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462085 tn?1207282930

Are my symptoms mild or severe?

I am trying to decide if I need medication and if I do, what are the options.  I realize that a doctor should be consulted on these issues, and I have an appointment in 3 weeks for a physical.   I would like to know whether there is a good chance these symptoms will subside by themselves naturally.  I am also trying to figure out where my symptoms fit in in the general scale from mild to severe.

Here is my short story:

I just turned 46.  Never have had a panic attack until 2 weeks ago.  I have a stresful job and have always handled it fine.    I had been a smoker on and off until 2 weeks ago.  I drink 2-3 glass of wine probably every other day.  I had not been exercising, until 2 weeks ago.  I now am working out and I think my symptoms are subsiding.

2 weeks ago, while in my office, I thought I was going to faint due to a high level of stress.   I had mild chest pain and heart was jumping around a little bit.   I was taken to the doctors office, then by ambulance to ER;  blood pressure subsided,  after blood work, and a stress test, they ruled out heart problems.  Diagnosed with anxiety.  

I quit smoking that day, 2 weeks ago.  Currently chewing nicotime gum occassionally.

Several times a day currently, I get a feeling of a head rush;  frequently triggered by stressful thoughts.  It happens while driving,  and while on the phone.   It seems I am able to control it but I am fearful that one time I wont be able to and I might crash while driving.   I don't really feel afraid of anything, I just feel a head rush, strange feelings in my arms, and tightness in chest.  

Last week I was on a vacation in the middle of all of this, with my two daughters and friends.  For the first time in my life I was feeling uncomfortable on ski lifts and in the airplane.  That is very strange to me.  I always enjoyed these things.  

Last week, my symptoms were more severe and I went to the ER a second time to make sure I was not  having a stroke.  I felt like I could not breath and I thought I was going to pass out with tightness in my chest.   I could not sleep much because I would twitch and sometimes even  jump up from lying down because I thought I was not breathing.  That subsided.  I am sleeping better now, and I don't feel like I need to be rushed to the doctor's office, but I defintely feel a strange head rush when thinking of the stressful aspects of my life, including  my girl friend, or ex girl friend (God only knows there)   teen ager children issues,  having survived a divorce two years ago.   Mom died last year.  I sold my house and need to buy another one.

This is all new to me and I would like to know if this might just go away on it own, whether I need medication and whether I should stop drinking.   I am just curious as to where I fit in on spectrum with all of you other anxiety sufferrers much more knowledgeable than I.

Thanks in adavnce for any comments.


6 Responses
Avatar universal
Given that you're reacting to your anxiety and that it may be making you more anxious, I'm not sure it'll all go away on it's own.  You need back up -- seeing doctor for this would really help you a whole lot.

If you isolate events in your head, can you spot a common theme in all that's been bothering you?
462085 tn?1207282930
There does not seem to be a common theme that triggers them.   There are two general things that cause these "head rushes":  1)  feeling of stress and 2)  visual stimuli.  

The stress is usually about work or family but no specific issue.   As far as the visual triggers,  I have felt these "head rushes"  from looking down from a ski lift,  looking at an unusual image on TV or even an odly shaped structure on a house;  it is really very strange to me.   I was driving along a mountain side looking down when I got one, which is not unusual, but from looking at oddly shapped roof overhang?  That seems ridiculous to me.  I am not even sure these are panic attacks.   Do you think they are?
460185 tn?1326081372
I'm not clear on what a "head rush" is.   You described it as 1)  feeling of stress and 2)  visual stimuli.  Could it possibly be a pre-epileptic state?  Please remember I'm not a dr.  When you go to your own dr you will find out more.  So much of what we see, feel,  hear, etc. changes when under stress or suffering from anxiety/depression but some are not.  You will find this out when you see your dr - another stressor.


242912 tn?1402547092
The symptoms you describe all happened to me when I quit smoking last July.  Went to the ER twice in 3 days because I couldn't breath which brought on panic attacks all day long.  Maybe what's going on with you is not as easy as this, but if you go to the Smoking Addiction forum, you will see similar stories.  Just a thought.

Hope this helps....
462085 tn?1207282930
Thanks a lot for your comments.  

The rush is this feeling that I could possibly faint.   The only "panic" is the fear of losing consciousness.   I don't tremble or shake nor am I affraid of anything other than my losing consciousness.  The heart rate increase and other palpatations stopped last week.  I am hoping this might be just nicotine withdrawal coupled with stress.

I am going to increase the work outs and see what happens.  I will get doctor advice soon and we will both have the benefit to see what the next couple of weeks brings.  

Any further comments are certainly welcomed.
Avatar universal
hours in a day:

8 hr      work           "I have a stressful job"
8 hr      homelife    "The stress is usually about work or family but no specific issue.
8 hr     sleep

As you can see, all your waking hours are stressful.

Maybe the roof-thing and looking down the mountain, and odd-shaped things give you a feeling of instability -- like they aren't symmetrical and even.  This is a known thing in art -- they call it "edgy".  Neat huh?  I have a feeling that because you already feel edgy, those images are tipping you over the edge.

When you see your doctor, it really helps him/her out when you can give insights into yourself.
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