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  1. #1

    Unhappy Severe Anxiety/Panic Disorder- Unable To Swallow Solid Food or Saliva! HELP! :(

    Hi there,

    I am a 25 year old female who is suffering from severe mental health problems including Anxiety & Panic disorder. I'm going to try to make this as short as possible. I started having anxiety & panic attacks in 2007; it started off as panic attacks out of the blue for no apparent reason; a couple times a month; then a week, then almost everyday. It has been a REALLY long, rough road. I have been medicated for the anxiety and attacks for about 6 years now; I've been on tons of different medication, some have helped a little, but only until I build up a tolerance to the medication, than back at square one. I also see a therapist on a regular basis, which isn't helping much either. I was originally diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)... I still have attacks, a few a week, (Could be worse I know). The anxiety I feel pretty much all the time; from the second I wake up until I go to sleep... I also suffer from severe insomnia, nocturnal panic attacks, and just in the past few months, these other weird attacks at night when I am dozing off. I wake up suddenly and can't breathe, feel like I'm going to pass out, and usually run outside for air. My heart is throbbing SO fast and loud, and my entire body is shaking afterwards; usually takes me about an hour to calm down and then sometimes I have multiple 'attacks' in one night. It's gotten so bad that I am scared some night to go to sleep. I am currently still on medication for the anxiety and 2 different kidns of sleeping pills. Anyways everything I've just told you, SUCKS but I can deal. There's just one thing that I can't deal with. For the past few years, the past 2 years especially I have had problems swallowing food, liquids, and even my saliva. At this point, I don't swallow solid food at all; I live off of smoothies that I can only drink early in the morning when I first get up and am really relaxed (I'm thinking thats why I can) Anyways by around 12:00noon or earlier some days I absolutely cannot swallow food, then eventually liquids and usually by suppertime, I also can't swallow my saliva so I spit it out in what I call my 'spit cup'... My doctor thinks it is a phobia, but I am not so sure. I don't feel like I am scared of choking; it is honestly like the swallowing reflux just goes away and my body just doesn't know how to swallow! I know the brain is responsible for this function, could it be brain damage? Has anyone else had this problem for this long? I have tried and tried but nothing is working. I have tried many different relaxation techniques... This problem has completely taken over my life, and at the point that I am scared that I am going to die and honestly have no clue how I am still alive. My family doctor is convinced that it is just anxiety and that it will pass but he doesn't understand how severe it is, it isn't just some-days, it is every day! I lost over 70lbs total, I am now down to 100lbs. I used to feel extremely hungry and sick all the time but now I can go forever without eating (other than smoothies) and not even feel hungry. I can only imagine how small my stomach has shrunk to for me to not eat for that long and not even feel hungry... I get so dehydrated sometimes that all I can do is cry. I know how important nutrition and hydration are for my organs and like I said, I am honestly scared that my body is going to shut down. I am on a waiting list for a psychiatrist and to get a scope done, but absolutely refusing to get it done unless I am put asleep, there's just no way I could go through that awake. Anyways, just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if so, what did they do about it? Any information or help would be appreciated.
    Thanks for reading.
    Josie.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    1,238
    Hi Josie,

    I am in no position to diagnose why you have this problem, but maybe I can offer some help. I used to have trouble eating too when I was anxious or depressed. One thing I found that I could always eat was Yogurt. Low fat or whole milk organic yogurt will give you fat, protein, carbs and probiotics. All very important nutrients! Plus they come in such awesome flavors from vanilla and chocolate to various fruits. Try and get the organic kind, and since you are in a calorie deficit, don't get non fat. If you are not eating enough fats you can get whole milk yogurt. Low fat too I guess, but if you aren't eating enough fat then why?

    I don't know why you have this, but if a doctor claims phobia and a doctor diagnosed you with anxiety and I would take that diagnosis seriously. When we get anxious our digestion locks up. It is part of the fight or flight response to prepare the body for survival. Why don't you try and play with the idea it is a phobia and stop spitting out your saliva, and just kind of force yourself to act as if you are normal and eat normal, and see if it gets better. Test it out. Don't do anything that will make you choke of course, but try and accept it is only anxiety and see if you can get it better. Worth a shot!

    Let us know how it goes!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    May 2014
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    USA - Florida
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    1,548
    There is no physical damage to the brain here (causing the reflex or destructive behavior), but the psyche has been traumatized (damaged) and the life source shut out - The physical is representative of a life energy - barrier - the closed mouth symbolic of that. A refusal, by sheer will, of the joy, the natural expression life itself, inherently takes when there is no emotional blockage. This blockage is represented by the throat issue for this person (and the night terrors).


    Fear is a revolving door, the exit blocked by the mental blockages, the fearful emotions and trauma of the past. And so without digging in and facing self, you just attempt to run faster, and harder, with all your might to break free of that door, but you cannot, you spin in it ever faster, the feelings ever stronger. One never recognizes while 'trapped' in this door, that they only need to stop running, the exit has always been there. The way 'out' opens as the confused, fearful energies dissipate and one becomes determined, persistent, and swiftly decisive, to find their truth.


    Why, Josie have you not mentioned any 'mental' unresolved problems (you only speak of the physical). The entire post and your entire focus in life is your physical issues. Now, since the mental controls the physical, I would think you would have given us a whole host of suppressed, repressed traumatic experiences, or sad, confusing, shocking or overpowering life events, deaths, abandonment, guilt, shame, abuse - physical or mental, criticism, bullying -..

    The physical symptoms, the 'spit cup' are 'symbolic' of the state of mind, adopted long before 2007, when life presented some major triggers to irritate the already sensitive system into full blown chronic FEAR. In 2007 instead another words, of having this issue 'inside' only, and hiding - it all surfaced (the framework already set, the foundation of the house already poured by years of negative thinking). By analogy, when the blood is 'poisoned' you do not see evidence until the skin erupts, well in 07 your skin erupted. Not addressing the mental atmosphere, or issues inside, but placing all of your intense focus on the physical, you have forgotten the connection between the psychological traumas and the way you feel. I believe the conditioning for this all started at about age 3-4, that's when you were able to feel the experiences and make them personal, the beliefs system took hold firmly at around 6 where there could be no doubts anymore. In a sense, it is the same belief system you hold today, you are still that 6 year old. With your Sippy cup that you refuse to drink out of, you'd rather rebel and spit it out, figuratively speaking.

    You however are 25 and on your own now, you are not that small child, and you create your life. You believe you have 'severe' mental problems and so that is what you shall have, affecting the voluntary system, and to an extent the reflex systems, this is the power of mind over matter. You HAVE forgotten how to eat, but only because you do not want to. You don't feel you deserve to live, and you have no zest for life. This was stripped from you, the life was taken away, symbolically and because you blame yourself to an extent, you self-harm. There is no need for labels here, of disease, it is apparent, and self evident what you are doing.

    The question is why you are doing it. Take responsibility. And say "Why do I hate myself so much I want to end my life?" And no matter how much you shake and shiver, at the thought of facing your emotions, no matter the trembling the fear, the palpitations, instead of hiding under the illusion of victimhood and powerlessness, turn to the mirror and face your life and self.

    Your life today, is the sum total of your thoughts, in the days past, and your beliefs (ideas about who you are in relation to self and the world at large). The thoughts you think today, will create your tomorrows, along with your expectations and desires.

    There is no magic here, just smoke and mirrors as you hide from yourself. You are playing hide and go seek with your emotions, like that 6 year old would do, and by not allowing self to feel, because it is too painful, the body is reflecting those stored hurt emotions in its symptoms, and the mind playing tricks on you to corroborate your false beliefs. You could just as easily have chosen to forget how to walk, or hear, or see, or use the bathroom and then have to wear a bag. But you chose not to swallow, and this reflects not the severity of your 'disease' but the severity of your pent up emotions from past pain that you simply refuse to face. That is why therapy is not working, and the conflicts.

    YOU MUST FACE THE PAIN, PERIOD.

    Stop spending all of your precious time on why you cant swallow, and start asking self why you do not want to swallow. That is where the pain will surface for you to recognize and heal.

    Quote Originally Posted by JosieMarie25 View Post

    I am a 25 year old female who is suffering from severe mental health problems including Anxiety & Panic disorder. - No, you only suffer from ignorance and avoidance of the deeper emotional issues. Creating the illusion of symptoms beyond your control. In truth, you are creating all of it

    it started off as panic attacks out of the blue for no apparent reason; a couple times a month; then a week, then almost everyday. - Because they are there to get your attention, they say "Hey, look over here, we need to get your attention, look inside yourself, not outside" And so the vice grip ever so tighter as you play cat and mouse with yourself.

    I also see a therapist on a regular basis, which isn't helping much either. - Of course not

    The anxiety I feel pretty much all the time; from the second I wake up until I go to sleep... - Yes, that would make sense. It is your purpose to solve these inner issues.

    Anyways by around 12:00noon or earlier some days I absolutely cannot swallow food, then eventually liquids and usually by suppertime, I also can't swallow my saliva so I spit it out in what I call my 'spit cup'... - Discussed above. It is your intent to self-harm.

    This problem has completely taken over my life - As it should, because you are running from it, so it shall chase you relentlessly. IT is YOU. TURN and FACE the mirror.

    and at the point that I am scared that I am going to die and honestly have no clue how I am still alive. - Yes. the ego is fearful because you are killing it.

    My family doctor is convinced that it is just anxiety and that it will pass. - This is true, IF YOU DO INTERNAL WORK TO HEAL ALL OF YOUR FALSE IDEAS ABOUT WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT LIFE IS. IF YOU CLEAR THE PAIN AND RELEASE THE EMOTIONS, IF YOU HEAL YOURSELF.
    Last edited by Im-Suffering; 04-11-2015 at 05:49 AM.
    "Each person alive helps paint the living picture of civilization as it exists at any given time. Be your own best artist. Your thoughts, feelings, and expectations are like the living brush strokes with which you paint your corner of lifes landscape. If you do your best in your own life, then you are helping to improve the quality of all life. Your thoughts mix and merge with others, to form man's living-scape, providing the vast mental elements from which physical events will be formed"

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Georgia USA
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    293
    Quote Originally Posted by JosieMarie25 View Post
    Hi there,

    I am a 25 year old female who is suffering from severe mental health problems including Anxiety & Panic disorder. I'm going to try to make this as short as possible. I started having anxiety & panic attacks in 2007; it started off as panic attacks out of the blue for no apparent reason; a couple times a month; then a week, then almost everyday. It has been a REALLY long, rough road. I have been medicated for the anxiety and attacks for about 6 years now; I've been on tons of different medication, some have helped a little, but only until I build up a tolerance to the medication, than back at square one. I also see a therapist on a regular basis, which isn't helping much either. I was originally diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)... I still have attacks, a few a week, (Could be worse I know). The anxiety I feel pretty much all the time; from the second I wake up until I go to sleep... I also suffer from severe insomnia, nocturnal panic attacks, and just in the past few months, these other weird attacks at night when I am dozing off. I wake up suddenly and can't breathe, feel like I'm going to pass out, and usually run outside for air. My heart is throbbing SO fast and loud, and my entire body is shaking afterwards; usually takes me about an hour to calm down and then sometimes I have multiple 'attacks' in one night. It's gotten so bad that I am scared some night to go to sleep. I am currently still on medication for the anxiety and 2 different kidns of sleeping pills. Anyways everything I've just told you, SUCKS but I can deal. There's just one thing that I can't deal with. For the past few years, the past 2 years especially I have had problems swallowing food, liquids, and even my saliva. At this point, I don't swallow solid food at all; I live off of smoothies that I can only drink early in the morning when I first get up and am really relaxed (I'm thinking thats why I can) Anyways by around 12:00noon or earlier some days I absolutely cannot swallow food, then eventually liquids and usually by suppertime, I also can't swallow my saliva so I spit it out in what I call my 'spit cup'... My doctor thinks it is a phobia, but I am not so sure. I don't feel like I am scared of choking; it is honestly like the swallowing reflux just goes away and my body just doesn't know how to swallow! I know the brain is responsible for this function, could it be brain damage? Has anyone else had this problem for this long? I have tried and tried but nothing is working. I have tried many different relaxation techniques... This problem has completely taken over my life, and at the point that I am scared that I am going to die and honestly have no clue how I am still alive. My family doctor is convinced that it is just anxiety and that it will pass but he doesn't understand how severe it is, it isn't just some-days, it is every day! I lost over 70lbs total, I am now down to 100lbs. I used to feel extremely hungry and sick all the time but now I can go forever without eating (other than smoothies) and not even feel hungry. I can only imagine how small my stomach has shrunk to for me to not eat for that long and not even feel hungry... I get so dehydrated sometimes that all I can do is cry. I know how important nutrition and hydration are for my organs and like I said, I am honestly scared that my body is going to shut down. I am on a waiting list for a psychiatrist and to get a scope done, but absolutely refusing to get it done unless I am put asleep, there's just no way I could go through that awake. Anyways, just wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if so, what did they do about it? Any information or help would be appreciated.
    Thanks for reading.
    Josie.
    Josie, you are certainly in a bad position right now but I know you can get past it all... I think the swallowing this is indeed a phobia, this is something that you need to work through with a therapist. They do have eating therapy out there, believe it or not.. I think you should get yourself into one of these programs and get yourself better. In addition (please do not take my post as judgmental) I think you are in the helpless place right now, I know I have been there, you take meds and you cope, you just want it to stop, right? Trust me what you need is physical activity, mindfulness, and CBT. I have no idea what your therapist is going over with you but they really need to be doing cognitive behavioral therapy with you, this teaches you how to change your thought processes and avoid panic attacks all together as well as learn to be in control of the anxiety. Mindfulness comes from the Buddhist religion(I am not saying you need to be a buddhist) what it does is allow you control of your mind, this is the biggest thing you need because when you have this you can tell the anxiety what to do! Meditation comes with the mindfulness, I know it may seem silly but I promise if you put your full effort into learning how to meditate you will be absolutely amazed at how much calmer you are and how much better you can handle these bad situations. Finally physical activity, this is a tough one because with anxiety we tend to think we have a major health problem and are dying, getting your heart rate up is the last thing you want to do, believe me I know. However exercise is the biggest smack in the face that you can give to anxiety, it works in a couple of ways. Physically it burns off the excess energy which results in lower anxiety levels and secondly the mental side, by exercising and forcing your body to work and you heart rate to come up you prove to yourself that you are in fact ok.

    I know your situation is a bit different with the malnourishment so in that case I would recommend highly that you get that sorted before you push any physical activity as your body will need the nutrients in order to exercise. I get the impression that your therapist isn't doing everything that he/she needs to be doing (I may be wrong) But from your post it seems to me that you really need something more than you are getting.. If your doctor or therapist isn't giving you what you need then change to another one who will.. Anxiety is completely curable and there is no reason for you to be suffering like this when the right therapy and possibly the right meds can make it all go away.. Please talk to your doctor about the eating therapy and CBT, also if you are able to take in food in the mornings for now make sure you are taking in as many nutrients as possible, smoothies seem like a good plan just make sure you are getting protein in there as well as your vitamins, fruit smoothies should be good for that but change up what you make them with to cover the spectrum of needed nutrients. I would say to try to eat anyway and stop using the cup because chances are it is a pure phobia and you can get past it by showing yourself that you CAN do it, however just to be on the safe side I would have the scope done first. I had one done myself, I was put to sleep and afterwords had no idea that it ever happened, you will be fine. One other thing that can cause some issues with swallowing is irritation from acid reflux, due to the effects of anxiety on the digestive system a good percentage of anxiety sufferers do have acid reflux, taking a prilosec pill each morning helps, you can break them open and sprinkle the contents into your smoothie if needed..

    Hope some of this helps you and I hope the doctors will be vigilant until they find what the root cause is for you.
    Every lasting scar shows us what it's taken to be who we are.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    25
    You waking up in your sleep not breathing might be SLEEP APNEA will need to run test it's very common & people don't know about it.

 

 

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