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tenalive

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I am not new to anxiety but I am new to the forum... You know how it goes.. you're feeling fine so you don't "take care" of yourself and you begin to let things go. Next thing you know you're in panic mode because you didn't take the time to keep up with the exercises or understand your thoughts. Well, that's where I have been for the past few weeks. So, hopefully, I will stick with this and get back to my exercises.

Anyway, My name is Dave. I am from Florida and will be turning 37 in a few months. I have been suffering from anxiety and panic disorder for as long as I can remember. Although, I didn't really hear the term anxiety or panic disorder until my mid-twenties. I remember my first panic attack when I was about 12. I was flying on an airplane alone and felt like I couldn't breath. I started panicking internally, and waiting for the oxygen masks to drop. I looked around waiting for other people to start panicking but nothing ever came from it and slowly I began to relax again. I didn't know what it was at the time and didn't have another attack until my mid-twenties.

Although I didn't have another panic attack until my mid-twenties, I always worried about everything and would often wake up in the middle of the night sweaty and worrying. I had trouble sleeping and tried to take a sleeping aid but was in and out of sleep all night because of worry that I may or may not wake up in the morning. If I smoked weed, which I have only done a handful of times, I worried if I had been breathing for the last how many ever minutes before those thoughts. I would begin to breath heavy and take extra breaths. I would just worry about anything and everything in my life and around sometimes around the world.

It really hit me in my mid-twenties. I was in a stressful job and really my second real job. One of people above me was a real ass. He was the Archie Bunker type. Could not stand people of different races or sexual orientations. He thought women were beneath him. Every other sentence out of his mouth made you shake your head. I reported him and other people reported him but nothing ever happened. My job was basically a salary position and I always got my work done to the point there was three months where I sat and did nothing because I had done my job so effectively and efficiently that there was nothing to do until the next cycle of work began. I was still supposed to come in at 8am. At the time I commuted from one side of Boston, MA to the other and the commute could be anywhere from 30 min to 2 hrs. If I got to my desk at 8:32 he would look at me and tap his watch. There were a million other things with this guy and he wasn't even my supervisor, but I had to deal with him regularly and his office was next to my desk. I would generally get to go home at 4:00. I would sometimes begin to feel anxious at 3:45 if I had completed my work and didn't know what else to do. I would worry what I would do for the next 15 minutes as I felt like I was in "prison".

I remember driving home one day and thinking about these online tests I needed to take by a certain date. I began worrying about the tests and getting them done and how I could get fired if I didn't do them (which I wouldn't have), then how would I pay rent and so on. My brain was on fire and I called my girl friend at the time and I think I blacked out for a moment. I remember the weird taste in my mouth, heart racing and numbness and tingling I was getting. I then began having panic attacks and another type of attack a couple times a week. The panic attacks were associated with racing thoughts and the other type of attack I believe was due to the stress. The other type of attack would come with numbness and tingling sometimes, it would come with a headache, a feeling of a wave going through my brain and vision changes. I would be so tired after it happened and my vision was double or blurry up to a few days after. My thoughts and memory would also be off as I couldn't remember simple things such as the president's name.

I went to the ER and was eventually held for observation for 5 days, where they monitored my heart and brain activity. I was overcome with emotion when the doctors came to see me the first time. There were like 5 of them and it scared me. I thought I may have brain cancer or something. I cried as soon as they surrounded me. After the 5 days they believed I was having absent seizures. They sent me home with a monitoring device and meds. As soon as I left the hospital I started worrying and had racing thoughts. Lots of "What ifs". Over the next few months I worried and worried, couldn't get to sleep until 30 minutes before I had to get up to go to work. I had a bad reaction to the meds they put me on, where I felt like I had the brain capacity of a 5 year old. I came off the meds and went on a depression med. I didn't think I was depressed but the depression med made me feel amazing one week and really depressed the following week. After taking those two meds I developed a fear of medications, which I have until this day.

Over time I began getting better sleep. I did notice that when I would get angry or stressed for prolonged periods my brain would get "chatty" and I would also get brain zaps. I did cognitive behavioral therapy and my panic attacks mostly stopped. I would have times when I could feel myself working up into one but i'd be able to stop it from fully developing into an all out attack. I felt like sometimes the attacks would be triggered by intense emotions. I went to the ASPCA to look at the pets and came across an aggressive pit bull that scared me. I was attacked by dogs when I was young and had a fear of some breeds of dogs because of this. Shortly after the encounter I had a panic attack.

After a few years I felt like things were a lot better. Even better than before the attacks. I was doing a lot more, had more energy, etc. However, I developed a fear of sugar, caffeine and alcohol to go with my fear of medications. My thought is that all of these give me less "control". I will only eat something if it has less than 10g of sugar give or take a few grams. I usually stick to water, but will also have gatorade, but only a few sips due to the sugar. I then worry that the sugar will hit me faster as its a drink and will absorb faster. I stay away from caffeine even though I used to drink soda all of the time. I won't even do chocolate. In the last two years I just started drinking alcohol again but stay with beer or wine with a low sugar content. I start to worry sometimes if I start feeling weird and then stop drinking.

Even though I have been "better" I am still really being held hostage by my anxiety. The last couple of weeks have been the worst in several years. It started with my gf being gone for work and out late. So of course I worry about her and if she is safe. Her mom came to stay with us for a week when she came back, which was more stress. Plus, I had been staying up late when my gf was away (3am or later) to make sure she got back safe. I worked around the house and probably lost so much water from sweating outside in the Florida sun. I was definitely dehydrated, tired and had eye strain. I feel like I didn't have a lot to think about so all I can concentrate on is my feelings and sensations I am having. Just constantly thinking about how much stomach feels upset, my eyes are strained or my headache from thinking about it all. Then my mind drifts to "oh, you're thoughts are going to start to race if you continue, you're going to wear out your brain if you continue to think".

I feel like I keep concentrating on internal thoughts over external thoughts. Especially when I am doing mindless things for work. I wake up feeling good but as soon as one internal thought pops into my head it continues. So I joined this forum and also ordered a book. Writing this has helped in distracting me but sometimes I worry about the thoughts when they are just thoughts.

Thanks for reading

Dave
 

Kelculator

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Welcome to the forum, Dave. On a lighter note, your boss sucks. And I'm sorry about you having to deal with such an excuse of a human being.
I think you're really great to have recognized what is happening to you, and have reached out for help. This mindset is really important. If you are anything like me, there are days when you just absolutely cannot stop worrying about a particular thing. It is important to recognize why you are feeling that way, but when your mind irrationally still wander to the same place, I say, let it be. I personally timeout my mind like a kid. As you said, thoughts are just thoughts. Worries are worries. They aren't predictions as to what's to come. I'm proud of you for reaching out, and I hope you find this forum beneficial. Wish you're having a fine day.
 

Certate

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Welcome, I just recently joined myself.

I thought I also had my Anxiety and Panic attacks under control, I did the same thing and just let myself slip to much along the way.
 

Shreddykrugaer

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Hi hows it going just woke up from a night terror when i was almost asleep i use to think mental health was a joke tell i started waking up right when I start to fall asleep witch causes me to sit uo all night believing i have heart problem s leading me to worry leading me to get angry leading me to feel like im gonna die soon and then making everyone around me panic and anxious. Ive been to the hospital 3 or 4 times this year and they did xrays on my lungs pictures of my heart ekg heart monitors blood draws scans I bought a pulse oxomieter and it gave me contort dor a while but now it only makes me obsessively monitor my bpm i had control of my panic attacks for a little while but ive stopped working out and they seem to be stronger ive lost weight and cut of sodium and that helped tell it got around the 1st of July and the fire works made my anxiety sky rocket my blood pressure spikes and stays above 120 tell im eother really tired or I finally calm down witch is scary to think about . my bpm never gets about 100 and rarely 90 and usually is in the 55s so i convinced my self it was heart failure but its not. Then i started to convince myself i was only losing weight and getting leaner cause of cancer. My father died a few months ago and my son had a seizure while i was asleep so now at night I just assume something else will happen its really draining me this month after a whole month without a panic attack or anything. No its either a night terror every other night or a full blown panic attack every few days. Specially when im tired or hungry. I recently stopped drinking in April 25th i know its only been a couple months but it feels like eternity i started self medicating after my first panic attack a year ago cause of all the insane amounts of sodium and red meat i was eating raised my blood pressure i did drugs once and a while molly coke and drank quite a bit and im thankful to be healthy and thankful that I quit and didnt seriously **** myself up. But now I feel like i messed my mental health up and its going to be a long hard road to recovery I only partied for a few years but i read storys about 20 year olds dying the next day after heavy partying and it kills me to know how close i was to dying some times and it almost sends me into a panic thinking this could have been me someone else was reading about. Sorry for the ramble its 2 am and i just wanted to talk and hope someone can relate to soemthing ive said and know they aren't the only ones strugggling with things or trying to find a healthy way to cope with day to day things
 
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