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My Four-Year battle with Anxiety

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Old 01-10-2006, 09:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin, USA
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jvasel HB User
Post My Four-Year battle with Anxiety

Hello everyone. I've been struggling with Anxiety for a very long time and I thought I would post this to give some of you some possible insite into your own anxiety and also for people to post their stories.

My anxiety started about 4 years ago. It all began from a single traumatic event in which I got very sick from eating movie-theater popcorn. After that, I would feel the same sickness when I went to that theater, although I wasn't eating popcorn. Eventually, at the mall I would feel the same, because the theater was attatched to the mall. The specific sick feeling eventually faded but the fear of getting sick remained. Eventually it spread to all aspects of my social life; school, going out with friends, waiting in long lines, etc. The first doctor that I went to was a pediatrician. He thought, for some reason that I needed more fiber in my diet...Adding fiber didn't help at all.

About a year later I finally got to a psychologist. He decided that I had Social Anxiety possibly along with General Anxiety Disorder. We tried relaxation techniques but that did nothing. Biofeedback didn't help much but we hadn't played with it much. Eventually, I was referred to a psychologist who perscribed me 20mg Fluoxetine (Prozac). That seemed to do nothing for me so I quit taking it (which I later regretted).

Now I'm approaching my 5th year of dealing with it. I am going to be going back to the psychologist to continue my therapy which I haven't done in about a year for reasons that I don't know. I also learned that I don't suffer from Social Anxiety very much, but instead, Agoraphobia. If I'm in a social situation in which I feel that I can't easily escape, or that help isn't readily available in an emergency, I panic. My symptoms over the years have included:

+ Gas/loose stools/upset stomach
+ Sweating along with the chills (much like a fever)
+ Shaking of hands and legs (Very weak and wobbly)
+ Accelerated heartbeat/rapid breathing
+ Intense fear that something very bad will happen
+ Occasional panic attacks.

I will keep posting here with my progress. If anyone needs advice or questions about what's going on with them, I'd be more than happy to help out. I've come along way and I've learned many things about anxiety and ways to cope. So just reply to this thread {REMOVED}

Feel free to give account of your own experiences here!
- Vasel

Last edited by ms_mod; 01-10-2006 at 10:20 PM. Reason: Please read and follow our posting rules. Don't post off board contact information of any kind. Ms_Mod

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Old 01-11-2006, 09:55 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 133
bderozi HB User
Re: My Four-Year battle with Anxiety

Hey jvasel,

Sorry to hear you have been dealing with this for so long. I have only been dealing with it for 3 months. Mine started Summer of 2005...I was experiencing feelings of Intense Rush, Chest Pain, Rapid Heart Beat, Feeling Out of It....Then it hit me......October 1 2005....The Big One ( Panic Attack )
at a football game of all places....Don't know why....My grandmothers Funeral was only 3 days before this...So that could have been a trigger....

When I got to the game....this intense rushed feeling, chills, chest pain, rapid heart beat, and the overwhelming fear that I was Dying took me over....I could only stay through the first half and then got out of there.....That was my Major Panic Attack.....The one that seemed to come out of the blue and knock me down....

The next day...I had a terrible Headache and my mind shifted to thinking I had Brain Cancer, Tumor, that was causing this awful headache....I went to the ER...CAT Scan...Looked Normal...Thank God.....But I was terrified because I had already made it up that I was Dying or I had Cancer....or something....( OH, My grandma dies of Cancer ..So )

I finnally saw my DOC on October 10 2005....I lost a lot of weight in that week...15lbs....They did blood tests and Urinalisis....Both looked Normal / Good....he said that I have Anxiety / Panic Disorder....***??? I was like No Way....I am Dying!!! But I wasn't....Felt Like It...But I wasn't! He put me on ZOLOFT 50mg and ATIVAN 1mg....I have been taking the ZOLOFT ever since...

Overall I feel so much better....I still Fear and Obsess about Death on ocassion, but since being on the MEDS, NO PANIC ATTACKS....SO....

I am back to doing things I used to....

I still experience Side Effects....Both from the Anxiety and the MEDS....the ones you listed as well as others.....I have a question for you....

In your 4 years, did you ever have any side effects / issues with your Muscles? Such as Pain?, Weakness?, Stiffness? I don't know if you are taking and Anti-Depressent ( ZOLOFT, PAXIL etc. ).....But I seem to experience these quite often and it scares me sometimes into thinking I have some disease like MS, ALS, or something else!


Old 01-11-2006, 11:01 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 26
scuder HB User
Re: My Four-Year battle with Anxiety

Wow, does this all sound too familiar! Unfortunately, I have been suffering from anxiety/panic for about 25 years. I have been on and off of meds, primarily due to the nasty side effects, and I would just stop taking them. At times I felt great, only to be later knocked down by anxiety/panic! I can certainly relate to the "trapped" feeling, i.e. long lines, grocery stores, concerts, etc....whenever I have an inkling that immediate EMERGENCY help is not available to me, WHOA...freak out time!! I can s relate to your symptoms.....I have had them all....palpitations, tachycardia, chest pain, weakness, trembling, etc....
I have experienced weakness in arms and legs, and I think this is due to the fact that these disorders affect the Central Nervous System, thus when this system is disturbed...out comes the weakness, trembling, muscle spasms, etc...Also, some of the meds used to treat the same illness can cause these side effects.
Very important, however, do not let it SCARE THE HECK out of you...take the time to read the patient literature that accompanies your gives you a clear cut heads up on what to expect, if anything. And, remember...everyone is different, so we do not all experience the same side effects. Just like my body cannot tolerate the SSRI's, i.e. Paxil, Prozac, Effexor....those drugs send me, I am on the old time trycyclics...i.e. Tofranil...along, of course, with Xanax and the doc has just added Klonopin in an effort to get me off the Xanax.
So, I wish the both of you luck...keep a positive attitude although it may be very difficult at times....but, hopefully with STAYING on your meds, somewhat of a normal life is back in store for ALL of us!

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