Not sure if this is anxiety?

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I am not afraid of being outside amongst people, for example an hour or so shopping in the supermarket doesn't worry me, but I do find it so exhausting that I am desperate to get home and am wiped out for the rest of the day. My two kids need a lot of interaction and that exhausts me too. I get very angry and worked up over very small things like uncomfortable clothes. Once I am set off, everything drives me mad. So what do you think, is this anxiety, or something else?

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  • Posted

    Hello Cookiemonster

    You have created an interesting post. Ultimately the answer to your question will have to be provided by a medical professional who will no doubt carry out some basic tests and possibly a blood sample for analysis, as the exhaustion particularly, may be a symptom of several conditions ranging from anaemia to lifestyle and just about everything in between.

    That being said, exhaustion is most certainly one of the symptoms that people can experience with anxiety and/or depression. They usually find that what before they felt 'not right', their energy levels were fine, whereas now, doing an hour or so of normal household chores leaves them feeling like they've been working hard all day.

    The main focus in my reply is your comment about the supermarket. This has the same effect on me as it does on you. In my case I struggle with severe anxiety and bouts of depression, which various meds help me to cope with. Unfortunately, one of the many side-effects of severe anxiety is a form of Agoraphobia, and that is something I am dealing with right now. It doesn't sound like you suffer from that at all, but like you, the essential supermarket shop is something I dread, and from leaving the house I am already thinking of how soon I can get back.

    When I do, I have sometimes felt so exhausted that I've fallen asleep in the middle of the day. I can only presume that the emotional and mental effort I made has consumed vast amounts of energy, leaving me drained.

    So, although I cannot give you an emphatic answer, I can say that this could certainly be anxiety, but, it could be a number of other harmless things that only a GP is likely to reveal.

    Would you describe yourself as an anxious person? Is there anything in particular that is causing you stress? Is this the first time you have felt this way?

    Sending you my warmest good wishes and understanding.  :-)

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    • Posted

      I wouldn't have described myself as a worrier, I have not previously been in the habit of dwelling on things or anticipating problems that have not yet happened. Butvin the last few years many stressful events have occurred and now I am getting many physical symptoms that do seem to match anxiety. I have had blood tests for many things including thyroid, other hormones, liver function, even cancer and physical tests for blood pressure and heart function. All totally clear. I am about to approach the doctor with the idea that my symptoms may be caused by anxiety or chronic stress, which I had not even considered until today when I had to struggle to calm down and even a tense scene on the TV was making my heart pound out of my chest. I have had depression before and this is nothing like that, but the doctor gave me amitryptaline recently to try, and they did seem to ease the symptoms. I am thinking I need to go back for another course before things worsen.
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    • Posted

      Good Evening/Morning

      I'm so pleased you have replied in such a fulsome way. As a person on the outside looking in, I am better placed to offer an objective viewpoint. I don't have an arrogant bone in my body, but I am simply stating a basic truth. People that know me well are always able to spot a change, however slight, in my behaviour before I do, and this is really valuable.

      You've shed much more light on your situation, and the background is very telling. It makes me shudder when I think back to the years I spent toing and froing to my long-suffering GP with one symptom after another, some so severe, that on two occasions I was admitted to hospital as an inpatient for thorough tests. Like you, all clear.

      That in itself is so frustrating and confusing. You begin to doubt yourself, wonder if you are going mad, and of course presuming nobody believes you. The problem was that the doctors were looking in the right place and it was only after I paid to go and see a private specialist three hours’ drive from my home that I was given a solid diagnosis. After years of enduring all manner of physical symptoms, some of them painful, others not, he told me there was no question that I was suffering from severe Clinical Depression.

      Now that I am fully educated in the abilities of this pernicious illness, I now know that Depression, a form of mental illness, is, and was, responsible for all of those symptoms. I could do a Tolstoy for you on how this works, but I realise that's not necessary.

      Let me this time give you (in my humble personal opinion), one definitive answer or piece of advice.

      To quote you; "I am thinking I need to go back for another course before things worsen".

      Yes, Yes, and Yes again. This has been my experience. If you are in fact dealing with a form of anxiety and/or depression, it needs to be stopped in its tracks. I'm fortunate that I have a patient and very empathetic GP. He has always said 'don't wait until you are feeling really poorly before you come and see me. If you feel you are experiencing a setback, book an appointment straight away'.

      I strongly recommend you do exactly what you've suggested. Talk over the changes you have been experiencing and enlist his/her support. If you leave it, you are right; you are far more likely to get worse than to get better alone.

      I am very sorry that in "the last few years" you have experienced a number of stressful situations. Twelve years ago I hit a similar set of circumstances beginning with a major event, followed by a plethora of problems flowing from that. If you are enduring that, even though you are a complete stranger, I feel deeply sorry for you. Unless you have experienced it, you cannot describe to anyone how you really feel.

      I'm afraid I have rambled on. Sorry. If anything I have said has raised a doubt or a question, I would be delighted if you felt free to leave another message, and you have my word that I will reply as soon as I possibly can.

      Meanwhile, I shall genuinely thinking of you and hoping you follow through and get some answers.

      Again, please accept my warmest regards and good wishes.

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