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Anxiety gets physical



New member
Apr 18, 2019

Almost 2 years ago, I had to rush to the ER the morning after we broke up with my boyfriend. I was devastated and couldn't sleep that night. I was trying to distract myself. I went to the mall in the morning and decided to go to the tattoo studio. While I was in the taxi, my hands started to go numb and that numbness moved all the way to my neck then my face and my whole body. I thought It was because I was sleepless and the weather was very hot. But the numbness turned into contractions in a few minutes. I was unable to control my hands,my body and even my tongue, physically. It was like I was having a stroke. I could barely tell the driver to take me to the ER.

All the test came back clean. And the neurologist asked a bit about my backround, social life and what was going on.

He said it was all psychological and I had anxiety disorder. He prescribed me dissolving olanzapine to take in case of an attack. And daily medication.

Everytime I was outside and I felt the same numbness starting in my hands, I always walked nearby hospitals for months. Even though I didn't go in, being near them made me relax. After that attack, I had the anxiety of having it again. Because it was one of the scariest things in my life.

I know I had anxiety before that but never had that kind of an attack. I always had these scary scenerios of bad things happening to people I love, and losing sleep over those thoughts. Or overthinking about things that are nowhere close to happening but worrying about them and getting upset.

My medication is over for anxiety and that kind of an attack hasn't happened for almost a year now.

I wonder if anyone has had the similar attacks where anxiety gets physical. Or is this panic attack?


New member
Apr 18, 2019
Hi. I have just joined this site and your symptoms are very like mine. About 2 months ago I had sinusitis and a sore throat and took ibuprofen, I can only think I had an allergic reaction to the ibuprofen as within half an hour my throat swelled up, I was struggling to breathe and had a rash across my chest and shoulders. I managed to get to my sisters house with my little girl and called 111. Luckily I am prescribed fexodenadine by the dr and I took one of these which helped a great deal. The following day my neck / throat was so sore, I saw a dr who only prescribed a nasal spray, I suffered every day with this feeling starting in my throat, it was like all my muscles were contracting and I was panicking. I ended up in the walk in centre and finally was given antibiotics for a bacterial throat infection and also propranolol for anxiety. The feeling went away but last Saturday I didn’t feel very well and had a vomiting bug, almost immediately that horrible tightness returned to my throat and I’ve had it everyday since. It starts at the bottom of my throat in the centre and moves around, it goes round the side of my neck, my face starts tingling and my lips. My fingers sometimes also start tingling. I am so scared and have been scowling the internet trying to find what is wrong with me. Is this normal for anxiety? I’ve never had it before so have no idea. The propranolol I think are helping and I’m taking the fexofenadine also, have only seen an improvement today, I’ve not had the tightness feeling in my throat constantly today, yesterday it was the whole day. I just wanted to cry.


Well-known member
Feb 18, 2019
Delaware, USA
Hi Rainbow. Its always really hard to say what is or isn't a panic attack, but what you experienced certainly could have been, at least the doctor seems to have thought so and especially in light of what you were going through it would make sense.

Many people who have panic attacks have them only once ever, or here and there, or they will disappear for a long time. I had my first panic attack about 24 years ago, but only one then, didn't have another until about 4 months ago where I had several until I realized what it was and started working on it.

Anxiety can absolutely cause horrible physical symptoms , just read through a few of the threads here and you'll see the range of things it does to us unfortunately.
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