I have currently been off work for 1 month and I need to get my life back! About a month ago I started to experience dizziness, brain fogg, surrealness of my envoirnment, severe panic, muscle weakness, chest pain, tremors and a feeling of total panic in places where I have to sit doen like in restaurants.
I also cannot sit still (I pace constantly), My heart feels like its gonna beat out of my chest, I can't eat/drink/sleep. My vision is totally disturbed, I feel like passing out at the end of the day/ but I can't until the wee hours of morning. The worst part is that once I wake up in the morning, I can't go back to sleep. I go into complete panic mode until I finally pass out at night of exhaustion! I also notice that in the morning my hands feel like they are very weak and they tingle/have a burning sensation.
I have NEVER been this way before! I have always worried, but I can't function all of a sudden. I have never been scared of public places either.
I have been to many docotors and they think it is anxiety/depression, I cam currently taking 10mg of celexa daily.
I have had an MRI which came back normal. Yesterday they tested my thyroid, cbc, urine, etc (don't know the outcome yet) I have to go and get an upper GI and and CT of my stomach, because I have had diaharrea for this whole time and I may have an ulcer.
Has anyones life ever changes so abruptly like this? I am in constant "fight or flight" mode and I don't even talk to my friends. It's hard for me to hold down a conversation. Please I cry daily and I am in constant fear. I am afraid that I will never be me again. Please any advice would be helpful. I love my old life and I really want it back.
My panic disorder just came on "out of the blue" the way it seems yours did.
Nothing and I do mean nothing in my past or at that moment had changed or been threatening or life changing at all....nothing new at all going on in my life and then one day when I was 16 years old I was taking clothes out of the dryer and BAM there it was, I was fine one second and scared to death, shaking, heart racing, feeling like I wasn't real, feeling like I was going to pass out, die or go crazy, the next second.
I had every test you mentioned plus they checked my blood sugar levels and several EKG's...everything was fine.
This may not be the case for you, but do you know if anyone in your family...even as far back as a grandparent suffered from anxiety or panic?...of course they didn't call it that then.
After I was DX'd with it I came to find out the my Mom suffered with it and then several years later I came to find out the my Grandfather(whom had passed away before I was born) had also suffered from it..plus several cousins...all on my Mothers side of the family...yet I'm the only one of my siblings who has/had it.
Like I said this isn't the case for everyone and just because someone in your family has it doesn't mean you'll get it...but it does run in some families.
You can get your old self back...for some people it's medication, for some it's theapry and for some it's a combo of both...everyone is different and what works for one person doesn't work for everyone.
But like I said, you can become your old self again, there were times that I didn't think I would, but I did and you can too.
Just remember that you're stronger than it is...I know sometimes it doesn't feel that way, but you really are.
You are having breakthrough anxiety. FWIW, Celexa takes about 4-6 weeks to become fully effective. Also, you are on a sub-theraputic dose. 20mgs is the minimum dose for panic and anxiety. Please discuss any dosage increase with your doctor.
thanks so much for the encouragement-this is the worst feeling in the world. Yes my grandmother had depression and anxiety and my father. I know better than to let this get the best of me, but it literallyis taking over my body. I have always preached the mind/body/spirit rule, but I can't fine any bit of relaxation or inner peace. I have tried to be positive, but I can't find it anywhere. I really don't want to end up in the mental hospital. I can't believe how weird this make my body feel, I can hardly wlk b.c I feel as if I'm gonna faint and I have jelly legs. I will talkt to my doc about an increase in the script. How long does this take to go away? at least to a point where I can function?
Yes this happened to me in the same way....It was literally overnight. One morning I woke up dizzy and something clicked in my brain because it turned on the panic anxiety button in a split second...I experience all the same things you mention especially with your sleep patterns.....I can be totally tired all day and still not be able to nap or fall asleep until like 2 am......it's incredible how much I dont recognize myself...this has completely consumed me and ruined my life..atleast for now...I keep holding on by a very small thread that I'll snap out of all this bull crap even though it's been about 19 months now.....all I can say is you're not alone and it gets better little by little...Im not cured now and I still have these probs you speak of but not quite as bad as when it all started...maybe cuz im more used to it now...I hope you find something or someone that can direct you to a very quick full recovery and then maybe I can learn from you how to do the same....anyway hang in there I know it's tough... What does your dizziness feel like to you?...is it lightheaded, or visual, or what... talk to you later. utah
my entire summer has been filled w/ regret and anxiety. it's horrible. what keeps me going is knowing that i'm not alone. i've always had a very mild form of anxiety. but, it's recently reached new heights. therapy is probably my only hope. good luck.
You should exactly like me. At the end of May, I went to work and had a normal day and then woke up in the middle of the night panicked. My life hasn't been the same since. I was sick to my stomach most of the summer which led to me avoiding going many places. I am married and have two small children. I am also a teacher. I had hoped that starting school this fall would help, but everything feels like it is spiraling out of control. I fear that I won't be able to keep working. I don't get this I have a great life...great husband...great kids...love my job. All of a sudden in one day everything just changed. I want to go back to how my life used to be!! My doctor just prescribed Zoloft and I began today. I don't like the idea of medications, but feel I have to try before I lose it completely. I hate that I get these panic/anxiety feelings constantly even when just sitting around at my parent's house. Anyway, I'm glad to hear that there are others out there as frustrated as I am. I would love to hear from anyone is a similar situation.
My anxiety also started VERY suddenly. I was at my boyfriends house about a year and a half ago in May and we were watching a movie (nothing new or traumatic) and I started to get a stomache ache and I TOTALLY started freaking out and had my boyfriend take me home. For some weird reason I felt as if this stomach ache wasnt just your normal upset stomache and will be gone in the morning. At the time i was a cashier at a very busy retail store where I had to act happy and okay and supress my anxiety while I felt like I was going to faint or puke on the customers. I worked like that for 3 months till I just couldn't go in anymore. I ended up having that stomach ache for the whole summer and then it transformed into all different kinds of physical problems. Anyway I had always been sort of a worry wort but nothing as bad as this had ever happened or stayed with me for as long as it had. I've been on Zoloft for about 6 months now and it's definitly taken the edge off things but I'm not back to how I used to be before all this started but I don't think I ever will be. My best advice I can give from my experience is that don't expect some miracle cure or for things to get better overnight. Everything takes time and we all have time, we just need to shut our ego up and stop listening to that little voice that tellls us we are messed up and we need to hurry up and get back to normal OR ELSE...I'm a big fan of baby steps! One more thing, the road to recovery is not a linear path. I go up and I go down and I go way down and I go way up. Don't get discouraged! Bless your hearts!
I have decided to register to the message board and I hope I can bring you some comfort by telling you that your symptoms sound exactly the same with what I use to experience many years ago.They are still vivid in my mind.After experiencing one of those symptoms at the time(the bloatting stomach and lightheaded..I use to feel I was walking on clouds or cotton)I started experiencing several symptoms at one time .Ultimatelly I was in a continous state of agitation and panic.All this scary unknown state of mind and body made me think I was physically ill and went for endless check-ups.The conclusion was that I was perfectly well but I was experiencing psycho-somatic symptoms due to emotional stresses.In other words I had piled up little and big resentments wich resulted in a masked depression.If a person is an introvert tends to keep things inside,they pile up and disbalance the chemicals(neurotransmitors) in the neurons.This should be just a transient phenomenon if we would just patiently wait for it to pass.Unfortunatelly ,when one of those symptoms apear,they are pretty scary and we react by adding up to the stress and cause even more adrenaline to be released in our system.Just think of it like a wound which is bleeding:if you scratch it you will only make it worse.I know it is so hard to ignore feeling so out of control but remember that is it not going to kill you.Keeping this in mind should give you some solid base from where you start building your strength.If you have a good day/half day,even an hour,try to build up your well-being state of mind ,try to eat well when you feel a bit better instead of waiting for the symptoms to reappear.Complex B vitamins are a blessing too.The symptoms will come back ,but with little patience you will notice that everytime they come back,they are weaker.I didn't know what was happening to me and I thought I was alone in this world and found no suitable words to tell the doctors.I was running from one doctor to another.Finally I agreed to try some medicine.I have taken Xanax 0.25 as I was suffering of panic disorder.The medicine helped me to break the cicle of the agony of not being able to experience even an hour of "feeling good" but eventually I have stoped taking it.What helped me the most was a few good thoughts:1.I knew that whatever was happening to me was not going to kill me as it always comes and goes.2.I knew that doing nothing when a panic attack came ,was better that reacting to it(don't scratch the beeliding wound) and ,for the first time in my life I prayed to God like He was right there infront of me..I prayed from the bottom of my heart.Like many wise latin quotes says:NIHIL SINE DEO(Nothing is possible without God).
I know you will be well...Look at me today telling you my story
I had the exact same symptoms as you. The brain fog was the most disturbing and the first symptom I had. I thought the anxiety attacks I had were caused from how weird I was feeling, thinking that I might be going insane etc. This went on for about 6 months before I started taking effexor XR on advice from my doctor. At the beginning I was taking lorazepam once or twice daily so I could sleep and relax for at least a little while but stopped taking it after a couple weeks on a low dose of effexor. I've been gradually increasing my dosage as needed, my doctor is very supportive with this. He's not recommending I up my meds unless I feel that I want to, and then he has no problem prescribing them for me which I think is a downfall of a lot of docs. Let me tell you I feel great. A few months ago I thought I would never feel normal again, like I was stuck like that forever or until I couldn't take it anymore. Well, to me, effexor xr is a miracle drug and if it keeps working for me I just might go to the manufacturer and kiss him on the lips (I'm a guy) that's how happy I am about it. Good luck.
Yes, & my story parallels yours to a *T*! I was out of work for 5 months from anxiety & panic. Then I went to a new doctor who encouraged me to take Celexa & it turned out to be a Godsend! I was panic-free for 4 years. For me, though, there was some weight gain so I switched to Luvox which I am not convinced is the right med of choice for me & my GAD.
And 20 mgs of Celexa is the min therapeutic dose so talk to your doc.
It sucks that our bodies can stay in such a state of panic for so long. You really can get in a notch and have symptoms even when you think your not anxious. Time and acceptance are what is helping me. Dont get me wrong some people cant accept their anxeity becuase its so bad and it wont go away on its own. In that case SSRIs can be a godsend. Im still debating weather I should try medicine or give myself more time to recover on my own. I just started a new stress reduction lifestyle and luckly had a good change in enviorment. Im hoping that over the weeks things will finally get better.
Ive been in that constant fight or flight mode and its not fun. I had it for about three weeks. It was living hell. I couldnt do anything to calm down or relax. Luckily things got better and are getting better. Good luck to you.
Last edited by tooanxious; 09-22-2004 at 12:05 PM.
I too have constant anxiety
My Doc has just put me on 10mgs of Lexapro a week ago.
The only difference is I have had this for the past ten years.
I have been on different meds and some seem to work the last one I was on is pacxil. ( I wanted off of it because I heard really bad things about it) This has ruined my life. I can't work...I have worked in the past but it gets really bad and I quit. I'm older then most here probably I'm 31. I don't know what I'm gonna do.
Does anyone know if you can get disabilty? I do have bills to pay and I'm scared. I have noticed on the lexapro it's hard for me to get to sleep at night is that a side affect? I just don't know what to do anymore. What makes it worse is that all my friends are happy and normal- married having babies- and even though I have been with my BF for 8 years he's afraid to marry me because of this ( we are engaged but have no plans to marry now)
I want to be happy,married have a baby and have means to support myself. My mom is always telling me "just do it" do what you have to do..but I can't. Its just so depressing. I was thinking if anyone wants to talk in e-mails about this just let me know.
I'm sure we can all use some friendly support.