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  1. 32 points
    I want to write this story in one post so it's easy for others to find. Also because I know I'll forget how I came to find the off switch. I don't think I'll forget how to use it, just how I found it. Now I've said before, I've read the answer so many times and it never clicked. But one day it did. I had that 'aha' moment. So don't be discouraged if you don't get it straight away. You can come back and re-read this if you like. One day, you'll have your own 'aha' moment. So here's how I found the off switch... I was thinking about why get anxiety as I do 24/7 lol. Now you can do this too. You may have the same answers I do or they may be different, it doesn't matter. I had my first attack from hyperventilating from being in pain with a bad back. Your first attack may well have happened because of stress, pain or some random event. But I think we can all agree that whatever it was it has passed & is not constantly on your mind causing you stress. What is constantly on our minds is that attack. What if it happens again? When will it happen again? What do I do if it happens again? Is there something wrong with me? And off we go into panic and anxiety disorder. Now we have other attacks at seemingly random times. We get symptoms from fight or flight. We worry about these symptoms and produce more anxiety, more fight or flight, more bodily sensations and back to more anxiety and now we are aboard the anxiety never ending roller coaster. We know the initial thing that caused us that first attack is long gone and we aren't worried about it anymore, so why are we stuck on the roller coaster? Why can't we get off? Some stay stuck because they still believe they have health or diet problems. They are in denial that it is caused by anxiety. They also believe anxiety is caused by a health problem or deficiency in something. Some believe it is due to a certain place or situation. Others are quite willing to accept that it is anxiety and fight or flight but still this doesn't stop them feeling it. Even more advanced is people who can see that they are in a circle of anxiety, symptoms, anxiety. Sometimes they can break free of the circle and get off the roller coaster for a while. But something brings them back & they get stuck for another little while. So you're here. You totally accept this is all caused by anxiety and fight or flight. The initial thing that caused it in the first place is long gone and not bothering you. So why are we still anxious? What makes us anxious? Anxiety. Anxiety makes us anxious. Why should anxiety make us anxious? It is an emotion like any other. Because when we feel the emotion anxiety, we worry it will lead to fight or flight symptoms. (Even if you never realised it before, think about it now) These symptoms make us uncomfortable, ill and our bodies do strange things. This is ok sometimes, sometimes we can handle it. But sometimes it is inappropriate, we have work to do or cars to drive, we are away from home and there are strangers around, kids to look after and not now damn it!! Now is not the time!! Basically we fear anxiety because it may lead to us losing control. Control of our health, our appearance our mind. So what do we do when we are feeling anxious, we want to stop fight or flight kicking in because it would be inappropriate to lose your shizzle right now? We try coping techniques, medication, breathing exercises or avoidance. We even try acceptance, but because we don't really feel like accepting it, it doesn't work. Basically we try like hell to stay in control. Now think about a time when you've done this. When you've felt a slight symptom like lightheadedness or had to catch your breath. This tiny symptom causes you to be on alert. 'Is that anxiety coming back?' 'If it is I will control it. I'll try to keep my composure.' You feel symptoms all the time. Even if it's ever so slight, you zone in on it because you're in a heightened state of alertness. You probably don't even notice yourself doing it. You can feel the slightest bit light headed and this alertness kicks in and monitors before you even stop and think, ' nope I'm not even light headed' , false alarm. By then you are anxious. Anxiety has kicked in. You automatically attempt to control this. You try to keep it together. This is fighting. You try to calm down, this is still fighting, you try to accept, this is still fighting. Even by saying or thinking 'I need to go home and sort myself out' it is trying to control. I need to go home and regain control. The off switch is in this moment. The moment you feel a slight bodily sensation, the moment you think 'oh not here' the moment you think 'keep it together, calm down, don't lose your mind' . In this moment is when you have to stop fighting for control. Stop trying to calm down, stop trying to keep it together. Stop trying to feel different. Let go of the wheel. Many people belive their attempts to keep it together are what's stopping them losing it all together. Or what's stopping you from ending up in hospital. Or what's stopping you from passing out. None of your attempts are what's stopping it . If that was going to happen it would happen whether you were trying to control it or not. So there it is. That moment you feel a sensation, the moment you think 'oh its happening again', 'not now, I can't do this, I need to keep it together' . The moment you feel anxiety, you have been trying to keep it together. Don't. Stop trying to stay in control. Let go, let anxiety do its thing. Anxiety probably isn't even there, it's probably just a sensation that you have picked up on with your super alert powers. In that moment where you say to yourself, 'I must keep it together', no you don't. You don't need to tense up and control it and be super vigilant. You need to let go. As I said, if you were going to pass out or have a heart attack or cry or whatever it is you fear, that would happen whether you stayed super alert and vigilant or not. Whether you try to gain control or not, if it's going to happen it will. Whether you tense your body and stay super concentrated and try very hard to stay calm, if there was danger, it would be there either way. All this concentrating and trying to stay calm and keep it together is the link in the chain that keeps you stuck on that roller coaster. When you let go, relax, truly accept anxiety as an emotion, accept your bodily sensations as harmless fight or flight and give up control, the link will be broken. You can get off the roller coaster. Remember the moment. It will come as an anxious feeling or bodily sensation that automatically causes you to become anxious. You automatically try to fight anxiety and be fearful of it. You try to keep it together. Don't. Stop and remember 'I don't have to keep it together, if something bad was going to happen, it will regardless of how much attention I give it'. That's the best I can explain it guys. And I had to do it tonight because the memories are already fading of how I came to understand not fighting, true acceptance and the off switch. The most important thing for me was the wording. For me, I was trying to learn acceptance. But I made more sense thinking about trying to keep in control, the anxiety makes me fear losing control. So I try to keep control by tensing up, staying alert and controlling my breathing and thoughts. All along all I had to do was stop doing that. Stop controlling it, i was controlling nothing anyway, that's in the hands of fate, not me. This post has been promoted to an article
  2. 13 points
    Hi everyone. I just came across one of those fear articles that we see too often that can trigger those of us with HA. I found this author's email address and sent this email to her today. If she responds I'll share it, but I'm sure none of us will be holding our breath: Hello Alyssa; You might not be aware of this, but you are amongst a growing number of what I call “health scaremongers” online today. One of your photo slide articles was just featured on MSN about cancer symptoms that men often ignore. I could pick it apart one by one but let me just give you one example; brain tumors. Persistent headaches, watch out, could be a brain tumor! The reality of the situation is that, according to renown neurologists from the most prestigious of universities, it is highly, highly unlikely that a headache will be the first symptom one gets when suffering from a BT. Briefly, here is the reason. The brain feels no pain. When a tumor grows large enough to impact the skull/nerves adjacent to the skull, that is when pain will be felt. However, by the time a tumor has grown to the point where it can cause such pain it has undoubtedly caused havoc during its growth, resulting in other symptoms first, such as seizures, vision loss, and a host of other presenting symptoms. Your article equates persistent non-migraine headaches as potentially being a BT. In fact, between migraine and daily tension headache, you account for the vast majority of causes. Then, there are numerous other headache types, such as ice pick, cluster and many others that occur. Articles like yours scare people. They cause vulnerable people to march to their doctors demanding scans, some with damaging radiation involved. I guess that’s your aim; it generates more “clicks” and hence more advertising revenue. But at what human cost? If you’re going to write about health issues, write intelligent well thought out articles that show you researched and were serious about your work and not just out to grab the last buck for your employer. Bob - Canada
  3. 11 points
    In 2014 my father passed away, a couple months shy of his 98th birthday. Other than the final few years, he was alert, happy, always joking and sharing his so called wisdoms. Even in the last years, most of the time he just suffered from normal memory issues. So, what helped him make it well into his 90's? It sure wasn't his genes. His father died at age 46 and his mother at 60. For a good part of his life he was slightly overweight; not obese but say 10-20 pounds above his norm for height. He had an awful 1st marriage; his wife actually lied to the War Department in 1944 saying he was not supporting his kids. It worked and they drafted him. He served in Okinawa just before the end of the war in the Pacific. He did have, for a while, strained relations with his kids from that marriage. Lots of stress. Oh, and he worked in a chemical plant knee deep in God knows what concoction of crap, until he was drafted. So, why was he a happy guy who lived a long healthy life? One word more than anything summed it up: positivity in life and in himself. After returning from overseas, he seemed to adopt a new outlook. Shortly afterwards he got a low level position with the Veterans Administration. 30 years later he retired as a GS 15, the highest grade in government not appointed by the President. He met and married my mom. Theirs was a true love story. His attitude towards health was simple. He went to the doctor for his regular checkups, but otherwise you had to drag him to go to a doctor. He had 2 health events in his life; an enlarged prostate that got to where he couldn't urinate. He had surgery and that was that (his next room over neighbor was Ted Knight of Mary Tyler Moore fame). Then at age 82 he had a heart attack. The doctor told me it was a bad one and he'd likely live another 5-7 years. I have no idea what he told my dad, but he wasnt phased by his heart attack. He thrived in rehab, and in months was back to doing everything as before. He lasted another 15+ years. He was told in his late 80's to have his carotid Artery cleaned out. He refused. It never mattered. So what does this all add up to? Well, for him it seems being positive, being a jokester, being content with his life did the trick for him. It's true he didn't smoke cigarettes or abuse booze, but he did love his cigars. Me? I'm 180 degrees opposite of him when it comes to being content, being positive and happy. That makes me really sad. He had personality quirks, and we didn't always have the best relationship, but his attitude towards life was one thing he did right. That's one way I'm still trying to emulate him, and I'll keep trying to the end. Maybe I'll succeed one day. Thanks for reading this long post. We all want to live a long healthy life. He had the recipe and played it out to perfection. Are any of us willing to try to change our outlook on life like he did?
  4. 9 points
    Wow lots of ALS posts going on here lately. I wanted to mention this.. for those that are getting better with this fear, becareful helping on the forum.. it keeps AlS on the brain.. and we a know when it's on the mind.. we start watching how we walk, how we use our hands etc.. I haven't had twitches since March but after reading all these posts.. I started twitching in my calves last week lol.. do y'all see how suggestive this all is. Please don't get triggered by helping out. I used to do that. I'm ok now but I am watching myself. I sure don't need to fall in the hole again. Hugs everyone.. no als, just anxiety . Nobody's post on here is als.. it's all anxiety mixed with too much damn Google.
  5. 9 points
    I'm afraid I have bad news. Our dear friend, who had been missing for 6 months, has been found passed away. Personally I honestly don't know how I am going to process this, he was such a big part of my life in such a short time. Anxiety Central wouldn't exist if it wasn't for nino, he is the reason why we are here. It's a hilarious, ridiculous story, but it all began with a meme, and nino. I feel the need to do something in his honour. From this day forward Anxiety Central is dedicated, in memoriam to our dear friend Nino. I will never ever forget you, thank you for being my friend. RIP
  6. 8 points
    Anxiety Symptoms, Anxiety Attack Symptoms (Panic Attack Symptoms), Symptoms of Anxiety There are over 100 symptoms of anxiety. Because each person has a unique chemical make up, the type, number, intensity, and frequency of anxiety symptoms will vary from person to person. For example, one person may have just one mild anxiety symptom, whereas another may have all anxiety symptoms and to great severity. All combinations are common. What are anxiety symptoms? Common anxiety symptoms include: Body (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the body in general): Allergy problems, increase in allergies (number, sensitivity, reactions, lengthier reactions) Back pain, stiffness, tension, pressure, soreness, spasms, immobility in the back or back muscles Blanching (looking pale, loss of color in the face or skin) Blushing, turning red, flushed face, flushed skin, blushing, red face or skin Body aches, parts of or your entire body feels sore and achy, feels like your body and muscles are bruised Body jolts, body zaps, electric jolt feeling in body, intense body tremor or “body shake” Body temperature increase or decrease, change in body temperature Burning skin, itchy, “crawly,” prickly or other skin sensations, skin sensitivity, numbness on the skin Burning skin sensation on the face, neck, ears, scalp, or shoulders Buzzing sensation in the feet, toes, hands, fingers, arms, legs Chest pain, chest tightness Choking Chronic Fatigue, exhaustion, super tired, worn out Clumsiness, feeling clumsy, co-ordination problems with the limbs or body Cold chills, feeling cold Craving sugar, sweets, chocolate, usual craving for sugar and sweets Difficulty speaking, moving mouth, talking, co-ordination problems with the mouth or tongue Dizziness, feeling lightheaded Dizzy, feeling dizzy Electric shock feeling, body zaps Excess of energy, you feel you can’t relax Falling sensation, feel like your are falling or dropping even though you aren't Feel like you are going to pass out or faint Feeling cold or chilled Feel wrong, different, foreign, odd, or strange Flu-like symptoms, general malaise, feel ill, like you are coming down with a flu Flushed face, red face, flushed skin Frequent urination Head Zaps Heart palpitations, racing heart Hyperactivity, excess energy, nervous energy Increased or decreased sex drive Infection - increased infections, persistent infection Mouth or throat clicking or grating sound/noise when you move your mouth or jaw, such as when talking Muscles that vibrate, jitter, tremor, or shake when used Muscle twitching Nausea Nausea vomiting Neck, back, shoulder pain, tightness/stiffness Night sweats, waking up in a sweat, profusely sweating at night No energy, feeling lethargic, tired Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Numbness and tingling, and other skin sensations on hands, feet, face, head, or any other places on the body Persistent muscle tension, stiffness Pounding heart, heart feels like it is beating too hard Pulsing or throbbing muscles. Pulsing or throbbing sensation. Rib or rib cage tightness, pressure, or feeling like a tight band around the rib cage Sexual Dysfunction, sexual uninterest Shooting pains, stabbing pains, and odd pressures in the neck, head, or face Shooting pains in the face Shooting pains in the scalp or head Skipped heart beats Sore or tight scalp or back of the neck Startle easily Sweating, uncontrollable profuse sweating The floor feels like it is moving either down or up for no reason Tightness in the ribs or rib cage area, may also feel like a tight band around the ribs or rib cage area. Tingling sensations, anywhere on the body, including the hands, feet, legs, arms, head, mouth, chest, groin area Throat or mouth clicking or grating sound/noise when you move your mouth or jaw, such as when talking TMJ Trembling, shaking, tremors Twitching Unsteadiness, dizziness, feeling dizzy or lightheaded Urgency to urinate, frequent urination, sudden urge to go to the washroom (similar to urinary tract or prostate infection symptoms) Warm spells Weak - feel weak, weakness, low energy, light, soft, like you may faint Weak legs, arms, or muscles Weight loss, weight gain Chest (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the chest area) Chest tremors, trembling in the chest, chest feels like it is vibrating Chest pain or discomfort Concern about the heart Feel like you have to force yourself to breath Find it hard to breath, feeling smothered, shortness of breath Frequent yawning to try and catch your breath Heart Palpitations – beating hard or too fast, rapid heartbeat Heart - Irregular heart rhythms, flutters or ‘skipped’ beats, tickle in the chest that makes you cough Pounding heart, heart feels like it is beating too hard Rib or rib cage tightness, pressure, or feeling like a tight band around the rib cage Emotions (see mood) (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with emotions, mood, and feelings) Fears (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with fear) A heightened fear of what people think of you Afraid of being trapped in a place with no exits Constant feeling of being overwhelmed. Fear of being in public Fear of dying Fear of losing control Fear of impending doom Fear of making mistakes or making a fool of yourself to others Fear of passing out Fear that you are losing your mind Fears about irrational things, objects, circumstances, or situations Fears of going crazy, of dying, of impending doom, of normal things, unusual feelings and emotions, unusually frightening thoughts or feelings Heightened self awareness, or self-consciousness Need to find nearest washrooms before you can feel comfortable Need to seat near exits Head (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the head) Brain fog Burning, itchy, tight scalp Dizziness Dizzy Dizziness or light-headedness Frequent headaches, migraine headaches Feeling like there is a tight band around your head, pressure, tightness Head, neck or shoulder pain, tightness/stiffness Head zaps, head tremors Giddiness Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Shooting pains, stabbing pains, and odd pressures in the neck, head, or face Shooting pains in the face Shooting pains in the scalp or head When you close your eyes you feel like are beginning to, or will, float upwards Sore jaw that feels like a tooth ache TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint) - clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth Hearing/Ear(s) (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with hearing) Feel like there is something stuck in your ear, that your ear canal it plugged or blocked, that there is a pebble in your ear that you can't get out Low rumbling sounds Reduced hearing, frequent or intermittent reduced hearing or deafness in one or both ears Ringing in the ears, noises in the ears, noises in the head Pulsing in the ears, throbbing sound in the ear(s) Tickle or itch in your ear that you can't seem to get at Mind (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the mind and thinking) Afraid of everything Altered state of reality, consciousness, or universe feeling Brain Fog Deja Vu, a feeling like you've done or experienced something before Depersonalization Derealization Desensitization Difficulty concentrating, short-term memory loss Difficulty thinking, speaking, forming thoughts, following conversations Disorientation Fear of going crazy Fear of losing control Fear of impending doom Feelings of unreality Frequent feeling of being overwhelmed, or that there is just too much to handle or do Having difficulty concentrating Nightmares, bad dreams Obsession about sensations or getting better Repetitive thinking or incessant ‘mind chatter’ Short-term learning impairment, have a hard time learning new information Short-term memory impairment, can't remember what I did a few days, hours, or moments ago Spaced out feelings, feeling spaced out "Stuck" thoughts; thoughts, mental images, concepts, songs, or melodies that "stick" in your mind and replay over and over again. Trapped in your mind feeling Underlying anxiety, apprehension, or fear You often feel you are carrying the world on your shoulders Mood / Emotions (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with mood, emotions, and feelings) Always feeling angry and lack of patience Depersonalization Depression Dramatic mood swings (emotional flipping) Emotionally blunted, flat, or numb Emotional "flipping" (dramatic mood swings) Emotions feel wrong Everything is scary, frightening Feeling down in the dumps Feeling like things are unreal or dreamlike Frequently being on edge or 'grouchy' Feel like crying for no apparent reason Have no feelings about things you used to Not feeling like yourself, detached from loved ones, emotionally numb Underlying anxiety, apprehension, or fear You feel like you are under pressure all the time Mouth/Stomach (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the mouth and stomach) A ‘tinny’, ‘metallic’ or ‘ammonia’, or unusual smell or taste Aerophagia (swallowing too much air, stomach distention, belching) Burning mouth, feeling like the inside of your mouth is burning, or tingling, or like pins and needles, or all of these together or at different times Burning tongue, feeling like your tongue is burning, or tingling, or like pins and needles, or all of these, or all of these together or at different times Choking Constant craving for sugar or sweets Constipation Diarrhea Difficulty swallowing Difficulty talking, pronouncing certain letters or sounds, mouth feels like it isn't moving right, slurred speech Dry mouth Feeling like you can’t swallow properly or that something will get caught in your throat Feeling like your tongue is swollen IBS Lack of appetite or taste Lump in the throat, tight throat, something stuck in your throat Mouth muscles twitching/jumping Mouth or throat clicking or grating sound/noise when you move your mouth or jaw, such as when talking Nausea Nausea vomiting Nausea or abdominal stress Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Stomach upset, gas, belching, bloating Teeth grinding The thought of eating makes you nauseous Tight throat, lump in throat Throat or mouth clicking or grating sound/noise when you move your mouth or jaw, such as when talking TMJ Tongue symptoms - Tingly, “stretched,” numb, frozen, itchy, “crawly,” burning, twitching, “jumpy,” aching, sore, or swollen tongue (when it isn’t). Urgency to urinate, frequent urination, sudden urge to go to the washroom Vomiting Skin (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the skin) Burning skin sensations, skin sensitivity Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Skin problems, infections, rashes Sleep (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with sleep) Difficulty falling or staying asleep Frequent bad, bizarre, or crazy dreams Hearing sounds in your head that jolt you awake Insomnia, or waking up ill in the middle of the night Jolting awake Waking up in a panic attack You feel worse in the mornings Sight (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with sight) Distorted, foggy, or blurred vision Dry, watery or itchy eyes Eye tricks, seeing things our of the corner of your eye that isn’t there, stars, flashes Eyes sensitive to light Spots in the vision Flashing lights when eyes are closed Your depth perception feels wrong Touch (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with touch) Burning skin sensations, skin sensitivity Feeling cold or chilled Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Pain Tingling, pins and needles feelings Other anxiety symptoms are described as: Being like a hypochondriac, muscle twinges, worry all the time, tingles, gagging, tightness in the chest, tongue twitches, shaky, breath lump, heart beat problems, head tingles, itchy tingling in arms and legs, and so many more. In addition to these anxiety symptoms, you may also find yourself worrying compulsively about: • Having a heart attack • Having a serious undetected illness • Dying prematurely • Going insane or losing your mind • Suddenly snapping • Losing it • Uncontrollably harming yourself or someone you love • Losing control of your thoughts and actions • Being embarrassed or making a fool out of yourself • Losing control • Fainting in public • Not breathing properly • Losing control of reality • Choking or suffocating • Being alone These are some of the more common anxiety symptoms. This list isn't exhaustive. Reference and further information here http://www.anxietyce...-symptoms.shtml
  7. 8 points
    I don't really think it's reassurance folks are seeking here. It cannot be, because after doctors have failed to provide reassurance, how on earth could we achieve what the experts in the field couldn't? I believe people who come to post and rant about their health fears, just want to feel and experience that they are not alone in this horrible state of mind, that there are peeps out there willing enough to spend time listening to them, peeps who KNOW exactly what they are going through. How I see it, it's more about brotherhood than it is about informational relief regarding their very symptoms.
  8. 8 points
    I'd blocked this page and all the 'doctor' pages when I found I was 'getting' the diseases members were worried about. Even with zero symptoms. Then I got so much better! While doing our taxes a couple of years ago I counted my doctor visit co pays and found I'd gone to the doctor 82 times in one year and only 2 were my cancer follow ups. Last year I went 2 times to the walk in clinic and 3 times to doctors for either cancer follow ups or when they found out my thyroid was really off whack. This year I went twice for very bad bronchitis (17 days on meds and 6 days in bed), once so far for thyroid with another in December and this Tuesday I see my oncologist for the 2nd time this year. Now for the really good news! I'm 68 this December and my oncologist always runs the full panel of blood tests from CBC, glucose, liver function, kidney function, etc. and I've had my MRI's of the abdomen and pelvis and my CT scan of my lungs. My CEA tumor marker test was lower than it's ever been and lower than the average person who has never had cancer. I am 6 1/2 years post liver resection from the liver met where they took 80% of my Stage IV Colon Cancer and Jan. 2nd it will be 10 years since I was told 'you have colon cancer'. I am clean, clear, CURED! I still take anxiety med but have never, in 10 years, had to increase the dosage and it prevents anxiety attacks. I'll still get anxious while waiting for test results but God has been so very good to me and I give HIM praise for my healing and my excellent health! I just wanted to keep y'all updated because there is HOPE to overcome fear even after cancer AND cancer is no longer a death sentence. Also, when I look back at all the things that scared me that I shared on this forum, I never had ONE of them. It was all just anxiety! From rare skin cancers, to pimples I was sure was MRSA, to cancers elsewhere, etc. HOPE. Faith! Peace to you all! Diane
  9. 8 points
    Hi Strawberry! First of; we are all here for you! You are not alone in this! I think you gave the explanation to what's happening in your post: You are in the middle of an anxiety episode, that in itself is hard enough! Plus you see your parents happy with your new sibling and feel isolated because you are suffering! I promise you, if you wouldn't suffer from anxiety you would not feel like this right now. It's the anxiety trying to get to you with all it's tricks. You won't need to kill yourself in the future, by that time you will be much better and live a life filled with joy and ease! It just takes time, patience and commitment! Anxiety will tell you many times, ah, you can't do this! Let's check out of this. Don't give in. Accept the thoughts as they are but don't act on them. Know inside of you it will be better and there is hope! Please open up to your parents and get a doctors/counseling appointment. Sometimes this stuff is too much for us. I'm older than you but I could not have done it without medical help/counseling! Your parents will be glad to help you, maybe they don't react like you need it right away but they will take care of you! So first step; Accept it as it is right now but rest assured it won't stay this way. A thought is just a thought, a thought does not describe our destiny. Thoughts come and go, what we attach to them is more the problem. The meaning we give them. Anyway, second step talk to your parents and go see a doctor as soon as you can! Third step: Stay on AC and talk to us, you can PM me anytime you feel like it. Huge cyberhug to you! Things WILL be better, believe me, please. If you can't right now I will believe for you
  10. 8 points
    Happy New Year AC!!!???????? It's 2016 in Australia!! With a new year comes new hope. We all do it... 'This year I'll do better', 'This year I'll lose weight...quit smoking...get a raise...get my life together'. A new you doesn't have to come on any particular day. It comes when a decision is made. When you decide enough is enough and "this is the day, I am going to change". I believe whatever you decide you would like to change is possible and the rate of success is determined by how badly you want it. If you really want to change, you will. If you want it so bad that you live and breathe it, dedicate every waking moment to it, you will succeed. We are all on this site for one reason...anxiety disorders. Well, this could be your year! This could be the year you make a break through. This could be the year you put your foot down and say "enough is enough!". People often ask "how did you get over your anxiety disorder?" While the answer is complex it can be basically brought back to...because I decided to. I didn't rely on doctors or a pill to take it away. I didn't wait it out like a flu, to heal itself. I put my foot down and said "enough is enough!". Every negative "I can't do this" thought was counteracted with "yes I can!". Every ache and pain, muscle twitch, dry mouth, stomach pain, shaking and sweating was ignored. Push through, carry on and refuse to let it get it your way. Choose to ignore your own mind. Choose to carry on regardless. Choose to go along with something and live in the moment, in the real world and not inside your anxious, story telling mind. Choose to attempt something that scares you. Choose to accept failure but try again tomorrow and the next day and the next until you find something that works for you. Choose to not give up. Choose to keep trying. One day, you'll find what works for you. One day this will all end but you can't sit and wait for that, you must choose to get amongst the world and just see what happens even if you fall to your knees, cry or shake, you must push through and be more determined to live your life, the way you want to than to let anxiety send you back indoors. Push through. Laugh in its face. But in the end it's your desicion. This could be your year. Don't take any more of anxiety's crap!! Stop being bullied by your own thoughts. You are the master of your vessel, your body, your mind. You are the only one who can change. You are the only one who can decided to change. You have the power! I wish you all the best for 2016! I hope to hear some positive stories this year and I hope more and more people will take their lives back from this silly disorder. Happy 2016, this is your year, if you want it to be!!!
  11. 7 points
    Hi guys, just decided to share this. I've made it for myself and it's helping me. And it has helped me in the past. Just summing up what I need to do. 1. Allow the sensations to come and go. Accept there can be eye discomfort. (Now I'm anticipating the sensations, sitting the whole day in fear). 2. Try not to make the thoughts go away. Your goal is not to eliminate anxiety. Your goal is to have anxiety lingering while you are chatting with friends or working, but let it be there as long as it wishes.3. Lose respect to these thoughts. Know you are an anxious person with the sensitized brain going through a hard time.4. Stop hoping that the sensations won't arise. Accept they will be here. 5. Get comfortable with the sensation of the anxiety which would like to be with you for some time. Embrace it. Know u're going to be anxious for some time. 6. Every "what if" scary thought is a manifestation of anxiety. Let it go. Stick to your plan. Consider it being a fly around your face.7. Stop sitting alone with your anxiety. Go out, talk to people, stop putting off things, waiting to feel good. 8. Stop trying to be happy now. Being ok is ok. 9. When you notice you are anticipating the symptoms, accept they can arise and let them arise, let the panic be there, know it's just an anxious state of mind catastrophizing.10. Stop using search engines and googling, reading about this illness.
  12. 7 points
    Hey guys. My kids are out for summeerrrr!!!!! We have a lot of plans this summer. Mainly because last yr my anxiety kept getting in the way and I missed so much with my kids. Oh I was there but my mind was checked out. I'm excited to be there this yr. I don't want to risk getting triggered by a post that is my fear. I'm writing this because I consider y'all my friends and when someone leaves the forum I always hope they are ok and doing good. I hate seeing posts that go unanswered. I know that feeling of almost desperation when you post and you need an answer. I wish the site had someone that would answer to everyone.. even if to say I understand you are worried etc... And to give some *hugs* Thank y'all for always being there. This is the best community. Hugs everyone!! I hope we all have a great worry free summer and no hurricanes would be good this year too lol. One last thing... I see a lot of y'all struggling on the forum. Anxiety is hard. I have posted before that doing techniques to lower your anxiety really do help. Try them all, what do you have to lose??? Find what works and stick with that baby! Please use this as a sign to no longer stay still... There is a post on the general anxiety board from lone sailor.. it's called the shut off switch. Read her post, it helped me a lot. I hate seeing y'all worry.. please take your life back. Hugs!
  13. 7 points
    I'm advertising a cruise for anxiety sufferers. It's on a good liner and it's anchored at a warm holiday resort. There are a full complement of crew including six psychiatrists and four doctors. There is a pharmacy below decks fully stocked. Plenty of nurses in case of collapse. Every lifeboat has a full medical kit with tranquilisers and antidepressants. The captain is a qualified psychiatrist and the first officer a therapist. Meals are all tested by tasters whose job it is to ensure they do not contain any substances that could cause food poisoning. There are two helicopters ready to rush anyone to A&E (ER) should the need arise. All the toilets have urine testing equipment to test for diabetes. Deck games are not allowed in case anyone over exerts themselves and gets backache, which would bring on kidney trouble. There is a fully stocked library supplied by Dr. Google, an expert on nervous illness, containing all the medical books ever printed. You are encouraged to browse. Medical tests are carried out every day or more frequently if required. Results are given almost immediately to prevent nervous anticipation. You are allowed up to ten tests a day. It's not expensive to get a ticket. There are no sea sickness pills available because it never leaves the dock, just in case. Well, you never know, do you!!
  14. 7 points
    David, you sound like me, and people like us define "health" in very black and white terms, as the absence of all symptoms and issues. But in fact, health is on a spectrum. No-one, apart from perhaps the very young, has "perfect health". We need to redefine the term in order to lessen our anxiety. Can you do everything you want to do? Do you feel pretty good most of the time? Then enjoy this health you hold now. Don't wait for the moment when you are satisfied your body is 100% healthy. That moment will never come, for you will simply move on to the next fear, the next body part, to wonder and obsess over. It's a mug's game. You don't need to be ever-vigilant for symptoms, always on guard. Serious illness will make itself known, you don't need to go hunting for it. Live life now. It can be taken from any one of us at any time. Living with this uncertainty, and being happy despite it, is the key to overcoming anxiety.
  15. 7 points
    Hi all, I said I was going to stay away for a while, but thought I'd report back after my recent neurologist visit. As most of you know, I suffer from HA related to ALS and sometimes MS. Lots of twitching, minor cramps now and again, aches and pains, and sometimes numbness/tingling and strange paresthesias since early June 2017. Lately also some throat tightness and perceived difficulty swallowing (but only perceived, because actually eating and drinking fine). In August 2017, I had a mini neuro exam by my PCP and a brain MRI, and everything was normal and attributed to anxiety. However, upon my request, my PCP referred me to a neurologist for my own reassurance. I've also started treatment with a psychiatrist and therapist, taking an SSRI and doing cognitive behavioral therapy. Really tried to practice acceptance, but still had bouts of strength testing, worrying about symptoms, etc. Anyway, my neurology appt. was originally for the end of October, but last Thursday, she had a cancellation and called me for a same-day appointment. Needless to say, although I was glad, I was incredibly nervous and anxious, and my blood pressure reading (which is normally 120/80) was 158/82!! However, it ended up being a GREAT appointment, and she spent about 45 minutes total with me. She carefully listened to my history and symptoms, asking a few follow-up questions. She then told me that she was going to do a very thorough neuro exam to reassure me, but that she can tell me right off the bat that I don't have ALS or MS. She had me perform the eye, reflex, strength tests, etc. from head to toe, and also reviewed my MRI with me in detail. Everything was completely normal, and she again definitively stated that I do not have either ALS or MS. When I asked about the twitching and related symptoms, she said that it was hard to always pinpoint an exact cause(s); anxiety is a likely culprit, along with withdrawing from the benzo I'd been taking for 3 months, potentially electrolyte imbalance, etc. But in any event, because the cause, whatever it is, is ultimately benign (and not ALS or MS), she was not really interested in it from a neuro perspective, which she assured me was a GOOD THING. I asked about an EMG, and she told me that it is completely unnecessary in my case and does not recommend it at all, because my clinical examination was completely normal. She also laughed and said, I would not know which body part to order it for, perhaps the whole body?? That said, she was very sympathetic and understanding about my anxiety, and encouraged me to continue my therapy and treatment with my psychiatrist. She also wanted me to increase my exercise even more, and recommended continued meditation and some yoga. She said she sees more patients with the same fears as me than you can imagine, so she gets it. I asked her a little bit about benign fasciculation syndrome ("BFS"). Interestingly, although she acknowledged it could be a cause of my symptoms, she did not really think my twitches were true fasciculations, because I can usually feel them (either as bigger thumps or smaller popcorn twitches). Apparently, true fasciculations are seldom felt. I mentioned that the ones on my foot arch can sometimes only be seen, but not felt, but as she noted, with really small muscles that is often the case. To be clear though, even if you have true fasciculations, they are most likely benign and caused by BFS or some benign process; it's just that she thought that most of my twitches weren't actually fasciculations. I think it also depends on how that medical term is used, because on lots of forums, the terms twitches and fasciulations are used interchangeably by laypeople. Bottom line, I am so happy to report that the visit went well. I'm sure my anxiety will still occasionally cause doubts and stir up fears, but this last weekend has been the best and most relaxing time I've had in a LONG time. Here's to continued healing and happiness.
  16. 7 points
    Dear Health Anxiety, I know you're trying to terrify me with thoughts of neuro-degenerative diseases, heart dysfunctions, and ovarian and/or cervical cancer based on my symptoms right now, but listen. I'm not going to consult "Doctor Google" for the foreseeable future. Hear me? No way, no how. Remember when we did this back in 2012 and I ended up believing my symptoms meant I had everything from ALS to a brain tumor to colon cancer? I even went to the hospital unemployed with just $100 to my name and was admitted for seven hours as I waited for results from five vials worth of various blood tests and a CT scan. And what was the diagnosis? Extreme health anxiety. The ER doctor even wrote me a script to get back on Fluoxetine, and they don't normally do that! (By the way, those unpaid medical bills are still on my credit report.) Instead, I will try to be at peace with the notion that despite what you insist, I actually feel mostly physically sound. And because I feel mostly physically sound (i.e., not in immediate danger), I will also try to accept that if anything serious actually is going on–such as DVT or MS or cancer or whathaveyou–it's already happening. And regardless of however terrified you try to make me, no amount of anxiety re: the possibilities will make me feel better OR make any health problems I may actually have go away. The only logical, helpful courses of action are to 1. schedule timely appointments with my various doctors and discuss my symptoms and concerns with them, and, 2. wait patiently for the appointments. Yes, yes, yes. I understand that Googling sometimes helps people find a diagnosis that their doctors miss. Yes, I completely get that you need reassurance, RIGHT NOW, on what the condition is/isn’t that my vague symptoms check off. Yes, I understand that some people do get the worst-case scenario too little too late. The funny thing is? I'm not a highly trained, knowledgeable, and experienced health professional. I didn't go to school to study the human body or its pathologies of diseases and conditions. (I went for Sociology... that degree that I'm not utilizing). AND I KNOW IT! I know I actually have little business seriously trying to reason, "ok, well symptoms 1+4.3+9+??? could probably... no, DEFINITELY = heart failure or cancer or neuro-degeneration." If you ever want to talk about Emile Durkheim's theory of social stratification or theories about Protestantism giving rise to Capitalist socio-economic structures, sure! Knock yourself out! But until then, please. Let's leave anything beyond run of the mill health issues to my doctors for now. However, I will thank you for doing what you thought was right. I know you ultimately mean me no harm, but what you're trying to make me feel right now is definitely NOT helping. Furthermore, the reassurance you think I'll get that will come with obsessively Googling symptoms and pathologies isn't going to help me either. In fact, I have years of experience that says it'll do the exact opposite: it’s ULTIMATELY NOT REASSURING TO SOMEONE WHO HAS A TENDENCY TO RUMINATE ON HEALTH PROBLEMS. (Yes, I also understand that it’s perfectly normal and healthy to be worry and scared. But it’s not normal to be petrified to the point where you can’t enjoy or live your life for weeks). So please. Just sit by and let me do my thing and my doctors their thing. I promise I'll acknowledge you, however, it won't be with charged reactions. It'll be more something like, "Oh hello there. I see you're back. I hear you loud and clear, and I know what you mean, but I'm not going to judge your words and am now going to let what you're saying float on by, now. If you're really adamant that I take you seriously, I've allotted some time later on for worrying. Meet me then!" Capiche? Best Regards, Me
  17. 7 points
    Why is it in anxiety that so many have it over and over and never seem to resolve why. They try all sorts of remedies and take all sorts of actions and get some respite but back it comes. This is not always the case obviously. Some do recover completely and seem to have few setbacks, but so many don't. In fact the vast majority don't. Anxiety, or a neurosis, because that is the technical term for it, is always the result of inner conflict. It has to be. The outer manifestations, GAD, OCD, PTSD are all the result of an unresolved inner conflict. This may not be conscious, in fact it's usually unconscious, but either way it needs resolution for inner peace. Inner peace is the lack of conflict. When you are at peace with yourself, (what a wonderful thought!), then you are at peace with the world. The inner manifestation is reflected in the outer. You care more; are no longer self centred. This is why talking things out through counselling or therapy is so important. There may be hidden reasons for the anxiety that can be easily resolved by seeing them in a different light, from someone who can be objective; who is not caught up in the emotional turmoil. Prescribed drugs suppress the feelings, but perhaps in doing so we lose the lesson that the pain may be teaching us. 'Hey there, there's something wrong in your life, let's put it right'. The surface pain is what it is. A warning that something is wrong; unresolved. Unless this is dealt with we become in danger of 'getting used to' how we feel. Of accepting that we may always be like this and that medication is the only way to obtain relief. If your anxiety keeps recurring ask yourself if there is a deeper underlying problem that you may have overlooked or felt was not important. Anxiety never stands alone. It has to have support from fear and the source of that fear needs to be investigated. I appreciate the difficulties in getting the sort of help I suggest. But if you are ready for it it is often surprising how it appears. Jon.
  18. 7 points
    Someone shared this on facebook and wow, just wow. Everyone will relate to this! *********************************************************************************** Over the course of a decade you can learn a lot about anything. You can become an expert at car repair, kitchen remodeling, hair styling, or in my case you can learn about all things anxiety. Since 1999 I have been battling anxiety non-stop and as a result I’ve learned a thing or two about this topic. Many of my thoughts on this issue are short thoughts or blurbs that I’ve collected over the years and for no particular reason I wanted to jot them down. I can’t possibly recall everything but here is a good chunk of it in no particular order. 1. Anxiety can be in your thoughts 2. Anxiety is in your DNA 3. An anxiety symptom can be anything your body or mind can generate. 3. The fear of death is closely tied to most forms of anxiety. 4. There isn’t always a deep seeded reason for having an anxiety disorder. 5. Anxiety disorders do not make you crazy. 6. People that don’t have anxiety disorders don’t understand people with anxiety disorders. 7. Antidepressants do work for some people. 8. Antidepressants don’t work for some people. 9. Speaking to a therapist is always worth a shot. 10. You should not pester your “safe” person too much because their reassurances will become less believable. 11. Most anxiety is centered around the heart and your deep sense of worry. 12. There is no cure for anxiety because it is an intricate part of what you are. 13. You can learn to manage anxiety. 14. Supplements and vitamins meant to treat anxiety are not all bad. 15. Supplements and vitamins meant to treat anxiety are not all good. 16. Anxiety lies a lot. 17. Anxiety makes you feel alone, afraid, shocked, worried, angry, frustrated, depressed… infinity. 18. Medical science doesn’t know what causes anxiety disorders exactly. Chemical imbalance, environment, and heredity, are a few of the suspected culprits. 19. People are ashamed to have anxiety disorders or any mental ailment for that matter. 20. Anxiety sufferers want to pull themselves together but they can’t. 21. Anxiety disorders make you self centered. 22. Anxiety makes you sensitive to absolutely everything. 23. When panic strikes and is active no one can make you feel better for at least 10 minutes. 24. Having an anxiety disorder makes you want to find information about anxiety. 25. Your vision will play tricks on you. 26. You will become forgetful. 27. Your muscles will twitch for no reason. 28. You will get heartburn, acid reflux, or other stomach problems including diarrhea. 29. You will want to go pee, a lot. 30. You will want to avoid crowds. 31. You will go into crowds feeling good and want to go home. 32. You will cry for no reason. 33. You may shake and tremble. 34. Dizziness will make you want to puke and or fall down. 35. Your heart will beat too fast sometimes and you will think you’re having a heart attack. 36. People will give you bad advice. 37. People will give you excellence advice that you will ignore. 38. Doctors will often brush you off. 39. Your friends and family may eventually brush off your anxiety and ask you to stop it. 40. Your muscles will ache and be sore. 41. You will think that you are the only one that feels like you do. 42. Daydreaming will become a hobby. 43. You will think you’re choking on things when you’re not. 44. You will crave sweets. 45. Random numbness and tingling will happen. 46. You will often think that death is imminent. 47. Headaches will be frequent and make you feel like your wearing a very tight headband. 48. You will visit the ER and be sent home after a quick check up at least three times a year. 49. Sometimes you will swear that you can’t breath even though you can still talk. 50. Disturbing thoughts can happen. 51. Disturbing thoughts will piss you off because you know you won’t do what you’re thinking but can’t stop thinking the bad thoughts. 52. Most forms of travel will seem way too dangerous. 53. You will want to take vacations frequently. 54. Going to work while anxious will suck. 55. You will generally not tell other people that you have an anxiety disorder. 56. Eating out will not be fun. 57. Criticism will hurt, a lot. 58. Acceptance is a good anxiety remedy that no one really talks about. 59. There isn’t enough research into anxiety disorders and new treatments. 60. Many people have an anxiety disorder and don’t know it. 61. Many people will never seek treatment because their embarrassed or afraid of others knowing. 62. You can be happy and have an anxiety disorder. 63. Your self-confidence will take a nose dive sometimes. 64. Being alone will feel good most of the time. 65. You will learn tons of ways to treat anxiety and follow almost none of the tips you learn. 66. You will surf the internet to find information about anxiety symptoms. 67. Reading about other peoples anxiety will be interesting. 68. Paranoia might happen. Paranoia about getting sick or poisoned could happen. 69. You will almost always think that something is or will be wrong with you medically. 70. You will become anxious for no reason sometimes. 71. Panic attacks are short lived but live long in the mind. 72. Adrenaline will become your worst enemy. 73. There are no cool t.v. programs about anxiety disorders. 74. It will be hard to love other people sometimes. 75. Apathy will happen. 76. Depression will happen. 77. Thoughts of suicide might happen and when it does you will go and get help! 78. You will not want to ride roller coasters. 79. Hot and cold flashes don’t mean anything but you might get them. 80. Drinking alcohol will really help you or really bother you. 81. You will have days with no anxiety. 82. You will have several days in a row filled with anxiety. 83. You will think about and worry about things that don’t matter, a lot. 84. You will suffer from primitive fear from time to time. 85. You can do a lot to help yourself. 86. You will need the help of others to help yourself. 87. Feelings of unreality or the perception that everything is fake might happen. 88. Most books about anxiety disorders suck. 89. Having an anxiety disorder can strain relationships. 90. You will often wish that you could just be the old you. 91. You will sometimes wonder why this is happening to you. 92. Shyness will happen. 93. Illegal drugs are bad for anxiety in the long run. 94. People who don’t suffer from anxiety don’t talk about anxiety. 95. People that have anxiety talk about it too much. 96. It doesn’t matter why you have anxiety the important thing is learning to manage it so you can live well. 97. Abraham Lincoln suffered from anxiety and depression. 98. You will forget to work on your anxiety. 99. Talking to other people with anxiety problems can be helpful. 100. You should never give up hope. I seriously didn’t originally intend to jot down 100 things, but I did and I hope that aside from it’s low level entertainment value it proves a point. The point being that anxiety is complex, varied, and terribly powerful. There are more things floating in my head about anxiety but then again that’s what this blog is for. In the end don’t beat yourself up for feeling or thinking negative things related to anxiety. As you can see it’s just part of living an anxious life. Source - http://www.wellsphere.com/anxiety-article/the-top-100-things-you-should-know-about-anxiety-disorders/679951 This post has been promoted to an article
  19. 6 points
    Every time I see the amount of posts on the Health Anxiety forum vs. ALL the other forums combined, I can see that health anxiety is at epidemic proportions. There are 45k posts on this forum. The next closest runner up is GAD forum with a mere 8k TOTAL. This is a forum for helping us all get through the rough days. Coming here to talk about a symptom and seeking constant reassurance does not help anyone. What it does is lead to a dependency of sorts. If 3 or 5 or 11 people say that I'm ok, maybe I'm ok until the next sensation comes. We are not doctors. When in doubt, go to a doctor to know why that headache , that rash, that tingling in the throat , ear, chest or eye is happening. We cannot tell you. I would recommend re reading every single morning the ' 100 symptoms of anxiety' post at the top of the forum. It's posted several places so it can be easily found. When someone tells me daily the same symptom and what if it's XYZ disease ( that they've been cleared for by doctors numerous times) , my response is ' what are you doing ABOUT it? ' If the only thing you are doing is rehashing google ' facts' and in a constant mode of needing daily or hourly reassurances that you don't have XYZ disease, then you, my friend, are not getting better and in fact may be getting worse. This is not a HEALTH forum. This is a MENTAL HEALTH forum. The very reason you're posting on this particular site is because you must KNOW your problems are mental and not physical. So that being said, what are you doing about it? Are you seeking HELP for your thinking problem ? Or are you merely seeking assurance that you don't have a physical problem? You cannot make positive steps to improve your mental health while constantly focusing on the physical body. And if you want to debate me and say ' if I only had this mri or that blood test or this one thing would go away or one doctor would tell me I don't have xyz disease', I have news for you. That will never happen. I have seen time and time again the long awaited Test results come back fine and the very next DAY the person then moves on to a new disease with a different body part and starts to focus on that one instead OR they don't believe the test is accurate or the doctor is knowledgeable. It's a loop. It's a never ending loop. You cannot have enough clear tests to relieve your mind. Another thing is the fear of afterlife may be where the problem is. If you fear a big , gloomy, scary afterlife then figure out WHY you fear that. What in your belief system makes you think that after life , we have a worse fate awaiting? Coming to terms with the circle of life and all it entails may bring you more peace than that MRI, colonoscopy, ekg, etc.
  20. 6 points
    Still alive, one thyroid lighter. Didn't tolerate the anesthesia as well as I usually do and there were some minor problems, but nothing went too horribly and I'm already home. Painkillers not really working, but hopefully in a few days that won't be an issue.
  21. 6 points
    I've been on the als boards and not one personal story says it started with twitching. And three years to see if it's als or bfs? Bull! You will know.its als Bec a muscle stops working.. what in the world!!!!!!!!! Y'all have got to stop this. Als is about failing PERIOD!!!!! Do whatever y'all need to do to move on...please. but yall are just getting one another false information and fueling y'all's anxious minds.
  22. 6 points
    I am currently going through a Bible study every week with my wife. This was in today's reading and I thought I would share it. It really addresses anxiety overall for me and I am sure it will resonate with many of you as well. I hope you are all having an anxiety free and blessed Christmas month. God bless. “How long, Lord?” – Psalm 13 Questions for God prove trust and build faith. Many psalms address questions or “laments” over troubles and enemy attacks. To take our problems and despair to God is to express trust in His wisdom and to seek His comfort, steadfast love and devotion to His people and promises. Often, God uses times of waiting to teach His children that His presence is more precious than any answer or desired outcome. Have you ever thought, “I have prayed and prayed, but I feel like God does not hear”? In this psalm, David seemed to face this dilemma. “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” Still, he knew God was close, and he continued to call to Him. “Look on me and answer, Lord my God.” David believed that his enemy – whether a literal person or an enemy such as temptation or discouragement – was nothing compared to His mighty God. Like David, we can trust God, even when we do not feel confident in our circumstances. He is infinite and unchanging. “I trust,” David says, “in your unfailing love.”
  23. 6 points
    I listen to the Anxiety Guy on YouTube often (I recommend subscribing to his podcast) and one point he makes is you have this habit you have been practicing for quite a while now, you can’t just expect it to go away or stop. You must replace the bad habit with a good habit. Replace your what if’s with another statement like “ride the wave” meaning don’t give your thoughts attention but ride the wave of feelings and they will lessen. Instead of googling, go for a walk or do a meditation. Whenever you are having thoughts of a disease, tell yourself NO, it’s just anxiety. Find healthy habits/thoughts to replace the bad habits/thoughts. It takes practice and won’t fix everything overnight, but it helps me during times of high anxiety. You aren’t your thoughts but you can work to change your thought patterns so you don’t head down the rabbit hole so often.
  24. 6 points
    @Dominick Just want to follow up on how silly anxiety is to assure you. I struggled with twitching throwing me into sheer panic for months. Finally it normalized and I stopped caring. Then, I’m pretty sure I have an ulcer. My stomach hurts every day a bit. I’m taking pills that have helped a lot and trying to let it heal. I started fearing that my stomach was a major problem and not something simple. This morning it was hurting more than it has in days. I was focusing on it a lot and it got worse. Then as I sat and watched the parade on tv, my arm began to twitch. It was in my forarm and made my hand move each time. For a moment, the ALS thing popped into my mind again. A little later I realized my stomach was fine again. Stress, anxiety, and focusing on the symptoms make them WAY WORSE. Ignoring them often makes them disappear. Try your best to ignore it because it truly is all faked by your brain. Avoid google as all it does is give your anxiety more ammo to use against you. 😊
  25. 6 points
    I've heard of people my age, and younger, experiencing fatal events of various types. Doesn't mean it's going to happen. But you know what? It is what it is. So what if it happens. I'm living in the now; the past and the future do not matter. I can't live in the moment if I'm dwelling on the past or the future. Things I've learned through therapy. And I assure you, that sort of mindset, practicing it, is extremely helpful. If you're not familiar with the idea, I recommend reading some material on Zen Buddhism.
  26. 6 points
    Hi. I wanted to do a big update so that in the future if someone searches my posts they can see the outcome which is always helpful for us with anxiety. I always worry when people don't update us. first thing was my friend that had colon cancer 5 years ago, they found a mass on her breast during a routine yearly. She went to the cancer center and it's benign!!!! They are keeping a very watchful eye on it, she goes in every three months. She also got her routine colon screening and she's still good. All good news!! Second thing was my lower neck and collar bone area hurt when I would drink or swallow my food. I had a bad crick in my neck for a good two weeks and it is finally gone along with that pain. I was in a pure frenzy last week, trying to call an ENT, every time I called the line was busy after the 5th try I took it as a sign to calm down.. sure enough it is gone. The last thing was my ultrasound since I was having two odd menstruals with a lot of pain, starting early, heavy with blood clots. Called today a few hours after the ultrasound and all is good and normal!! I was extremely stressed this month. I was stressed with other factors in my life. Things are changing, Baby is going to kinder and I'm starting a new job.. and my friends death date is all fast approaching. It is a lot and I do this every August, this has been the worst August yet lol. Looks like when I get stressed I scan my body for things and start on an anxiety spiral. I wanted to share that three scary things to me all turned out to be nothing concerning. Hugs y'all!! ??
  27. 6 points
    WOW!! That needed saying. There is a strong tendency today to scaremonger. When I was a kid 90% of the diseases we know about today. no one had heard of. Of course they existed, but there was never the panic rushes to the doctors as there is now. We are over informed. It's not about what matters to others; just matters that the author gets that dollar in their pocket And that doesn't just apply to authors but to Google and the like. The medical profession also need take note. Anxious people kept waiting days, sometimes weeks for test results. THEY are not anxious so why should you be? It's the old story. Unless you have been there you will never know. When I sit in a doctor's waiting room I see all over the walls notices about the 'have you got this'? and 'what to do if you have that'. The TV news items are full of gloom and doom and always contains items about some new treatment for some new diseases. The problem is that we are vulnerable to suggestion. That's one of the chief symptoms of HA. But no allowance whatsoever is made for that fact by the majority of medics. I watched part of a programme last night where some guy burst into tears during an examination. The doctor asked, 'What are you scared of'? THAT is typical of the sort of stupid question you get from such people. The answer to that is 'everything', but how could they know. 'Free Floating Anxiety' will settle on anything and to try and pinpoint it is futile. Of course, it is all about making money out of suffering. The proliferation of so called 'self help' books is all about that. They never realise that any persons nervous problems are unique to that person and generalisation is not possible in therapy, either in books or on a one to one basis. You will be lucky to get a reply to your email. When challenged most of the scaremongers ignore it. They have no answer so best keep quiet!
  28. 6 points
    UPDATE!!! MY AWESOME DOCTOR JUST CALLED ME TO GIVE ME THE GOOD NEWS MY CT SCAN IS CLEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO TUMORS NOTHING!!!!!!!!!! Just the hemangioma I have in liver, which I knew from U/S. They still can't see the right ovary, so they think it's atrophy, which I was told that before. Other than that I am good!!!! Thank you all for your support, I don't know what I would have done without your support all these days!!! You guys are awesome!!!!!!!! HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!!!!!! Love you all!!!!
  29. 6 points
    Hi Larizza, As others have said, ALS anxiety can be particularly bad to overcome; lots of us here have struggled with it. That said, you do not describe the symptoms of ALS. As an initial matter, shaking and tremors are not symptoms of ALS. They can be caused by lots of other things, including anxiety and benzo withdrawal. If you are not familiar with the panoply of neurological symptoms that can accompany benzo withdrawal, look up the Ashton Manual, published by leading benzo withdrawal physician Dr. Heather Ashton. I myself experienced these symptoms after tapering of a low dose of Lorazepam/Ativan, having taken it for only 2.5 months. Benzo withdrawal can also take a long time (weeks to months). However, if it persists or gets significantly worse, go to your PCP for a checkup. Tremors can also be caused by a lot of other benign conditions, such as essential tremor, etc. But rest assured, it is NOT a symptom of ALS. Likewise, polyneuropathy is NOT a symptom of ALS. ALS is not a disease of the sensory nerves, so symptoms like burning, tingling, numbness, pins/needles, aches/pains, etc. point away from ALS. The hallmark characteristics of ALS are non-painful, non-sensory progressive clinical weakness. Now, for tongue twitching. Twitching of any muscle, including the tongue, is not diagnostic of anything. Twitching can result from exercise, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, electrolyte imbalances, BENZO WITHDRAWAL, and ANXIETY, among many other causes. I had lots of twitching for weeks/months with my anxiety and benzo withdrawal. Some people also suffer from benign fasciculation syndrome, where various muscles, including the tongue, twitch without any pathological cause. Here are a couple of important points to remember: 1. When ALS experts diagnose ALS, they do not look for twitching. They look for clinical weakness. That is because twitching almost always is preceded by clinical weakness. Why? Because the muscle only starts twitching in ALS when the motor nerves that activate that muscle start dying, so by the point that you have twitching in ALS, you already have significant weakness with those muscles. (And to be clear, by clinical weakness, I mean an inability/failure to do something; not a weak feeling or sensation. ALS patients will tell you that the muscle feels fine; it just doesn't work. By contrast, anxiety sufferers often feel weak, but if push comes to shove, they can move the muscle). Note, most ALS patients don't even feel or notice their fasciculations; they usually go to the dr for weakness, and the dr then notices the fasciculations. 2. When it comes to the tongue, clinical weakness manifests in two main ways: (a) slurred speech and (b) sometimes difficulty swallowing. For most ALS patients, slurred speech starts well before any swallowing difficulties though. The muscles in your tongue become clinically weak, so you start slurring your speech. To be clear, the type of slurring I refer to here is NOT the occasional lisp, fumbled word, or statter: it is continuous, very obvious to others, and others may ask you if you are drunk. If you can speak fine with others understanding you, you do not have ALS. In sum, before you would have twitching in the tongue caused by ALS, you almost certainly would have dramatic speech deficits. 3. This may sound simplistic, but everyone's tongue twitches when you stick it out. That is why neurologists look at your tongue at rest in your mouth. And even at rest, there will be little twitches, because it is extremely difficult to hold your tongue entirely still. My advice: STOP LOOKING AT YOUR TONGUE. I used to do this, and it would drive me crazy. If your speech is fine, you don't need to worry about perceived tongue twitches. My last little bit of advice: Stop Googling. What I have described above is the general concensus among ALS experts out there. On the Internet, you can always find some story about someone who allegedly had ALS symptoms present in a different way. The fact is, we do not know if the person's account is factually true or complete. Moreover, even assuming that the person reported her story 100% accurately, and she is a complete outlier, you are now positing that you have an extremely rare onset of an already extremely rare disease. Extremely unlikely. So, stick with the medical facts. If you are really concerned, go see your dr and have them perform a general neurological clinical exam. The clinical exam is the gold standard for ALS, and an EMG is only used if something abnormal shows up on the clinical. If you have a clean clinical exam, you can rest assured. Bottom line: I don't think you have ALS; I think you have ALS-related anxiety. Work on getting help with your benzo withdrawal and polyneuropathy, but don't waste your life worrying about ALS.
  30. 6 points
    The anxiety (& panic) paradox is that when you can accept the anxiety, the feelings and all the consequences of the anxiety, you feel a heck of a lot better. Acceptance is the answer and to find acceptance you need to let go. You have to let go of all control. You have to stop fighting the way you feel. You have to trust that everything is going to work out fine. You have to stop struggling. It takes a lot to get to this point...a heck of a lot. So settle in for a long read? First, we need to accept who we are today. Forget who you once were. You might once have been a CEO or a soldier, you may once have been able to get through the day without the slightest care in the world. You might once have driven from one end of your country to the other, but these days shudder at the thought of driving around the block. You might once have been a skydiver & now can't stand flying. You might have once lived a simple, beautiful life where you went to work, came home, spent time with your family rinse and repeat, but now get anxiety attacks sitting in your lounge chair or while mowing the lawn. The person you were is gone. But you're still fighting to be that person. Let's take the person with a driving phobia as an example. They never used to have a problem, they drove everywhere without a second thought. For whatever reason, at some point in this persons life they have developed an anxiety disorder. They've started to get overly anxious about things that never used to bother them or they're having panic attacks seemingly at random. We all know where this person is headed. Life begins to suck. They are having attacks all of the time & they are anxious all of the time. They have a panic attack while driving the car. There's many reasons why this is terrifying & of course you would be able to see that. Because of previous attacks while driving, the person is always on edge when driving from now on. This is where the old you ends but you don't realise it. This is where the fighting and struggling starts. The old you could drive anywhere and handle anything. The old you was not afraid of driving. Now the new you or the present day you is sitting in the car thinking things like "I shouldn't feel this way" or "this is stupid. I was fine before" and "pull yourself together, keep control". You are fighting to be the old you, you are fighting your body and mind not to be afraid. You are fighting trying to keep "it" together and to feel differently than you actually do. I emphasise the word "it" because what is "it" you are trying to keep together? Anyway, the new, anxious you is fighting the old, capable driver you once were. This is where you have to let go of that old you. Sure the old you wasn't afraid of driving but the new you is! Accept this. Let go of who you once were. Accept this new you who has a fear of driving. No matter how silly or stupid you feel, let go. Sure it's strange, sure it may be silly to be afraid of driving, sure! But the fact and the truth of the matter is you are! You are afraid. After having a panic attack in any situation let alone driving why wouldn't you be a bit anxious? I think that's a normal reaction. So the old you is gone and you accept the new you is afraid of driving. This is your new baseline. Do you know what happens to a healthy, mentally stable human when they are afraid of something?...They feel fear! They feel anxiety! Fight or flight kicks in, their heart races, they sweat, their breathing accelerates and they may even shake! That is exaclty what the human body is designed to do when a person feels afraid! So once again, accept this. If you put yourself in a situation that makes you nervous then you are going to feel anxious. You will feel fear. This is a normal reaction! It doesn't matter if you are facing spiders, snakes, rough seas, a car or a shopping centre. The new you has new fears. The new you fears driving. So when this human being puts themself into a car they are going to feel anxiety and fight or flight. Why add more fear worrying at this point about the way you feel? You are a human being facing a fear so naturally you feel anxious. Why be alarmed at this normal reaction? It is what is meant to happen. Don't add second fear! Get in the car, start driving and accept the anxiety will be there with you. Accept that this is a normal reaction for a human in the face of fear. If someone was about to parachute from a plane and they said "I'm a bit anxious" would you berate them? Of course not! You'd say "well that's normal mate, you're about to jump from a plane". On the other hand, if it were you about to jump from the plane and you felt anxious and fearful, would you be surprised? I'd feel afraid! But I'd also recognise that's a normal way to feel. Just because driving your car isn't the same as skydiving doesn't mean you have no right to feel fear. You feel what you feel and that's that. Your fears are yours alone. They aren't for anyone else to judge and you shouldn't judge yourself either. It is what it is. This is the new you. Accept your fear and everything that comes along with it. Do not fight to feel different. Do not be alarmed that the fear has arisen. Don't even worry about why. It is what it is. Your thing may not be driving. If you want to reread this post, just replace the words car and driving with whatever your new fears are. The principals are the same. The old you is fighting with the new you. The new you feels like they are about to skydive but you might just be thinking about going out to dinner. The fear seems disproportionate to the situation! But it doesn't matter! Accept the new you has new fears, even if they seem silly. Now when you set off in your car or whatever it is you're facing, you may think "ok I accept this anxiety but what if I get down the road and lose control?". Well this is up to you. "What if" thoughts aren't real, they haven't happened yet and probably won't happen. You need to remind yourself of that. You also need to ask yourself "how many times have I driven to xyz (wherever you're going) and how many times have I made it home again safe and sound?". Well if you're reading this I'd guess you have an almost 100% success rate. You have always made it home. This is fact. This is truth. "What if" thoughts aren't fact or truth. A true scientist listens to facts, not myths. Be a scientist. Let go! Let the fear and anxiety wash over you. If your heart races, let it race! If you're body shakes, let it shake! Feel it, really feel it. That sickness in your stomach, your dry mouth. Let it all be there. Don't fight it. Don't try to force it away. Explore it. See what it can really do. Observe it. For years the anxiety has been threatening to hurt you, now is the time to see if it was lying. (Believe me, it's a liar). Let go of control, let things be what they are, what they will be or could be. If anxiety wants to destroy you, let it. Sit back and observe it. Let it do it's worst. Make no resistance. You've been fighting this thing for so long! Struggling. Aren't you tired? If you stop fighting what's the worst thing that could happen? The anxiety might still be there maybe? In that case you haven't lost anything, you won't be any worse than you are now. Fighting anxiety won't make you the person you once were. Fighting anxiety won't stop you from passing out, getting hurt or even dying. You can fight for control all you like. If your time is up it's up. If you're going to pass out, you will. Fighting won't stop that. So you can spend your life fighting for control even though you are not in fact controlling a thing. Or you can let go, enjoy life, deal with the things that need doing when they arise & then get on with it. That's what the rest of the world is doing. It's just us with anxiety that must believe we have some divine power of over-concentration and fighting that keeps the world turning. You can let go. The world will still turn. It's just that you might actually enjoy the ride if you let go!!
  31. 6 points
    Hi y'all. I decided to sign off here for awhile. I'm announcing it so I will stay accountable. I know we all need to face our fear and not run from things like the news or this forum however. I come here a lot and I read about things I worry about.. sometimes I notice after reading a forum I start worrying about things I never even thought of. This forum has helped me through some rough rough times!!!! I am forever thankful to everyone here. I want everyone here to get better! We will, I know we will. Love y'all.
  32. 6 points
    Hi all. I went to my second therapy session today. Wow love my therapist. I wish I could take her home with me lol.. how nice would that be. But anyway she had me fill out a few questions/tests today.. one was rating where I'm at with anxiety and an entire page was anxiety symptoms.. ex: do you have chest pains, chest tightness, lump in throat, jelly legs, muscle fatigue/weakness, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, dizziness, light headed I wish that I had seen that sheet back in Feb when I had jelly legs, weak and fatigue muscles.. Bec I thought ALS not anxiety!!!!! Wow y'all.. I know we see it here there is a list on the forum but actually seeing it today as part of a test by a Dr it made me realize anxiety symptoms are really real!!! I hope this post brings some comfort to people that have some of these symptoms and have a hard time seeing it for what they really are.... anxiety ❤️♥️❤️♥️❤️♥️❤️♥️❤️♥️❤️♥️❤️♥️
  33. 6 points
    I ran across this on Pinterest and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It sums up HA so well We drink the poison Our minds pour For us And wonder Why we feel sick -Atticus. So so so true. Can't believe everything our minds tell us.
  34. 6 points
    Hi, all! I hope you're all doing well this evening. All has been well for me. Work is great (hopefully a promotion coming soon), home life is great (aside from bored, but family life itself is great), friends and family are great. My mum is still doing well. I am not particularly anxious, nor have I had any real episodes in a long while now. Lately, however, I have had very vague and fragmented thoughts that perhaps my life will come to an end soon. I'm pleased that it is nothing like the feelings I used to get. I used to think I was constantly on the verge of death. This is so much more tolerable. LoL. I'm posting this to expose others to my own thought processes, rather than asking for help. I'm fine. But my point is as follows... The difference is in how I react. In this case, I simply do not. It does not worry me, and I do not feel anxious because of the vague/periodic thoughts. Instead, I allow them to exist, but I do not allow them to take control. Part of my problem in the past was not accepting these irrational thoughts, and instead trying so hard to get rid of them that I would essentially think myself deeper into the hole. Acceptance, I've learned, is a critical life skill. It's not specific to anxiety either; it applies to almost anything. For example, a Facebook friend recently posted a status saying she doesn't understand how atheists cope with the loss of a loved one. She doesn't understand how someone can be okay with it when they have no belief in god or an afterlife. I told her I don't know which suits me better: atheist or agnostic. But regardless, the key is acceptance. My dad passed almost three years ago. It still sucks. I miss him more than anything. But it's reality, and I accept it. I focus on the great memories, and I let it be. That's part of acceptance, and the same applies to anxiety. If you're having intrusive thoughts, do not actively try to ignore them. Allow them to come through. But instead of allowing them to create anxiousness and nervousness, let them float freely through. Eventually they will make their way out of the conscious mind, and all will be well again. Acceptance certainly isn't easy, I know. It took me so long to really get it. I had been told, and I had read and heard, for so long about acceptance. I gave it a try, more than once, and I reverted to allowing anxiety to take control. After several tries, though, I got it down quite well. I can't say I don't have anxious-like thoughts; I do. But I accept them, and they do not create anxiety - they are just thoughts that my anxious mind creates, and nothing more. They are who I am, so I embrace it and move on with my life.
  35. 6 points
    As I move further from health anxiety, and anxiety in general, the more progress I notice, and the less symptoms I experience (or at least notice less of). Heart health worries would be the one health-related anxiety that stuck around once I was over all of my previous fears. I still feared for my heart health. Despite having to work on cholesterol (very important) I have less overall anxiety about it. My resting heart rate has been steady, around 61 BPM on any given day. I have not been experiencing palpitations like I used to. I'm enjoying being more active with the kids. And I'm enjoying my life more as a whole. Things are a bit stressful - we have to move some time in the next couple of months. Even so, I am quite calm and clear headed. My thought process has improved, I think more clearly, I react more calmly to stressful situations, rather than thinking the worst. Perhaps it's the fact that I'm facing a real stressor versus my mind making things up - it's normal for anxiety to take a back seat when you're in such situations. But regardless, I'm glad to report that things are going quite well. We have a few places lined up for moving, we're packing a little at a time, and we have a good plan in place for the long term (to buy a house in a year, or two at the most). I just thought I'd share, as it makes me quite happy to recognize these things. I hope you all are having a great night. Take care, and don't be too hard on yourself. Stay positive and things will always be alright in the end.
  36. 6 points
    Kylie21, Mrsrpmddo, I loved reading you two supporting each other just now. It's beautiful. You've both come on here sharing your individual battles with anxiety, and yet you both say the right things to help each other. I honestly believe that one of the best ways for us to deal with our anxiety is to help other people deal with theirs, for two reasons. 1) Helping others comes with a sense of well-being that can overpower our darkest thoughts. 2) It helps us to see our anxiety from the perspective of an observer. We get a different view of our problems which enables us to give constructive advice. Then all you need to do is realise that same advice can be applied to your own problems! Keep it up
  37. 6 points
    Good morning everyone! I know this is a few days before the fact, but I wanted to get this out there. I know both myself personally have gone through some frustrations with my own pace of recovery. I know others have posted similar things on the forum. I've talked with many of you in chat who have felt the same way. Christmas isn't always the easiest times for anyone, let alone those of us suffering with anxiety and/or depression. There's money to spend, crowds to fight, family gatherings, work gatherings... there's always so much! Throw in the fact that it's dark so early and cold, it's a lot to take on. So I'd like to encourage everyone to do their best to enjoy Christmas. The biggest thing with anxiety is learning acceptance and patience in order to overcome it. You sometimes have to step back and see things through a different lens at times to truly appreciate the journey and the progress we've all made. Similarly with the holiday season, try your best not to view it as this upcoming stressful cloud, but see it for what it is. For those of you who are religious, it's the chance to celebrate the fact that God loves us so much that he'd send his own Son to come and die on the cross for sinners like us because He loves us that much and knows that we're worth the unconditional love He has provided us. It's about a young child waking up Christmas morning, full of wonder and awe at the miracle that unfolded while they slept. Santa came!! Life is a journey. We can look at it as a series of twists and turns and bumps in the road and see this mountain in front of us and wonder how we'll ever be able to climb it. Or, we can see the sun rising in the east. We can see the beauty and peace of freshly fallen snow. We can find that while there are things that make us nervous or anxious, there are also things all around us that truly are blessings! Every day we are surrounded by so many wonderful things, even if we can't always see them. So my Christmas wish for each of you is that you feel some of the peace and love that this season, no matter if you're a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Athiest, anyone... is truly all about. I'm very grateful to everyone on here. Thanks to Gilly for putting the site together. Thanks to Jon and Mark and Julia and the rest of the mod team that helps keep things moving. Thanks to my Canadian friends, my chat friends, to everyone who's helped make this site what it is. We are all in this together and it's because of everyone that we can and will get there. Whether you're new here and struggling at times to understand what's going on or those who have been through this a time or two and are offering advice, there's always something to be gained by being here and interacting with people who truly all want to get better. Thank you all and God Bless you all! Merry Christmas to everyone and peace be with you!
  38. 6 points
    Hi pip and welcome to AC. Yes, I would be happy to share with you. The first thing to realise is that with GAD (General Anxiety Disorder, which is often accompanied by Health Anxiety) the person suffering is very vulnerable to suggestion. The slightest twinge, ache or pain is blown up out of all proportion so that it often becomes a living nightmare. Let us look at what happens in a typical case of health anxiety. The nervously ill person wakes in the morning feeling down, then palpitations start. This is a common but harmless symptom of anxiety. He/She rushes off to the doctors or the A&E department to be told it is not a heart attack but anxiety. Now the disbelief sets in. "This must be more than that, I don't believe it, they must be mistaken". Then, because of the build up in tension, a headache starts. A brain tumour is indicated so off we go again to the docs. Nothing, just a headache. This is where the disbelief becomes bad and we consult Dr. Google. All the symptoms are entered and up comes the diagnosis. The headache is probably Urasian swine fever. The palpitations are certainly Mongolian wong wong disease and so on. The Google site, and many others, are a real menace to the sufferer who is fool enough to go to them. They cause endless unnecessary stress and further the onset of real anxiety. You ask if the websites can make peoples symptoms worse and that answer is an emphatic yes. We caution people on this site about going to them, but it seems as if some are drawn like a magnet. And of course they are. They are already bewildered by what is happening to them, and they clutch at straws. The various alternative symptoms given by Dr. Google make matters far worse. To a normal person this all sounds strange. "Why don't they just take what their doctor says as true and get on with their life?" Anxiety does not work that way. They would like nothing better than to 'get on with their life' but the little demon on their shoulder tells them otherwise. It is difficult to describe the feeling of apprehension and fear that accompanies health anxiety and unless you have been there it is impossible to relate. One thing is certain, Dr. Google is no help whatsoever and to say that 'well, they don't have to go there' misses the point entirely. Googling can become an addiction. Constantly seeking reassurance and finding none allows the sufferer to sink further into anxiety. We can only suggest that HA sufferers keep away from such sites, but I often feel we are losing the battle. Too much information is available; in fact there is a good case for saying that the information on illness in general is swamping out common sense. Could the reason the doctors surgery are so full be because people Google and get so frightened they have to seek medical advice? A&E departments are full of folk who have looked up advice on the web and are convinced they have some awful disease. Would Google contribute to the NHS budget to compensate for the problems caused? Anyway, that's it as far as I can see. Others may have different opinions but I would say that if those sites could be banned, and I know they can't, then I would recommend it now. Best wishes. Jon.
  39. 6 points
    Anxiety Symptoms, Anxiety Attack Symptoms (Panic Attack Symptoms), Symptoms of Anxiety There are over 100 symptoms of anxiety. Because each person has a unique chemical make up, the type, number, intensity, and frequency of anxiety symptoms will vary from person to person. For example, one person may have just one mild anxiety symptom, whereas another may have all anxiety symptoms and to great severity. All combinations are common. What are anxiety symptoms? Common anxiety symptoms include: Body (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the body in general): Allergy problems, increase in allergies (number, sensitivity, reactions, lengthier reactions) Back pain, stiffness, tension, pressure, soreness, spasms, immobility in the back or back muscles Blanching (looking pale, loss of color in the face or skin) Blushing, turning red, flushed face, flushed skin, blushing, red face or skin Body aches, parts of or your entire body feels sore and achy, feels like your body and muscles are bruised Body jolts, body zaps, electric jolt feeling in body, intense body tremor or “body shake” Body temperature increase or decrease, change in body temperature Burning skin, itchy, “crawly,” prickly or other skin sensations, skin sensitivity, numbness on the skin Burning skin sensation on the face, neck, ears, scalp, or shoulders Buzzing sensation in the feet, toes, hands, fingers, arms, legs Chest pain, chest tightness Choking Chronic Fatigue, exhaustion, super tired, worn out Clumsiness, feeling clumsy, co-ordination problems with the limbs or body Cold chills, feeling cold Craving sugar, sweets, chocolate, usual craving for sugar and sweets Difficulty speaking, moving mouth, talking, co-ordination problems with the mouth or tongue Dizziness, feeling lightheaded Dizzy, feeling dizzy Electric shock feeling, body zaps Excess of energy, you feel you can’t relax Falling sensation, feel like your are falling or dropping even though you aren't Feel like you are going to pass out or faint Feeling cold or chilled Feel wrong, different, foreign, odd, or strange Flu-like symptoms, general malaise, feel ill, like you are coming down with a flu Flushed face, red face, flushed skin Frequent urination Head Zaps Heart palpitations, racing heart Hyperactivity, excess energy, nervous energy Increased or decreased sex drive Infection - increased infections, persistent infection Mouth or throat clicking or grating sound/noise when you move your mouth or jaw, such as when talking Muscles that vibrate, jitter, tremor, or shake when used Muscle twitching Nausea Nausea vomiting Neck, back, shoulder pain, tightness/stiffness Night sweats, waking up in a sweat, profusely sweating at night No energy, feeling lethargic, tired Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Numbness and tingling, and other skin sensations on hands, feet, face, head, or any other places on the body Persistent muscle tension, stiffness Pounding heart, heart feels like it is beating too hard Pulsing or throbbing muscles. Pulsing or throbbing sensation. Rib or rib cage tightness, pressure, or feeling like a tight band around the rib cage Sexual Dysfunction, sexual uninterest Shooting pains, stabbing pains, and odd pressures in the neck, head, or face Shooting pains in the face Shooting pains in the scalp or head Skipped heart beats Sore or tight scalp or back of the neck Startle easily Sweating, uncontrollable profuse sweating The floor feels like it is moving either down or up for no reason Tightness in the ribs or rib cage area, may also feel like a tight band around the ribs or rib cage area. Tingling sensations, anywhere on the body, including the hands, feet, legs, arms, head, mouth, chest, groin area Throat or mouth clicking or grating sound/noise when you move your mouth or jaw, such as when talking TMJ Trembling, shaking, tremors Twitching Unsteadiness, dizziness, feeling dizzy or lightheaded Urgency to urinate, frequent urination, sudden urge to go to the washroom (similar to urinary tract or prostate infection symptoms) Warm spells Weak - feel weak, weakness, low energy, light, soft, like you may faint Weak legs, arms, or muscles Weight loss, weight gain Chest (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the chest area) Chest tremors, trembling in the chest, chest feels like it is vibrating Chest pain or discomfort Concern about the heart Feel like you have to force yourself to breath Find it hard to breath, feeling smothered, shortness of breath Frequent yawning to try and catch your breath Heart Palpitations – beating hard or too fast, rapid heartbeat Heart - Irregular heart rhythms, flutters or ‘skipped’ beats, tickle in the chest that makes you cough Pounding heart, heart feels like it is beating too hard Rib or rib cage tightness, pressure, or feeling like a tight band around the rib cage Emotions (see mood) (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with emotions, mood, and feelings) Fears (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with fear) A heightened fear of what people think of you Afraid of being trapped in a place with no exits Constant feeling of being overwhelmed. Fear of being in public Fear of dying Fear of losing control Fear of impending doom Fear of making mistakes or making a fool of yourself to others Fear of passing out Fear that you are losing your mind Fears about irrational things, objects, circumstances, or situations Fears of going crazy, of dying, of impending doom, of normal things, unusual feelings and emotions, unusually frightening thoughts or feelings Heightened self awareness, or self-consciousness Need to find nearest washrooms before you can feel comfortable Need to seat near exits Head (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the head) Brain fog Burning, itchy, tight scalp Dizziness Dizzy Dizziness or light-headedness Frequent headaches, migraine headaches Feeling like there is a tight band around your head, pressure, tightness Head, neck or shoulder pain, tightness/stiffness Head zaps, head tremors Giddiness Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Shooting pains, stabbing pains, and odd pressures in the neck, head, or face Shooting pains in the face Shooting pains in the scalp or head When you close your eyes you feel like are beginning to, or will, float upwards Sore jaw that feels like a tooth ache TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint) - clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth Hearing/Ear(s) (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with hearing) Feel like there is something stuck in your ear, that your ear canal it plugged or blocked, that there is a pebble in your ear that you can't get out Low rumbling sounds Reduced hearing, frequent or intermittent reduced hearing or deafness in one or both ears Ringing in the ears, noises in the ears, noises in the head Pulsing in the ears, throbbing sound in the ear(s) Tickle or itch in your ear that you can't seem to get at Mind (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the mind and thinking) Afraid of everything Altered state of reality, consciousness, or universe feeling Brain Fog Deja Vu, a feeling like you've done or experienced something before Depersonalization Derealization Desensitization Difficulty concentrating, short-term memory loss Difficulty thinking, speaking, forming thoughts, following conversations Disorientation Fear of going crazy Fear of losing control Fear of impending doom Feelings of unreality Frequent feeling of being overwhelmed, or that there is just too much to handle or do Having difficulty concentrating Nightmares, bad dreams Obsession about sensations or getting better Repetitive thinking or incessant ‘mind chatter’ Short-term learning impairment, have a hard time learning new information Short-term memory impairment, can't remember what I did a few days, hours, or moments ago Spaced out feelings, feeling spaced out "Stuck" thoughts; thoughts, mental images, concepts, songs, or melodies that "stick" in your mind and replay over and over again. Trapped in your mind feeling Underlying anxiety, apprehension, or fear You often feel you are carrying the world on your shoulders Mood / Emotions (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with mood, emotions, and feelings) Always feeling angry and lack of patience Depersonalization Depression Dramatic mood swings (emotional flipping) Emotionally blunted, flat, or numb Emotional "flipping" (dramatic mood swings) Emotions feel wrong Everything is scary, frightening Feeling down in the dumps Feeling like things are unreal or dreamlike Frequently being on edge or 'grouchy' Feel like crying for no apparent reason Have no feelings about things you used to Not feeling like yourself, detached from loved ones, emotionally numb Underlying anxiety, apprehension, or fear You feel like you are under pressure all the time Mouth/Stomach (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the mouth and stomach) A ‘tinny’, ‘metallic’ or ‘ammonia’, or unusual smell or taste Aerophagia (swallowing too much air, stomach distention, belching) Burning mouth, feeling like the inside of your mouth is burning, or tingling, or like pins and needles, or all of these together or at different times Burning tongue, feeling like your tongue is burning, or tingling, or like pins and needles, or all of these, or all of these together or at different times Choking Constant craving for sugar or sweets Constipation Diarrhea Difficulty swallowing Difficulty talking, pronouncing certain letters or sounds, mouth feels like it isn't moving right, slurred speech Dry mouth Feeling like you can’t swallow properly or that something will get caught in your throat Feeling like your tongue is swollen IBS Lack of appetite or taste Lump in the throat, tight throat, something stuck in your throat Mouth muscles twitching/jumping Mouth or throat clicking or grating sound/noise when you move your mouth or jaw, such as when talking Nausea Nausea vomiting Nausea or abdominal stress Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Stomach upset, gas, belching, bloating Teeth grinding The thought of eating makes you nauseous Tight throat, lump in throat Throat or mouth clicking or grating sound/noise when you move your mouth or jaw, such as when talking TMJ Tongue symptoms - Tingly, “stretched,” numb, frozen, itchy, “crawly,” burning, twitching, “jumpy,” aching, sore, or swollen tongue (when it isn’t). Urgency to urinate, frequent urination, sudden urge to go to the washroom Vomiting Skin (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with the skin) Burning skin sensations, skin sensitivity Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Skin problems, infections, rashes Sleep (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with sleep) Difficulty falling or staying asleep Frequent bad, bizarre, or crazy dreams Hearing sounds in your head that jolt you awake Insomnia, or waking up ill in the middle of the night Jolting awake Waking up in a panic attack You feel worse in the mornings Sight (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with sight) Distorted, foggy, or blurred vision Dry, watery or itchy eyes Eye tricks, seeing things our of the corner of your eye that isn’t there, stars, flashes Eyes sensitive to light Spots in the vision Flashing lights when eyes are closed Your depth perception feels wrong Touch (anxiety symptoms commonly associated with touch) Burning skin sensations, skin sensitivity Feeling cold or chilled Numbness Numbness tingling, numbness and tingling Pain Tingling, pins and needles feelings Other anxiety symptoms are described as: Being like a hypochondriac, muscle twinges, worry all the time, tingles, gagging, tightness in the chest, tongue twitches, shaky, breath lump, heart beat problems, head tingles, itchy tingling in arms and legs, and so many more. In addition to these anxiety symptoms, you may also find yourself worrying compulsively about: • Having a heart attack • Having a serious undetected illness • Dying prematurely • Going insane or losing your mind • Suddenly snapping • Losing it • Uncontrollably harming yourself or someone you love • Losing control of your thoughts and actions • Being embarrassed or making a fool out of yourself • Losing control • Fainting in public • Not breathing properly • Losing control of reality • Choking or suffocating • Being alone These are some of the more common anxiety symptoms. This list isn't exhaustive. Reference and further information here http://www.anxietyce...-symptoms.shtml
  40. 6 points
  41. 5 points
    Hello all-- I went to the oncologist yesterday to get blood work done, and everything came back normal! Thank you for your support.
  42. 5 points
    Okay, the title is a little sensationalist; I didn't literally forget how to walk. I just forgot how to walk like a normal human being. For a while I had some tightness/discomfort in my right foot and ankle. It seemed to be working all right; it just felt weird. This was around the time I completely lost feeling in a spot on my abdomen. My doctor was concerned and sent me to a neurologist. Well, if I have a neurological problem, maybe the thing with my foot is related! So I did the self-check stuff for foot drop - bad idea. I failed it miserably on that side. And from that moment on, that foot became a real problem for me. I was constantly tripping over it, walking strangely with such a weird gait I genuinely don't know how to describe it. I was clomping around like a horse, but not a coordinated one. That's the best I can do. Neuro visit time came about. Despite my inability to walk on my heel on the right side, I passed the usual exam. No reason for my numbness was visually apparent, so I got sent for MRIs. Still no visible reason. Probably a trapped nerve that wasn't visible. Foot still feels weird, as do leg and hip on that side, I'm still trying to stretch it out, but not worried about it because apparently there's nothing wrong with it besides it feeling weird. And walking so weirdly is probably making it worse. I went on with my life, and a month later I noticed, huh, my foot doesn't feel weird anymore, and now that I've stopped trying to walk normally, I'm actually walking normally. And the instant I realized this, I freaking forgot how to walk again. I "feel weird" again. But I guess all the stretching and "testing" I did helped, because I was actually able to walk on my heels this time. (This time around I wasn't worried about it; I figured worst case I had another angry nerve in my leg on that side, since I do get hip and leg pain from time to time; I was just curious to see if it had gotten any better.) My foot is still landing awkwardly because I'm so aware of how it's moving. Moral of the story: our minds are a powerful thing. Just being aware of something that we might be feeling, or SOMETHING WE AREN'T ACTUALLY FEELING, is enough to make our bodies behave weirdly. I just hope I forget about it again soon.
  43. 5 points
    Hello again! I will be upfront and honest with you. It is hard man. I am doing great and I still have nagging things that tug at my fear strings. I gotta tell you though, I am a Christian and a full believer in the power of God. I have spent many hours in prayer and scripture reading/memorizing while I fought through anxiety and the utter despair it can bring. It has helped tremendously. I had never experienced anything like this anxiety before August and it blindsided me entirely. If you want some tips on good ones to read... I will some of my favorites below. Worth a shot. God's real and He can really help you. The worst that an happen is nothing changes. I will be praying for you more man. Isaiah 26:3: You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Psalm 94:18-19: If I say, “My foot slips,” Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. Psalm 55:22: Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. John 14:27: Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Psalm 56:3: Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. Phillipians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
  44. 5 points
    UPDATE: Even though it causes me anxiety - I do the patient portal -- its also the way I communicate with my doctor to send him a message to let him know that I am getting ready to schedule my upcoming labs so that he can load it all in the system. Of course, I check the portal constantly and that raises the anxiety but it is something I've always done. As soon as I came into work today -- of course, checking the portal and to my surprise -- all labs are back already -- all CBC, cholesterol, and other things - liver panel, lipids and whatever else they check are ALL NORMAL -- thank God! I always make an appointment when I go in to do my Labs for a physical check up - which I have set for Monday. I like for my doctor to able to chat about what has been going on with me for the past six months and have him physically look at me and since I will be turning 50 in November -- it is time to get a referral for a colonoscopy...thank you both your replies and support. I hope you are both doing well.
  45. 5 points
    Like @Mocha1 has said. It's a good question and it's also very hard to answer. If you factor in a few things then you can try to isolate what is anxiety from what is not. 1)When did this symptom start? 2)How long has this symptom lasted for unchanged? 3)Does this symptom vary in strength? 4)Is this symptom only present when you're thinking about it? Does it pop back up once your mind tracks back to it? 5)Have you had this symptom before? 6)Do you fear this symptom? 7)Does this symptom have a physical appearance and is it changeable? 8)Does this symptom 'feel' like it's bad? So 1)When did this symptom start? If it's a new symptom then it's too early to tell so probability dictates anxiety. Wait a little longer before considering a doctor. If it's a symptom that has continued for a while, weigh it up against the other questions above. 2)How long has this symptom lasted for unchanged? If the symptom remains the same and has not changed in a while, probability dictates anxiety. If it's getting worse then the Dr's could be an option. 3)Does this symptom vary in strength? If there is no variation or if the symptom varies between there and not, that it's most likely an anxiety symptom. If it continues to get worse, the consider a Dr's opinion. 4)Is this symptom only present when you're thinking about it? Does it pop back up once your mind tracks back to it? If the symptom disappears when there is no focus on it, it's 99.99% anxiety. If the symptom is there no matter where your mind and attention is ie it keeps drawing your attention back to it in a painful way etc, then Dr's is an option (note: sometimes anxiety can work in the unconscious so this can be a problematic question) 5)Have you had this symptom before? If this is a reoccurring symptom that has had no negative effect on your body other than your anxiety before, it's highly likely anxiety. If it's a new symptom, refer to question 1. 6)Do you fear this symptom? If you were already scared of this symptom before it arrived, it IS anxiety. If the symptom arrived then triggered anxiety, it's highly likely anxiety but refer to question 1. 7)Does this symptom have a physical appearance and is it changeable? If you can actually see the symptom then it's physical and if it's changeable or gets worse, then a Dr's opinion is a good option. If it's just a bruise or something recognizable and is not getting worse, refer to question 1. 8)Does this symptom 'feel' like it's bad? If the symptom is internal and you just have a feeling that it's bad, thats anxiety speaking so the probability is that your symptom is anxiety based and created by your fear of it being bad. Refer to question 1 and 2. Thats a brief checklist you could use to at least try to separate. Anxiety is very tricky because it is the best mimic you will ever know. Time is always helpful in these situations and i know time is something we do not allow ourselves. So, tricky question, hard to separate but if you apply rationality into it, you can help with your decision making.
  46. 5 points
    You have dropped into the old anxiety cycle. As soon as one symptom is explained, another crops up. This happens to so many anxiety sufferers. It's because of the mindset you're in. It's introspective, it's analytical and it's source is planted in fearful anticipation. As soon as you feel a new symptom, anxiety launches and jumps on it, the first thought is a catastrophised statement, the worst case scenario which a negative mindset instantly creates a belief of. The searching for answers then starts. It runs like clockwork. The thinking errors occur around the reaction to the symptom and the self diagnostics you give yourself. You then need this belief to be disproved by someone but if you look back to the beginning, nothing has been diagnosed, you create your own traction based on a normal everyday sensation. The pain in your inner thigh will certainly be a tweaked muscle but your mind has diagnosed cancer (that's the usual conclusion) You need to work on the initial reaction to the symptom as thats where this all stems from.
  47. 5 points
    Hi Fw5 I don't believe the word cure is the right term. Here on AC we talk a lot about recovery. You can't cure anxiety. We all need a little anxiety to keep us from doing stupid stuff and planning ahead. Like right now, I'm on a yacht in gale force winds after cyclone Debbie here in Australia. I'm anxious and for good reason. But this anxiety has made me pull into a safe harbour, tie more ropes on and secure the boat more than I normally would. The anxiety is keeping me alert and watchful. This is all good stuff! I don't like feeling this way and can't wait until the gale is over but for now I have to accept the gale and my anxiety as a natural human reaction. The way I feel now is normal anxiety and we as humans need this in our lives. That's why anxiety can't be cured. You can however recover from an anxiety disorder. A disorder happens when the anxiety is out of proportion to reality and interferes with you living your best life. I have recovered so far. Sometimes I have setbacks, but mostly, my anxiety is in proportion to reality and doesn't interfere with me being happy. You can recover too. Have you ever tried cognitive behaviour therapy? This helps to teach you to challenge your thoughts and sort out fact from fiction. What I mean by that is...you can think you'll get cancer all you like...this is fiction. The cancer isn't actually diagnosed or real. The fact is right now at this moment you don't have cancer and are fine. You need to learn to separate what's actually happening right now in the present, rather than be anxious about non existant cancer or whatever else you think you have. "Think" being the key word. You can think you are a billionaire all you like but it doesn't make it true. The same way you can think you'll get cancer. Until you are sitting across from your doctor and they say the words "you have cancer" it is not a real thing. Even if your body is aching or giving you signs and symptoms, until that moment the doctor says those words, you are making yourself sick with anxiety over a non existant thing. It isn't real until a doctor says it's real. I learned to laugh at my thoughts. I would feel a cramp in my leg and my thoughts would say "omg it's a clot". Being mindful helped me to recognise the thought and just observe it rather than be carried away believing it. Then I'd laugh at my habit of jumping to the worst possible conclusion. "Of course it's a clot" I'd laugh to myself "of course brain, good work". Learn mindfulness. Learn to watch and observe your thoughts without judgement and without being carried away by them. Watch them as you would watch clouds passing in the sky. Don't become involved the narrative they tell. I'd suggest CBT therapy if you can find it. To answer your question, yes people have recovered and got on with their lives. It is totally possible.
  48. 5 points
    Let me tell you a little story In 2010 a bunch of highly anxious folk met on an anxiety forum called anxiety zone. It was great, they helped each other, became firm friends and everything was looking up. Then one day at the beginning of 2011 the big bad goose banned one of them for a really petty reason and one friend who was a moderator disagreed about it, and the owners seemingly biased treatment of some members, and decided to step down.The big bad goose didn't like that and decided to ban the moderator and about 30 other people at the same time. Shock, fear and panic ensued. What were they to do? Where would they all go? They had become to rely so much on that site and chat room, to alleviate a lot of their anxiety. The moderator felt a little responsible but stepped up and said they would make everyone somewhere to go. They did just that and asked their trusty friends to help out. For a while everything was good but towards the end of 2011 it all started to fall apart. The moderator had underestimated how much it would take to make the community an active, thriving and safe place to go, so they basically did a runner. This is where I come in. I was part of the original group of friends that met on AZ in 2010, I was a close friend of the moderator who got banned and took on the task of finding somewhere for us all to go, I was the one they asked to help out (among others) and I was the one that people asked to do something when it all started to fall apart. On December 31st 2011 Anxiety Central was officially born, with 16 members and friends. Great helpful, supportive people who I am grateful and fortunate to call friends. Sadly the person who started it all off and was banned from AZ for a very petty reason, he is no longer with us. We lost our dear friend Nino 2 years ago. It came to light over time that AZ would mass ban about 30 people at a time. You can come to your own conclusion as to why that may be. It is sad because it was a wonderful resource to have when you are trying to cope and overcome these awful conditions. I will just say I am not surprised it has been shut down. I personally owe AZ a lot, for being the site I found help, and made the most amazing friends. I lost my soulmate, my dear husband this year. I have thought many, many times how I would have coped if I had not found AZ and not met the best friends you could ever ask for. Also, it is my number one motive for creating AC, how I want this site NOT to be. AC was created to help not to hinder, to support not to judge and the main reason, it's goal is our members well-being, not financial gain.
  49. 5 points
    This list is 100 percent accurate. I have been hit with GAD and some form of panic and depression but mostly GAD with 24 hours 7 days a week of depersonalization and derealization since 2009, im freaking exhausted!!!!! I have seen over 20 psychiatrist not because of me, because most of them are either rude or simply INSANE BUT..... they all said that this list is very true. I have seen 1-2 doctors who said i am bipolar which is total bullshit. My cardiologist and internal medicine doctor even said to me in these words "anxiety can fuck you up". Those who think your crazy your not and not alone. Anxiety can mimic bipolar and can cause so much crap like hallucinations, delusions and psychosis. I am not a doctor but seeing so many different psychiatrists and doing my own research which i may add have a PhD not in this field, i educated myself and i express in full detail to every doctor what my symptoms are. Everybody word of advice, if you want to get better ASK ASK ASK ASK questions, dont be a dog and let them give you medicine and dont ask. Some may argue the less you know the better which is true but some want to know what medication does, its side effects etc. Whatever makes you comfortable do to make you feel better but i find that a lot of people who are not aware of the symptoms question how they feel and from reading a lot of posts question their sanity. I hope everybody gets cured from this nasty thing and that means myself. Mine just hit me out of nowhere, so imagine being derealized and depersonalized plus i forgot to add not being able to form thoughts, more like acting robotic for 4 years straight everyday all day, it sucks and it disables me greatly. I wish you all luck and hope and again dont let these psychiatrist drive you crazy cause they are crazy in themselves, each and every one of them but we need them. Try to find one that is sane which i have which is VERY HARD.
  50. 5 points
    Social Anxiety Disorder Social anxiety disorder, also called social phobia, is an anxiety disorder in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Anxiety (intense nervousness) and self-consciousness arise from a fear of being closely watched, judged and criticised by others. A person with a social phobia is afraid that he or she will make mistakes and be embarrassed or humiliated in front of others. The fear may be made worse by a lack of social skills or experience in social situations. The anxiety can build into a panic attack. As a result of the fear, the person endures certain social situations in extreme distress or may avoid them altogether. In addition, people with social anxiety disorder often suffer "anticipatory" anxiety -- the fear of a situation before it even happens -- for days or weeks before the event. In many cases, the person is aware that the fear is unreasonable, yet is unable to overcome it. People with social anxiety disorder suffer from distorted thinking, including false beliefs about social situations and the negative opinions of others. Without treatment, social anxiety disorder can negatively interfere with the person's normal daily routine, including school, work, social activities and relationships. People with social phobias may be afraid of a specific situation, such as speaking in public. However, most people with social anxiety disorder fear more than one social situation. Other situations that commonly provoke anxiety include: Eating or drinking in front of others. Writing or working in front of others. Being the centre of attention. Interacting with people, including dating or going to parties. Asking questions or giving reports in groups. Using public toilets. Talking on the telephone. Social anxiety disorder may be linked to other mental illnesses, such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depression. In fact, many people with social anxiety disorder initially see the doctor with complaints related to these disorders, not because of social anxiety symptoms. What are the symptoms of social anxiety disorder? Many people with social anxiety disorder feel that there is "something wrong", but don't recognise their feeling as a sign of illness. Symptoms of social anxiety disorder can include: Intense anxiety in social situations. Avoidance of social situations. Physical symptoms of anxiety, including confusion, pounding heart, sweating, shaking, blushing, muscle tension, upset stomach and diarrhoea. Children with this disorder may express their anxiety by crying, clinging to a parent or throwing a tantrum. How common is social anxiety disorder? The Royal College of Psychiatrists says 5% of people have some degree of social phobia, with women two or three times more likely to be affected. The disorder most often surfaces in adolescence or early adulthood, but can occur at any time, including early childhood. It is more common in women than in men. What causes social anxiety disorder? There is no single known cause of social anxiety disorder, but research suggests that biological, psychological, and environmental factors may play a role in its development: Biological: Social anxiety disorder may be related to an imbalance of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Neurotransmitters are special chemical messengers that help move information from nerve cell to nerve cell in the brain. If the neurotransmitters are out of balance, messages cannot get through the brain properly. This can alter the way the brain reacts to stressful situations, leading to anxiety. In addition, social anxiety disorder appears to run in families. This means that the disorder may be passed on in families through genes, the material that contains instructions for the function of each cell in the body. Psychological: The development of social anxiety disorder may stem from an embarrassing or humiliating experience at a social event in the past. Environmental: People with social anxiety disorder may develop their fear from observing the behaviour of others or seeing what happened to someone else as the result of their behaviour (such as being laughed at or made fun of). Further, children who are sheltered or overprotected by their parents may not learn good social skills as part of their normal development. How is social anxiety disorder diagnosed? If symptoms of social anxiety disorder are present, your GP will begin an evaluation by asking questions about your medical history and performing a physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose social anxiety disorder, your GP may use various tests to make sure that a physical illness isn't the cause of the symptoms. If no physical illness is found, you may be referred to a psychiatrist or psychologist, doctors who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for an anxiety disorder. The doctor bases their diagnosis of social anxiety disorder on reports of the intensity and duration of symptoms, including any problems with functioning caused by the symptoms. The doctor then determines if the symptoms and degree of dysfunction indicate social anxiety disorder. How is social anxiety disorder treated? For social anxiety disorder, the most effective treatment currently available is cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT). Medication may also be used to help ease the symptoms of social anxiety disorder so that CBT is more effective. Medicines may also be used alone. Cognitive-behaviour therapy: The aim of CBT is to guide the person's thoughts in a more rational direction and help the person stop avoiding situations that once caused anxiety. It teaches people to react differently to the situations that trigger their anxiety symptoms. Therapy may include systematic desensitisation or real life exposure to the feared situation. With systematic desensitisation, the person imagines the frightening situation and works through their fears in a safe and relaxed environment, such as the therapist's office. Real life exposure gradually exposes the person to the situation but with the support of the therapist. Medication: There are several different types of medications used to treat social anxiety disorder, including: antidepressants, tranquillisers (benzodiazepines) and beta-blockers. Beta-blockers, which are often used to treat heart conditions, may also be used to minimise certain physical symptoms of anxiety, such as shaking and rapid heartbeat. Counselling: to improve self-esteem and social skills, as well as relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, may also help a person deal with social anxiety disorder. Referenced from http://www.webmd.boo...nxiety-disorder