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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5517
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I still have a hard time freaking out. Like I feel wierd all

Customer Question

I still have a hard time freaking out. Like I feel wierd all day, like im in a dream state... I focus on every little head ache or pain, I randomly get nauseous too. I always think like, this pain is going to kill me im sure im dying in some way right now I just dont know it.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

It is normal to feel strange with anxiety. Feeling like you are in a dream like state is your mind's way of moving away from your body and the fear you feel about it. It is called depersonalization.

 

When you are anxious, you feel a sense of dread and extreme worry. This sensation is felt through your body, where you experience much of your anxiety in the form of physical sensations such as aches and pains, some of which seem weird or frightening.

 

You are not crazy. If you were crazy, you would not be worried about what you feel. And if someone pointed out your behavior, you would not understand what they were talking about. People who have true craziness do not have insight. You do.

Grounding yourself is important. Try touching things around you. Pinch yourself lightly. Ask someone to hug you. These all help to ground you and help you get back in touch with your body.

 

Realize that if something were seriously wrong with you that you would not experience fear first. People who are seriously ill are not thinking about how afraid they are. They are focused on whatever is wrong. And if there were something wrong with you, it would have showed itself by now. Serious illnesses progress and don't just cause worry and fear.

 

Focus on getting back in touch with yourself and your body. There is nothing to fear. You are ok.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you =), I need to just relax.. that is the hardest thing for me. Im always in a rush and anxious and nervous always. Even going upstairs to geta drink, I like jog up the stairs instead of walking.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome! It sounds like you have a lot of pent up energy. If you want, you may want to try exercising on a regular basis (anything you enjoy would work). It would increase your endorphines (feel good neurotransmitters) and help you get out some of that extra energy. That would promote calmness as well. A win-win all around!

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5517
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So its normal to randomly feel wierd during the day for someone with an anxiety disorder or can it be from consistent xanax I take at night wearing off? I feel ok in morning but middle of day comes I get random like quick pulses of panic, and lightheadeness etc. I'm on zoloft 100 mg a day now still not working, I just hope its not a brain tumor
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Yes, it is very normal to feel fine one minute and like you are dying the next when you have anxiety.

 

With anxiety, you are very sensitive to your body's normal workings. Every twinge and ache becomes an illness or disease. Anxiety causes you to worry and feel as if you have lost control of your body and yourself.

 

You probably worry more by afternoon because you have had time to worry and think about your anxiety and it has built up. It could also be because your Xanax is tapering off and the effects are less by afternoon. Every person with anxiety will usually have a good time of the day and a bad time of the day. Factors such as how much sleep you had, stresses you are dealing with and whether or not you are having a good day or bad can affect your symptoms.

 

You can help yourself cope by learning to relax, reading about anxiety, and writing out and reading a list of comforting thoughts. This will help you combat the weird feelings and make you feel more calm. Keep in mind that this is not a brain tumor. This is anxiety. Repeat that to yourself, even if it doesn't seem effective. The more you can reassure yourself, the easier it will be to calm down.

 

I am sorry about the confusion with your question from yesterday. The moderators felt your question was of a medical nature and changed the category. I am in contact with one of the moderators to explain the situation. If you want, you can address your questions directly to me by putting my name in front so they know you would like to speak with me. That may help.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you so much, your answers are always well written and reassure me. I just laid down in the bathroom at work lol and did the tightening of the muscles, feet, hands, etc 10 seconds each then relaxed. People at work probably think I'm nutss.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome! I am always glad to help.

 

Hey, anywhere that you can make it work, that is good enough! It's better that you feel calm than have to wait it out feeling anxious.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Its so wierd because I am standing here feeling normal, and all a sudden I get a random push of like a dream state panic feeling for 30 seconds then it goes away and comes back like constantly.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

That can happen with anxiety. It usually means you are more tense that you realize.

 

Accepting how you feel and letting the dream like state pass by relaxing into it helps it go away sooner. When you notice it come on, take a deep breath, touch something around you (to ground you), then practice letting the feelings flow through you. Concentrate on letting your muscles relax. Also try thinking of something relaxing, like a favorite vacation spot or a scene you like. This will help it pass a lot faster and train your mind to respond to these feelings quicker next time it occurs.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5517
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I thought maybe these random bursts of an overall dream panic feeling in my head and body could been from my upping dose from 75 mg zoloft to 100 mg of zoloft but I did that 2 1/2 weeks ago, and this only started 4 days ago. I'm still negativley thinking a brain tumor is like causing pressure in my skull causing these feelings and also causing random feelings and pain in my neck and head. Once I take a xanax at home though I'm some what fine. Or even if I drink a beer or two. But when they and or xanax wears off I find the feeling there again, even making it harder to sleep or stay asleep.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Friday and saturday night I used a vaporizer and I put vicks liquid in it, it said a teasppoon or something and I would pour it in more than should be. And I slept with the door closed and that on, and it started the wierd feelings saturday evening. Not related to that mmaybe? Or anxiety or a brain tumor...
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

It could be that you are having some side effects to the Zoloft increase (I would check with the doctor to be sure), but it is unlikely. Dream like states are not usual side effects of the drug. Feeling drowsy is a side effect and that may be what you are feeling. Dream like states are however a side effect of anxiety.

 

If you take a Xanax and feel better, then you know there is nothing wrong except anxiety. This also tells you that you do not have a brain tumor because those symptoms would not go away when you took a Xanax.

 

If you used Vick's and slept with the door closed, it may cause you to feel a little dizzy. But most likely that is due to ear imbalances or sinus issues rather than a brain tumor.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They must be all mini panic attacks or something. Because I had a decent panic attack a little after I sent the question to you. It felt like a head band was on my head (not painful) and I had a wierd feeling in my mouth and face and my heaerr started to race, lasted about 10 minutes. Would a brain tumor be worse
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

You are experiencing very typical anxiety symptoms.The tension in your head is the scalp muscles tightening as a result of the anxiety. It tightens these muscles and makes them feel like a band around your head. The strange feelings in your mouth and face are also normal. A racing heart is very typical of anxiety symptoms as well. It happens because you flood your body full of adrenaline each time you become anxious. I have seen these types of symptoms many times when people have anxiety. They feel as if they are losing control and they are sure it's something physical. But it is not. It is just your body reacting to the flight or fight response you are sending it. Try to distract yourself and using the relaxation techniques and deep breathing. This will help you become more focused and the sensations will go away.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Its wierd because it randomly comes? And this can happen in just a matter of seconds for no apparent reason at all? Im not nervous at the time I dont think. At least I dont think I am.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Yes, it can be very random. It is a common issue when you have anxiety. Being more tense than you realize can keep you on the edge and make it easy for the adrenaline to start at the slightest provocation.

 

That is why learning to relax is so important. It teaches your body to calm into a more relaxed state so you are not so easily startled.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5517
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you =) I need to get it through my head that im not dying
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

You're welcome! Try not to worry. You are ok.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Im still having a hard time dealing with the constant feeling of a panic attack. Have had it for like the past 2 hours straight like I can have an attack at any moment. My head just feels strange.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Anxiety like you are experiencing can make you feel edgy, tense and worried. You may be experiencing some generalized anxiety, which is a constant state of tension and worry that distracts you from concentrating on everyday activities and work.

 

Along with your relaxation exercises, try writing down how you feel. That clarifies your thinking and helps you see the reality of your thoughts. Most likely, you are going to see that your thinking does not meet reality.

 

Make sure you are getting enough sleep and eating the right foods. If your doctor approves, take an Omega 3 every day. This can be beneficial not only to your health but also have positive neurological effects.

 

Get enough down time and be sure to not overload your schedule with too much work and responsibilities.

 

Follow anti anxiety techniques such as reading about anxiety, using relaxation, and using your supports to help you.

 

Remember you have been through this many times before and you have always been fine. Keep telling yourself this when you feel anxious. Self comforting thoughts can help bring your anxiety level down.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5517
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I feel fine now for the last 2 hours. But the previous 2 hours terrible completely on edge for no reason. Just while laying here watching tv. I hate it!!
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

How you feel is very typical when you have anxiety. Keep trying to relax and use the techniques to help you calm down. It is your thoughts keeping you on edge and by taking control and using the techniques, you can change how you feel. It just takes practice.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I missed my 100 mg dose of zoloft this morning.. should I take it now at 8 at night? or not take it at all. and just go back to my pills in the morning? I took a xanax before
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

If you missed a dose you can take it as soon as you remember. But if it is time for your next dose, do not take two at the same time or near to each other. Just take your next scheduled dose. So for example, if your next dose is tonight, just take that and not your missed dose. But if you are due to take your next dose in the morning, it should be fine to take the missed dose tonight. You can also contact your pharmacist just to be sure.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5517
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok so a few days ago, I found out I cant get my prescriptions from the pharmacy anymore because they are a "maintenence prescription: since ive been on them so long. So Monday I took the last 100 mg of zoloft I had, and then went to cvs pharmacy and they were able to give me 6 pills @ 25 mg each. So I didnt take the pills tuesday. I took 3 today (which is still 25mg less than my dosage) and going to be 3 tomorrow. I have to go through Mental Health Network then through some RDXN Mail Order...

So I am waiting to hear back from my doctor, he didnt call me back today. I already feel today like I get alot of random feelings of like a dream state lightheaded freaked out VERY anxious feeling (its very very very hard to explain) I hope you know what I am saying. And I think it may be withdrawals already? I am hoping I can get some medicine soon. I am afraid that im going to start have seizures and die or something terrible.
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Being without your medication can make you feel anxious. You are used to relying on your medicine to help you through. Now that you are stuck without medication, you are probably feeling anxious because of it.

 

At this point, you may have less of the medication in your system but it is not reduced enough to cause withdrawal symptoms. You still have enough in your system to maintain the drug in your blood. So for the next few days, you should be fine. You may want to contact your doctor (if you can get a hold of them) and/or your pharmacist about tapering your medication. You only have three pills left, but if you can, you may be able to stretch them over two more days and keep some of the Zoloft in your system, enough to hold off withdrawal.

 

It sounds like your current symptoms are more about your anxiety itself than any medication withdrawal. Try doing some of the things we have talked about before to alleviate your anxiety. Here are some other ideas to help you:

 

Exercise- most people has some trouble considering this option because the thought of exercise sounds so unappealing, but exercise serves two purposes: one, it helps you get out your physical energy which gets pent up when you experience anxiety. And two, you promote good chemicals in your brain (endorphines) which automatically lifts your mood. You can do anything from take a walk to punching the heck out of a punching bag. Picking an activity that you like helps motivate you.

Guided imagery is also wonderful for reducing anxiety. Imagine yourself floating through a cloud or in water. Picture yourself on a tranquil beach. Listen to the sounds of the ocean, taste the salt air and smell the breeze. By imaging yourself in these situations. your thoughts will help you relax and you will be more centered.

Listening to music is very helpful. It may sound simple, but music has the ability to change your mood, and you can help you calm down. Listen to soothing jazz or classical music for example to help you feel calmer.

Try some of these things to help you express your anxiety and relax more. It will help you stay focused until you feel better.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for that ! =) So the wierdness and literally out of body or out of my bhrain sensations that I randomnly have been getting during the day is anxiety
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

It sounds like anxiety to me.The way you are taking your medications, you haven't reduced the level in your blood enough to cause withdrawal, which would also explain your symptoms if you were off your medications right now. But even if you did not take your medications Tuesday and took them today, the increase of medicine from Tuesday to today would have eliminated any withdrawal you might have started Tuesday. So the only explanation left is your anxiety.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5517
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Chest pains, very tired, pains over my heart when I press around on the chest in that area, my memory is wierd sometimes.. I think im dying , do you think its just anxiety
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I do believe you have anxiety. The symptoms are common with anxiety. Just to be safe, you may want to get checked out medically to be sure. But given your history, this sounds like anxiety. You are probably having stress pains in your chest and the pain when you press in is most likely from muscle tension. Memory can be affected by anxiety because your focus is on how you feel and the nervousness you are experiencing rather than focusing on what is going on outside of you.

 

Try using your relaxation techniques. Make sure you are taking deep breaths, tightening and relaxing your muscles and thinking peaceful thoughts. This will help you calm down and will relieve your symptoms.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Im getting some random pains in the left side of my head right now as well... I had a few beers, but now I am done and have been done for about an hour... its like above and behind my left eye.. of course im freaking out.. I have a icy hot patch on my ribs by the chest aches too
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Pain in your head can mean muscle tension from the anxiety. If you think it's more than anxiety, get checked out. But otherwise, the relaxation techniques should help you. Try this site for numerous ideas on how to help yourself relax:

 

http://helpguide.org/mental/stress_relief_meditation_yoga_relaxation.htm

 

See if this helps. It should make your symptoms greatly reduced or go away.

 

Kate

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