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New Member with anxiety

Joined
Apr 8, 2019
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#1
Hi, my name is Dave and I just turned 30. Ive had a few panic attacks throughout my life, where I'd go to the E.R thinking something was seriously wrong only to be told there's nothing going on physically and that it was probably a mental issue causing physical symptoms.

Nevertheless each time they'd make sure I was stable and then tell me to follow up with my doctor. My problem was any time I explained to a doctor that I "feel a burning in my chest at all times of the day" they instantly think heartburn. So for a few months I went through talking to a gastro only to find out after many tests that nothing was wrong in that department.

That episode was about a year ago. Flash forward to this last December I have a panic attack. I call it that but basically I feel like my body is pulsing to my heartbeat which is fast and it makes me feel like I have to get up and walk or I will die. If I try to lay down and close my eyes the pounding snaps me awake. They last for hours and then eventually I sleep after much frustration and wake up fine.

The weird thing is that nothing seems to trigger these. They'll just happen. So after this one in December, which sent me to the e.r. as well because I thought I couldn't breathe. But it was all in my head. After this one though I had a constant sensation in my chest, and left arm, just vivid enough to make you feel like someone is just resting their hand on you. It doesn't hurt, but its annoying. It makes you think about it.

For some reason that feeling just stuck. The slight burn or touch, tingling, whatever you want to call it. It stays with me all day every day.

I went and got a bunch of tests done to make sure I didnt have a heart issue, sure enough that's all normal. My rhr is 100bpm which is abnormal to what it usually was but I keep getting told if its normal, then I'll be fine.

I keep getting sidetracked but I finally found a doctor where I described the sensation and he literally looked me in the eye, shrugged his shoulders and said "i.... Have no idea" which seems like it would be bad but it was good because I had finally found someone who isn't suggesting heartburn. They listened to what I was actually saying. He suggested it might be nerve pain or anxiety and to put me on the lowest possible dose of Gabapentin.

I was happy to just try something. Who knew what would happen. I am typically really against taking drugs for any reason and like to stay in my alert state of mind so I was hesitant. Never smoked anything, never even tried a cigarette, I drink once every great once in a while, etc. I just am always afraid of losing my sense of being in control of what's going on with my body.

Yes I do have control issues but only towards myself, if that makes sense.

I started taking the lowest dose once evwry night and nothing was happening for about 3 days. Then I wake up and realize I don't feel like I'm being touched, but in its place, I feel a numb sensation in the same spot. It was still weird but I sure preferred it over the touch sensation. I was able to concentrate at work again and everything. I didnt have days where I wanted to sit on my bed in the dark and hide. I could actually take my kids to the park without feeling scared.

That was and still is slightly a problem I face. With the sensation came fear as well. I was suddenly scared of doing things that were totally normal to me. For instance, I could not go into a restaurant and sit down and eat. For some reason I'd just panic the entire time (silently of course) but I couldnt concentrate on what I was eating or what anyone was talking about. I was only thinking about when I get to leave. Same with parks and grocery stores.

Anyway the gabapentin has slowly staved off the feeling all together. I can feel myself starting to get anxious sometimes but am able to control it typically. You'd never have known I was having an internal episode because they're real quick now.

But the reason I'm here is because its 3am, and I've been having anxiety since 7pm and can't sleep due to the pulsing I described earlier. So I thought id seek others with predicaments as well. Any time I try to talk to anyone in person about it they always say something along the lines of "I understand but I don't know how you feel because I've never felt it".

I'm really trying to get to the bottom of my problems because I am typically the most calm person ever in any situation. My ex wife believes that I somehow pushed all the issues aside and now they have just caught up with me, like I can't keep my cool and calm anymore. She's a friend now and she suffered her own anxiety issues in the past so she kind of gets it.

I have plenty to be anxious about, 30, have three kids, from two different moms. Both moms left to pursue other people. I was kind of a pushover and took a whole bunch of crap from people and kind of forcively stayed in relationships that were comfortable because I was afraid of being alone. Luckily we are all cool, co-parent amazingly and that's all fine and dandy. I have a girlfriend who I don't get to see that often who goes to school 6 hours away so a majority of the time she is there. I see her maybe 3 days a month in person unless there's a school break. It does not help my feelings of being lonely, which I've learned how to manage on my own, but have discovered I actually hate being alone. I am just now able to discern a bad relationship from a good one without clinging on to being alone.

Either way I do not know what triggered this latest bout since it happened way after my third child's mom left, which we agreed and did mutually. I met a great person who is really nice to me and the kids and is wonderful. I just never get to see her. I think that could be a cause but I'm really hoping its not because then my anxiety and all these seemingly random panic attacks will just continue to occur unless I have a companion nearby? Its scary to think of.

I basically have this desire to just be normal again since it seems to not be triggered by anything specific. Even knowing I'm having an attack and there's nothing wrong with me - doesn't stop it. I basically have to ride it out like a train that I don't want to be on. I don't get to decide when it stops. I just wait and see.

Whew that was long. But it makes me feel a bit better right now. I should also note that since I have kids, whenever I get like this I try not to let them see me. I'll tell them I need to take a nap or something in my room. They're at an age where they kind of take care of themselves they just can't figure out how to cook complex meals that aren't sandwiches. But i f it ever happens during the day I say I need a nap, shut myself in my room and ride it out for an hour or so. I am just afraid of them seeing me in crisis. I don't want them to worry. My other issue is when I'm here alone I worry about simple things like I have them tell me sometimes what they'd do in an emergency or if something happened to dad, what should you do. I honestly worry sometimes that I'll die in my sleep and the kids won't know what to do and couldn't get out of the house. Some days I'll leave the door unlocked for this very reason. We live in a really safe neighborhood so I feel comfortable with doing so but other times I kind of drill them about what to do in an emergency and check to make sure they can open the door on their own. Its just a heavy door that sometimes sticks. This isn't something I do every day or even once a week. Just when I'm feeling that imminent doom feeling. I basically want to be sure they can get out and get help.
 
Last edited:

triceps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
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#2
Hi and welcome TurboDart. It sounds like you have generalized anxiety disorder, as do I. It sounds as if you're doing a pretty good job juggling your panic attacks, kids, work and social situation. My only suggestion would be to be open with your kids about your anxiety. Kids get more freaked out when Dad has to go into his room for an hour for no apparent reason. It's really good that you're giving them emergency directives. Thanks for sharing your story, you'll get some good advice from many understanding folks here.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
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#3
I appreciate you sharing all of this. You have a lot on your plate and I want to tell you that you are very strong to be able to deal with anxiety while raising children and having a full life. I struggle with anxiety and depession, so I am with you and understand the terror of panic and “imminent doom”. I’m glad the Gabapentin is helping you. Remember that you are not alone, many of us are sharing this struggle together.
 
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