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First of all, thank you very much for the many wonderful and uplifting replies!. I always appreciate talking to you people and I feel very safe and comfortable here. Anxiety sure can play some wicked and terrible mind games where you've got two opposing sides - one offering proof that nothing happened and everything is going to be ok and the other (sinister) side trying for all it's worth to plant seeds of doubt in your mind and scare you to death...aaaahhhh!!

I'd just like to provide an update on my situation and I am sorry I did'nt get back here to respond sooner but my anxiety has been going through the roof lately. In fact, even the meds I have been taking have had very little effect and so, being at my wit's end yesterday afternoon and freaking out to the point of feeling like I was going to go insane at any minute, I finally broke down out of desparation and decided to self-medicate with alcohol (which I realize now was a big no-no!). Anyway, the alcohol did decrease my level of anxiety by about 80% (after I'd had about 8 beers).

Then, that evening, after the alcohol began to wear off, I had severe rebound anxiety along with the terrible anxiety I had already been experiencing and it was so bad that my whole head felt like it was floating right off of my shoulders like a balloon. I got very spacy and dizzy too along with all kinds of other creepy sensations. It was a bizarre and frightening feeling to say the least!. I then realized that I had made a HUGE mistake by drinking and would be paying a heavy price for it.

That night, I took my regular Atarax (to help me sleep) and as I lay in bed, I slept very fitfully and had one horrible nightmare after another (A guy stalking me with a knife in the dark, being in a cruel psychiatric hospital, being savagely attacked by a dog, etc). The nightmares were absolutely gruesome and the last one woke me up. As I laid there trying to get back to sleep, I began playing the nightmares I had just had over and over again in the back of my mind and each time I would do this, a huge rush of adrenilin would shoot up through me, causing my heart to race. I was also getting "goosebumps" and "tingling" up my spine just from the sheer fear and panic I was experiencing. I was also telling myself that these nighmares and fitful sleep were being caused by some horrible illness and that would only make me panic more (vicious cycle!). Then, I thought I heard a pounding sound in my head and a few minutes later, I had this "picture" come into my mind of a ball with blood dripping off of it and that's when I thought I was going to completely lose it!.

I got up from the bed at this point and RAN for my bottle of Ativan and then I heard a noise out in the living room and realized that it was my roommate who had just taken his dog out and so I told him about my horrible night, came back in here and am just now typing this.

You know, I try to reason with myself that I was definately NOT bitten by anything and even if I had been (which I really was not), there would'nt be any symptoms the very next day or two and this whole thing started because I was freaked out and panicked over the bats (I was feeling just fine before that, slept good, etc). So this whole thing must be anxiety-related (I try to convince myself). However, the thing is, can the whole combination of severe anxiety, meds and alcohol cause someone to have the kind of experience I had last night (the nightmares, sensations, the mental image of a bloody ball, pounding in the head, etc)?. Can it really get that bad?. Can you get all this even with just plain anxiety (without the meds and alcohol)?. Has anyone here ever thought they had AIDS, MS, ALS or some other disease and then gone through months of severe anxiety, panic attacks, nightmares, tingling, twitching, electrical sensations in the head and all kinds of other frightening symptoms until you thought you were going to go insane?. Would you all mind sharing your story if you feel comfortable to do so?. I would really appreciate it and it would at least let me know that I am not alone.

- Again, thank you for taking the time to respond, LT

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