me to stumble upon this forum.

    My feelings today consist of rapid heart beat followed by a slow one. Right now it is 80 bpm which I know is fine but I'm convinced I have a few ectopic beats in there. Anyway why am I finding things to worry about. Celebrity juice is on TV and if that can't cheer me up i don't know what will !

    Why why, hi again :). Last time I was put on duloxetine I was put straight on 60mg and felt better in days. A part of me is worrying that my body was so used to this drug and it doesn't like the fact that I'm taking it again.

    I'm going to take a tablet tonight and see how I feel tomorrow. I just hate the way it makes my eyes wide and my pupils huge. And I absolutely dread having an episode. I'm apprehensive about driving at all since that happened!!

  • Wow southern comfort and a bottle at that gees!!

    I've heard from a couple of people including a doctor saying how bad their hangovers get with that stuff and they all said heart palps and fast heartrate the next day, must be something in that drink that really messes with you.

    I had sttong palps for a week or two then just the same ol regular stuff.

    as for you meds try sticking to them I did and it helped get past the initial first weeks somedays I felt like it was worse with the meds but I stuck to it.

  • hi jemma, just to let you know that panic attacks cannot kill you, when they happen it can be so scary, you do feel as though you are dying, drinking to excess even one night could bring these on, if you have a really nervous disposition you could be more susceptable to anxiety/panic attacks, you can control them to a level that you can get get on with your life, breathing properly in a controlled manner ,like you see people blowing into the paper bag, which brings your speeding heart rate down to a normal level, a good relaxing cd or headspace site are good ,they teach you how to breath & relax, hope have helped in smoe way. take care jasper xx

  • Jasper I am sorry I am late responding to your reply . I have been so bad these past few days. In the past 6 hours I have picked up slightly and managed to wrap some Christmas presents :) I'm going to take your advice regarding the paper bag.

    A strange new symptom has appeared today. Bright lights or artificially lit rooms send me into a panic attack. I think k this could have something to do with the duloxetine I'm taking. My eyes are finding it hard to focus in brightly lit rooms. Ah well, just another symptom I can add to the endless list haha. At least I can laugh about it tonight lol xx

  • I kinda skimmed because I didn't feel I had to read much after the words panic attack.

    First step in becoming you again, is KNOWING you will be. Throw everyone else's timeline for their suffering out the window. Defenestration! (I love that word.) you can't base your current situation or timeline of anxiety off of anyone else's and it will be made worse if you do.

    You will be you again, but a stronger version. Start believing that. Your brain is just so preoccupied with other things and overly alert, looking at every tiny detail under a microscope. It can be very scary. Believe me, I've had DP for five months which is the definition of feeling alienated from oneself. And I often feel like the guy from Its a wonderful life watching the world play out with having no part in or of it. Other times, I used to feel invisible, almost surprised when people acknowledged me like, woah, you can see me? Really?

    Anxiety is mean. It wreaks havoc on your mind which then affects your body from physiological aspects.

  • Hello! I hope you are doing better. I wanted to let you know that i, too had a bad reaction to an anxiety medication that I had previosly taken with no problem. The second time I took it (after being off of it for a few years) I woke up in the middle of the night with a heart rate of 150 and was taken to the er by ambulance. I continued to have panic attacks multiple times daily along with the sensitivity to light. I also would get dizzy and out of breath when going places such as the grocery store. My body was super sensitive to any sort of stimulation whatsoever, and I didn't understand it at all. I'm recovering, but am still plagued with extra heartbeats that send my anxiety through the roof, especially when I get multiples. Prayer and just being determined to get my life back have been my hope. I want you to know that it will get better with time.

  • Hi Kelly

    Thank you for replying. I hope you are feeling a bit better. I'm plagued with those extra heartbeats and today I have had an awful day. I have diagnosed myself with an adrenal tumour, brain tumour, oral cancer, bowel cancer, and a heart condition. It's taking over my life.

    can I ask, did you carry on with the medication or stop taking it?

  • Sorry auto text *kelm

  • I stopped taking it immediately. I was on pristiq, which is very close to effexor.I have diagnosed myself with almost all of those things as well. Its like the medicine flipped a switch in my brain that I can't turn off.

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