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Hi Kim and Fighter - I donot really reply to these type of questions but I have stood in your shoes and felt trapped in the same endless maze that appeared to have no end. No matter how many times I fought the feelings, worried about various illnesses, feared the panic, stayed in bed with the covers over my head...christ I tought I had lost all control over my mind...I thought that there was no way out. Well that was in Nov 1998 - I can tell youu that it took me a good year (maybe a bit less) to FULLY recover my life. No I did not take any meds etc but I got excellent help with stress management techniques from an occupational therapist who taught me that the only thing that was keeping the whole thing going was myself and my darn thought processes. I had every single symtom that you describe and more......I really thought not only was it somemysterious strange cancerous illness but also a mental illness etc etc. Yep it was 24/7 and ruined my life. But I learned all the physiological responses to stress - adrenaline surges cause the sudden panic symptoms - along with this it changes a cortiside steiod in the brain which increases adrenaline flow 24/7 and gives rise to all these other scary symptoms - all of which are 100% HARMLESS if not very frighteneing. I practised relaxation 2 times per day - for 15 minutes at a time - this helps to reduce the adrenaline flow and does work over time you gotta perservere. Then its the abdomional breathing - put your hand on your tummy - breath in for 4 (tummy rises) and out for 5 - this does 2 things - it corrects the carbon dioxide levels (which gives rise to feelings of panic, unreality etc etc, shortness of breath). Then you have to ACCEPT all of the symptoms and give them as little attention as possible - christ that is soooo hard AT FIRST - but practice makes perfect. Ok - KEEP BUSY - this will help - get out of bed, get dressed, get busy, play a game, get a crossword puzzle etc. At first this may not appear to help but eventually it will. When you start your routine of thoughts: oh god when will this end, how long?, why me?, this is so scray etc etc. You have to re-educate your brain to stop this habit - after all that is all it is - A HABIT - not a big scray monster - a bad habit. So try putting a rubber band on your wrist and pinging it to break the moment and put a stop in your thoughts. The deliberately think of something else - this will be hard at 1st but perserverance is the name of the game. So go over the times tables, imagine what you would spend a million pounds on, I would go through the alphabet and pick a girls and a boys name for each letter. I would have to do this repeatedly to stop the negative frighteneing thinking and the over analysing (typical of anxiety) and also the picking over the problem again. Then get a mantra - and repeat it to yourself lots of times a day - I can get through this - I am ok - I may not like these feeling but they are not dangerous etc etc. If you keep this up - you will evetually believe it. You will find that you will be less consumed by this whole problem aand gradually the whole issue will reduce and instead of being your life will be an annoyance and then something that happened in the past. The key to the whole thing is to accept the feelings, breath and distract yourself. Work and keep busy despite the feelings and symptoms - try not to bring them up all the time with people (allow yourself a time period each day however to vent- but I would go on and on about it 24.7 - all that does is reinforce it). Try to think about anxiety in term of a child - it will pull at your skirt tails for dear life - it will wine and winge and moan - it craves attention - it cam only igsist if you feed it. It survives on fear - if you fear it it will keep on coming - eventually you will not fear it and then it will go away. I am not saying that I never feel anxious - of course I do - its human nature - but normal anxiety. I would say that I am highly strung and anxious by personality - but that acute anxiety (GAD) I suffered is weel and truelly in its box. IT ain't easy to keep believing in practising what I have outlined above but it works - it really does. I am happy to communiacte with any body going through a similiar time - I sure could have used a place like this to talk. Good Luck 0- this is a long post and abit rambly sorry - I just sooooooooo hate to see people in the same situation as I was and stuck. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Good LUck.





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