Hi, I'll give you all a brief run down on my experience with anxiety, then hopefully some of you may have some useful advice.
I began having noticeable issues with anxiety around 2 years ago, beginning gradually with depression and accumulating into panic disorder with associated agoraphobia. At worst, I was only able to leave the house to go to work (ironically, the place which triggered everything), and was unable to tolerate even the slightest suggestion of sound. I wore earplugs constantly, couldn't be in a room where a conversation was occurring, and had to get rid of my TV as even being in the same room as it suggested sound. I couldn't stand people walking near me and especially past me and would simply panic!
My main coping method was avoidance, but I have been on Citalopram for more than 18 months now. I had CBT which helped me to understand the cycle I was in. I felt that everything was beginning to get back on track and that I was making good progress. I found a new job, and in August, I relocated closer to family and began my new job.
I live in constant fear of my life returning to the pityful shambles it had become, and my anxiety levels seem to be gradually increasing. Most recently, I feel that I am going crazy. In the last few weeks I have had a viral infection followed by, what the GP thinks, is an episode of Bronchitis. I have completed the course of medication but am still finding that I have chest tightness, shortness of breath, increased pulse and light headedness - all of which are also my classic panic symptoms.
Part of me thinks I should go back to the GP for reassurance, but the other part of me is hyper-paranoid that the GP thinks I'm a lunatic time waster. I have seen two different GP's within the last fortnight. The first was while I was ill with a viral infection (his diagnosis). I felt as though he thought I was wasting his time, especially when I said that I was so frustrated by constantly seeming to catch every bug that was going around. He arranged blood tests (which came back normal), but again, I felt it was to humour me.
The second GP had to be seen on an emergency basis as I was struggling to breathe, and had been all day. It was he who diagnosed bronchitis and prescribed the medication.
I really am doubting myself at the moment and cannot seem to differentiate between symptoms of genuine illness and those of anxiety. I feel like a nutcase, and am worried that by going back to the GP or mentioning this to anyone I know will have them thinking I'm nuts / hypercondriac. My biggest fear is that I will panic or make a fool of myself at work - I've only been there 6 months! Part of me just wants to quit my job, hide away and shut the world out.
Sorry about the long post - I just had to get it out of my head somehow.