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Physical symptoms of anxiety

(17 Posts)
Sheena Wed 08-May-19 08:46:37

I have suffered with anxiety (mostly health related) since my early 30s ... (I will be 70 next month) .... and over the years I have managed it reasonably well. However, as a result of surgery I have chronic pain ... this has been for the past 11 years . Also the dreaded IBS . Although after going on an intensive pain management course at St Thomas's hospital which really did help so much, these past couple of years my anxiety levels have gone sky high... so much so that my life is so narrow now... I really only can manage small things that I feel I can cope with. I don't like to be far from home or my "comfort zone" . The physical problems are the pits. The "fear" of the pain is worse than the pain itself. The second my legs feel a slight wobble , then I feel light headed, get the palpitations, sweaty hands , jelly legs etc etc. I do understand what's happening , I have read that many books and googled that much info, but does that stop it happening? NO, NO. I just wish I could get a grip. With the big 7 0 birthday looming I would have thought I'd have grown out of this fretting, but I just seem to be worse. Of course the pain doesn't help, and that will never go away.... nor the IBS (which is the constipated variety not the other thank heavens) . I'm sure there are many of you good folk who can relate to this problem? I do feel this is all I, me, myself stuff, and I do so envy my friends and acquaintances who all seem so normal and not a bit afraid. I do think I've probably just go into the "habit" of not doing things just in case I feel awful , And I really need to get out of it...... but how?

SalsaQueen Wed 08-May-19 09:53:30

Have you seen your GP about the anxiety? There are various tablets you could take. I have depression and anxiety (I'm on antidepressant), and the anxiety is exactly as you describe. I work part-time, which helps, as it gives me something else to focus on. I am anxious mainly when I'm on my own, so spend my spare time with friends or family (I'll be seeing my son later and his 2 children). My husband is very kind and understanding.

Years ago, a GP suggested breathing into a paper bag when I was having an anxiety attack. It does work.

I too have I.B.S., which is constipation/cramps/diarrhoea, and I take tablets for it.

Gonegirl Wed 08-May-19 09:53:54

Have you spoken to your doctor about this? There is easily accessible help for this. I know - I got it. Was like a miracle.

silverlining48 Wed 08-May-19 09:55:00

See your doctor? Acute anxiety is debilitating and clearly affects your daily living. Hope you have a very happy 70 th.

silverlining48 Wed 08-May-19 09:56:00

Took so long responding others got in first but we all seem to agree. Good luck Sheena.

Bridgeit Wed 08-May-19 09:58:48

I am so sorry to read of your discomfort & anguish Sheena, have you been offered counselling? If it is difficult to get to or there is a long waiting list , there are Online Counsellors , perhaps you could give it a try , best wishes

Grannyknot Wed 08-May-19 09:59:25

Hi Sheena I'm sorry that you are struggling with anxiety because I know what it's like, and with a big birthday coming up. I'm also turning 70 this year.

I struggled with anxiety a lot when I was younger, never took medication for it, I now seem to have overcome it - I just got to the stage where I thought "Whatever you are anxious about, bring it on" (and - breathing, exercise, distraction etc). The first time I ever remember being anxious was when my parents split up when I was 5, and I developed stomach pains and my mother took me to our wonderful family doctor, who suggested she buy me a teddy bear! smile I remember being slightly embarrassed at having a giant teddy bear bought for me at that age. I vaguely remember also seeing a "child psychologist". Then at times in my life the anxiety has returned, but not nowadays for a long time.

I remember you from one of the meetups, send me a PM if you'd like to meet up for a chat sometime.


KatyK Wed 08-May-19 10:12:04

Sorry you are suffering this. I too have anxiety and the physical symptoms can be awful. I have thought I was going to vomit, had pains in my stomach and have had to rush to the loo, also my hands shake so much I can't lift a cup to drink, frightened to go out in case 'something happens'. Every little ache or pain or 'funny feeling' is the end of the world. My anxiety is about nothing in particular - just life events have brought me to this. You can begin to feel better and I think, as others have advised, your GP can help. Good luck.

BlueSky Wed 08-May-19 12:15:15

KatyK I could have written your post. At one point I didn't know whether my symptoms were physical or psychological, I guess a bit of both as we are both body and mind and one influences the other. But as you say there can be light at the end of the tunnel...thanks

KatyK Wed 08-May-19 13:27:39

It's frightening Bluesky .

SirChenjin Wed 08-May-19 14:33:14

There's a lot of help available now, both in terms of medication and talking therapies. The physical symptoms of anxiety are horrible - my DD suffers from severe IBS which is brought on by both anxiety as well as many different foods. Propanolol helps her massively - it's a beta blocker which subdues the physical symptoms such as panic, sweating, pounding heart etc, without making her feel woozy. She's also had help to manage her feelings through CBT and other self management techniques. She's not 'cured' as such but she is able to manage her symptoms to the point that she's at university living independently in another city - something we didn't think she'd ever do.

I really feel for you - but it can be overcome with the right help and medication, so definitely worth taking that first step by going to see a GP (ask if there's one who specialises in mental health). Good luck!

Sheena Thu 09-May-19 17:57:08

Thank you so much everyone for our replies and comments.... very much appreciated smile

Ooeyisit Mon 20-May-19 21:04:13

I am going through much the same .physical problems leading to anxiety . The long standing health problem I think is now causing the anxiety as I cant imagine it improving although it probably will ,I am hoping .

CazB Mon 27-May-19 18:27:05

I fully sympathise Sheena, as I've battled with anxiety on and off, for years. I'm also 70, and it shows no signs of diminishing. Things that have helped me are a Healthy Minds course available on the NHS (your GP will know about it), Propranolol when I need it, yoga and meditation. I've tried a low dose of an anti depressant but it didn't agree with me. I do hope you will soon find some relief.

BlueSky Tue 28-May-19 10:03:35

Same here. I'm also 70 and I don't know where the physical problems end and the anxiety begins and vice versa. I've only been offered counselling which I refused as I don't think it's going to help me.

Yogadatti Tue 28-May-19 13:20:20

I suffer the same way...same age, .anxiety, health problems, and chronic pain....and I have tried all the medicines and counselling and pain clinic....none of them have helped at all and no one cares especially medical profession....I am sure there are some good GPs and specialists but I have never met any. I recently had an important MRI misinterpreted by a specialist radiologist....even I knew she was incorrect prior to my consultant confirming my thoughts......As for anxiety , propranolol helps, but diazepam is about the only drug that really helps and doctors don’t like prescribing it because you can get addicted .

fizzers Tue 28-May-19 13:30:28

I started with anxiety about 18 months ago, it coincided with having to look after my elderly mother, the further time went on and the sicker and more frail she got, the worse my anxiety became. I suffered from feeling sick, panic attacks and fear and sweaty, numb/ tingling palms. I did realise what was causing my anxiety and looked up online some coping tips. Once my mother was admitted to hospital and eventually passed away, my anxiety started to lessen.