Anxiety and symptoms experienced!

Posted , 7 users are following.

My name's Angie, I am 19 years of age..

It all started when I was at work experiencing neck and shoulder pain as I have previously been checked out for, me being me, I googled every symptom I had which was the worst route to go down! Self-diagnosed also, so I had every illness you could imagine! I really drove myself insane, I drove my family, my friends and my boyfriend crazy all because of how worried and overwhelmed I was.

The symptoms carried on and varied, I was experiencing palpitations, shortness of breath, a tight feeling and pressure in my chest, I thought I was having a heart attack! My eyes would go blurry, I would experience frequent headaches, some days more pressure and tension on one side. I then google those symptoms and apparently had a brain tumour. I honestly freaked myself out, I went back and forth to my GP only for them to tell me it was anxiety! I sat in A&E for 6 hours, to see 2 nurses and a doctor, they took blood tests, gave me an ECG checking my heart rate, everything was fine but I still wasn't convinced.

I didn't want to leave my house, I didn't want to work. I felt as if I stepped out, something would happen to me. If people looked at me or told me I looked rather pale or unwell, it would instantly trigger off in my brain that I was seriously ill and that I looked it. This really depressed me, as I laid in my bed throughout the day crying and worrying about my health. I feared being left alone, fear of dying. 

I was adviced to stay away from caffeine and smoking as those two are the biggest triggers, it was hard but I managed to stay consistent because I was seriously worried about my health. I've done alot of research, watching youtube videos, reading books, keeping my mind occupied. The best of all os exercise as it releases serotonin (happy hormones), just take up a new hobbie or interest, do whatever you can to keep yourself occupied and just know you are NOT alone, I'm still going through it, we all are. You want to overcome this and you will, don't let it get the better of you! Would really appreciate your thoughts and feedback, thanks guys x

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Ah angie, the evils of ocd and health anxiety.  I know how it is- every single sensation is a symptom of something terrible and incurable. All I can say is that when the root anxiety is under control, so too will these issues, but God it's a horrific thing to deal with, I must admit I don't handle it well most times
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  • Posted

    Angie-

    You're not alone with any of this just always remember that! I experience just about the same symptoms as you and even went to the hospital for it and they did the same with the blood tests and ECG and everything was fine. Staying away from caffeine was a great decision since it sometimes stimulates anxious feelings. I worry every single day about my health and convince myself of all these terrible things that could happen. My psychologist told me to never let anxiety shrink your world, don't let it control your life because it will if you let it. Anxiety is all mental and fixing the problem begins with fixing our compulsive thoughts and teaching the brain to not fabricate unrealistic health problems we might have because it creates a feedback loop which automatically triggers physical anxiety symptoms. I never want to leave my house either because I fear having anxiety or a panic attack around a large group of people or at somewhere where I feel help isn't nearby and it's horrible. Like you said exercise and finding relaxing hobbies is a great start! You're going to be ok don't forget that. Best of luck! 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your feedback!

      I just wish it would go away and never come back! I was fine last week and now it has suddenly returned!

      It's horrible because you could be in such a relaxed mood, yet it's there subconsciously. Even the smallest symptom would instantly trigger off in my brain that I'm ill and make me panic automatically. I can't let it take over my life, I drove myself into depression about a month ago, I wouldn't leave my bed, constantly tearful, constant fear, it puts you in such a negative mindset. But the truth is, it's all false fear, we think we're in danger when we're actually not!

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    • Posted

      Exactly angie, the smallest sensation or thought and before you know it ure back with the downward spiral.  Yes if only it would stop,it seems like torture sometimes! 
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    • Posted

      It seems like constant torture, because I would force myself to think negatively! All these negative thoughts would run through my mind 'what if', and i would convince myself I was going mental. I had to leave my job as I was sitting in front a computer all day, which was the worst thing for me as I wasn't being practical at all, I would google at work and worry! I had quite a few sessions of NLP which didn't work either, I was on propranolol (40mg), it gave me more side effects
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  • Posted

    I'm always so shocked by how many of us experience these symptoms and yet it's not common knowledge. I have yet to meet someone in my real life who feels this way but I know there has to be someone I have come into contact with who does. 

    My health anxiety has been quite bad since January but looking back there were warning signs from the previous October onwards. It's never been this bad before but I am making some improvements. 

    Before exams my blood pressure was 139/89 (pretty high for me) and I started doing yoga which brought it down to 123/77 so I would recommened that for people who are able to do it smile

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  • Posted

    Hi Angie, I've posted this quite a few times with regards to anxiety and it seems to have helped people so feel free to use it if you wish:

    The best thing to do first is become aware of your physiology, or the very real physical symptoms you're experiencing. They are there. It isn't necessarily a symptom of anything else but if you fear it is, you should consult your GP. If you have physical checks and they eliminate the problem (ECG for heart, etc) then you should put it down to anxiety.

    Anxiety comes because your brain is creating a 'fear' in your mind, and as with anything that creates fear, you become anxious.

    The anxiety, usually, starts in your chest, so you begin to breathe faster and your chest becomes tense (as a muscle would if it is being exercised). Your lungs need more oxygen and no greater way of getting oxygen around your body is by blood. Blood gets to your lungs faster when your heart pumps it quicker, so your heart rate increases.

    The lungs are working hard now. They are communicating with your brain asking for more help. Your brain helps by asking your heart for support. So the heart is working harder than it normally would to the point where it needs help from your brain again.

    Your brain can't cope with both having a go at it asking for support - you get symptoms such as perspiration, pains in your chest, tingling in your arms, toes and fingers. So your brain panics and makes mistakes.

    Your brain then tells you to react accordingly – panic.

    The panic says, “focus on your heart; why is it faster? Why are my arms tingling? Why does my chest hurt?”. Your brain says, through duress and under pressure, “I'm having a heart attack; I'm going to die!”

    You're not. Just stop and think before your lungs tell your brain that they need oxygen, fast. Focus on your breathing.

    How to deal with anxiety is subjective and it depends on how disciplined you are in being able to set yourself space and time to be able to perform breathing exercises rather than rely on medication being there for you to help you. 3 things I've found are the most helpful - 1. Guided Meditation, 2. Mindfulness and Awareness, 3. The '7 to 11 Breathing Technique'

    Guided meditation, first of all, is quite structured and disciplined in the sense you have somebody there guiding you through the process of meditation (obviously) and you don't want to disturb others doing it at the same time - but similarly expect others to respect you whilst you do it.

    Mindful and awareness can often come hand in hand with guided meditation. Through mindfulness and awareness, you become aware of where you are and most importantly what your body is physically experiencing. In focusing on these feelings (chest pain, shortness of breath, pins and needles) by breathing them in, in a controlled manner, by breathing them out you are effectively telling your brain and body to breathe these pains out too, and they will eventually go away.

    The 7 to 11 breathing technique is when you breathe into your lungs through your mouth, nose or both, until your lung capacity is completely full - it may even hurt; you may use parts of your lungs you've never used before - and hold your breath for 7 seconds. Following this, you purse your lips as though you were blowing out a candle and gradually exhale until your lungs are empty. You hold this for 11 seconds and don't take another breath.

    Keep doing this for as long as you want. The longer, the better. During the exercise you might experience forms of euphoria; your fingers may tingle, your head may feel slightly dizzy - this is good; this is tension unburdening itself off you; don't worry about it. Instead, focus on it and treat it as a good feeling.

    With all of this, it will not be an immediate cure. Mindfulness and awareness courses, and meditation classes take time to book and when you go to them, both take patience to master. The 7 to 11 breathing technique you can perform whenever you want.

    My advice would be to understand for the first two you won't get anywhere this week but if you take steps now to look into them and how practical it is to do them, by the end of the week you may be on the right track.

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