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    Old 02-02-2012, 11:34 AM   #1
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    Red face Can anyone relate? (horrible anxiety and more...)

    Hi everyone

    I'm a 48 year old male with a history of anxiety, panic attacks, OCD, Tourettes, hypochondria, various phobias, etc. I also have acute sinusitis, a deviated septum (left side), allergic rhinitis and cervical arthitis (an "osteophyte"/bone spur at C-4/5).

    Anyway, when I have bouts of anxiety, they either come "out of the blue" for no apparent reason -or- there is some underlying source(s) of stress in my life that I believe triggers it. I DO have tons of stress in my life.

    This particular bout came on very strong about 4 days ago.

    I had been working on a new project and was really motivated, enjoying myself. Anxiety was the last thing on my mind and I was completely caught up in what I was doing. Then, some time in the late afternoon, I began experiencing this sudden feeling/sensation in my head. It felt like severe brain fog, pressure, a fullness in my head. Almost like a burning sensation at times. It's very difficult to describe.

    My eyes also felt blurry and unfocused but then again, I also suffer from amblyopia ("lazy eye"). Then my nose started to drip a little bit and I just felt pretty lousy. I also had these sharp shooting pains traveling from my right shoulder down my arm (for a breif period) but I've had these and all kind of other weird pains/symptoms in the past (sometimes I feel like a lab rat!). Then my brain starts feeling woozy/loopy and it's almost like I get these strange "adrenalin rushes" going through my head which is really scary. Then the anxiety rears it's ugly head and it just gets worse from there. I mean not-stop anxiety that eats at you day and night and at times when you never used to have anxiety before. The kind of anxiety that makes you ask yourself "is this REALLY anxiety??").

    Now here I am about 4 days into this and last night I was sitting there reading something on the computer when suddenly the words looked very blurry and unreadable. This lasted about 10-15 minutes. I freaked out and left the room to take my blood pressure because I have heard this can be caused by high blood pressure. Everything was normal so I came back in and the blurriness had left.

    I ended up going to bed with my anxiety raging within me. I very rarely have bedtime anxiety so this scared me. All day today I have had this numb, anesthetized, dazed, loopy, foggy, pressure feeling in my head. For the last 3-4 days I have also (on a few ocassions) had muscle twitches, a quivering/nervous feeling under my chin and the left side of my face (and the left-back side of my head) has felt like it's "crawling" (followed by goosebumps) a few times. The swallowing/lump feeling is there. Sometimes my throat feels irritated. I have no fever or any other obvious symptoms.

    I've been spraying astelin (an antihistamine) up my nose for about the same amount of time (3-4 days but perhaps longer) because it helps with my anxiety but the other day I read that it can cause a lot of the same symptoms I'm describing here so I discontinued using it and the symptoms are still there. I have also been on Ativan/Lorazepam for many years but it is not helping with this latest attack at all. I took Atenolol and that didn't help either. Last night I took an Atarax and that only helped slightly.

    As far as test go, I'm like a lot of other people. I took that route a long time ago (had every test in the book done multiple times over a period of years) and they all kept coming back negative and so I finally just gave up in frustration.

    I wonder if the neck arthritis could be causing (or contributing to) all (or any) of this. Perhaps part of it has to do with the years of head/neck jerking from Tourettes. I suppose it could also be the astelin that is partly to blame or maybe all (or most) of these symptom are being caused by plain old anxiety. I just don't know. I've thought about all sorts of dreadful diseases and became absolutely convinced that my demise was near, obsessed over my vision, etc. What a life )-:

    Can anyone else relate?. I'm at my wits end. It almost feels like I'm being tortured.

    - Steven
    Every new day is the very first day of the rest of your life. Take nothing for granted.

    Last edited by Steven45; 02-02-2012 at 11:56 AM.

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    Old 02-02-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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    Re: Can anyone relate? (horrible anxiety and more...)

    Are you the type of person who always tries to be a maximalist? I am and I also experience weird symptoms from time to time. Personally I believe it is due to my very strong concentration and the fact that I like to get things done quickly. Meaning that when I am doing something I don't stop until it's done. However I learned this is not healthy. You have to make breaks in between and also accept that it takes time to accomplish something. Don't hurry and put pressure on yourself that is not necessary. Nobody expects you to be perfect and nobody is acutally perfect. So it might help you to see things from a different angle, meaning to look at things in a more relaxed and cool manner. Can you relate to that?
    Method to face anxiety:
    facing, accepting, floa-ting, letting time pass

    Old 02-02-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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    Re: Can anyone relate? (horrible anxiety and more...)

    Yep, I can definitely relate! I've experienced about 90% of the symptoms that you've described here and various other ones too. After years, I'm finally convinced that all are anxiety related. The human body will react with endless amounts of strange symptoms (mental and physical symptoms) when it comes to severe stress and anxiety. I've been very prone to those hypochondriac thoughts too and have feared everything from cancer/tumors, to rheumatoid arthritis to heart disease to blood clots to AIDS to life threatening food allergies as explanations of my hundreds of different "symptoms".

    I'm a 25 year old female, have been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks since the age of 7 or 8 years old. I use to have an average of 2 or 3 panic attacks each day. I now average about 2 or 3 per year and am usually able to stop them in their tracks soon after they start. This is the one thing I've learned to control pretty well. The social anxiety I have is still a bit of a struggle and still have fairly low self esteem though not near as low as it use to be. I am off all meds and have been for roughly 3 years. My parents started me on psychotropic drugs when I was 9 or so..they forced me to try/take many different types of pills. Everything from anti depressants, anti anxieties, anti psychotics, ADHD meds, etc. During my child and teen years, I was "diagnosed" with roughly 10 different disorders by lost of different psychologists and psychiatrists...generalized anxiety, depression, panic disorder, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, ADHD, Auditory processing disorder, etc. etc. blah, blah, blah.

    I made the decision around the age of 21 to quit all my meds and quit believing that I was mentally ill. Things did not instantly repair themselves, but slowly improved over time and I did felt much better and clear-headed for the first time in a long time soon after getting off the pills. The first month or two coming of them though, was the worst. I had horrible physical withdrawals.

    Anyways, my main point is that basically everything you've described could very well indeed, and most likely IS linked to your anxiety. Even your sinus issues could be linked. I have some issues with my sinuses also and I notice that these are likely a result of severe tension in my face. I notice my sinus/head cold like symptoms are worst in the morning upon first waking--after I've been clenching my jaw and grinding my teeth all night long. Different people are bound to tell you different things. Some might say you're crazy while others will say you dieing of serious illness. You say you have all sorts of sensations in your head, face, throat, etc. I've experienced these, everything from numbness, tingling, foggy, pressure, burning sensations, lumps in my throat, crawling sensations, muscle twitching/spasms, sudden cold feelings, sharp painful electrical shock feelings, irritated throat, cramped throat, dry throat, sudden severe dry mouth, lump in throat, difficulty swallowing. This list could just go on and on.
    I once had a panic attack about 6 years ago in which I temporarily went blind. Everything became blindingly white and I could not see the room I was standing in for what seemed like an eternity. I then broke out in a cold sweat and started shaking. I was convinced for a long time afterwards that something really bad had happened. Had I had a stroke? Why would I go blind from having a panic attack? I figured I had some sort of physical disease. Nope..I've since learned that temporary blindness can result from panic attacks. Just about any physical symptom you could imagine can be the result of anxiety, severe stress or depression.

    The worst thing you can do is focus on this stuff, read further into what your symptoms "might" or "might not" be caused by, let yourself sit there (or lay there) and worry or tell/yell at yourself "stop thinking about it". I've done all these things. Hundreds of times over. Telling myself to quit worrying or stop thinking about it almost never works and often has the opposite effect. What are you replacing your thoughts with when you simply tell yourself to "stop thinking about it"?
    They only thing which has worked is replacing my negative, worrying thoughts with thoughts or activities that are fun, relaxing, optimistic and enjoyable and completely unrelated to anything that might cause feelings of anxiety. Next time you find yourself worrying or freaking out, do whatever it is which you can get hold of that is most enjoyable or relaxing--reading your favorite book, watching your favorite movie, exercising, solving a puzzle, painting... whatever makes you happy.

    Let your life flow and try not to question or worry about every little symptom. When you feel anxious and have a strange sensation, let it come and let it pass. Don't try to force the feeling out or get upset that it is there to begin with. Just accept and observe what it is. Always be patient with yourself. Do you work on breathing techniques? I find these can really help?

    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the one physical ailment you're suffering from is "adrenal fatigue". I think most people suffer through this at some point during their lives. It's generally brought on by massive stress or trauma and can take quite some time to recover from. I'm pretty certain that my adrenals are "fatigued" and this is the cause of some of the symptoms I have, but the best treatment still is to do the sorts of things I already described, relaxing, enjoyable non stressful activities. Get plenty of sleep/rest and don't feel guilty for it. Eat well, exercise, all that good stuff. If your hormones are out of whack, these sorts of things will help the most.

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