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I had to go and make an account on this site just so I could reply to your post after reading it. I'm currently a 22 year old college student. My anxiety comes from a gene for OCD that runs in my family for women. So, I have been dealing with this since I was a kid (what a journey!)

Firstly, I hope you know how brave you are to work a phone job with social axiety.

You are definitley not alone, or a hypercondriac, you're just scared! Anxiety is something a lot of people have, but has so little information or treatment options. That's a very scary and very hard thing to live with. I experience most of the symptoms you describe, and I also have a fear of vomiting (Emetophobia.)This in itself makes the nausea symptom worse, does it come and go in waves for you too? That tightness in your throat I get too. When anxiety hits, a lot of our muscles get tense. This isn't life threatening, it's just uncomfortable and makes it hard to swallow. That rash by the way, is Hives caused by you getting flustered. It usually goes down after your skin cools, you have probably noticed. If they bug you that much, cold water helps. I always carry around a wash cloth and a plastic bag in my purse incase I get them (keeps your purse from getting wet after you use it.)

I also lost my gallbladder to stones this past October, and in some ways I have felt great and I am so glad to say goodbye to the pain. Yet, it also leads to other digestive discomforts with certain foods (no dairy for me!) I also notice that it can make you need the bathroom really bad if you get anxiety....You should keep an eye out for digestive issues related to acid, because now that acid is not filtered like it used to. Again, I haven't read anything about that being life threatening, but it is uncomfortable.

Also, do you drink coffee or consume anything else that might be a stimulant (certain teas are too apparently)

Finally, here's some advice from one anxious person to another: don't let it shame you! I can remember being a little girl in school and feeling ashamed for my anxiety symptoms if other kids asked if I was okay. This is a mistake! These symptoms aren't something we can control, they are biological reactions to stress hormones. And some days we are hit harder than other days. These do tend to show in our body language and people will notice them, but they aren't judging you for them, they are most likely concerned. They don't think you are crazy, and nor are you. No one likes to be sick, we all try to avoid that, even those of us who suffer from Anxiety.

I really hope this helps you!
You are very welcome sleepingsickness! I'm glad I could help you.

Yes, that was why I asked about caffeine. I've recently had some issues related to caffeine, and I've been feeling a lot better now that I have cut back on coffee. It always made me feel more nervous, and could cause anxiety to last longer. It's a little shocking what they don't tell you about coffee where I'm from....

Don't feel bad about the hives, they've embarrassed me too. I've gotten them before while I was having a conversation with an old crush! (Oh, my friends have never let me live that one down...)

It does feel like people are staring at them. I usually get them on my neck, chest, and upper back. Sometimes, if it's caused by other things like laundry detergent; I'll get them on my legs and arms as well. They can also vary from just being minor (the red blotches) to being the nasty 2 week kind (but these are raised, and tend to be from irritation or heat instead of stress.) I have rather pale skin because I'm a redhead, so I always notice my rashes and feel they stand out.

A good thing to think about is that hives actually aren't that uncommon, nor are people with fair skin or people with certain skin conditions. Also, other people don't pay attention as well as we think they do at times. I can drive myself nuts if I keep thinking about whether or not other people can see them too. Usually, I try to tell myself that the hives aren't in places people can see super well. If they can, they are checking you out and need to be told off (hahaha.) As mothers always say: "Don't stare, it's rude!"

I feel like the best thing to do, since the rash is caused by anxiety, is to try not to think about people or the rash. Instead, I try really hard to just stay focused on what I was doing, or am supposed to be doing. This way my thoughts are calm and so too will be my body, and hopefully the rash will fade away quicker!

Good luck!

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