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#1
Hey guys/girls,

I'm new here, and I'm sort of an "anxiety survivor". After a lot of work and long suffering, I was able to overcome crippling anxiety to the point where...I don't feel anxiety very much at all anymore.

I remember thinking when I was going through all of it,"If I just had someone that truly understood what I was going through to talk to, this might be a lot easier. If I just knew someone that beat this that could help me".

I feel like I could provide a few really good tips (depending on your situation) that really helped me overcome this. I hate the fact that there are so many people out there struggling with this.

So let's start with, what kind of an anxiety are you all feeling? Mine was health and then it turned into anxiety about getting anxiety.
 
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#2
Hey guys/girls,

I'm new here, and I'm sort of an "anxiety survivor". After a lot of work and long suffering, I was able to overcome crippling anxiety to the point where...I don't feel anxiety very much at all anymore.

I remember thinking when I was going through all of it,"If I just had someone that truly understood what I was going through to talk to, this might be a lot easier. If I just knew someone that beat this that could help me".

I feel like I could provide a few really good tips (depending on your situation) that really helped me overcome this. I hate the fact that there are so many people out there struggling with this.

So let's start with, what kind of an anxiety are you all feeling? Mine was health and then it turned into anxiety about getting anxiety.
I have what I think is general anxiety, Im 25 years old and have been in it for over a year...I feel like a completely different person and I can't remember my old personality. Do, that being said...I feel like Im never gong to feel like I used to.
 
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#3
I know a life without anxiety, but i I can't remember how it was....I know that sounds crazy. I also have really weird thoughts....I just want my life back...how did it feel coming out of anxiety? Was it gradual or a sudden clarity moment where things made sense? And do you have any advice on getting out of it?
 
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#4
I have what I think is general anxiety, Im 25 years old and have been in it for over a year...I feel like a completely different person and I can't remember my old personality. Do, that being said...I feel like Im never gong to feel like I used to.
I remember that feeling all too well. That this was simply how my life was going to be now on, forever. I even had someone tell me that. Which as I'm sure you know...is the worst thing you can hear! Its simply not true. I also had someone promise me that it would leave me eventually...they were right.
 
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#5
I know a life without anxiety, but i I can't remember how it was....I know that sounds crazy. I also have really weird thoughts....I just want my life back...how did it feel coming out of anxiety? Was it gradual or a sudden clarity moment where things made sense? And do you have any advice on getting out of it?
Getting out of it happened gradually but only over the course of a couple months (at least the real bad anxiety). After that, I had that manageable anxiety that doctor's call "general anxiety"...where you feel anxious but it's not panic and you can still function.

I've written a list of some of the most key tips that I learned over that period that not only helped me come out of it...but helped me stay out of it:

1. Turn away from it/Distract yourself. Yes, this is the one you've heard before. But, you have to look at it from an intellectual point of view. Your brain has some preconceived trigger that you've "learned" somehow that's causing this. If you can change this trigger to something else, the anxiety changes with it. Keep reminding yourself that's its all truly in your head.
2. Tell yourself its okay, it's nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. There are so many people dealing with this, its just that people hide it.
3. Ativan. Yep, just having it in my pocket was sometimes like having it in my system. You know if you need to take it, you will get relief.
4. Here's a fun one if you can't distract yourself. Try to have a panic attack...try to actually make the anxiety worse. You'll find that you really can't, and it might alleviate the feeling.
5. Relaxation therapy. Something as simple as tightening your fist or your stomach muscles until you can't hold it much longer, and then releasing it...will help with it. They have whole half-hour sessions of doing this, but I find simply doing this whenever I get anxious really helps.
6. Laugh it off, nothing is actually wrong with you. You aren't in any danger.
7. Know that it will leave! I promise! Maybe not today, but someday.
8. Pray. I personally am a Christian, but many people are turned off hearing prayer as an option. I highly recommend it, though :)

This is really just the "cliffnotes" of what really struck a chord with me. Obviously, there is also therapy and SSRI's and long term medication that can also help. What kind of experience have you had with that or with any of the ideas I listed above?
 
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#6
I remember that feeling all too well. That this was simply how my life was going to be now on, forever. I even had someone tell me that. Which as I'm sure you know...is the worst thing you can hear! Its simply not true. I also had someone promise me that it would leave me eventually...they were right.
Did you have a personality before you went into anxiety? And if so, did you get it back after you were out of it?
 

JACKIE

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#7
I recently started with health anxiety. It all started with the weak/ tingly feeling in my left leg and lower back. It freaked me out. Now i am usually an anxious person but i was able to control it. Well after feeling that sensation for a few days i called the doc. and went in. everything was apparently ok and they referred me to a sports medical doc. because i suffer from back aches too. After that feeling everything went down hill. I started having a panicky/ nervous feeling throughout my body, shaking cold feeling. Pulsing in legs and then my whole body. Then i decided it would be smart to google my symptoms:/ Came across all sorts of neurological issues. Then i started feeling all those symptoms, my ibs went through the roof and now here i am.

fighting all these thoughts and sensations everyday. I went for a physical and full check up; doc said everything was fine. Was checked for lupus, mono, anemia, arthritis and nothing, everything is neg. according to the doc. problem is i dont feel ok. i have all these symptoms. feeling dizzy, super tired, short of breath, all these aches and pains in my body. My face is breaking out. etc. I also experienced my first panic attack and ended up in the ER. I have experienced and felt panicky other times after that as well. Its sucking the life out of me. The fun, sarcastic me does not exist anymore. I made my doc refer me to a neurlogist because there are times that gets so bad, that im convinced i have a tumor or other things like that. :( my mom is a woman of faith too and every time i talk to her i feel so much better. She went through something similar so she keeps telling me its just my nerves/anxiety acting up. But its super hard.
 
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#8
Did you have a personality before you went into anxiety? And if so, did you get it back after you were out of it?
Haha, I think I understand what you are asking. I fully recovered the personality I had before that anxiety period struck. And yes, I was a different person during the period. You feel like you are never going to go back to the way you were before...but you will, and you will be better.
 
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#9
I recently started with health anxiety. It all started with the weak/ tingly feeling in my left leg and lower back. It freaked me out. Now i am usually an anxious person but i was able to control it. Well after feeling that sensation for a few days i called the doc. and went in. everything was apparently ok and they referred me to a sports medical doc. because i suffer from back aches too. After that feeling everything went down hill. I started having a panicky/ nervous feeling throughout my body, shaking cold feeling. Pulsing in legs and then my whole body. Then i decided it would be smart to google my symptoms:/ Came across all sorts of neurological issues. Then i started feeling all those symptoms, my ibs went through the roof and now here i am.

fighting all these thoughts and sensations everyday. I went for a physical and full check up; doc said everything was fine. Was checked for lupus, mono, anemia, arthritis and nothing, everything is neg. according to the doc. problem is i dont feel ok. i have all these symptoms. feeling dizzy, super tired, short of breath, all these aches and pains in my body. My face is breaking out. etc. I also experienced my first panic attack and ended up in the ER. I have experienced and felt panicky other times after that as well. Its sucking the life out of me. The fun, sarcastic me does not exist anymore. I made my doc refer me to a neurlogist because there are times that gets so bad, that im convinced i have a tumor or other things like that. :( my mom is a woman of faith too and every time i talk to her i feel so much better. She went through something similar so she keeps telling me its just my nerves/anxiety acting up. But its super hard.
This story is so shockingly similar to mine it's crazy! When this all started I was worried about 2 things, my heart (I had a prior heart condition that was repaired by a minor procedure) and a twitch in my left pinky finger.

One day out of the blue I had a massive panic attack and also ended up in the ER (thinking I was having a heart attack). This started the period of hell. It's like my my body learned a new trick. I became so obsessed with my pinky twitch, other parts of my body started to twitch. Just like you, I started going to doctors and googling the symptoms. Of course when I google those symptoms, you see Parkinsons, ALS, and MS. My toes were twitching. I was getting tingly in my arms and legs. It felt like my extremities would "fall asleep" constantly. I finally went to a neurologist and of course everything came back normal. That was a nightmare in itself because I went through all these crazy tests like this thing where they shock you.

The one recurring theme was every doctor including my therapist telling me...anxiety can cause ALL THESE SYMPTOMS. Even when you the anxiety starts to dissipate, it takes a long time for your body to go back to normal.

I'm not a doctor Jackie, but all your symptoms are almost definitely being caused by nerves and anxiety. That's the thing I learned the most during that period, just how much your mind can actually affect your body.
 

JACKIE

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#10
This story is so shockingly similar to mine it's crazy! When this all started I was worried about 2 things, my heart (I had a prior heart condition that was repaired by a minor procedure) and a twitch in my left pinky finger.

One day out of the blue I had a massive panic attack and also ended up in the ER (thinking I was having a heart attack). This started the period of hell. It's like my my body learned a new trick. I became so obsessed with my pinky twitch, other parts of my body started to twitch. Just like you, I started going to doctors and googling the symptoms. Of course when I google those symptoms, you see Parkinsons, ALS, and MS. My toes were twitching. I was getting tingly in my arms and legs. It felt like my extremities would "fall asleep" constantly. I finally went to a neurologist and of course everything came back normal. That was a nightmare in itself because I went through all these crazy tests like this thing where they shock you.

The one recurring theme was every doctor including my therapist telling me...anxiety can cause ALL THESE SYMPTOMS. Even when you the anxiety starts to dissipate, it takes a long time for your body to go back to normal.

I'm not a doctor Jackie, but all your symptoms are almost definitely being caused by nerves and anxiety. That's the thing I learned the most during that period, just how much your mind can actually affect your body.
How can i tell my brain to stop:( Im so sick of this. I am depressed now, i just feel like crying all the time and have zero excitement about anything or energy. Is it really possible for all this just to be in my head/brain. I believe is just my brain sometimes but then other times i say it cant be. It has to be something else causing this. My doctor is no help, he told me all my test were good and did not suggest anything else or say anything else. thats why i told him to refer me to a neurologist because maybe they can give me more input. Just curious to ask you some questions since our stories are so similar. Did you ever enjoy anything while you were going through this? Was it an all day thing or did you just feel it sometimes? Mine is constant now from the moment i get up, my brain is already thinking ok this is whats wrong today. I get up feeling really tired and my head feels heavy. Then im ok but the thought of whats coming next or when will the next symptom show keeps me on edge all day. Also keeps me sad and doesnt let me enjoy anything. I cant even eat sometimes.

I had IBS issues already and gall bladder issues. So my IBS is through the roof right now. How did you do it? How did you overcome this? I keep thinking maybe going to the neurologist and if something is not wrong; that will be what changes my brain thoughts. I been going to a counselor and i feel im worst after i leave there. I feel drained and sad; maybe because i talk about all my issues and remind myself of them? I thought this is supposed to be helping me not making me feel more depressed and worst. Maybe i need to change therapist.
 
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#11
How can i tell my brain to stop:( Im so sick of this. I am depressed now, i just feel like crying all the time and have zero excitement about anything or energy. Is it really possible for all this just to be in my head/brain. I believe is just my brain sometimes but then other times i say it cant be. It has to be something else causing this. My doctor is no help, he told me all my test were good and did not suggest anything else or say anything else. thats why i told him to refer me to a neurologist because maybe they can give me more input. Just curious to ask you some questions since our stories are so similar. Did you ever enjoy anything while you were going through this? Was it an all day thing or did you just feel it sometimes? Mine is constant now from the moment i get up, my brain is already thinking ok this is whats wrong today. I get up feeling really tired and my head feels heavy. Then im ok but the thought of whats coming next or when will the next symptom show keeps me on edge all day. Also keeps me sad and doesnt let me enjoy anything. I cant even eat sometimes.

I had IBS issues already and gall bladder issues. So my IBS is through the roof right now. How did you do it? How did you overcome this? I keep thinking maybe going to the neurologist and if something is not wrong; that will be what changes my brain thoughts. I been going to a counselor and i feel im worst after i leave there. I feel drained and sad; maybe because i talk about all my issues and remind myself of them? I thought this is supposed to be helping me not making me feel more depressed and worst. Maybe i need to change therapist.
When this was going on it was an all day thing. There was almost no relief. Every day I woke up in fear wondering when the really bad anxiety was going to start. I didn't enjoy anything, I just wanted to be asleep. I felt the same desperation that you are feeling now. That's what you need to know...there WILL BE a time in your life when this is in the past. Where you will look back and think "wow that sucked, well I'm glad that's over with". We just have to figure out what works for you.

Another thing, while it does feel better to read about other people's stories...sometimes talking about your anxiety actually causes the anxiety to occur. I was seeing a therapist once a week. But when I started feeling better, I noticed that my most anxious moments were occurring during our sessions. So I told him I think it's time for me to see how I do without him, and it was the right decision.

Are you taking anything? Sometimes its necessary to take an SSRI for an indefinite period of time. SSRI's are known as anti-depressants, but some of them have the added benefit of treating anxiety. I take an anti-depressant called Viibryd (depression runs in my family) which has the added benefit of controlling panic. This is not the total solution to what fixed my issue, but it certainly helps.

Review the list of tips I wrote at the top of this post, and give them a try...and hang in there! This will pass.
 
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#12
Summers, how long have you been on an anti depressant? I think I'm going too talk to my doctor about getting on one!
 
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#13
I have had anxiety probably all of my life but the last four years have been the worst. That's when the health anxiety started. I have been to doctors and had ekg, labs and physical exams and all are normal. But I still feel the nagging feeling that what if it's not. When I first get cleared from the doctors, I'm good and even happy but then as time goes on, I feel that twitch or that heart palpitation or dizzy spell and I am back in that loop. I'm a teacher, and during the summer is when my anxiety intensifies due to having more idle time, I suppose. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and I am going to ask to go back on antidepressants because i just can't live like this day after day. How long did it take you to overcome this?
 
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#14
Summers, how long have you been on an anti depressant? I think I'm going too talk to my doctor about getting on one!
I've been on this one for a couple years now. The only downside (to me at least) is that you have to pay for it of course. That being said, there's a little trick that very few people take advantage of. Usually, right on the manufacturers homepage, there's a coupon that you can redeem that literally trims the cost around 70/80%. And that's on top of the insurance co-pay. I end up paying like $15 a month.
 
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#15
I have had anxiety probably all of my life but the last four years have been the worst. That's when the health anxiety started. I have been to doctors and had ekg, labs and physical exams and all are normal. But I still feel the nagging feeling that what if it's not. When I first get cleared from the doctors, I'm good and even happy but then as time goes on, I feel that twitch or that heart palpitation or dizzy spell and I am back in that loop. I'm a teacher, and during the summer is when my anxiety intensifies due to having more idle time, I suppose. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and I am going to ask to go back on antidepressants because i just can't live like this day after day. How long did it take you to overcome this?
Yeah, the very fact that you notice that you are worse during idle times is proof that you can control it. It just takes practice. Once I started actually "treating it" (practicing the advice I received from a therapist...and prayer), it took about 2 or 3 months for the worst of it to dissipate. It then took about 6 months of getting stronger for the general anxiety to go away. And by general anxiety I mean just that nagging anxiousness that recurs, but that you can live with.

Oh, and yeah the pounding heart thing I had too. Again, you learn how to control it.
 
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#16
How often are you experiencing anxiety? On a weekly basis for example?
I'm not sure if you mean now or then? Now, I never get bad anxiety (that sharp stab in your chest or that panic feeling). Every once in awhile I feel a little anxious, but that's not abnormal for anyone. Back then, basically the entire time except in the morning for some reason.
 
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#17
I've been on this one for a couple years now. The only downside (to me at least) is that you have to pay for it of course. That being said, there's a little trick that very few people take advantage of. Usually, right on the manufacturers homepage, there's a coupon that you can redeem that literally trims the cost around 70/80%. And that's on top of the insurance co-pay. I end up paying like $15 a month.
Do you feel like yourself on it?
 
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#20
I have anxiety on a daily basis. I feel dread from the moment I wake up. I am stressed over the fact I need to eat each day, shower, I'm bored by life and the only time I'm really calm is when I'm reading self help books. I'm unable to work because my anxiety is so bad. I struggle to be around people and get very scared to leave the house.

I have my good moments but for the most part I have to fight hard to not stress about the past and be fearful of the future.

I feel extremely needy and struggle to take care of myself. Terrified of how I'm going to support myself. For now I have somewhere to live but if I can't work what am I going to do with my life?

*sigh* I try so hard to focus on the positive and just get through each day
 
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