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gertirouge

New and pretty confused..

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Hi all, my names Katy and I'm pretty new to all of this.. Just a bit of a back story as I'm starting to wonder if I'm actually ill or not?

I have had a pretty rocky few years, issues with my dad, ended a long term relationship, started a new one, moved away from home, got engaged, took on someone's child to name a few, specifically last year I had a miscarriage.. I'm ok with all this! I've always been pretty ok with problems/issues etc that come my way which might explain my recent problems..

I'd never had an anxiety attack before, and it all started in November last year. I was at work and talking to a colleague about when I had a miscarriage. I was quite ill in hospital with septicaemia as a result and everything happened quite quickly. I was admitted to hospital and my partner came to see me. I had to have blood work, don't particularly like needles, don't particularly hate them either and my partner passed out. Dropped to the ground and looked pretty much... dead! I was explaining this situation to my colleague in a "this is funny" way, started thinking about the nurse taking my blood and I just came over REALLY awful. I was sitting at my desk and apparently I went white and I felt like time had slowed and I was about to just go unconscious.  I then started to panic and began to cry hysterically (embarrasing!) Started feeling better as my manager took me outside for some fresh air, but was a bit jellified the rest of the day.

This was on the Friday, was pretty freaked out but tried to write it off. On the saturday I went to some clothes shops with my mum.. well, attempted to! Went into the first shop and within 10 seconds the exact same symptoms came on, just this overwhelming fear that I was going to drop to the ground unconscious, time slowing, dizziness etc.. And this has now led to me not being able to go into any shop.. I had to take a week off work at the end of last year because I just felt so dizzy and faint all day. Went to the doctors and they gave me beta blockers. They didn't help and I didn't bother with them. In the october I had full blood work done and everything was fine, so I think I need to stop thinking something is seriously wrong with me and accept I have quite severe panic attacks? The drs seem to think so but no follow up treatment has been offered. I had made massive improvements recently, could go into some shops etc but last week I was driving home and my car set on fire, this seems to have started all these anxiety problems over again. I drove past the place the day after where my car set on fire and had a HUGE anxiety attack, even felt nauseous which is something I'd never felt before and its made everything 10 times worse. At the end of this week I have felt like I am in a constant state of panic, scared to stand up at work incase I pass out, purposefully not booking interviews/meetings as I just feel like I am going to drop unconscious. 

My question really is this.. has ANYONE out there got anxiety specifically related to the fear of passing out?? And also what medication/therapy/thinking/techniques helped those people? I am getting married in August and seriously considering cancelling it as I can barely leave the house at the moment 

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Hi Kathy i know how u feel.my anxiety started in November with numbness in leg n arm i was afraid to sleep in case i didn't wake up n i was afraid to go out in case i collapsed.i am now physically ok ive had every test done so i know in not ill but it doesn't seem to have registerd with my brain yet.i had to go on a mild anxiety med.it does improve with time .this week i went out 3 times .u hve to start small even just out for 10 mins.stay close to home then build yourself up.if u feel u need more help go n ask for some councilling.it doe get better just take it easy n go at ur own pace it will get better.dnt shut yourself off.

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Hey katy, welcome to AC :) Oh hun so many of us are like you, I hope it helps to make you feel a little better to know you are far from alone feeling like this. I would hazard a guess what happened to you is like what happened to a lot of us. We had things happen and coped just fine until one day sometime later BOOM it just hits you. You described it to a T. A miscarriage is traumatic, and you have to grieve, even when you think you coped well you may not have expressed all your feelings properly and they can turn in on us. I'm the kind of 'chin up and carry on' type, not realising in the end it wasn't such a healthy approach. Don't cancel your wedding, it will get better. CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) helped me the most, I haven't taken medication but know that it can help a lot.

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Hi Gerti,,,,,, OH BOY! You have said a mouthful. When anxiety strikes , it really does feel like something is about to take you to your knees, doesn't it? With you ,seeing your partner pass out in front of you , that would probably make it exceptionally worse. The list of the 100 symptoms has feelings like you will faint or pass out. I'm also listening to an anxiety cd where he mentions often you feel like ' you will die, or " LOSE CONTROL ' or pass out or go crazy '.  That is me, the feeling I will lose control. I used to feel I' d pass out but now that so many times have passed and I did not faint, I don't worry about that too much anymore.But now I feel I may want to run off or seem kooky to onlookers when I'm in a tight spot. You are ok. All that you've described makes it perfectly sensible that your brain might be wearing thin with the nerves. When you said you had all these things happen and " im ok with it" , that strikes a chord with me. I always felt in my mind that I was ' ok with stressful things'. I'd be having all these things going on in life and I would think ''im ok, im not stressed, its just life , i dont feel the pressure ' etc. I said that to myself and I believed it. But down inside my mind, it was clearly getting overwhelming. So in a situation that is TENSE, even if you don't necessarily recognize it is tense, it could still be affecting your mind. 

Poor thing. Have a deep SIGH ............and know that you are ok. We have all been where you ar and when you are first diagnosed, it can be so so so so so scary. But it is anxiety. You have an over active anxious brain. You can control your thoughts and you are still in charge !!!!!!!!!!! Believe that ! You are in charge. It's your mind. It's the mind you teach foreign language and lists of things to remember like names and countries and capitals and how much your phone bill is and all your friends' names and every word to every song by your favorite band..........that mind and those thoughts are all within your control right? So don't fall for the trick that you're not the boss of your brain. You just have to re teach it a few things and work on forgetting a few others and you 'll be ok ! 

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Oh boy I got quite emotional reading all your replies! I've become really soppy! Thank you so much for your reassurance and support, its hard to believe sometimes that anyone feels as terrified and well... stupid sometimes as you do! I think my main problem definitely is not dealing with issues when they present themselves. I DEFINITELY am guilty of always being the strong character and never dealing with stuff. I remember I was very very sad for a few days after I miscarried but then I was so ill that I just got on with it and just had the attitude that "things happen for a reason" which I do think but maybe I didn't grieve correctly. My best friend died 2 years ago and I still struggle with that everyday so possibly I just didn't have any grief left in me? The mind is a scary thing. I don't want medication. I have had two nervous breakdowns and still refuse meds. 90% of the time I felt fine and 10% I felt nuts. Now its the other way round 90% nuts with this anxiety and I just want to feel centered again. I don't think I will both with counsellling or CBT through the NHS I was offered it 2 years ago. it took 8 months to get an app then it was cancelled and no one contacted me back. Horrible service the nhs. Hopefully I can sort something soon. Joycicycle thank you so much for the advise with the thinking. It really helped put things into perspective. The thing is I have been to see a few doctors regarding mental illness and they have all said that my logical intelligent thinking tends to be my downfall? I have all this knowledge and advice and thinking about mental illness but can't see it in myself? Gaaaah I don't know anymore! xx 

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Oh wow im so sorry for what you have gone through seems like you have been to hell and back again (we all have tbh)

 

i'm gonna start by saying beta blockers arrrrrrrrrrrrghhhh how ragey i get at dr's prescribing these for peole with anxiety especially i your main symptom is dizzyness vertigo etf because tbh they just magnify the problem.

 

therapy is key, cbt, mindfullness, deep relaxation therapy and being taught how to breathe properly are the key features with people who suffer from what i like to call *dizzyvertigomesseduphead syndrome* these symptoms are usually down to hyperventalation syndrome..........basically were breathing to fast and too shallow due to panic or anxiety but you rarely know its happening until you feel dizzy/faint and the  start to panic all over again. Learning how to breathe properly is a good thing..........everyone presumes deep breathes from your chest are best.......... uh huh entirely wrong deep breathing from your stmach is where you need to be at learning to breathe deeply and gently can be as good a anxiety/panic cure as popping a xanax or valium (seriously i aint kidding)

 

your dr is another problem no follow up appointment no referal to therapy or a psych for evaluation on how deep rooted your anx/panic is is just poor health care in my opinion.

 

my advice to you is to seek out another dr and get a 2nd opinion, meds arent always the answer but if you feel you need them you can ask you dr for something mild (plz try to avoid benzos when possible0 something mild like a low dose ssri or buspar (buspirone here in the uk) in cobination with some therapy might help........therapy on its own i.e cbt or mindfullness can be all some people need ot get it back on track.

 

I personally got shoved from one dr to another for so long im now med dependant and i am in therapy have a psychiatrist and psychologist so the key to good recovery is to get the right help.

 

if you want any med advice feel free to pm me (im not a dr or prescribing dr so its advice only and you should consult your dr/pharmacist or psych before trying any medication........i'm literally here to give advice and my opinion only)

 

Wishing you best of luck and i hope you find your answers here and from a professional

 

Kitty xx

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Thanks for the advice Kitty, I think DR's do just try and fob a lot of us off, especially when it comes to "mental health" even in 2014 it seems like there is still a huge stigma around people who have mental health issues.. quite sad really but I've come to the point where I don't care! I'm trying to use the approach where I need to constantly reassure myself just how irrational it all is in the midst of an anxiety attack. I just came across something really interesting online that a dr has wrote about anxiety, specifically relating to people fearing they will pass out. Wanted to post it here as I hope it can give some comfort to others aswell:

 

This is a very common fear among people suffering from panic attacks. First, here's a little background.

People think of fainting as belonging to the same category as heart attacks - a terrible physical calamity. But fainting is actually a valuable way the body protects itself.

Do you know what causes a person to faint?

It's caused by a sudden, significant drop in blood pressure. When blood pressure drops this way, there is a chance the brain won't get enough blood, because it's at the highest point of the body. That's no good - your brain needs a steady supply of the oxygen the blood carries. So when your body can't get enough blood to your brain because of low blood pressure, it protects you by bringing your brain down to the blood. The faint ensures a blood supply to the brain by bringing your head down to the ground.

If we had our brains in our feet, there wouldn't be any such thing as fainting, but tap dancing would probably be banned.

Here's the key point: What do you think is happening to your blood pressure during a panic attack?

It's going up. Probably not a lot, but it's doing the opposite of what you need to faint. So it's extremely difficult to faint during a panic attack. In order to faint during a panic attack, you need to have some other physical circumstance or condition which lowers your blood pressure to such a degree that it overcomes the increase.

It's not impossible, but extremely rare. Some people have a condition, called a syncope, which can result in a faint during panic. If you have such a condition, you would probably have a history of actual faints (not "almost fainting", actual faints) by the time you're in your thirties. Some people have what's called a Blood Phobia, and they can faint when they see blood. That's not an uncommon condition, but it's very different from Panic Disorder.

In more than 20 years of treating patients with Panic Disorder, I've seen four who had actual fainting episodes. Certainly it was of little comfort to them that it was so rare and, if you have a history of actual fainting episodes, you have to learn how to manage them and protect yourself. But if what you have is a history of fearing a faint, of feeling like you were about to faint, of thinking you just narrowly dodged a faint, and so on, in the absence of any actual fainting episodes, then what you are troubled by is a fear of fainting in the absence of any actual fainting.

While fainting almost never occurs, the fear of fainting is extremely common among people with Panic Disorder. This is because people often feel dizzy and lightheaded during a panic attack, and mistakenly associate this with fainting. People who have never fainted in their lives will say "it feels like fainting". That's part of the Panic Trick. These sensations are the result of shallow, labored breathing, and have nothing to do with fainting. A good belly breathing exercise will quickly clear up these sensations of feeling lightheaded and dizzy.



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great piece of information, I have read something very similar on a website that also lists over 300 symptoms of anxiety and panic....... comforting thought to know that it is our body protecting itself........ some people don't believe this.......its a crying shame. I hope you find the comfort reassurance and help you need through us and this site my lovely.

 

Kitty xxx

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