Anxiety has caused me permanent damage

Posted , 11 users are following.

In March of 1980, I had my first nervous breakdown.... and the reason that I use this old term is because it's the closest thing to being accurate.  Symptoms included a sensation of electrical discharge.  I lost quite a bit of my personal memory banks.   I was in the hospital due to depression, and from the hospital I went to many facilities before recouping enough to live on my own again.  I thought it impossible that I could have anything even remotely like this again.   But since that time I have had 3 more breakdowns in my life.   Now my memory is horribly damaged, but the kind of loss does not appear in psych testing.   The psych testing that is done can not test for personal memory.  Things like memory for faces... for conversation... for what you did on a given day....for where you parked your car at the ball game.   All of that is severely damaged.     My wife looks out for me, but she does not truly understand what is wrong.  I wish I could explain it to her.   It's tough to explain to anybody.   And, I've never found another soul who went thru this.... that is, anxiety leading to permanent personal/mental damage.    

I am new to this site, so perhaps there has been others who have gone thru this.   What I cannot understand is why mine was permanent.    I've read about so many folks who went thru this or that, only to get better.   But the electrical discharge I felt in 1980...that was real.... and seemingly unique.  Wondering if anyone has ever heard of anything remotely like this..... 

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  • Posted

    It has  happen for the 4th time. I reply to someone like I did you and it suddenly diappears. It seems to happen most just after midnight. This really a great forum I hope you don't get to frustrated. Maybe the moderaters can fix this problem soon

    I had said mainly that you are a hero for keeping on. I too have been damage by chronic problems but I refuse to see myself as a victim like so many others do, These are losers who do not get up once they fall. You are no loser I can tell.. wink

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  • Posted

    Hi when you say electrical discharge what do you mean by that? I suffer with extreme anxiety and I have electric shocks all over my body.
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    • Posted

      For me, this was just a one time deal.  It sounds like you're really going through a bad time.  My experience was in the brain and after words I had extreme memory loss.   But I don't know how to expain it.  It just felt like I was losing control of my mind electrically....

      There are no great ways to fight off extreme anxiety.  I could offer suggestions, like getting deep into a computer game.... those help with mild anxiety.  But I seriously doubt it would help yours.  Medicinally, there is a drug that helps quite a bit.   That is Lorazepam... aka Ativan.  If you're seeing a doc, you can ask them about it 

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  • Posted

    hi Ronco.

    Well what can i say...

    symptoms and experiences are incredibly close, if not the same, as mine.

    I had a nervous breakdown and a mental breakdown, around 93, at the same time and not only is it extremely painfull but very damaging.

    I experienced memeory loss, mainly short term, like you i had similar problems with things like forgetting where you just put the car keys down for a minute, or where i had parked the car.

    Driving to somewhere and suddenly having no idea why you are in the car. Even going upstairs at home i would get to the top step and stop..I had no memory of why i was there or what i wanted up there.

    When i read your post that you suffer painfull electrical head shocks, which i still have 22 years later, i had to reply. Mine hurts like hell!

    I found no help from the psychiatrist for this problem untill 2 years ago when i insisted and threatened the mental health team with legal action as i was never treated for this problem and i still am very angry that i was ignored and left to suffer in silence for 18 years.

    I researched this head shock problem and found it is due to damage to/in the trigaminal nerve. I believe it's called Fibromyalgia or neuropathic pain. I was prescribed Pregabalin. It's is a drug used to treat epilepsy and Gad, and i take 3 x 150mg daily. I think the max dose is 600mg but a psych can prescribe over this dose if he thinks it will help. You could ask a doc about it and see if you could try it.

      It does help me but pregab seems to have a short life span of a couple of hours and it should be taken regulary and at the same time each day to make sure each tablet overlaps the other.

    I also still have bad head pain on the sides of my head at times and, from my temples, right back across my ears and to the back of my skull. It feels like my head is being squashed or squeezed in a engineering vice.

    My breakdown left me with horrendous, deafening and debilitating Tinnitus that is so chronic, loud and permanent it has caused bad depression.(i had a little tinnitus before my breakdown but it was mild and not deafening as it is now)

    I had to work very hard at getting my memory back to a decent standard and to a degree it has returned but i had many days and months when i was in agony just blinking or thinking and getting shocks and i put most of my energies in to stopping my self from thinking as it was just so painful.

    The memory is affected in some people who have breakdows, me and you definitely, but not in others and i liken it to a computer hard drive crash or a shutdown.A mental malfunction.

    I had to act as it was ruining my everyday living and making me severly depressed and wondering if life was worth living at all.

    When having a brain freeze or memory block it used to start off anxiety and bad panic attacks making life unbearable.

    I also take B12 Vitamins which help with the nervous system and the selenium, magneseium and iron also help with my nerves and together with the pregab subdue the pain receptors and neurotransmitters in the brain from radomly and indescriminately firing.

    I had had enough of having a bad memory and because i had such a cracking memory before, i found it hard to accept.So i set myself a task of brain training, by back tracking in my mind everytime i forgot what i was doing or writing down, in my own words, what i had to do that day and refering to it when i forgot stuff. It has paid off but you have to work at it everyday.Reading is another good trick along with crosswords.

    Don't give in.Use it or lose it.

    I still have a few problems with stuff like getting to the shops and having a blank mind for a few seconds but i used a system of pictures to remember.An example would be going for cigarettes.The picture would be of a lighted cigarette.

    Petrol for the car would be a petrol nozzel symbol.

    Milk would be a bottle milk, and so on.

    I think my memory also got better because i would constantly go over what i was going to do and in my mind i would imagine myself doing the task, so as effectivley drilling it in to myself.

    I'm sorry i cannot give you quick fixes for this problem but i know the system i created undoubtely helped me get my memory working and helped massivly with memory recall.

    I really sympathise with you and relate to your post and understand fully what you feel and what it is like to be utterly frustrated at not being able to recall information you have just been told.The electrical discharge is real and painfull and to this day is like having electrical contacts on your body and being electrified. I never thought the human biological battery could produce such a belt of electricity to the head, when i blink my eyes sometimes, as that. But it does.

    Sorry my post is so long and a bit of a ramble but i really wanted to help and share my experience, and to say you are not alone with this horrible and painfull condition. Ask me any questions you want and i will gladly respond should you have any.

    Best wishes and good luck Ronco.


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    • Posted

      Thanks for writing me back, YOD.  Like i told Kerry... mine happened once, and yes, it was very much like a computer crash.   But there was no repair for me.   Whatever happened in my brain there was no way to really get back.  I thank you for sharing your thoughts.  This is such a fine place.... and all of us here... you.... me.... the others, we don't deserve this.  I think the one thing we ALL have in common is/was a foundation of worry.  As I got older and went out on my own, that worry turned to anxiety.   I see you've been hard at it... trying to learn to live with how the crash left you.   I am too.... we're doing the best we can.   Your experiences sound like others I've read about.   Mine is different in that each breakdown left me with less ability to access memory.  Life is actually quite peaceful... but the damage is done.  Things like following conversation.... that is another extremely difficult thing for me to do.   So I spent most of my time at home.  I'm curious here if you do the same....?
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  • Posted

    Greetings again Ronco.

    Thanks so much for your words of encouragement.I really appreciate them

    I am suffering at the moment as i have just lost my mum.

    But i will do my best to reply to you, and others, when i can and share anything i know to help or just for support.I know what you mean and i understand how lonely and sad it makes people feel.

    For anxiety here's a tip i perfected. please try it as it works like a dream and i will try to explain it the best i can,so here goes.

    In my book anxiety comes before a panic attack. Panic attacks are a direct result of anxiety. Weather the anxiety is felt or known beforehand it creates a vicious circle and the next emotion will be a panic attack.The breathing becomes shallow and quicker,sweating, shaking can occure and this is due to the fear kicking in( for no reason most of the time) and the only way to kill it quick is to break that initial reaction and return the breathing to normal.I can feel anxiety coming on a mile away. I very rarely get them these days but i used to get powerfull adrenalin surges and i would feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and it would take my breath away. The thing i do before it takes my breath away is to immediately take my breath to the top of a full lung (when the right inhale is felt) and instantly force it out in a  massive exhale and empty my lungs in a quick blast.HOO..Wait a second when it's out and just continue to breathe normally. This seems to break the breathing pattern and STOPS the mind going into freak-out, and thus STOPPING the release of adrenalin that follows.

    This techique works a treat, but every person using it has to perfect it

    I Don't go out as much as i used to do, i was always a very sociable person but i had to drop a lot of the people i used to know and change the places i go to. When i do go out it's usually with my brothers ( once a week if that) or my only good mate and as i live on my own i have to like my own company, which i do.Got sick of the women i was meeting as i had time wasters or just idiots.

    In conversations i still lose the thread of what i wanted to say but it has got better and easier over the years and people that love me just make a lttle joke or better still jog my memory of what i was, or they were saying. because of this problem i try to keep it simple, short thoughts and build it up.

    I know it's not as easy as it sounds especially when you know what you want to say but suddenly say "erm... God sorry i lost the thread" or "sorry what was your name again".Highly embarassing.

    It's about triggering off your own recall system.

    I believe its a recall problem because for a couple of years i could'nt remember tiny things but years later they came flooding back.I used to think my memory was wiped but i know the info is there, at times, i just can't access it but other times i remember stuff i thought i'd forgot.I wonder weather it was due to my relentless thinking as i am a very deep and long thinker.

    I think your wife has to be patient with you.

    It must be hard for her too, and frustrating but love conquers all.

    I have a feeling yours will return when you least expect it but be kind to it as it's a very delicate gland/organ.

    Stress and panic is definitely a mind shutter, so if you can get to a relaxed state and not beat yourself up too much it helps free the thinking and thought proccess's up.

    I do hope these points help.

    But at the very least, i know how you feel Ronco.

    Take care.

    Never give up.

    Good luck mate.


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    • Posted


      I really appreciate your suggestions and encourangment... along with all your kind kind words.  We have some similar symptoms, you and I.   First, I want to tell you, I'm an electrician.   I was an electrician before all this happened.   But pardon my using the electrical metephor, my breakdown was more like a fuse blowing... that cannot be replaced.  The info is gone, and it's gone for good and the only way I can begin to explain it is by saying a had an electrical breakdown.... which basically means nothing, I know.   Something inside my mind just blew on that day in March of 1980.  And with every breakdown, more and more has occurred so I can do less and less.  I've been with councelors and such, to see if any of it could come back with some sort of mental excersize...but the answer is no.  So I live with what's happened every day... and try managing the best I can.   Yes my wife is very patient...very loving, and has been incredibly supportive thru 3 hospitalizations.  And now, even though I'm back in work mode, we still have tons of debt.

      Most conversations that I have with folks I basically remember one or two sentences from, and that's it.   Same with phone coversations.  So I think for both of us.... or for that matter, anyone who has been thru this- it's tough being around people.  Since I'm a musician and can still do that, my old friends still want to play with me.  I'm lucky there.  The interesting thing you find out after a breakdown is - who *were* your real friends.   The others want to get as far away from you as they can.   Possibly for fear it is contagious?   LOL.

      I'd love to hear from others about their "friendships" before and after. If I had only known back in 1980 what anxiety was, I might have been able to prevent the breakdown with excersises you speak of... or drugs... or meditation.... but ironically, part of my panic was fear too.... of "what is wrong with me?!"   In my life I've probably spent two to three years in hospitals or nursing facilities.   I hope your anxiety has not taken you down that road.

      Again, I appreciate your feedback and let's stay in touch here.   I'd like to hear more about your situation too, if you're willing to share.



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    • Posted

      Hi, I have the same thing. Tons of memories are lost to anxiety. Dont know how to stop it and medication does not seems to help. I try to occupy my mind with other stuff but always seem to catch me somehow... Are you somehow better or have seen light in this tunnel? Thanks


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  • Posted

    Hi everyone, I'm new to this site. I just found it when searching for answers and I'm so glad I did.  Unfortunately, it seems as if we all share one thing in common, memory issues and anxiety, nervous breakdown etc.  I'm nearly 50 and had a pretty big break down I believe I was 21. I was going to Jr. College full time, just hot what I thought was a P/T job, but it turned into working around the clock, brushing teeth and changing my clothes at work, grabbing a donut and heading to class, run home shower and maybe catch a bit of sleep, if sleep would come that night, then starting the same thing over again day after day.  I didn't feel it coming, the breakdown hit like a ton of bricks. Oh btw I just got a new boyfriend in my life when all of this was going on.  I'd be going to shower and pass out in the hall way where my mom would find me. After a couple days of that, it got to where I would call in sick everyday. Finally I went to the doctor, my mom walked me to the car, put me in, fastened my seatbelt and drive me to the doctor. I was having a certifiable breakdown. Didn't even know it. I was stuck in the fight or flight mode for too long. It was explained that the adrenaline was squeezing my brain. I went to classes to reduce anxiety and learn to say no, breath and was told to quit my job, school, my boyfriend ( I didn't ) and quit work.  For three months I would lay in the fetal position, kind of rocking, or sleep and my mom would have to walk me to the bathroom, and wait to see if I would be able to stand in the shower, or pass out. I think it was after about 6 months I ventured out and got a new job.   It affected my brain, and still does.  I tried to go back to school, 5-6 times, but didn't have the memory needed to pass the classes. So I didn't get a college degree, and have basically been working for minimum wage ever since, every now and then I will get panic attacks, or anxiety. My memory, can't say long or short term, or personal recognition.. Because it's different all the time. Words won't come, then they will, math won't come, then it will. I've learned to out my things in one spot so I don't need to remember where they are located, shoes, purse, keys, mail etc. I was told that as soon as I was t stressed anymore the memory issues should get better. When isn't a person stressed. I'm not in the best marriage, can't get a better job so I can't leave

    ( no abuse, don't worry) plus with memory issues, who would keep me working? I gave a bio dad and step dad with health issues and a mom that went legally blind almost six years ago, if it's not them then my sister needs health help, my bills aren't getting much lower because when I just get a grip on them something else comes up, when can I not be stressed enough for the adrenaline to release my brain.  I had an Alzheimer's test 18 years ago, because I thought if I was getting Alzheimer's I wasn't going to marry my now husband. They found no flat spots so therefore ruled out Alzheimer's.  Every now and then I get a

    most chill like shocks throughout my limbs and I think, great now my nerves are having issues. I'm in panic mode because who will take care of my parents if my brain goes, and who will care for me, not my husband. 

    As as for words, I stumble over those, faces I know I've seen the person, but can't remember where, conversations I might remember just a bit, movies forget about it I can watch a movie and go to tell someone about it and not remember. It's scary.  People think your making it up, or doctors want to send you to a cognitive behavioral therapist thinking your making this up because your afraid to fail. Well that's partially true, but why am I afraid to fail? It's because I don't have a memory fir school, a new job, if I can't do those I can't leave my marriage, I can't get my own place and have my own life. It's a vicious cycle. I'm glad I found a forum with others that know what I'm going through,might if nothing else makes me feel sane again. 


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  • Posted

    Help me.. T.T so young dk whats going on
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  • Posted

    Hi, let me know of you get this and I'll reply. I am SHOCKED as I had the same shcoking sensation you deacribe and feel numb in memory. I'll explain more if rhis finds you. Hope you're as well as can be.


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  • Posted

    I for so king thought I was the only one experiencing this is sad to know I'm not but comforting at the same time. I am a 44 yr old female. I experienced my first breakdown at the age of 13 when my parents divorced and my dad would use me for information on my mom he would tell me things like "you need to convince your mom to come home if you can't I will not be able to go on" or things like "you know I haven't ate anything is weeks cause I just miss you guys" well I remember that day like it was yesterday I went to see my dad and he was painting the garage door and I walked in and said and I noticed his hands were shaking more then normal and he was just acting like himself so I asked what's up dad why are your hands shaking like that and he said well because you haven't got your mother to come home and the pain of that is catching up to me I might not make it though.

    And I started to cry and said to hi I'm sorry dad I've been trying to talk to her and she tells me to not worry about this it's not my problem and to stop it. (My mom had called and told my dad countless times by this point to stop involving me like this that it is not right or was not allowing me to come there) which ended up happening that day

    my mom picked me up that day and I remember feeling really sad and my mind was racing with so many different thoughts my mom new right away something was wrong and asked me everything ok? I said yes 

    we got home and I went to my room for maybe 5 min and then went to talk to my mom I stood there just staring at her and when she looked at me and what? 

    I started to cry and could not speak I felt my entire body stiffen and all my muscles tightened I then started to sweat and shake profoundly my mom ran to me and I could see her but not clearly and I could hear her but she sounded far away 

    she was just yelling and crying TIna Tina what's wrong baby talk to me Tina talk to me and I could feel her shaking my shoulders I managed to wrap my arms around her before my knees buckled and then all I could hear were popping sounds that sounded almost like a video game and I was seeing sparks with every pop 

    that lasted what I was told about 5 to 7 mins and then as the popping started to subside I looke up at my mom and I just called out to her 

    at that moment I remember turning to look at the window and I didn't see the window I was seeing my dad but he was hanging from a chair with a rope around his neck and my breathing started going rapid again and I was yelling for him and I was saying I'm sorry I tried I'm sorry and that vision would not go away for what seemed like forever but was a brief moment and my mom had got my dad on the phone quickly to show me he was ok 

    after calming down and what was a physical and emotional painful experience I noticed I was never the same after that day my short term memory has changed and I've noticed it's harder for me comprehend thing or what someone is explaining I forget VERY QUICKLY if somebody asks me hey can you call bla bla bla and ask bla bla by time there finished asking the question I've forgotten the first part of there request 

    since that day I have suffered from anxiety attacks when I get to overwhelmed and frustrated and consumed with to many different emotions and things like that 

    I do not deal with stress well and have developed and very short temper along with the attacks 

    when im Being pushed to far I do notice my vision will blur and I will start to temmor and my heart will race and palpitate and then I know I either have to remove myself from what ever situation or it's  gonna go full blown 

    I know that because since that day I have had countless anxiety and hyperventilating attacks and unfortunately 2 other full blown breakdowns both of which I experienced the same popping and sparks and damage to follow the second one left my left hand to shake and the third has left my memory even worse And and my vision worse for distant 

    as for now I still experience anxiety attacks anytime I'm overly emotional weather do to with my marriage to when my children left home so it's a painful and draining experience every time

    I sometimes feel different after some anxiety attacks also 

    but thank you for listening and i hope and pray someday all of us will never have to feel what we feel and experience befor during and after every attack everything breakdown 


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  • Posted

     My first break down was about the same time as yours. I was in my 20s. I had numerous anxiety symptoms that came in all at once and I thought for sure I had MS.

     I don't remember electric shocks at that time but over the years I've had a few in my neck area. My symptoms didn't tone down for several months however they never permanently went away.  When I'm anxious or nervous they flareup again. It's really hard to explain to anybody that's never gone through this. My family doesn't truly understand but they believe me when I say I'm feeling this or that. I've seen several neurologist had MRIs, EEG, bloodwork and all normal.

     my memory was not damaged however there have been a couple episodes where I'd be driving and all of a sudden things looked kind of foggy . And kind ofunfamiliar. there is nothing wrong with my vision so I freaked out.   The neurologist said it was due to intense stress and anxiety which I've been going through my entire life.  It hasn't happened to me now for quite a while. And I hope it never does. I know I need to settle my mind down so it really helps to listen to audio meditations on YouTube for anxiety. 

     i'm sorry you are going through this, 


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  • Posted

    I'm just astonished to read this. I googled memory loss and panic disorder. I had my breakdown and went from being a high functioning software engineer to having to go on medical leave from work, then I got laid off. I could't handle the telephone ringing, any small noise would set me off. I would go to a store, and tell myself the "I'm parking under the P5 sign in front of the Von's sign at the market," go in for groceries, and come out and not be able to remember where I parked my truck. Almost 20 years later, I'm better, but I still can't remember the names of people I've known for years and years, and I forget what I'm doing from one room to the next. I just asked my psychotherapist about this and she said memory trouble is common with anxiety. I can't remember a lot of my earlier life; it's like it's just been wiped clean. It's almost like having had a stroke. One of the biggest problems is I used to have a thing where I could look at a problem and the solution would just spring from my subconscious almost fully formed. This facility is broken now, and I have to torturously try to reason my way through problems, and I'm not very good at it, because my logical abilities have been damaged as well. I have newly-diagnosed Meniere's disease, but lots of tinitus starting a while back, when I started having migraine and headache. I get feelings like my head's floating, with something like bursts of static, often when I move my head or my eyes. I'm trying to go back to work now, and it's difficult facing the fact that I can't really handle the normal activities of work life like using the telephone, email, and the like without acute anxiety. Unexpected noises and noisy environments still set me off. I had a realization the night before last that if I can get some sort of perspective on this thing, it might be better. I can still feel the feeling I got of somehow unclenching and straightening out internally at the thought. It was a beautiful feeling! All the best if anyone sees this.

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