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Old 09-02-2006, 03:06 PM   #1
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Anxiety after quitting smoking...

I am a 27 year old male, I quit smoking 6 weeks ago after smoking 1 - 1 1/2 packs a day for 9 years...I have not really had the urge to smoke, in fact the smell of cigarettes makes me sick...

I have however other symptons and seem to have delveloped anxiety....I almost feel as though everything is bothering me, lungs, chest, bladder, stomach, colon, etc...I have had in the last 6 weeks, Chest X-rays, Stomach x-rays, spine x-rays, several bloodworks, urine works, CT SCAN, colonoscopy, endoscopy, MRI of the brain...I told you that I felt like something was wrong...everytime i go in, they find nothing wrong....had a physical to check everything out, came out good....My sister{REMOVED} is thinking that this is all from anxiety...and after all of the testing coming out good I would have to agree...I have never taken any antibiotics my entore life and have been on 3 different ones in the last 6 weeks, makes me feel like crap...Anxiety is taken over....for example I am not sure if you guys and gals know who Jon Lester from the RED SOX is, but he was having back pains and went in to the hospital for a check up and tests, they found enlarged lymph nodes and diagnosed him with Lymphoma...well I was doing landscaping work last week, lifting heay rocks follwed by sprinting at the park and 2 days of softball, and tis past week my back was bothering me...Immediately after hearing the news about Lester I was convinced that I had Lymphoma...without even realzing that back pain is not even a symptom...I just have these things stuck in my head until something else hurts....sorry for the long first post...anyone else battling serious anxiety

I hope I am not the only one...:

Last edited by ms_mod; 09-02-2006 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Please read all of the "Sticky" posts at the top of this board. Thanks, Ms_Mod

 
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Old 09-02-2006, 03:39 PM   #2
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

Hi ash0479

I first wanted to mention if you haven't already done so go to the smoking sensation board on this website. Search for the post written by barney the dog titled side effects from quitting smoking. You may find this very helpful, it's a great post!
As for your obsessive thinking towards every illness you are by no means alone in this department. You well see there are many of us on this board including myself who suffer from this form of anxiety disorder. If you read my post titled My Disease called Anxiety you might also find some helpful information. As for your anxiety over lymphoma, the test your Doctor had ordered would certainly rule out this disease. Lymphoma is diagnosed through CT scans, and being that you just had one, I would say it is safe to say you don't have lymphoma. I think your sister is correct, being that you had so many test to rule out so many illness, That anxiety disorder may just be what you are experiencing I think your next step is going to the Doctor to get properly diagnosed for anxiety disorder and perhaps setting up a treatment plan. Don't wait for your anxiety to just go away on it's own like so many of us suffers do. This in turn will cause you more harm then good.
My best of Luck to you along this Journey!
Boxerlover

Last edited by boxerlover227; 09-02-2006 at 03:41 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2006, 04:18 PM   #3
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

Thanks for the vote of confidence....I was on Xanax for about 1 week, the sall dosage, but I felt worse after...almost like a dizzness and drugged feeling...I have not asked for anything else...I am going to try to ride it out a few more weeks and see what happens...It just seems like time goes by slow and everytime I hear or listen to something it is bad news, a disease, etc...and then I think I have that disease...My wife was out of town this entire week which left me at home by myself alot...not good but made it through with the help of some close freinds who spent time with me and did not leave until it was late and I was ready to sleep...thank goodness for them...

 
Old 09-02-2006, 04:23 PM   #4
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

I agree with Boxer on this. First of all I want to state it could be anxiety from quitting smoking because from what I understand smoking helps relieve stress? If so you could just not be able to handle all the stress in your life as easy now(although there are many easy things you can do to help).

When I was going through a bad phase of anxiety attacks I was also a hypocondriac. The best thing I can reccomend for you right now is to NEVER worry about something unless it is really a new type of feeling of pain you've never felt before or if it is unbearable because atleast until you get your anxiety under control it will basically always just be the anxiety. Also looking up information on diseases will only make you paronoid (trust me) so try to avoid that as much as possible. I could go from 1 disease a day to quite a few a day.

Something for you to remember is that all of your tests already came out fine you should have nothing to worry about since it is just anxiety attacks. Which you cannot die or go crazy from no matter how severe.

Although I must admit a plus to your anxiety is that (it sounds) it's not keeping you stay at home like many(Me included). Just make sure you keep exercising and even get a healthy diet going if you don't already. Those can help reduce anxiety. I know just exercising (soccer practice) almost completely got rid of mine and my first anxiety attack happened during intense exercise so I was terrified of it!

Anymore questions just post them - I probably missed some of yours anyways

EDIT - Personally I think you should try to rid yourself of anxiety without medicine first since you have only had it a few weeks (I know it seems like forever) you still have a chance to get rid of it yourself. I was house bound for 6\7 weeks but then finally started doing things and I saw a huge improvement just do things to get your mind off of it which I understand is hard at first but after a while it becomes weird not thinking about it (I actually have thoughts of it feeling weird to feel 'normal' now haha)

Last edited by Icy; 09-02-2006 at 04:26 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2006, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

Thanks icy....I find that I am with people or working and not thinking about things I feel better, but sometimes when I am around people I find myself in dee thought and it is always negative when the pain comes...like I siad so many doctors visits and I have been to different docs, they all say I am physically fine...so now I hope it is just mental, I am goin to start changing my diet and exercising more...keep my ming occupied...another that does not help is that i am in Sales...so I often find myself driving alot by myself with nothing to do or think about...thinking about doing the sunflower seed thing to stay occupied...Thanks again for all of your kind words and encouragement...

 
Old 09-02-2006, 04:38 PM   #6
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

As of right now you have to accept that it is anxiety until you can accept that all the different pains you are experience are anxiety you'll continue having it. I don't even think just telling yourself when you experience them that it is just anxiety helps you have to believe. Such as I still get mild chest pains when running (and thinking about it) now obviously if it happens only when I think about it how serious could it be. One second I can have chest pains and then something in the soccer practice can catch my attention and it's instantly gone. You sound a lot like that is seems like you need to be thinking about it to have a 'pain' and obviously if it was something serious it wouldn't only 'show' it's symptoms when you think about it. An example would be if you have a broken leg or something sure it will hurt more when you think about it but even if your not thinking about it you will still be limping (until you get crutches and stuff). Now obviously this is my opinion and it's obviously not 100% true but it is my belief.

Also here are some things to do in a car. Do you like to listen to music? If so either make a CD of songs you like of listen to the radio and sing to it (even if it is just in your head) that will work wonders for you.

Boring saturday night here no one is doing anything so I will probably sit here responding to your post trying to help you.

 
Old 09-02-2006, 05:08 PM   #7
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

Thanks ICY, the think the thing that is so hard for me to believe is that anxiety can cause all of this pain, I mean it was to the point where I did not believe the doctor or the results of the CT scan, x-rays, etc....it has been that bad, I told them something has to be wrong, I also realize that quitting smoking has some detox to it so my body is probably going through alot of that as well and the anxiety is making it worse....I mean I have had 3 chest x-rays in the last 2 months...you figure if something was wring they would catch it right, once at the hospital and twice at the Dr.s office...I just have to adjust my thinking and keep moving forward....

 
Old 09-02-2006, 05:22 PM   #8
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

I definately understand the pains part. I personally would spend all day laying in bed not wanting to get up because I feared it would beome worse. Don't get me wrong I understand being a hypocondriac you get irrational thoughts that something is wrong I experienced it for weeks so I completely understand. Just you have to force yourself even though you believe something is wrong to do stuff. My real life example is -

My mom forced me to do stuff, which I decided was to go back to the gym, I got there and was completely dizzy and felt as though I couldn't breathe but I atleast did stuff (even though it was only like 5-10 minutes) and the next day I went I lasted about 5 minutes longer and each day I went I not only lasted longer but the symptoms started not being as bad.

As you do stuff you begin to realize all of the 'sickness' you have are completely irrational but if you let the pains and stuff stop you from doing stuff they will become wores and take longer to get rid of. I had my pains for 6/7 weeks and about 3 weeks since I have started soccer practice I am almost completely free of the pains and anxiety attacks (Sometimes get chest pains when I think about them for a while).

Anxiety can do very strange things to the body which it seems like it shouldn't be able to do. My advice is force yourself to accept that is it just anxiety and do stuff as you do stuff you realize it's not bothering you and 'Hm.. Maybe it' not this' but if you allow it to control you it will get worse. The doctors said your alright you have to believe them, hey, why go to the doctors if your not going to believe you with what they diagnosis you with.

 
Old 09-02-2006, 06:00 PM   #9
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

Hi Ash0479
I have to agree with Icy on this one as well. which by the way his example of the broken leg thing was great! You are obviously suffering from some anxiety, with obsessive compulsive thinking. First let me start by saying the whole lymphoma thing erase it from your mind. You have had numerous test that rule this out, if your doctor thought that there was any possibility you had lymphoma you would be in the hospital this very moment having test up the you know what! That being said, you just recently quit smoking this causes anxiety and withdrawals whether you think it or not. Your body is going through so many changes, not having the nicotine in your system and this could last anywhere from weeks, to months. I am a compulsive thinker as well and when I feel a
"symptom" I think right away I am dying from some horrible disease. You obviously have a fear of something that is feeding off this anxiety. For me it is death, I fear death so I obsess about all the things that could cause me death. It is a vicious cycle, If you have the attitude of well I wait and see what happens, I could assure you that this obsession will not just go away on it's own, Maybe for now but somewhere, somehow, along the way the cycle starts up again and now you have created yourself a disorder. For me I have anxiety, which in turn causes obsessive compulsive thinking, which in turn causes panic.. see the pattern? I don't think you should minimize what you are experiencing I think this will only cause you problems later on. Recognize your fears, validate your thoughts and perhaps this will be treatment enough.. If not then you take it from there, one step one day at a time. Just remember if you are only feeling "symptoms" when you think about them, or if you are alone and your mind has time to obsess then you are definitely having some sort of anxiety disorder. Ask yourself this question why do I think I have cancer, or a brain tumor, or heart problems, whatever it may be, Then answer yourself with.. okay is that a realistic thought? I just had every test know to man to rule out everyone of those illness, so this is not realistic thinking.
Because a baseball player has lymphoma and his back hurt that means you have lymphoma because you back hurt, well think about it back pain is usually not a sign of lymphoma, and perhaps this baseball player's back pain had nothing to do with lymphoma, say it was a slip disc or something, I guarantee you will be obsessing now about that condition. see the pattern? The mind is a powerful thing, and we can actually make ourselves think and believe we are suffering with some sort off deadly disease which in fact we are only suffering from a disease called anxiety disorder. I am a smoker and think lung cancer all the time..
I also want to mention to you on my post titled my disease called anxiety, I updated about support from family I think this is worth you reading as well.
Best of luck to you, any thoughts just let me know! Boxerlover

Last edited by boxerlover227; 09-02-2006 at 06:05 PM.

 
Old 09-02-2006, 07:23 PM   #10
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

Wow thanks so much for all of your input, you guys are awesome, I cannot imagine where else I would be if I did not read this information, Anxiety is a disease and the mind can do weird things to the body, I know everything comes within...Thanks so much for the kind words...are either of you taking any kind of medication for the anxiety, I was thinking about maybe asking the Dr for something to aid this....thanks again for the words of encouragement...now i know that someone out there knows how I feel!

 
Old 09-02-2006, 08:02 PM   #11
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

Hi Ash0479
You are very welcome! And yes you are right you are not alone, and yes there are many others who can relate to how you feel. You actually made the first steps towards helping YOURSELF and that was by reaching out to us on the anxiety board, and identifiying your fears and saying it and realizing it.
Those are major steps.. As for medication I myself tried Antidepressants to help treat anxiety disorders but decided this wasn't a good choice for me due to side effects.. That doesn't mean it can't help you, what are good for some just might not be good for others, you will read soooo many sucess stories on this board with treatment of antidepressants. I myself found xanax as needed to be very effective, but I do suffer from panic disorder which causes an array of horriable symptoms for rapid heart rate to hyperventilation, to over all panic. So for myself I ONLY take a xanax when I feel I truly need to. I often think to give the Antidepressants another shot who knows maybe that could be my answer. But for now I do everything possiable to help educate myself on my condition, I MUST ADD I have spent years in therapy which I must say was the true reason for my acceptance, Therapy is a wonderful starting ground! THINK about it, there are many options out there for you,
discuss them with your spouse just as I did, and let your wife feel she is a part of this as well, just as I did for my husband.. It creates a better understanding, and a better understanding creates a better out come!
Stay focused on positive thoughts, and find comfort here in knowing you are not alone.. any questions, or thoughts I am always here for support!
All my best Boxerlover

 
Old 09-03-2006, 04:27 AM   #12
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

I'm not on any medicine myself because mine seems to be almost completely gone. I had it for a very short amount of time before the doctor diagnosised me with anxiety attacks which then at the time being the hypocondriac I was looked everywhere and anywhere for information about it. Eventually I came here and if it wasn't for this place I guarentee I still wouldn't be leaving my house at all.

Since you have found a place for support (healthboards) so early in recovery I believe you could almost completely eliminate it without medicine at this point. One thing that truely helps me is whenever I post to someone I will use an example from my life recently because it then gives me the sense of 'wow I did accomplish that' while giving people proof that it is possible to get rid of the awful symptoms.

Many here have gone years or monthes with anxiety and not trying to deal with it. Since you have come here to try to help with it I believe you willl make significant progress in a short amount of time (mine took 3 weeks and the only symptom I have left is chest pain when thinking about it) and you've had itjust as long as I did.

Just remember the more you fight the anxiety the worse it will be. You have to accept it or you will just get worse.

 
Old 09-16-2006, 06:36 PM   #13
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Re: Anxiety after quitting smoking...

Hi Ash0479
I am just checking in to see how you've been doing? I haven't seen you around on the board.. How is the anxiety? Have the smoking withdrawals subsided? Hope all is well.. boxerlover

 
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