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Old 07-23-2008, 08:19 AM   #1
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What is happening to me?? Please help.

Hello,
Here's my story, sorry if itís long. I've been having building anxiety problems now for a couple months. It started as "situational" due to some medical issues that were worrying me. This resulted in constant anxiousness, obsessive on-line research about diseases I might have, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach issues. I left town for a few days to spend time with family and I seemed to get a handle on it, I was feeling better.

Last week I went to a Psychiatrist for the first time. At the time, I was in a better state of mind so I'm not sure if he really understood the severity of what I have been dealing with, I was talking about it from almost a past perspective. He felt I didn't need long term anti-anxiety meds, prescribed me xanex and sent me on my way. Since then, I have had a reoccurrence of anxiety symptoms that are seriously scaring me. I'm ready to go to the ER to get them to run every test imaginable on me to figure out what is wrong.

I go to bed at night, sleep fine (wake up a few times a night but nothing major). As morning comes around, even before my alarm goes off I start to get this feeling in my body that can only be described as adrenaline, or perhaps that almost shivery feeling you get when you have the flu. I can't stay still but I'm so tired and want to keep sleeping but I can't. My heart rate is relatively normal until I get up, then it starts to really race and I can't stop these sensations in my arms and legs. I took a xanex (.25 very small) yesterday morning and this morning and it subsided, but I'm scared that maybe there is another underlying medical disorder. Low/High blood sugar? Diabetes? Low blood pressure? Seizures? I'm terrified. I have a family member that thinks perhaps itís that "fight or flight" response, but why only in the morning while I'm still laying in bed? I'm really really scared. I don't know if I should go back to the psychiatrist or go to a doctor, or even the ER. I can't keep waking up this way, its making me crazy.

I would go into more detail about how a lot of this started, but my post is already too long. I'm 28 years old. Thanks for listening or any replies.

 
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:35 AM   #2
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

i have the same symptoms as you. i almost went to the ER just last night becuase of the dizziness, heaviness in my arms and legs and tight chest, etc.

i took a xanax and waited - then i went to sleep. but again, same thing this morning.

i think (and could be WAY wrong) but i think this is just anxiety. it is insane how it can make you feel. i feel like i have something wrong with me, but i just try to tell myself that its the anxiety and depression.

i, too, am going through a lot of situational stresses - so i am sort of balming my reactions on that.

i wish i had answers for you - i just wanted you to knwo that you arent alone. and i guess to tell myself that i am not alone.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 11:04 AM   #3
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Thanks for the reply :-) I should have mentioned before, I have a genetic history of anxiety disorders in my family that seemed to manifest themselves in the late 20's like me. My aunt has had the "adrenaline" problem for years and takes a small dose of beta blockers to help control it. I had felt better knowing that, but was getting confused because I figured that the adreniline response would also need to be accompanied with the rapid heart beat. When I was laying in bed this morning feeling this horrible, fluttery way, my heart rate was normal. It doesn't increase until I get up. Then I have both. Then it just gets worse because I'm scared of it. This has only been really happening for about 4 days. I'm sure its anxiety but my mind wanders so far out there with other things that could be wrong with me :-(

I think I might need something more than just xanex.

Thanks again.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 12:08 PM   #4
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Morning time anxiety is the pits and I can relate to the feelings. I was on a benzo as needed for a while but after a few check ups the Dr placed me on a selective beta blocker and a anxiolytic as well.
The anxiety (which brought on Hypertension symptoms like what you are mentioning) subsided.
Still have days sometimes but nothing compared to what I was going through before. Best bet is to talk to your physician. Hang in there

 
Old 07-23-2008, 01:50 PM   #5
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Hi Shelly,

Wow - I feel like I could have written your post! You have basically the same story/symptoms as me and are the same age. I too have "medical anxiety" issues that have just recently started to get really bad. I'm being treated for hypothyroidism, so I know that is causing a lot of my anxiety (due to trying to get my medication dosage right), but it has turned into a constant feeling of nervousness/anxiety that doesn't seem to want to go away.

It is so hard to describe the way I'm feeling and I keep thinking - if it was just anxiety and I recognize that that is what it is, why/how could it possibly be producing so many physical symptoms (heart fluttering, dizziness, nausea, problems sleeping, waking up with that "adrenaline" zap, loss of appetite, exhaustion)?? My mind automatically starts to think that there has to be something serious causing these symptoms and I too start compulsively searching the internet. This is probably the worst thing we can do, since the symptoms of anxiety mimic sooo many other diseases/conditions that its hard not to think "What if I have that? or What if I have this?"

I'm going to see a therapist next week for the first time and am really wondering if it is going to help? It is just hard for me to accept that anxiety can really cause you to feel so bad physically, not just emotionally/psychologically. I also went out-of-town 3 weeks ago to spend time with my family and felt much better while I was there, which does lead me to believe that all of this is anxiety-related and not an indication that I have some crazy, serious medical condition.

Let me know if you ever want to chat - it seems like we are definitely in the same (unfortunate) boat :-(

Megan

 
Old 07-23-2008, 02:17 PM   #6
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Oh Megan! How nice to hear someone that understands what I am going through so specifically! My psychatrist forbade me from going on the internet and I'm still having trouble keeping myself from it.

Like you, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that these physical things are being caused by anxiety. I know that stress/anxiety can do many things, but waking up feeling like I'm going to jump out of my skin? Being unable to eat and then being terrified of not being able to eat? Stomach problems constantly? TMI, but urinating constantly?

So you left town too and felt better? I suppose that should tell us that there must be things in our own environment that are causing some of our symptoms. How amazing since I did the same thing.

**Northwest1 - thanks for the reply. I am hoping that maybe a beta blocker will help me.

Last edited by moderator2; 07-23-2008 at 02:58 PM. Reason: posted contact info

 
Old 07-23-2008, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Perhaps it is restless leg syndrome? ..which can also include the arms. Take the xanax next time this happens which I am guessing is every night or early AM or whenever it starts. If the restlessness goes away then you have found at least something to stop it so you can sleep. there are specific medications for RLS but those don't always work and some people find Valium or xanax do the same thing.

 
Old 07-23-2008, 03:20 PM   #8
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

My doctor (primary physician) also told me to stop going on the internet! I know that it doesn't help to constantly compare my symptoms to other diseases/conditions, but one good thing about it is finding people that have similar stories - it is reassuring to know that I'm not alone! I just need to wrap my head around the understanding that anxiety can produce the physical symptoms that I'm experiencing. It is just hard for me to accept that it all boils down to anxiety/stress and not some underlying condition. I keep asking myself "what if...."

Today was a pretty lousy day for me - I woke up 2 hours before my alarm and immediately felt panicky. It is like, once I say to myself "Uh oh..I don't feel well", I start getting worse. Of course there was no going back to bed after that, even though I was exhausted. I took 1/2 of a 0.25 Xanax, which at least helped me get up and ready for work. However, about 2 hours into work, I started feeling really bad. I hardly ate anything today, which just makes things worse. Then I start to worry about not eating too <BECAUSE> I usually love to eat :-)

It is a vicious cycle!! Do you think the therapist is helping at all? I wish that when I go next week, I'll walk out of there feeling much, much better, but it probably won't be that easy

Last edited by ms_mod; 07-23-2008 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote and replaced text message, chat room work with the proper word. Ms_Mod

 
Old 07-23-2008, 03:59 PM   #9
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Ok, you are my online anxiety twin! That is how I have felt every morning the past few days. I wake up about an hour before my alarm even goes off and boom. It hits me. This morning I got up and took a xanex and tried to go back to sleep but it didn't work. So like you, I got up and just got ready for work and the anxiety just kind of ebbs and flows throughout the day, usually gets a little better towards the end of the afternoon. I get so scared because like you, I can't eat and I'm known as being a fun, healthy eater. I'm single and I live alone, I have been staying at my mothers house for the last 2 weeks because of this stuff, I don't like being alone right now which makes me feel weird of course.

I was thinking that maybe I need to get up immediately and maybe put my gym shoes on and go for a walk or Jog around the block or something. I'd been scared of doing that <BECAUSE>I certainly don't want to burn off calories. I'm trying to put on weight for the first time in my life! But maybe that will help, I've heard it can.

So I haven't been to a Therapist yet, only a Psychiatrist. I'm waiting to be seen by a therapist and I know its something that I need to do. I know I have issues in my life that I need to deal with that are perhaps at the root of this anxiety. Sorry for the babbling and I'm so thankful to have found this board because EVERYONE's posts have been so helpful. I hope its ok as well to communicate with you this way :-)

Last edited by ms_mod; 07-23-2008 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Replaced text message, chat room word with the proper word. Please follow the posting rules. Ms_Mod

 
Old 07-23-2008, 05:55 PM   #10
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Yes...we are anxiety twins! I actually started having panic attacks several years ago but they had been pretty much under control for awhile now. When they were really bad, I started taking Zoloft, but after being on that for about 2 years, I felt fine, so I went off of it. I hated the idea of having to take it, so I was really happy when I felt OK after going off of it, which has been almost a year now. . I'm starting to wonder if I need it again. But, even though I'd rather not have to take any medicine, at this point, I just want to start feeling like myself again.

I'm also single (although I live with roommates) and I feel like this is such a hard age to be dealing with these issues. I should be going out and having fun with all of my friends, but when I feel this bad, all I want to do is be at home. It was interesting that I felt fine (well, maybe not "fine", but definitely not this bad) when I was back home with my parents. Unfortunately, they are 1500 miles away. If they were closer, I would probably be staying with them too - it must be more of a 'comfort' thing, knowing that your Mom is always going to be your mom and take care of you when you're sick.

As for the exercise thing, up until about a month ago I was going to the gym about 4 times a week, running 1-2 miles and felt great! The day I noticed the anxiety symptoms getting really bad was when I was actually at the gym. I had just finished my usual run, but this time, my heart would not stop racing. Then I started feeling dizzy and sick to my stomach. Since then, I've actually been (a) scared to exercise, thinking I'll pass out or something and (b) I just haven't had any energy after work to go. That makes me feel even worse, because I feel so lazy. I used to always feel so good after working out that it motivated me to go even when I was tired after a long day. I did go this past Monday for 30 minutes ...didn't run at all, as even walking on the treadmill was rough. I'm hoping I start feeling better soon so I can get back into my routine. I definitely think exercise helps with anxiety, but when you feel so bad, it's hard enough to just make it through the day at work, you know?

Last edited by ms_mod; 07-24-2008 at 06:37 AM. Reason: Removed unnecessary quote. Ms_Mod

 
Old 07-23-2008, 07:01 PM   #11
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

So I've never really had any diagnosed anxiety until now. I have kind of known for years that I suffer from fears, minor phobias and I've had times when I knew I was having some anxiety issues but it was never this severe. I've never taken any type of medication, xanex is the first thing I've ever tried and that was even hard for me for I fear not knowing what it will do. It has helped though.

It must be so hard to not have family to go to, for the first time in my life I am realizing that I NEED my parents again. After years of being determined to be independent, I am perfectly happy to be the child again.

I think that maybe I'll need another trip out of town since that really seemed to help calm me down a few weeks ago. 4 days with my father in another environment just helped. I hate not feeling like normal 28 year old, I should be going out, dating, having fun! My girlfriends are constantly telling me I need to get out more, stop hiding at home but its just been too hard. Thinking I might have a panic attack while sitting at a bar isn't that appealing right now.

So tomorrow morning, (as I'm sitting here dreading it already) I will vow to just try and get up before the panic sets in. I'm going to take a walk around the block and take some deep breaths. Maybe that will help :-) Thanks for chatting, it is helping more than you know and I really appreciate it.

 
Old 07-24-2008, 06:17 AM   #12
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Well, I felt pretty bad all last night :-( I tried to relax and take a bath and the anxiety just set back in as soon as I tried to relax. I was up until about 12:30am, finally fell asleep til around 4am, woke up to a racing heart and felt so weak. I realized that it was probably <BECAUSE> I didn't really eat anything for dinner (besides a few crackers and half of a granola bar), so I forced my to eat as much of a PB&J sandwich as I could and then took 1/2 Xanax. That finally got me back to sleep and I slept until my alarm went off. But still...here I am at work, not able to concentrate and feeling panicky. What I've been feeling is that "electricity" flowing through my body - primarily just in my chest/stomach. Do you get that too?

Last edited by ms_mod; 07-24-2008 at 06:38 AM.

 
Old 07-24-2008, 06:55 AM   #13
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Shelly I was the same way also. the waking up in the morning was a nightmare for me during my fight with anxiety. I am currently recovering from anxiety. It can be controlled. You do need to stop reading the internet to diagnois yourself. It's bad, bad ,bad. I fought my anxiety for a year it was so intense I also took Xanax wich helped but after a year of taking Xanax 3 times a day at .25 to .5 mg a dose. I had the worst anxiety ever, the xanax did so many weird things to me, I had constant balance problems, called proprioception. I had brain zaps, eye twitches, body twitches increased heart rate, a derealization ie. dream state kinda thing. All this is anxiety but also the side effects of Xanax if taking everyday 3times a day for a year. I thought I was having a stroke or felt I would faint. Anxiety is awful it is hard to fight. Shelly it can be controlled you have to take that walk or call a friend go out do normal things. Don't let it take over. I bought a couple of books on Anxiety and reading them let me know everything I felt was normal. It is scary. My advice to you try not to take Xanax unless you need it. it's good but not for long term use . There are other meds than can help long term, talk to your doc .I'm sorry my post is long but i want all to know that my xanax use led to many other problems. I wish you the best and hope our support will comfort you. Remember no reading the internet , it only makes you worse to self diagnois.Take Care holly

 
Old 07-24-2008, 10:34 AM   #14
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Msharp-I had a bad morning, I didn't even make it to work. I think I just got so fed up and frustrated with waking up feeling this way that I lost it. I went to the Dr. and he gave me Lexapro. I get nervous about taking anything new, I don't want to make my anxiety worse but I suppose anything is better than this right? What you are describing, the electric shocks in your body is how I feel when I wake up. It subsides a little as the day goes on, but it really really makes me miserable. I couldn't stop crying this morning for over and hour, my mother dragged me to the doctor and they squeezed me in. He scheduled me for a complete physical, but really does feel that is an "end of the rope" reaction for me. That it has built up for so long and it is becoming to be a real problem. I'm going to try to make it to work today somehow. I tried everything this morning, woke up in my panic state at 5 like always, so I got up, took a xanex, drank some OJ and took a long walk around the block. It didn't help at all. :-(

**Hollygirl, thanks for the note. It continues to be so helpful to hear that others are going through this as well. I'm trying very hard to not take the xanex very much. So far, I haven't taken it more than once in a day and I'm trying to keep it that way. I am so hopeful that the lexapro will work soon and that I'll have minimal side effects. I know everyonhe is different.

 
Old 07-24-2008, 10:56 AM   #15
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Re: What is happening to me?? Please help.

Hi Shelly - I feel so bad for you! Last night, I honestly thought, with how bad I felt, that there was no way I was going to make it to work today. The reality is, I have so many sick days saved up (almost 4 weeks worth), I should be able to say to myself "Just take a day to yourself and relax" but I can't help feeling guilty, like "will everyone think I'm not really sick?" or "If I don't go in, this won't get done, that won't get done, etc". It is just so hard to get through the day when you're constantly aware of your symptoms.

This morning, I actually emailed the therapist I'm supposed to see for the first time next week and asked her to call me if she had any cancellations for today. She actually called about an hour or so later to say she just had someone cxl at 3pm. So, I'm going in to see her and I really, really hope it will help. I also feel at the end of my rope and I need something - anything - to get me back to normal.

My mom just called to say she booked a flight down here on Saturday to stay with me for a few days. I kept telling her I didn't want her to come, but I think she knew that I really need her. It does embarass me that I am 28 years old and my Mom has to fly to another state to be with me. But then again, she said she will use any excuse to come to Florida, so I guess it can maybe be a mini-vacation for her to (although I know she's probably really stressed right now because of me!)

Anyways, let me know how you feel if you start taking the Lexapro. I'm going to ask the therapist this afternoon if I should start taking something again. I just need something to help!!

Take care :-)

 
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