I was here only briefly earlier this year after having had a couple of panic attacks and continuing anxiety. I'm happy to report that things got much better for quite a while! New things are coming up now, and I'm a little confused (or a LOT!) what's going on.
So I had a couple of panic attacks and lingering anxiety in Dec/Jan that started after I woke up with severe vertigo. The vertigo went away quickly, but I felt constantly slightly nauseous, off-balance... just horrible all around. Was fighting anxiety the whole time. Dr diagnosed me with anxiety, disregarded the vertigo part completely.
I took 0.25 xanax as needed when I started feeling exceptionally bad. Everything sort of disappeared as time went by. The nausea, the off-balance feeling, the anxiety. Occasionally I still felt bad and took my xanax but that rarely happened more than once or twice a month.
The vertigo has been recurring once a month (guess what time of the month! lol) but the other symptoms pretty much haven't been. This summer the anxiety returned, along with the nausea and off-balance feeling. Kept going to different Drs and eventually one of them (a vestibular rehab therapist) caught me when I had one of my acute vertigo attacks. Finally got a diagnosis of BPPV. The lingering effects - nausea, off-balance feeling, funny visual sensations: all related to my vestibular problem. The anxiety is a direct result.
But now things are getting a little worrisome. Ever since the diagnosis a month ago, the anxiety has been coming back more and more often. I have 2-4 days a week I feel bad enough to have to take xanax to keep from going into panic attack mode. Now, the test she did to diagnose me was absolutely horrible. My whole body was shaking for half an hour afterwards and I broke down crying once I finally got out of her office. I dreaded the next appointment (a week later). Had to take xanax just to make it there without falling apart.
I can't seem to handle any emotional stress at all anymore (work stress is ok). I have to fight back tears a lot now, sometimes almost randomly. I start thinking about
this and want to cry. I've never been a person to cry a lot or easily.
My appetite is shot. Most of the time this past month, I have to make myself eat and finish the meal. I don't enjoy the food at all, no matter what it is, and I love eating usually. :/
The thing is that my anxiety has ALWAYS been related to vestibular symptoms. As soon as the motion sick feeling went away, the anxiety did as well. The past few weeks, I've been doing really well with the vestibular stuff but the anxiety keeps coming back.
I'm not sure what to make of this! Is it possible that the anxiety is just taking on a life of its own and deciding to take up residence completely separately from the ear stuff? I know I can't keep taking xanax like this. But I can't let the anxiety go either because it's making it more difficult to fix my ear problems. It's a vicious cycle. Ear stuff makes anxiety worse, anxiety makes ear stuff worse, etc etc. I don't know what to do.
Sorry for the long post. :(
On the side... the kind of ironic part is that many (including me!) wish there was a physical problem that's causing the anxiety. It turned out to be the case for me, though I'm sure I'm predisposed to anxiety. The bad thing is that the physical problem is just as difficult to deal with as the anxiety - and there's no easy cure or fix, or even a complete understanding of it. Ear stuff is sort of like anxiety.. you diagnose by excluding other things. Woohoo...
And of course, there's no quick fix. It can take YEARS to get rid of it completely. It's emotionally draining.