For quite a while, we had a discussion about uncontrollable humming. We had various folks who would hum frequently but not know why. It turns out that this can actually be a symptom of Tourette's! Who knew?
Breathing is actually an awesome tip - breathing in the right way makes it much harder for the body to panic. You can even fool the body into not panicing if you do it right. It reads "oh, we're breathing slowly and deeply, everything must be fine" and stands down.View Thread
You have interesting thoughts. I think low self esteem can contribute to anxiety as well. I came at things from the other side. I wasn't good at facing conflict and struggle, and nobody pushed me to become stronger. So I got the idea that I couldn't face challenges, so I became an underachiever. I started believing that I didn't have any courage or grit, because I hadn't been tested - I'd run as fast as I could from almost any challenge. Result: low self esteem, from NOT being pushed. Because somewhere deep in my mind, I knew that nobody believed in me.
Now, pushing a person to try to be perfect is just as messed up. Actually, it's not the attempt for perfection that's harmful - that's a fine goal - it's the expectation perfection that is.View Thread
Were you taking any cold medicines? Some medicines like Sudafed for example, or even dextromethorphan, can give you some odd symptoms. Some cold medicines can make your fever feel stronger and have mental effects. If you have sensitivities you can get some pretty uncomfortable symptoms. Some of them might even cause panic attack type symptoms.View Thread
That all seems to me to be a really effective cause of stress. And it shows that you are twice as strong to give up the substance abuse. You should really be proud of yourself. Unfortunately, if you are still having awful feelings like you are, that won't really help. I do think looking at it as anxiety may still help you, especially considering all the tests you have done.
I want to repeat myself about one thing - even if it is anxiety, your awful feelings are still real and still very disturbing. I'm not denying that they are terrifying, not at all. I am however saying that if it turns out to be anxiety, it's very treatable and you have a really good chance of feeling better.View Thread
You don't have to tell your parents the exact cause of your anxiety, but can you tell them you aren't feeling well and want to see a counselor? You need someone to help you find out where this monster came from and what causes the idea to come up. The idea could be coming from stress, anxiety, troubles at home or at school, or many other things. Did anything happen when you were 9, around the time you started seeing it? Also, what is it like? Does it come at certain times of the night, or if you've had a really hard day? Even if there is something "wrong," you can find ways to feel better and get rid of this monster. Even if it's only in your head, it's still a sign that you aren't feeling well and that's why a counselor could help. But you need to feel comfortable and safe talking to that person.View Thread
If you have had all the testing etc, you can probably rule out heart attack. You're right though, those are classic symptoms and being young doesn't eliminate the possibility of heart attack. I think your doctors are right - with no other causes, you are describing classic symptoms of anxiety. They will get worse the more you worry about them. Check out anxieties.com for some great free tips, and the meantime try this: when you have these uncomfortable (terrifying, awful) feelings, think to yourself "This is really uncomfortable, but I can hande this and it will pass."
Practice meditation. It can really help. Breathe deeply and slowly, because it's so much harder for your body to panic when you are doing that. And thank you, thank you, thank you for stopping your substance use. That will allow your mind to work better and your body to heal. That's the one best thing you could have done for yourself.View Thread
Let them know about your anxiety and how serious it is. They can put a numbing gel on your skin that will make it so you don't feel a thing. I wonder why you'd need an IV right away? Usually, health care providors are really gentle and kind and good about working with your anxiety. Also, keep telling yourself "I can handle this," over and over. Even if you don't believe it, it does really help program you to thinking you can. Also, don't forget your breathing exercises. It's a lot harder to have a panic attack if you are breathing mindfully, whether Lamaze or just plain normal deep slow breathing.View Thread
I have a couple of thoughts - one, if you don't have a restraining order on your ex, consider getting one. Take concete steps to protect yourself. Learn situational awareness. Use that paranoia to be aware of your surroundings, that way you know for sure whether you are being followed or not. That can actually help you reduce your anxiety because you are taking concrete steps to protect yourself. Your mind is going bananas, in part, because you feel vulnerable.
One last thing - this may seem a little odd, but bear with me. Take a martial arts class. Try to take something that isn't just a sport, like taekwondo. You aren't taking this class to learn to hurt people, you are taking it for the mindset and the self confidence. Martial arts generally teach you self awareness, awareness of surroundings, confidence, physical fitness, and meditation.
Here's why I suggest it: I knew a woman who was being beaten by her boyfriend. She begged her friends not to call the police. She was a broken woman with no confidence. Someone called the police on this scum and she broke up with him. Then she found a new boyfriend, one who taught cojujitsu. She started taking classes. Just a few months later, she was a new woman. She stood tall and proudly, she carried herself well, she had a smile on her face again, and eventually she thanked the woman who had called the police for saving her life.
I want you to have the same chance and I think this might help. Good luck to you!View Thread
You do have the possiblity of regaining control over your own mind. Seeing a counselor might be a good way to start, they can help determine what kind of thing is troubling you and help you feel better. I wouldn't advise a psychiatrist right away, better to start with someone who can help you learn coping skills to regain control of your thoughts.
It's not normal to feel like you are being controlled invisibly, but there is a lot you can do to feel better and it isn't hopeless.View Thread