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Hi Matt:: It sounds to me like you are very anxious and could have generalized anxiety disorder.

Here's my story: I am a 27 year old female who has been anxious since i can remember. I have always functioned well, but I have had episodes when I've thought that getting hit by a football in the head caused a tumor or a fast beating heart meant I was having a heart attack.

I because severely stressed after losing my job 4 months ago. I've always been one to brush things off and deal with the stress later (which only worsen anxiety), so after losing my job, I convinced myself that I was feeling ok about it. Boy was I wrong.

Two months ago, I visited a friend at the hospital who had surgery. She had surgery to remove an abscess brought upon by MRSA. If you know anything about MRSA, you would know that if it's not caught on time, it can spread through the blood and into the organs, eventually becoming deadly. It it also relatively easy to catch if you spend enough time around someone who has it. I didn't know all this at the time that i visited her, but after the doctors insisted I wash my hands if i touched her, I, being the anxious person that I am, googled everything there was to know about MRSA. Now, imagine the whirlwind of thoughts I had in my head when I realized the magnitude of this illness! Shortly after visiting her, I got very sick. Flu-like sick. I was SURE I had MRSA. I thought the worst was going to happen (that it would spread quickly, that I would need surgery, that I had no health insurance… etc, etc, etc). These obsessive thoughts spun my anxiety out of control! Thank fully tough, it was not MRSA. It was just a flu. Turns out even though MRSA is easy to catch when you're exposed to it, it's also easy to spot before it gets to be serious.

About a week after I got over my flu, I started waking up in the middle of the night. A few days after, the right side of my body started trembling. It wouldn't stop. Shortly after, I started feeling foggy brain, where I felt like a big cloud in my head. Then I started oversleeping and had to take red bull to stay awake during the day because I was still exhausted. Then it escalated to me feeling disassociation. I would feel like I was looking at my life from the outside looking in. I felt so unattached from myself. I also started feeling out of breath and kept getting racing heart beats. All of this put me in a panic and I experienced my first ever panic attack (followed by many more in a matter of a week). The stress on my body and my mind made me go to the ER. I got a cat scan, EKG and blood work. Everything came back normal. I also looked up all my symptoms online to make sure it wasn't a brain tumor (I started obsessing that it might be a tumor). It always came back as generalized anxiety /panic disorder. Turns out, what I have is indeed GAD.

The reason I tell you my story is because I feel it is very similar to yours. I also had pretty much every physical symptom you have. I had a stressful situation in my life and then added to the stress when I started obsessing about getting sick or catching a deadly illness.

If you can, try, anyway you can, to calm your thoughts. Distract yourself. Talk to friends. Go out and exercise. Get off the search engine and stop searching your symptoms. Go to the doctor and get everything checked out to make sure its not anything else (it will also give you peace of mind when it all comes back ok). Don't let your thoughts drive you into a panic like it did with me.

Good Luck!

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