Anxiety attacks...maybe?

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    Anxiety attacks...maybe?

    I have been worried all the time for months, now, and I have had two of what I think are anxiety attacks (short of breath, chest aches, worry, worry, worry) in the past two days. I mean, I assume they're anxiety attacks, since the cardiologist says the only thing wrong with me is I'm fat. But I'm not a doctor, so I don't know! And I can't tell if something if triggering it, and that just makes it worse.

    I know I over-react to any little thing that is out of the ordinary with my health, and I know that just _not knowing_ what's up can really stress me out, but knowing that I'm prone to anxiety in those situations does nothing to help me not be anxious, you know? I get stuck in this cycle and worry myself sick until I can sit down with a book or video game and distract myself long enough to get out of the 'worry loop,' which can take like 30 mins. Not really possible when I'm at work.

    I'm seriously thinking about going to see a therapist. And how embarrassing will it be if she tells me there's nothing wrong with me and I just need to deal with it? Still, I'm tired of this, and I don't know what else to do about it.

    #2
    Breath of Fire breathing may help.

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      #3
      I'm no doctor either, but a close friend of mine used to suffer from anxiety attacks. Just like you mention, he said the most problematic thing in his daily life wasn't the attacks themselves, but him being afraid of them happening. So, yes, that's definitely a vicious circle.

      On the upside, he's doing much better now. Therapy helped, along with a few better lifestyle choices. It took time, but the difference is pretty dramatic. And whatever you decide to do, AquaMarie, I'm 100% sure a serious therapist won't tell you there's nothing wrong with you and you just have to move on. Such attacks are actually rather common, but there's nothing wrong with asking for help to know how to deal with them better.

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        #4
        I'm not a doctor either, but I've had anxiety attacks, and your episodes sound like anxiety attacks. Whatever is causing them is producing a ton of mental or emotional stress for you. If anxiety has been an issue for you all along, going to a therapist IS dealing with it. You sound like you're at the point where it's hard to deal with it on your own and so you're seeking help. That's good. You're dealing with it now, by seeking help. There's nothing embarrassing about that. Therapists are there for just that reason...to help you deal with things you can't deal with on your own.

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          #5
          I've had anxiety on and off for years and had anxiety and panic attacks many times. One of the things that helped me was to understand what was happening during an anxiety attack. I was given the information here and here. Something to help calm down is to breathe in for a count of 7 then out for a count of 11. It rebalances the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood and helps ease the symptoms hyperventilation causes.

          Going to a therapist is a great idea. They should be able to help you identify the cause of your anxiety and address it. Distracting yourself from anxiety can be helpful in some ways but doesn't deal with the cause so finding ways to work through what is causing the anxiety and what is happening during an attack should help reduce the anxiety. A decent therapist will want to help, they won't tell you there's nothing wrong because clearly something is. If you can figure out the root cause or the triggers for your anxiety then telling them that will help them know how best to approach it. If you don't know (and this is fine, it's very common to feel anxious without knowing why) then they should help you work out why. Cognitive behavioural therapy is something you might want to consider as it's one of the best talking therapies for anxiety.

          I hope you're able to find the help that you need and things get better for you

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            #6
            Thank you very much, everyone. One of my co-workers has a therapist that she really, really likes, so I'm going to give her a call this week and see if I can get an appointment. Hopefully she'll help me figure out what's causing it.

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              #7

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                #8
                Originally posted by AquaMarie View Post
                I have been worried all the time for months, now, and I have had two of what I think are anxiety attacks (short of breath, chest aches, worry, worry, worry) in the past two days. I mean, I assume they're anxiety attacks, since the cardiologist says the only thing wrong with me is I'm fat. But I'm not a doctor, so I don't know! And I can't tell if something if triggering it, and that just makes it worse.

                I know I over-react to any little thing that is out of the ordinary with my health, and I know that just _not knowing_ what's up can really stress me out, but knowing that I'm prone to anxiety in those situations does nothing to help me not be anxious, you know? I get stuck in this cycle and worry myself sick until I can sit down with a book or video game and distract myself long enough to get out of the 'worry loop,' which can take like 30 mins. Not really possible when I'm at work.

                I'm seriously thinking about going to see a therapist. And how embarrassing will it be if she tells me there's nothing wrong with me and I just need to deal with it? Still, I'm tired of this, and I don't know what else to do about it.
                I would try therapy (maybe without any meds at first) to see if it will help. I have a personal tendency for somatization which means internal buried anxieties turn into runaway anxiety about health problems that don't actually exist. I spent too many visits at the regular doctor before I recognized the own trend in myself and got proper help.

                Using video games to defuse the anxiety eventually left me looking forward to nothing but gaming (games aren't super bad evil or anything, but they shouldn't be the only reason to keep going).

                The process for me involved discovering some of the root causes in my thinking that I was converting into medical anxiety and after doing that (and a lot of fitness) I'm finally feeling pretty free of it (not to say I don't get anxious anymore, but it's more about things that I know are happening and I can work on). I think I got lucky with my therapist but I believe after my experience that the training a therapist has can really help people (vs having those real deep conversations with friends).

                Also this is easier said than done, but don't have any embarrassment; being aware enough to realize outside help might benefit is strength and self-care.

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