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Can anxiety seriously be this bad?

V

Vee.k

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Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Messages
2
So I've had anxiety for about 6 years now. It really did suck but I was still able to function normally and do things and felt pretty sane. However, I recently got my first panic attack 7 months ago and I have not been the same since. I am seriously considering if it was just a panic attack or something more serious. It started because It was during my first year of college and I had been staying up very late at night every night to complete assignments on time. I got on average about 3-4 hours of sleep. I was in a class which I usually have a friend in but that day I did not and I felt a bit anxious and I wasn't paying attention very much. It started when I started getting really deep into thought and I was wondering if it was possible to just think so hard that I would fade away or get lost in my own brain and then it happened right after. I started shaking and wasn't able to breathe or see properly and my heart was beating very very fast and I felt like I wasn't able to properly think and I wasn't able to speak or use my hands well. I could barely gather my things but I knew I had to leave that class. So I struggled but I called and texted my dad to pick me up and he brought me to the doctor because I was sure I was having a heart attack. They took my blood pressure and said I was fine and that it was just a panic attack and that was it. However, I was never the same again. I feel as if my health is deteriorating day by day and I am only 20 years old. ever since this panic attack, I have had panic attacks daily. Along with that, I have some very weird symptoms. Here are some random symptoms I am experiencing:
- lack of ability to think clearly
-feeling extremely disconnected from environment (depersonalization + relealization)
-inability to carry out any conversations with strangers
- feeling like I can't control my body, facial exprsssions, etc
-lack of coordination and balance ( I can't even walk properly anymore, it often feels like the ground moves around while I walk. And I lose my balance really easily. Also I have a hard time with depth perception and so on)
- Hard time seeing, especially in public places. I am unable to see strangers faces properly . I once went shopping with my mom and we got separated and I could not find her even though we were in the same store. I felt like everyone's faces went blurry and I couldn't see a thing. The store had many many people in it and I think everyone was looking at me because my mom noticed I couldn't find her and she called my name really loud.)
- my whole body feels extremely heavy and I am constantly exhausted
- I used to go to the gym every day but I cannot anymore because I feel so heavy and tired always and don't like the feeling of my heart rate speeding up as it reminds me of a panic attack)
- Cannot handle eye contact
- can't hear people properly when they talk to me

There's probably a lot more, but I don't want to write a whole book. So please, can anxiety seriously be this impactful? I can barely do normal things anymore like I can't have a job and school is very, very difficult and I cannot drive in fear of a panic attack or that I'll lose my mind. I also feel like I am going completely crazy and really losing my mind. I was recently put on 50mg of Sertraline but I don't think it's helping that much and I can't tell if it's making me feel weird. I am not depressed necessarily, I just really really want answers and wish this would all stop. I hate not being productive over something I cannot control. I know if it is anxiety it's a mental health issue but it feels like a very physical issue. Please help me :(
 
calypso

calypso

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Hiya and :welcome: to the forum. The short answer is yes, this could all be anxiety. I hate it when doctors say "just" a panic attack. They are terrifying and debilitating as you have found. The number one thing you need is proper sleep. I think you go back to the doctor and ask for something to help you get to sleep for a week. Usually they will give you Valium but only for a week as it can be addictive if given more often than that. Sleep will help more than anything else.

I presume you are not still trying to study with only 3-4 hours a night? I hope not. Anxiety is a terrible condition for many who suffer from it. If you are in Britain, you can ask for therapy from your doctor. They don't advertise it as it costs them money but you are entitled to some and also to be referred to the Mental Health team - if you feel its that bad. But you need to ask them and insist on it. Maybe take someone with you to help explain your needs.

I doubt its physical illness from your description, but of course I can't diagnose on a forum.
 
V

Vee.k

New member
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Messages
2
Hiya and :welcome: to the forum. The short answer is yes, this could all be anxiety. I hate it when doctors say "just" a panic attack. They are terrifying and debilitating as you have found. The number one thing you need is proper sleep. I think you go back to the doctor and ask for something to help you get to sleep for a week. Usually they will give you Valium but only for a week as it can be addictive if given more often than that. Sleep will help more than anything else.

I presume you are not still trying to study with only 3-4 hours a night? I hope not. Anxiety is a terrible condition for many who suffer from it. If you are in Britain, you can ask for therapy from your doctor. They don't advertise it as it costs them money but you are entitled to some and also to be referred to the Mental Health team - if you feel its that bad. But you need to ask them and insist on it. Maybe take someone with you to help explain your needs.

I doubt its physical illness from your description, but of course I can't diagnose on a forum.
Thank you for your input. I am now getting enough sleep but it is still happening. The weird thing is that it doesn't even happen when I'm anxious or anything. I wasn't depressed or very anxious at the time, it just happens randomly for no reason and I really have no control over it. Do you think that therapy can help me then? I'm not sure if there is anything that I can do to control it so I'm not quite sure if therapy will help or make it worse, since the more I think about it or talk about it, the more it happens. I live in Canada btw and have access to free counselling since I am a student. Thank you!
 
R

rachelangelo

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2017
Messages
63
Hi Vee.k,

Wow. What you're describing is almost exactly what I went through in college. The first time I had a panic attack, I thought that I was having a stroke because the whole left side of my body went numb. The next few years were filled with panic attacks. I, also, felt like my health was deteriorating. I was getting sick and having all sorts of infections. I think because of the stress that I was under, my immune system was weakened. Stress can make you sick. What you're experiencing with your physical health may be a result of stress and lack of sleep. Because my panic attacks were so bad, I finally sought professional help. At first I thought I was being weak because I couldn't handle the problem on my own, but I realized that reaching out for help is the strongest thing you can do. I, also, found a support group on campus with other students who dealt with anxiety. That was life changing. It didn't change overnight, but over time, it really got better. I don't get panic attacks anymore. I was put on a medication as well. Might I suggest letting your doctor know that your medicine isn't helping? I had to try a couple different types of medication before I found one that my body properly responded to. You're not crazy and you're not alone. Hang in there! It will get better!
 
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