Welcome to the Anxiety Forum - A Home for Those with Anxiety, Fear, or Panic Attacks.
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2014
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    Just need some reassurance

    Hey there everyone,
    I'm 21 years old and have been having anxiety issues since the age of 6.
    When I was young it was more along the lines of being scared of things like wind, rain, being away from my parents.
    But as I grew older my anxiety seemed to grow with me.
    When I was in middle school I started to have fears of dogs, kidnappers, walking alone etc
    In high school I started having more of a social anxiety, being scared of sketchy people(as I grew up in a neighborhood full of gang members) and getting pulled over by cops
    So when I was 15-16 I started to smoke weed and did so for the next 5 years.
    I smoked daily and constantly and for the most part it helped but around the age of 18 my anxiety started to shift towards feeling high.
    Like I thought I was going to die every time I smoked and being high meant something was wrong with me.
    Everyday about 3-5 times a day I would experience mild to severe panic attacks while high.
    So this horrible relationship between weed and anxiety went on until November of last year when i woke up and smoked and had one of the worst panic attacks I've ever had.
    My heart was pounding, my vision was clouded, my thoughts were flustered, my legs were shaky all the normal stuff.
    So I asked my grandma to take me to the ER where the doctors took blood samples and gave me an EKG and eventually ruled my experience out as a panic attack.
    Everything read healthy and all was fine.
    So about 2 weeks later I went to the doctor and was officially diagnosed with GAD.
    He ran some more tests such as a thyroid check and blood pressure tests which read normal, again.
    I told him about the weed and the fact I smoke cigarettes normally (about a pack every 3-4 days) and he suggested I stopped the weed before anything else.
    So I quit smoking weed finally thinking that I was having the panic attacks everyday due to the weed in my system.
    Well that leaves me here, where I am at now.
    I cannot stop obsessing about my health.
    Even though the doctor told me that I'm fine and even though he ran all the necessary tests I still cannot stop worrying about my health!
    I am in constant fear of having a stroke, heart attack, brain tumors, aneurysm, all the normal stuff we usually worry about when we have GAD.
    I know that I'm healthy, I know I have anxiety, I know that any symptoms I'm feeling are due to the fact I have GAD, but still I cannot get myself to stop worrying about these things.
    My palms and feet are constantly sweating, my heart is constantly pounding and my eyes are dry from not blinking as much cause I'm so on edge.
    I just don't know what to do or how to feel anymore.
    I feel like I'm going insane cause I KNOW there's nothing wrong with me but I still fear these things.
    I don't work nor have school lately so I spend a lot of time home due to the fact I'm scared of having an attack in public and going bonkers.
    I am also an avid "Googler" checking up symptoms online and getting myself more worked up.
    I also start to get worried when I see someone on TV having a stroke or heart attack, as if the TV is trying to warn me about something (which I know is STUPID)

    I'm 21
    174 lbs
    6 ft tall
    I don't drink at all nor do I do any drugs (quit smoking as of 5 weeks Sunday)
    I'm a less then a pack every 3-4 days smoker
    My family doesn't have history of heart attack/stroke/brain tumors etc.

    Am I at risk of heart attack/stroke? Seeing as that is where most of the anxiety is applied.
    Does anybody have any advice for someone like me?
    Any statistics on people 21 y/o having a serious medical condition like heart attack or stroke that might put my mind at ease?
    Is this fear rational or should I be worried about my health?
    Is it normal to KNOW nothing is wrong and that my anxiousness is caused by my GAD but still worry about my health?


    I just want to feel normal and be a 21 year old!

    Thank you and sorry for the long post
    -Michael

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2014
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    Anaheim, CA
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    24
    Could you tell me a Bit more about your symptoms? I am around your age and am going to through a lot of whT you have been going theough

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    May 2013
    Location
    Missouri
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    I have the exact same issue as you! Well, minus the weed. I have had EKGs, echos, stress test, X-rays, MRI, cat scan, blood tests, ultrasounds, just about everything you can do. All normal. I do have sinus tachycardia, but it's probably anxiety induced.

    Yet I can't quit thinking I am going to have a heart attack, stroke, aneurism, or blood clot. I once thought I had a brain tumor or was becoming epileptic due to strobe lights bothering me anxiety. Whew. It's exhausting having health anxiety!

    The best thing I ever did for my anxiety was quit smoking. I smoked for over 10 years, about half a pack a day. I have tried to quit dozens of times, always failed. This time though, I was terrified that smoking would lead to future heart issues, and quit cold turkey. A year later, smoking tastes awful to me and I don't miss it at all. If you can find a new stress relief, I highly recommend it.

    But otherwise just remember that if all the tests have come back normal then you are just fine! You can beat this. Have you ever thought of taking any meds to help? I take Lexapro and it helps a lot. And you know with health anxiety I don't like taking pills, haha. But it's worth it.

    I hope you start feeling better!

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2014
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    La Puente, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by reiewer View Post
    Could you tell me a Bit more about your symptoms? I am around your age and am going to through a lot of whT you have been going theough
    Usually it starts off with me pondering about me having a serious health problem (in this case I'll use heart attack for example). Then a bolt of energy starts coursing through my spine up to my head. Then I instantly start shaking my legs to get some of the energy out and my palms/feet start to sweat. Then usually either my heart begins to pump really fast and really hard or my breathing starts to shorten. Either way I always end up having both. I start to swallow saliva a lot and start to yawn in an attempt to catch my breath. Then I start thinking that it's not anxiety but something dramatically worse like heart attack.
    I start thinking really negative and feeling really helpless, like no matter what's going to happen I'm going to die.
    Like even if I called 911 right at that moment they wouldn't be able to get there fast enough to save me.
    My mind becomes a big cluster of negative thoughts.
    Then I usually calm myself down by drawing or playing on my computer.
    Then it goes away and I feel less negative but still a little scared and weary of my heart beat, checking it every minute or so.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    La Puente, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephj526 View Post
    I have the exact same issue as you! Well, minus the weed. I have had EKGs, echos, stress test, X-rays, MRI, cat scan, blood tests, ultrasounds, just about everything you can do. All normal. I do have sinus tachycardia, but it's probably anxiety induced.

    Yet I can't quit thinking I am going to have a heart attack, stroke, aneurism, or blood clot. I once thought I had a brain tumor or was becoming epileptic due to strobe lights bothering me anxiety. Whew. It's exhausting having health anxiety!

    The best thing I ever did for my anxiety was quit smoking. I smoked for over 10 years, about half a pack a day. I have tried to quit dozens of times, always failed. This time though, I was terrified that smoking would lead to future heart issues, and quit cold turkey. A year later, smoking tastes awful to me and I don't miss it at all. If you can find a new stress relief, I highly recommend it.

    But otherwise just remember that if all the tests have come back normal then you are just fine! You can beat this. Have you ever thought of taking any meds to help? I take Lexapro and it helps a lot. And you know with health anxiety I don't like taking pills, haha. But it's worth it.

    I hope you start feeling better!
    Well when I went to the ER they prescribed me Ativan to help control myself when I felt panic attacks coming on.
    They gave me 30 tablets that I thought I was supposed to take everyday, cause thats what the consultant at Walgreeens told me.
    But when I went to the doctor for my follow up he told me I wasn't supposed to take them everyday due to the risk of addiction.
    So that was enough for me lol I didn't need a new subject to stress over so when he asked if I wanted a refill I told him no.
    As it still didn't take away the negative thoughts, only made me feel really lethargic
    And as for smoking that is my biggest goal of 2014 haha it's not easy but I'm slowly trying to ween myself off.

  6. #6
    I have anxiety over stroke, heart attack, brain tumors....etc.
    My advice-STOP GOOGLING!
    I had to tell myself this and still struggle with it...Its like an addiction because you want reassurance that you are ok. Well guess what I have had anxiety all of my life and google has never reassured me of anything except making me think I had a deadly disease! Your anxiety seems to be taking over your mind. It will get better, push through!! & Feel better soon!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2014
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Mictar, I give you props for quitting weed , sounds like it was just making the problem worse. Self medicating is never a good idea.

    I don't know what the general consensus is on the forum about medication, but it has helped me tremendously. I've done and felt everything you describe: thought I was dying or going to have a heart attack, been to the ER more times than I can count and had all the tests done!

    My advice is to find a psychiatrist you trust and that you like... They can help you find medicine that's right for you. I know medicine isn't the answer for everyone, but that coupled with therapy is a great place to start. Even if medication isn't for you, just talking to someone and having someone help you develop the tools to handle anxiety is life changing.

    You can beat it!!

 

 

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