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Avatar universal

Am I ever going to get better?

I'm 17 years old, and only had anxiety for a few months. I've gotten hospitalized before for it and other reasons, and no matter what I do, my anxiety is still here and is getting worse. I'm so paranoid all the time that I don't have anything with caffeine or sugar at all, I don't take any medicine, including Advil or minor pain relievers. My symptoms are loss of breath, trouble swallowing, dizziness, minor hallucinations, brain vibration, memory loss, vision distortion, trouble sleeping, feeling like I'm going to die at any given moment, fear of everything that feels even the slightest bit off in my body, head tightness, nausea, and more but I can't think of it and if I try to remember things that my memory got rid of, I get anxiety over that. I stopped school because I couldn't deal with it. I literally stay in my room watching Netflix and playing the sims all day and night. Am I hopeless? Is there any way to get rid of this? Please help me. I don't want to live my life like this.
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Avatar universal
Hello and I wanted to let you know that you definitely are not hopeless at all. :D  I am sorry that you had a bad doctor. :( Some doctors are really not helpful and if you don't do the very first thing they suggest, they can get miffed and not want to help.  Thankfully not all are like that.  
I can completely understand as I've gone through almost everything that you have gone through, and in fact I'm going through a lot of it now.  But it does pass (truly!).
A very big factor can be your sleep.  I read that you were having difficulty sleeping, and not getting enough sleep and good quality sleep can cause a lot of these symptoms, or make them worse than they would be originally.  Have you ever researched sleep hygiene before?  It's something that I only learned the name of this year, but it can be helpful. Keeping a cool temperature, quiet and dim sleep environment, and trying to designate your bed for just sleeping and relaxing (not eating while sitting on the bed, not talking on the phone or stuff like that when on the bed... stuff like that).  I think having a consistent routine can really help your brain to realize that when you crawl under the covers that yes, this is time for sleep, not working on different things, and can be more relaxing.  Also, as you do use the computer/view screens, try to stop at least an hour before bed and do some light reading or something away from a monitor.

Another thing that I would love to recommend to you is called progressive muscle relaxation. It is a medically proven way to help relieve stress and many people get help from it.  To begin, some suggest doing this twice a day for the first month then you can drop it down to once per day after that.  What you do is find a relaxing place, either laying down or sitting on a comfortable chair) and slowly tense and release the muscles in your body, starting from something like your left or right hand, then working up the arm, then progressively moving across the different muscle groups.  Here is an example:
After laying down or sitting down (reclining chairs are great!):
-Tense your right hand into a fist, and hold for five seconds
Release your hand, and relax the muscles, counting for ten seconds.
-Move to your right forearm, tensing those muscles for five seconds, then releasing them and counting to ten seconds.  Try to concentrate on how your muscles feel when they are relaxed.
-Tense your biceps.  Hold for 5 seconds, then relax for 10.
-Move to your left hand, and then squeeze it into a fist for 5 seconds, then relax it for 10.
-Tense the left forearm muscles for 5 seconds, release and relax for ten.
-Left bicep, hold for 5, release and relax for ten
-Shrug your shoulders upwards, hold for five, then relax and count to ten.
-Tilt your head up gently (sometimes this is more comfortable reclining than straight laying down, so only do what feels okay for you) hold for five seconds, bring your head back to its original position and relax for a count to ten
-Lift your eyebrows up like you are very surprised; hold for five and then relax them and count to ten feeling your facial muscles lose their tenseness
-Open your mouth like you would when yawning, only as far as comfortable, then hold for five then relax and count to ten (this part usually makes me yawn for real haha)
-make any other facial movements that can work your cheek muscles, count to five and release for ten
-pull your shoulder blades together, count to five then release and relax for ten seconds
-suck in your tummy/clench your stomach muscles for five, then release and relax for ten
-move to the glutes, tensing muscles for five seconds, releasing and relaxing for a count of ten
-tense the right upper leg, engaging muscles for five seconds, releasing and relaxing for a count of ten
-tense the right calf muscles for five seconds, releasing and relaxing for a count of ten
-point your toes and hold for five, then count to ten
-left upper leg, tensing for five and releasing and relaxing for ten
-left lower leg, tensing for five and releasing and relaxing for ten
-left foot, pointing toes for five, then releasing and relaxing for ten

You can add steps too if you like, I tend to put in some extra moves and remove any that aren't comfortable (some suggest squeezing eyes shut but I don't like that so I don't do that step).

Because this usually takes me 10 minutes, I do it two times in a row and then do it again before bed as the original plan my psychiatrist recommended was twenty minutes long.  Some people find that it can really help with insomnia. :)

It's not recommended to do this after taking any sedatives, but you sound like me in that we don't like taking medication if not absolutely necessary (I have a phobia of medicine and anything that can intoxicate me and I don't take pain relievers either if possible) so I don't think this will be an issue for you.  Also, if you have any injuries or something that could be adversely affected by this talk to your gp first to get a go-ahead (if you have a sprained ankle or a heart condition then it's best to talk about it instead of trying it and making your ankle worse).

How is your diet right now?  Also, are you able to get some blood work done by any chance?  Diet can have a huge factor in your cognitive health, and an imbalance of nutrients can cause or make a lot of psychiatric symptoms worse (B vitamins are very important for the brain!).  Making sure you get the right amounts of nutrients can improve your health and well being, and I know that doctors can cost a lot where you live but if you have an opportunity to getting blood work done can help pinpoint any deficiencies if there are some.  Getting tested for thyroid hormones is also a good idea.  
Exercise can also help a lot.  Sometimes it doesn't feel like it right away, but it is very important and walking a few times a week for 20-30 minutes can do wonders for mental wellbeing.  And you don't have to jump into an intense routine right away, ten minutes here and there and it adds up and slowly working up to more becomes easier. :)  

There are many options for dealing with anxiety, and they don't always come down to medication.  It depends on your own physiology and what is causing your anxiety, so sometimes medicine is the best option for someone and sometimes it isn't.  I'm not ruling it out because sometimes it can be necessary (just like if my iron was low I would need to take iron!).

Don't be afraid to get a second opinion, and don't be afraid to get tests done to make sure that you are in the best possible health you can be in.
Taking walks (even a ten minute walk) when you are getting anxious can help relax you and your muscles.  Don't be discouraged if things don't always feel like they help right away, that doesn't mean they won't.  Like the progressive muscle relaxation; some people don't notice a change for weeks, yet others start noticing feeling a bit better right after their first session.

If you feel overwhelmed and things are really freaking you out, feel free to excuse yourself and go somewhere more quiet and peaceful.  If you are having some visual disturbances at the same time, sometimes a dimmer area with less visual stimulation can help one to relax.

Does your family understand and does anyone else in it have anxiety disorders?  Having a support person or people helps so much.  Talk about how you feel.

And remember, this is all temporary. :) It's really tough, but you are strong, and you will get through this and feel better again, you really will.


Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you so much! Just seeing that I'm not alone gives me more hope. I have been to about 5 therapists and my most recent one dropped me because he said I'm hopeless, so I'm trying to do it on my own. I most recently got accepted to a therapy school to finish my senior year while trying to help me, but that's scaring me too. But thank you for answering me and letting me know I'm not alone, it lifted a weight off of my chest.
Helpful - 0
358304 tn?1409709492
Are you hopeless? No way!~ I'm here to bring you HOPE! :)

This too shall pass! You just need to understand why these symptoms are happening. The more you learn about the symptoms and how they are harmless, (and I know it doesnt make it all that easier), but over time, you can learn to accept these symptoms as not threats. When we just "roll" with them, if you will, they kind of lose their power over time.

I've dealt with anxiety for 8 years now.

Even though i still get crazy symptoms, right now it's a stiff/sore neck and shoulders for over 1 week right now. I don't feel stressed, but anxiety can do weird stuff, even when we don't feel stressed or anxious.

Please take care of yourself.

NONE of your symptoms indicate anything serious

Loss of breath - I've had that before

Trouble swallowing - I've had the sensation of forgetting how to swallow.

Dizziness - definitely have experienced this

Minor hallucinations - I've had one audio hallucination. Where I thought I heard a train blowing it's horn while I was drifting off to sleep. It was due to lack of sleep and anxiety.

Brain Vibration - Had this happen once SEVERAL years ago.

Memory loss - Most definitely. However , I don't think its "loss" it's just "poor memory".

Vision distortion - yup! I've had it.

Trouble sleeping - Oh boy have I had this. Too many times to count.

Feel like you are going to die - I never feel like I'm going to die, yet I do feel like I've got some horrible disease, and im just shriveling up at times lol.

Head tightness - You betchya! Even right now with the stiff neck some.


I would highly suggest seeing a therapist. This will get you going in the right direction!

There is hope! Therapy alone can do WONDERS. It has for me! Also, if it's to the point where you need a little medicine, that works too!

Either way, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

Do you live with your parents? Can you ask them to take you to the Dr. for a general checkup, so you can tell your Dr. all of your symptoms. It will help give you peace of mind I believe, and maybe he or she can point you in the right direction for a therapist. Maybe even give you a little something to take the edge off til you find a therapist.

Good luck. You are too young to go through this. ;) I have faith that this is just a phase for you.

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