Before all this c**p happened to me I''d never even heard of anxiety or panic attacks. Stress? That was for other people & a visit to the doctor was rarity but over the past 17 months my body seems to have fallen apart. I''ve lost count of the times I''ve gone to see my doctor trying to find out what''s wrong with me & every time I''m told the syptoms I desribe are all down to stress.
Heartburn, racing heart beat, stomach problems, headaches, trouble sleeping, loss of apetite, pins & needles you name I''ve had it. Once I ended up in the A & E department in the middle of the night after calling 111 thinking I was having a heart attack. After numerous tests I was told it was just a panic attack & was sent home but it scared me.
It doesn''t take much to set off an anxiety attack & once the symptoms start it''s viscious circle. I start to worry which makes it worse & even though I do deep breathing exercises to calm me down, the feelings don''t really go away. Usually I have to say goodbye to the rest of my day as any enthusiasm I had for that day has disappeared.
I know I''m not the only one going through this & I expect some of you are going through a much harder time than me but part of the purpose of this forum is for sharing our troubles, so here I am.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings.
Has your GP given you anything for your panic attacks? I too was terrified the first time it happened and really didn''t know what was going on. I was given beta blockers to take when one started and it really helped to slow things down and me be able to take control.
I found divorce the most stressful and depressing life event to date. Try and hold onto the thought that it will pass in time. Once everything is sorted things will settle down with your health too.
I sympathise, and agree that your GP should be able to help with medication for anxiety to tide you over.
You may also find it helpful (as I did) to have psychoanalysis. It''s not a quick fix but I got a year free on the NHS. I got CBT more quickly but found it impossible to focus on tasks like writing down my worries when they were so numerous and overwhelming.
Meditation, mindfulness or the Alexander Technique can also be helpful. I rate the last as most useful and stopped my daily headaches and relieved the worst of the anxiety immediately I began studying AT. Again it''s a long term investment that for me (though I am far from fully fixed) has paid off enormously. It is sometimes available on the NHS.
Yes I have had all those symptoms and thought for around two years I was going to have a heart attack because of the pain in my chest, which I know now was all the stress. The worry went around and around making the symptoms worse and stuck in a loop. I forced myself to start running and go to the gym to prove me wrong and had to do lots of meditation to give my brain a rest.
The best medication for anxiety for me was exercise and a commitment to it. I dont think it can do anything serious to you so just try and accept it is there for now and live with it but I now how tough that is. So went from doing nothing to exercising quite a few times a week. I also swear a book by claire weeks on overcoming nervousness and fear saved my life as i was becoming agrophobic as my body did not want to move. Taught me what was going on in my body and not to fight it as makes things worse. I think as all the crap your going through gets more in the past the symptoms will lessen but it was a long slog for me.
I wonder if you are being reactive to the panic attacks. I barely remember them now but I do recall the despair being so overwhelming that I went variously blind or unconscious. I also remember howling like a wild creature and hearing the sound coming from me with a sort of dark horror that I had been brought to such a state. Tears, great wracking eye bruising sobbing would usually help to break the tension and bring back my sight. But the misery would remain ready to build until the next overwhelming stage. I think this is where you are now and although it is easy for me to say 4 years on that it will pass, in the moment that won''t help you.
You will find your own way but what helped me was deciding to love, care and cherish myself.
Diet - I ate the healthy things I enjoy
Exercise - I began walking every day, at first I could only manage 5 minutes out and 5 back - nowadays 2 hours is a decent walk to me
Time for me - a) I set myself the goal of spending at least 5 minutes, as early as possible during the day to sit quietly and free my mind of any thoughts, let it rest. Concentrating on your breath is good, not forcing yourself to deep breathe, just observing it. It also helped me to imagine myself as a small thing sitting within the flower cup of soft pink paeony, trying to imagine its delicate scent. Choose your favourite flower and enjoy the feeling of safety and wonder that that little practice engenders.
b) Care for your appearance, don''t just slap the face or body cream on, apply it as you would to a precious one. You''ve been hurt to your core, you need to be soothed and you are the best one to soothe yourself.
None of this will stop those times when sorrow overwhelms you but it does help to increase the time in between and also lessens the impact. When you find yourself in another of the black pits, it does help to remind yourself that it won''t last and that you just have to go with it. One day in the future, like me, you will feel immensely proud of yourself that terrible as it was, you coped. I promise you that happiness will be yours again.
I experienced what you are going through - anxiety, heartburn, my heart raced liked I''d been running all day, stomach upset, headaches, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite causing me to lose 2 stone and pins & needles. In the very first stages I was constantly wretching. It''s what your body does when you are in shock. My mouth and throat was constantly dry, I couldn''t swallow properly, nearly choking when I did eat. My hair started to thin and my skin went dry - I do have a recurring skin problem that hasn''t shown on me for at least 7 years - well you guessed it it''s back and slowly getting worse and brought on by stress.
My main symptoms lasted 2-3 months. During the first few days I too thought I was having some kind of heart attack, until my GP said it was normal.
Please don''t belittle your symptoms, as they are real and you are going through them.
To be honest nothing lessened my symptoms, they just got better with time the more accepting of the situation I was. I did try to exercise but lack of food and sleep didn''t help. Sorry if I''ve not been of any help, I just want you to know other wikis know what you are going through.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences with me. As I said in my original post, I know I''m not the only one suffering.
I had been doing really well over the past few months & just after Christmas I decided I was emotionally stable enough to start divorce proceedings but it''s affected me more than I thought it would.
As advised I kept my stbx "in the loop" insisting that any contact be via text but after a hitch with some paperwork he called my landline & I answered the call without checking the number first. After not hearing his voice since he left over a year ago & it completely threw me. I managed to stay calm enough to talk to him but I was shaking like a leaf after I put the phone down. He called my mobile & my landline again a few days later but I ignored both calls then texted him to let him know I''d only answer his texts.
It doesn''t help that I pulled a cartilage in my chest a couple of weeks ago & after seeing a doctor I was told that the symptoms were similar to a heart attack. That''s what probably brought on my anxiety attack this morning as the pain was quite bad. I now realise I need to give myself more time.
I thank you all again & hope we all find some peace eventually.