Avatar universal

HELP! I'm at my wits end...

For the last week I've been plagued w/ terrible anxiety, and for the last two days it has been down right crippling.  I'm unable to sleep through the night and average about 4 hours of sleep (so far tonight, about 20 minutes and this is with a sleep aid).  The ER doc yesterday gave me some lorazepam to help, but all it did was make my head foggy while the rest of my body shook away.  My anxiety symptoms are racing thoughts/worry, tensing, tremors, gnashing my teeth, head ache, chest/throat tightning and insomnia.

What can I do?  I'm so desperate to feel better.  I've also tried Xanax to no effect.  I'm at my wits end here.  Not contemplating suicide, really, but starting to see it's silver lining..... PLEASE HELP.
9 Responses
676032 tn?1315674063
I know what you mean, the racing thoughts are the worst for me...

Can you think of anything that has triggered it? anything happen to you that had upset you or made you anxious?? there is uaually something (could be subcouscience) making you feel this way..

I started counselling to see if I could get to the root of mine, nothing major as of yet!
What you can do is:
More exercise
Meditate --- aparently meant to be great to relax the mind, I still haven't started doing it regularly .. But I will!
Drink plenty of water
Eat healthy
Avoid caffine and alcohol( iv reduced the alcohol but not cut it out, you still need to enjoy life)

I really cant tell you what works and al that cause if I knew I wouldn't be on this site... I know what you mean by saying about the suicide, I dont want to kill myself, but I can see how freeing it could be :(..

i recommend counselling, its great to get your feelings out of you.. emotions can be very harmful at times! keeping things bottled up is very damaging!
370181 tn?1595629445
You live in Edmonds, Washington!? I grew up there! Graduated from Edmonds High, (the old one) in 1969.
Small world, eh?

Anyway.........you don't make any mention of a history of anxiety, so I will assume this just began a week ago. Jennifer asked an important question and I will ask it again..........did something happen last week? And by this we usually mean did something bad, frightening or traumatic happen.
While anxiety can hit us at any time, either due to a specific incident or totally out of the blue, at 27, with no prior history, I lean towards something specific having taken place.
While your symptoms are obviously causing you a great deal of distress, most of them are more common to stress than anxiety. The racing thoughts is really the only one most commonly present during anxiety/panic attacks. Which is not to say your other symptoms cannot be related to anxiety, they just sound more like stress to me.
Rapid heart rates, palpitations, sweating, depersonalization, fear of dying, chest pains, believing you're having a heart attack or stroke, a sense of impending doom/ death.........sheer terror..........THIS is an anxiety/panic attack. You don't describe any of these feelings.
You've tried Ativan and Xanax and neither of these has helped you calm down. That's a bit surprising as both are rather heavy duty benzo's and they should have had SOME calming affect on you.
You ask what you should do..............
In my humble opinion, I think you should see your regular doctor, tell him/her what you're going through and have a good check up to rule out an organic reason for your feelings. There ARE some medical conditions that can mimic anxiety/panic attacks, so you need to get those ruled out. If you are unable to pinpoint what the trigger for these feelings are, a short course of talk therapy may be in order. Be sure to discuss your experience with the medications. We are all different and we all react to meds differently. It's possible these were simply the two that don't work for YOU. And with luck, you may not need anything at all.
While I can totally understand and relate to your urgent desire for these feelings to end, talk of suicide, even in a semi-joking way, will mean I must take you off this forum. Please post as often as you want, we are all here to offer you our support. We all know exactly what you're going through.
Please seek medical help as soon as possible and get your life back!
I wish you the very best
Avatar universal
Great feedback... I've developed this list (somewhat long) for my first visit to my psychologist tomorrow.  I'm sure something of interest is in there.:


Thursday: 9/10/09
First noticed breathing was difficult (shortness of/unsatisfying breath and yawn).  No congestion, and dry, unproductive cough.

Wed-Thur: 9/16-9/17
Ears began to plug up chronically.

Fri: 9/18/09
Went to urgent care clinic to check on chest.  No other symptoms were present outside of ear stuffiness.  Was sent home w/ a Rx of Albuterol  and told to take an expectorant for mucous.

Was told to return the following week if the symptoms persisted.

Mon-Thu: 9/21-9/24
Thick mucus production after eating develops.
- So thick, had to spit out several times after eating.  Stringy consistency.
- Belching after meals , food particles/acid/bile coming up throughout afternoon after lunch.
- Dry mouth developed.
Realized shortness of breath feeling worse after meals and laying down.

Fri: 9/25/09
Returned to urgent care for follow up.  Ear and Chest problems still persistent.  Was given Nasonex, no help.  Chest x-ray was okay at first glance.  No word heard back by X-ray technician.

Mon: 9/28/09
Scheduled physical with PCP.   Was given Ranitidine for reflux.

Tue-Fri: 9/29-10/2
Slight feelings of panic/anxiety develop due to inconclusiveness of physician’s visit and worry about what it could be and how long it would affect me.  Still sleeping and eating well.   Stuffy ears resolved itself.  Developed ball in throat.  Constant throat clearing and clear mucus is expelled rarely.  Mostly dry.

Sat: 10/3/09
Attempted to eat dinner when food felt lodged in my throat.  Had to be forced down by chewing long periods of time and liquids.  Continued food burps.

Sun: 10/4/09
Eating significantly curtailed due to pain and tightness.  Tried Pepcid AC to see if it was more effective against the food burps after I ate.  Throat burned all morning after that and took Gaviscon to bring down the burn.  Really started to worry at that point.  Took Ranitidine to hold me over.

Mon: 10/5/09
Panicked, called PCP who saw me same day.  Gave Rx for Prilosec one time per day, 20mg.

Tue: 10/6/09
Did not sleep well the previous evening.  Unable to fall asleep until 1am, awoke at 430am.

Polyclinic Lab for blood work. Was given Rx for Xanax by PCP due to my insomnia.

Wed: 10/7/09
Woke up panicked at about 345am.  Entire body was tense and I was trembling all over.  Wife unable to calm me down.  Only way to calm down was to pace around.

Met Pulmonologist.  Stated lungs seemed fine.  Oximeter testing was good and noted nothing wrong upon physical examination.

Thu: 10/8/09
No trouble falling asleep at 10pm the night before w/ Xanax.  Did wake up at 1am and 3am.  Stayed up after 2nd wake up.

Follow-up w/ Dr. Peterson.  Lab work was okay (blood sugar, cholesterol and thyroid).

During that evening, developed numbness/tingling sensation on left hand.

Fri: 10/9/09
Awoke at 2am, 4am and 7am (on Xanax).  Noted that I was depressed throughout the morning.  Felt very helpless and upset with intermittent crying.

Took the day off of work. Noticed thick mucus after eating lessening.

Contacted Dr. Peterson who agreed to see me right away.  Was told to continue w/ the Xanax. Oximeter testing still adequate.  Although low on the low end, PEF test within normal range.

Sat: 10/10/09
Used a sleep aid the night prior instead of Xanax due to the previous depression.  Seemed to sleep better overall.  Ran for 20 (2/3rds of my normal work out per PCP) minutes at the YMCA to take off the edge.  Initially felt better but tension and anxiety continued to build through the morning.  Developed metallic taste in back of throat, intermittent.

As the morning progressed I found myself unable to sit still and tensing.  Tried breathing, meditating, reading, positive thinking, etc without success.  Unsure what else to do, went to Stevens Hospital and admitted to ER as the anxiety was getting out of control.

ER doc provided lorazepam, which seemed helpful until the evening.  First dose was at 115pm, took evening dose at 930pm just prior to bed.  Unable to shake feeling in legs that they needed to be moved.  Got out of bed at 1030 and paced downstairs where the futon is so that I could try to sleep later.  Unable to sleep entire night.  Called Stevens ER at 330am to ask if I could take the sleep aid I had used the previous night.  Was told it was okay as it was 6 hours since my last dose of lorazepam.  Took sleep aid, but still unable to sleep.

Sun: 10/11/09
Finally fell asleep at about 9am (coincidentally when I decided to give up and began to watch the NFL game previews).  Woke up at 1130am.  Took first lorazepam of the day at that time.  Overall more pleasant this date than the previous dates.  Still recurrent feelings of tension but not intense as the days before.  

Although I continue to be fatigued, unable to sleep.
Avatar universal


Chest tightness:  Able to get full breath although it is unsatisfying.  Yawns are also unsatisfying.  Find myself taking unnecessarily deep breaths to feel satisfied.  Strength of feeling is dependent on time of day (usually better in morning), if I recently ate, when I smell particular scents, etc.  Seems to taper a little after a good cry.  Strength of sensation also seems dependent on how tight throat feels.  On Xanax and lorazepam, the feeling is reduced but still there.

Ear Fullness: Left as quick as it came.  Constant ear popping.  No longer an issue.
Jaw/Teeth Pain:  Wife tells me I am clenching and grinding in my sleep.  Likely anxiety related.

Ball in throat: Always there, though strength of feeling is dependent on emotional state.  At times it makes it very difficult to swallow food, other times it’s not an issue.  Throat was sore for 2 days but has since receded.

Dry/Unproductive Cough: Done to clear my throat.  Mucus rarely comes out and when it does, it is usually very limited, thin, and clear.  On few occasions, yellow/brown mucus will be produced in limited quantities and it’s usually days apart.

Dry Mouth: Thick, stringy/foamy saliva.  Salivary glands under tongue under produce.  Suppose it’s a side-effect to Prilosec and my own anxiety.

Post nasal drip: not a significant amount.

Chest Pain: Very dull and inconsistent.  Not always felt.  Usually it is either on the left side of my chest, near the center or just to the right.  No consistency whatsoever, and never sore enough for major concern.

Tingling in pinky and ring finger, left hand.

Metallic taste in mouth:  Comes and goes.  Not noticed until 10/10.

Reduced appetite:  Still able to eat, though I tire of eating or experience fullness well before the amount it would normally be.

Weight loss: ~10 lbs. within the last 2 weeks.

Anxiety Feelings
Anxiousness: unless medicated, it is constant.  The feeling of worry sits in the pit of my stomach 24/7 since 10/4.

Insomnia: since 10/5/09.  Either difficulty getting to sleep or difficulty remaining asleep.  While medication seems to help to a certain extent, not enough for a full night’s sleep (Benzo’s usually helping me fall asleep, wear off and I wake up earlier than intended).  

Fatigue (related to insomnia):  Only able to sleep on 10/11/09 because of sheer exhaustion.

Uncontrollable muscle tension:  Whole body will go tight and rigid.

Constant fidgeting and unable to remain still:  Legs will shake when it is particularly bad.  It is within my control, though it is extremely uncomfortable to resist.  Happens most often at bed time and early morning.

Moments of uncontrollable emotion:  Will cry at random times, 2-5 times a day.

I don't believe I have GAD and that this is more than likely a temporary thing, but still it's been a horrible period of my life.  Should this be temporary, it's been incredibly eye opening to see how those who do deal w/ these issues chronically live and persevere. You all have my utmost respect.  At any rate, I believe my main beef w/ everything and the root of all the stress and anxiety is not knowing what is wrong with me.  After 5 weeks, we're still in the dark as to how to treat me and it is frustrating.  Add that to the fact that it's really affected my breathing (for me, shortness of breath is one of the most terrifying feelings you could feel) for such a long time has done a real job on my psyche.  Thank you for listening to my rambling.
Avatar universal
Oh no... Is there any way to edit my posts?   I've left names in there.  And also, my apologies for alluding to the "s" word.  It won't be said again.
676032 tn?1315674063
Maybe a bit of depression if your crying at randon times????? I konw how horrible you must be feeling.... I feel terrible all the time.. and really wash I was "me" again!
370181 tn?1595629445
Wow! That is quite the stew of symptoms you've got and it seems like you've had numerous meds tossed at you, most with rather disappointing results.

I am VERY relieved to hear you have an appointnent with a therapist and glad that you've made the above list to show him/her. I have great confidence that they will be able to help you coalesce this frightening jumple of symptoms into a very specific d/x for you.

In my totally non-medical capacity, and in my humble OPINION, I think you are suffering from anxiety and depression. While both conditons are horrible to live with, the good news is that you don't have. You've taken the first and very best step by being pro-active in your own mental health by seeking professional help.
While your first session is going to be your basic "meet and greet," your issues will be looked at and a therapy schedule set up. Simply by doing this, I believe you will have a sense of calm that you haven't felt for weeks. Knowing you are actively doing something to help yourself often gives us a sense of control, which we often feel we've lost, and that will go a long way to ease your anxiety. Therapy is not easy and it doesn't work overnight, you must be patient and above all, very honest with your therapist.

Today is/was your first session. Please let us know how it went, OK? If you'd rather talk privately, just PM me.
You're going to be fine.
Oh, and thank you so much for acknowledging what many of us have lived with our entire lives. The vast majority of people out there don't have a clue and think we're all crazy.
We aren't. You aren't.
370181 tn?1595629445
A small "P.S."
Don't worry about using the "s" word. We hear much worse than that here and most of them are blanked out anyway. No biggie..........just learn how to get around the naughty word censors! LOL

It IS best if you don't use actual doctor's names. Protects their privacy and all that.

Avatar universal
Well the meet and greet appt went well.  Diagnosed w/ panic attacks and anxiety.  Gave me a rx for Buspar and Trazadone (to help me sleep).  Any one have much experience with either?  She firmly believes (barring additional testing my PCP will be doing in the near future) that getting my anxiety under control should give me back my breath.  

She recommended this work book, "Mastery of your Anxiety and Panic".  Just bought it off Amazon.  She said it had good tips to learn... just an FYI.

GL, too bad I can't edit my posts.... shoot.  My PCP is a great doc, and don't want to put him out there on front street.
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