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I've had issues with anxiety and depression from a young age. I remember having panic attacks/feeling like I was going to pass out at age 10/11. I think my first trigger was when my grandmother died at age 10, it was a traumatic experience for me, I still remember my mother screaming/crying when she found out. I never cried when she died because I thought I had to be strong for everyone else. I think that screwed me up mentally because I never really grieved. I went to therapy for a while but stopped eventually. My main anxiety symptoms back then were feeling like I couldn't breathe and feeling lightheaded. They would come on in social situations I wasn't comfortable with.

I grew out of these attacks somewhat once I had a physical outlet for stress relief (horseback riding). It was my "happy place" and at 13 I was given a horse, started spending all my free time at my barn, and came out of my shell. But another traumatic experience (my horse went lame (limping)) and I couldn't "fix" him. I distinctly remember my mother driving me to the barn one day and I worried about my horse. I started getting dizzy/light headed, couldn't breathe, got all sweaty, and ended up throwing up when I got to the barn. I started feeling like I was going to choke every time I went to the barn, but it would subside once I was there. I also got the choking feeling/couldn't breathe/lightheadedness in social situations.

I eventually grew out of this as well, for several years I only occasionally had mild anxiety symptoms.

Fast forward to the end of my sophomore year in college (beginning of this summer). I had what I would describe as the most traumatic moment of my life happen. I now own a horse barn with 6 horses and am responsible for ALL of their care. It is a 24/7/365 job and I was okay with that for a long time because I loved what I was doing. However several days after my last final, one of my horses at the barn was euthanized. It was unexpected, it happened quickly, within the span of a few hours. She was fine and then she was in excruciating pain (colic). I was a very sobering experience, I was there from the beginning to end, watched the horse fall to the ground, held her owner as she cried in my arms, and watched as the body was taken away. I really held it together the entire time. I cried, but in a healthy way, if that makes sense.

From that point on it was the worst summer of my life. One of my own personal horses nearly died a week later due to a severe vaccine reaction and was sick several other times throughout the summer as a result. My first horse also was sick for a month with Lyme Disease, which is very prevalent in my area. I had 2 other horses get sick too. I ended up very depressed, I didn't want to see my horses, felt like everything was a chore, didn't want to get out of bed, and was tired all the time. I snapped myself out of it and started to get back to normal, however all the physical symptoms that started to manifest throughout this time have remained and now I'm truly concerned I have a brain tumor, which of course is giving me a whole new level of anxiety.

So my symptoms are as follows:
tense muscles, particularly in my neck/shoulders/back

occasional shortness of breath

lump in throat/choking sensations

racing heart/heart palpations

visual disturbances...more floaters, occasional "flashes", afterimages, visual snow, and difficulty focusing (I seem to only really notice this stuff when I pay attention to it)

periods of insomnia followed by periods of sleeping a lot

muscle twitching/spasms...I remember when this started, I came home completely mentally and physically exhausted, crying my eyes out and just started twitching, didn't sleep at all that night. It comes and goes, definitely worse when I am focused on my "issues" or anxiety, it either goes away or I don't notice when I am fully focused on an activity

trembling/shakiness...only happens when I'm worried/obsessing over my health or anxiety

feeling jumpy/agitated

easily irritated or angered

feeling weak/fatigued for a period

feeling extremely energetic )adrenaline rush I think)

excess obsessing/worrying about my health (brain tumor, ms, etc etc)

brain fog (I kind of feel lightheaded but not really, or dizzy but not really, I kind of just feel out of it)

feeling like I'm in a dream


These symptoms come and go, I'll read about something and then I'll have the symptom if that makes sense. I do have a history of doing this, for instance when I was a teen I was diagnosed with mono. My doctor said to call if I started feeling pain where my spleen was because it was enlarged. Only after she told me this did I start feeling pain in my spleen. This lasted long after it was confirmed that my spleen was no longer enlarged.


My doctor seems to think all this is anxiety related. She wouldn't order an MRI or CT when I asked, looked at me like I was nuts when I said I had a brain tumor.

I'm also thinking I could have Lyme since tick bourne illnesses are common in my area and I work outside around horses who constantly had ticks on them this summer. My doctor wouldn't test for this either.

I'm just really scared I have something and I won't know until its too late to treat. I worry about what will happen to my horses if I die...

I'm kind of a mess. :dizzy:





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