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15543082 tn?1441248937

Weird, rushing sensation in head... is this an anxiety attack or something else?

Hi guys,
First off, let me just say that any comments and suggestions are deeply appreciated. I've been lurking here, and I've decided to post my own today.
I am a 19 years old college student with no known medical problems, both in myself and in my family. 2 weeks ago, I stayed up pretty late (2AM) and I was lying in bed screwing around on my phone. Suddenly, I had this weird feeling in my head that I never felt before. It's hard to describe, but it was like a sudden rush and my whole head felt warm, fuzzy, and slightly vibrating. My heartbeat got high (as if I just ran a marathon). I freaked out and mom drove me to the ER. On the way there, I felt very lightheaded, as if I was about to faint. They tested my thyroid, urine, and EKG, everything turned out fine except my potassium level was a little low. Doc told me everything was OK, sent me home. Still freaked out, I forgot to ask the doctor exactly why that happened if I was "fine."
Ever since then, I've had it 2 or 3 more times (the most recent one today, in a class). I am a bit of a worrier in the first place, so this has driven me to full hypochondria. I noticed that I get these sensations on the days when I did not sleep well and feel tired.
I want to get more tests done, but the problem is that my family cannot afford insurance, and I hear a full checkup can run you thousands of $$$.
Can anyone offer some insight into this? Have you guys ever felt these rushing sensations too? Is this an anxiety attack, or do you think it's some other underlying medical problem?
Thank you very much!
3 Responses
15439126 tn?1444443163
Well, could be a classic 'panic attack' (those often feel like a heart attack, prompting people to head to the E.R.).  For sure high anxiety can really get your heart racing.  Building in some calming routines during your day should help you avoid that syndrome imo.  Your potassium was a bit low so unless you dislike them, I suggest you eat a banana a day.
Avatar universal
Of course none of us are doctors that I know of, but being low in potassium, though it seems to be of little concern medically, could indicate insufficient hydration.  Did you drink a lot of alcohol recently, which is dehydrating?  Do you work out a lot and perhaps don't drink enough water?  As for this being a panic attack, did you feel anxious?  Anxiety isn't just a physiological set of symptoms, it also involves feeling inordinately anxious.  A panic attack is a feeling of panic, not just a set of physiological symptoms, so again, were you feeling panicky?  And as for insurance, most colleges have a student health insurance program as part of tuition, or at least did when I was in college.  Does your college have a student health benefit?  As for your family not being able to afford insurance, that's unlikely with the existence of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  If your parents truly can't afford insurance, there are gov't subsidies available now, and it's a legal requirement that they do have insurance.  And once they avail themselves of this program, you're automatically covered until you're 26 on their plan.  Perhaps they have philosophical problems with the program, but it is available.
1174869 tn?1441311668
Hello RavingDiscoMonkey, I'm sorry to hear that you are having trouble at the moment. I'm guessing as a college student you're under a lot of stress at the moment (whether it be conscious or subconscious) (I too am also at university in the UK, and found that this can be a stressful at times). I'm afraid I cannot be of assistance to the insight into medical checkups. But I can say that I have experienced the same symptoms as yourself if I am stressed, tired or worrying about something. They may be anxiety or panic attack symptoms. As I am not a doctor I cannot diagnose, but I have undergone neurological investigations for my heart rate increments, jerking movements, fuzzy feelings and lightheadedness and have been diagnosed with simple partial seizures which are caused by stress and anxiety but I also experience this symptoms as anxiety and panic attacks minus the jerking movements. Anxiety can be exacerbated by lack of sleep, stress and worrying which may be causing more panic attacks. If you are worried, could you see a counsellor at your college if you have one? They might be able to help with CBT and teaching you breathing exercises to help calm the anxiety which leads to panic attacks, and help you to rationalise and talk through any symptoms that are causing you concern. If to them it doesn't sound like anxiety, they will be able to give you advice on where to go to get medical treatment. Seeing as though you have had medical tests that have so far been clear, could you try to focus your attention on something other than your symptoms, I know it's hard but what about a hobby, football etc... Or joining college projects etc... And going out with your friends. Taking your mind away from thinking about the symptoms and preoccupying it with different activities may help with reducing the symptoms. Sorry I could not be of anymore help, I hope you start to feel better soon. Take care.
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