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I've had issues with anxiety my whole life (I just recently turned 20) I don't really have any particular triggers, though there are some things that will affect me more than others but sometimes I'm perfectly fine. Stuff like social situations, busy stores or restaurants, talking to a cashier or waiter, crowds can bother me to the point of a panic attack but other times I'm perfectly okay. Recently on my birthday I went out to eat and was sat in the middle of a dining area that was completely full and very loud and crowded. The waiter started trying to talk to me and my dad was joking about having them sing happy birthday to me. I was a little uncomfortable but okay until I took a sip of my drink when for some reason the thought went into my head that someone could have drugged it and I literally panicked - I got dizzy and everything got fuzzy, my tongue felt numb and I felt like I couldn't move. It only lasted for about 1-2 minutes and I excused myself to go to the bathroom to calm down. I was a little shaky the rest of the day but overall okay.
I do however have severe hypochondria. I constantly convince myself or worry that I have some disease or disorder. I've worried about having a stroke, a heart attack, a seizure, a blood clot, having a neuro degenerative disease, carpal tunnel, kidney problems, brain tumors, cancer. I've developed a habit of checking my pulse constantly throughout the day to see if it's abnormal. I'll also wiggle my fingers and shake out my hands to make sure I can still move them properly. When I'm having anxiety there's a random mixing pool of symptoms I experience - sometimes my heart races or i feel pressure, sometimes my throat and chest feel like they're being squeezed, sometimes I start to hyperventilate, sometimes it feels like there's pressure in my head and neck, sometimes i feel like im going to lose feeling in my limbs and fingers and not be able to move them anymore (one of my biggest fears), sometimes i just feel slightly disconnected or like things aren't really real (even though I KNOW they are). One of several of these things is generally paired with that electric shock feeling of adrenaline and just overall panic. (Btw, I have had my heart tested in high school I wore a monitor for 3 days and even though I had episodes/panic attacks where I thought I must be having a heart attack or something nothing irregular was found besides that my heart beat faster during those times) I also worry about health things constantly - recently our town water supply reported slightly higher numbers of coliforms and I almost had a panic attack in the gas station hearing about it because I had drank the water that day and was terrified, I'm also very scared old buildings will have absestos so I don't like going in them, or I'll feel panicked the whole time that I do and my mind convinces me I'm having trouble breathing. I'm worried that when I get heartburn I'm going to end up ruining my throat or burning a hole in it or something. The list pretty much goes on and on.
It's affected my sleeping occasionally too. Right before I fall asleep my body will jump and I'll be shocked awake like my heart just beat really strongly. I usually gasp and sit up and breathe heavily for a few seconds before trying to fall asleep again. If it happens several times I'm forced to turn on a show to distract me while I fall asleep, somehow having the noise/dialogue to focus on relaxes me enough to do so.
I have seen a counselor before, but I don't feel like it helped. She was nice enough to talk to but I stopped going after she started to try to force medicine on me (I already expressed that I'd like to explore options without that and other ways of dealing with it, plus I'm very scared of side-effects and I hate swallowing pills and taking medicine) I'm not really sure what to do at this point.. I feel like I could deal with things better but I have no idea how to start to do that.
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