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Help me explain anxiety

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#1 Hangingon


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Posted 21 April 2005 - 07:38 PM

Hi guys!

I suffer with generalized anxiety as well as social anxiety....... I am looking for some help on how to explain anxiety to those who don't have it. List of symptoms would be good.....

For me it includes:

Tense muscles
Sore jaw/teeth clenching
Irritability (INTENSE)
Tremble and shake
Increased heart rate
Feeling of dread

Anyone add to this for me?




#2 scully29

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 07:52 PM

Difficulty breathing
Trouble concentrating
White Knuckle Syndrome
Paranoia (Maybe? - with me anyway) "Are people looking at me?"

#3 Katee

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 07:58 PM

this new therapist says the big difference between anxiety and fear is that fear focuses on something specific but anxiety is more generalized without a specific focus---kinda like fear in freefall.

I get those same symptoms, but the main thing for me is that I begin to shut down and withdraw from whatever is going on.

This is going to sound silly, and I probably wouldn't try to describe this to an outsider, but my shoulders and upper arms get tingly when I am especially anxious. I have no idea what causes that or why it is such a dependable symptom for me, but there it is.

It's very difficult trying to describe any disorder to someone who doesn't have it, particularly if they don't struggle with any of the things that we do.
I haven't had much luck with it.

Not much help, but there it is....



#4 evenfaeriescry

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Posted 21 April 2005 - 11:41 PM

When my new T was trying to explain the workings of xanax, she explained anxiety as being like a car alarm going off for no reason -- alarm bells going off in my head with nothing that caused them. The xanax is the little box on the keychain with the off button, I suppose?


#5 hhlomaxx

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 12:24 AM

racing thoughts
Lack of patience with others
Extreme restlesness - pacing
chain smoking
The urge to SI (not cut though)

#6 mask

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 07:26 AM

Not being able to breathe
Extreme dread
Shouting at others with little provocation :oops:
Feeling the need to hide (close the curtains tightly, etc.)

I like the car alarm analogy very much.


P.S. to Kay - I get numb hands. My pdoc says its because I am hyperventilating, causing a lack of oxygen to the extremities. Maybe causes your tinglys?

#7 Jellycat

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Posted 22 April 2005 - 10:15 AM

Feeling sick
Numb hands and feet
Lose my appetite
Cant sleep
Stiff neck
feel out of control
tug on my hair
pinch myself, scratch
skin goes all blotchy

#8 Jellycat

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Posted 23 April 2005 - 08:26 AM

anxiety has set in, I'm a thread stopper err... :wink:

#9 Armygirl

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 01:37 AM


constantly worrying...until the issue is resolved...then when the issue is resolved, worrying about it some more.
hands shaking constantly...
not being able to sleep...
worrying about what will happen..what did happen..or what could have happened...IE... worrying about every possible angle..
drinking and smoking way too much.


#10 hhlomaxx

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Posted 24 April 2005 - 03:29 AM

forgot one

extreme dry mouth


#11 Lsdvn

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Posted 25 April 2005 - 03:45 PM

overall feeling of dread
can't concentrate
can't find a comfortable position (physically)
loss of short term memory (walk into a room to get something and can't remember what or why-- forget to do things)
tremors in my hands
no patience with people

#12 Lady Blue

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 10:44 PM

For me, it' all the above, and:

steel band across chest, (impaired breathing)
must leave present surroundings, (flight)

Hope this helps,
Lady Blue

#13 NJCat

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 11:36 PM

I love Masks (and lsdvn's) description:

Dread. Extreme dread. Of nothing. Dreading the next millisecond.
Thinking that your body is going to explode or implode at any given moment.
When I had my worst anxiety - I felt like a ghost. I felt invisible. The rest of the world moved on, and I was standing still in a blank space.
With extreme confusion and ......... dread.

No concentration.
No appetite.
Couldn't imagine what I "used" to feel like without the anxiety.
Wanting to sleep my anxiety away until I was no longer anxious, yet I could not sleep at all.
I too had wierd physical symptoms. Loud ringing in my ears. I could hear myself blink. (not kidding).

Well that's all I can think of for now.

#14 nell

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Posted 28 April 2005 - 09:24 AM

I haven't got a lot to add.
When I'm out and feel so anxious I have an overwhelming urge to run and hide (and I have done this too :oops: ). 'Fight or Flight'? It's 'flight' for me!
I also get the numb feeling in my limbs - so bad that I've collapsed before now as my legs 'dissapeared'....I believe that is caused by our breathing causing hyperventilation. I've had a bit of counselling for anxiety and was told to help with breathing when you are in a highly anxious state, you can get the same effect as using a paper bag by pulling your jumper/top over your nose and mouth (this is good if you are out and putting paper bag over mouth is not an option)...though I forget that when needed!
Ummm...sorry, you didn't ask for coping methods...just wanted to share a coping strategy with you all.
with love from Nell xxxxxxx

#15 silknsatincat

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 01:49 AM

When I get anxious I feel an intense need to hide in a small place. Usually behind a chair or in the closet somewhere where I could ...brace myself? Maybe the need to shut things out who knows? But then again maybe it's just me, although I have a friend with GAD and she has a pile of blankets she burrows into when having an anxiety attack.

#16 Antea

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Posted 21 June 2005 - 08:33 PM

:o Ummm, for me it's all of the above.


When I get "hit" by anxiety the first physical symptom I experience is intense lightheadedness to the point where I'm afraid I'm going to faint. It's pretty bad and even more anxiety provoking because it's so similar to the feeling I get right before blacking out with an epileptic seizure!!!

Definitely NOT FUN!!!

I also get really short tempered.

Oh yeah, sometimes I get heart palpitations too, also NOT FUN!!!! Makes me wonder if I'm having a heart attack!