I've had issues with anxiety for about 15 years now. I first had symptoms (mainly breathing issues) in my early/mid-teens that were misdiagnosed as asthma. In my early 20's I went back to my physcian complaining of similar symptoms (difficulty breathing/taking in enough air, feeling like I need to control my breathing) and after a battery of tests (chest x-ray, EKG, echocardiogram, and blood labs), I was properly diagnosed with anxeity and was placed on 10mg of Lexapro with Xanax for breakthrough episodes.
Treatment worked very well for 8 months and my doctor suggested that I begin to wean myself off of everything... which I did. It has been almost 2 years since then and I have suffered terribly for the past 5 months.
My breathing issues have returned and I am more agitated than ever before. I have seen my physician about this and he rx'ed me a new prescription for Lexapro and some Xanax. I 'hate' taking pills, but I have taken a few of the Xanax over the past few weeks. I have yet to take the Lexapro. I also have a new symptom-- one that has slowly developed since April... I often feel loopy or lightheaded. No neceassarily dizzy, just this feeling of being very loopy. That's the best way that I can describe it. Is this also a symptom of anxiety?
not sure if we are talking about the same feeling, but my anxiety is often accompanied by what I call a "spacey" feeling. Basically its kind of like everything that is going on around me is happening in a far off place from where I am, not really slow-motion but just in a different "place." Its kind of hard to describe.
Like I'll be walking through the mall and all of a sudden it just seems like everything is just far away, like I have been pulled out of my body. After this happens it scares me and my heart begins to race and I start to panic and want to leave wherever I am.
Anyway, I know that is a very poor description but the best way I can put it into words. I haven't really found anything that helps with it as far as medicine, etc. but now that it is happened so often with anxiety, I feel more comfortable knowing what it is, and I don't let it bother me as much as I used to.
No, derealization and/or depersonalization isn't dangerous in and of itself, but sometimes it happens to me when I'm driving and it leads me to a panic attack. Then, I don't feel safe on the road when my senses are altered.
I suppose it could be dangerous if you were doing anything like being on a ladder or using power tools, or anything like they say to be careful doing if you are on medication...because derealization feels a little like being on drugs.
I've learned how to breathe properly when this happens and I can usually get myself out of it now without having a panic attack.
my psychiatrists never has been able to explain the cause of the feeling. One told me it was normal with anxiety, but no real details about why or what effect.
A pharmacist (so I guess that gives him some medical knowledge) claims that the feeling is caused by a massive dump of adrenaline into my blood stream, but since it happens in non-life or death situations and I have no release for it, it becomes internalized. He claims its a similar feeling to the one people get when they perform super-human acts in the face of peril (i.e. lift cars off of accident victims, etc.).
Anyway that always made sense to me, and since I know I always feel better when I can tell myself what it is that I'm feeling, that is the explanation I go with.
Yep, adrenaline works overtime, or inappropriately, in people like us with anxiety. If you research derealization and panic attacks on the internet, there are great explanations about what happens physiologically. Self-help books are great too.
I want to say it's important to remember it won't hurt you. Worrying about derealization can bring on a panic attack, but if you remind yourself you will be fine, you have a better chance of calming down on your own. Sometimes I take Xanax when this happens to me, and it really makes me feel normal quickly.
WOW! I just read all of your posts, and my dr. was right, I am a little anxious. Did all of you get high blood pressure as well? That's what threw me off, I normally have very low bp, but at the hospital tonite it was very high.
Yes, my BP is always higher than usual when I go to the doctor...I have white coat anxiety (lol). When you have an anxiety attack, your blood pressure spikes, but ususally goes back to normal after the episode. Any anxiety or stress can elevate blood pressure. It's a problem if you have consisitently high BP, but if you are otherwise normal, it shouldn't be a problem.