Anxiety Community
23k Members
371848 tn?1206211434

Anxiety?? or something else?

I really dont know what is going on with me. On December 22nd, i was at work, and all of a sudden i got light headed, and I felt like I was leaving my body and started freaking out, thinking that I was going to die. I got short of breath and my chest started to tighten up, and i got all shaky.. I eventually calmed down, and the lightheadedness went away, and I of course didnt die. well, after that, I started having an episode one to two times a day. Once, at work around lunch time, and then at  home. They seemed to be worse when my father-in-law would come over, which he was coming over every day. I cant stand him and he drives me nuts.. so my husband and I figured that some of the problem was with my father in law. So my husband talked to him and asked him to stop coming over every day, and he did, and they stopped happening so much. I went to a doctor and told her what I was experiencing and she told me that It was probably a panic disorder and depression, so she prescribed me Lexapro. I took that for five days, and it just made me feel worse, and made me have more anxiety, so I quit taking it, and the attacks lessened... well, on Feb. 25th, i had a dentist appointment and found out that I had an abcess tooth.. and he put me on antibiotics to get rid of the infection before i had it pulled. The antibiotics took away most of my anxiety symptoms that I was experiencing and i had the tooth pulled back on the 12th, and I have not had an attack since. My main hang up is now, everyday, i get this thought in the back of my mind that im going to die. I cant stop thinking about the fact that im going to die soon. I am relatively healthy. I am however overweight, and i know I need to lose weight and am trying. So, other than being overweight, i am healthy, but I just cant shake the feeling that I am going to die soon, and I dont know why. Before the episode on Dec. 22nd, I lived a relatively normal life, but now i live everyday wondering if today is going to be the day that i die. What can I do to return my thoughts to normal?? How do I stop obsessing over this?? Is it still anxiety?? or do I need to seek a psychiatrist?? Please help me.
10 Responses
455051 tn?1255830118
you can be in the most calm place you have ever known and the most crazyiest feelings and thoughts will enter your mind and you will dwell on thinking you are dying, in empending doom, chest tightness, feeling of your not breathing, that everything is fake, sometimes it even feels as if your soul is wanting to leave your body. I know that sounds crazy but that is just some of the symptoms I have from my panic attacks. My fiance started getting them after hanging around me. I heard from some doctors that you can get bad anxiety and panic attacks if your child hood was bad, parents divorced, sexualy abused, tramatic things happened to you. 1 panic attack can make you think you have anywere from 1 - 10 things wrong at the same time. let me know if this helped you. I could always tell you more.
Avatar universal
ok...i have panic attacks to and yes they feel exactly as you described..i also feel impending doom like i will die soon...and yes that is a part of anxiety...also worrying constantly about really dumb things...flipping out over nothing...some of it gets really scarey i had an anxiety attack today b/c of stress..and that is a big factor in all of this stress causes anxiety and the more stressed i get the more attacks i have...and i get them worse around my period b/c of hormonal changes...but just go talk to your doctor mine has had to switch my medicine 3 times now b/c we cant find something to work yet but best of luck
366811 tn?1217426272
Well, if you're anywhere near C'ville I could invite you anmd hubby over for a cup of coffee and we'd make a plan. But what the heck, let's just make a plan HERE.

Everything you describe reminds me of my symptoms when I was in panic city (I've sinced moved to the 'burbs) and the long and short of it was that psychiatric therapy and some meds got me where I wanted to be -panic free and no longer worried about the grim reaper. So, I can TELL you for a fact -you can get through this.

My guess is that there are underlying emotional conflicts, unresolved situations which the therapy can help dig out and resolve. No doubt the appearance of your father-in-law relates in some intersting way to the intervention during your childhood of a male adult (or maybe just an adult) who disrupted your life. Not necessarily abuse (not ruling that out, either) but maybe more like, "just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." kind of thing. But that's just my take on it, your milage will vary.

The first step here is a consult with the shrink, for an over-all assessment, and then a startegy to get to work on this. You'll find that there mere act of saying "enough!" will help -as will continued hanging out with the folks here on the anxiety forum.

We're with you -all the way.
Avatar universal
I agree with JS here....you sound exactly like I did when I was having health anxiety and panic on a daily basis.  During the worst of it, I was having more than 10 panic attacks a day and despite reassurances from the doctor I did not believe him despite various tests.

As far as medication goes, Lexapro and other SSRIs can tend to actually make your anxiety a little worse in the beginning; it did with me.  While everybody is different, they usually take around a month to 'kick in.'  During that period, I was a little more on edge, but in my opinion, they are worth the temporary side effects in the beginning.

The most important thing to do is go see a mental health professional.  Unless you get the root of this panic/depression cycle, medication will only mask the problem, but in my experience the combination between the two have really helped alot...please keep us posted!
Avatar universal
gosh you sound like me... Mine happened 12/22/07 as well..........
but mine I know had to do with stopping birth control pills.. pm if  you'd like to chat..
393165 tn?1420764045
Hi freakoutinVirginia

The symptoms that you have experinenced sounds very familiar to what I have and still do experience. Although I am not a doctor or anything, it certainly does sound to me like anxiety/panic attacks. I remember once about a year and half ago, I was walking through a supermarket with my kids, and was rushing to meet a deadline, and out of the blue my chest felt like somebody was squeezing it and really hurt when I inhaled, then I felt I couldn't breath or move properly - I was on the checkout queue when all of this was happening (embarassing) which only made me worse. I tried to stay calm for my kids sake and phoned my husband to come and get me (I think I frightened him) he was with us in no time at all (thankfully). Then I went outside to wait for him and happened to see an ambulance pass by in the traffic, and actually started to pray so hard to God that I wouldn't die, I thought I was going to die there and then, the fear of dying was awful beyond words. Evenentually when my husband arrived, and took over with the shopping trolley and the kids, I had to link him really hard to walk to the car park as I couldn't walk on my own, because my legs felt like two lumps of jelly, I was shaking (I think with the fright). I took an anti-inflamotary as soon as I got into the car, and in about a half hour or so when I was back in the comfort of my own home, I felt my chest beginning to loosen and felt a little normal again. This is just an example of one of my panic attacks. Hope it helped you in some small way. But the feelings you are having sound so familiar to me. JS also gave you some really very good advice - as he always does!!

Take Care,
371848 tn?1206211434
Thank you so much for the advice.. i dont feel so crazy anymore!!! I did have a rough childhood, and the men in my life, except for my husband and brother, havent given me the best memories.. I was molested when I was 7 and every now and then, I have flashbacks to that night. The guy that did it to me was my moms boyfriends son. My uncle did some unspeakable things to me.. stuff that I have only told my husband, mom, sister and brother. My stepdad touched me in ways that were not appropriate. But the reason that I cant stand my father in law is because he's very rude. He is nosy, always asking if we payed our bills, or if we went to work, and if we leave anything out, he noses through it. He pokes into MY personal property and I dont like it. But my huge problem is that I am way too nice to say anything cuz I dont want to hurt his feelings and come off as a **tch.. I did confront him once, when he kept breaking the no smoking around my daughter rule, and I was made out to be such a bad person that was out to hurt grandpa and ever since then i dont like to speak up cuz of the hell i went through. I cant stand the S.O.B. but i put up with him because he's my father - in- law. I dont know.. Oh, and I do blow things WAY out of proportion!!
366811 tn?1217426272
Spoken like a truly sane individual. Stand back and look at this for a moment, OK? All those nasty men from your childhood with their touching and -well, you know the rest. And NOW, the father-in-law who pokes about in your personal stuff.

Read my lips: "V I O L A T I O N."

Virginia, I'll bet everyone who has read your material will agree: there ain't NUTHIN' the matter with you in terms of blowing things out of porportion. Au contraire, cherie, you've gone out of your way to make peace with this parasite. If anything, THAT is part of the problem. Put a little more self-esteem in the gas tank and you'd be amazed what you can accomplish.

So, yes, maybe you take a litttle mommy's helper here and there just to keep yourself from tearing your hair out, BUT, the big mission is in front of a shrink -not so much to correct any problems YOU have, but rather to help you sort through the strategies and tactics you are going to deploy to change this situation.

I'm a little nervous about hubby -he obviously has assisted by getting daddy-o to stay under his rock a bit more, but I'm wondering if he can't be of yet MORE support to you. Just a feeling. Perhaps -I said, PERHAPS, some marriage counseling would be a good idea. Reason: for you to make a move, it is helpful to know who is on the team, and what roles they can and are willing to play.

You are an incredibly well-adjusted person. Your resilient nature has brought you through some rough periods very nicely. So, you've got an "edge." Now, get with some expert help and make your plan, girl.

Stay with us, OK?
371848 tn?1206211434
Thank you. I do need more support from my husband. He "hates" his dad, but yet, stands up for him everytime i say something to him about how his dad is bothering me. Just a little insight on my father in law.. He has always had everything handed to him and has been able to do what he wants when he wants to and no one has ever said anything otherwise. He acts like a huge victim because his girlfriend left him six years ago.. because he verbally abused her and almost killed her. He has no respect for anyone because his mom didnt teach him to respect other people. He got away with EVERYTHING when he was a child. So, now he thinks that he can do whatever he wants and not follow any rules. The big thing is that I actually stood up and said that he wasnt allowed to do what he wanted to around my daughter. That I had quit smoking for her health and I expect people to respect that and not smoke around my daughter. Why is that so hard to understand??? I told him that if he couldnt respect my rules, that Alessa was not going to go over to his house anymore, because that's the only place that he would smoke around her. After that, my life turned into hell. So, needless to say, now im afraid to say ANYTHING to him.. the only reason that my husband said anything to his dad about coming over EVERYDAY is because i begged him. After my husband said something to him.. his dad walked away crying and cried all day like a little baby. My husbands sister called us that evening when she got home to chew us out for making "precious" daddy cry. My husband even went over there to try to get his dad to stop being such a baby a smooth things over, but he wouldnt even look at my husband. So, needless to say, that turned out to be a HUGE deal as well. So, now im even more reluctant to say anything. My husband and I do need marriage counceling, but getting him to do it is like getting my father in law to quit smoking.. aint gonna happen. He is now calling me a hypocondriac because I freak out on every little thing. Like, I had these two red spots on me that looked like this version of skin cancer... so I of course think the worse, and go to a dermatologist, and found out that I only have eczema. HUGE RELIEF!!! so, now im just trying to figure out how to get him to go. any advice men??
366811 tn?1217426272
Hey, seek it also (the advice) from the women who have figured out how to get the men to go. You can get into a real battle about this, so avoid the battle. YOU go. But this isn't just picking up your marbles -you guys have issues, here.

So, whatEVER you do, let it be part of a change you are making -and folks can either stay with you or get left behind. The only way to get OFF the merry-go-round, is:

to get OFF the merry-go-round.

You are in the midst of a frenzy which is largely the creation of the folks around you, so get some help to figure out hoiw you are going to navigate it. Now I'll take a shot at getting hubby to go.

"Honey, as you well know we've been back and forth numerous times over issues with your dad and the family at large. I know I've got some problems of my own I throw into the mix, but this has to stop somewhere. Someone once said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over again -and expecting a DIFFERENT result. Well, I'm changing MY behavior and I'm starting with counseling. I hope you will go with me because you need to know that YOU are going to be a large part of the conversation. I'm not looking for arguments, I'm looking for solutions. As long as I stay in this situation the way it is now, I'm part of the problem. I'm not looking for a yes or no from you this moment, I'm just telling you what I'm doing, and asking you to be a part of it."

However YOU say that.

And then -go!

Lets us know what's what, OK?
Have an Answer?
Top Anxiety Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
370181 tn?1428180348
Arlington, WA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what can trigger a panic attack – and what to do if you have one.
A guide to 10 common phobias.
Take control of tension today.
These simple pick-me-ups squash stress.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
Want to wake up rested and refreshed?