Anxiety - My Story.

Postby briary » Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:09 am

<Originally posted by Philidgeidiot>

I was sat watching television tonight with my laptop on my lap, and I suddenly thought to myself "I havent checked my blood pressure for a while, or measured my pulse", so I waited for Eastenders to finish (a soap opera for non english board users) and i toddled off to find the little battery operated gadget thingy that measures your BP and pulse... My blood pressure was something ridiculous like 90 over 53, and my pulse was 56... After seeing this I thought Oh my god, my hearts stopping slowly but surely, so I then started looking up low heart rates on the internet, when I stumbled across this wonderful forum, so if you havent fallen asleep already by reading this far then I will tell you my story.
About 5 years ago I moved in with some friends that I worked with and I got involved in the terrible habit of taking class A drugs (speed, ecstacy) that sort of thing, and luckily enough got away without too many problems, I then moved away from the area and didnt use drugs during that time... When I moved back in to the area, I happened to meet up with these "friends" of mine. Before I knew it I was back in to the twisted world of chemical highs, spending most weekends on a different planet. Life seemed good and I could imagine nothing better than to just carry on like this for the rest of my life. After one of these "party weekends" I was dropped off at home by my friend feeling very tired as I had been up for 48 hours and also on a bit of a comedown, as I walked in to my house I suddenly realised that all was not well, it felt like my heart was beating so fast and I was sure I was going to have a heart attack... I managed to dial 999 and an ambulance came and hooked me up to a monitor, I think at the most my heart was doing 190BPM which is only 10 beats away from what i think they call an arrest or something. They were unable to give me anything because anything that they would have given me would have reacted with the drugs that I had been using. I was rushed in to a & e, where they just monitored me for a few hours and I was free to go home. I was given a good telling off before being discharged. I went home feeling very lucky and vowed to stop the drugs (which to this day I have been clean". I went to bed that night feeling a little bit overcome with what had happened but thanking the good lord that i was still here to tell my tale.
The next day me and my house mate went to the local supermarket just to pick up some stuff for dinner etc... and in the car i was filled with the upmost dread that i was going to die, my heart began to race, chest pains, pins and needles, and I was convinced that I was gonna die, I went to my local doctors and he said it was anxiety straight away given the circumstances and reading some of your stories I believe that i was very lucky in being diagnosed with anxiety so quickly. He prescribed me propranolol which had to be increased until finally I am now on 80mg a day (slow release). I suffered with panic attacks on a daily basis until I moved to Salford, Greater Manchester and I was assigned a new GP. Before I moved to this area I had many symptoms, I too have suffered with the feeling my throat had a lump in it, for a few weeks I had to hold my tongue in my teeth due to the fact that i was terrified of swallowing it, sleepless nights, chest pains, too scared to go out in case of an attack... I thought this was the way that my life was to be forever, and I put it down to me just being plain stupid and abusing my body which is probably true... However Im rambling now but I moved to Salford, I moved in with a great family, and I got an excellent GP... who lets me carry on with my propranolol, he has given me citalopram for depression (which came with anxiety), diazepam for the really bad days, tamazepam for which I have to use sparingly (its addictive tho!) and some other tablet for other nights. Anyway I go for quite a while without anxiety attacks with this concoction (sp) of pills. My doctor has reccomended talking therapy and I am seriously considering taking him up on the offer as even though I sort of have my attacks under control they still rule my life. All I am assured of is a good nights sleep. I wanted to share my story with all of you because I know that most, maybe all of you didnt do anything to deserve panic attacks or bring them on. I was stupid enough to abuse my body which is when all of this kicked off. When they first started off I was convinced I would be dead by the time I was 24, My 25th birthday was in March so how wrong can you be. I also wanted to share a way in which I used to control my panic attacks when I first realised what they were and this really worked. When I could feel myself getting worked up and my pulse started racing and I had this wave of coldness strike me I would do 2 things, I would either play some of my favourite music as loud as I could or I would tell Mr. Panic to F*** off... I personified the panic attack and called it Mr Panic, I would tell this imaginary person that he was not welcome and I didnt want him here, and sure enuff 9 times out of 10 it would work... This may seem silly to some of you, but it worked for me... There were times when I would be sitting at the computer and I would just talk to whoever was on my msn about how i was feeling and talking about it made me feel better, also I would ring up friends and talk to them to take my mind off of it. All of these things helped me get thru the first year or so having panic attacks... The 2nd year wasnt so good though, the amount of times I went to casualty in the back of an ambulance, the amount of ecg's I have had because I thought I was going to die... Its such a scary thing. Sometimes I think to myself that maybe if I hadnt abused drugs then perhaps I would never have experienced this nasty thing, but i spose you cant live your life with shudda cudda and wudda. I then made another big mistake before moving to salford and that was turn to drink "to take the edge off". When u spend the day on the brink of suicide because u feel so anxious all the time, even the telephone makes u jump, i found the odd bottle of wine a day used to make me feel great, until the day after when I felt worse, then it was a vicious circle, I woke up worse, I would drink to get better, I would wake up even worse, and so on. Even when I got here in Salford I started off with a drink problem, however I made it to one drink a week, to one a month, and now I have been off the drink for 3 months, which is an achievement. The only vice I have now is my smoking cigarettes (thats my next target).
As I am writing this, I hve been reading it and i feel a little embarrased at how i got my problem, but it is a relief to know that people out there suffer the same symptoms as me. I dont hold down a job because I cant guarantee that I would even make it there every day and rely on sickness benefits... I have days where I cant bare to get up and then I have days where I am bouncing off of the walls. I have an inability to cry even when i feel really low, sometimes I feel a good cry would let it all out, but I am unable too. As i mentioned before I do have anxiety attacks sometimes still and I cannot use public transport or go in to large places on my own, and even sometimes with people. I still have the lump in my throat symptom, but I feel that if I go to my GP again ( I go at least fortnightly) he will have be sectioned...lol Joking aside tho, Ive come a long way since this all started but I long to feel normal again to feel the way I felt before all of this started, It has taken over my life, and I try so hard to fight it, but even on days I dont have panic attacks, I am so aware of everything my body is doing, the slightest noise, or jump and u then have to scrape me from the ceiling. I am still very reliable on my beta blockers and my anti-d's and sleepin aids, but thats what I need to be able to lead as much of a normal life as possible...
For these of you that are still awake...lol... when i say that each day i dont feel normal, the other day I was in asda and I felt that i wasnt really there, it was terrible, I spend most days wondering whats real and whats not real, Im not crazy, Im sure Im not, I have aches and pains all over and I am constantly checking my symptoms over the internet and so far ive had everything from bowel cancer to fybromyalgia (in my head of course). I am a fighter but when you look normal to other people its hard for them to understand how i feel, if you look ok, u must be ok is what they think Im sure of it. To any ordinary person looking at me I am a healthy lookin 25 yr old, inside I feel like absolute rubbish.
Today I have had backpain and feel very down, but Ive got a cold so thats prob bringing me down.
I have re read what i have typed here and it seems to sort of make sense... I hope that even though I have just talked about MY problems that you realise that I can relate to each and every one of you in how you are feeling. I hope that one day I will wake up and be fine and all this will have just been a terrible nightmare.
What a lovely forum and thanks to all the kind moderators who keep it open for people like us.
Phil
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#1

Postby briary » Fri Nov 11, 2005 6:33 am

Hi Phil

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story with us.

I don't think anyone 'deserves' to go through an experience like this, whether you took drugs or not. You learned from your experience of this and decided to turn your life around.

Your doctor does sound very supportive and if he is offering you the opportunity to see a therapist it could be worthwhile taking this chance. All too often people have to fight to get a referral.

The free Panic Attacks Course could also help you to learn to manage the anxiety more effectively.

This is a very supportive forum and I am sure you will receive plenty of encouragement and support.

Karen
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#2

Postby casino » Sat Nov 12, 2005 9:11 pm

the way you got your panic attacks is not embarrasing at all i don't think,
i got mine after having my appendix out and i wish i never did but its happened now.
i am supprised that the doc gave you so many meds though, i just take propanalol but really should be on some stronger stuff i think but i refuse to take it as i can't stand the side effects.

in the supermarket you experianced depersonalization which is common for panic attacks.

if panic attacks are really in the mind it does suprise me that people suffer from panic attacks for so long, as if something physical has changed in the body rather than a mental thing.

not sure why briary has posted your post but just to say good luck on your journeys.

C.
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#3

Postby ehmes » Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:27 am

Phil, let me tell you, I regret one thing in my life, and one thing only. The night I took mushrooms. Ever since then I've been plagued with panic attacks. My world has shrunk, I can't go anywhere unfamiliar alone, and even when I do with friends its there. I'm 25 as well, but when I was 18 I took the mushrooms. Seven years later I'm still in my shrunken world. I used to be fearless. I could fly to europe, go to manhatten, travel the states, go where I wanted to go and whenever. I had an attack on the mushrooms which caused me to vomit, accompanied by an extreme sense of fear. After that day I felt fine, but one month later at an incubus show in the city, my stomach felt ill. I fought off the fear and vomiting long enought to get to penn station and take the train. I thought it was physicall, but when I stepped of the train into my town the panic and stomach nausia vanished, thats when I knew it was mental. For the next seven days I was laid up and couldn't leave the house. Then xanax, and zoloft, but it didn't help (Zoloft made it worse for me which is unusual, according to my doctor). I haven't travel much since except to florida, and that measly two hour flight was horror (even though I was with my family). I'm twenty five now and feel like my life has been ruined because of one stupid night of experimentation with mushrooms.

I've been dating this girl for about six months, and I love her more than I ever thought was possible. The problem is, she's adventurous, and likes to hike, kyack, ski, climb and travel. She's understanding of my panic disorder (she's had some of her own, but mild) but she's going to school upstate in january, about two and a half hours from where I live. I have to go see her when she does, but I don't know how I'm going to handle it. I do know one thing: If I have to vomit my way 2 and a half hours up there I will. She's never asked me for a thing except to never give up fighting, and I won't. Its a war, and war is hell, but we have to live our lives and keep up the fight. I keep telling myself I won't be defeated, but then I see my friends around me doing things I can't seem to do, like going to las vegas and going to concerts in jersey. I tell myself that I'm just not interested in these things they do, but I know I'm just convincing myself to make it easier on me. Its a battle every day, and I'm tired of it, but I can't give up. Reading your story and alot of others on here has made me feel better knowing I'm not alone. There is a bond here with the people on this site, like verterans from a foriegn war that continues. I just hope I can keep up the will to stay on the front.

your pal ehmes
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#4

Postby rockette » Mon Nov 14, 2005 1:54 pm

hiya,

i am new here, just read your posts, my panic attacks started while being pregnant, as i was feeling sick as you do at the begginning of a pregnancy, but for some reason i started to really worry about being sick out in public, although this was my second pregnancy.

over the years it all got worse and worse, my mind picks up on any slite feeling i have, eg dizzy, hot, cold, shake, breathing, im constantly checking myself to see how i feel,

i found this forum today, and i am so happy i have, i just had the morning from hell. you would have thought i was heading out to battle but i was only going to do the weekly shop,

reading this shows me that i am not alone, and i look forward to reading more of the posts here.

take care ya'll xx :)
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#5

Postby philidgeidiot » Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:35 am

Thanks for your many replies, I was a bit dubious when i first posted my story, but it is inspiring that so many of you do not look down on me for what caused my attacks. Each day is a battle, I do agree, we can all have bad days, and sometimes they odd good day, but as long as we all have people that understand what we are going thru, it will make the bad days seem a little easier.
As for my doctor giving me lots of meds, I talked thru with him all of the problems I had, and he gave me something for each problem, which i think is very rare these days, propranolol for my anxiety, citalopram for depression, tamazepam for sleep (nothing else works) and diazepam if Im in a state... I also started to suffer from very bad indigestion with my Panic attacks... if any of you suffer with this ask your doctor to put u on omeprozol, i find this works better than zantac... and provides 24/7 relief.
Thankyou again for all your kind words.
Phil
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#6

Postby philidgeidiot » Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:39 am

ehmes wrote:I've been dating this girl for about six months, and I love her more than I ever thought was possible. The problem is, she's adventurous, and likes to hike, kyack, ski, climb and travel. She's understanding of my panic disorder (she's had some of her own, but mild) but she's going to school upstate in january, about two and a half hours from where I live. I have to go see her when she does, but I don't know how I'm going to handle it. I do know one thing: If I have to vomit my way 2 and a half hours up there I will. She's never asked me for a thing except to never give up fighting, and I won't. Its a war, and war is hell, but we have to live our lives and keep up the fight. I keep telling myself I won't be defeated, but then I see my friends around me doing things I can't seem to do, like going to las vegas and going to concerts in jersey. I tell myself that I'm just not interested in these things they do, but I know I'm just convincing myself to make it easier on me. Its a battle every day, and I'm tired of it, but I can't give up. Reading your story and alot of others on here has made me feel better knowing I'm not alone. There is a bond here with the people on this site, like verterans from a foriegn war that continues. I just hope I can keep up the will to stay on the front.

your pal ehmes


A personal message to you ehmes, I too found it hard to explain to a girlfriend about my situation and she too was very supportive, and I had times when I just went along with things because I wanted to appear normal, but inside I was dying and I dreaded it... Things that I would normally enjoy like concerts, nights out, I spent the whole time all worked up with myself, to this day I still do it, but Ive now learnt that its ok to say "no". I havent stopped all of my social life, but I do not do things that I feel may make me feel panicky. This does seem to be a way of shutting off from the outside world, but to be honest I would rather do the odd thing and enjoy it than do something every night and spend every day panicking... I hope this makes sense. I admire you for telling us your story, and I am sure you will stay strong... We all make mistakes, but we are only human...
Phil
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#7

Postby charlotte_kymberley » Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:19 am

PHIL!! u HAVE TO TALK TO ME, IM <edited by Site Admin>
OUR STORIES ARE EXACTLY THE SAME, EXCEPT IM 22.

Charlotte x
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#8

Postby philidgeidiot » Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:03 pm

charlotte u can contact me thru this, but i have also sent you an email and added you to msn :P
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#9

Postby oharet » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:56 pm

I have just been reading about your panic attacks and i have the near the exact same story, although my anxiety is not as bad as you have described. I took a lot of drugs till one nite i was in a club and thought i was about to have a heart attack lucky enough i went the hospital and they told me it was just a panic attack, ever since that day though i suffered from panic attacks for the next year and a half. I just want to give everyone this tip in beating panic attacks and that is exersice. If you exersice you are putting your energy into something else rather than the constant feeling of anxiety. I know myself somedays there does not seem a way out but beleive me if u go the gym go for a swim you do feel much better as your using your energy for something else. Always remember nobody has ever died from having a panic attack. All this i have said is easier said than done but beleive me i have got a phobia about my heart especially with all the drugs i took in the past but was i got my heart checked and everything was fine i started exercising and really got myself fit and it really did make anxiety go away and although i still suffer sometimes i can feel myself getting less and less anxiety attacks. I also rejected pescription drugs from the doctor as i find exersice is a much better way of beating this. Good luck to everyone who suffers from this cause i no how bad it can be.
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