Anxiety ALL the time :(
I have suffered with anxiety, also incorporating ocd and hypochondria for a long time but it just seems to be getting worse as time goes by, (i'll try and keep this as brief as possible- IF possible!)
I have loads of different fears and things that make me anxious or things i obsess over but my main one really is I have worked myself up into a state where I am CONVINCED that i have an infectious brain disease, or im petrified of getting one, i found out recently there is a name for fear of brain diseases- Meningitophobia.
I know this is going to sound totally ridiculous to people reading but to me it is an entirely serious threat and takes over completely! but basically I have got to this stage where i have convinced myself that my brain is infected which makes me feel constantly 'contaminated', and not only that but i am petrified of the idea of infecting other people with the 'brain disease', and have made up all manner of ways that this could happen, and even though i know that they are physically and medically impossible, but i stil tell myself they COULD be real, i spend way too long researching on the net about brain and skull anatomy to try and reassure myself that my 'ideas' just arent feasable but i always doubt things or think what if they got it wrong... bla bla bla its just HORRIBLE!
And because of the anxiety I am like 'fixated' on my head and 'imagine' strange feelings I just convince myself even more that my brain is 'leaking' or whatever, and I get really bad physical anxiety symtpoms as well, headaches, burning skin sensations, irregular breathing, feelings of panic, random shooting pains, the list goes on and these symptoms just contribute even MORE to my fears, its just a vicious circle!
An example- for instance if I get like post nasal drip sensation, which i KNOW is normal and common i am thinking omg!! it could be coming out of my brain and could be infected! *starts to feel panicky* then my mind is going at 100 miles an hour, on one hind im trying to reassure myself thats im being stupid and its just anxiety and i have experieneced it before and just calm down and it'll pass, but then the anxiety part of me is making me doubt my rational thoughts, anyways then i'll be like in the bathroom SCRUBBING my teeth to 'clean' my mouth out and trying to clear my throat as much as possible and then drink water to make sure its throughly clean, although sometimes i will have to do this repetitively as it still feels 'contaminated' by which stage i just feel totally exhausted and drained from all the anxiety and wanting to get 'rid' of the horrible 'dirty' feeling... i also have to carry water on me everywhere i go so if i get this anxious feeling i can have a drink to 'wash' it away, (the anxiety is a lot less bad when im out because im not 'allowed' to over react to it, if that makes sense?! when im at home i am more likely to full give in to it and spend ages in the bathroom :(
I will get a weird sensation or pain in my scalp, which i feel as going into my brain, and then i will suddenly feel, or be aware of like a Postnasal drip in my throat or saliva production in my mouth which i am convinced is in some way contaminated, because i 'feel' the pain go right through my head even though if i am less anxious i will just feel it as a slight twinge in the scalp or head and dismiss it, its when im more anxious i will really focus on the feelings and my mind seems to exaggerate them :S
Sometimes I have even just imagined that as im breathing, the air is going directly to my brain (as in not through the blood vessels) and then i feel like i am breathing out contaminated air and might infect people! Also then my clothes, hair, whatever else i have breathed on will feel 'contaminated' sometimes after i have calmed down i am okay but othertimes i will still be convnced the clothes are contaminated days later. its just AWFUL and i feel like im going crazy! I know its just anxiety but its not like i can even avoid the thing that makes me anxious and progress through it slowly bit by bit..... :(
Also another side thing of this anxiety is because I am washing my teeth a LOT i am now worrying that I am going to cause myself to develop mouth, throat or stomach cancer and all because of stupid anxiety, and i'll actually end up making myself sick when if i didnt have the anxiety it wouldnt happen... also because i get myself so tense and tired from all the worrying i worry that maybe i actually DO have a disease that causes the physical symtpoms and its NOT just anxiety, im like maybe i have hiv or something else?! It just goes on and on... i know that things such as relaxation and exersize help me but most of the time im too anxious and tense to have the motivation to do them :(
Im not even registered with a GP at the moment so I cant even go and get an appointment, but even if i did i wouldnt know what to say cos i am aware even as the words come out of my mouth (or onto keyboard ;) ) just how RIDICULOUS they sound and im worried he'll think im just weird, i am pretty open with my anxiety in general i will talk to anyone about it lol but i just dont go into 'specifics' cos i know peoples response will be 'what?! thats just stupid snap out of it!'
I have so much I want to do with my life and I enjoy my life and am happy without anxiety and it makes me so angry that i am like this and also very worried that i am risking my long term health by all of the physical and emotional strains i am putting on my body, i have already gained a lot of weight in one year due to eating to ease anxiety and i really want to get my life back on track! :(
Can anyone relate to this at all or offer any advice? I'd be *really* appreciative of some support :)
Re: Anxiety ALL the time :(
Please please please relax. When I first started with my anxiety attacks I had hit my head on my car door and got a bump....oh my god I thought I had a brain cancer, brain tumors, you name it. I did the same thing on researching everything. In the very beginning I even thought I had some sort of neurological disorder, like mini siezures in my head. From what the doctors told me it is very common to think something is wrong with our brains when anxiety starts.
You really should get a physician, but not a GP, I would try to find a psychologist, at least from my experience. My GP would listen but it was always rushed because of time constraints, and with a counselor it was more one on one and you had the time.
I assure you there IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR BRAIN. You need to get help ASAP because if you don't this is going to become more crippling than what it is now and you don't want that...you even said so yourself.
Another thing, I'm not sure where you live, but if you live near an University sometimes they like people like ourselves to come in and these use experimental techniques on them....Just a thought.
Hope you find your way and calming your fears.....
Re: Anxiety ALL the time :(
I constantly worry I am going to have a heart attack.I talk myself down from the ledge several times a day.I too am sick of it!
Re: Anxiety ALL the time :(
Thanks for your repsonses! Yeah hypochondriate you are right it probably will get worse, I have battled on my own for so long not really taking much action, in the hope it will get better but in fact its just gotten worse, and I also think one of the biggest reasons it has gotten worse is that I have given into it and DO spend so much time reserching and analysing the net, I think if I had tried to ignore it and occupied my mind with other things it might not have gotten so bad!
I do live near quite a few universities, in fact it was just the other day I was reading up on a counselling service offered by a very good university near me but I wasnt sure if it was just for students or a wider base, because it did say it was the department of counselling, so i assumed students would probably be training there too!
I would like to go and see a councellor, one that specialises in anxiety, but I looked into it and they are *so* expensive and I just cant afford it at the moment! :( I dont think just talking to someone would help I feel like I need someone to calm me down, reassure me and basically TELL me that what I am feeling and what I *think* is real, basically isn't possible, and knock some sense into me, as well as helping me get over the anxiety. I mean I know that my feelings and worries are due to anxiety but i still need to know that my ideas arent real!
Dawn- have you ever had any medication or medical advice? I hate anxiety so much it takes a perfectly healthy young person and makes them ill because they imagine they are its just horrible! It's like every single 'symptom', not even symtpoms really, sometimes even just 'normal' everyday feelings and sensations will send me off now, whereas everyone gets them and dsmisses them without a thought! I wanna be one of those people!
One thing I want to know is- I know that anxiety can make your mind capable of 'producing' symptoms if you are worried about an illness, but with my association of any pain or sensation in the head or scalp I then suddenly 'feel' as if something is leaking, where it be increased saliva or whatever it may be, is my mind actually making that happen? Like kind of I feel a pain in my head and then suddenly I expect to feel something in my mouth or throat because I know it will freak me out if it happens so does your mind actually make it happen by association almost? Is that actually possible? Sorry this bits waffly its kind hard to explain what I mean lol!
Has anyone helped theiur anxiety sheerly from relaxation, exersize and diet alone? Or with any herbal supplements? I am really reluctant to take any anxiety medicines because I dont want any side effects! I did take St Johns Wort for a bit and that actually seemed to help but i didnt noticed until I stoppped taking it when I ran out (stupid should have just bought more) but I suddenly was aware of feeling more anxious, and less able to suppress my anxiety thoughts, whereas on it I found it much easier to go okay laura you're being ridiculous you know this isnt real and you're making it all, get a grip!
I did go and buy some more in a liquid form (cos it was cheaper) but it didnt really have the same effect so its now kind of put me off again thinking that SJW doesnt work but I suppose i could try the old tablet form ones again!
I have also realised two things are EXTREMELY bad for me if i am already feeling slightly anxious- caffiene and alcohol, I was fine yesterday until I went and drank an entire 2 ltr bottle of cola (stupid) that was it then, asides from practically vibrating I spent the rest of the night having a huge anxiety spell, and the night before was the same but after a few glasses of wine... hmm
Has anything ever worked for you?
thanks again, laura
Re: Anxiety ALL the time :(
My anxiety/ panic attacks came for out of nowhere. One night I was eating something with a lot pepper and started to choke and then WHAM big problems that would not go away. I went to the ER atleast 4 times in a panic and they ran tests and said nothing was wrong with my heart or brain and it was anxiety/panic. I decided to go to a PSYC and that is where my story takes a postive turn. She has put me on Lexapro and Lamictal along with Ambien at night to help me sleep. The Lexapro alone was not doing the trick so she added the Lamictal and that seems to be really helping. I am also talking with a therapist. This whole process has been going on for about 8 months. I don't think that trying to relax on my own would have changed a thing. I know the meds are helping me. Before I would have this feeling in my throat which would make me feel like I could not breath which would launch me into panic.
Can you see a doctor and talk about trying some meds?
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