Is this Anxiety or something else?

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I was diagnosed with anxiety almost a year ago after initially thinking my physical symptoms were something much more serious. To be clear, I was relieved to find it was just anxiety and have been trying to manage my symptoms with hard excercise and a positive attitude, reducing stress around me as much as poss etc.

However, my symptoms have become worse and I wanted to find out of anyone else has these same symptoms or if I should be worried it is something else.

I have persistent shortness of breath, it literally feels like i cannot get enough air in my lungs. I never hyperventilate or have what others would describe as panic attacks, my breathing is always shallow and becomes worse if I do high impact exercise like running, skipping, jumping.

I have persistent chest pain on one side, shoulder and back pain on the same side. Pain in all of these areas can be worse on some days. Sometimes my chest and surrounding muscles are so tight that my breathing is reduced even more.

I am more tired and have lost muscle strength and overall fitness - this was the first sign all them months ago that scared me. I am a very active person who trains each morning with a personal trainer. My fitness levels decreased rapidly, from the point of being able to bust out 50 press ups in one hit to struggling with just 5 a few short weeks later, despite no gap in training. Despite still training daily, I have still not recovered the level of fitness I had before I was diagnosed with anxiety.

My voice is hoarse and breaks. I used to be able to sing but now I cannot because I do not have enough breath to hold a note and my voice cracks/breaks if I try to go high. 

My throat is sore, even though im not sick with a cold/flu or anything, it hurts to swallow.

I have a mild cough which has not gone away.

My GP made me feel like a freak with massive health anxiety, so I am reluctant to go back and bother her again, but I am worried it is something more serious. The last 3 symptoms I am certain are not anxiety related and i've had these for several weeks now.

For the record, I have never suffered with any illness, physical or mental, before. I have always been a healthy, strong person. This is now frightening me and imparing my life. 

I am really keen to hear from other anxiety sufferers who can normalise this for me. As I said, anxiety I can cope with because it isn't life threatening, but despite my best efforts my symptoms are not abating and I am fearful I have been misdiagnosed.


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  • Posted

    I completely understand what you're going through my story is 9 years ago I came down with tachycardia hurt palpitations I was really sick high anxiety but of course I couldn't breathe my heart labels 140 once I got on medication and they kicked in after a month my heart rate went down my anxiety went away this time it started in my stomach was so far can't find nothing was getting short of breath and woke up one day with help palpitations my heart is beating normal but not in the sixties like that usually was it's in the eighties and the nineties but the faster it goes the more it palpitates now every day I feel like I can't breathe and I have tightness from my head to my throat to my chest sometimes it eases off and I feel almost like myself and I can do more things but I do keep pushing myself to do things even when I feel like that today I was taking it easy but it's hard sitting here dealing with it it eased off a little bit but it keeps coming back the thing I don't like is sometimes I get a different feeling in my breathing than I usually get then I have to figure out how to deal with it so I definitely know what you're going through but when I got like this last time it was a health problem don't know if it's a health problem this time I waiting to have a CT scan they have a hernia but it is definitely hard to deal with if I will get all the symptoms of anxiety except for the felt like you can't breathe I'll be able to deal with it but it don't work like that

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  • Posted

    Any idea where your anxiety comes from or started? Like do you redner what you were doing when anxiety first started happening?? There doesn't need 2 be a rhyme or reason for it as my doctor says. Mine started in April with no rhyme or reason.

    I've had all the heart tests done blood work done and I'm fine. Have you had tests done on you from your doctor and other specialists?

    I agree with you I hate when the doctor or other people just say it's anxiety. OK so it's anxiety but why am I having these symptoms??? Physical symptoms can be unbearable at times but you just gotta try 2 ignore them at least that's what I try 2 do.


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    • Posted

      i'm not sure what started it, I run a business and am a single parent to 4 kids so I have a stressful lifestyle.

      The first symptom was shortness of breath - I stopped smoking as I felt this was the reason. I'd never been much good at running due to being a smoker. Other times when I stopped smoking I'd noticed an immediate improvement in my running ability and so became concerned when a week after stopping smoking this time, I was still struggling to breathe.

      Then my fitness training started to become difficult, my trainer noticed how much I'd regressed and suggested a trip to the GP.

      As most do, I googled my symptoms and was terrified to find my symptoms matched with various serious lung diseases.

      It took me 8 weeks to get in front of a GP and by this time id got worse and worked myself into a bit of a panic about it.

      The GP was less than sympathetic and diagnosed me with health anxiety.

      The thing that gets me is I'm not an anxious person by nature. I don't consciously feel anxious and believed I coped with stress quite well. If I was feeling emotionally worried or stressed I'd understand, but there is no correlation between my feelings and physical symptoms. My only worry was my health and this came after the symptoms had presented themselves.

      The fact that some of the symptoms come and go reassures me a little but they've got progressively worse over the course of the year.

      Thanks for replying, it's good to know others have similar symptoms.

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    • Posted

      I'm not much for gping to hospitals or Doctors but when I had my first attack and what started this mess in April I went to ER and they were good about it and nothing was wrong. A few weeks after that I went to Boston fenway park and I was relatively fine. A few weeks after that I began 2 get dizzy headaches all the physical symptoms so I went to my doctor checked my blood pressure had some blood work done 2 check for stuff, blood sugar, thyroid etc. It was all fine. I had all the heart tests done just so we could rule out anything with the heart and it was fine so.

      I walk lots, exercise is good with anxiety as you know.

      My anxiety kinda came out of knowhere like Urs although your a single parent to 4 kids so I can only imagine what's that's like. I work in a kitchen where it etc so hot and it's stressful but I've worked there 4 3 years so I don't think that's what's causing it.

      I wish I knew what was causing the physical symptoms!! I don't get them alot but annoying none the less when they come. When they do come I try 2 ignore them the best that I can.

      Just gotta trust the process and that I've been checked out by a doctor and that I'm fine!!

      Stay with it!!!


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  • Posted

    Hello Perplexed37,

    I am really sorry to hear about the symptoms you are experiencing. It might be worth you using a different doctor for your peace of mind. Once you have been checked and are confident with your diagnosis, you can move forward.

    I experience health anxiety and struggle with it. I am not the sort of person to make a fuss, so it comes hard to me. The doubts are a difficult thing to deal with but hang in there.

    I have experienced shortness of breath to the point where an ambulance took me into hospital. I have also experienced chest pains, tightenig and sore throat, sore mouth, dizziness and visual disturbances (all at different times). I have found that it takes a pattern ... the symptoms persist as long as I am hypersensitive of them, then they disappear and other symptoms seam to occur again... so on and so forth.

    I am currently taking Sertralin for anxiety, which is helping. I am not a fan of medication but it helps me whilst I am waiting for a CBT referral.

    Do your best to get checked and to distract yourself when you know for certain there is nothing physiologically wrong.

    Never feel like a freak for having anxiety - its tough and you are doing well to be trying to manage it and by talking about it.

    I hope you feel more reassured and relieved soon.

    H smile

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    • Posted

      Thank you, this is very reassuring! Like you I'm a tough cookie, I've never been someone who worries endlessly or gets panicked about anything. I'm the girl who can go to an exam or interview without so much as a twitch, stand up and talk to hundreds of people at a conference... I keep my cool. I'm just an easy going person. So it's hard to swallow the anxiety disorder when my mind feels so together.

      My symptoms are entirely physical and as I mentioned to another poster, there is no correlation between my conscious thoughts and physical symptoms. I can have an easy and positive day at work and yet feel like I'm dying physically, it's so frustrating.

      If anxiety is a psychological disorder, how does one go about treating it if the mental anxiety isn't apparent?

      I get that my life is more stressful than most, I have a lot of pressure and responsibility, but I always have. If anything my life is easier and less stressful now I'm older and more financially stable.

      Thank you to everyone who responded. It's so helpful to find others who are struggling with the same thing!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your encouragement... I just started experiencing this anxiety symptoms... Worse of all is the light headedness and insomnia. I seem to feel better during the day, but as the night approaches I get anxious because it's so difficult to sleep. Dunno what to do. I exercise but not so much, I'm trying to lose some weight also and I've checked all the so called necessary tests, even to lipids. But everything came out normal. I don't know who to talk to about this, because no one might understand me, even my hubby. Please someone help me I can't live this way

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    • Posted

      Interesting I'm almost the opposite I feel better at night time and have no problem sleeping at all really.

      Do you have any idea where your anxiety comes from or started? There doesn't need 2 be a reason, there not really a reason for mine so.

      Hang in there.


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    • Posted

      It started after I had hypoglycemia, (cold hands and feet, sweating, confused, breathless) when I was on a supposed diet...I got better after treatment. Plus I lost two close family friends at the end of the year. Then 1St of January I started feeling chest tightness, nausea, backache and sleeplessness. I got better again and it's all started two days ago. I have been on diazepam sleeping tabs, but it doesn't work for me. I can't seem to get my mind off the symptoms. I'm so scared and my husband is affected too by my inability to sleep. I'm tired of visiting the hospital... What meds can I take to reduce this anxiety and most of all have a peaceful sleep???

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    • Posted

      I'm not on meds so you would have 2 ask someone else on this fourm on visit your doctor.

      I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sure that had some affect on your anxiety as it would effect anyone but for people who deal with anxiety sure doesn't help!!

      Hang in there


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  • Posted

    Yes your symptoms sound like Anxiety.

    Have you had any treatment for your anxiety yet  ??


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    • Posted

      No treatment as far as drugs are concerned. I've never taken prescription drugs apart from antibiotics and pain relief when I had pneumonia about 4 years ago.

      My doctor didn't even discuss treatment with me, I wouldn't have accepted drugs anyway.

      I studied all the natural treatments and decided to adjust my training and diet. I have a personal trainer who is really skilled and has helped tremendously. I find that high impact excercise helps a lot but it also freaks me out because there's nothing worse than seeing how much your fitness is regressing, you expect to get fitter from training, not go backwards, but that's what's happening to me.

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  • Posted

    Hi mate,

    The pains are very consistent with anxiety now shortness of breath you should always get checked,

    With your gp book a 20 minute appointment but pin point the shortness of breath part not all the other stuff.

    If it's getting pain with exercising that could be anything so get an ecg/ or heart scan just to douse check.

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