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Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers)

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Topic: what physical feelings of anxiety do you get?

  1. Jazky
    Jazky  avatar
    2 posts
    28 October 2020

    My first post here, in fact my first day logging on....so hoping this will help me out & be the start to getting my life back on track..

    My anxiety & panic attacks have been out of control lately, I experience many of the symptoms people have spoken about but I find the worse is the feeling of disassociating to my surrounds, brain fog, lightheaded ness & the shakes the worse. Lately even in places I always felt comfy in, the panic attacks have started to pop up.

    Not sure is anyone else gets this but the best I can explain is the feeling like I am falling off into a abyss, I could be sitting in a chair at a restaurant, club, standing in a queue, at a atm, even in my own home & if there is not enough “stuff”, people, chairs, tables, around me I felt like I am going to slide off into the big unknown....weird hey....Social distancing is the worst for me, having a clear 1.5 metres from the next table, person or chair just makes this vast abyss feeling even worse.

    Don’t even get me started on how I feel crossing a road at the set of lights, if I can step off on the side where the cars are stopped I am ok (not great but ok) but if I have to step off the curb with no cars there to feel like there is substance around me, the feeling of panic & falling into a abyss steps in straight away.

    And I don’t do shopping centres at all, the glass, lights, shine just make the abyss feeling worse, thank goodness for online shopping.

    Well hopefully today is the first day of me getting out of the house more often!

    love & light to all!

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Not_Batman
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    Not_Batman avatar
    481 posts
    28 October 2020 in reply to Jazky

    hi all, these are some of the symptoms i get. these will be familiar.

    constant chest pain (can last for weeks). Sometimes its a dull ache, sometimes its like my chest is about to go all ‘Alien’

    bad feeling in my gut. Kind of like emptiness and burning.

    intrusive thoughts

    obsessive thinking

    breathing with a short pause (like when you are crying and gasping for breath)


    trouble sleeping (which causes being tired, which fuels the anxiety, which means i have trouble sleeping, which causes being tire...its a vicious cycle)

    panic attack:

    fast breathing

    numb fingers

    hot face



    rapid thoughts

    cant think clearly

    erratic movement.

    shaking hands, particularly my dominant hand.


    low mood

    low self esteem

    crying. Normally i cant get a tear out, but when im depressed the tap is on full.


    cant enjoy anything


    intrusive thoughts and ideation.



    no desire to do anything

    cant concentrate

    Being overly critical

    lost appetite.

    upset stomach.


    2 people found this helpful
  3. Davidc
    Davidc avatar
    3 posts
    28 October 2020 in reply to blondguy
    Everyone gets anxious at one point or another. The difference is how you respond to that anxiety, which determines whether or not you have a problem. When most people get anxious, they feel lightheaded, rapid heartbeat, or even tingles in their belly. But that's where it stops.
  4. cjs
    cjs avatar
    1 posts
    28 October 2020


    This is my first time on these forums. But when I get anxiety ,which seems to be daily at the moment, my stomach goes upside down, I become light headed and I clench my jaw and I usually suck in my stomach so I can start to feel less insecure. But usually I don't do anything further.

    I feel as if I'm beginning to fade and hate myself.

    2 people found this helpful
  5. abbeyroad
    abbeyroad avatar
    1 posts
    30 October 2020

    hello im new to this site and am hoping it will help.i suffer anxiety and depression and find im very emotional all the time.this yeat has been a shocker for alot of people.havent seen my doctor for along time mainly because he has moved on and dont know who to see now.

    with covid cant see my family

    1 person found this helpful
  6. blondguy
    Life Member
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    11407 posts
    30 October 2020 in reply to abbeyroad

    Hi Everyone and thankyou for helping others by sharing your own anxiety symptoms

    Hey Abbeyroad...and welcome! Being new is a bonus as Beyond Blue always need a fresh set of eyes where anxiety is concerned. Your post is super helpful as the bulk of our internet hits come from readers (approx 70%)

    Im in Victoria and have been in stage 4 for a long time. I understand what you are going through abbeyroad

    Hey cjs....Welcome too! as posting on the forums takes huge strength which I didnt have when joined the forums in Jan 2016..Please dont hate yourself cjs....you are too special....

    Hey Davidc and thankyou for being a part of the forums and for sharing your life experience about anxiety and you are spot on with your post.

    Its only my experience .....If our anxiety impacts on our ability to function on a day to day basis we need to touch base with our doctor (GP)

    My physical symptoms are on page 1 or 2 of this thread topic...

    my kind thoughts always...Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  7. jennieg
    jennieg avatar
    1 posts
    31 October 2020


    thank you for sharing how you feel with your anxiety. Next week my adult daughter will be staying with us who has bad anxiety. Reading your posts has helped in my understanding.
    One of my friends has suggested a gluten free diet at least for a while in case there is an intolerance for wheat. (Not full blown coeliac) a naturopath told her to try it and it worked a treat. Even her hands were shaking but this helped hugely.
    Has anyone tried and had success with this please

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Anne(withan-e)
    Anne(withan-e)  avatar
    92 posts
    1 November 2020

    ...a sinking feeling like I’m about to get into trouble.

    A rising sick feeling and everything slows down.

    Depending on how large a reaction or if I can get control one of two things happen.

    1 I take control, over achieve and become very busy ‘fixing’


    2 I start to detach and my vision is blurry white at the edges. Sometimes I will breathe out but not back in and it takes me a while to realize I’m not breathing. I feel incredibly tired.

    It’s interesting how widely our experiences vary, and what we take for granted when people respond to situations in different ways.

  9. blondguy
    Life Member
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    blondguy avatar
    11407 posts
    1 November 2020 in reply to jennieg

    Hello jennieg and welcome!

    thankyou for speaking from the heart! I have heard some people find comfort with a gluten free diet

    I am glad that you have found the posts helpful jennieg. I used to have acute anxiety since 1983 when I was 23 and have tried many natural health remedies. Just for myself I didnt have any success :-(

    I hope some of this has been helpful....Paul

    (any questions are welcome...or a new thread topic if you wish)

  10. maxmadthecurse
    maxmadthecurse avatar
    2 posts
    4 November 2020

    Hi all

    I am 35 and suffer from insomnia/anxiety on and off for the last two years, though it's recently at its worst and I think i'm over obsessing my blood pressure levels.

    I believe it all began early 2019 when I had major anxiety symptoms and when i visited a doctor he found my blood pressure to be on hypertension levels around 160/100, long story short a week after i decided to take 24 hour blood pressure monitor and it was found my resting BP was normal, so i'm told it's most likely psychological.

    I do deal with occasional insomnia and maybe some anxiety here and there since then which is totally manageable but it's recently hit its peak a week ago.

    8 days ago i decided to have just one drink of whisky before bed which usually calms me down for bedtime, and then i woke up at 3 am with my heart pounding and I couldn't sleep and felt drained. From that point on my anxiety is at peak levels. I can hear my heart beating constantly, feeling jacked up full of adrenaline, occasional pains in my chest and full blown insomnia again. I'm guessing i'm facing a period of generalized anxiety right now?

    Only thing that's different now is that my housemate has got a blood pressure monitor this time and my readings are at near constant 160/100 levels again which puts alot of doubt and fear again over my experience last year.

    Anyone here suffers from real high blood pressure levels during periods of anxiety?

    I'm booked in to see a psychologist in two weeks at least, and i think there's no point taking my blood pressure readings every day when my anxiety is just constant right now.

    1 person found this helpful
  11. Larks98
    Larks98 avatar
    6 posts
    4 November 2020 in reply to maxmadthecurse

    Hi Max. im 22 and have only just been experiencing anxiety in the last couple of months, ive even gone to hospital as i was scared that something was seriously wrong with me. Thankfully all my results came back all clear. At the start my blood pressure was high (dont recall the exact reading). I also could constantly feel my heart beating rapidly which felt like it was beating fast all the time.

    As months have gone on, I sometimes can feel my heart rate increase which leads me to think negative which doesnt help. I think over thinking doesnt help as it only makes the situation worse. I try not to think about it and get on with living a normal life.

    My anxiety comes and goes every couple of week, some weeks im fine and have no negative thoughts or physical symptoms. Where as other weeks i feel drained and lazy. I still get chest muscle pains here and there as well as muscle pain in other areas of my body. I just try to stay positive while experiencing my pain and im normally fine

  12. Gull14
    Gull14 avatar
    1 posts
    4 November 2020

    I can’t breathe. My heart beats too fast. I get a huge rush of adrenaline. My throat closes up. I get diarrhoea. I shake.

    this often happens to me just as I am about to fall asleep.

    I am on no medication for anxiety. I feel like giving up.

  13. Graceneedsadvice
    Graceneedsadvice avatar
    1 posts
    8 November 2020 in reply to Jill G
    I struggle to eat on a daily basis. My muscles in my throat tense my heart feels like a heart attack and I feel like my chest or lungs are collapsing i have to get up and walk around and think all the time if the er is necessary. I walk around panicking like every moment is my last and I loose extreme weight due to this. I will have mental shutoffs and cant think at all and multiple doctors appointment with nothing wrong with me my throat will feel like it's closing up all the time
  14. Mattw
    Mattw avatar
    13 posts
    11 November 2020
    Jazky not sure about an abyss feeling but i do get those feelings of severe dread and fear of death, i was watching a show a few weeks back and it gave me a weird feeling and i got a bit anxious then all of a sudden my mind went deep and i mean DEEP into the feeling of death and how i will cease to exist when i die and become nothing erasing me from existance...this lasted for a few minutes with me pacing all around my house thinking im gonna die and dissappear forever, so then i booked into see my GP and told him about this and he said.....we all die eventually...needless to say i got a different doctor after that and am now seeing a phycolgist which is helping, get a breathing excercise that works for you it really does help
  15. Eng
    Eng avatar
    1 posts
    11 November 2020
    When I am anxious I get very tired and lazy, I eat alot usually sweet stuff and I worry and think negative thoughts. I find walking therapeutic, I should go to the gym but I am usually not motivated to do so. 15 years ago I jogged every morning and dieted and felt full of energy and fantastic - this also stopped me sweating so much. However these days I am on antipsychotics which have made me fat and unmotivated. They are meant to help with the anxiety however they have made my health alot worse, I wouldn't recommend them. A good thing is narrative therapy which I have benefitted from. Have to set a daily routine which is hard with my shift work but will get a routine together which should help.
  16. blondguy
    Life Member
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
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    11407 posts
    11 November 2020 in reply to maxmadthecurse

    Hi maxmadthecurse

    Welcome to the forums and thankyou for speaking from the heart too! I used to have bad anxiety for around 38 years and yes its horrible to have. I understand your pain. You are proactive with your health by having. You mentioned that your resting BP is normal....this is good news

    From what you have posted above it does seem anxiety/adrenaline based. My BP is always raised when I am even in a low level anxiety state. Just as per my own experience the more frequent our appointments are with our GP or counsellor the less impact any level of anxiety has in our lives

    You are always welcome to start your own thread topic as there many super gentle people on the forums that can be here for you :-)

    my kind thoughts


  17. maxmadthecurse
    maxmadthecurse avatar
    2 posts
    12 November 2020 in reply to blondguy

    thanks for the reply guys

    yeah after that post last week, I found a GP near me with a background in psych who would see me face to face, said I most likely had a panic attack that night and has generalized anxiety since then.

    Before this I was only doing telehealth conferences with other GPs in a different clinic and really I don't think I got anywhere with them. I noticed you could get very different outcomes depending on the doctor you see haha.

    Started medication for a week now for the first time, and seeing a psychologist next week. Checked my BP with the doctor yesterday, its lower at around 144/90 which is still high of course, then again i'm also still feeling anxious all the time.

    I have been against antidepressants all this while but I guess it's time to give it a go, these episodes i'm having is occurring alot more frequently since last year.

    Seeing the doctor again next week so we'll see how things turn out.




  18. Not_Batman
    Valued Contributor
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    481 posts
    12 November 2020 in reply to maxmadthecurse

    This one happened to me today, which is new.

    I Got a compliment today from a colleague on something i did at work. I got quite overwhelmed with emotion to the point where i started to tear up when they left my office. I was so happy that they had said what they said.

    jump to a hour later, my anxiety kicked in real bad, and so did my OCD. I was thinking about packages in the mail, then started to think about some sort of space and time relationship between the packages. I spent about 15mins drawing what i was thinking, and in the end it turned out to be a spacetime diagram...i love physics BTW.

    so now i still have the sickening feeling on nausea, and numbness, and shaking in my hands, along with some odd feeling breathing. Cant really focus either.

    come-on mind and body! Cooperate with me here!


  19. AnxiousAussie11
    AnxiousAussie11 avatar
    4 posts
    13 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    Seems to be a very wide range of physical feelings experienced from anxiety in here!

    Personally speaking the primary thing that gets effected for me is my breathing. I find myself hungry for air, often trying to take in a deep breath doesn't seem to satisfy this - maybe about 1 in 5 will actually satisfy the air hunger than its back very quickly. It also has me needing to yawn a lot but for some reason often cannot find enough air to do so. Also has chest tightness and eventually after putting in so much effort to try and breathe properly I find myself with a dry cough and a constant need to clear my throat - all these symptoms are not great to experience with COVID about! I also find myself clenching my jaw a lot so it ends up saw, and I find my hands very fidgety.

    Previously I also had muscle twitches all over my calves (looks like invisible fingers were pressing down in random spots on my calf muscle) and actual chest pain (one DR thought I had an inflamed rib cage so prescribed strong anti inflammatories which did nothing) - thankfully these ones haven't come back yet.

  20. cakeboss
    cakeboss avatar
    91 posts
    20 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman
    I can related to a lot of the things listed in your post .
  21. gucia6
    gucia6 avatar
    84 posts
    20 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman
    For me recently anytime I am anxious or get the feeling of panic it is the pain in chest and shallow breathing, usually leading to lightheaded feeling and dizziness. I am not getting nauseous too often, but completely lose appetite, even if I am extremely hungry. And I have a need to do something, just get my head busy with some small easy achievable task, like wash dishes, make couple bullet points short term todo list or similar
  22. Calmismygoal
    Calmismygoal avatar
    2 posts
    20 November 2020

    Here goes - am new to this but have been so inspired by reading your posts, thought I would join in.

    My symptoms include:

    • rush of adrenaline blooming through my chest and down my arms/hands and feet.
    • general sense of dread (sometimes overwhelming sense of dread).
    • rapid heart beat.
    • flush face, feeling hot in face but can sometimes be cold in the body with shivers and chattering teeth. Hot flushes is a definite!
    • digestive issues, including diarrhea, vomitting/dry retching, pain in stomach area (at the point where my sternum ends). This then sets me up for days of problems with eating and drinking as it upsets my GORD/IBS and I have to spend days attempting to ‘reset’ my gut.
    • general feeling of unworthiness.
    • not sleeping and being tired (tiredness is worse in days after anxiety day/s as my body is trying to recouperate).
    • restlessness.
    • headaches
    • and a new physical symptom that starting in the past couple of weeks (new one on me being a 25 year veteran of anxiety and panic attacks): spasms in mucles across different sites of my body from my chest to my arms to my legs or my feet. They vary in degrees and some bolt me awake from a deep sleep. The ones that come into the chest area make me anxious and the cycle keeps going.

    I have been struggling a bit with the management of my anxiety following several months of good mental health, so clearly this year (COVID, friends/family health, my own health and a crap storm vortex at work) has taken more of a toll than I thought and looking back I missed some of the early warning signs that I wasn’t investing enough time and energy on my mental health.

    thanks for all of your contributions, it really does help to know that we are not alone

    2 people found this helpful
  23. randomx
    randomx avatar
    3365 posts
    20 November 2020 in reply to Calmismygoal

    lt's the mental block , the complete blank , l hate the most.


    5 people found this helpful
  24. Calmismygoal
    Calmismygoal avatar
    2 posts
    21 November 2020 in reply to Gull14

    Yes the pre- bed anxiety is a real pain. That and first thing in morning seem to be the biggest times for the anxiety battle for me. Though it does happen through out day/night.

    The pre-bed battle then means sleep is difficult or interrupted or impossible. Which makes the cycle worse.

    come on science, where is the magic cure?

    1 person found this helpful
  25. blondguy
    Life Member
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    11407 posts
    21 November 2020 in reply to Calmismygoal

    Hi Everyone and thankyou for your valuable contributions too!

    Hey Calmismygoal....thankyou heaps for your heartfelt post...I understand where you are coming from .It is an ugly place to be in..25 Years is a long time! I used to have chronic anxiety for a long time yet it has less impact nowadays

    I really hope you can write your own thread topic (only if you wish to of course) as you will have a lot of replies with like minded people. I wish there was a magic cure for this too

    my kind thoughts


    1 person found this helpful
  26. Not_Batman
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    Not_Batman avatar
    481 posts
    22 November 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Does anyone forget words. Like simple words?

    often when im mid sentence or on a verbal roll I suddenly forget what i was about to say, or forget the word i was trying to say.
    i get a bit embarrassed because i start going “uh, uh”

    Another one is facial tic. Very minor, and usually unnoticeable to people.


    2 people found this helpful
  27. davoid
    davoid avatar
    6 posts
    22 November 2020

    Hi everyone,

    new member. I was directed to this topic after my first post which was regarding anxiety being caused by physical reasons, not 'how you are thinking' which is often cited as the cause of anxiety.

    I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibro Myalgia since 1995. I started getting anxiety around 2016, but it got worse around 2018.

    As far as physical symptoms of my anxiety, I am grateful they aren't as terrible as most of you describe. Mine is just a general uneasiness that ebbs and flows, but sometimes rises into more of a panic attack. If I feel it rising, I take medication, I use it minimally, and it's also habit forming,so.

    My panic attacks just feel like a dread that rises up from my stomach, and I usually need to stand up, and often I feel like I need fresh air, so I go outside and breath. I started getting them while I was asleep. I would wake up and see the dark room, and not be fully awake. but feeling scared of dying.
    I did some research and it may be lack of oxygen that triggers it. Because of the CFS my body's temperature regulation doesn't work properly, so if I get a little dehydrated and get hot in my sleep, that can trigger the panic attack too.

    When I first went to a GP in 2018, he directed me to an online course, which I did. It was all about 'how you think' which didn't resonate with my experience. I did some online research and found a site about how to deal with panic attacks, and I use those tips.

    1. I say to myself: 'you are not in danger, you are just uncomfortable' over and over.

    2. breathing: deep breath out, slow breath in, repeat. Basically trying to slow the heart which is pumping adrenaline around the body.

    I usually can't sleep after these attacks, so I have a snack and watch TV or surf the net until I feel tired again. Usually takes 3-4 hours.

    My contention regarding physical reasons for anxiety as opposed to 'how you think' stems from my experience with CFS/FM. The hormone system is disrupted, which makes you sensitive to noise, activity, temperature, smells, dehydration, some foods, etc. This, along with the socially isolating result of a chronic illness, tends to make you depressed and/or anxious, so if you think about your real situation, that can cause worse anxiety, and panic attacks. If I 'change the way I think' then I either have to deny my reality, or ignore it, which is difficult.

    So I am posting for the people in a similar situation.

  28. Not_Batman
    Valued Contributor
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    481 posts
    23 November 2020 in reply to davoid

    Hi davoid.

    Thanks for sharing. very similar tips to what i use. And i find that they do work. But sometimes the thoughts and feelings are too strong, to which i have to acknowledge them and let them pass on their own.

    sometimes that is easy, sometimes that is very hard.


  29. davoid
    davoid avatar
    6 posts
    23 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    I hear ya. It is hard sometimes.

    Some other things I've discovered which may help others:

    1. cortisol

    There is a correlation between blood sugar and cortisol. Blood sugar low = cortisol high.
    You may have heard the term 'hangry', this when you get angry when you're hungry. Your blood sugar level drops which triggers the adrenal glands to release cortisol and other hormones to try and raise your blood sugar level.

    Cortisol is released in pulses at different levels during a 24 hour cycle. It peaks early in the morning; 7am-9am for most people, which wakes you up. The pulses are less intense as the day progresses, and cortisol levels slowly drop in the evening, ready for sleep at night.

    But if your cortisol cycle is not smooth and steady, then you can have anxiety. People like this shouldn't consume caffeine, especially coffee, as this boosts cortisol. Fasting is another thing to avoid. I did fasting everyday for about 18 months, and this has contributed to my anxiety now. A lack of carbs can increase cortisol as well.

    Carbs should be low glycemic index, i.e. wholemeal bread, vegetables, whole oats. The evening meal should be carbs and protein and fats. Fats and protein with carbs slows the blood sugar increase. Avoid sugar snacks. These do raise the blood sugar, but it's a sharp spike, and then a rapid fall to lower than where you began.

    If you find your anxiety or panic appears at certain times. Take a look at your diet and see if it might be affecting your blood sugar level.

    Exercise like a gym workout in the evening isn't good for a stable normal cortisol cycle either.

    I hope this helps. There's lot's of books, and medical articles about cortisol and blood sugar that are worth checking out if you think it might apply to your anxiety.

  30. gucia6
    gucia6 avatar
    84 posts
    23 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    Hey Not_Batman,

    Yes, I sometimes go completely blank, don't know what to say, get disconnected, the world just passes around

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