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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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by Dean Dharug
9 hours ago

Topic: what physical feelings of anxiety do you get?

  1. Not_Batman
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Not_Batman avatar
    481 posts
    10 October 2021 in reply to Meliss

    Hi Meliss

    what a terrible experience. I am glad you are ok. A panic attack is scary, one while driving is even worse, the best thing to do is to pull over safely - which in itself is not always easy.


  2. Angelfairy
    Angelfairy avatar
    2 posts
    10 October 2021 in reply to Jill G

    I have had morning nausea every day for over a year used to be with adrenaline I'd be walking my dogs in dark had to get up be busy then exhausted by lunchtime!

    I now have PRN medication when I wake up another half an hour later and that normally takes the nausea away!

    So grateful the adrenaline went but I would love to wake up normal again!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Mk2692
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    Mk2692 avatar
    106 posts
    10 October 2021 in reply to Angelfairy

    Hi Angelfairy,

    That sounds terrible. I am glad you have seen the doctor and he prescribed you with medications. I hope your symptoms go away eventually and that you wake up with more energy for the day.

  4. Angelfairy
    Angelfairy avatar
    2 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to Mk2692
    Thank you for that!!
  5. Marks Mum
    Marks Mum avatar
    8 posts
    11 October 2021

    Just wondering if anyone gets a feeling of pressure in the head and if there are any stratagies to help with this. I'm finding it harder to deal with this lately with the stress of covid etc. and not eating or sleeping well. I'm doing my breathing and distraction techniques and also on anxiety med. Thank you for any help.

  6. Guest9337
    Guest9337 avatar
    1001 posts
    11 October 2021

    i am having an anxious day now.

    my heart hurts, it feels like i have lost a loved one just today.

    my heart beats and i can feel it through my chest.

    my breathing i am controlling and i am doing my techniques, but today all they are doing is seemingly to make matters worse.

    i feel scared

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Meliss
    Meliss avatar
    10 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to Guest9337

    I am so sorry that you are having a bad day. You're definitely not alone. It's the most awful feeling I know. A few things that help me that might help you are- I didn't drink coffee today, I went for a walk, I tried to keep my mind busy by colouring in my colouring book. It's scary and it's exhausting. I hope you feel better soon.

    4 people found this helpful
  8. tsp1952
    tsp1952 avatar
    1 posts
    11 October 2021
    My physical feelings around anxiety are all about contraction. It's pretty subtle until I start noticing it. Then it gets in my face. It's all about contraction in my skull, which results in bad sinus pain. I also hold my jaw and tongue tense all the time, plus, (and this is a bit deeper) I don't breathe fully, and my viscera, (intestines) are always tight and uncomfortable. I'm on medication, and it has cleared my mind amazingly, but it isn't helping the physical sensations, because they started when I was very young, and I have now locked them in.
  9. Marks Mum
    Marks Mum avatar
    8 posts
    11 October 2021 in reply to tsp1952

    Hi tsp1952, the feelings you describe with the contraction in your skull and face are so similar to what I am experiencing at the moment plus the sinus problem which is really getting me down, I also can hear my heartbeat in my left ear which the Dr. has checked and said it was tinnitis not something I'm dealing with too well. Thank you for your post, it did make me feel not so alone.

    1 person found this helpful
  10. annabel.8
    annabel.8 avatar
    1 posts
    12 October 2021
    I get shaky, hot & cold, nauseous, increased heart rate... not fun! One of the more scary ones i can get is brain zaps? Sometimes it feels like someone tipped a ice bucket over my head and i can feel it trickle down my spine. It is so weird and makes me even more anxious.
  11. Guest9337
    Guest9337 avatar
    1001 posts
    12 October 2021 in reply to annabel.8

    12th of Oct 2021 is much better, thank you everyone for the kind sharings.

    Other times my anxiety just feels like excitement and is somewhat energy sapping to contain my excitement and perform in a calm manner!

    Like the few minutes before about to speak to a large group... anticipation!

  12. bluemoonbluesky
    bluemoonbluesky avatar
    30 posts
    15 October 2021 in reply to Meliss

    Hi Meliss, sorry to hear about your panic attack while driving. I had probably the most embarrassing panic attack ever last month whilst walking through a park with a friend. For whatever reason something triggered me and the fast heart rate, dizziness, and unease started, including the weird chest sensations. It was the first time in ages I thought something was really wrong. You know, those dreaded "I need to go to emergency now" thoughts. To make matters worse, my (unprepared) friend literally thought I was having a heart attack, until I had to calm down enough to explain what was going on.

    We went to buy some water and I couldn't even fumble in my pocket for change I was shaking so much, I must have looked really bizarre to the cashier. My friend bought me the water and all I could do was sit there on a park bench and chug it whilst I shook and she looked at me in bewilderment - she didn't know I even had anxiety so it at least opened up the conversation! She was amazed at the physical impact it had on me and had never seen someone have a full on panic attack. She sat there and held my hand as I dared my way through it. Probably took a good 30-40 minutes until I was able to get up and walk confidently again.

    I tell you what though - when you get over the top of the panic attack wave and you start to calm down, it feels like a real achievement. Like you stared something in the face and won, again. We are very brave. Nobody can ever take that away from us. I went and had a meal later alone and sat there in a sort of daze, reflecting upon and not taking for granted my calm state. As I ate my food, I was just so grateful for it and feeling okay again. A simple meal, nourishment, and just feeling okay again. Sometimes it's the little things, like buying a sandwich from Subway the other day and just being thankful for the smile or someone doing their job in making something for you. I'm thankful for the people that think they do public-facing crappy jobs but give me moments of solace and socialisation, just a little bit, everyday. Anxiety puts things in perspective.

    2 people found this helpful
  13. Moonchild 11:11
    Moonchild 11:11 avatar
    16 posts
    15 October 2021 in reply to Not_Batman
    Thanks for your reply that was actually really insightful. I keep trying to find a physical reason for all my symptoms despite being willing to accept that it’s anxiety my pesky brain likes to think otherwise… I’m starting with a new psychologist next week I’m really hoping it helps… it’s crazy isn’t it? I find myself thinking of the physical symptoms would just go away then my anxiety would too, it’s hard to acknowledge the anxiety is actually causing the symptoms for me and I think that’s what’s keeping me in this cycle if that makes sense?
    1 person found this helpful
  14. Moonchild 11:11
    Moonchild 11:11 avatar
    16 posts
    15 October 2021 in reply to Kjp1409
    Thank you so much for this post it’s as though you took the words right from my mouth! I too get really hung up on the physical symptoms I’ve been to the hospital twice and called an ambulance in the last three weeks, panic attacks are new to me… it’s like I just start to accept that it’s anxiety and then I’ll have the symptoms appear out of nowhere and then I think I wasn’t even thinking anything so it must be a physical illness… the physical side of anxiety is no joke! It’s so hard to pull myself out of this cycle of fearing the fear it’s like I’m in a constant state of anticipation even when I don’t realise it… it’s exhausting and I’m not a fan of this at all, I just want my life back. Sorry for rambling… I just needed to get that out I think
    2 people found this helpful
  15. Rossi1968
    Rossi1968 avatar
    25 posts
    26 November 2021
    Hi. I’m new on the forum it’s only been a few days on here.
    My physical symptoms are pins and needles both arms and legs hot and cold flushes. When it’s bad I shake all over every part of my body.
    I have never been on a forum before and I have to say you are all the most bravest sincere open honest great people I have ever experienced
  16. PinkFish
    PinkFish  avatar
    1 posts
    6 December 2021

    This is my first post! I've found this post and the replies to it super helpful and it's comforting to know that there are others experiencing the same things as me. I have never actually been diagnosed however my anxiety first appeared in the form of panic attacks in my early twenties, around 10 years ago.

    The first symptom I noticed was 'air hunger', the terrifying feeling of chest tightness and not being able to get enough air into my lungs. Followed by the usual panicking symptoms, a racing heart, sweating, and feelings of despair or 'impending doom'. I often feel my air hunger gets worse when I'm eating?! Which is strange and I've never heard of anyone else experiencing this so I'd love to hear if others have. These episodes can last for weeks at a time and then just as suddenly can disappear for months or even years.

    Aside from this, I also notice tingling in my fingers and toes when taking a deep breath in, fatigue, digestive issues, bloating, random pains in random body parts, headaches, dizziness and everything looks brighter. The physical symptoms that come with social anxiety are very different and are more manageable - it's the health anxiety that really gets me.

    I've taken myself to A&E 3 times over the last 10 years thinking that I'm dying, and nothing has ever come of it. I'm constantly googling symptoms, regularly visiting different GP's with different symptoms and I often have to talk myself out of the idea that I have some sort of deadly disease. It's pretty debilitating but it's great to read everyone's stories on here and know that we are not alone. You all are very brave to open up in this way.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    6824 posts
    6 December 2021 in reply to PinkFish
    Hi PinkFish,

    Welcome to the forums, and thank you for sharing here. It sounds like you’ve been going through it for a while, but we agree, sharing with others is a great step towards feeling better.

    Our lovely community members will be able to relate to some of what you’ve been going through and be able to share some of the wisdoms that have helped them. We’d like to suggest starting a thread of your own if you’d like to share more of your story and your perspectives.

    Thanks again for sharing, it’s not always easy so we hope you can be proud of having taken this step.

    Kind regards,

    Sophie M
  18. bluemoonbluesky
    bluemoonbluesky avatar
    30 posts
    8 December 2021 in reply to PinkFish

    Your post really resonated with me, thanks! I used to feel brave telling my story, but it has really helped me and I have no hesitation to tell people what I have been through anymore. I am currently laying on the bed with relaxing music and a cup of tea after a tough week.

    I come back here sometimes, usually when my physical symptoms spike. It gives me comfort to know I'm not alone. Unfortunately I ate something bad last week and after the usual stubborn days of not getting better (and me being stubborn), I took myself to a doctor who diagnosed gastroenteritis. I've had a horrible week with my digestive system. My dizziness and head pressure, which comes in spells, has returned, probably due to the anxiety around eating. To be honest, I have felt awful. I really need some good food and sleep.

    At the start of my anxiety journey and panic attacks I took myself to emergency a few times. Now I just let it happen. Crippling dizziness? Welcome back. Headaches? Hello again. Depersonalisation? Oh yay. Random bodily sensations and pains? They eventually go away. If they want to get worse, then fine - come and take me. Everytime I have gone to a GP nothing has been wrong. The physical symptoms of anxiety can be debilitating but are mostly manageable these days, even if I don't feel that good, thankfully.

    2 people found this helpful
  19. Butterfly93
    Butterfly93 avatar
    3 posts
    9 December 2021

    Hi guys I’m new to this forum but I do like all the replies on this chat, it helps a bit.
    for me:

    chest tightness

    stomach tightness / abdominal

    Breathing - hard when my body is tight and restricting - so find myself yawning

    jittery and very irrational thoughts, not being able to sit still or concentrate

    pains and aches like tight neck and sore back

    and recently a bit of tummy pain and restlessness like, moving around in my tummy

    I’ve had GAD diagnosed for almost 3 years now, it peaked badly at the start when I was diagnosed, in a lot of denial about it all and thought there was something wrong physically. then I got help and I managed at a better level - but have always had it

    but only in the last month or so I’ve had frequent panic attacks and I’m only now just starting to realise and some symptoms have come back - it’s really not nice and thanks for sharing everyone!
    🙏🙏 you are not alone

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Butterfly93
    Butterfly93 avatar
    3 posts
    9 December 2021 in reply to isabelle21

    Yes I have recently got weak legs when I sense a bit of panic coming on… it’s happened a few times - and nausea / bit of like unbalanced feeling?? Hard to explain

    its like, as soon as I witness a new symptom pop up, it gets worse because I get fixated on it

    2 people found this helpful
  21. bluemoonbluesky
    bluemoonbluesky avatar
    30 posts
    10 December 2021

    Ok, so after a rough few days I felt like my chest was going to explode last night and I had the telltale dizziness. I've been through this all before and it always sucks. You know what really helped me? I had a good cry in bed. I just said fine, take me. That took a lot of energy out of me. Then I listened to a few positive songs and fell asleep.

    Today I felt much better and made a conscious effort to smile more and appreciate the little things. I had a good day at work. In the supermarket I marvelled at the array of goods and had a nice meal by myself. I felt positive and good and sure enough, my physical symptoms calmed down.

    Anxiety is a rough game.

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Rubee22
    Rubee22 avatar
    1 posts
    11 December 2021 in reply to PinkFish
    Hi, I am new here, no one else really to talk to. I get physical symptoms with what I have been told by Doctor is anxiety to the point I am convinced there is something physically wrong, going crazy trying to eliminate that. It is also worse when I sit down to eat. I get numbness, tingling, pain in muscles, panic, racing heart, restless exhausted and sad.
    2 people found this helpful
  23. Butterfly93
    Butterfly93 avatar
    3 posts
    14 December 2021

    Hey warriors!

    Watch The Anxiety Guy on Youtube :) a great watch and a really great interpretation on what we all feel related to our physical symptoms.

    2 people found this helpful
  24. Stui
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Stui avatar
    23 posts
    14 December 2021 in reply to Butterfly93
    Hi Guys thank you so much for sharing your experiences, that takes courage pat yourself on the back. I have had Anxiety and Panic attacks myself, so I completely understand where your coming from. For me the best solution is to close my eyes and think of a serene place I remember being a bush walk, a water fall, the Ocean or a holiday I enjoyed for about 30-40 seconds while breathing slowly. For me this reduces the effects and re-centres me.
    1 person found this helpful
  25. Stui
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Stui avatar
    23 posts
    14 December 2021 in reply to Angelfairy

    Hi AngelFairy,

    Well done seeking help I don't know if the nausea will go I'm not qualified to say but maybe chat to your doctor about it.

  26. Stui
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    Stui avatar
    23 posts
    14 December 2021 in reply to Marks Mum

    Hi Mark Mum,

    Thank you for posting I had this when I was younger if it the same thing, it sounds like it is. mine passed as I got older but I do suggest you consult your doctor about it.

  27. Jad77
    Jad77 avatar
    1 posts
    14 December 2021
    Hi all, this is very hard for me but thanks for accepting me. I get very nauseated, I don't eat, recluse for weeks on end, I feel so lost, totally trapped and anxious that I hope I won't wake up👎. But I battle my demons everyday although it's getting tiring 😔💔
    2 people found this helpful
  28. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    6824 posts
    14 December 2021 in reply to Jad77
    Hi Jad77,

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing your story with us here. We are sorry to hear that things have been so difficult for you recently and that you've been feeling so lost, trapped and anxious. Please know that you never have to go through this alone, and support is always here for you.

    If you would like to talk to someone, the Beyond Blue Support Service is available 24/7 by phone on 1300 22 4636 or on Webchat 1pm-12am AEST on our website: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport  One of our friendly counsellors will be able to talk through these feelings with you and can offer support, advice and referrals.

    We also strongly urge that in overwhelming moments you get in touch with our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467).

    Please feel free to keep reaching out here on your thread whenever you feel up to it.
  29. Skye186
    Skye186 avatar
    3 posts
    15 December 2021
    Hi all, I've just signed up and am comforted by what I've read already, knowing that I'm not alone in how I feel. My anxieties are through the roof and it's exhausting 😬. Wishing you all well 🧘🏽‍♀️
  30. puggywug
    puggywug avatar
    7 posts
    19 December 2021

    Hello, I am new to this community and just wanted to share my own symptoms as I feel we are all one big family.

    So, I had a rough panic attack 6 weeks ago and the symptoms I experienced were nausea, chest tightness, pins and needles in my hands and feet, dizziness, and wanting to find the 'peak breath'. Nowadays, I am able to control it to the extent where I will not get a full blown panic attack, but sometimes the symptoms still remain. For example, if I am in a situation that stresses me out such as getting a haircut (i know its really random, but I think its because I have to sit still for a really long time and I feel like I cant escape), I will first start to feel uneasy in my stomach (imagine the feeling if you went to the airport and then accidentally realised you forgot your passport), and then pressure in my chest followed by pins and needles in my hands and dizziness due to hyperventilation. One symptoms which sits weirdly with me is my obsession with finding that 'peak breath'. How I can describe it is like the perfect breath which feels full and comforting. However, my reliance upon finding this peak breath means that in times where I don't feel it, it only amplifies the symptoms I listed above. Wondering if any one else ever experiences this desire for the perfect breath. Anyways, sometimes I find these feelings really hard to shake and they linger throughout my day which can be rather debilitating. However, I am trying to be proactive and am working hard to get better because remember, there is so much in this world that is worth living for :)

    2 people found this helpful

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