Quitting Smoking and Anxiety

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rfromet
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/14/2009 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Here's some history...

I used to get anxiety attacks on a semi-annual basis. Mostly going into winter (like now). They would last about a week or so, and be gone. I'd also get them around big life events (deaths in the family, big vacations, etc). During these, I was convinced I was dying of "something" - usually a brain tumor or cancer...These started right around the time my grandfather died when I was 27 (I'm now 38). They were always "manageable" with a Xanax. In fact, my doctor prescribed me a bottle of Xanax 2 years ago (almost to the day), and I still haven't gone through it fully...the latest time I felt this way was this summer on vacation, I had slight heartburn - was convinced I was having a heart attack, or something was wrong with my heart. It lasted the whole time on vacation (a week), and as soon as we got home, I was fine.

about a month ago, I quit smoking. I didn't go through withdrawal nearly as bad as I thought I would at the beginning - I only had a few really bad days, and took 1/2 a Xanax and all was good...

NOW, I'm having ongoing anxiety about every little ache and pain in my body (almost hypochondria like). I have a slight headache, I have a brain tumor. I cough slightly - lung cancer, etc...I take 1/2 a Xanax when I start feeling it coming on, and I feel a lot better. When I actually think about it though, I feel pretty good. I don't really have any bad aches anywhere, I'm not bleeding from anywhere, no bad headaches, haven't lost that much weight (about a pound or 2 in a month), etc.

To make matters worse, now I don't feel like I ever get "hungry" (that's the best I can explain it). I am eating, just not like I thought I would be after quitting smoking, and still, I'm never starving...I think I'm driving myself insane self diagnosing, and worse - cyberdiagnosing...like I said, I haven't lost any weight, and overall feel pretty good, except for the nerves of course...

I have a doctor's appt. tomorrow and hopefully that'll make me feel a lot better.

Just wondering if anyone else has gone through this...

Thanks!

Rick

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 12/14/2009 9:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like you have developed some health anxiety. I am glad you are seeing your doc tomorrow, be sure to tell him/her all you have been feeling. I kinda think you might be like I was after I quit smoking. Smoking was my stress helper, if I was mad, first thing I did was grab a smoke. Now you are having to deal with the stressors without your usual comfort item, a cigarrette. I went thru much the samething. I was able to just push thru it, now I use the Xanax on occasion when needed. Good luck!

rfromet
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/14/2009 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for responding. As I'm sure you're aware - just knowing there are other people out there that are feeling the same way makes it a little better.

I too thought (or think) it's all stress related...like my stress relief has been totally removed. Even my neck muscles hurt (my trap muscle popped last week and has been hurting ever since). I'm showing all the signs of major stress. The only thing that's really concerning me though is the appetite, but from what I've read, appetite has a TON to do with nerves and stress. AND to top it off - I had a friend who died of stomach cancer at the beginning of summer (sadly, she was only 32) - so of course my nervous brain is telling me that I have the same thing, even though it was EXTREMELY rare (like one in 8 million or something)...

If you don't mind me asking - how soon after you quit smoking did you really start feeling better? It's been a little more than a month for me now...and I was better at the beginning. From what I've heard, I'm actually into the toughest time now (that the nic is out of the system, and it's all about the habit now).

And I'm definitely ready to tell the doc that I think I have health anxiety. I fell like if he put me on a preventative dose of something (unlike the Xanax I take when I feel anxiety) I'd feel a lot better. That and his reassurance that I'm ok physically...

Thanks!

Patag
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 12/24/2009 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I might be experiencing the same thing. I quit smoking recently, my appetite is gone, and I'm afraid of diseases/mental disorders. But I don't actually crave smoking, which is the weird thing. Do you guys struggle with nicotine cravings?

rfromet
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/24/2009 6:01 PM (GMT -7)   
That's the thing. I had almost no cravings at the beginning. Mine started about a month after. And I don't think they were nicotine cravings - more of a "now what" feeling.

The good news is I went to the doctor and everything checked out good. I'd highlly suggest you go for a physical to make yourself feel better. He put me on Paxil and Xanax for the anxiety and everything seems to be calming down now...

Also, I still have very little appetite, but it SEEMS to be slowly coming back. That freaked me out pretty good...but I actually ate a decent meal tonight for the first time in a couple weeks.

Hope it helps just to know there are other people out there going through the same thing. You're not alone...

Happy Holidays!

Rick.

Feel free to post back if you need anything else...

wild95cat
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/29/2010 8:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm going thru the same crap. My grandma suddenly died 4 months ago, and now my aunt has terminal brain cancer. I've been smoke-free for 3 weeks now. I used to smoke 1-2 cigarettes a day
I caught the flu the night I quit smoking both substances 3 weeks ago. Then I caught a cold after working in the 45 degree rainy weather that hit us 2 weeks ago. Now I'm just nasaly congested with a small cough. My anxiety level in the past year has really gone up too. But I keep thinking something's wrong with me because my appetite is gone. Today is the 2nd day in a row in which I haven't been hungry from the point I wake up at 7am until 7pm at night. Then I eat a relatively small meal for dinner, a stuffed chicken breast last night, and a large baked potato with turkey chile on top. And my stomach just keeps turning and turning as I eat and after I finish. I wasn't even hungry really, I just felt like eating SOMETHING before I need to notch another hole in my belt. It seems as if my appetite's been pretty gone since I had the flu. And it just hasn't come back. I was eating nothing but jello, dry toast, chicken noodle soup and broth and drinking green tea and water. I'm wondering if everything that's happened with the death(s) in my family and quitting smoking two substances along with worrying about needing to get a job is contributing to my feelings of despair, anxiety and not feeling hungry...Can anyone relate to my situation???
 
<Edit>  per rules.

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 4/30/2010 10:45:11 AM (GMT-6)


wild95cat
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/30/2010 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the quick response Lucky! It means a lot. I know that I've been overly thinking of death recently. I've even had strange dreams where everything seems to start off just fine, and then halfway through the dream, it suddenly turns into some kind of chase where I and whomever I'm with are being chased frantically by someone trying to kill us. Waking up in a pool of sweat is NOT fun!
I'll look into yoga and meditation although I believe that the only form of meditation I need is through Jesus Christ. Sitting and praying to him always seems to calm me down a bit. And I will also look into death a bit too. I'm afraid to...but I will. Thank you again Lucky! Now, I've got a big day ahead of me. It's time to get a job at this job fair this afternoon! Take care and God bless!
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