Anxiety is back

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hello, I guess I just want to chat to people who have gone/are going through similar. I am a woman in my 40s, and suffered a severe breakdown in my 30s. It came out of the blue as I never had issues before. When I recovered some years later the panic attacks came, it was awful, I got to the point where I couldn't leave the house. I've never really been to the doctors or taken any medication.

In recent years I have been ok - until now! It seems to have come back again. I've had a few days where I think I will lose it altogher, I am finding it really hard to cope and to feel any normality, I get very scared.

I think I know what has triggered it this time, family moving away. I feel very alone.

My dog died also a I still miss her...

Oh dear I just read over my post and I am feeling v. sorry for myself! I am clinging on to my sense of humour!

Thanks.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear you are not doing well.  You already have experience with this so I can only suggest that you make new friends, get a hobby or 2 and try to go out even for a short walk at the park or the beach.  You did not say anyhting about kids, hubby or husband but if you have then try to go out on the weekeds and stay busy.  In my case I have real medical issues attached to them so I can't really help you much. ;-)  Never give up. ;-)
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your encouragement. I have a partner who is lovely and we do go out a lot, but apart from him I am pretty much alone, which probably doesn't help. I used to have my grandaughter twice a week, but they have moved away which left me feeling alone, but I didn't expect to feel so bad. I keep getting waves of 'unreality' an panic. But, yes I will busy myself up - I am going to go for a walk now - although I am finding even that difficult at the moment. I hope you feel better soon too.
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  • Posted

    Hi Littlesparrow,

    Can I ask, do you have anything in the way of ongoing treatment for your anxiety issues?

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    • Posted

      Hi, no I don't have any help. Even when I had the breakdown, no help, the doctor booked me in for councelling which I got a year and a half later! I did one session and left as I was already feeling better and the councelling made me feel awful. I managed to stay alive and get through it by walking, I just walked and walked....with my dog.

      I have been ok for ages, and it has hit me again. I realise how small my world has become - I literally can't do anything new and I think it will always be like this. I have the best intentions of doing some voluntary work or starting a market stall and then I remember the anxiety and can't go ahead. The anxiety ruins everything - each job or project I start I have to leave as something triggers it - I have managed to get by somehow, and a lot of people wouldn't beleive I had such problems, but it is really catching up with me. 

      Thanks for listening.

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    • Posted

      Ok, well, I'm going to suggest this for your anxiety. I've suggested it a few times on here already for people to try out and see if it helps. I seem to get positive feedback so it might help; it might not.

      Either way let me know how you get on.

      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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    • Posted

      Many thanks for this. I don't seem to fit in to your description of anxiety or panic attacks - or into anyone elses decription. I am aware of my breathing and try to breath.

      I'll describe mine - The first panic attacks I had I would be aware that people were aware I was 'losing it', I'd feel myself going red, and I would literally shake from head to toe and couldn't talk - it was that bad. But I knew it was anxiety and I never thought I was having a heart attack. I got so bad I couldn't go anywhere.

      More recently, I've just been overwhelemed by dread and a feeling of unreality where I want to run away but cannot escape from inside my head - like I am going mad. I try to do something new, but remember that it will end with me having a panic attack so can't seem to move forwards.

      I do meditate and I try to breath - it does help, but when I feel really bad nothing seems to help.

      I have printed out all your info. - thanks.

       

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    • Posted

      Hi boing. I wondered what sort of place you take guided meditation? I do meditate a lot and although I haven't mastered it - it really helps me. I find that I do it most days, then when I feel better neglect it! I have had guided meditation before, but I found it really wierd.I went home and told my boyfriend I felt like I was being brainswashed! I am drawn to Buddhism, but wouldn't call myself a Buddhist. I went to some classes on meditation run by Buddhist, and found the message to be that you need no friends - no one spoke to each other before or after the classes and I felt that they were after washing my mind! 
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    • Posted

      The '7 to 11 Breathing Technique  Sounds imteresting. I take biofeedback and I do know about the 8-4-7 deep breathng and some others but didn't know about the 7-11.  Is this good for GA? In my case I feel light headed 24/7 and lack of air.
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    • Posted

      Guided meditation does indeed come with Buddhism but you don't have to be a Buddhist, or consider yourself a Buddhist, to learn from it's teachings.

      My first contact with it was at Glastonbury Festival and after that, I went to a local Buddhist Centre (Nagajuna Kadampa) and signed up to a few of their weekend classes. They do tend to cost money but I thought of them as a wise investment if only it meant helping me towards finding some sense of peace in my mind. Like you, I felt a tiny bit brainwashed but it's natural to feel something like that when you've been exposed to a new path of thought; one that could benefit a lot of people.

      It does take self-discpline though, and the right sort of environment. Meditation isn't a "weekend thing"; it's a lifestyle choice and takes serious commitment before you can benefit from it.

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    • Posted

      I felt very concerned and spoke to a friend who said something isn't right and they had heard that some buddhist groups do brainwash. I have just googled Kadampa Buddhism, and they do seem controversial.
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  • Posted

    Hi Littlesparrow. I'm also in my 40s and although I haven't had a major breakdown, I had a bit of one in my 30's.  I was in such a stressful job and couldn't cope so I handed in my notice with nothing to go to.  I was having bad anxiety issues.  I ended up geting a relatively menial job to cover the bills and then rebuilt my life.

    There will be lots of people on here that will relate to what you are saying.

    If you can afford it I'd definitely recommend going to a therapist or counsellor.  Talking through issues with someone who can help is great.  My personal favourite is EMDR therapy.  If not, you could try and get a referal from your GP.

    Whatever you decide to do, we're here for a chat, for you to have a rant or a moan biggrin or offer advise if we think we can help.

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    • Posted

      Sorry to hear that, I know what you mean as I lost my job, well I've lost all my jobs! as soon as someone makes me feel anxious, I know that I will have to avoid them so I give up and get another menial job... I still manage to get by - somehow.

      I have booked a councillor in about 2 weeks. I was worried that it would make me feel worse, which I can't afford at the moment.

      Many thanks for sharing your story, and thanks everyone so far.

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    • Posted

      Having read your other post you may find the book Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness by Gillian Bulter helpful.  It is a Cognitive Behavoural Therapy approach.

      Anxiety symptoms can be different for each of us.  I've never had the 'heart attack' symptoms but just feel an absolute panic that I have to get out of the situation and get light headed as part of the panic.

      Good luck with the counselling and let us know how you get on, good or bad (although hopefully good).

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  • Posted

    like you i had a breakdown about 30yrs ago due to a what was at the time a traumatic episode in my life , however i did have medication and counselling, i have had small episodes since then usally due to stressfull situations but for the last 4 weeks or so anxiety has returned with a vengence but i have no idea why . my symptoms are mostley severe dizzyness and strange out of body feelings i cannot walk or stand without feeling unbalanced as if on a ship on a rough sea .i did see my GP last week he did not offer me medication which is ok with me but has referred me for counselling and today i recieved a letter stating some one will telephone me within the next 28 days with an assessment lasting approx 30 mins to determine my action plan . however i am getting worse in the sense that i am now avoiding going out or even having friends round . i agree with BOING 333 re the mindfulness guided meditation as it does help me although i didn,t find the book very helpfull as prefer Dr Clair Weekes books , hope you get the help you need and soon feel better, this forum is really good lots of helpfull people who really care 
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    • Posted

      Marilyn, thanks for taking the time to reply. I am sorry you are feeling bad at the moment. I too get the 'out of body feelings'. I have heard it refered to as 'alice in wonderland syndrom'! Because I got this really bad when I had the breakdown, I know how to deal with it now, but it still doesn't stop me being terrified at the time - but it helps.

      If it's any help this is what I do: I just say to myself, "it will pass" and it does :-) The last time it happened I was in a shop and just wanted to run, but there is no escaping the feeling, so I just carried on looking at the clothes and tried to engage and concentrate on the clothes - it did work. I didn't go as far as buying anything as I wasn't in the right frame of mind, but I did get rid of the feeling by just concentrating fully on something else. 

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