please help!

Posted , 7 users are following.

I have been through a lot of panic and anxiety since July. It all started when I had a very stressful week. Everything was going wrong..car troubles, bills...other family related things. Then one night I became extremely dizzy and completely freaked out. Husband took me to the er only to be sent home with no reason to why I was dizzy. I was unable to work....the panic attacks were crazy! I had never had anything like this before. Over 9 weeks, I had visited the er about 4 times. Some of testing included...head ct, brain mri, PT for vestibular problems. I was finally lucky enough to be put on zoloft. I take 150 every 3rd day...directed by my pcp. I then found that my heartrate was crazy high....ended up with an echo, Holter monitor, and tilt table ( to confirm I do not have POTS). Every test I have had has came back normal. I still am scared something is wrong. I still have dizzy spells off and on....which increases anxiety while walking. I am able to drive my car and work....but still have major anxiety when doing so. Some days are better than others. I just can't seem to understand how this is all related to anxiety. I feel like my body is trying to panic but the zolft doesn't allow for a full blown panic attack. I feel very anxious at night, make me wonder if the zoloft is wearing out. My heatrate gets up to 120 just loading the dishwasher or doing anything around the house. I am always aware of the heartrate and constantly checking it. I can't believe this, it is very embarrassing but I don't know how to stop the racing thoughts. I think I'm dieing all the time. I know that I won't die from a heartrate of 120 but I still am scared. Can someone please tell me I'm not crazy. Any help would be appreciated....I feel like I am going crazy. BTW I did have ENT testing no vertigo.

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  • Posted

    Oh I feel for you I know how you feel!! Just going from sitting to standing my heart rate is 120 and I have to do breathing exercises to calm it back down! I'm constantly checking my pulse and sometimes it slows to 50bpm which scares me too. Try and relax and breathe think nice thoughts, your still alive with your heart racing I know it's hard but thinking about it constantly will make your heart race. I go back to work tomorrow after 9 months maternity leave and I'm terrified but luckily my boss knows how it feels to panic and she's reassured me I'll be ok! I use adult colouring books they really help take my mind off it and meditation or maybe try a yoga class I might start those their suppose to be good! Xx
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    • Posted

      Thanks so much for your response. I have that darn heart rate check app on my phone. At one point I had three. Ridiculous. But true. I check it probably 50 times a day. Good luck with your job. It always helps to have someone understand what anxiety and panic feel like.
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  • Posted

    Hi, im sorry to hear you are experiencing anxiety like this, I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks myself and it's not pleasant! Your dizziness is most likely being caused by overbreathing/hyperventilation which happens when you are anxious. Try doing breathing exercises, breathing in to a slow count of 4, pausing and breathing out to a slow count of 6 usually works for me, at first it can make you feel dizzy, but after 5 to 10 minutes you will feel a lot more calm.

    Also, if you are walking try and slow down, you may be walking too fast which is causing the breathlessness, and again leading to dizziness. In the car, put some of your favourite music on, this will distract your mind from anxious thoughts. Your mind is an incredible thing, and its hard to believe it could make you feel this way but you just have to allow it to come and go, if you try and fight the anxious feelings it only makes you worse.

    Medication will never fully take away the anxiety (unless you take medication that will make you feel like a zombie), it just takes the 'edge' off. At night when your body starts to relax that can also cause anxiety because your body is preparing you for going to sleep, again breathing exercises should minimize this.

    I know its easier said than done, but ban yourself from taking your heart rate! This will only cause you more anxiety, think of how high runners heart rates are for extended periods of time and they are absolutely fine, so you will be too. It is a natural response to the adrenal pumping through your body when you have panic attacks/anxiety - think back to cave times, the 'fight' or 'flight' scenario. 

    I promise these feelings don't mean you're dying, no matter how terrifying they are. You have been fully checked so that rules out any problems straight away.  You aren't crazy, just more aware of your bodily sensations, that's all you have to remind yourself smile anyway, they say if you think you're crazy, you're not, because if you were, you wouldn't know!

    I hope some of this helps you, its awful to go through, but it will get better. smile 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for our response. I understand completely that meds won't take it away....and I don't want to be a zombie. Docs tried me on all kinds of of meds. Xanax, valium and ativan. Hated all of them. I felt out of it. Thanks for the advice on the breathing. I will try it out. I've heard it really does help. It is awful but I've made it this far. I always had anxiety...but the panic attacks started a couple of months ago. I keeping reading about how powerful the mind is. I suppose it's true. Thanks for the advice smile
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  • Posted

    Your not crazy diamond i had every test in the world done last year all came back normal i was prescribed citalopram which is another anti depressant and the first 2 weeks i thought i was loosing it I'm suprised your doctor didn't prescribe you a benzo like ativan,klonopin or something for short term use until the Zoloft kicks in. You might benefit from seeing a cognitive behavioral therapist as well they teach you skills to cope. I just started seeing one as these past 3 weeks my anxiety is back but im managing it better this time. I've heard a bunch of tips to deal with it including not fighting with your anxiety and welcoming it in learning how it effects you and whenever you feel it just acknowledge its your brain over reacting it takes time but it gets easier. I remember i couldn't sit down or do anything without thinking about my heart rate or how i just generally felt ill it drove me crazy but with the help of meds and trying to push myself i made it and like i said its creeping back but im in the process of increasing my dose from 10mg to 20mg and I'm staying positive about it good luck just keep pushing you'll make it.
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    • Posted

      They did try me on some benzos. It was awful. I didn't like feeling like I wasn't in control even though I was dieing to feel better. I was afraid to take anything. Including ibprofen. It was like anything and everything I did would kill me. I have my first appt tomorrow to see a CBT. I'm excited....nervous. I wish others around me where this understanding.
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    • Posted

      You'll be fine I've had three CBT appointments so far and at first i was anxious about it but now i look forward too it there very understanding and comforting.
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  • Posted

    You're not crazy, and it doesn't appear you have a cardiovascular problem.

    Your stress system is just on full tilt, it got an overload, and now it's stuck in alarm mode. The Zoloft supresses your anxiety, so you can function in daily life, which is of course an advantage. It doesn't solve the core of your problem though.

    I think next time you visit your doctor, you should demand treatment for anxiety, in the form of a therapist, who teaches you how to relax, and who will listen to your worries. To be honest I'm quite amazed you didn't get this offered much earlier, because the onset of your problems is quite obviously caused by a period of intense stress, and physical problems are ruled out.

    I wish for you that you can start with therapy soon, I know how it feels to have a pounding heart and racing thoughts, it's something to get rid off a.s.a.p. It's nice to learn techniques which can prevent it in the future, your therapist can help you with that.

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  • Posted

    You had too much to deal with and your body went into overload.

    We are only flesh and blood and there is a limit as to how much we can deal with.

    I hope you are feeling better and keep posting your updates.

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  • Posted

    You had too much to deal with and your body went into overload.

    We are only flesh and blood and there is a limit as to how much we can deal with.

    I hope you are feeling better and keep posting your updates.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I really feel for you and know exactly what you're going through. One small thing I can recommend that helped me a lot along with my therapy was introducing some light exercise. Even on a simple level if you can find a quiet time when you're not going to be distracted to take a brisk walk and maybe listen to some music or a podcast. Even up this to a run or a bike ride.

    I found this gave my stress system the right reasons to up my heart rate etc and made me less likely to do it when not needed. It also burns off the stress hormones and can regulate sleep a bit. Try doing it outside too and getting some sunlight.

    I started this in a very similar situation to you a couple of years ago and now have virtually eliminated my day to day physical symptoms of anxiety and now compete in some amateur events as a bonus. It's almost become a "drug" that I need and when I'm feeling a certain way I can do some running or swimming to set my mood and body right again.

    Hope this helps and best wishes.

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