Health Anxiety again - exhausting

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/7/2008 6:31 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, folks, after just a couple of okay days, my health anxiety is skyrocketing again.
What started my encounters with anxiety and panic was an episode of shortness of breath while driving about three years ago.  It felt like my throat was closing up.  In trying to figure it out while hustling to the nearest hospital (I was on an interstate, out of town, at the time - scary!), the only thing I could come up with was a possible unexpected allergy to some walnuts I'd just eaten.  Mind you, I've eaten them all my life with no difficulty.  Even these (from McDonald's), I'd had before.
Long story short, I've spent the past three years afraid of any indication that I was having trouble breathing, getting short of breath, or feeling throat tightening.  Even though an ENT has recently diagnosed acid reflux of the throat, an accidentally unsupportive conversation with my boyfriend yesterday has made me TERRIFIED that I'll stop breathing somehow.
So anyhow, I realize that I am ALWAYS in this extremely highly vigilant state, monitoring my every breath or throat sensation, and it's exhausting me.
Anyone else dealing with similar issues, like extra vigilance about something that triggers your anxiety?  I don't know how I'll find the energy to keep functioning.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 4/7/2008 8:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I am so sorry that you are going through this.  When we are extra vigilant, it just zaps our energy level because the anxiety is so high. 
Although I don't have fears about food, I do have have fears and increased anxieties about the health/medical issues I'm dealing with.  These anxieties make me over vigilant because I'm scared about what the outcome may be.  Logically, somewhere in the back of my pea brain (LOL), I do know that these things won't do me in.  But when my anxiety goes through the roof, it just takes over and I can't think straight and logically.  So I, as well as many many members, know exactly what you are dealing with.
Keep posting so that we can help you through this.
Take care,

Co-Moderator Anxiety/Panic Disorders

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I am in no way a medical professional, any advice given is purely on an amateur level.

Please seek professional advice from your doctor.

Dx: Agoraphobia, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Essential Tremors, Fibromyalgia, I.B.S., Mitral Valve Prolapse, Narcolepsy, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea

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Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 4/7/2008 9:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there
I suffered many many yrs of helth anxiety and I too was so bleeding afraid of dying or not being able to breath

Just last Moday I had my teen daughter at ER and they literally had to give her heart a reboot twice ........this scared the LIVING hades outta me for sure..........Here she was laying on the hospital bed heartrate 190 .....and NOTHING not a thing that this Mom could do but silently watch them work on her.......

I do know we all suffer from this occasionaly and we have had so many with the same fear or phobia as you with the food I am sure they will post
Some have gotten thru their fears with CBT and other techniques some with meds and techniques ...the point is they got thru it and I know you will too
WE are here for you never forget that and know that we do know what you are going thru
Hang in there...
Post when you can and let us know how things are going plz

  DX With Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum, Anxiety/ Panic and Other Disorders
Moderator @ Anxiety Panic..Alzheimer's..Co mod @ Crohns

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/7/2008 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   

It's just so scary.  My throat gets really tight, which is sometimes just a muscular sensation.  But right now, it feels like it's pressing part of my vocal cords closed.  I took an Ativan a bit ago; that might relax it - and my mental state.  All of my doctors, including TWO ENTs tell me there's nothing that could stop me from breathing.  But it's just such a horribly frightening sensation, and then I start paying extra close attention, just in case it gets worse than usual and does cut off my breath.

I have another appointment with the good ENT tomorrow.  Pray that I can hold out.  Right now, I just want to rush off to the ER or her office and beg them to look in my throat, but by the time that's done, it'll probably be over.  *sigh*



Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 4/7/2008 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, the Ativan seems to have knocked the panic down. My throat feels normal now, and has sine about 45 minutes after the pill. Not only do I not feel like it's being squeezed shut, but I don't feel any squeezing or pressure at all in there.

I guess I should take that as evidence that this particular symptom is anxiety induced, else why would the ativan have a positive effect? Definitely need to ask my doctor tomorrow.

I *HATE* this.

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