Mainly anxiety - Looking for help and advice

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi guys,

I have posted on these forums before regarding a range of symptoms I was suffering from, I have some updates to this information but I still require some help and advice, so thank you in advance.

I have been suffering from labyrinthitis for 4 months now, and in addition to all the symptoms related to that condition, I have also had multiple anxiety/panic attacks. As far as I am concerned in the past month or so, the anxiety has taken over massively and so I won't talk about the labrynthitis symptoms (dizziness, blocked ear, pressure in head, nausea etc etc.) as they pale in comparison even though they are still there.

After a 10 week wait, I had my ENT appt the other day, where the doctor said that I don't actually have labyrnthitis though I do have symptoms associated with it and so I have to wait another 6 weeks for further tests to be done. In the mean time, I DESPERATELY need some help with the anxiety.

I feel like I am constantly in a state of panic and I am very conscious of my breathing, feels like I am choking. This feeling is there almost always and gets much worse if I know I have to go shopping or meet friends so much so that I have pretty much confined myself in my room for the past few months. I have had MRIs and blood tests done which have ruled out anything serious and therefore my anxiety isnt related to medical reasons as far as I know.

It also gets worsened or triggered after hot showers, after sudden movements which trigger dizziness and therefore anxiety. In fact, when any of the labyrinthitis symptoms flare up, it instantly affects the anxiety. Very recently, my vision has also made my anxiety worse. I feel like my eyes are going cross eyed, almost a straining effect on my eyes. This in turn makes me dizzy which makes my anxiety worse. I have had eye tests done and there is nothing abnormal.

SO, this leads me to believe that as I haven't got any serious problems, my main problem is the anxiety and so I have posted in this topic rather than for Ear disorders.

Is there anyone out there who can help me control my anxiety? I tried some breathing exercises but that didn't do much but maybe I did it wrong. I am willing to try anything to control this. Until my next appt I can't do anything about my 'labyrinthitis' symptoms so this is my only alternative. Please can you guys (especially people in a similar situation to mine, who have overcome this) direct me to any material or techniques that will help me with this?

In addition, if people have been through this and defeated the problem, can you briefly let me know what you suffered from, how long it lasted, how you recovered from it and any further information.

Thanks in advance!

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    I think when anxiety starts to control your life you really need medication to help you start to overcome it. There are plenty of drugs out there which will dampen it down – just describe your feelings to your GP. In the long term, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of talking therapy for anxiety syndrome, but this may be a blip triggered by your physical symptoms. which are enough to unhinge anyone!

    In answer to your final question, I have been through this (triggered by menopause and bad flu), I had general anxiety, feeling afraid all the time, panic attacks, agoraphobia, palpitations etc; it lasted four years, and I recovered with a lot of hard work, reading, therapy, medication and just keeping going. But hopefully yours won't last so long! The sooner you tackle it the less chance it has to become long-lasting.

    Oh yes, and exercise. Anything that raises your heart rate will help burn off the excess adrenaline that is making you feel so fearful. Walk for at least an hour a day – or any other exercise that you fancy. I know you don't want to leave your room, but it has to be done.

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  • Posted

    Hi sue,

    Thank you for your reply, much appreciated. I was on diazepam which seemed to help fairly quickly and within 10 days I had come off it, not just because I started to feel better but also because the doctors recommended not being on it for long periods of time. Since then however, the anxiety has come back.

    I have to ask a question regarding the exercise. I have read on various sites and forums that exercise helps with the anxiety. Prior to my symptoms 4 months ago, I was in the gym 4-5 times a week. What I forgot to mention in the main post is that in the 4 months, i've suffered twice- first spell lasting a week, followed by 3 weeks of normality, followed by a second spell of 3 months and going. Both of these spells were triggered in the gym while lifting weights. My MRIs etc have shown that there is no other issue behind these symptoms so it must still be labyrinthitis.

    Basically what I'm trying to say is I feel a bit reluctant to exercise as I'm afraid my symptoms may get worse. In addition, any sort of physical activity involves head movements etc and an increase in these movements once again causes an increase in the symptoms and therefore the anxiety.

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  • Posted

    I guess by "exercise" I meant something gentler, less driven. Just walking – is there a park or riverside or somewhere you can stroll, and take your mind off things? But as your anxiety is continuing it may be worth going back to your doctor for a different drug – one of the SSRIs – they take longer to kick in but can be taken long-term, till you feel better and can cope without.
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  • Posted

    I know exactly how you feel as I've been going through the same thing.

    Before I was diagnosed with Lab (4 months it took btw) I had no idea what was wrong with me. The Drs tried telling me it was just anxiety (wrong). But one day they gave me Valium - I calmed down but none of my symptoms went away (I just was too high to care) so then they took me seriously. (Tried to make me feel crazy first though and shove pills down my throat).

    Anyway - they still didn't know what was wrong and cleared me to fly. Big mistake! As soon as that plane pressurised - I went down big time. Had to be taken off the plane by medics.

    That moment, combined with the 4 months of being undiagnosed sent me into the horrible world of Health Anxiety. Meaning any little thing I would worry I was in serious danger of my health failing.

    So at this point I had lab and health anxiety. So any dizziness or faint or any symptom that would come on, would also be followed by anxiety. So sever that I was going to Drs and getting them to make sure I was okay.

    When the specialists found the damage and was able to diagnose, I thought the anxiety would go away. Nope - so wrong! Even though I knew that these symptoms were not life threatening, as soon as one came on I would also get anxiety so sever that I didn't want to be left on my own as I had convinced myself I could pass out or even die! (Exhausting)

    I'm still struggling occasionally with the anxiety even though now most of my symptoms have dropped off.

    The way i have helped my anxiety and panic attacks is by:

    • regular acupuncture sessions

    • reiki healing / massage combination

    • yoga

    • meditation

    • lite exercise

    • painting and being creative

    • sleeping with audio specifically to help with anxiety and panic attacks (like hypnotherapy for sleeping!)

    I still have moments of health anxiety where I honestly feel scared that a racing heart beat means I'm going to die or a head spins means I'm going to pass out. But they are few and far between.

    The meditation really has helped but it takes a while. You really need to practice a lot.

    I used mediation that is specifically for anxiety.

    I hope this helps but just know that you are not alone!

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