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Found 12 results

  1. Hi everyone. I'm new here. Just joined bc i was reading some threads on anxiety and chest pain and thought why not ask here. I'm so anxious. I'm nervous. I used to take anxiety meds but stopped about 2 years ago. I ran out and never went for a refill appointment. Usually it's social anxiety that i deal with. It's been manageable up until recently. 2 days ago i started having indigestion and heart burn. Which i never get. That pretty much went away then i started having chest pain. Not pressure but sharp pains on my left side where my heart is 😭 but its mainly when i bend over or lay down. Its so strange. So i went to the dr today and told her what was going on. I should also mention I've had some other symptoms such as ear ache, headache and green mucus when i blow my nose (sorry if Tmi) well my anxiety got brought up and I could tell she thought the chest pain was due to anxiety. She wrote me a script for an antibiotic and said the chest pain may be due to early bronchitis or an infection but basically brushed it off. Didn't run any test. She listened to my heart and breathing and said it sounded fine. I feel defeated. Part of me wants to go to the ER just for piece of mind but then again...covid. I'm not sure what I'm asking here. Except has anyone else had sharp chest pains and it not be serious? My mind keeps jumping to the worst case scenario. I honestly feel like the chest pains are real but my anxiety is making it worse. And to top it off the antibiotic are causing major stomach upset. Anyone out there dealt with something similar?
  2. I wonder how many of us realise that we are sensitive people? The Vast majority of people appear to be insensitive to the troubles around them and are able to brush off anything that would cause us disquiet. Some are really thick skinned and all the frustrations that we encounter they seem able to ignore. I say 'seem' because a lot of folk bottle up their emotions and suffer inwardly without their outer demeanor changing. We may get the impression they don't care but perhaps................But this sensitivity in the nervously ill can wreak havoc with the emotions. Watching a TV news item about starving children can provoke tears and if someone talks about a bereavement or a loss of some kind then the floodgates can really open. Is this a bad thing? No! Beneath it all it shows a caring. We care what happens to children; it is real humanity expressing itself in our emotions. The 'thick skinned' ones would shrug it all off yet all they are doing is showing how little they care and are usually self centred people anyway. Having said that we must not let our emotions run away with us. There has to be perspective in this and the ability to recognise that there are situations that we can't change. I think the real message is not to be afraid of our feelings and emotions. They frighten some of us into believing they are abnormal and that we should not feel that way. But is caring abnormal? Is the ability to recognise and help those in distress abnormal? Without sensitivity you wouldn't know would you? Someone once said to me when talking about children dying of starvation "Well, there are too many people in the world anyway". That made me angry. It wasn't his kids that were dying. Being 'thick skinned' is abnormal. The protection that a thick skin gives you may seem attractive to a nervously ill person but I would rather be sensitive and have empathy. So don't imagine because you get upset about an event that you are strange in some way. This is the normal behaviour of someone who cares. The world would be in a far worse state if you stop caring. J.
  3. We talk about someone being 'normal'. It implies that, in some way, we are abnormal. Why do we do that? Are we doing ourselves an injustice? What is 'normal'? Do we believe that normality consists of being anxiety free? Do we believe that the many great artists, actors and authors are abnormal even though they suffer from anxiety or depression? Are the people who start wars and conflicts normal even though anxiety free? There are many kind honest people who suffer from anxiety and yet help others as best they can (as on this site), are they abnormal? I believe the time has come to stop calling those with an anxiety problem 'abnormal'. Normal, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. We may regard someone who has a compulsion to climb Mount Everest (some have done it many times) as normal. Or rowing the Atlantic. I knew a medical doctor who had the compulsion to row the Atlantic and climb Mount Everest. (He had done both several times). He had been trained as a doctor yet spent most of his time indulging his own whims. He only practiced medicine occasionally as a locum to get enough money so he could do what he wanted. Normal? There are those 'normal' people who are so 'laid back' that in an emergency they do nothing. No anxiety there. Normal? Most of those who post on this site for help seem to begin by asking if they are going mad or are, in some way, 'different'. They compare themselves with the people around them who they consider 'normal' and feel that there must be somethings seriously wrong with them because the can no longer behave that way. They want to get back to how they were before they developed anxiety. But surely it was the 'as they were' that caused the anxiety. For anxiety to occur there has to be two essential ingredients. FEAR and CONFLICT. They go together. An internal CONFLICT about guilt, for instance, can start anxiety and we begin to FEAR the symptoms thus created. A family upset and the 'have I done the right thing' feeling can start anxiety. Any negative life event can do it to a sensitive and vulnerable person. They become ill. But illness is not abnormal. So why do we regard our particular problem as abnormal.? Because we believe what society tells us to believe." Mental illness is abnormal" and this is brought about by a total lack of understanding. From the Middle Ages onward this has been the case and we do not, as a society, seem to have learned anything. So all you normal abnormal people out there press on. At least some of us understand. J.
  4. One of the fundamental laws of Nature is that if there is a cause there will be an effect. Throw a stone in a pond. Cause... Stone.-----Effect.... Ripples. This is so obvious but how many of us realise that our anxiety is created in just this way. There are many who can directly relate their anxiety to a childhood event. They remember it but until it is faced as an adult and dealt with it will haunt them. But so many of us do not seem to have reason for our anxiety, or are not ware of it. A physical illness can bring on anxiety that's for sure, but the hidden cause of anxiety when we have no physical illness is the most difficult to understand. Mine came out of the blue and it took a long time to get at the root cause. With help. Without going into too much detail it was because I was not living up to an inner sense of worthiness. (Nothing to do with ego). I was creative but that was being stifled by the job I had which was not creative in the sense I mean. Carl Jung, the psychologist, used painting and art in general to help his patients. He realised that expression is so important in nervous illness. We become 'blocked' so that the creative energy, instead of going into creation turns in on us and we become fearful becuse of this misdirected and unfulfilled energy. It is often the case that the cause is best left alone as it can create more problems. Only you and a competent counsellor or helper can decide this. It is sometimes painful to drag up old wounds. Nevertheless, it can also have a redemptive quality to face our problems from the past. The cause is more often in the present. A divorce, bereavement, accident and many other life events which have to be dealt with. It does seem that those without any creative ability can weather the storms of life better than those sensitive people who usually get anxious and upset. The vast majority of the great artists, poets, writers were sensitive people and suffered as most of us do. Perhaps we need to look at our lifestyle as a cause for the anxiety and, as far as possible, remedy it. But be assured, there is always a cause though when in the throes of a panic attack the cause does not seem to matter!! Psychiatry is expensive, both here and in the States, but it is not often necessary. We need to sit quietly and see if we can come to a realisation of why we continue with the anxiety when there does not seem to be an obvious reason. Are we being true to ourselves? Are we living a materialistic acquisitive life which is going against our nature? Are we more sensitive than we realise? It is possible to think one's way out of anxiety but we have to be honest and truthful with ourselves. J. This post has been promoted to an article
  5. Humans have basic needs that make life worth living and help to allow our creativity to come through. Unfortunately not every society is able to provide these needs but that is another story. We need food, shelter and, above all love and understanding. Now with anxiety, as we all know, the love bit can wear thin. When our nearest and dearest are subjected to our hangups day and night they can get really fed up and for one partner to resort to the pub every evening is not uncommon. Anxiety causes introspection. We become self centred and, if not actually selfish, very demanding. This can put a strain on any relationship and it seems to me that we do not give enough thought to the effect we have on others. How could we. When in the misery of anxiety or depression how can we not be constantly thinking about ourselves? Continually going over the same ground. "I will never get out of this, etc" I am sure we have all been there. In this day and age most of us have the basics. Housing, food, medical help and so on. But love, now there's the problem. Most 'love' is conditional. It depends on how well things are going. When money gets tight; there are problems with the children; the in-laws are playing up and so on. What we thought was love turns out to be attachment. Someone to provide our needs but not to be there when really needed is the norm. Real love is unconditional. It does not depend on who we are; how well off we are; what sort of job we have. In the marriage ceremony the words " For better or worse" sometimes seem a mockery when we really run into trouble such as anxiety or depression. Many marriages have broken up because of it. We sufferers have to try and understand through our misery what it must be like to live with someone who is trying to recover from nervous illness. They need sympathy and understanding too. Anyone who has a partner that has stood by them through the bad times of depression can feel truly blessed. Perhaps we need to keep, in the back of our minds, that they have their needs also and that Love can weather any storm if it is really Love. J.
  6. Looking out of the window this a.m. I see that funny yellow ball up in the sky and I know now that all will be well. We have all suffered this Winter and, with anxiety, the weather can play a big part in how we feel. Nasty dark Winter days do nothing to help. The seasonal cycle can make us realise that everything is in a state of change just as we can also change. If in the middle of an anxiety state the idea that we will never recover can be overwhelming but change is always possible and, if treated the right way, is inevitable. Hope is an important ingredient in recovery and, just as despair can drag us down, hope can lift us up. So enjoy the sunshine; soak up the vit D and try and look to the future with the sure conviction that all will be well. J.
  7. How many times have you heard that? I heard it said of me and it hurt deeply. I was at the beginning of GAD and began to think I was going 'mental'. I have just been reading an article on the stigma attached to any sort of mental illness and it surprised me that it is still so prevalent. Then I thought, no, I would not mention my condition to anyone I did not know. The physical problems I have had, yes, I would talk about those, but the anxiety, no. Why? With men especially there is this thing about appearing weak in some way. It is not manly to be anxious. (Little boys don't cry, so men don't cry). Men bottle up their feelings and sometimes only therapy that goes deep can be of any use in recovery. Most counsellors will tell you that they would rather have female patients. Women tend to be more forthcoming about their hangups. Because of this male weakness stigma thing men will often not tell you the most important reason for their problem many weeks into therapy. After six weeks of trying to get to the bottom of it you often hear, as they go out of the door, "Oh, by the way, my wife left me six weeks ago". Finally it's out. I am not suggesting we go around telling all and sundry about our problem, although, at first, there is a compulsion to do so. No need to tell you folk about the importance of a sympathetic ear. Understanding is one thing; Sympathy another, but the best attribute of all is Empathy. Sympathy is entering into another's suffering in a helpful way, but Empathy is entering into another's suffering AS IF IT WERE YOUR OWN. Unless you have had the privilege to have suffered from anxiety, (yes, I said privilege), then you cannot enter into that suffering in a really helpful way. By then you KNOW don't you? J.
  8. I wonder how many of us have experienced, even unknowingly, the feeling that there are two of 'us' involved in this illness? There seems to be the person who is suffering and another who is watching and knows all the answers but is unable, at that moment, to put them into operation. I call these two the 'False self' and the 'Real self'. The False self is a liar and a cheat and leads us up dead end alleys until we get so confused we almost give up in despair. I say 'almost' because the Real self won't allow us to give up. It continually niggles at us. "You are not as bad as you think you are", it says. But the False self swamps it out and, for some time, seems to take over while the Real self stands in the background looking on but unable to bring any sort of sense or relief into the situation. The Real self is the Real us. But it's function has been usurped by this nasty little False self that, through circumstances or trauma has taken over. This little monster is very powerful but we have to realise that it only has the power we allow it to have. Real self is always there waiting to bring knowledge and understanding into the picture and to begin our recovery. False self won't listen. It knows all the answers and whenever Real self tries to come up with an explanation of some symptom it knocks it down; is pessimistic about any possible good outcome; is sure you will never recover; is constantly looking over your shoulder; always looking for trouble. It leads us in the wrong direction so that we get bewildered and more fearful. We have to allow the Real self to assert itself. To listen to it more as it is really the source of wisdom . J. c
  9. Yet another post about Dr. Google. I am sure he is far more addictive than any medication. A friend of mine who suffers from Health Anxiety bought a blood pressure machine. (Another no no except on medical advice). He took readings for a month then went to his doctor with the results. The doctor threw the notes into the waste basket without looking at them and said " Now let an expert have a go". My friends blood pressure was normal! Blood pressure is a good example of how we can fool ourselves into false belief. It depends on so many factors. Your weight, height, general health, pregnant or not, age, gender and many other factors. We just are not competent to make a diagnosis based on the misleading blurb we get with these machines. One persons 'high' blood pressure could be another's 'low'. Yes; misdiagnosis are made but they amount to about 0.01% of all the hundreds made every day but the good ones are not news. You really have to block the Google site from your computer if you are addicted to this kind of advice. It can do you nothing but harm if you suffer from Health Anxiety. In law they say that a person who defends himself in court has a fool for a client. This is the case in medicine. As a self diagnostician you have a fool for a patient. J.
  10. I have often been asked about Mindfulness and it's relevance to anxiety. This is a philosophy from the East and, like all Eastern practices, it is difficult for the Western mind to grasp. At the outset I will say to the inevitable question; no, I have not mastered it. I try but I find the mind wanders and has to be brought back. Mindfulness is closely associated with Awareness. In fact one could say it is virtually the same thing. It is about being Aware; Mindful of the moment. Let us take an example. You are driving the car. But are you driving? Your body is and most of it's actions are instinctive but where is your mind "What shall I get for lunch today?" "What will my next customer say about his order?". And so on. Opps! a pedestrian crossing; nearly missed that! My mind was not on the driving. There is a Buddhist saying. "When you sit, sit. When you walk, walk but don't wobble". The past is dead. There is not a thing we can do about altering it. The future is the present now continually recurring. When you brush your teeth in the morning brush your teeth but don't think about some future event that may never happen. "How will I cope with the supermarket today? What if the boss gets annoyed with me about so and so".You may find that a little while later you can't remember if you brushed your teeth or not and have to do it again because you were not Mindful. Anticipation in anxiety is a real obstacle to recovery. We 'write the devil on the wall' all the time and wonder why we are anxious. If only we could live in the moment. Animals do. We could take a good lesson from our cats and dogs. Eat when hungry. Sleep when tired. Try not to anticipate events in the the future that may never occur. Getting 'worked up' over some future event is one of the classic symptoms of anxiety. Yet. invariably, when it comes to the event it is never as bad as we anticipated. Now be honest, is it? The boss may be having a good day after all. The doctor turns out to be a nice understanding person. When in the Army I found that when going to a new camp rumours about the Sergeant Major at the new camp being a right swine filtered back. Invariably these rumours turned out to be untrue. A lot of anticipation and worry for nothing. Give Mindfulness a try. If just for a short time. It can help. Regards. J. This post has been promoted to an article
  11. Hi. All. How do you feel about this awful weather in the UK? Does it affect your anxiety? It does mine and I am getting really fed up with being cold. Now you folks who read this in warmer climes will wonder what it is all about. For some 4 months now (apart from a very brief mild spell) we have suffered bitter winds from the Arctic and snow almost every week. I find it a bit depressing when, last year at this time it was 19C. Today (SE England) at 1pm. it is 1C.!! and no sign of a break. (And starting to snow again).The poor souls in the North of the country and Scotland have really suffered. No power etc. What a climate. Alright. Bitch over. Get on with what you are doing, jonathan. Thanks for listening. J.
  12. I am in a very dark wood. I look up. The trees above me come together so closely that I can hardly see any light. I have been in this wood for a long time and it seems as if I will never get out. I am sure I will die there. I am tired and full of despair. I sit on a fallen tree and put my head in my hands and weep with self pity. My anxiety is at it's peak and the panic I feel when I look at my situation is overwhelming. How long I sit there I do not know because time seems to stand still. The state I am in seems the natural way to be so that I can hardly remember what it was like before I became ill. I hear a rustling in the bushes in front of me. I look up. A fox emerges from the undergrowth. He is beautiful. His coat; a golden brown, is immaculate and he has an aura about him that holds my attention. We look at each other for a long time and his eyes seem to give me a sort of comfort as if he knows how I feel. Then he turns and slowly walks away. I think; 'He knows the way home; if I follow him I may also find a way out. I get to my feet and stagger after him. I am so tired it is difficult to put one foot in front of the other. We go on and it seems a long long time before, far ahead, I see a faint light. The trees are thinning and the light gets brighter. Suddenly we are out of the wood. In front of me is a field full of beautiful wild flowers and long grass all bathed in a soft warm sunshine. I turn and look back. The fox is sitting on the edge of the wood. "What is your name, Fox?" I ask. He looks into my eyes. "My name is Hope", he says, and scampers off into the bushes. I look at the wood. It is a very small wood and I wonder why I was so afraid of it. I walk on; knee deep in wild flowers and grass. I feel at peace. J.