Tingling and having this internal shaking feeling were two of my biggest symptoms. They were also the most annoying and they hung around for forever. Everyone told me it was just the anxiety, but I couldn't see how it would be causing such horrible physical symptoms that never went away, even when I wasn't feeling anxious.
Eventually though, it did go away. It was hard, but I had to try and ignore it and put my mind on something else. Now I can tell when I'm getting anxious because the shaking and tingling will return, but if I do some abdominal breathing and focus my attention elsewhere it usually goes away.
I'm still fairly new to anxiety, but I have family members that have been dealing with it for years and they have said that all the symptoms go away, but they can resurface anytime the anxiety gets bad. I hope this helps!!
My tingling is not as bad anymore. I also don't get the twitches like I used to. Anxiety is a terrible thing to have to deal with and causes so many uncomfortable symptoms. Hang in there...try to do something that will allow you to forget about the tingling like gardening or something with crafts...something that will keep you busy and hopefully takes your mind off of it.
Please don't ever be sorry to ask a question.............especially on this forum! For those of us with anxiety/panic issues, we have a lot of questions, and getting the answers will often help calm us down.
WendyLady gave you an excellent answer and some very good advice.
I have had panic attacks since I was 13 and I'm 59 now, so I can relate to a great many, if not most of the symptoms that folks here ask about.
The tingling and numbness you asked about are both very classic symptoms of anxiety, almost always brought on by hyperventalating. The "sneaky" thing about hyperventalating is that we are not even aware we are doing it, so the tingling and numbness seem to be happening for no reason, which in turn only ramps up our anxiety. When we hyperventalate, we are breathing much more shallow than normal and after a certain amount of time, that shallow breathing with cause our oxygen saturation levels to drop and our oxygen to carbon diaoxide.............(which is what we exhale) levels to get out of balance and it's that dynamic which causes the symptoms you speak of.
Many anxious people will say, "but I wasn't feeling anxious when I got these symptoms," and that is no doubt true. But as "habitual" shallow breathers, we can, unconciously, keep our bodies chemistry out of whack.
As Wendy said, doing some deep abdominal breathing will often relieve these symptoms. But here one must be a little cautious not to go too far the other way or we end up right back where we started, with our levels out of sync again. It does take a bit of practice to learn what works for each of us personally. 5 or 6 good deep breaths may be perfect for Wendy, but it may take me 15. There is no set number except what works for you. Guess what I'm trying to say is don't get obsessed with the number of breaths, because that really doesn't matter. Getting relief from the symptoms is the goal.
There are many ways to work on our breathing to restore the balance, and 10 people will give you 10 different ways. I'll be the 11th and tell you what I have discovered over the years works the best and the fastest for ME.
Take a SMALL paper bag, smaller than a lunch sack, but if that's all you have, it will work just fine. A huge grocery bag won't work and I can tell you that from experience!
Place the bag over your nose and mouth and breath normally. If you are feeling really anxious or panicky, you will see the bag inflating and deflating at a very rapid rate. Don't let that freak you out, it's just proof that you are "overbreathing," which is causing the symptoms and you need to do something to change that, which the bag trick will do for ME. Continue to breath normally into the bag until you begin to see the rate of your breathing begin to slow down. You should also begin to feel your heart rate slow down as well. What you are doing is "rebreathing" the carbon dioxide which will mix with the oxygen and restore the natural balance. Once your breathing has returned to normal, remove the paper bag and take a few really deep "cleansing" breaths. When you realize the tingling and numbness are gone and your heart rate has slowed down, you will have proof that hyperventalating was the culprit. This has been an excellent tool for me and I hope you give it a try.
I never go anywhere without my "rescue bag" as I call it. I always have one in my purse and at work I carry one around in the pocket of my scrubs. As anxiety sufferers, we know that we never know when we're going to be blindsides by an attack.
It CAN get a wee embarrassing at times if your out in public huffing in and out of a lunch sack, but I eventually learned to ignore the stares of strangers and the snickers of little kids. I had to take care of myself and do what I had to do. My panic would stop and those Wal Mart shoppers would have a good anecdote to tell at the dinner table.
You can Google "hyperventaltion" and see all the things it can do to you and if it's a good site, like the Mayo Clinic, they will also give you suggestions on how to overcome it.
Anxiety, and all it's nasty little symptoms, can be like the tide. It will ebb and flow. Somtimes staying gone for months, sometimes years, and for a very lucky few, staying gone forever. But maybe because I was a Den Mother for 12 years, I still have that damn motto stuck in my head........BE PREPARED!
And I always am!
If you find that whatever breathing technique you choose is not helping you, please consult with your doctor.
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