Anxiety, it feels like you're dying

Last Update: July 05, 2019

Earlier this year, in Feburary, I learned rather suddenly that my mother was afflicted with severe dementia. We had all noticed my Mom had become a bit forgetful but attributed that to some powerful pain killing drugs she was on, and old age creeping in.

When I say suddenly, I mean suddenly. I received a phone call from my Dad during lunch time, all he said was "your Mom wants to talk to you'. That was wierd, my thought was couldn't she call me herself? My Mom came on the phone and burst out 'is it true, that I am married to this man and I have three children with him?" She said a few more ridiculous things and I told her I wanted to talk to Dad.

My Dad came on and told me she had been like this all morning. I told him I would come over and take her to the hospital to be checked out. My Mom wanted to go look for her husband when I got there, so I told her we would go find him.... instead I took her to the hospital.

After about 30 minutes, she was back to her normal self again, while she waited for the Dr. She appeared to be dehydrated and had a yeast infection in her mouth. No bladder infection, which can sometimes create temporary dementia.

She was able to go back home. I kept a sharp eye on my parents after that, making sure they were both eating and drinking well. However.... my Dad had been hiding her symptoms for a long time we have found out.

A month later, same scenario... back to the hospital, more tests, and again, she appeared to become herself after an hour or so. However, she had become physically aggressive towards my father now. She was allowed to go back home after 2 days.

Fast forward to April, it had become apparent to all, except my father, that my mother has a form of dementia. Irreversible dementia.

April 25th, Dad called me again, said he needed my help, that Mom was on the floor and refused to get up, she had been doing that all night and he was exhausted. When I got there, she was indeed on the floor, and apparently wanted to stay there.

I told my Dad, I would call the Paramedics to take her to the hosp, and that she would have to stay there now, that her dementia had gotten to a point where he could not care for her at home.

My Dad reluctantly agreed. The Paramedics, with police standing by, convinced my mother to get onto their stretcher where they strapped her in and took her to the hospital.

Long story to short, that is where she still is today, living in a hospital room, waiting for a room to become available in the Long Term care (attached to the Hospital) facility. Since then, my father has become a bigger problem, suddenly in denial about his wife having dementia, stole her out of the hospital one day, police were called to bring her back etc.

He too is showing signs of dementia according to the nurses who have to deal with him every day he visits my Mom.

Where am I going with this? Anxiety. I have been in more than a few family crisis in my lifetime, but this is a doozy, let me tell you. Early May, I started having trouble breathing, my heart would race and skip, my blood pressure would go through the roof, my stomach would bloat.

My insides felt like I was burning, my throat and chest would tighten, it felt like I had iron bands around my rib cage, my heart would vibrate and then shiver, the shivering began on my insides and then soon I was shivering uncontrolably on the outside too....there were too many symptoms to all mention here. Sounds like hell right?

It was.

I was taken to the ER twice in one week by the insistance of my husband, who was understandably very worried about me. The diagnosis was anxiety and panic attacks. I had heard of this before, but never gave it much thought as to what it might entail.

I felt weak. I felt like a disappointment. I felt like a failure. I thought I was strong? What was happening to me?

My own Dr. 2 weeks later, was very sympathetic, he confirmed the ER Drs diagnosis. I got the strong impression that my own capable doctor, had suffered anxiety and panic attacks himself at some point. This actually made me feel better.

I found out my sister in law had also suffered from this, during and after some particularly stressful times with her daughter. I've since discovered many other people who have as well.

My Doctor recommended some literature on anxiety, recommended some phone apps to learn to relax and breathe, and gave me a prescription for a drug (used for anxiety and depression). The drug would take 3 weeks to kick in for anxiety, and might even make my anxiety worse for short periods as my brain chemistry changed.

I didn't like the sound of that. Changing my brain? Increase my anxiety? I didn't think I could take any more anxiety that I already had! I have not taken a single pill to date.

I chose to use EFT tapping, I chose to use herb combos for anxiety, lots of Vit C (helped my asthmatic symptoms) . I leaned heavily into prayer. I also use magnesium, in liquid form, rubbing into my skin to absorb the magnesium. Taking magnesium by mouth was giving me more heart tremors, not less.

I learned to release a lot of emotional trauma from my childhood, through EFT tapping. I had to stay away from stressful situations for awhile, including my websites. Working on my websites, increased my tension and accelarated my anxiety. I had to stay away from my father, as dealing with him, was shooting my anxiety to super high levels. Even now, I only text him, the sound of his voice still slightly increases my anxiety.

Oddly enough, visiting my mother does not generally increase my anxiety, but I am often sad afterword, seeing how she has changed and is still changing.

I have shed a lot of tears during EFT tapping, lots of tears at other times, and I have discovered that crying releases the anxiety the best of all. You may notice that my ranking here in WA, has gone from 84 all the way to over 1002, an indication I have not been working here.

My trauma began, with that first phone call, when to my shock and horror, I heard dementia in my mother's voice. Tapping on that memory, brought out nausea, shivering and more sobbing, but I definitely felt better afterwards.

I have come a long way in recovering, in a relatively short period of time, even though it feels like it's been forever. I really need to work on my websites (two of them) and have only been managing one post per website, per month.

I no longer have panic attacks, but still have the shortness of breath and tightening of my throat and chest at times. However, these symptoms are more of an annoyance to me now, than the terrors they were before.

Ironically, my website page rankings have gone up during my absence, and that has given me a little bit of ambition to work on them. I am sharing this story with you, in the hopes that it can help someone else that is going through trauma, through anxiety and sees no hope.

There is hope. I am proof of that.

So right after I publish this blog, I will be getting down to work on my newest website, there's an article in draft, waiting to be finished. Take care of yourselves everyone. God Bless You.

Sincerely, Madeleine

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cris1018 Premium
Anxiety can be so debilitating. You are in my prayers for strength and peace.
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Maddy55 Premium
Thank you :)
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FKelso Premium
There is always hope. You have a very difficult situation, and I wish you strength and courage to get through it. You must also take care of yourself. That is very important.
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Maddy55 Premium
Thank you :)
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firstlearn Premium
You will find there are many people here on WA who have been through all you have and in some cases going to a complete breakdown.

One thing with anxiety and panic attacks is recognising what it is. I take tablets daily for anxiety and have been doing so for several months now.

My best remedy is done with self-hypnosis with the help of Paul McKenna.

If you want to talk I will always be here Madeleine. I have been there so I know exactly what you are talking about. Panic attacks and anxiety can be very debilitating but I have found trying to do my blogs has sometimes helped as my mind has become occupied.

Don't suffer alone there are people here who understand what you are talking about.

I will keep you in my prayers. Wishing you well soon

Derek
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Maddy55 Premium
Thank you Derek, for your empathetic and kind words. I was contemplating deleting my Blog, as it did not seem to be coming across as helpful to anyone.I still may do that, as I am not entirely comfortable leaving it up. I am glad you are finding your way out of the wilderness that is Anxiety. EFT tapping, which is what has helped me immensely, I think is similiar to hypnosis, in that it involves 'self talk' to your subconscious self. I will include you in my prayers too, Derek.
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firstlearn Premium
Please don't delete your blog Marilyn. It does help others in a similar situation to realize they are not alone.

Derek
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ERichardson1 Premium
Good afternoon my friend, it hurts me to hear about all the suffering that your family has went through and as yourself. So what I'm going to do over this weekend I'm going to research research and find out all I can. I will be writing a article on this here is my website address it will be done by Wednesday of next week, the name of my website is weightlifting for a beautiful world you can Google it the address is beautiflworld.com May you always be in good health.
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Maddy55 Premium
Thank you :)
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Selenityjade Premium
I suffer from anxiety and have my entire life. Panic attacks, insomnia, the whole nine yards. And while definitely distraction and other forms of treatment work, what you're describing is a form of avoidance where you avoid everything that makes your anxiety worse. It's not a healthy way to cope with anxiety as that soon becomes a habit to avoid everything even remotely stressful and unfortunately, life is life and is stressful. You can't spend your life avoiding it. Trust me, I've tried. All it does is isolate you and you miss so much you wish you had back simply because you didn't want to get a panic attack.

I'm not a big fan of medication, but in all honesty, you should definitely give your doctor's the benefit of the doubt and try your medication. It'll make it so you can handle stressful situations better if it works for you. You don't want to spend the rest of your life avoiding everything that's remotely stressful. It's not a healthy way of coping with it at all.

Medication has saved my life. Changing my job to a less stressful one has saved my life. Moving across the country has saved my life. Now I'm by myself and have NO crutches to hide behind when I'm too anxious to want to tackle something because I HAVE to do it. I can't hide inside.

It's the quickest way to make your anxiety worse. I was diagnosed with agoraphobic because I avoided everything that made me worse. It's not a good way to live. Anxiety can't be cured. It might go away once the stress levels off, but what's to say it won't come back the next stressful situation life offers you? You need to come up with other methods, including talking to your doctor about the medication you're afraid to take.

Antianxiety and antidepressants have saved millions of people. The side effects are usually minimal. But don't just ignore your doctor's advice and go your own way. Talk to him about your concerns instead and decide together what's best. Because avoiding stress isn't any way to live.
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Maddy55 Premium
I am not sure where you got the idea that I am avoiding all stress from my blog post..... I had to reduce my contact with my father, partly because of the stress he induces, but also for other reasons I didn't want to divulge here.

While certain drugs have saved lives (or they appear to, but what happens to your body after long term use?), they also make you dependant on them. Millions of people are addicted to prescription drugs, ironically my Dr. is also an expert in the field of addiction.

I have seen my parents dependant on drugs, that are Dr. prescribed, valium in particular, since the '60s. I have no desire to follow the same path. I saw my Mom addicted to opiates for pain, addicted to Valium for anxiety, all with various Drs blessings. Also ironically, her pain is gone after detoxing from the opiates and valium.

We are seeing an explosion of dementia here in our area.Until the exact causes are known, I for one, am not going to trust any drugs stronger than an aspirin..

You don't appear to know what EFT tapping is. It has brought my anxiety levels down from level 10 to as low as 1 or 2. EFT, prayer, herbs and magnesium are not 'distractions', as you call them.

My Dr. is well aware of my choices and gave me the prescription drug as an option, which I chose not to take after some careful thought. He approved my choices and told me that if they were working, they were the better way to go.

I shared my story, in the hopes it can help someone else. It's that simple.
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Selenityjade Premium
Firstly, you obviously took my comment the wrong way and have no idea what I mean by 'distractions".

And as long as your doctor approves your choice, that's between you guys.

Most antidepressants used for anxiety (that take over 3 weeks to work) are nonaddicting. People get addicted, definitely, to medications that cause immediate relief, like valium and Xanax, but antidepressants that slowly balance your chemical imbalance that causes anxiety are not usually addicting. There's a world of difference between something like Paxil and something like Valium.

I got the idea you were avoiding stressful situations because you said you were in your post, which if you read my comment you would know I've been down that path before and it destroyed years of my life and I shared my story in an effort to help you be aware of that avoidance isn't healthy.

I also know exactly what EFT tapping is. It is not a proven technique and most specialists believe it is simply a placebo effect. Which is fine if it works for you.

By distractions, I mean yoga, exercise, music, hobbies that try to take your mind off your anxiety, those are often effective ways of coping with anxiety.

Magnesium is a supplement that helps your body if if you're a nervous person and it actually does work, even in horses people believe. That's not a distraction. Alternatives to medicines aren't a distraction.

But your post implied you were avoiding anything stressful, decided to not take your doctor's treatment, and was relying on an unproven technique that isn't an approved therapy.

Now I apologize if I misunderstood your post and you definitely aren't avoiding everything and you spoke to your doctor about not taking your prescription.

I posted in an effort to help you from avoiding life as I've got 35 years of anxiety under my belt. But that's all I'll say on it.
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