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Hi-

I was just wondering how you anxious people keep your symptoms so discreet in public?? I have OCD and social anxiety, and I experience "severe" anxiety or "high anxiety" to avoid confusion w/ panic which is a grade up. I don't find it disabling to the extent of leaving the house, but causes considerable impairment in school, work, social life. I took hamilton anxiety test (w/ explicit scoring outline) and got 36 cutoff was 30 for severe; took a short form of Burn's anxiety inventory for anxious mood and scored 14/20 cutoff for severe was 13...and I'm stripping it down to lowest possible score. My therapist said upon interview "your anxiety was filling the entire room"; my psychiatrist has said "you have very high anxiety levels". When walking the streets, I walk quickly, awkwardly (bumping into people), feel my heart speed up, feel my thoughts speeding quickly, feel my legs ache sorely. When seated, especially late in the evening when my anxiety peaks, I'm so tensed up that my neck/back ache and I'm hunched over to a ridiculous extent, feel restless and get up every 5 minutes and walk around aimlessly (pacing), sweat easily, feel inside "pulsations" from the obsessions, and have this horrible feeling that there's something off or wrong but can't figure out what. I also startle badly, often recoiling and screaming when spooked. Basically, I'm very nervous, jumpy, tense, and fearful of large groups of people "parties/halloween" and feel like everyone is staring at me. I am "visibly" anxious to others....I have been laughed at, told that I am funny, told "you are so nervous", "you are so [COLOR="Red"]{REMOVED}[/COLOR] uptight, chill out", "you're paranoid (actually it's worry not actual paranoia but you get the idea) etc... I've become obsessed trying to spot people in public who seem anxious and I can't find ONE...at least not visibly so. Everyone seems so calm, whereas I feel pseudo-manic and just bursting with nervous energy (i'm not bipolar by the way). I know there's alot of anxiety suffers out there, but how do you keep yourselves so well concealed?? I feel so lonely because I get the impression at times that I'm the only one out there looking+feeling "goofy" or "wired" on 10 cups of coffee. I've seen markedly anxious people in movies "What about Bob?", "the Aviator to some extent"...but in the real world I can't spot them. I started taking Lexapro about month and a half ago, and when it works it feels like someone hitting me w/ a tranquilizer. I still have some nervousness, but on the Hamilton Anxiety Scale I drop to a 22 (mild-to-moderate range). Unfortunately, when I get calm like that, I occaisonally get worried about "not being anxious" which has triggered an isolated anxiety attack. I tried taking klonopin w/ Lexapro together today, and it kept me clam and relaxed but a bit sleepy. When taking Lexapro alone, when it wears off I can feel my anxiety LURCH up by it seems lie 50% or more in 2 minutes. Any advice, on how to keep calm, and how to appear calm in public w/ high anxiety. Thanks





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