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boxerlver227 09-01-2006 12:01 PM

My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
wave: Hello to everyone who decided this topic would have been of interest to you.
I decided to sit down and write about my disease, anxiety with panic disorder. So many of us here question whether or not we are alone in what we are feeling. So many of us question whether or not these are indeed symptoms of anxiety. We tell ourselves yeah I have been alittle stressed out lately but not enough to cause all these horrible physical symptoms I am experiencing. Or is it enough? My only interest in writing this is in hopes to find others out there who maybe suffers as well and perhaps "think they are alone" and maybe come to realize they are not and find some comfort in knowing this. Or perhaps you are reading this saying to yourself, boy I know how that person feels I have been down that road more than once and offer some support or advice to others on things that may or may not have helped you. I must note that everything I write today is real life experiences that I myself have had. Nothing is taken out of a text book or off of any website or documentary. They are real feelings, real symptoms, and real daily struggles. Also I must add if you are looking for a short read, this post is also not for you, as I mentioned this is years of struggles and years could not be summed up in two sentences. My true goal in writing this is to possibly help others including myself, or perhaps find or give comfort in others as well.
So everyone knows that feeling you are on an airplane and dropping altitude, you feel a falling sensation from within, it almost causes you to reach for those nice bags they offer you cause your stomach begins to feel queasy, or your in an elevator and you are going up or down, and again you are struck with that dropping, falling sensation. Only thing is you know you are not on an airplane or in an elevator you are sitting at your desk at work, or reading the paper at home, or perhaps just cooking dinner in your kitchen going about your day. So what just happened? Your mind starts going on overdrive, Did I just have a stroke? I am having a heart attack that must be it? You begin to Have hot and cold flashes, you feel pins and needles all over, your heart rate starts to speed up, your chest is hurting cause your heart is pounding so hard, you feel like you can't catch your breath, a smothering sensation, like a pillow being placed over your face, you feel the urge to crawl out of your body and run, but where? Where is your safe place? Your head feel so heavy like you just had a mask of funny gas placed over your face Your legs can't possibly hold you up anymore they are so weak and shaky, you know you are going to pass out at any moment, BUT you don't so now what?
Your in the grocery store, already you are having a hard time focusing and walking down the aisle without falling over, so you fingers are gripped to the cart for balance purposes. You approached the check out and suddenly you feel hot and cold all over, your starting to feel like you might pass out or perhaps go crazy. everyone's voices become much louder but for some strange reason you can't understand what they are saying, the fluorescent lights seemed intensely bright, you knees start to feel that shakiness you know all so well. You suddenly have the urge to leave and run to that safe place again, the sheer terror is beyond anything you could control. You shove your cart to the side inspite the need for food, and run as fast as you can out of the store. You wonder to yourself, again what just happened? Your still feeling the effects of panic. Your trembling fumbling for your keys, your still trying to catch your breath, driving away for the store approaching your home you begin to feel your heart rate slowing down. Why is this happening? I feel like I am losing my mind. Realistically I know that there was no reason for fear, but why does my body and mind seem to think there is? Suddenly, for no immediate reason, my body was overwhelmed by a surge of elemental panic. Everything seems to race out of control, I could feel my vision go off, everything faded out and became detached, and my heart felt like it wanted to jump out of my chest. Is this just panic and anxiety or is there really something physically wrong with me? There has to be something wrong, I know there is.. These are all the thoughts that follow hours, and days, and weeks after.. Which trigger the feelings all over again. Like a spinning wheel just keeps going around and around. But how do you over come this? I know next time I will breath better, I will tell myself over and over again that there is nothing to fear, I will handle it better next time....
Next time Your driving along singing to your favorite song, suddenly you are stopped at a red light, A red light that seems like an eternity to change to green, suddenly this overwhelming fear comes over you, your breathing starts to become fast and shallow, the song you were just singing along to begins to sound distorted, your beginning to feel detached, your trembling so hard you can hear your teeth chattering, your chest is hurting, your heart is pounding, you start to feel your vision blur, Your lightheaded and just know at any moment you are going to pass out.
I have to get out, those are the thoughts running through your head, You begin to feel like everything around you is closing in. You are sure this time that you are dying. The light turns green, you proceed with traffic, suddenly you are struck with a intense headache, pressure feeling to be exact.
Your still feeling the effects of what your body just went through, You keep asking yourself what just happened, If I only could make it home I will be okay. You pull up to your house and you feel a sense of being safe. You spend hours, feeling the effects of fear, terror and adrenaline that just raced through your body. You ask your self why? You would think by now your body was so use to the surges, But in fact each and everytime the feelings and symptoms are just as strong as if you were experiencing them for the first time... Again you promise your self next time I will handle it better.
You begin to research... And research and yup you guessed it you have every single symptom or every single disease out there. You begin to obsess and believe you are plagued with everyone of these illnesses, and this in turn causes you to obsess about it day in and day out. You wake up feeling sick and go to bed feeling sick. You experience every symptom form a chronic rapid heart rate, to chills and hot flashes, upset stomach, headaches, dizziness, disattachment from yourself, even disappointment in yourself.
You stop doing all the things you once loved and enjoyed. Everything you do has become a major challenge to this beast. You start to feel as if your life is not in your control anymore. You can't control these feelings, you have tried over and over again.. You simply feel like you are going to die at the hands of this beast. BUT you don't.. You continue to live in a vicious cycle of fear, and terror along with an array of symptoms that are horrific.
There are so many treatments out there for suffers just like myself. There are medications, therapies, and most of all support groups such as this one that can help others to feel comfort in knowing that they are not by any means alone. I feel that this is the most effective for me, speaking to others who know what it feels like first hand, who understands your daily struggle, offers you support and comfort when perhaps you can't find that in the one's you spend most of your days with. My sole purpose today is to offer that support, share my terror of anxiety disorder with you all and hope that somebody out there reads this and finds some kind of comfort... Believe me feeling alone in this makes everything more of a challenge.
I must mention that there are illnesses that mimic anxiety as well as trigger anxiety, so proper diagnosis is important, Once you are diagnosed and know you suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder, The Rest OF the Battle is excepting the fact that this really is anxiety!!!
I hope reading this has help many of you. I know writing it has helped me some.. Still I continue to battle my daily struggle with anxiety disease and panic disorder.
My thoughts and prayers go out to all you suffers such as myself.
Everyone feel free to comment on this post, perhaps your experiences could help others as well... As always my best to all... :angel: Boxerlover

Chat_Noir 09-01-2006 01:02 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
My life in your words!;)

bynobody 09-01-2006 01:16 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
Yeah, especially the driving and the music

Amy D.J. 09-01-2006 02:09 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
Thank You So Much!! you just explained my panic disorder and the way it feels in complete detail, it is so good to know that I and others are not alone in our everyday struggle the only other thing I would add is it also puts stress on our families and you feel as though you are letting them down and you do not know how to stop it and that it also scares them too, I know I felt like that when it was my husbend and especially my children seeing the way this effects me and my every day life, it stinks!! Amy J.

nikigrl8883 09-01-2006 04:35 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
thank you boxer you know i understand what your saying completely and i thank you for responding to my other threads you give good advice... i actually feel the pressure thing in my head right now and do everyday
some of its from my other problem too i think i dont know but it makes me feel better knowing other people have similar issues....i dont do things now becasue of this illness i was so outgoing before now im like a recluse my friend was suppose to come by today and i made up and excuse for her not to come in case i get sick tonight like i do everynight i use to go out to clubs bars now i do nothing i have no boyfriend anymore, no job,no life

Icy 09-01-2006 05:32 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
I think everyone here will agree that that is what life with anxiety seems like.

I also agree talking about it with other people who understand help relieve the anxiety which in why everyone of my posts I will always give the example of what I am saying with something I do. Definately sounds self-centered but it helps me and hopefully helps the person I am saying it to since they know that another person experienced it.;)

Good post

toxxct 09-02-2006 04:30 AM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
Boxer i totally appreciate the effort you put into the post. I was feeling a bit blah this afternoon due in part to a crappy sleep last night because of a 4 am panic wakeup call lol. Every day i feel like i'm getting closer and closer to killing this pig off for good. However there are peaks and valley's with this struggle so i try to focus on the good moments as they are what get me through my next valley :)
In any event you nailed alot of how i feel with the grocery store experience (not all the time) as well the detachment...god i hate it when that happens.
The thing i'm having the most trouble with is the fact that my wife is really freaked out when i try to talk to her about what i'm going through. She is supportive to a certain point - she thinks great i'm married to a loon or something... I've decided to not talk to her about it anymore, my next step if i don't lick this myself (as i have done in the past) is to seek help from a professional.
All i know is it is nice and comforting to hear people pass on their experiences as it is what keeps me going.

boxerlver227 09-02-2006 02:26 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
Thank you all for the interest in my post. :wave:
I am happy to see I was able to offer support as well as gain support, from many of you.
Not to my surprise so many of you mention the effect your condition has on the family as well as not getting support from a spouse, parent or friends.
So many of us suffer feeling alone, outcaste, and in fear.
"If only my husband would understand exactly what I am feeling" Is a thought that replays like a broken record in my head....
"Just get yourself together, stop thinking so much about it, there's nothing wrong with you" is not what an anxiety suffer like myself needs or wants to hear. Let's face it we would all do just that if only it were that simple.
This kind of "support" is only causing resentment and more anxiety, it actually is hindering the process to recovery. But it's not their fault.. As well as it's not our fault as the sufferer.
We all know that there is great suffering on the family as well as the suffer, They don't understand why your tired all the time, they don't understand how you aren't able to just take control over your fears, Let's face it someone who never experienced the symptoms of some sort of anxiety disorder, can't possibly understand the effects and toll it takes on your daily life.
I think it is only human nature for other to offer sympathy instead of empathy.
I think it is only human nature for your friends to give up on asking you to make plans with them, when time and time again you always decline the invitation, or your spouse is sick of the excuses you make as to why you just don't feel well, or you get that look "here we go again" from them..
What I found to be alittle helpful that I would like to share with you is I tried to educated my husband as much as I possibly could on my condition. I purchased books and read them with him, I had him sit in on therapy sessions to help him better understand my fears, cause let's face it all anxiety stems from some sort of fear, whether it be death, illness, or just plain fear of loosing your mind. Whatever it may be helping them understand is just as important as us as suffers need help in understanding. Don't get me wrong by no means do I feel my family, friends, etc.. totally empathize with what I feel, but when I am in panic mode, there is a better understanding to the "symptoms" I am feeling, which in turn provides comfort to me... No matter what try not to shut the door so to say, to those that are closest to you, Marriages, relationships, and even the best of friendships are put to the test when things are bad. What I do instead is try and find ways to help them better understand. Treat your disorder as if it were the illness it is, If you were a diabetic for example, what would your family do? They would learn and educate themselves as much as they could about your illness, so they can better understand your needs. So what makes this illness any different.
Don't minimize what you suffer from, acceptance is a great starting point to recovery. This is now what I
am starting to do.. accept my fear, accept my symptoms, believe me it's not easy, especially when you are in panic mode. I must also mention Most of all I find comfort in all of you. Finding support from others just like yourself is a gift alone!
I am by no means in my life over this anxiety disease, I still struggle daily with all the symptoms most of you do, but I find offering my support, advice, thoughts, and questions with all of you is just another way of helping me towards my steps to recovery! Thank you all for being so supportive,cheering us up when things seem so blue, making us feel like we are not alone, and most of all for sharing in your stories!
My best as always.. boxerlover:angel:

Amy D.J. 09-02-2006 06:47 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
Boxerlover, Thank You for that great post and for making us all feel less alone, it is posts like this that gives me faith and encouragement that someday I will beat Panic Disorder I Hate It so much, but I know I am not alone in this fight and it is very comforting your words mean so much to us all! thanks Again!! Amy J.:wave:

boxerlver227 09-02-2006 07:35 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
Hi Amy D.J.:wave:
You are very welcome! Never loose faith in yourself, You will one day see, as I hope to also see that this shall make you stronger.. You will over come this journey, and along the way you will gain an inner strength you never knew existed... That is my goal as well. I agree panic disorder is a horrible disorder, and one who is a sufferer is the one's who know best. I myself have been a suffer for quite sometime now.. I know what you are going through and I am always here for support I truly understand.. Boxerlover

bubbleegum2 09-03-2006 01:36 AM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
well on reading this my numbness in my lips and dizziness went away... i have suffered the same symptoms for almost a year now and its awful, its ruining my life,and like u said about being safe i always am indoors when i feel this way as im petrified in shops in case i have a heart attack etc which is just my anxiety taking over. thanx so much for writing that it meant im not alone and not the only one to get these feelings. im new to this site and have found it so good xxx hope your having a nice weekend take care xx

boxerlver227 09-03-2006 02:02 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
Hi Bubbleegum2 :wave:
I am so happy my post was able to make you feel alittle better..
I know what you are going through, so please know you are not alone..
Fear of a heartattack is very common with panic disorder.
Panic attacks strike us so suddenly and the symptoms are so intense and so real, that are minds always jump right to "yup this is a heart attack" Or
" I know I am having a stroke", My mind and fears process panic attacks the same exact way.. I struggle throughout the day, waiting for the next attack, This is called anticipation anxiety.. And what this means is I actually bring alot of symptoms on by being worried about the next attack.. This is also a VERY common thing that people with panic disorder do..
I understand you fears for leaving the house, You mind makes you "think" if I leave my "safe" place something horrible is going to happen.. It's a vicious cycle.. But the good news is you are not alone, and there is treatment for this disorder.. If I could be of any help to you please feel free to ask!
My best to you! Boxerlover:angel:

ejessup1 09-03-2006 03:44 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
This is my life exactly! Thank you!

Amy D.J. 09-03-2006 04:06 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
BoxerLover, I was told that I bring on panic symptoms myself, but did not know there was an actual thing called anticipation either now that I know this I will try not to think about the symptoms so Much maybe it will help, Thank You for that information, I wish somebody would have told me before it might have helped.Amy J.:)

Icy 09-03-2006 04:22 PM

Re: My Disease Called ANXIETY..Please read
Yeah, it's possible to bring anxiety attacks on by worrying about them. Think of it this way, anxiety is normal and EVERYONE has it wether it be from talking in front of a group of people to having a speeding car running right for you. Without the adrenaline from it we wouldn't really be able to react in time to get out of the way of a speeding car. So anxiety is produced naturally from worrying or being in a dangerous or thought to be dangerous position.

Well, once you have anxiety attacks and are worrying about when it will happen and how bad the pain will be any little thing can make you have one. It could be as simple as a headache to something like noticing you have a little trouble breathing.

So the constant worrying can make you prone to thinking any little thing being deadly (being a hypocondriac).

There is no way to entirely just forget about anxiety one day it will be a long process but hey it'd be worth it wouldn't it. You will notice they will happen a lot less frequently but to completely eliminate them will take time.

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