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Irrational fears getting worse- any advice, and what Is going on in my brain?
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uggysin posted:
I've always been an anxious person, I'm 49, and over the last year it's gotten much worse. I think it was spurred on by work stress, then I had a health scare which really sent me round the bend, thinking, convincing myself I had one cancer after another... and prompted a breakdown. I'm feeling a bit better, am on Prozac and ativan when needed, but i still have periods of acute anxiety- shaking all over, trembling, feelings of great fear, and being on edge. It kind of feels like I'm a turtle who all of a sudden doesn't have it's shell. I went on a vacation with my family recently, something that normally relaxes me and I totally fell apart a few times. At one pointing was walking on the beach, and froze- I couldn't go on because the small dark rocks were freaking me out- I felt like I needed to step on all of them and make them flatten into the sand. I burst out crying and my husband helped me off the beach. Last year I was struck with a strong fear of falling through the floor of my house and sidewalk. I don't know what this called, other than Crazy. Saw a psychologist for a few sessions, but insurance wont cover it's had to stop and I'm relying on meds more. Any advice?? Is this anxiety or another form of mental illness. Trying to get to the the bottom of it, so I can help myself feel better.
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Reid Wilson, PhD responded:
Gosh, uggysin , Those symptoms must've been really frightening for you. I'm so sorry to hear you've been going through this.

Of course, I cannot diagnose you. But since you have had anxious-like symptoms in the past (your focus on having a cancer), and since you describe your sensations sometimes as a turtle without its shell, it sure sounds like the first thing you should look at is the possibility of having an anxiety disorder. It's best to find someone who actually specializes in anxiety, not a general therapist, because these types of problems have a very specific treatment protocol. I advise you to identify one of those specialists in your community to do an evaluation. I understand that money can be a problem when insurance doesn't cover the treatment. But, on the other hand, you are suffering, and you deserve relief. You may find it is money well spent. You can go HERE to identify specialists in your community. If you want to, you can email me rrw@med.unc.edu with that list and I will tell you if I know any of them and can recommend any of them.


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