Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.
From your description, it does sound like you had a panic attack. There was a beginning, when you felt an odd sensation, developed scary thoughts about it (the feeling that you could not stop it) and reacted. As a result, your body dumped adrenaline into your system after sensing a flight or fight thought pattern. Your body then reacted by increasing your breathing and creating a sympathic nervous system reaction that can cause tingling and numbness. This is your body's way of preparing for possible injury in a traumatic event.
The fact that you were able to gather your thoughts and calm yourself after a few minutes also indicates a panic attack. It is good that you knew how to react. That helps you cope with panic anytime it occurs.
There are other ways to help yourself in a panic attack. Here are some good resources you can use in the future to help yourself in a panic situation:
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook- Edmund Bourne
Pass Through Panic: Freeing Yourself from Anxiety and Fear by Claire Weekes
I hope this has helped you,Kate
It could have been. Sometimes, your body is off and causes odd sensations. Most people note them, think they are odd, then move on. But if you have anxiety, you are hypervigilent, especially of your body. So an odd sensation stands out and therefore is magnified, producing anxiety.
Also, people with anxiety often report experiencing odd bodily sensations. Since anxiety involves the nervous system, odd sensations are very common.
If you feel very concerned about it or it occurs again, talk to your doctor about it. But most likely it is what I mentioned.
It sounds like you have very typical anxiety. Those symptoms, including thinking something is physically wrong with you, are the markers for anxiety disorder. Thinking you have a brain tumor is the most common reaction.
There are many ways to help yourself with this problem at home as well as through therapy. Because anxiety and panic are so common, the resources are numerous. The resources I provided for you in the first post are some of the best I have used. If you want more, I would be happy to provide them for you.
That was funny- thanks for the laugh! Humor is always good when you deal with anxiety.
No problem. Any time you need to talk or just want a resource, let me know. I specialize in anxiety and have personal experience through family members so I understand how hard it can be to cope with it.
Yes, it is very normal to feel anxious for no reason when you have anxiety. Your body is responding to your thoughts. And when you are always on edge and defending yourself against the next bad thing, your body is always on alert. Part of this is because you are so used to feeling this way that you may not notice how tense you are. The other part is a fear of relaxing, just in case you are not prepared for the next bad thing. It is much like always being on "Red Alert".
The biggest fear with anxiety is being out of control. And having something wrong with your body is one of the ultimate ways of being out of control. There is nothing you can do and you must rely on others to cure you. Cancer, being one of the most scary diagnosis you can hear, usually heads up the list of out of control things that can happen to someone with anxiety. Brain tumors, which sometimes make people not only feel odd but act odd (out of their control), is a big concern for that reason.
Accepting your feelings and that you cannot control everything that happens is part of recovery. And learning how to relax your body along with your thoughts goes a long way to helping you feel less on alert. The paradox is that gaining control comes through letting go of your scary thoughts and fears and learning to relax. This is hard because feeling relaxed makes you feel anxious. But learning to practice relaxing and overcoming scary thoughts takes time. The process can be done though and as a result, you can gain more control over how you feel.
You're welcome, anytime!
This is very normal when you have anxiety. Feeling pains and odd sensations is common. The fact that it is frightening you shows you that it is about anxiety.
If this was just about pains or weird sensations, then you would experience them and either ignore them (not the greatest idea but some people do) or you would make a note to yourself to see your doctor. You may worry a little, but for the most part, unless the pain was debilitating, you would just see your doctor sometime in the future.
But with anxiety, weird bodily sensations cause fear. This amplifies the pain and makes it feel worse than it is. The pain and weird sensations become a focus and help to increase your anxiety until you feel so uncomfortable that your fear takes over.
If it would make you feel better, see your doctor just to settle your fear. But most likely, it is just the anxiety causing these sensations and they will dissipate as soon as you calm down and feel better.
I will check in again soon in case you respond,
Anxiety is an awful thing to have. It makes you feel all kinds of odd things emotionally and physically. But you need to keep in mind that you are ok. The anxiety cannot hurt you. It just feels bad, very bad. But no one has ever died from having anxiety. And many people have overcome anxiety. It takes some work and a change in your thinking process, but it can be done.
Start by telling yourself that you cannot be hurt by how you feel. Each time you experience the odd sensations or weird feelings, say that to yourself. The idea is to take away the power of the anxiety. It has no power if you take it away. It may feel like a bit of an uphill battle as you begin, but soon you will find that you can control your anxiety with your thoughts. Try it and let me know how it goes.
That is ok. What you are experiencing is part of anxiety. What you have may be fear of illness, which can be hypochondria. It depends if this is your only fear or you have other fears as well.
You can face this fear by changing your thoughts. Use rationalization and thought changing. For example, when you have a thought about being ill, such as having cancer, think about it rationally. You have had these feelings for 8 years. Have you had cancer yet? Have you had any other illness you have been fearful of? Does your doctor say you are sick?
When you have these sensations, how often have you had them? Do they ever turn out to be actual illnesses? And if they did, so what? That is hard to think of for someone who fears illness, but it is necessary to face the fear. What if you did have cancer? Many people have cancer. It is hard to live your life without knowing someone who has had cancer. They handled it, and so would you. You can handle more than you believe you can. After all, you have handled anxiety for years now and you are still ok. Anxiety is no easy thing. It is hard and relentless to cope with. But you have done it. And you could handle anything else that happened to you too.
Try remembering that any symptoms you have are anxiety, and not an illness. They are physical symptoms, yes. But most physical symptoms are either fleeting, or they are caused by thinking certain thoughts, such as through anxiety. Very few physical symptoms turn out to be serious illnesses.
Also, remember to take deep breaths when you feel these feelings. It will help you associate relaxing with these thoughts instead of feeling keyed up and anxious. The more you can associate good things with these thoughts, the faster they will lose their power over you.
The tics you have can be related to control. They give you a focus and they provide a controlled movement in response to your out of control feelings. If your doctor has cleared you as having no medical reason for your tics, then they are related to your anxiety. Try the relaxation techniques and see if they help. You may be able to teach yourself to take a deep breath or flex your muscles rather than clear your throat.
You're welcome! The deep breathing will help. Also, when you flex your muscles, tighten them then let them go. This will teach your body how to relax in response to anxiety.
Brain tumors don't cause anxiety. After treating a number of people with anxiety, some of whom have had anxiety for a while, I've never witnessed any of them have a brain tumor or any of the other illnesses they felt they had. Even when they felt sure something was wrong, it ended up just being anxiety. I have never treated anyone whose anxiety turned into anything else.
What you are experiencing is a common reaction when you have anxiety. Your emotions, including stress and anxiety, are closely connected to your physical body. When you feel upset, your body reacts. And one of the first reactions is in your digestive system.
When your anxiety causes your stress level to go up, your body goes into overdrive which is caused by neuroendocrine responses. This is where your body reacts to the stress. This produces the stomaches and other gastrointestinal distress you are feeling. Think of going on an amusement park ride. Before the ride, you experience a "butterfly" reaction in your stomach. This is your body reacting to your thoughts, which are causing your stress level to increase and therefore causing a physical reaction.
Beer and greasy food can aggravate your already upset system. If you stay away from them when you feel upset or anxious, it should help.
You can take over the counter supplements to help (check with your doctor first). Medications such as Beano and/or Omega 3 may help offset some of the symptoms.
Also, practice relaxing as much as possible. Exercise, eating healthy and activity can all help alleviate some of the stress you feel. This in turn will reduce your body's reaction to the anxiety.
All of your symptoms are very normal. Obsessing over how you feel is part of having anxiety. Since physical symptoms are a focus for you, you may have an additional diagnosis of somatoform disorder. Somatoform disorder is when you have an emotional based problem that is manifested as physical symptoms. It is a very common disorder. It is especially common when someone has anxiety symptoms to the point they are not able to express them well and end up channeling them through physical symptoms.
Although it is tempting to focus (and even obsess) about your physical symptoms, to solve the anxiety you need to focus on the root of the anxiety and the feelings behind it. Therapy, self help and medications can help. It takes some perseverance to get to the root of the anxiety, but doing so will address both the anxiety and the physical symptoms at the same time.
Let me know if this helps,
Anxiety is always worse when you are sick. Being sick makes you feel out of control. It also puts your focus on your body even more that when your healthy. Since the cold is already making your head feel strange and your body feel odd, depersonalizing is even more pronounced.
Part of anxiety is the trouble with control. You feel you need control over everything that happens in order to feel alright. The problem with that is we are never in control of everything that happens. We get sick, which makes us feel weak, weird and therefore out of control is a good example.
The key here is letting yourself feel weird. Accept that you are going to feel strange for a while until your cold clears up. You can even try making yourself feel even more strange. Sit and focus on how you feel and if you feel afraid, practice relaxing into the fear. Nothing is going to happen to you. You will not go crazy and you will not die. The more you can practice this, the more you will see there is nothing to be fearful of.
It is easy to think that you might get sicker or have another illness, but that is the "losing control" part of anxiety. Everyone can always think of the worst thing that can happen, but rarely does it occur and worrying about it won't change it. You have to practice letting go. By letting go, you can relax and have even more control. Relaxing allows your mind to focus on important things, it helps your body stay healthier and you feel more in control overall. It may seem odd, but letting go gives you the very control you are seeking now by feeling anxious.
Anxiety has to do with thoughts. Your thoughts are causing your mind to think your in danger. Your body reacts by releasing adrenaline into your system. Adrenaline causes the symptoms you feel. It is much like after you have had a bad scare like a car accident. Your body releases the adrenaline and you feel unreal, your legs turn to jelly, you have trouble thinking and your body may feel it's tingling. You just don't notice it as much because your focus is on what is going on around you. Except with anxiety, there is no focus. The only thing you have to focus on is how you feel.
Because your thoughts are probably always on alert, so is your body. This may be why you always feel anxious. You become so used to the feeling and the thoughts that it is hard to change. But you can change it.
Therapy, medication and self help are all helpful in changing your thought patterns. There are numerous resources to help you learn more about anxiety and how to control your panic. Here are some to get you started:
The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund Bourne is excellent for any fears. It is self help and contains everything from supplements to relaxation techniques.
The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety: A Step-by-Step Program by Bill Knaus Ed.D. and Jon Carlson Psy.D. Ed.D.
From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett http://helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_types_symptoms_treatment.htm
If you want to change how you think and therefore how you feel, treatment and self help are the best ways to do it.