So I'm a crazy endurance athlete and 6 months ago in February I really started having trouble sleeping - falling asleep and staying asleep. I started averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep a night which just doesnt cut it when you're training hard twice a day. I was really started to burn out and had symptoms of anxiety which can be caused by overtraining. My performance would rarely be where I'd expect it to, but I'd have moments where I was clearly still performing at a decent level, which caused me to just keep training while trying to sneak in some additional rest. So I continued to train. I'd generally feel good during the morning workouts, but more lightheaded during evening workouts, especially during lifting. I'd do about 9-10 workouts a week, 2 would be lifting the rest cardio based.
On top of this my relationship with my girlfriend became stressful in February too. Leading to an extremely stressful breakup in April. I'm still not quite over her and I see her frequently. Which makes it hard, although I've moved on significantly since then, I can't believe this is still a huge stressor - but I may be wrong. Also a week or so after this I started developing just awful belching, which seems to be getting better now, but still continues.
Shortly after breaking up, I gave up training towards the end of May. I immediately felt a lot better. I started having lots of fun, going out with friends, drinking, going on a date or 2, Just genuinely enjoying summer, although I still continued working out, though perhaps doing only 25% of what I had been, and at a lower intensity. Some things still were there, such as lightheadedness / top of head pressure during lifting, or even during cardio, though cardio generally makes me feel better. I didn't let this bother me too much. I was also immediately sleeping better after stopping training.
I did start to notice by the beginning of June pressure from time to time on top of my head, or sometimes I'd just feel like my heart would stop, I chalked this up to anxiety and figured it would take a while to fade - and all the partying wasn't really giving me the rest I needed.
Anyway I went on vacation at the beginning of July for a week, none of the symptoms really bothered me at all - except for tons of belching happened. I'd say I genuinely felt great. I'm not sure if it could've been the weather - getting out of city air pollution, or just being relaxed.
However upon returning I developed tension headaches, or a mixture of that and the pressure on top of my head, which would come on starting around 1pm everyday at work. I felt fine the following weekend, then this past Sunday, as I was winding down for the evening the pressure on top of my head came on, which was weird because generally it faded in the evenings. It sometimes feels like there is a vice grip pushing the top of my head and my mouth together. It's not an overwhelming feeling, and it ebbs and flows, sometimes it's not noticeable - like while doing light cardio, or after a shower, and always less so if I keep myself busy.
Now that this headache really hasn't ended since Sunday evening, and it's a very weird numb tingly pressure on top of my head sensation I'm a bit worried. It also seems to be spreading to my nose and forehead more. Can I still chalk this up to anxiety? I scheduled a chiropractor appointment for next Tuesday thinking that could help, and I have a doctor's appointment the day after.
The fact that I felt fine on vacation makes me think this is anxiety - but does that sound right? It seems unreasonable to think that anxiety is the reason I've had a weird head sensation now for the last 4 days. How long should stress take to fade, and shouldn't things just be getting better? It's been 3 months since my stressful relationship ended, and almost 2 months since I've stopped training full time. Or could this be something worse? I was thinking potential paranasal tumor?
First off, let me tell you that I believe lack of sleep contributes a great deal to anxiety. Every therapist and doctor I've ever seen says that not getting enough sleep is just as bad for you as not eating properly and exercising, and that it induces anxiety. I have not slept well in eight years. If I get five or six hours of sleep in a night, I consider that a really good night's sleep. Additionally, just like you (regarding vacation), the last time I slept through the night consecutively was in 2007 when I was in Mexico.
I've suffered from anxiety for eight years, but it was well-controlled with Lexapro up until December 2011. My sleep pattern had finally gotten a little bit better around this time, but now it's awful. In the past few weeks, I've found that on the days I barely sleep, my anxiety the next day is a lot worse than nights that I've gotten a lot of sleep. (My doctor prescribed me a sleeping pill, but I don't always like to take it because it makes me feel very groggy the next day.)
The pressure on the top of your head is something that I was experiencing...it felt like somebody was pushing on top of my head and shaking it. I recently switched to Zoloft and experienced some side effects with that drug, so I thought maybe it was from that. I've been on it long enough now, though, that side effects should have subsided, and all the others did. It was so bad that I hardly got out of bed for three weeks. A week ago, I decided I'm tired of living like this. I made an appointment with my therapist, and she told me I need to start each morning with a walk, and do some deep relaxation three times a day, and then try to stay out of the house as much as I could (I'd go days without even leaving because of the anxiety). Some days it's hard to fit that all in to one day, but I truly believe that taking time to relax a bit has helped. Anyway...I learned that the head pressure and dizziness was not from the drug, rather the anxiety. I had a really great day on Wednesday and I reveled in that. The next day, I got very little sleep, and didn't do much, but instead of giving in to the anxiety, I decided the next day would be better and it was. I have been forcing myself to do things and that dizziness has been gone since. I got so wrapped up in it, that all I did was worry about it. So, long story short, it sounds to me like all of your symptoms are anxiety-related. It's amazing how many physical symptoms anxiety can elicit.
As for your relationship, the whole reason for the onset of my anxiety was due to a relationship eight years ago. Though my situation was likely entirely different than yours (I dated a guy who faked many ailments, unbeknownst to me, including terminal cancer, pretended to have a stalker, pretended to be abused, etc.), I didn't put that past me until this year, when I saw a therapist. I've dated guys for just a few months that it took me a year to completely forget about, so I can imagine that you are experiencing some of the anxiety due to your relationship, especially if you still have to see your ex-girlfriend on a regular basis.
Lastly, paranasal tumors are rare, and in most cases, are asymptomatic until the later stages. Additionally, if you were affected by one, I don't think that the pain would come and go, and the symptoms of these tumors is more sinus-related - upper respiratory infections, facial pain, water discharge, etc. I hope that alleviates your worries.
It sounds to me like you are experiencing anxiety. If it continues, I'd consider talking to your doctor about getting on an SSRI, and / or a therapist.
Hey hang in there man. Yes agreed, lac of sleep makes anxiety way worse. The more sleep you can get the better for your mind and body to fix itself...to make yourself well. Since you are concerned about tumors or w/e going to your doc and getting some bloodwork and checking your white blood cell count will let you know the truth about whether or not you have anything serious. This really does just sound like anxiety. Chiropractors are bad. There are studies where there are findings that going to a chiropractor shortens your lifespan considerably. I would cancel that appointment if I were you. It's still up to you obviously. Hang in there man. It could be some allergies you are dealing with too. They seem to be really bad this year. I've never had allergies in my life until this year.
Thanks - It's nice to know all this can be caused by anxiety, even though it seems so silly. I'd like to get to the point where I don't feel like I need to go out drinking to have fun to take my mind off things/sleep. I'm hoping I can find relief without any drugs too, although I do have a prescription for ambien which can be quite handy.
It is a bit scary to hear you talk about it as an onset of anxiety from a relationship. I hope this is something that will pass given enough time, and isn't a thing that i'll have to carry with me.
Good luck to you too, continue to KickButt!
Also I'm still going to try the chiro - hope I don't lose too many years from it.
My relationship was a nightmare and it continued that way for months before it spiraled out of control. I had somebody constantly lying, faking his own death, when I was at a point in the relationship where I didn't want to be in it anymore, but felt I couldn't stay. My situation was certainly not common by any means, so I wouldn't stress too much about it. I'm kind of concerned about the drinking, though. I'd hate to see that turn into a problem. Alcohol makes me anxious, but if it calmed me I could certainly see how I'd want to continue drinking.
Thanks for the well-wishes. I hope the same for you!
And I have never heard that going to a chiropractor takes years off one's life; many people claim they work wonders!
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