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    Overwhelming Anxiety
    An_250447 posted:

    A few weeks back I awoke with an overwhelming anxiety that I was not myself anymore. I had an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach and was having horrible thoughts that I just wasn't my same carefree, loving self. I went into a whirlwind panic attack, hyperventilating and my body temperature was elevated. I couldn't seem to kick the feeling for most of the day. I've never experienced anything like this.

    I've had bouts of panic attacks, especially when it came to crowds, driving in cities I wasn't familiar with and basically anything that was new to me, would cause some sense of anxiety. However, these usually resulted in my limbs going numb and hyperventilation. After doing some deep breathing, I would eventually compose myself and move on.

    However, this sensation I awoke with was different, my chest clenched and my breath was short and I felt like I've lost control of the rational part of my mind and this overwhelming sensation that I was indeed going crazy. Since then, I've been getting the same feelings, that I was and am uncomfortable with myself. Part of it I feel is due to how intense the feeling was and it is almost haunting how out of
    control I felt at that moment, that I could feel that way. I've never experienced anything like this.

    I'm an active person, I picked up yoga and have changed my diet
    completely to become vegan a few months ago (as your diet directly affects your mental,
    physical and emotional health). I was just wondering if anyone
    had experienced this same feeling or something close and
    what they did to deal with it or even cure it.

    I greatly appreciate any and all comments.
    Patricia Farrell, PhD responded:
    You've indicated that you have had panic attacks in the past and you managed very well to help yourself, but this time it sounds like it was quite different and it's disturbing you.

    Since you've recently become a vegan, do you think that your diet might have anything to do with these new feelings you are experiencing? Dietary deficits can have quite dramatic effects on your mood and I would first suggest that you look into this. I would also suggest that you have an appointment with your PCP to discuss what you've been going through and see if there's anything medical that needs to be attended to.

    It would seem that you are person who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle and I would think that medication might not be something for you. Not that I think you need to take medication, but I would think you might want to try some self-help techniques first. If everything turns out okay at your PCP's, then why not try relaxation breathing (we have a video tutorial on this in our Tips column). Also, see if there are any areas in your life that could be stressful or whether or not you have been getting adequate sleep. Stress and lack of sleep are two things that can cause some dysfunction and lead to unpleasant problems.

    My first thought, however, is for you not only to see your PCP but to carefully consider your diet to ensure that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals that you need on a daily basis. Just a small change in certain minerals can cause quite dramatic changes in behavior.
    rohvannyn responded:
    I wish you the best. My personal experience tells me that when I don't get enough omega-3 fatty acids in my diet, for example, I don't think as clearly. I have more anxiety and that "urge to cry but can't" feeling when I am low on other nutrients as well. Sometimes the nutrients I need are in fruits and vegetables, sometimes they are in animal products of various kinds. Good, high quality vegan supplements are available, shop around online for better prices. I just wanted to support what Dr. Farrell was saying. It can be hard to describe just how much the quality of your nutrition can affect you in all ways.
    savitri responded:
    had same feeling two weeks ago when i los a brother it went down in few days
    cavapas responded:
    I often have the same feeling, and especially in the mornings. Its often combined with an intense headache, stomach cramps, and a total lack of motivation... Im started to see someone for this... And her too thinks it has to do with my diet... maybe try a follow up with a nutritionist or dietician??
    Best of luck working through this! Its not an easy road!
    Boothly responded:
    You may also want to get your thyroid levels checked. When I get those feelings, I go in for a blood test and they check my levels. They have found a direct correlation.
    karisann responded:
    I completely understand this experience. I am a therapist and suffered from panic attacks which I got through with exposure therapy, personal study, antidepressants and mostly--learning everything there is to know about panic attacks.

    No matter how you feel in the throes of a panic attack, you are not going crazy. The feelings you describe are panic attack symptoms. And they are scary as heck. Learning to comfort, reassure yourself and navigate your way back to accepting and understanding that you are OK is going to help you so much.

    The book that helped me the most. "Don't Panic" by Reid Wilson. Good luck and all the best to you.
    karisann responded:
    In "Don't Panic", Dr. Wilson writes "Panic attacks can be intensely frightening and demoralizing. In the midst of one, you may believe that you are about to die, lose control, go crazy or experience another catastophic outcome.."
    Anthony100 responded:
    Over the past 1 to 1 1/2 years I have been experiencing the same issues from time to time. At some intervals it becomes very overwhelming. I have tried St. John's Wort and currently have an order in for a natural product called Seredryn which has natural ingredients and the makers claim has a 93% success rate.

    I have no issues sleeping and my appetite is good generally except when I am fretting over things. However, there are times when I seem to feel I am losing it like you and my good friend who has been in touch with me at least 5 days weekly tries to coach me, I am also seeing a counselor about this as I do not want to go on meds and want to try the natural method first. I fully understand what you are going through as all of your symptoms are also mine as well. Three deep breaths with a gradual gush out of air seems to help sometimes I would also suggest drinking a lot of water. How is your appetite?
    Anthony100 replied to Patricia Farrell, PhD's response:
    Patricia: I responded to this person too as I have been experiencing these issues off and on over the past year or more. I am trying every natural remedy I can and have gone to my PCP but he mis-diagnosed and immediately after only 3 to 5 minutes said I was experiencing depression and anxiety over my mother's death which occurred more than 1 and 1/2 years prior. I took care of her over that time and am at peace for what I did (I do have a family of my own). My son came up with the diagnosis that maybe I have no usefulness in life as I ran for 5 years with my mother, just about collapsed with exhausting after she died for six months and when I woke up six months later it was almost as if what else is there now to do? I am about to receive an order of Seredyn which I understands my cut the anxiety levels and am also seeing a counselor who suggested breathing exercises, etc. I have seen her for about 6 months almost every week to two weeks apart. I feel positive more at nites than days but there are days that I feel somewhat up. I have no problem sleeping and get enough sleep 8 to sometime 9 hours per nite. I try to exercise, etc. but sometimes get in a tizzy about things such as prior to eating tonite at dinner I was really anxious, took a Prilosec for acid and a librax which my gastro guy prescribed sometime ago and felt sweaty during dinner, drank a bottle of water and after dinner felt much relief. Any suggestions??

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