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Anxiety (Part 2)

...continued from part 1

Less than a week after the symptoms subsided, it was time to fly again, this time to Florida.  It was a very early flight after a night of drinking and dancing at my cousin's wedding, so naturally I was quite exhausted.  On the flight, I felt sleepy and tried closing my eyes to fall asleep, but got the same "spins" I been talking about up to this point.  This made me very uncomfortable as my eyes kept trying to close, but I was afraid of them closing because of the spinning sensation that was occurring.  I decided to drink lots of water and coca-cola on the flight to try and stay awake, but this simply made me have to go to the bathroom around 7 times over the course of a 2+ hour flight.  I spent the flight feeling very nervous, uncomfortable and fidget...sound familiar?

It should be noted that prior to takeoff, I took one dramamine pill, thinking this would help with my dizziness.  However, looking back, I wasn't actually dizzy, rather I was afraid of becoming dizzy, and I now wonder if the dramamine instead had a reverse effect and may have actually contributed to my "spins", much like the meclizine did in Arizona.  Stupidly, I took another dramamine later that night in the hotel in Florida while I was again having "spins" trying to fall asleep.  I spent the 6 days in Florida that week again feeling cloudy around the eyes, with additional sensitivity to the bright sun, and just "off" and not normal overall.

On the flight back to Boston, I once again took a Dramamine before takeoff, and sure enough found myself feeling anxious, nervous, fidgety, unable to relax, and my eyes trying to close on me again, even though I hadn't been tired at all before takeoff.  Fearing "spins" if I tried to sleep, I again drank tons of coca-cola in an effort to stay up and this tied went to the bathroom 8 times over the course of the flight, which just doesn't seem normal...Finally, I was able to relax a little bit when we started our descent into Boston, knowing that it would soon be over.

I don't know what kind of effect dramanine could have had on me, especially with regards to my eyes trying to close on me.  It's unclear to me whether this eye reaction was from this drug, or simply a reaction of my nervousness and anxiety (or perhaps a combination of the two...).

I now find myself becoming extremely nervous and uncomfortable any time I think about flying or driving (due to my bad driving experience this summer I presume).  I have driven several times since that incident (although not on the highway yet), and while it's been slightly uncomfortable with me, I've been mostly okay behind the wheel, more so when there is someone with me in the car to serve as a distraction from my own racing mind.  Still, I get anxious when thinking about driving, which I don't understand given my successful driving attempts since.  Just a few nights ago, I found myself thinking about flying while trying to fall asleep, and suddenly I started getting the "spins" again with my eyes closed, needing to sit up and open my eyes to right myself.  One time I opened my eyes and saw a grouping of black dots against the wall which clearly were not really there and disappeared after a second or two.  This time there was no dramamine involved, so I once again am left wondering what effect, if any, that drug had/has on my body.

My anxiousness with regards to flying or driving, comes in the form of heavy, cloudy, and sometimes painful feelings, in and around my eyes.  In addition, I sometimes get "jelly legs" where my legs feel weak and tingly.  I also become very aware on my breathing while trying to relax and calm myself down.  I can tell that it's a different type of nervous feeling, because when I get nervous about other things, i feel it mostly in the form of butterflies in the stomach and weakness in the legs, but not up in the eyes and the forehead.  Once the bad thought enters my mind, its extremely hard to make it go away, and I find myself getting trapped in a circle of worrisome feelings.  It's hard to say what I'm actually afraid of, but I think I'm constantly scared about what's going to happen if I get dizzy on the plane, or if I can't calm down, etc...

As you can imagine, it's very frustrating to be scared of things and not understand what your scared of, or why you're scared of it.  However, I'm simply finding it impossible to escape these nervous anxious feelings.  I now have a trip to Arizona planned for about 5 weeks from now, a 5+ hour flight, and as you can imagine, every time I think about this trip, the eyes start going crazy...I hate it because I truly love this vacation trip and I'm really looking forward to the trip outside of the travel it takes to get there.  I'm finally seeking counseling at my college, as well as making an appointment with an ear doctor to see if it is maybe related to an imbalance in my inner ear (although I doubt this).  I feel that my mind is simply exerting it's immense power, and at the moment there is nothing I can do about it.

I realize this post as unbelievably long at this point, but I really felt I needed to share the whole story.  If there is anyone who has any insight one what my be plaguing me, or what I can possibly to to remedy my situation, I would very much appreciate it.  I just don't want to spend the rest of my life fearing every upcoming plane ride...

Thank you,
3 Responses
672514 tn?1265655141
First this is a first (Part 1 and part 2) that I've seen in this forum, what this comes down to is, fear of flying and driving due to anxiety. From your post you state clearly that both of your major attacks happens first while you was still doing pot. rule 1-stop the pot. The second major situation happend after you drank heavy. rule 2 - you have a fear of flying and know your going to fly the next day the last thing you need is to drink heavy. stop the drinking until you are completely feeling better with your Anxiety issues.

Your symptoms are common for Anxiety, but I must say again smoking pot and drinking and Anxiety do not mix. my take is if you smoke pot or drink, while you have Anxiety, either 1) your Anxiety is not that bad for this forum or 2) you have a drug or Alcohol problem. take care of # 2 and you will be surprised how the Anxiety will lessen,

Right now is the time to work on your anxiety issues, most people here we usually have to ask for more details about themselves, but you have covered most of it, except for 1) are you seeing a Dr (therapist) or on any medications?  please reply with a brief response ;-)  thanks samuel
Avatar universal

Thank you for your thoughts.  I guess I should have clarified that I haven't smoked at all since the first incident, nearly 2 years now, and I don't plan on smoking again.  I also do not drink all that often, maybe once every other weekend with friends (maybe 6-8 beers), plus an occasional bottle of wine for dinner every now and then.  On the night I drank at my cousin's wedding, the night before my second flight, I was also taking care of myself by drinking a lot of water during as well as at the end of the night in order to make sure that I wouldn't be hung over the next morning, and I was successful.  I certainly do not consider myself to have any kind of drinking problem.  I have just begun to see a therapist here at my school, but I've only had a screening visit thus far and won't have another meeting until Nov. 30th.  Right now I'm taking antibiotics (doxycycline) for an unrelated issue, and have been taking them for nearly two weeks now, but this is likely inconsequential with regards to my anxiety issues.
672514 tn?1265655141
So now I would say get a physical, if you have not had one lately R/O anything else that might be on your mind. start woking on breathing exersices, this really helps calm anxiety and panic issues, and follow up with a therapist or someone that can help you sort out these Anxiety issues.
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