Anxious, achy, lightheaded. Is this ever going to end?

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Hi. I am a 45 year old in the US. I started getting panic attacks when I was 28. Funny thing though, they started off as what felt like hormonal surges in my body. Which lead me to anxious thinking, which brings me to today. 

I will apologize if this is scattered. I’m feeling pretty scattered right now. I went I’d AD when I was 28. It provided great relief for 10 years. With some breakthrough hormonal surges that left me in bed. What I mean by hormonal surges is this: anxiety, shaking uncontrollably, muscle tension, feelings on doom, a warm flush from my chest/back down to my stomach and uncontrollable thoughts. Oh yeah, and racing heart and tightness in my chest. 

These surges normally happened a few days into my period. Now, flash forward to today. I was getting these surges periodically, now they are coming on regularly. I’m freaking out. I have three kids at home (12,10 & 10). The thoughts of not being able to function are driving me crazy. I have muscle tension, abdominal pain, lightheadedness, anxiety, racing thoughts, warm flushes and tingling. 

What can I do to help. I have to be strong for my kids. I have to be kind to myself. Yet, I just want to crawl up and hide!

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  • Posted

    I understand your feelings of panic and not knowing how you're going to be strong for the kids- I only have one but her well being and the quality of my relationship with her and dealing with this is my biggest concern. Everything else in my life I can probably deal with. 

    I went to see my counsellor yesterday, she's known me for a long time and has suggested that I speak to my doc about a blood test for menopause- it hadn't occurred to me that this is what it was but today so many things add up- its very distressing isn't it? Her advice to me that has been really useful is that you have to find a way to have the best relationship with each child that you can,that's not necessarily about having dinner made and tidying their room your relationships with them may need to change during this time but it's about finding the best quality one that you can build, moving the goal posts. 

    I undertand about the hormonal surges too, I felt a course of something 'chemical' rush through me at the weekend, I felt very similar feelings as a teenager, my 'maternal drive' I described as a unstoppable train rushing through me, I felt the hormonal resistance of my body when I wanted to stop breastfeeding and I am feeling a physical force now. 

    This is manifesting itself in me wanting to dive into my career and I am managing it by getting a mothers help in, I need 'help' not just practical but emotional, a woman who can do all the daily things, who can put domestic and otherwise processes in place. I'm not absolving my husband in all of this he's very hands on, but I need a woman's help.

    As much as there seems to be a lot of diminishing talk in the media about women placing behavioural changes on 'hormones' I know that my changes are driven by something fundamentally physical....if you come up against this chat PLEASE trust your instincts.

    Anyway I'm going off topic, get help, get all the help that you can, speak to your children about these changes in a way that they can understand. I feel for you, its difficult isn't it x

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  • Posted

    I so feel for you. I also have similar. I can tell you what I did. Mine began in April in earnest. I first went to my family dr. (internist) He reviewed blood tests, checked me out, sent me to a Neurologist, and ENT, Eye Dr. nobody found anything. He gave me what he said is a very low dose of xanax 0.5 slow release. It helps me a lot but I wanted to be off drugs. He said having a drink or two a day is worse, which I was doing for a loooong time (self medicating, perhaps?). I dont touch alcohol now, since May. I went to a psychologist, a good one, and we talked a lot and did mindfulness and some CBT. I practice the mindfulness exercises at home. I also watch hynotherapy videos for anxiety and mindfulness. It helps quite a lot. I make sure to have no coffee, hardly any sugar, eat foods rich in trytophan (5 walnuts a day at breakfast with whole grains for example), I take magnesium and vitamin B complex about two or three times a week. Exercise daily even if it is jogging in place. If I compare myself to April, I am much better. My psychologist said that she thinks one or two more sessions is all I need and I only have had 5 sessions of one hour. But, I must say that I am very disciplined and stick to the routine I made myself interms of diet exercise, and doing the breathing and mindfulness stuff. Two quickie exercises, for example, and do only one of them each week but daily, twice a day, 10 mins each time. 1. sit or lie still, close your eyes, and comfortable and just breathe. Try to breathe normally, but try to focus on only your breathing, how the air goes, what happens whenit is in, how it goes out, what hapens when it goes out. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breathing, even if you have to do this agan and again, it is okay and will still work. Second ex: sit or lie comfortably, close your eyes and concentrate on the outside of you, on the sounds you hear. Focus only on the sounds, the near sounds, then the far sounds then just all sounds. Again, if your mind wanders, it is okay, gently return to listening to noises. 

    Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      Thank you everyone. Lana07071 great advice. Thank you. 

      It is so hard to stop the mind from wondering. It’s very overwhelming. Sometimes you just get fed up with having to fight to feel normalish. 

      I’m going to start a b complex, magnesium, meditation and walks. Hopefully that will help ease some of the symptoms. I have an appointment with a therapist tomorrow. Maybe cbt would be helpful.  

      Elizabeth24807, I agree. It’s the doing the best for your kids and being present for them without exposing them to what your going through that is the hardest part. I’m not going to say that the rest would be easy, but it would make feeling out of my wits more manageable. If that makes sense. 

      I think it’s most frustrating that doctors don’t take the hormonal fluctuations seriously enough. I just hope all of this goes away once menopause starts. I’m not against medication/hrt. I just want to be a sliver of my old self. Ok, more than a sliver!

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    • Posted

      I don't know if it's hormones or just modern Life is stressful and eventually for some of us, perhaps the more sensitive ones, I don't know, get it. Taking control is good. Mindfulness and teaching your mind to shut up for a bit is good! I heard Tai chi is good and yesterday added 5 mins to my routine, from a y.t.cant hurt. I'm ready to try anything that can't hurt to feel

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  • Posted

    That's really great advice- thank you. Do whatever you need to do to feel confident and in control, there are many solutions.

    Anxiety suck though doesn't it, the physical symptoms can totally take you over and stop you from seeing the reality of a situation xxx

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  • Posted

    Are you taking B vitamins? Try B12 and B6.

    I get these feelings, I believe now it's really my version of hot flashes even though I don't end up in a sweat. 

    When they start coming on I just go with the flow and wait for it to pass. 

    Luckily my kids are grown and gone, but sometimes I think it would be better to have kids to give me a distraction from it all. But I am fortunate that I can just rest and watch movies and don't have to do much when I'm feeling really awful. Sorry you are going thru this


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    • Posted

      I just started taking b vitamins today. I have read great things about them. 

      Having kids around can be distracting but it can also fuel the anxiety fire. I’m constantly thinking things like what if I’m so dizzy I can’t drive. 

       I know the physical symptoms are just par for the course, but the mental symptoms are the worst for me. 

      It’s very reassuring to know I’m not alone. I thank you all for your responses. 

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    • Posted

      It was the mental problems with extreme mood issues that were by far the worst part of peri menopause for me. The physical stuff I could handle but my mind was a different story. I also felt the surges as my estrogen rose and fell. I had shocking obsessive thoughts always dark awful stuff also anger, anxiety and then slipped into depression. I knew it was hormones each time it happened so after probably about 6 months I found a doctor who specialized in bio identical hormones. He did very thorough blood work and found my estrogen was through the roof and causing my moods to get out of control. My situation was a little unusual and hasn't been easy to sort out but I'm about 9 months into BHRT now and am feeling a lot more balanced. I still have some off days but I have my life back and can function again.

      I'm assuming you haven't had your hormones looked at and if you do its super important to find a doctor with the knowledge required to deal with hormones. Most don't.

      If you look online you will find someone as if this is all due to hormones depending on how off balance they are they may not fix themselves.

      Hope all this helps a little.


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    • Posted

      I think that’s my next step. I’m lying here in bed with horrible fear, body flushes, muscle tightness. Again, I know what’s going on isn’t going to hurt me. I know I’m in control and everything will work out. I just feel paralyzed. My stomach is bloated, my legs hurt. I’m sitting here trying to get the strength to get my kids ready for school. It’s ridiculous!!  I want me back. It feels so hopeless when you are going through this. 
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