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Old 11-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
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What does your anxiety feel like?

Hi everyone.

I've been struggling with anxiety for years as many peeps on this board have. I'm curious to hear what your symptoms feel like.

For me, it begins in the morning. I'm normally light headed, lump in my throat and a funny sensation in the pit of my stomach. My eyes also feel strange as if I am wearing another person's glasses that have a higher strength than mine. Heartbeat is elevated of course. These are my everyday symptoms.

As for meds, I take .5mg Xanax in the morning and .5mg in the late afternoon/evening if necessary. I'm been on Cymbalta (30mg and 60mg) with no success. Have also tried Lexapro (which did work for awhile) but pooped out on me after a year or so. I'm about to start Celexa (20mg) mainly because it is much cheaper and similar to Lex.

Anyway, would love to hear if anyone else feels the same as I do or if your symptoms are different? I know what a full blown panic attack feels like but would love to know what your everyday anxiety feels like instead.

Thanks for reading!

 
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:39 PM   #2
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Only in the past year or so have I started to think I may have an anxiety problem. I've always been a nervous kid but recently its become more prominent. As far as I can tell its triggered by thinking about my uncertain future. And even though I'm just 24, being lonely for the rest of my life.


The anxiety isn't very severe for me, but when I have it "bad" my mind races with un-comforting thoughts, heart starts beating like crazy, I get really fidgety and start pacing back and forth. Sometimes my breathing becomes heavy and I'll get really impatient and short with other people. When its minor I basically will feel a bit nauseous and nervous, like something bad is going to happen the whole day.

I really don't want to take medication for it, instead I've started seeing a therapist in hopes of finding a way of getting past this or at the least coping. So far its really nice having someone I can tell everything to.

Last edited by Giant_Squid; 11-19-2011 at 10:44 PM.

 
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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Cool Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Back when I was in the throes of full blown anxiety/panic disorder:

* Heart palpitations
* Chest pain/tightness
* Dizziness
* Muscle tension
* Weakness
* Inability to concentrate
* Excessive sweating
* Feeling I was going insane or was about to die
* Numbness
* Jitters
* Shakiness
* Severe fatigue

 
Old 11-21-2011, 08:44 AM   #4
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

I'm going to have to agree with Frank on this, since he has posted all of the symptoms I get, or have gotten. I'll just add a few more in, from my personal experience, since no two anxiety/panic attacks are the same for me.

In addition to Franks list, I also suffer from:

*Feeling off balance
*"Jelly legs"
*Severe stomach burning (caused by my acid reflux acting up due to anxiety)
*Fear that i'm having a heart attack or stroke
*Tingling and numbness in arms, neck, and face
*Nausea
*Heartburn

The list goes on, but that's all I can think of right now.....

 
Old 11-21-2011, 09:50 AM   #5
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

The best way to describe mine is the feeling before going into a final exam.

Feeling of a sudden blood rush (like when you are startled)
Elevated heart rate
Sweaty, cold hands
Thoughts racing
Restless legs
Tight jaw

The great news is that these feelings are extremely rare now. I had a little bout back in August when my son was trying out for REP Football. It's amazing what kinds of things can induce my anxiety.
For the longest time, I would feel that sudden rush (like someone has snuck up behind you and startled you). As soon as I felt that, I would go into my anxiety thought circle. It took a long time to come to the realization that this was my anxiety flaring up. Now when I feel this I just move on with my day and it usually passes. Over the last couple of years I have about 2 anxiety bouts per year that last about a week.
I take the time to tell my wife that for some reason my anxiety has flared up and then she gives me the support/encouragement to work through it until it subsides.
BTW, I have been on 20mg Paxil for over 11 years now. No other meds being used.

 
Old 11-21-2011, 11:10 AM   #6
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Furter View Post
Back when I was in the throes of full blown anxiety/panic disorder:

* Heart palpitations
* Chest pain/tightness
* Dizziness
* Muscle tension
* Weakness
* Inability to concentrate
* Excessive sweating
* Feeling I was going insane or was about to die
* Numbness
* Jitters
* Shakiness
* Severe fatigue
All of these for me define a full blown panic attack which I have.
Sometimes it is less though with just
slight dizziness,feeling like I can't breathe or can't take a FULL breath,
faster heartbeat,and spaced out weird feelings.
I also get what OP said about a strange feeling in my stomach.
Like it's clenched in knots or something

 
Old 11-22-2011, 09:12 PM   #7
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Do any of you ever have a light headed feeling throughout the day? Every morning I wake up and I'm lightheaded and my chest feels a bit tight. Almost what it might feel like if you had a chest cold except no cough or phlegm. If I take xanax, I usually feel better. Head is clear and tightness goes away. I suppose this is chronic anxiety? I rarely get anxiety/panic attacks, just this chronic feeling everyday. Any thoughts on this from anyone?

 
Old 11-22-2011, 09:46 PM   #8
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsnow View Post
Do any of you ever have a light headed feeling throughout the day? Every morning I wake up and I'm lightheaded and my chest feels a bit tight. Almost what it might feel like if you had a chest cold except no cough or phlegm. If I take xanax, I usually feel better. Head is clear and tightness goes away. I suppose this is chronic anxiety? I rarely get anxiety/panic attacks, just this chronic feeling everyday. Any thoughts on this from anyone?
I feel like that everyday too...Morning and late at night are the worst for me.
I don't know why.Maybe being sleepy makes you feel worse.
Also,I get the tight chest any time I watch something that bothers me on tv or if I start feeling stressed over something.
Xanax definitely does help.

 
Old 11-23-2011, 05:43 AM   #9
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Yes, I get the lightheaded feeling all the time. It's like you get the "jelly" legs too sometimes with it. Just a very off-balanced kind of feeling. Like in that commercial for that drink that's supposed to balance your digestion (forget what it's called), where they're all walking on a slant. Yep, that's me!

 
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:31 AM   #10
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Hi Jsnow!

My anxiety feels like yours almost . I get very restless, shortness of breath, Heart pounding and in some cases seem like my heart stops but I can hear something pounding in my head like a heart beat ! Usually after my anxiety calms down or goes away I feel tired like I was running a track and I feel dizzy and most times will have a migrane after . I don't like it! I don't take medicine for mine , I just try to relax and calm myself down while breathing in and out and telling myself it will be alright.

 
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:11 AM   #11
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

I have been in the worst anxiety/depression cycle of my entire life the past month. I am ok from 10am till 5pm. And then like clockwork, it rolls in and my nights are absoultely brutal. My heart pounds like crazy, I have numbness. Going to bed is also brutal for me everynight. I have to wait to calm down. I take a low dose of either ativan or temazepam to call me down. I will sleep a couple hours then I wake up at 4ish with the worst depersonalization and confusion. It takes about 15 minutes for me to calm down to go back to bed. I generally will sleep ok from 5am till 9 or 10am. However, I have very depressing dreams. I wake up and I am confused for about 5 minutes and then it goes away. I feel good until this cycle starts all over again at 5pm.. Of course, the more I sit around and the more I dwell on it, the worse it gets. This goes on EVERY day. I get no break from it and it is no way to live. I am not suicidal, I have hope that it will stop someday, or somehow, but people do not live like this. I need to seriously makes steps to rein it in before I lose control of it.

 
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:52 PM   #12
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Hey MusicMan.

Sorry to hear about your situation. That does sound brutal! Besides the Benzos, are you taking anything else? I've been on Celexa for about two weeks and I believe I am starting to notice a very slight difference. Hard to say today since I woke up with a cold but my lightheadedness and general anxiety may be declining.

 
Old 11-28-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Musicman,

I had a similar experience about 2 years ago when my anxiety flared up badly (was off my Paxil for about 9 months at this point). I can remember having one anxious evening and not being able to sleep well. Then every night I thought about how if I couldn't sleep, I wouldn't be able to function the next day. At this point, I had already suffered from about 8 years of anxiety. I knew it was all in my head. I tried all the techniques I could think of to get over this. The bad night of sleep went on for 3 weeks!!! Literally no sleep!!!!
Eventually, I went to my Doc and he stated that the lack of sleep was likely making my anxiety worse. I totally agreed.
He prescribed me a sleeping pill (I guess similar to Ambien). Man oh man, did this knock me out for the night. I took it at 8pm and was out by 830pm. I didn't wake up until 6am. I was on this med for about a week and a half until my body got used to sleeping again and I didn't have the anxiety about not sleeping. Weaned myself off and everything has been great since (back on Paxil though - for me it is a lifesaver!).
My anxiety always seems to revolve around not being able to cope with a change (ie: poor night sleep - what if I never sleep again, ill family members - what if I can't handle it, etc.)
Now that I know that there is a medication to help me over the hump, I don't get anxious about a bad nights sleep.
As you likely know, it is all in your head. This particular phobia is a difficult one to conquer as you need to prove to your body that there is nothing to fear about sleeping!!!
Have you spoken to your Dr.?

 
Old 11-28-2011, 08:44 PM   #14
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Hi guys, thanks for the responses. I have been very leery of being put on an antidepressant. I have been treated a few times for opiate abuse. I am/was in a cycle over 10 years of abusing oxy/hydrocodone. My addiction was mild to moderate, not extremely high doses. The oxycodone does not get me high, nor does it make me feel normal. It actually intesifies my anxiety and I hate with every fiber of my being taking them. I have used suboxone a few times and it does work well for me. I am able to get by with taking a very small of it to help. I keep taking the oxy right now because I am so scared of the physical withdrawals at the moment. I can not deal with that on top of this anxiety, but yet, I am sure using them is adding to this whole mess.

I am going back on the suboxone at the end of the week, and I have no issues transitioning, I just couldnt get my appointment until the end of the week.

So in regard to antidepressants, I am so scared of adding another chemical to my brain. And of course I read all the horror stories about withdrawal and that terrifies me. But at this point I do not have a choice. I can not live like this. I am scared to even take the benzos. I have no addction to those and never have taken them continually. When I do, it is in very small doses.

What worries me the most is the physical symptoms. This can not be good for my system. I contemplate going to the ER every night to get checked out, but I never go. I wish I could go into the hospital for 2 days and get checked out and get some piece of mind. Another option is going into a rehab and detox and get diagnosed properly. However I am not sure how much insurance would pay, if any.

 
Old 11-29-2011, 03:18 AM   #15
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Re: What does your anxiety feel like?

Every now and then my heart seems like it skips a beat and then starts beating really hard and fast. it usually does this out of nowhere. i just learned in my psychology class that it can be hereditary.

 
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