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

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Relationship and family issues

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Space for discussion of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and intrusive thoughts, panic attacks, and eating disorders.

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Topic: what physical feelings of anxiety do you get?

  1. Fiatlux
    Fiatlux avatar
    127 posts
    14 May 2021

    My oesophagus just clamps shut and I can’t swallow, not even clear liquids will go down.

    I could be eating soup and all of a sudden something will trigger my anxiety and I have to stop. At times I must bring it all back up as I feel like I am choking. I pace up and down until the feeling passes.

    I have seen a gastroenterologist specialist about it and she confirmed that under stress, my stomach and food pipe clench shut. The feeling of drowning from a glass of water is simply awful.

    And of course the very common tightness in the chest and hyperventilating. My lungs don’t want to inflate at times.

    I get tingling down my arms and legs, get dizzy and must lie down.

    I have had MRI’s on my brain and neck and inner ear which were inconclusive.

    3 people found this helpful
  2. Rhino1
    Rhino1 avatar
    5 posts
    14 May 2021 in reply to contrarymary

    hello I read what you said and it sounds just like me, and yes the big 1 is chest pain and palpitations for me 2 and I dont sleep at night either I just think 24/7 that I am going to have a heart attack and die, its like a living hell and the docs meds dont help. I think I have death anxiety also known as thanataphobia. like you said its good to understand we are not alone so try to stay strong and live in the now instead of the future. but it is easier said then done.

    4 people found this helpful
  3. seaturtle
    seaturtle avatar
    1 posts
    16 May 2021

    Not sure if all of these are related to anxiety but I do experience

    - sweaty palms

    - uncontrollably shaking my leg when I’m sitting down

    - racing heart

    - sudden bursts of worry

    - eating nothing in the morning and overeating at night

    - racing thoughts

    - avoiding going out and social interaction

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Faithh
    Faithh avatar
    31 posts
    18 May 2021 in reply to Lyly
    I hope you are feeling ok.

    I'm similar to you in that on the outside I appear "fine", successful, busy with everything going for me but the daily mental battle comes to a head where I just break into tears and am completely lost. Is this how you're feeling?

    And because of the way people may perceive me, I find it hard to open up and be vulnerable to my family. I'm totally transparent through with my partner, I tell him everything (poor thing!! Ha!)

    Physical symptoms often appear as shaky/nervy, feeling foggy and light and hyper sensitive about every little normal human ailment that most people ignore. Then it will pass... only to come back again at a vulnerable time.

    It's comforting to know they will eventually pass when we're feeling clearer.
    2 people found this helpful
  5. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    18 May 2021 in reply to Faithh


    Despite my poker face, my physical manifestation of anxiety are:

    - Constant jittery feeling with waves of panic washing over me that make my heart race

    - Can't concentrate, words meaningless, stuck in a loop, no direction

    - Insomnia, toss, turn, stare, wriggle

    - Feeling hunted, like everyone wants something

    - Finger biting, hair pulling

    1 person found this helpful
  6. DJwoof937
    DJwoof937 avatar
    3 posts
    18 May 2021
    Currently, my anxiety manifests itself in awful, chronic migranes (also genetic), severe insomnia, stabbing stomach pains, shortness of breath, lack of appetite, constant hand tremors, earache (may be because of tinnitus though) and general fatigue.
    1 person found this helpful
  7. Bubbaloo
    Bubbaloo avatar
    3 posts
    21 May 2021
    Sleeplessness. I either struggle to go to sleep or go to sleep and am awake from 1-4am then time to go back to bed to try to function for work the next day. I very rarely eat, I drink too much (not alot in the grand scheme of things but too much for me). I get snippy and snarly and I don't mean to. Frustrated with the slightest thing. IBS. I've been through alot of issues the last few years and if the drs can't find something textbook wrong with me,I'm ying or looking for drugs. As a health worker myself I find this very demeaning and insulting. I used to get panic attacks when I was pregnant with my youngest son. As a single mum,Id fly off the handle easily. My eldest had anxiety now and he actually understands more about me know and that I wasn't just being a bitch. I get agitated if I am late as well. My partner is ALWAYS late and I get so annoyed. If I sit in a room,I have to face the door. I think that comes with the armed hold up...
    4 people found this helpful
  8. pinkandgrey
    pinkandgrey avatar
    13 posts
    22 May 2021

    I see a lot of my same physical manifestations in this thread, in no particular order:

    • Sleeplessness and hypnagogic jerks, including feeling my throat close up just as I'm falling asleep
    • Tension in my arms and shoulders that tires out my muscles and then fatigue after sensations die down
    • Tightness in the chest, lightheadedness, some tingling
    • Loss of appetite
    • Distinct lack of concentration, motivation and a general inability to enjoy anything
    2 people found this helpful
  9. MiloTiger
    MiloTiger avatar
    4 posts
    22 May 2021 in reply to acca

    Hi Acca

    I suffer with the dizziness too , I really get quite scared to stand up sometimes bc I think that I will pass out , I would love to know what you do for the dizziness xx

    cheers MiloTiger

  10. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    29 May 2021 in reply to MiloTiger


    I also find anxiety can trigger my asthma, especially if I am feeling panicky or emotional. What a completely useless reaction by my body. I've always thought asthma just the stupidest way for the body to attack itself! One thing it does do though is bring your focus to your breath.

  11. TheLastSlice ofBread
    TheLastSlice ofBread avatar
    19 posts
    29 May 2021 in reply to seaturtle

    Yes to some not all

    I also get

    - a stammer

    -light headed

    -panic attack

    -inability process people talking to me

    -inability to move physically

    hang in there

    finding triggers help because it helps to understand your physiological responses

    1 person found this helpful
  12. mymindguru
    mymindguru avatar
    1 posts
    30 May 2021 in reply to seaturtle
    That pretty much me right there. All of the above. I found that sometimes my head gets way ahead of me. Thinking stuff that doesn't even exist.
  13. Renet
    Renet avatar
    1 posts
    3 June 2021

    HI everyone,

    I get heart palpitations which is the most bothering physical symptom.

    The other night I thought it would be my last night, my heart didn't feel right and my head started tingling but here I am even the worst heart palpitations I've survived so I guess they can't kill you, but I'm still scared if they get worse as to what will happen to me.

    3 people found this helpful
  14. Pantera913
    Pantera913 avatar
    2 posts
    12 June 2021
    At the moment I have this constant dizzy feeling, I have been to the doctors and they can't figure it out! I then recently went back on contraception and started getting what I felt were side effects issues. Pains in my abdomen, loss of appetite, Lump in my throat like I have indigestion constantly, feelings of hear palpitations, racing heart and still the dizziness. I went to the Dr thinking, oh man do I have DVT or something. They put me on an ECG, all clear, did blood tests and other checks and couldn't find anything.
    I feel like I am going crazy, especially because the Drs can never find anything. Am I so stressed from this dizziness that my anxiety is making this other stuff happen? Reading some of your stories is making me think it may be anxiety related.. but still not sure about the dizziness.
    1 person found this helpful
  15. jemma09
    jemma09 avatar
    94 posts
    12 June 2021

    Jumping back in here again as I seem to be more anxious at the moment. My feelings are as follows:

    I put ** next to the ones that are constant and don't really ever go away. These are the ones I need to consistently try to self-help for.

    • overthinking and obsessive thoughts **
    • muscle tension **
    • headaches **
    • fatigue and tiredness **
    • trouble sleeping and staying asleep **
    • dizziness
    • panic attacks
    • a sort of de-personalisation where I feel a little 'out of it' or 'disconnected'
    • sadness and feeling 'fed up' so to speak
    • hyperawareness of breathing, therefore making breathing seem hard, shortness of breath
    • loss of appetite
    • Sometimes can't be bothered to maintain the body --> I try to be really careful if I feel like this so I don't have negative impacts from it.

    Take care everyone & stay safe :)

    7 people found this helpful
  16. bluemoonbluesky
    bluemoonbluesky avatar
    27 posts
    13 June 2021

    To those suffering from dizziness, know that I had dizziness for about 3-4 months at one stage. It was constant, and I do mean constant. I go through stages of it still but not as bad or scary as it once was.

    A few months ago I was dealing with spasms and twitches all over which have subsided.

    Now I've got indigestion, stomach cramps and not going to the toilet very well. I don't feel stress more than usual but in Melbourne so during lockdown my diet and activity were poor the past few weeks. Hopefully resolves soon.

    Anxiety sucks, the physical manifestations of it are remarkable.

  17. isabelle21
    isabelle21 avatar
    13 posts
    16 June 2021
    Been feeling so many uncomfortable physical symptoms lately... numbness in glutes, and legs, upset stomach... really upsetting and worrying. I keep thinking that it must be due to some illness...
  18. Lucy_
    Lucy_ avatar
    1 posts
    16 June 2021 in reply to jemma09

    Hi Jemma!

    You basically just described my feelings.. apart from the no appetite, I eat when I'm anxious!

    How long have you experience headaches? I have suffered from chronic daily tension headaches for about 13 years now :(

  19. coastgirl12
    coastgirl12 avatar
    2 posts
    17 June 2021 in reply to Bubbaloo

    Hi I understand how you feel. I feel like this alot. I have found a part time job the first in two years and I hate it. I feel like its hard to get out of bed. Its 3 am now and I am wide awake. I cant sleep and just bit off my co workers head because he told a junior staff member about my complaint I made of them. The manager just said she did not want to discuss this over a text. I dont want to goto work and I dont want to go back. I hate it. I will feel like a failure but I have to quit. I am worried about what they will think and its just waitressing.

    I will now not sleep tonight due to anxiety and have had enough. I have to quit tomorrow and dont want to. I am scared about what they will say.

  20. GCkathy
    GCkathy avatar
    2 posts
    8 July 2021
    Hi there, have been suffering with anxiety for about two years, started with indigestion and heart palpitations, have had tests and all ok but still symptoms continue
    Heart rate increase
    Pain under ribs
    Numbness in legs



    I have just had an operation to remove a melanoma and I was ok with that at the time but now am obsessed with checking my lymph nodes, it just doesn't end.

    The Only plus is that I found taking ginger tablets stops the nausea

    Sometimes you wonder when it will ever stop and you can feel normal again

    5 people found this helpful
  21. Guest9337
    Guest9337 avatar
    1001 posts
    9 July 2021 in reply to GCkathy

    G'day GCkathy,

    Your last line there above does make me wonder about normality.

    Am I going to keep feeling like this for so long it will become normal? Is the absence of how I felt prior to 10/6 (bad event) me missing that old normality, on the way to a new normality?

    Which is better, emotionally flat or intense emotions? I'm flopping around all over the place, each emotion so strong my body is reacting to it... or nothing at all.

    Where's the optimal middle ground? I want me some of that please!!!!

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Rabb
    Rabb avatar
    4 posts
    18 July 2021

    -chest tightness


    -excessive crying(sometimes)

    -lack of concentration


    -loss of apetite

    -if i try to distract myself to manage it , fir eg watching netflix, i dont enjoy it

  23. Guest9337
    Guest9337 avatar
    1001 posts
    19 July 2021 in reply to Guest9337

    under attack


    easily startled

    being too open or disclosing too much

    head aches

    2 people found this helpful
  24. AliceWhiteRabbit
    AliceWhiteRabbit avatar
    1 posts
    19 July 2021 in reply to bluemoonbluesky
    I get so worked up from panic and anxiety and tense my whole body shakes, it feels like my soul is shaking as well, it comes in a wave that starts the same everyday. Always triggered by some random pain or thinking I have to go to the Dr or dentist ( I have severe phobias about any medical related things, social anxiety is so bad now I hate leaving the house, It's so exhausting and hard to explain to people who just assume you're doing nothing all day. Motivation is non existent, have gained so much weight , and turned to drinking ... my therapists have all decided not to bulk bill anymore. I am lost, so I came here.... I don't really know what to say , first time post. I just wish I could help everyone , even though I can't help myself atm. Any advice and support would be amazing. Thanks for reading.
  25. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    6608 posts
    19 July 2021 in reply to AliceWhiteRabbit
    Hi AliceWhiteRabbit, 

    Thank you for joining the community and for showing the courage to post here today. It sounds like you are going through a lot right now and are experiencing some intense symptoms of your anxiety. As you can see from this thread, these physical symptoms are normal but we understand that doesn't make them any less difficult for you right now. We are really sorry to hear you are having such a tough time and we want you to know that we are here for you. 

    We think that a great step for you would be to give us a call on 1300 22 4636. Our team are experts on helpin gpeople when they are feeling these symptoms and can help you in the moments you feel most distressed. They can also help you to find other community support if that is what you are looking for. 

    Thank you for sharing your story here today, it can be really tough to reach out but you never know who will read you post and feel like they are less alone in their own experiences. Thank you!

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
    2 people found this helpful
  26. Michael MG
    Michael MG avatar
    1 posts
    19 July 2021 in reply to Lacie

    Hey Lacie,

    I've been feeling the exact same way recently. Your post has helped me understand my situation and realise that other people are feeling the same way. I hope you're feeling better now and I am confident that I will be feeling better soon as well.

    Thanks Again!


  27. ChrisCou
    ChrisCou avatar
    3 posts
    22 July 2021 in reply to GCkathy


    Three things are familiar to me from your 'anxiety'. As a site manager of a 24 hour remote site I had these feelings (mainly due to pressure of meeting production schedules.), over many years. I am now 'mature age' and the results of this anxiety over a long term are now evident (heart disease to which stress aggrevated.)

    Firstly, this seemingly simple anxiety (part of life, some say), can turn into depression. Its simpler to 'manage' it while its anxiety and before it develops.

    Secondly, don't ignore the physical aspects. Many of the 'symptoms' you describe are similar to heart condition symtoms. If you think your anxiety is caused by 'stress' ( as mine was) keep a close eye on your heart with your doctor (I believe the two are linked).

    I found that my anxiety reduced as I reduced (or managed) the stress in my life. I mainly did by this practicing deep breathing, visualization, meditation, and yoga (Lots of info on this site, but also Zen buddahist sites), I also personally use hypnotherapy.

    Hope this helps (to know your not alone with this)

    3 people found this helpful
  28. Sharrynight
    Sharrynight avatar
    1 posts
    26 July 2021
    I know these posts were months ago but I've just joined. So comforting to see others experiencing what seems so abnormal. I suffer from health anxiety so now struggling to see where what's from anxiety and what's not. I have been having loads of issues and so seeing a urologist, neurologist and rheumatologist in coming months - so over medical stuff, and wonder how many of my symptoms would reduce considerably if I was to start antidepressants (I have not yet). Have people found that once they find an AD that seems to work for them these symptoms significantly reduce, or are you just better able to not worry so much about them? Thanks!
  29. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    6608 posts
    26 July 2021 in reply to Sharrynight
    Hi Sharrynight, 

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for joining our kind, caring and understanding community. As you can see there are lots of people who have simililar feelings to those that you have and while your situation is unique it is not abnormal. 

    Health anxiety can be really tough and so we think it might be worth giving our phoneline a call on 1300 22 4636 to talk through some strategies for how to manage this going forward. The team can help with advice on how to manage anxiety in the moment as well as ways to get further support in the community. 

    It;s important to remember that 

    Thank you for posting here today and for being a part of this growing support network. 

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
    2 people found this helpful
  30. Kath621
    Kath621 avatar
    1 posts
    27 July 2021
    I get a physical sensation down the Center of my torso. Tight filled with uncomfortable feeling. Body tenses. Brain shuts down. Memories get pulled so I can’t keep my thread of thought/conversation. Feeling of incoming attack or being made fun of. Inferior. Stupid. Brain when it does works races to try to get me out of the perceived attack.
    1 person found this helpful

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