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Anxiety Makes Us Feel Unreal

Panic attacks can suck the reality out of us!

I talked two people down from panic attacks recently and both of them had been worrying that they had lost touch with reality. They felt totally disconnected to the world around them. In talking to them, they were so convincing. I almost believed that this episode was different. But I let go of my own fear for them. (My worry doesn’t help anyone.) I quickly assessed that they were not, in fact, psychotic. They were speaking rationally and eloquently.

And I remember from my panicky days how I felt different and disconnected.
Anxiety makes us feel unrealAnd this feeling different and disconnection totally charged up my panic. It went through the roof! Making me feel even more disconnected. This is because anxiety is what we feel when we are disconnected. Anxiety comes from a feeling of separation. That there is something missing in us that doesn’t allow us to handle situations. A false assumption that we are different than other people (thus separate).

Feeling disconnected is a very scary illusion

It feels so much like it is possible we won’t come back to ourselves. Like our sanity is about to go off a cliff somewhere, never to return. This is terrifying! And feeds the anxiety. An already huge snow ball, rolling around, gathering yet a wider girth. Intense panic ensues.

If your panic is this intense:

Stop and remind yourself that this is just panic, not death, not psychosis, not a cliff.

Remember: I cannot guarantee much in life, but I can guarantee that things will change, you will not stay here forever. That is impossible. This too shall pass.

Remember: You have most likely been here before and came out the other side, it only feels like this is more intense because it is happening right now. It was probably this intense before and you survived (or you wouldn’t be reading this.)

Know: You can get rid of problemed anxiety

Please tell me what is on your mind!

By Jodi Lobozzo Aman

I blog here: Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace
and here: Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog,
share here: Twitter@JodiAmanGoogle+
inspire here: Facebook: Heal Now and Forever Be in Peace,
Get my free E-book: What Is UP In Your DOWN? Being Grateful in 7 Easy Steps.

This entry was posted in Anxiety Causes, Anxiety Symptoms, Effects of Anxiety, PD and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

231 Responses to Anxiety Makes Us Feel Unreal

  1. Nikky44 says:

    I feel disconnected when I panic. Sometimes I “force” that feeling of being disconnected to avoid the situation i am living. I become a witness to the situation and not a part of it, and it feels so real. It was considered psychosis, and was prescribed anti psychotics, but i wasn’t convinced. It didn’t help. The feeling of being disconnected often comes with visions of what “will happen”. It can be anything, something bad like jumping from the 10th floor or something good like getting a hug. Whatever it is, it brings peace for a while. When feeling disconnected and needing to “come back”, the best thing is to have someone talk to me about anything, but i also try to notice and focus on the physical symptoms that come with the anxiety: shaking, breathless, chest pain, etc. It brings me back to reality. Feeling disconnected is very scary, but I learned to use it and now it is helping me.

  2. Tina Barbour says:

    When I am in the midst of anxiety and panic, I definitely feel disconnected from others and different from others. I feel like everyone else if doing fine–why can’t I? You described this very well, Jodi!

    When I’ve very anxious, I can be with another person, but still feel disconnected from him or her–like I can’t focus.

    • shaali says:

      Hi i am 17 year girl..and suddenly i start getting wei4d symptomps in my body very weird that doctora refuse to blv me ..i did all test like ct scan mri of brain but all was titally normal.
      But thn i wen to a phsycatrist and she gave ne medication..as i use to take i was nt totally out my synptoms but yeah i t qas better thau atleast i can handle..
      But .. i startd hoempathic of it as it doest nt harm.
      But almost 1 year gonw i dnt feel normal..
      My hands lefa scalp of head ia always constantly numb…
      i cant get over it..getting frustrated nt able to study …go out of town for frthrr studies..i feel helpless like there id no solution..i feel so uneasy alld time..it feeldlikei am ..forcely happy just to gorget these symptoms

  3. Shawn Maxam says:

    “Stop and remind yourself that this is just panic, not death, not psychosis, not a cliff.” – This is a perfect quote.

    • I’m glad it touched you, Shawn!

    • womble says:

      I would probably start to worry that i couldn’t trust my own cognitive state to make intelligent decisions. My anxiety is so bad that i have been on permanent disability for 10 years. I can relate to feeling “alien” around other people and this aggravates the anxiety even more, this is all just too depressing for me to contemplate for the remainder of my life.

      • Hello womble,
        Anxiety can indeed be debilitating, frustrating, and depressing. If you haven’t done so already, you might consider working with a professional. And if you have done so, you might consider seeking different professionals until you find one with whom you click. Therapists and psychiatrists can be very helpful, but it does take time both to find the right one and to chip away at anxiety. If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed, there is immediate help available at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ (or 1-800-273-8255).

  4. Tim says:

    Actually, when you are on panic your mind is automatically block because you are focus on what is happening and you are worrying if you would be hit or something.

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  6. shletha says:

    My anxiety is taking me on a field trip,first I was convinced I had cancer,then I was convinced I was crazy now I think I’m schitzo its so scary,I be so out of it I get so sad and think I may have to go to a menatl institute because I have two little boys!I get scared because so many weird thoughts run threough my mind..can u relate?

    • Yes, Shletha, I can relate and the fear of it all has it increasing! Once you know this is fear, it may settle your mind a little, and stop snowballing. This is what you want.
      Is there someone you can talk to? To help you through?

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  9. Milly says:

    Hi im curriently in the process of thinking im goiing mad. I dont even feel like me

  10. Milly says:

    Hi im currently in the process of thinking I’m going mad. I don’t even feel like me. Why is this? I feel stiff, feel like I can’t breathe and my heart is racing. My mind won’t stop. I thought I was going mad till I read this so thanks!

    Thank you all. I know it will pass. xx

    • It will pass, Milly, know this. Glad to help! Xoxox

    • jade says:

      Hey Milly did your anxiety pass. Because I’m feeling exactly that way, it started early this month it comes an go but I really don’t like the feeling an I’m a varsity student I feel like its gon affect my studies.

    • shakiya pone says:

      I’m scared it like I really don’t know myself I don’t get wants wrong wit me I feel like I’m not me I hate looking in the mirror I feel like I’m n the wrong body I have bad dreams n I feel like can get out my head idk wat to do but sit n pretend like I’m OK but I’m not I feel empty like I always been crazy and didn’t know it can someone please reply n give advice???

      • Rob says:

        I feel the exact way you just described. I’m seeking CBT treatment and I heard it can really help and totally fix the situation we are in, which is just fear even tho it feels like some sooo much more. Maybe you could look into CBT yourself?

      • Rob says:

        …also. As a quick fix solution I got prescribed Diazepam from my GP which is a sedative! Sounds drastic but it totally relieves the feelings for a bit. The only downside is that they are HIGHLY addictive! But therapy is the way to go.

        • I think you raise a very valid point, Rob. Sometimes medication really is necessary — and helpful. But the side effects (including addiction/dependency) can’t be ignored. You’re right that therapy is very effective. Sometimes a combination of approaches is necessary. Even if it takes time to find just the right approach, anxiety is indeed treatable.

    • my mind is running i feel like i can not breath im here but im not here feel like im losen all control please help me

  11. Milly says:

    Does this mean I have a mental illnes?

    • Not by my definition, Milly, anxiety and fear are natural human emotions. It’s how you react that leads them to get worse. If you can’t nip it in the bud, see a therapist, who can help quickly! You don’t have to be mentally ill to see a therapist. They help the ‘worried well’ too!

  12. RJ says:

    I think I developed anxiety disorders/phobias/panic attacks because I was always a closeted adrenaline junkie. haha. Everything I wanted to do in my life (in childhood…but it’s carried over to now) was somehow unrealistic/impractical. It’s not like I wanted to jump out of airplanes when I was 5..I did want to do outdoorsy stuff like “extreme” sports (never even truly understood what was extreme about them, TBH), when I was little I used to ask my parents if we could travel places and then always felt personally rejected when they’d rationalize why we can’t (can’t afford it, too much else to do, “do it here”, etc.) I got annoyed b/c I lived in the city (NYC)–to the point I ended up feeling emotionally and mentally claustrophobic around almost anyone–gridlocked!

    Now I have kind of this internalized gridlock that I really just want to get rid of, but it’s kinda been built up there not only b/c of the city, but also to control my own impulses (I was kind of “secretly” aggressive as a kid…e.g. I loved the idea of wrestling but not with all the rules and other “crap” they “added in” and put on TV…I just wanted to do things like that, and not have to think about them. But yet I knew that would be kind of, not socially acceptable. lol.)
    Part of it might be AD/HD…but that’s kind of a chicken/egg thing. It seems to “disappear” when I don’t feel “restricted” by “authority.” I have almost an instantaneous defiant reaction to authority, too…but it really depends on the person…and usually it’s men which explains why I avoided male friendships most of my childhood. So I wouldn’t start something I couldn’t finish by telling them all they’re moronic wimps and not actually being able to “prove myself” in a fight if parents got involved.
    lol….so I was kind of a ‘roid rage child too, in a way…
    my mom says I was also an angry baby, which is interesting…

    • RJ,
      You are in this process trying to figure it all out and decide how to think about it. Try to be a least judgmental as you can. It’ll all turn out better that way! Keep being a fascinated witness, rather than a frustrated victim.
      Jodi

  13. Jordan says:

    I am dealing with Feeling disconnected and Unreal. But the thing is. It gets waay worse when I eat. Im starving and have lost 40 lbs. If I could just get rid of the disconnected feeling.”unreal” or not here. I would feel so much better. Id be able to eat again. Many people say its anxiety. And I have some symptoms of it but I also feel like maybe its something else. Ive done blood test and vitals and they came out fine. Idk what to do.

    • Eat tiny meals or at least get some calories in drinks/smoothies, even if you can only manage one bite every ten minutes. Keep eating tiny until you feel better, then increase slowly. I hope this helps!

  14. Nancy says:

    I have this feeling constantly like I am not really here, it was coming and going but now seems more like its here every day, when I try to think of the future with my son the idea comes in my head you arent going to be here anyways. I am getting alot of anxiety and it seems to focus around that feeling of not really being here, when I go out I can act normal but it puts alot of stress on me to do things and causes me anxiety…I can control the anxiety to a degree by telling myself im fine over and over, but its the feeling in the back of my head like im farther away and cant focus ….like I just dont want to be here. I have a son I love so much and want to be here for him, but that feeling gets so strong.

    • Nancy,
      I would venture to say it might be anxiety. But obviously I cannot diagnose you on this alone. Have you gone to a counselor? I might be helpful to you to see someone right away. You don’t want to do anything rash and have your son lose his mother. Sometimes we get thoughts in our head and we get confused about what is real. Talking to someone can help so much because they can give you feedback and help you realize what is what. Did something ever happen to you, Nancy? How long have you been like this and when did it start?

      Hang in there.

      XO

      Love,
      Jodi

  15. Nancy says:

    thanks for the reply Jodi, I am seeing someone but she is not much help as she does not offer councel as much as medication,I went off of a medication and had this occur, and keep feeling more and more like I am not really here, and not sure why as I love my boy so much and want to be here for him, but I guess there are times where I wonder what the point is to life, I am taking a medication now called cipralex and am really hoping it does help me,I have had numerous things happen in my life, losses and traumas, but have been through councelling and thought I was better, I had been on effexor for fibromyalgia for years and once I went off of it I started to present with these issues and am having such a hard time getting back to myself, your post here gave me some hope as its positive that this will not stay like this, I dont want to lose touch with my boy which is what I am most afraid of, that I will forget I have him somehow….not sure what that is about, I am fighting every day to go out and try to keep contact with reality it just seems like I am walking around in my own head alot.

    • Nancy,
      Since I am not a MD, I cannot comment or give advise on medication. BUt going to someone for counseling again seems to be in order. Sometimes we feel better and then later in our life we get down to a further level of healing. This doesn’t mean you are not really better, it is just the next layer. I am glad you are getting out. Keep that up. Stay out of your head as much as possible. Make sure you are speaking to your doctor about the side effects of the med changes. Hold on and get yourself to a counseling. I hear your desire to live and be OK. I know you can do this.
      Love,
      Jodi

    • Presley says:

      I get this same exact feeling! Especially how you said you can control the anxiety to a degree but its the feeling in the back of your head like you’re so distant and far away. I wish I just had a panic attack from something I could pinpoint, but instead I have constant feelings of not feeling real. Sometimes I am okay with it and I can be strong and tell myself “this will pass, there’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just anxiety.” But then it gradually worsens because I start getting overwhelmed and panic when the feelings don’t go away. It’s so horrible not being able to concentrate or “connect” with people and the world around me. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and having a baby soon and my anxiety was fine for almost a year and during my pregnancy up until just a few weeks ago when I hit my third trimester. That’s the main thing I can think of that would be triggering my anxiety. All I can think about is the baby coming and feeling like this after she is here and I imagine myself so crazy and feeling like this that I won’t even be able to take care of her :( I am so glad someone else feels this way though and that maybe I’m not going crazy. My therapist told me that if I question myself and I’m afraid of going crazy, then chances are I am not because crazy people don’t know they are crazy and don’t question it or even realize! I am also in my last semester of college right now in a very fast paved medical program. Graduation is right around my due date and I’m so stressed. My mom says I should take it easy on myself because I have so many stressors and should give myself a break. She says no wonder I have anxiety, that she would be anxious too if she had all this on her plate. When my anxiety is this bad though, all I can think about is how uncomfortable I feel. My voice is constantly talking in my head and trying to analyze how to fix this, what it could be, etc. I sometimes even convince myself this is a medical disorder and I’ll be stuck like this forever. I have had anxiety all my life and started struggling with these feelings of being unreal about 3-4 years ago. At one point it was so bad I wanted to die so bad also. I still have those feelings now but I dismiss them right away. I feel terrible and guilty for my anxiety feelings because I have a great family and I’m having a baby soon, graduating college, I feel like I should be happy :(

      • Presley,

        I have good news for you. Thinking you’ll be like this forever is your trigger. You know you won’t. Anxiety can and does go away. You can get rid of it. The second bit of good news is that (and I know this bc I was uber anxious when I was pregnant!) if you breast feeding, the oxytocin this releases is a wonderful anti anxiety! I was going crazy during my pregnancy and once I had the baby it went away completely. Also, holding and cuddling a sleeping or staring baby is the best meditation in the world. You’ll calm right down!
        Love to you, sweet mama!

        • Presley says:

          Thank you, I am just freaking out lately! Yesterday was a better day for me. But today I had a panic attack again when my boyfriend left for work and I was at the house all alone. I got a crazy “unreal” feeling. It’s like I’m not myself and I can’t think straight, my thoughts get distant and it’s scary. Sometimes my body feels fine but inside my head I feel weird. Then I think what if I have some type of disease or disorder or something is wrong with my brain!? Can pregnancy cause anxiety to become worse? I haven’t had any issues with my anxiety for the past year or two. It just started when I entered my third trimester and gradually had gotten worse to the point of where I’m afraid to be alone or be certain places because I will feel this way. Im just so scared and frustrated it won’t go away because I don’t want to feel like this when the baby comes. I think, “what if I feel unreal still and can’t I next with her like I usually feel when I have this?” Or “what if I go crazy and can’t take care of her because I can’t even take care I myself during this!?” Just feels like I’m in slow motion lately. My mom and everyone tells me, even the doctor, that I should be feeling extremely tired and my hormones are all out of whack lately. This is just the worst scary feeling. I tell myself this time it is different and something IS wrong with me this time, but as I know from past experience, anxiety will try and convince you that this time it isn’t anxiety and this time it’s worse, etc. It feels like it for sure but nobody understands what I mean when I tell them this :(

          • Presley,
            I hear all the time, “This time it is worse.” I heard the same thing from a client every week for two years. Actually from many clients. You are right, this is the tactic of the Anxiety. It means what meaning you give it. Hormones can throw off your anxiety, and so your sense of reality, out of control. Busyness of caretaking will kick in when the baby comes. You’ll be distracted away from the panic. Oxytocin will take care of you. Forget the house or the worries and just sit and hold your warm beautiful bundle. Imagine this. See yourself in the big chair holding him or her. See yourself smiling. Imagine yourself relaxed and worry free in this scene. Do this imagery three to twelve times a day. Drink red clover tea.

            If you feel this when the baby comes, you can get your hormones checked out by an herbalist and you’ll be fine.
            Hope this helps, also I do online therapy if you need some more!
            xo,
            Jodi

        • crystal says:

          I am glad to read that someone else feels terrible and disconnected while pregnant. Im only 9wks pregnant and have a history of anxiety but it hasn’t bothered me in like 4yrs but as soon as I hit the 6wks mark I had full blown Anxiety!!! It is so scary and it feels like it is never going to go away this time. Everyone keeps telling me its my hormones and it will get easier the first trimester is the hardest, i hope they are right.

    • Langston says:

      Hey Nancy, it sounds like what you are experiencing is called ‘depersonalization’ and or ‘derealization’ which are both prevalent in anxiety and depression. Usually when you can get the anxiety/depression to go away the DP/DR will go away also. There is a great online community called http://www.dpselfhelp.com. Hope that helps!

  16. Nancy says:

    Jodi, I guess I didnt answer your question of how long and when it started, I think I was feeling a bit like this for a few months, but it was once I got off effexor completely that it started to worsen and it has been about two months now of feeling like I have to fight to stay here and seems to get worse some days. I need some hope things will improve and I wont lose myself completely.

  17. Nancy says:

    thanks for the feedback Jodi, I appreciate any advice you have for me as I am looking for hope that this too shall pass,I keep telling myself that each day and know I must have the desire to be here or I wouldnt keep fighting for it everyday!I have put out feelers to get myself back into councelling, it just always takes so long to see someone, but I will see my family doctor and the psychiatrist until I can. Have you heard of this type of thing before? where someone doesnt quite feel real, I know I do have anxiety with it and it does make it worse, I was so happy to find this blog and read your words there that this too shall pass..gave me a small measure of hope. thank you for that.

  18. Frank says:

    All my anxiety started four months ago with a huge panic attack.. I’m a hypochondriac so every little feeling gets me going. I too felt this “depersonalization” and still do from time to time. It gives me agoraphobia like crazy because I’m afraid il go somewhere and either A) pass out or B) freak out and get scared.. I made it through the fear of dying part (kinda) now I’m stuck on mental health. Afraid of going crazy more or less. It almost feels like my brain is telling me I’m like in a movie or a coma and this is all a dream and il wake up later to find that none of it happened. Freaky right? Personally I hate the feeling of weakness and all the shakiness: hands, legs, and teeth. I have been to the hospital a ton and they just always fall on anxiety. I even did a stint in a mental hospital… Very scary for anyone who hasn’t done it, but worth the experience. Anyway I guess it’s just that I’m afraid il lose my mind and be gone forever and lose my dreams.
    I know this is long winded but thanks for reading.
    Frank

  19. Auston says:

    I stay home quite often, I’m 15, play alot of games watch TV, play baseball in the summer. when I am out in public or with friends I often feel like things are unreal, I can’t stay focused, Im always feeling as if Somone is staring at me or talking about me, I tend to look at people and kind of stare feeling insecure,when I am with one just one friend I feel ok, when we get around a group I get quiet, shy, not knowing what to say my mind just kind of goes blank.

    • This is not uncommon. Nobody is staring or thinking of you like you think. They are all thinking about themselves and what everyone thinks about them. This is a story you tell yourself, like a movie you play. And it perpetuates the nervousness. See if you can get help from your parents.:)

  20. darragh says:

    Hi im only 16 years old. Last year I tried cannabis for the first time and d an intense panic attack. It was my first panic attack and so I hadn’t a clue what was going on. I had never heard of the reaction I was having as my heart was racing and I completely zoned out of reality. I didn’t feel myself and nothing seemed real. I was convinced I was having q heart attack and that the extreme feeling I was having was somewhat religious or spiritual and that everyone who is about to die experiences it(im an atheist btw). I quite embarrassingly insisted that my friend call an ambulance and of course I was actually fine when checked out. However this feeling of not being in reality continued and u began to fear for my insanity went to a counsellor and straight away she suggested that it was anxiety. I I then began researching online to learn more and I came across the term depersonalization/derealisation. It described exactly how I felt at the time and stated that it was anxiety related which explains a lot seen as I was (still am) being brought up in a good caring home with a low tolerance to drugs hence my guilt feeling of smoking the wred which may have triggered my attack. Anyways I am clear of all symptoms now and back to enjoying life just because of a little reassurance from online research where I could relate to other people’s stories. I want to thank you Jodi for taking the time about to explain the causes and possible cures for these anxiety related symptoms because after all it was this type of info that helped me and I am extremely grateful for your work. THANKS!!

  21. Josh Arcega says:

    I had the same experience when I first had a panic attack. I thought I was gonna die. I can’t even open my hands at that time. I even had to go to the hospital and this doctor had me on diazepam. I’m still having anxiety attacks every now and then. I think its because I worry too much about my health. Sometimes, I feel like I can’t relate to other people about what they’re talking about. Its really hard but I always tell to myself that I’m okay and that nothing is wrong with me.
    One of my friends told me about this site/blog and reading your articles has helped me a lot, Jodi. Now I know that I’m noy crazy or anything and its just anxiety.

  22. Rachael says:

    I am currently in the middle of a 6month relapse after haveing gained control over my anxiety for the last 3yrs..(to anyone suffering at the minute it CAN be done) the unreal feeling is something I am really struggling with after haveing a full blown panic attack after all those years this is by far the scariest symptom I think I’ve ever had and the one I’m finding most troublesome to just let go.. I’m actually finding it difficult to go out anywhere again because the panic attack is so fresh in my mind ,the fear of just shutting down in public and not beign able to function to make it back home or just lose control … finding this post has helped a little so thankyou x

  23. terrance says:

    Hi im 22 ive had weird sensations for 6 weeks like when i eat breath or touch things or talk it feels weird like delayed reactions its very scary my doctor put me on ataraxx but it doesnt help can you tell me what this is

    • If you’ve been cleared by the medical world that it is not anything wrong, then try to assume it is anxiety. This happens when you over think it. Like when you say a word so many times and that word just sounds weird. If you overly are aware of the world, it would feel so bizarre. Try to just keep going and it might go away.

  24. kevin says:

    Its kinda like how I feel,I’ve been feeling like everything is fake around me like and illusion I’ve had ocd really bad when I was little then growing up I use to get sad so I kinda pushed myself away from the ocd was fine then tried some cannabis then everything changed from there idk if it’s from that or what but it’s been like 6 years I use to occasionally have break downs but I had one like a year and half ago that kinda changed everything I got so overwhelmed and thought I was mentally gone but I’ve had this thought that everything is unreal around me and sometimes it really makes me feel that way and I wonder what’s the point in getting help and stuff if it’s all unreal then it’s all setup to try to make me comfortable and what I wanna hear but I work a full time job and live life but im miserable and feel like im mentally gone and stuck and crazy and ill never live a normal life like I use to before all this worrying and crazy thought I can’t shake

  25. Fabian says:

    Hello I have when threw all this feelings but sum how I don’t know y I keep on thinking my mind will forget who I am or the people I love around me that’s the main problem I have rite now is it just me or will it happen I feel scared most of the time.

  26. Wendy says:

    Thank you.

  27. Siera says:

    Ive had anxiety for awhile. Sometimes it feels as if its not anxiety. I cant hardly breathe, my chest hurts, my mind races, i feel like something bad is gonna happen to me all the time. Its very scary and kindof hard to explain.

  28. Anniina says:

    Hi! I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and after having a panick attack a week ago, i have been feeling just like you wrote! I feel like i’m not myself and sometimes i start thinking these deep thoughts and i start feeling so surreal! and it’s the scariest thing! but reading this and all of the comments made me feel better and i feel like i’m not complitely crazy and some others have the same problems that i have ! THANK YOU SO MUCH ! i guess it will get better by time :) i already felt more normal and so so reliefed when reading this. so i know the “normal-me”-feeling is there somewhere still! thank you again :)

    • Hi Anniia,

      Jodi is no longer writing the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog. I am one of the new writers along with Anthony D’Anconti. I know Jodi would be very pleased with your entire comment (perhaps she has even seen it but is not able to comment). Congratulations for taking charge of your anxiety and panic and finding that the “normal-you” is still there!

      • April says:

        I to suffer from anxiety/ panic attacks. I’m 24 and it first started about a year ago, I was so scared, my panic atacks would last all day and all night , I couldn’t sleep etc. I went to the doctor and was put on Citralopram which seemed to helped, during this year I felt normal again, once in a while I would feel anxious but didn’t pay attention to it I just let it be there and It would go away. My also suffers from anxiety and a few days ago I witnessed one of her attacks and it was so scary, I was trying to be strong for her, but now am feeling anxious again. My thought are consently racing, ” is this what my future will be like?”,” I don’t to feel like this forever”. I’m panicking just thinking if my mom will have another attack. It makes sad , and upset to see someone I love and care about hurting and I don’t know how to let it go. I have to force myself through all the uncomfortableness and panic to get up and go to school each day to finish my nursing and some days it’s so hard . Any advice is appreciated, anyone who can relate I’d love to here your story.

        April

        • It shows great strength that you are continuing with school. It can be hard to pursue long-term goals when anxiety and panic make it seem impossible. Some things that can be effective in reducing and eventually eliminating the panic attacks you describe include looking for a pattern. While it may seem like the attacks are continual, often they are stronger at certain times. Keeping track of when they occur, how intense they are, and what you were doing at the time can be helpful in determining what lies beneath them. Also, make goals for yourself. Break tasks or outings into chunks. For example (and this particular one might not apply directly to you, but you can perhaps modify it to your own situations), if trips to the store heighten your anxiety or bring panic, rather than staying away completely, try tackling the store for a brief amount of time — instead of taking a long list and filling your cart, commit to making a quick trip inside for two or three essential items. You’re doing the right thing by seeking information. As you gather many different tips from many sources, you can choose what’s right for you.

  29. April says:

    Thanks very much for replying:) my anxiety seems worse in the morning, for no reason other than I’m anxious because of my fear of having another panick attack. So I pretty wake up expecting to be anxious and not really sure how to go about changing this. Any idea what might help?

    • Your comments about fearing another panic attack and waking up expecting to be anxious are very insightful. Panic and anxiety often feed themselves because they are so unpleasant that we begin to fear and dread them, and this fear and dread in turn contribute to increased panic and anxiety. It’s a cycle that is difficult to break, but it is indeed possible to break it — especially with the insight that you already have. As you probably already know, there isn’t a quick fix, and you can’t just order your brain to stop anticipating panic and anxiety. Wouldn’t that be nice! How do you feel about journaling? It can be helpful to, before bed, write down things that went well for you during the day, times (even if they were brief) that you didn’t feel anxious). Focus on your successes as you go to sleep, and when you wake up and anxiety rears its ugly head, a first step could be to review what you wrote the night before and immediately remind yourself that you do have anxiety free (or at least reduced) moments in your day. This could be a helpful start. Working directly with a therapist can also be very beneficial as you’ll have regular contact with someone who will get to know you and work with you on a plan that’s just right for you.

  30. Randomer says:

    I am 12 and am not panicking consciously but I feel like I am not real an that something is wrong with my brain!!! Plz reply if you feel the same way!

    • Hello there,
      Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but she is no longer writing the Anxiety-Schmanxiety column and is unable to respond. I’m Tanya, one of the current writers of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. While your comment is directed to other readers, I thought I’d reply as well. I like the way you worded your description — that you’re not panicking consciously. Many times people have no conscious idea why a panic attack begins, and often people feel it inside rather than show it a great deal on the outside. You really can feel like you’re not real or that something is wrong in your brain that is causing this. Of course, it’s always wise to have a medical checkup and to consult with a professional therapist because both can help a lot. What you describe, though, is very typical of panic. It’s an awful feeling, but it doesn’t have to be with you for the rest of your life. There are things to do to get better.

  31. dave says:

    I almost always get anxiety right as my head hits the pillow.
    I don’t know why, but during the day I’m fine, but at night as I get ready for bed BOOM!!!!
    My thoughts turn worrisome and negative, sometimes I feel like a crazy person. No offense to anyone.
    Can anybody relate?

    • Hi Dave,
      Jodi, the author of this article, is no longer writing for HealthyPlace and is thus unable to respond to comments. The issue you mentioned is very common, and perhaps many people will share their stories of how they relate. I myself have experienced this very thing, and it’s frustrating. During the day, we’re busy with other things and our minds are distracted. At night, when there is no distraction, anxious thoughts can have free reign. Sometimes deep breathing or meditation is helpful in calming anxious thoughts at night. Also, stopping a thought and countering it with different thoughts can soothe nighttime anxiety as well. Other readers will likely have other tips, too.

  32. Joy Merriman says:

    Right now I have just started counseling and just started on a low dose of Lexapro and Klonopin temporarily! It has helped but am having waves of panic and anxiety coming over me about the dumbest stuff. Just the mention of going to church or calling someone. There’s no rhyme or reason. I struggle with looking at pictures or going certain places because my thought is, “The last time I was there, I felt normal!” It makes me cry and I don’t want to go back. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out if the feelings I’m having are panic, fear or anxiety. I agree with a lot of you that the feelings of unreality and thinking you’re going crazy are the hardest! I love on my grandchildren but feel like I’m not there. It’s like I’ve stepped into another world but I know it’s because were so introspective and caught up with everything we’re feeling! I pray that God will use me in the midst of this trial to reach out to others who are suffering so they don’t suffer alone! I have come through this before and I have to have hope and faith that “this too shall pass”! Any and all tips on how to sleep would be appreciated. Prayers of peace, healing and comfort to all of you! I’m glad I found this sight. Lots of encouragement! Also thanks to everyone for sharing. It helps you to know you’re not alone!

    • Hi Joy,
      Welcome to HealthyPlace and Anxiety-Schmanxiety! I’m glad that you have already found this to be a useful place with many insights. We have wonderful readers, many of whom share their own thoughts and ideas. It sounds like despite some struggles with anxiety right now, you’re taking charge and working to overcome it and that you are finding support in many places. Even though it’s not always easy, with that healthy attitude/approach, you are right that “this too shall pass.” I’m sure readers will have many tips on sleeping. For me, deep breathing and meditating (I can’t do it like a guru, but I can do it “good enough”) is helpful to slow down anxious thoughts. Best of luck to you as you overcome this anxiety.

  33. Josh says:

    Reading these posts is somewhat reassuring for me. I felt fine for the longest time and then, about a month ago, I started having these “episodes” where I would feel somewhat similar to when I was having a panic attack from weed (I quit smoking for quite some time now). Now I think about it everyday at work and in social situations and feel like I’m not normal anymore. It’s so scary because I am constantly thinking about it and considering everything under the sun that could be wrong with me. At work and when I’m out I feel disconnected. I feel like things are happening in real time around me but I’m kind of in slow motion with slow reactions and not really being able to focus. I can still communicate and function properly but I know that I’m not feeling normal in that moment. I feel completely fine once I’m at home so I don’t know what the issue could be. I started having pains in my chest daily and find myself worrying a lot more about things that I shouldn’t even be thinking about and about when I will get over this stage and feel normal again. I really need some help with this!

    • Hi Josh,
      It’s good that reading all of the posts has been a bit reassuring. At the very least, you can see that you’re not alone. Taking action to learn what is going on is a great thing to do, so keep at it. It does sound like you are experiencing difficulties with types of anxiety. It’s often helpful to see a professional to help sort out what is going on and to figure out what to do about it (and there are most definitely things that can be done to improve all types of anxiety). Keep visiting sites such as HealthyPlace, too, to find both information and support.

  34. Beth Moss says:

    I used to suffer from horrible panic and anxiety – to the point where I wouldn’t leave my house from fear of having one in public.

    I no longer have panic attacks, and only occasional blips of anxiety that are very short-lived. One thing that helped me was consciously slowing my mind down to recognize what my body was doing.

    I don’t know if anyone has seen that Kevin Costner baseball movie where he was a pitcher, but I used his technique. In order to clear his mind and focus entirely on his pitching he would say “Clear the mechanism”. For some reason I was watching this trying to fight through a panic attack and knew plenty of athletes that have the same kind of routines. I thought if these professional athletes could use these techniques, maybe I could do.

    As I felt the next “wave of terror” as I called them hit, I took a deep breath in through the nose for a count of four, and thought ‘clear the mechanism’ as I held in breath for a count of seven and I pictured all the chaotic thoughts leaving my mind on my exhaled breath (count of 8).

    It was almost instantaneous, seriously amazing how fast that brought me from a solid ten on the panic attack scale to a 3-4. So, I did it again. This time I focused on exactly what I was feeling – shaky knees, yes anxiety. Fast breathing – yes, anxiety and went down the checklist of all my physical reactions. As I breathed in and held it, I ‘cleared the mechanism’ again and pictured each physical reaction returning to normal. Once again, I went from a 3-4 to a 1-2.

    Yay! Cured, right? Nope, not yet. While this gave me confidence that I could control a full-blown panic attack, I was still very shaken and upset I couldn’t control the thoughts that triggered them in the first place. The best advice I received was from a guy friend (pro footballer) who said the team psychologist taught them to turn their anxious thoughts into the ‘enemy’, and that they had two choices – they could believe the lies of the enemy and give in to it or they could recognize it as the lies they were and disregard it. Um, wow! You can do that?! You can just choose to NOT believe the lies these scary thoughts are trying to get your mind to believe? Yes, you actually can! I won’t lie and say I never have scary thoughts anymore, that I never get depersonalization/derealization anymore – I do, on rare occasion.

    The difference now is how I react to them. Now, I get the thought (for one example)”You’re all alone and you will die” and turn it into “I may be alone, but you cannot hurt me, you cannot kill me, and if I ignore you, you will go away. If you don’t go away, I can clear the mechanism and you will be gone instantly” And, the small little anxious feeling that was created by my ‘scary’ thought is gone so fast. I have used this is super tense places for a former agoraphobic! The mall, flying in an airplane, grocery shopping, the doctor’s office (my most dreaded place ever because they misdiagnosed me with anxiety and panic when what I initially had was hypoglycemia – but, if you are told you are having panic attacks enough, you will have panic attacks. BUT, on the flip side, if you are told you CAN get over these panic attacks, you will start to believe that as well.

    I never went to a therapist, psychologist or shrink. I never took any medication or supplements (not knocking them, at all, just saying they are not always necessary).

    I’m sorry this is so long! And, one last thing, this process did take time, but I forgave myself of any setbacks as I knew they would only be temporary. First thing – FORGIVE YOURSELF (!!!) for having panic and anxiety issues. I know it feels like your own body and mind has turned against you, but in all intents and purposes, your body is doing exactly what it was designed to do. It has not turned on you! Forgive yourself, allow yourself to grieve just a tiny bit for that person you were before this started and then start looking forward to the person you ARE and WILL become.

    Bless you all, I wish I could talk to each and every one of you face to face. I’ve been there, I know. I am okay, you WILL be okay.

    • Hello Beth,
      Thank you for sharing your insights! It’s great that HealthyPlace can be a forum for exchange and a place where people learn from each other and grow. It sounds like you’ve worked hard and persevered to find a very helpful method. Keep at it, and thanks again for your comments!

  35. Nrj says:

    I am a 2nd year medical student. I am seeking a big help seriously. It was a month ago I took an oral preparation of Cannabis which made me Euphoric that day. I visited the Emergency due to tachycardia and palpitation, took a tablet of propranolol and returned after feeling comfortable enough. But suddenly I started having chest and shoulder pain, which made me restless. After 2 days I visited the Emergency again and I was given Lorazepam as I was said to have withdrawl syndrome. Still didn’t help. Then I took an ECG which was normal. After a conselling from a senior I felt ok.
    After 10 days I could feel something running inside my head. Again the chest and arm pain started. With the feeling of dizziness and pain, after some days I visited the Psychiatry department and prescribed propranolol TDS. I frequently visited a psychologist and took counselling also. It only helped temporarily. Again I started feeling detached from the world, unreal, unfresh 24 hours and not interested in anything (these feelings I feel till today). My psychiatrist diagnosed me with mixed anxiety depression and prescribed sertraline which I have taken for 2 days. I can’t manipulate what’s going on around. I have no concentration in studies which is really worrying as my exams are near. I am very feared and can’t sleep sound sleep at night. Sometimes I get fearful vibes radiating from my chest to the neck which makes me restless. I am really, worried..Please help me….

    • Nrj says:

      Also I feel pulses in various parts of my body. I have sweaty palms and I feel very very uncomfortable. Oh! god please help me.

    • Hello Nrj,
      I am very sorry to read about your current experiences. Many of the symptoms you express do relate to anxiety, and this could absolutely be anxiety-based. The good news about that is, as scary and painful as anxiety can be, it can be reduced. However, much of your symptoms seem to stem from physical consequences/reactions to substances, both the Cannabis and the traditional medications. That isn’t “bad,” of course, but I think it should be the starting point for figuring out what is going on. It’s great that you’ve been seeking medical help, but I wonder if it’s possible that you have not received the correct treatment. Have you been to a medical doctor for a thorough exam (of course psychiatrists are medical doctors, but they do focus on psychological aspects)? I think that that is something that could be an immediate next step. Mention all of your history; it may be that you are having atypical reactions to anti-anxiety medications. It does happen. I’m not a doctor, of course, so I don’t want to cause harm by speculating. I’d recommend that you seek a different medical doctor, and after ruling out physical problems or reactions to medications first. And of course in the meantime, continue to learn about anxiety, ask questions, etc.

  36. Dave says:

    Hi, I’m wondering if you may be able to help, or defer my fear for me. Please.

    I’ve recently been feeling awful. A new level of weird. I never really had panic before, or anxiety but in the last month it’s suddenly spiralled out of complete control to the point where I don’t know how I can fix it, or see a future without it.

    I had a pretty intense situation for about 6 months with a girl, which never really took off, but I put a lot of myself in to it and it sapped me of myself. It’s complicated, but essentially I have a broken heart. We also work together and it was all very secretive. I think living a lie has corrupted my brain. That’s the first bit.

    I have also been drinking a lot of alcohol and dabbled with cocaine. Not loads, but the odd bit every now and then, with alcohol.

    I then also hurt my back quite badly while playing football…..

    So, while down about the first situation I was hitting it very, very hard, and then also had my stress relieving activity (exercise) taken away from me. I cannot exercise while my bad is so bad. So I have been sitting around. Hang overs became really bad. The last time I partied I was feeling pretty down, but I got incredibly drunk and took some cocaine (again, not loads) and it feels like that has never really warn off.

    I feel like I am in a nightmare and on a bad, in a way, on a ‘bad trip’, but it’s real. I’ve stopped drinking alcohol and caffeine for 7 days now and I feel sick.

    I worry about my sanity a lot. I think I’ve lost it. I have a heavy weight behind my eyes, my vision feels odd. I feel dizzy, lost, and mentally I feel like I am not myself anymore. Everything seems pointless and I have lost sense of chronology. My memory is strange and my head is clouded.

    I don’t know how much of this is the caffeine withdrawal but really I think I’m trying to convince myself it’s ok.

    I have been to the doctor and I will see a psychologist next week. I feel incredibly sad, and mental.

    Will I be okay and how do I fix it?

    Thanks x

    • Dave says:

      I don’t know weather this feeling of disconnection is ‘snowballed anxiety’ or whether I have just snapped. I’ve only told one person about it as I don’t want people to think I’m a nutter. He’s my best friend and he’s been really good about it. His wife has anxiety. I’m really scared.

      Thanks for your time. x

      • Hi again, Dave!
        “Snowballed anxiety” is a great phrase, for anxiety does indeed snowball. It feeds on itself and can grow quite big. Fortunately, no matter what it feels like, it isn’t bigger than you. You can indeed stop it from growing and then make it shrink back into a snowflake. It might take time and work, but it can happen.

        It’s nice that you have someone to talk to about this. It’s sad and frustrating that those of us with mental health struggles have to feel as though we can’t talk about ourselves for fear of being judged as crazy, as nutters. A consequence of this is that, because everyone is afraid to share their experiences with anxiety (or other mental health issues), it makes people feel that they’re alone in their difficulties. That couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s just that people are afraid to share and talk because of the stigma associated with mental illness. While you don’t have to talk to anyone you’re uncomfortable with, do know that you truly aren’t alone.

    • Hi Dave,
      My name is Tanya. Jodi, the person who wrote this article, is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, so she’s unable to respond to comments. I’m sure she would do so if she could! First, it’s important for you to know that feeling cared and that you’ve snapped is a very common feeling. You’re not alone, and there’s nothing “wrong” with you for this! Having lived through difficulties and issues with mental illness myself, I understand that it truly can be frightening. You have many different things that you’re dealing with, and it’s all piling on top of each other to give you this awful feeling. You wisely observed that when you were injured, you lost one of your positive stress-relieving activities. That has a big impact on one’s sense of both mental and physical well-being. Your questions of whether you will be okay and how to fix it are very legitimate and I’m sure scary to ask. Of course I am not in a position to evaluate you and your situation, but I will say that because you have been to a doctor, will be seeing a psychologist, and clearly are taking measures to understand yourself, your anxiety, and how to heal, you truly have the potential to overcome this. Be patient with yourself. Anxiety likes to hold on and fight back, but in the end, you are stronger than it. Work with your doctor and psychologist. You won’t be stuck forever.

      • Dave says:

        Thanks Tanya. It goes up and down, yesterday was better, today not so much. I know you are right. Just one of those things that happens and I need to battle through it.

        We can only help ourselves.

        I know it won’t be forever. Just want to get back to being myself. It just feels weird that this intense feeling happened over night however many days back. If it came on that strong then it can go away that strong as well, that’s what I’m saying. :) .

        Thanks for writing back. Much appreciated. x

        • Hi Dave!
          Your comments about knowing that this won’t be forever and that it goes up and down are very wise. I like what you’re saying — that it can go away just as strong as it came on. That’s wise, too! Do know that “battle” is a good term. This anxiety can absolutely be overcome, but it’s not always an easy fight. It can feel like quite a struggle sometimes, and that’s very normal. Keep working to discover things that help, and then keep at them, and you definitely can feel better. Know, too, that you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders are more common than people realize. Hang in there!

  37. Naty says:

    Hi! Just want to get some re-assurance. I keep having PAs quite often. They used to be related to my physical conditions concerns. Now PAs turn out to something more. I keep feeling quite unreal during PA, though don’t think it’s full scale DR, but just being freaked out about loosing control or faint. Then, once PA gone, I don’t feel relief as it was before. I’m still left along with the kind of feeling of everything unreal, start questioning ‘what’s time? what’s now or reality?’ type of things. It does bring feeling of hopelesness. I’m 36 weeks pregnant, and surely used to have long running OCD or even Pure-O some years ago. OCD perhaps goes on a new level for me :-(

    Regards!

  38. Naty says:

    Hi! I’m 36 weeks pregnant and having PA from time to time. I used to have Pure-O about 7 years ago which I battled myself, no meds or CBT.
    This time, around 4 months ago, start having PA not just related to my physical conditions as it was before, but caused by feeling ‘not here’ / ‘unreal’. Though, I don’t think it’s full scale DR and PA takes no more than 30 mnts.
    However, what starts bothering me most is the constant feeling afterwords, once PA gone. I used to feel some sort of relief. Now I keep being scared and think about staff like reality and time. Wondering whether this is pure-O returns but on different level. This all makes me hopeless and stressed.
    Regards!

    • Naty says:

      Just noticed my previous post saved as well, same topic. Thank you in advance for help and advise!

      • Hello Naty,
        Thanks for coming to HealthyPlace.com and for commenting. Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but because she is no longer writing for Healthy Place, she is unable to comment on posts. I’m Tanya, one of the new co-authors of Anxiety-Schmaxiety. Just for ease of reading, I’ll write my response to your comments/questions here so you don’t have to jump around. You mentioned feeling hopeless and stressed. That makes a lot of sense. It sounds like your anxiety (in the form of panic and obsessions, which can be very intense in Pure-O) was very problematic for you in the past. It’s very common for people to worry that these things are going to return. First, congratulations for overcoming them before! That is something to own. Recognize your strength and know that you have the power to overcome again if need be. It is possible, although because I’m not meeting with you in person I can’t be completely sure, that this is related to pregnancy. So much within our bodies changes when we’re pregnant (I have two kids, so I’ve been there). One thing that happens, is that the body prepares itself completely (physically and emotionally) for caring for an infant/raising a child. It is natural for people to experience anxiety during pregnancy, and for that anxiety to increase near the end. You have a double whammy because you’ve had significant battles with anxiety in the past Not only do you dread its return, but you have the extra worry of it happening while you are caring for your baby. Have you discussed this with your doctor and/or a therapist? They might be able to provide insights specific to you and your situation. Also, how did you work past this before? Are there things you did that you can draw on again? Stress management techniques can be very calming and can prevent anxiety from growing stronger. Experiment to find what works for you, or do more of what already works. Exercise (modified for third trimester pregnancy), listening to music, coloring/art projects, rocking and reading books to your unborn baby…there are many soothing things to help yourself de-stress and manage your anxiety. What you’re experiencing does make sense even though I’m sure it’s unpleasant. Oh, and congratulations on your little one!

  39. Monique says:

    Hello,
    I’m 25 years old, had my first anxiety/panic attack after smoking pot when I was a freshman in high school. I went a couple months where I would feel unreal or not myself-often becoming numb, not being able to fully concentrate. I just started a pretty tough program for school and unfortunately had another panic attack I assume due to stress. The biggest problem I have is understanding that I have this feeling again after beating it the first time! This time feels different for some reason like I won’t be able to snap out of it. What are your thoughts?! Thank you

    • Hi Monique,
      It sounds like you are actually a step ahead of the anxiety game because you recognize the feeling and are already able to find some similarities and differences to the first time it happened. That’s already quite helpful for you, even though you are still dealing with the panic attack and the fear of more happening. Stress can indeed bring about anxiety and panic. It can rear its ugly head even years after someone has overcome them. And because you are different now than you were when you were about ten years ago when they first began, it makes sense that they feel different now. Know that you beat them once, and you’ll be able to snap out of them again. What worked for you before? Also, given that you are in a tough academic program, you fight find it very beneficial to actively work on stress management. There are many different things that people can do to keep stress at a tolerable level, and doing so will help keep panic attacks to a minimum. Perhaps you might find this to be a good starting point. If more panic attacks occur, you’ll be equipped to address them and put a stop to them.

  40. Marie says:

    Wow. Eveeything you are saying is true. I am alive, Ive felt better before. I can do this. But can I? I feel disconnected all the time for a long time now. I am 22 about to be 23 and havent done anything in my life. Im trying and trying before its too tlate but this anxiety and disconnection doesnt let me. Im so scared. Im always thinking of horrible things that can happen to people because I dont like one of them. I am screaming for help and no one understands. I only get peace when I pray but im scared. Idk what to do.

    • Hi Marie,
      Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but because she is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she is unable to respond to comments. I’m Tanya, one of the current writers of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. You stated that you can do this, and then, as so many people do (and I myself have done), wondered if you really can. In just paying full attention to your statements, I can say confidently that yes, you can do this. You mention that you get peace when you pray. Don’t focus on the word “only.” Focus on the fact that you do find peace in something. If praying brings you peace, then pray and don’t feel bad about it or worry that it’s the “only” thing that you can do. You’ve found something. Congratulations! You’ll gradually find more things, but don’t pressure yourself. And given that you agree with Jodi’s points, you know you’re alive, and you know you’ve been better, you have what it takes to find it again. Remember that and know you are capable of achieving it again. Also, I’m glad you mentioned your age. Feeling what you are feeling (about not having done anything in your life) is very, very common for your age. You’re in one of many transition periods that all humans go through, and during these times it’s common to feel that you haven’t done enough. As you make goals for your personal future and make a plan to gradually work toward them, you will begin to feel better. Obsessive thoughts such as those you mention can feel very disconcerting and anxiety-provoking, but they are harmless to others (but they do increase your own anxiety so they should be worked through, ideally with a therapist). You truly are in a good position to overcome your anxiety. Working with a therapist could go a very long way in helping you get to the root of your anxiety and create a toolbox of strategies for reducing it.

  41. stacey says:

    I have been reading everyones post I to have pank and anxiety for yrs now this really helps to no I’m not along

  42. erika says:

    Hi Jodi,I want to thank you for your post because now I know im not going crazy.I do have a question though,why do I feel like if im not really here but I know I am? My Heart strats raising & I start shaking and having tought as if I am going crazy like going to a menthal hospital or something….how do I control this? Please help me Jodi.I feel scared and dont know what to doo anymore!!!!

    • Hello Erika,
      I’m very glad that you found Jodi’s post helpful (and I can second her comments that you/others are not going crazy). Jodi is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, so she’s unable to respond to comments. I’m Tanya, one of the current authors of the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog. Regarding your question, it’s quite common to feel that you’re not here yet still know that you are. We can be fully aware of what is going on one level–we can know that we really are here–but because anxiety is so complex and involves many systems, we can have that “I-know-I’m-here-but-I-think-I’m-not” sensation. Our “rational” mind is at work, but other things in other parts of the brain (the primitive/reptilian part of the brain as well as different regions throughout the brain) kick into high gear, too, and that impacts our entire being: our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. That can result in a swirling mess that is overwhelming. But, as mentioned, that rational part of the brain is still there and is, on some level, aware of what’s going on. The result is a very surreal experience that can actually exacerbate anxiety. When anxiety is very intense, professional help can be important and beneficial. Therapy and/or medication can help you through this. Know that what you’re experiencing isn’t uncommon. It’s miserable, but it’s not a personal flaw!

  43. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for this! I feel this exact way. I am just now coming down from a panic attack. I called and made a Dr. Appointment for tomorrow because I havr been having trouble breathing for the past week or two. I blamed it on allergies at first but after trying allergy medicine without relief I made the appointment. I am a nurse so i checked my oxygen and it was 99% . As the day went on I began that feeling of disconnect. The feeling that I am not myself, going crazy, losing my mind and wondering how long can I live feeling like this. Will I ever feel normal again? Well of course the answer is YES! Just reading that these feelings are “normal” at least when it comes to panic disorder. I would rather know that it is anxiety than continue to wonder if I am dying. I feel so much better now and I will read on about healing to try to prevent attacks from starting. :)

    • Hi Sarah,
      Jodi is the one who wrote this wonderful piece. Because she’s no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she’s unable to respond to comments. I’m Tanya, one of the current authors of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. You are absolutely right — you will feel normal again, and what you are experiencing is normal for panic disorder. You’ve shared wise thoughts about your experience and approach, and I have a feeling many readers will benefit. Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you found HealthyPlace and Anxiety-Schmanxiety! I hope you come back often and find helpful insights and information.

  44. Mariah says:

    Wow I’m reading some of these post and I realize that I am not the only one feeling like this I been expierencing anxiety for about a month now I jus feel horrible! I don’t know y I feel this way. It make me second guess everything that I do I jus hope this feeling goes away even though it doesn’t seem like it will it causes me to not be able to sleep I the night and me to feel so empty inside I jus recently started going to therapy for this are there any tips u can offer it would really help?!?❤️

  45. Michael says:

    Hey everyone seen all your comments and I seem to feel like most on here. 8 week’s ago I was watching a film with my fiancee and all of sudden felt like couldn’t breath and had tingling all over never had panic or anxiety before as I am only 24. Stopped taking the meds from docs as I wanted to die not good. Since then things little better just no appetite and de personalisation time to time. Hope you all are keeping well?

  46. please can you help me

    • Hello Lora,
      There is a crisis call center (for anyone in crisis, whether suicidal or not) for immediate help through crises such as the one you describe: It’s called the Crisis Call Center, and the number is 1-800-273-8255. People are waiting to help.

  47. Katie Sheridan says:

    I’m so glad I came across this forum. I’ve known that I’m not alone with what I’m experiencing, but this gives me some relief reading others posts! I’ve been dealing with this off and on for 7 years and zoloft always seemed to work. But recently (3 months ago) I had a severe panick attack and it just went down hill from there. I haven’t had any relief. It’s from the time I wake up until I go to bed. I tried zoloft again for the past 2 wks and I had a horrible reaction. So it’s trial and error rim onto something new. I’ve been experiencing lack of concentration,achy joints, shakiness, headaches and on and on. I’m a young mother of 3 and I’m ready for my life to be normal. This is the most terrifying feeling ever. I do have an amazing support system and praying is a big relief

    • Hi Katie,
      Welcome to the forum! It is indeed a great place for people to get information and exchange ideas. We hope you visit often! What you are experiencing is indeed a terrifying feeling. As you have already seen, it’s not just you and you’re not alone. It’s great that you already have a support system in place and have found one way of coping and healing. Prayer can be powerful. The things you are experiencing could be side effects to medication or symptoms of the anxiety itself — or both. If you are trying new medications, you must already be under the care of a doctor. That’s good. He/she can help determine what’s happening and help get you the right treatment. It’s out there. Anxiety feels miserable, but it is definitely possible to beat it. Don’t give up!

  48. Cameron says:

    Hi my name is Cameron.

    I wanted to visit this website and let me reveal my anxiety problems that are really scaring me. I get 3 panic attacks every year normally, but on June 22 I had the worst p, I felt as if the world was a big machine with people that don’t exist, and I felt like I was the only one living in side of it. I started shaking and feeling dizzy, and the next morning I woke up I started crying because I kept thinking that my parents and family members were not real and that they didn’t belong to me? Please help me doctor, person, Anybody.

    • Hi Cameron,
      Jodi is the one who originally wrote this article, but because she is no longer with HealthyPlace, she is unable to respond to comments. Hopefully her article was helpful in, at the very least, helping you understand that you’re not alone in these scary feelings of unreality. You’re taking a step in regaining a sense of control just by seeking out information and learning about your anxiety. That’s a step in the right direction! While that’s a good start, it might not be enough for you right now. Reaching out for help is a good thing. It usually is most effective to work directly with someone, such as a counselor, psychologist, or even psychiatrist (if medication is necessary). Such a professional can help evaluate whether this is anxiety alone or if other things are going on, too. I highly encourage you to seek professional help to get you through this. It’s possible. That’s why professionals are there!

  49. elena says:

    hi everyone hope anyone could help me on this fellings im so tired to think that i might lose my mind theres no days that i think ill go crazy i dont know what elese to think, specially its getting more worse when i seeibg crazy people or talking about crazy people, im thingking that might happen to me? And after that scary thought my hands get sweaty, shaking, also get palpitations. Dont know who else to talk to coz im afraid to tell them and think that im crazy. Also have constant worries about the future, think of my family house bills etc. I wish i was a kid again no problems no worries, im a happy woman always want to luagh, joker, party and have a good company with my good friends. But wen anxiety strikes me, the happy girl is over. I feel like i loosing contact with people. I always thingking why i got this sick? Wish wen i wake up in the morning its just already gone! But its not ;( and dont know untill wen ingonna attached with this bad dream. as soon as i wake in the mirn

    • elena says:

      As soon as i wake in the morning its boom! Already think whats wrong with me hope any one could help me im so tired of this crazy thoughts ;(

      • Hi Elena,
        Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but as she is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she’s unable to respond to comments. I’m Tanya, one of the current writers of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. What you mention is quite common and very frustrating. I think there will be readers here who can share some tips. For me, sometimes it works to play the opposite game. Whatever anxious thought pops into my head, I counter it with its opposite. That doesn’t make it so I don’t have all those anxious thoughts, but it does help me lessen their intensity by realizing they’re not fully believable. Keep doing what you’re doing: seek out many different tips and practice those that work for you. Hang in there. You’re not alone!

    • Hi Elena,
      I like your observation that there’s you the happy girl and then you when anxiety takes over. This means that you are aware that “you” aren’t your anxiety. Anxiety is something that’s happening to you, but the real Elena isn’t gone. That feeling of going crazy is very common, especially with panic. It does sound like you might be experiencing panic attacks, but to be certain it’s advisable to see a doctor or psychiatrist. He/she can evaluate all your symptoms to discover what’s truly happening, and then he/she will help formulate a treatment plan so you can get better. And you can get better!

      • elena says:

        Omg! Tank u so much tanya, i now know the thecnics of anxiety! When i feel anxious i just googling my symptoms and possitive advise im fine! The pannic just sunddenly stopped. The after a day I feeling it again then im thinking? Wait a minute i driving my self crazy thingking that maybe i have tumor,cancer, or undescover medical issue etc. Then just thingking hold on im fine anyway the just forget about it, its just scary illusions that making u feel anxious ;) actually im more better now ive already passed my heart attack worries, it didnt say bye bye but im glad ;) its just gone already and before i also have trounle breathing i even go everywher was so scared maybe i just gonna passed out and just died. Its just crazy thoughts! Hope we all get better soon just enjoy a good life, live to the fullest no worries and pray always god bless us all ;)

        • Hello again Elena!
          I’m happy that Jodi’s column and the comments you and I exchanged have been helpful. I really like your reference to illusions. So many times our minds trick us into feeling anxious and scared and worried, but the threats are indeed illusions. The feelings of a panic attack of course are very real, but as you observed, things really are okay. (Of course, if there is a persistent physical problem it’s wise to get it cleared by a medical doctor.) Your message is very inspiring, Elena — we can get better and live life to the fullest! May all of our worries stay small!

  50. Eric says:

    Hello, my name is Eric and i’m 15 years old, and i thank God that i found this web site because now i know that i’m not the only that feels like this. So everything started in this last christmas, my cousin and his friends asked me if i wanted to smoke canavis, and in that moment i thought in my mind “should i do it or not?” I had really thought about it because it was gonna be my first time smoking it, and i decided to go for it, then started smoking it, i had hit it around 10 times, and after i was done, like 15 minutes later, i started tripping really bad, and my friends started laughing at me and they were saying that i was going to die, and that it was never going to go away, and i was super scared, i was talking to myself in my mind “why did i do it” i want this to go away, i dont wanna feel like this anymore, God forgive me for what i did” i was like that the whole night, i felt that i was going to pass out, my forehead felt really hot, and i started feeling like sweating cold, and i was shaking. Then after 30 minutes, my mom got to my freinds house because she was looking for me and my cousin, and when she got there, i tried to walk but i couldn’t, i tried to act normal but i couldnt even talk, i felt super tired, and dizzy and felt that nothing was real and that i was in a dream, then when my mom got out of the car, i was walking but my balance was really bad, then when i saw her, i hugged her and i told her that i’m sorry and that i’m never gonna do it again. I had broken my moms heart because what i did, she trusted me and i lost her trust. Then i got in the car and slept. The next day i didn’t know what was going on, i slept the whole day, an when i woke up, i was super scared, i felt that the synptoms had not gotten away, since then i have been feeling confused,sick,weak,disoriented, and anxious.Every day i wake up, this thing comes to my mind, what do i have? why do i feel like this? Why hasn’t this gone away, why do i feel like nothing is real? why? And when i’m doing something like washing the dishes i ask myself ” why am i washing the dishes, i just feel like life doesnt have sense. When i see myself i feel that i’m not me. I feel like i’m going crazy, i’m always scared of doing things. I dont know how explain it, its just so uncomfortable, it makes me feel irritated, and tired. I even get tired when i talk, and when i talk i dont feel that its my voice, and i feel that things changed in my house even when i know that nothing has changed, i just feel confused :c

    • Hi Eric,
      I’m very glad that you found HealtyPlace. There is a wealth of information on this site as well as comments and stories shared by people who visit. You are right — you are definitely not alone. Also, your experience with cannabis is not uncommon — so there’s another way you’re not alone! Given that your symptoms have a very definite beginning that is linked to something physical, it might be wise to see a doctor for a physical exam to make sure everything is okay. Also, you make a very wise point in mentioning being traumatized. Many different things can constitute trauma, and because this was such a big thing that has a lot of emotion attached to it, it could be very helpful to process this with a therapist. He/she can help you work through everything and get back to feeling better again. Hang in there. You’re definitely not alone, and you’re not doomed to feel miserable like this forever.

  51. Eric says:

    I just feel like this everyday, i’ve been feeling like this since christmas

  52. Eric says:

    I feel that the symptoms have not gotten away i’m not sure if i’m traumatized since that event

    • T. says:

      I can’t imagine feeling this way for that long! I hope you feel back to normal asap!

    • T. says:

      I just wanted to tell you that there’s a book called “At Last A Life” by Paul David who experienced 1o years of the EXACT SAME THING. I haven’t finished it yet, but so far he’s saying to not be worried about it! Being concerned of your symptoms will only enhance them! It’s your mind trying to recover from the trauma and it blocks everything out, so it goes o what I call, auto-pilot mode. Your mind needs a break and constantly worrying about it won’t make anything go away! You just got to not give anxiety the power, stop worrying, know it’ll go away but stop trying to figure out when and what you can do to speed up the process. You gotta heal, dude. So do I. :D

  53. T. says:

    I am a teenager and have been feeling extremely loopy and floaty, like I can’t root myself down anywhere. Like everything is unreal. I notice now that it only started after my first anxiety attack and I’ve seen a doctor, so I know there’s nothing physical wrong with me. I’ve had a CBC, urine test, blood sugar test, the whole deal. It’s been a month and this feeling is still going on, non-stop. Sometimes, when I don’t focus on it, I don’t feel it so much. But when I do, it enhances instantly.

    I know it’s anxiety because there are people I’ve read who feel exactly as I do. Concentration impairment, fear of not knowing what’s going on, out of it, trapped in yourself, feeling depersonalized. I’ve been doing all I can to fight it; I still leave the house (after two 1/2 weeks), I eat healthy, I cut caffeine from my diet, I don’t eat much junk food, I got a B12 shot earlier, I take vitamins, I don’t go to bed super late.

    …What else can I do? Does not thinking about it help? It’s just like the days are a blur and I don’t know what else there is. Will it ever go away?

    • Hello T.,
      Jodi is the one who wrote this column, but as she’s no longer writing for HealthyPlace, she is unable to respond to comments. I’m Tanya, one of the current writers of the column. You have terrific insight into what you are experiencing, and that’s good. Self-awareness coupled with a willingness to learn about what’s happening helps you develop a deeper understanding and ultimately to cope better. Unfortunately, that doesn’t put an end to the anxiety, but it does help you keep things in perspective. You asked if it helps not to think about it. Yes, it does! However, that is way easier said than done. If we could all just “not think about it,” we would all greatly reduce our anxiety. There is something along these lines that you can do. Instead of trying not to think about it at all (and thinking about it does focus your mind on it, which is what you don’t want to do), try developing alternate things to think about to replace the focus on the unreal feelings. When “everything” feels unreal, find even just one thing that doesn’t and focus on that. When you feel trapped within (a common feeling) yourself, find one thing to pull yourself back out (this is sometimes called grounding). As for your question about this going away, yes, it will go away! It doesn’t always happen quickly, but anxiety can indeed go away.

  54. T. says:

    It’s also awful because you feel like you can’t enjoy anything, since it doesn’t feel real!

    • Good point! Keep reminding yourself that an activity is, in fact, real. Journal about it, take pictures, etc. as reminders that you and the world are real. Hang in there. Thanks for visiting and for sharing your comments/questions!

      • T. says:

        I apologize for my incessant questions, but I would just like if you could answer one more (I really appreciate your time)! Is it normal to feel like you can’t really recall the person you used to be? And that each day, the previous day feels kind of blurred, like hazy? I also have moments where I have to remind myself of me. “Yes, this is my name, this is where I am, etc.” I’m learning to not fear the sensation of unreality and as I have already seen a doctor and the tests came back fine, I just want to insure it’s still just a symptom of anxiety. Then I’ll be able to move into recovery and continue to live my life alongside this feeling rather than desperately trying to rid myself of it because that in itself won’t make it go away :) Thank you so much!

        • Hello again T.,

          It’s good to ask questions. Stuff like this is confusing and can be hard to understand — even mental health professionals continue to ask questions and seek understanding. And asking questions means you care and are engaged in what’s going on. That is an important aspect of recovery. And now getting to your question, rest assured that what you feel can be a very normal aspect of certain types of anxiety. Everyone’s experience with anxiety is different, so not everyone experiences the exact same things, but yes, what you describe is common. The feelings you describe can sometimes be part of dissociations, times when people unintentionally “separate” from themselves for various reasons. Sometimes exploring what might be contributing to your sensations can be helpful. There can be underlying causes (and sometimes, a direct cause is never found), and when those are addressed, the problem diminishes. Finding a therapist you’re comfortable working with can be very beneficial. You already have started a good strategy by reminding yourself of you and repeating your name, etc. Sometimes it’s helpful to wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it very lightly to remind yourself that you’re here in the present. One thing is very certain: given your inquisitive, take-charge attitude, you will move into recovery and continue to live your life as you!

          • T. says:

            Thank you! It’s just such a weird feeling and at moments, I could really freak out, seeing my mom but not feeling like she’s my mom. Or seeing a picture of myself and thinking, “Wow, that’s me?” Even trying to recall how I responded to certain things makes this all the more surreal. But I feel more reassured now, as this helps to silence that voice in my head saying, “maybe you’re going crazy! How else would you explain feeling so ghostly and out of it?” But I feel better knowing that anxiety, though having similar symptoms, affects each individual differently. I’m just reminding myself that it’s okay to feel this way; it’s normal, and no matter how weird I feel (and it gets pretty weird most all the time) it’s normal and it won’t last forever. But worrying about it just installs more stress and the problem could stick around longer than necessary. So I’m still going out and trying to focus on other things. I appreciate your input and time.

      • T. says:

        I apologize for my incessant questions, but I would just like if you could answer one more (I really appreciate your time)! Is it normal to feel like you can’t really recall the person you used to be? And that each day, the previous day feels kind of blurred, like hazy? I also have moments where I have to remind myself of me. “Yes, this is my name, this is where I am, etc.” I’m learning to not fear the sensation of unreality and as I have already seen a doctor and the tests came back fine, I just want to insure it’s still just a symptom of anxiety. Then I’ll be able to move into recovery and continue to live my life alongside this feeling rather than desperately trying to rid myself of it because that in itself won’t make it go away :) Thanks again.

  55. T. says:

    Still have the same thing for a month. Will the feeling ever go away? Does it help to not focus on it? What else can I do? I can’t stand feeling this way.

    • Denis says:

      I been suffering with this for 4 years now. Mine started when I overdosed on supplements and I nearly died from a heart attack, I totally zoned out and was fighting for my life. In the beginning my anxiety was so strong I was scared to go outside, i would get panic attacks for no reason just thinking about it. Everything was dangerous, I had fears of my heartbeat and losing air and etc etc. Obviously going through hell derealization was there right along for the ride. I would get it just by going outside, everything was strange. I hated talking to people because then It would be worse for some reason.

      As my anxiety slowly started getting better and I started to be less afraid. Derealization as well eased off quite a lot, dont get me wrong I still feel it from time to time but its not like 24/7 like before. It gets me every day a little here and there but for the most part I try not to think about it.

      One thing that it still does it gives me depression, after I just had a great day all day long didn’t think about it at all, dont experience it. A thought comes back to my mind “none of this is real you are in a dream world” it hits you again and this causes a lot of depression for me. I have to say I had gotten over anxiety and dont worry about anything hurting me anymore. But derealization is just such a profound experience that I dont know why the mind does it, it is too damn scary to ever forget about it. Hope one day I can totally get over this. You guys are not alone there are millions of people that have experienced this, its horrible but you are not alone.

      • Hi Denis,
        Thank you so much for sharing your insights and a bit of your story. I think that others will benefit from this. Derealization and depersonalization can be unsettling and frightening, but you’re right — millions of people experience it, no one is alone, and it is possible to get better. Again, thank you.

  56. Denis says:

    Some positives you can take from this, for me atleast, I can honestly say death will be easier, since you dont feel real then death doesnt feel real. Also anyone that has this doesn’t have it 24/7. It makes you appreciate all those moments where you do feel normal and you arent thinking about it, for that moment in time you are yourself back to normal, so you arent totally out of it, you snap back and forth.

  57. Viola Register says:

    I broke my foot 5 weeks ago and have been sitting. I’m usually very active. ThenMy oldest son, his wife and their 3 children came to visit for 8 days. Also my daughters boyfriend was here. She lives with me with her 3 yr old. I also have two other grown children living with us. My husband travels so he’s not home very much. I was upset because he had not been home since I broke my foot and then he was only going to be here for 3 days. Well, we had the 3 yr olds birthday party, the 8 yr olds birthday party and then celebrated the 4th. M y husband was grilling and I was sitting outside while everyone else was in the pool. I started to get a tightness in my chest and neck and went inside. Within 10 minutes I could not breathe and called my husband. I had never had panic attacks before. It was so bad we went tothe hospital where they found a blood clot in my lung. I stayed in the hospital for 5 days and have been home for 2. I’m taking Coumadin. I went to my GP yesterday and he put me on 10 mg. Lexpro and 0.25Xanax. I took one Lexapro this morning and it made me very nervous. I just took a half xanax to try to calm me down. Since I’ve been home I feel like I’m just wandering, I don’t want to talk to anyone, don’t want nobody at my house, don’t want to go anywhere and every thought, every movie, everything somehow scares me. We’ve always had a lot going on at our house and I’ve always been very active, outgoing and traveled for my work. Every moment I’m sitting here I want to call 911 to take me back to the hospital. I have this lump in my throat and getting to where I don’t want to eat. I’m nervous, shaky and so scared!!!!.I have a big house and enjoyed it immensely until I broke my foot. 6 to8 more weeks in a walking boot. I don’t want anyone to see me like this, I’m ata loss

    • Hello Viola,
      It sounds like you’ve been experiencing quite a bit of unusual stress. Any bit of that on its own could potentially be anxiety-provoking, and when you pile them all together it becomes intense. There is something important to know as you work through this: panic attacks absolutely can’t cause blood clots. The tightness in your chest and neck were likely caused by the blood clot. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t having anxiety, of course. Anxiety can cause the things you describe (feeling scared, not wanting anyone around, being nervous, etc.). Then, because these thoughts and feelings are new for you, that makes your anxiety increase. An important first step is to know that what you’re feeling isn’t unusual for anxiety, and a great many people wrestle with this. You’re not alone. Also, this can improve; you’re not stuck this way forever. Start with small steps (even with a broken foot!). What one thing is bothering you the most right now? What are little things you can do to make it better? Working through your anxieties this way can go a long way in helping you rid yourself of them.

  58. iiniki says:

    Sometimes when I am conversing with someone for example once while talking to my mom,I felt like I dint know her,like there is some distance or like she is a stranger or something ? The same thing happened while talking to my father.
    And once I thought about myself like that !
    Today I felt very uneasy inside I was very restless amd I still dont know what that was! Please help.

    • Hello iiniki,
      I’m glad you found Jodi’s article, and I hope that you can see that you’re not alone in this. What you describe is a scary feeling, but know that it is something that can be helped. Have you seen a doctor or a therapist? It’s often a good idea to work with a professional to get to the root of what’s going on so you can take the right steps to overcome it. Your descriptions sound a bit like depersonalization and derealization, experiences that can be part of anxiety and/or part of some dissociative disorders. Only a doctor/therapist working closely with you to learn more about you can determine what’s going on. There are absolutely strategies to overcoming these unsettling sensations, and working with someone could help you do so. I wish you the best of luck!

  59. Rach says:

    Hi I’ve been suffering with anxiety and depression for 7 months now and I can’t even pin point to how any of this started, I constantly feel like
    I’m dying and that something is seriously wrong I had my first panic attack only on Sunday and it was horrific I genuinely thought I was going to just fall to the floor and collapse!! I had to go to the hospital as I thought there was something seriously wrong. In 7 months I have been to the doctors more than 20 times (stupid I know!) but I just can’t shift these thoughts. I’ve actually made my self physically ill by constantly thinking about it, I too have been really out of it since my panic attack Sunday. I just physically can’t believe anxiety makes me feel the way I do? I feel that nobody is listening to me and I’m just going pure and utter crazy! It’s taking over my life and job!!!! Please tell me this gets better! :(
    Thanks

    • Hello Rach,
      I’m sorry to hear of your struggles. The feelings/experiences you share are very common in people living with anxiety, and you aren’t alone in this. Know that you’re not “stupid” for going to the doctor. Anxiety causes very real physical symptoms, symptoms so pronounced that they make you pay attention. While anxiety can take over your life because it’s so all-encompassing, it doesn’t have to do so forever. I can assure that yes, anxiety does get better. It is often very helpful to enlist the help of a professional. A therapist can help you work through your anxiety with proven techniques, and a psychiatrist can determine if medication would help you as you defeat your anxiety. Also, keep doing what you’re doing: searching for and reading information. Thanks for stopping by. Visit often!

  60. Eleni1234 says:

    I have been having anxiety for about 5 years now but I never feel like I do now. Last year after taking a nap I woke up and had crazy thoughts of killing , hurting and all of the about. I mean everything that I heard on the news I got. Everything I would hear from people I kept asking my husband ” am I going to turn like that” is this going to happen to me? Well I went to the doctors he said that it is part if my anxiety but this is so strange. Everything that I am afraid of I keep getting the thoughts in my head. It took me a year to finally feel better untill 2 weeks ago. I heard about a young person dying at a young age just drop dead because their hurt stoped of blood clots. This has me terrified, I was shocked and still am. I have been upsesing about how could this happen? What if it happens to me? How is a person made? I mean every question there is in the world I have it. I also feel like I am outside of my body. I look at my self like I am not real or I don’t know the feeling. I have never felt like this. I feel sad scared and like I am outside my body. Please help!! Is this also anxiety? Am I loosing it?

    • Hello Eleni,
      I’m glad you found HealthyPlace and Jodi’s article. It does indeed sound like you are experiencing anxiety and even dissociation. You aren’t losing it! But it does feel that way. Anxiety can make us feel out of control, but the good news is that it’s very possible to re-gain control. When anxiety is so problematic, it’s helpful to meet with a professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist. Sometimes medication is helpful, and there are other ways a professional can work with you to help you overcome anxiety and dissociation. You can get better, and there are people who will help. Hang in there!

      • atit says:

        Hello all,
        Iv had a full blown panic attack after i smoked weed 3 mnths ago, and nothing has been the same, i was diagnosed with mysophobia as a kid and was afraid of the dark, but these problems have always been on control, i have always been a bit of a hypocondriac and have always feared aids and other physical illness. Recently, my anxiety made me worry about my future, as if i wont be able to live a normal life, i started escitalopram and inderal both 10 mg as i am now diagnosed with gad. I felt a lot better and i dont worry about the future thing anymore.. However the recent anxiety has shifted to the fear of madness or going crazy.. Just two days ago i was watching tv and then suddenly my mind said ” what if ur a psychopath, what if ur schizophrenic, what if u start killing ppl right now, etc” i got so overwhelmed with fear that i had to go to my bed straightaway, the scariest part came after that, i now feared that i was going to act on that impulse and that i am going crazy but was contrilling the impulse l, so i was scared i cud go berjerk any time now.. The feeling has gone as of now.. But im scared and the anxiety has risen.. I felt so good for 2 mnths and then suddenly it seems the anxiety is back..
        However im still hopefull ill be better soon.

        • Hello atit,
          Two good things to start out: You are not alone. Many people have described experiences like this, so this isn’t just you. And You had a spell of feeling better. While it must be disheartening to feel like you’ve sld backward, remind yourself of the fact that you did make progress and will do so again. Medications are a process of trial and error and seemingly endless adjustments. It is possible that you might need an adjustment. That is a good place to start. It could be helpful to return to your doctor, explain all that has happened, and see what he/she says. It’s very common for medication to need adjusting. It doesn’t mean you’re doomed. And if your doctor thinks the medication is fine, he/she can work with you on other steps you can take to feel better.

  61. Eleni1234 says:

    I have never head it before it just started and it is very scary. Is Disaonation something that I can recover from? Can anxiety make me have that??

    • Hello again, Eleni,
      Experiencing all of these sensations and learning new information is indeed scary. Know that it’s okay to be scared. As you learn more and come to understand your anxiety, etc. more, things won’t seem as frightening as they do right now. Anxiety and dissociation are two different things, but they can be intertwined. Anxiety can create that feeling that you aren’t real or the world isn’t real, but these sensations can also exist without a person having anxiety. You absolutely can recover from anxiety and from dissociation. There are many different paths to recovery, and a mental health professional can help you along the path that is right for you. He or she will talk to you and learn about you so he/she can make a diagnosis of what, exactly, you are experiencing, and then he/she will help you begin treatment. It’s a process, but recovery is definitely possible.

  62. Nat says:

    I’ve had anxiety for a while now. If feels so long ago since I felt normal like I can’t even remember the sudden transition from normal to anxious and without this feeling. I experience depersonalisation and derealisation but on a 24/7 basis. I literally live with it feeling detached and disconnected from the world, from people every second. Some days when I’m distracted and happy and I temporarily forget. I hadn’t had a panic attack in a while until last night. This one was so intense I literally thought this was it, I’ve gone crazy, I’m having or about to have a psychotic episode. During the episode I actually feared a girl irrationally in my classroom where I was having the attack. I’m so scared I’m going to develop psychosis. Or that intense attack of feel extremely disconnected, like a dream, lightheaded ness, feeling like the floor was losing balance, it just felt so surreal and crazy I thought it had to be something else. I keep thinking it’s definitely got to be something medical. It’s so horrible.

    • T. says:

      I’ve felt the same way. My derealization went away when I stopped thinking of it. I got too worried thinking of another symptom that the symptom I wasn’t worried about went away. I didn’t even notice it was gone until I checked once and was like, “Hey, I’m enjoying this movie. I feel like I am experiencing this movie and not seemingly detached from where I am.

      But now I’ve got depersonalization. Sometimes, it feels like I disappear from my body or like, I’m slightly out-of-body. And I’ve gotten panic attacks and have felt like I was a second from losing every bit of control, but I never have.

      Every symptom I have had has gone if I don’t think about it. After derealization went away, I felt light headed so that freaked me out. After I started having depersonalization and that scared me and I forgot about the light headedness for awhile.

      After my first panic attack, I felt so so so dizzy for like, two weeks and I went to the doctor, did tests and everything came back fine.

      What helped me with derealization was knowing that no matter how off I felt, I could still handle the situation. I forced myself to go places and saw that nothing bad happened. That was the turning point. Then I backtracked when I started fearing my new symptoms and got pushed into another cycle.

      Now my light headedness has me freaking out.

      People generally only have two fears: death or losing control.

      For me, it’s losing control and feeling light headed makes me feel out of control.

    • Hello Nat,
      Anxiety wreaks havoc on us, and you’re right–it’s very horrible. That fear of going crazy you describe is common and intense. Sometimes, but not always, there is a medical condition underlying these symptoms. It’s always a good idea to get things checked out with a physician. If it turns out that it isn’t medical in nature (aside from the brain, of course), it still is something that can definitely be treated with help. Perhaps your doctor can recommend a trusted psychiatrist or psychologist to help you overcome your anxiety. It is possible, and having professional help along the way can be a very good thing.

  63. T. says:

    Hello again! I just wanted to ask about another symptom of mine that has me completely freaked out.

    Every so often, I’ll get moments when I feel like I’m about to lose control. Sometimes, It feels like I’m just a pair of eyes. Other times, it feels like I’m just consciousness and I’m terrified I’ll lose control. It feels like insanity, but I heard a person who is aware of how they feel doesn’t make insanity probable.

    Last night, I got the thought in my head of hurting someone and I was terrified that I’d suddenly lose my mental controls. I keep trying to remind myself that this is anxiety, but I haven’t found the symptom, which gives me no relief as to if anyone has felt this way and recovered.

    Other times, I’ll be sitting down and I’ll suddenly forget like, how I look. I mean I know how I look, but it’s like I’m suddenly devoid of the ability to look inside myself and see me. Does that make sense? I also get light headed/dizzy and I feel like there’s a brace over my head.

    Is this still all anxiety?

    Is this what depersonalization feels like?

    And to everyone experiencing derealization: after I found that symptom, I stopped feeling so afraid and my focus shifted to another symptom which was light headedness. Well, the derealization is completely gone and the light headedness worsened the more I thought about it.

    So I’m just really scared right now, more so than I was last time.

    • Hi again T,
      It’s good that you’ve had a complete physical recently. Everything you describe does fit into anxiety and/or depersonalization (which can be part of an anxiety or a dissociative disorder). Even the random thought of hurting someone is something that people report, and because it’s so anxiety provoking, can become an obsession. These are all things that are treatable through therapy and possibly even medication. Seeing a professional mental health provider could be very helpful to you. Do know that there is nothing “wrong” with you. You are experiencing something very distressing that is something others experience, too. Again, what’s wrong isn’t you yourself but something you’re dealing with that is treatable. I wish you the best.

  64. T. says:

    It’s been a month since I’ve had a complete physical. So there’s nothing new that could have developed within that time frame?

  65. Grey says:

    Hi! I went through a mental breakdown early this year and had experienced feelings of unreality myself. It was the most horrbile experience i’ve ever had. Please try reading Claire Weekes’ book which is Hope and Help for your Nerves. It’s a must read for all peaple suffering from anxiety disorders.

    • Hi Grey,
      Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a comment. Thanks, too, for sharing a resource that was helpful to you. Anxiety disorders can indeed be horrible experiences, but they don’t have to stay that way forever. Having resources and information is so helpful.

  66. Michelle says:

    Hi I’m sorry to write this as it might be a bit long, but I’m scared. I’m 28 have had panic attacks and anxiety since I’ve been twelve. At 16 my grandma passed away and she was my best friend and I started having it even more bad panic attacks, my dad become verbally abusive after his mom past away and I began to have more and more anxiety as the days go by. I’ve always been scared to move out on my own because of my anxiety have little to no friends still live at home and my dads even more abusive than he was years ago. Well two weeks ago I had a horrible panic attacks and ever since then things seem fake I feel fake everything around me feels weird like I have changed somehow or in a fog. I feel scared 24/7 I can barely think my heart races all day I wake up in a panic and I feel like I’m going crazy I’m scared I cry all the time and want this to go away do bad. I started seeing a counselor he said I need to control my anxiety and get out of that environment and it will get better what if I’m like this the rest if my life can u please help me with some advice I’m scared all the time and keep thinking who am I …. Thank you and agin I apologize for the long story

    • Hello Michelle,
      Your feelings of intense anxiety and derealization/depersonalization are very normal in the context of what you describe. It’s great that you are seeing a counselor as it is typical for people to benefit from professional support through something like this. From what you wrote about what he told you, it seems like he is on the right track. He should have strategies to help you control/overcome your anxiety, and he might be able to point you to resources in your community for getting yourself away from an abusive situation. When you take action, step by step, you will very likely find yourself overcoming your struggles. It isn’t always easy, but you are definitely worth it. I wish you well.

  67. Katie esparza says:

    Can someone help me? I’ve had anxiety for several years and I’ve experienced all the attacks possible (well I thought) until a few days ago I just started ffeeling down just thinking I’m fixing to die soon not wanting to do anything around the house or with my children because this thought has taken over has anyone experienced this is it like a mental part of the anxiety without having any physical symptoms or what’s going on with me?

    • Hello Katie,
      First, know that you definitely aren’t alone in this. What you describe is not uncommon in those living with anxiety. I’m wondering if you have ever seen a doctor or therapist about this? While I would never attempt to make any sort of diagnosis (doing so in this setting would be impossible), I will say that in general, anxiety and depression frequently occur together. Visiting with a doctor/therapist could help you sort things out and help you find a path toward healing. In the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing — reading articles, commenting in forums, etc. to help you gather information. Taking charge in this way is an important step in beating anxiety and/or depression.

  68. Michelle says:

    Thank you for replying so very much, I used to be scared I was going to die and though what if my heart stopped I focused on that 24/7 and the. Developed this where I feel like I’m watching myself all day I keep checking to see if it’s there and makes it feel worse I think who am I why am I hear I’m going crazy etc…. Is there anything that can be done to help this go away faster it’s the scariest thing ever, I have apptd once a week with my counselor but I feel like I’m not even experiencing life I just walk like a zombie and do stuff like a robot I can’t ever calm down my hearts always racing and I wake up from sleeping and it’s pounding for no reason. I feel like everything’s diffrent but it’s all like it was just I’ve changed somehow I can’t even think of the future cuz I go into a panic mode what if I go crazy what if I don’t know where I am like I used to be so excited to get married to my bf now I can’t even think about it because I think I’m going crazy and what happens if I’m like a zombie on the biggest day of my life or what if I stay like this forever…. My hands shake all day cuz I feel so confused and dizzy….. Can u offer any advice on ways this can go away faster I try talking to people and no one understands my bf is in the military and he just got back from Afghanistan so I feel like if I talk to him it will make things worse for him, so I do apologize for the long messages I just don’t ever have anyone to talk to so I stay in my room….. Thank u again I appreciate it very much

    • Hello again Michelle,
      Experiencing what you are experiencing is definitely very scary. I have good news and bad news. :) The bad news is that there are no “quick” fixes, and the good news is that there are fixes — and that you are already on the right track. You have weekly appointments with a counselor, and that is excellent. Keep going to them even though it might not feel very helpful right away. Overcoming this is a process and does take time as you explore the root of what’s happening, learn new ways of thinking and being, and learn little techniques to help you along the way. But just by starting, you are on your way. Also good news — you have made a conscious decision to seek answers and you truly want to overcome this (it may seem strange, but not everyone who lives with such things is ready to make changes, and that’s okay because that’s where they are — but you are in a different place). Just being in this space, of seeking information and help and wanting to get better, you are strong and capable. Here’s one little tip that isn’t a full-blown solution but is something that might be helpful: When you feel like a zombie (even when it goes on and on), find just one thing in a given moment to focus on. Maybe it’s a flower or a saying or eating cereal (by yourself or with someone). Become fully present in that moment, and engage all of your senses. How does something look/sound/feel/taste (when appropriate). Focus your mind on an object or person in the present moment to train yourself to “feel” again. Do this again and again, and you just might notice a difference. And keep seeking info and keep seeing your counselor!

  69. derek says:

    Im not sure if its an anxiety attack but when I close my eyes I see planet earth and its getting increasingly small, as if its getting out of reach from me. I see things in my household, people I love slowly fading away and shrinking down. I the feel they are so small and I am so big and I will hurt them. My heart beats rapidly and my vision goes blurry. A face I have never seen before appears in my head ever since I was child. I have no idea what’s going on in my head. Although I do have ocd and I am under massive amounts of stress.

    • Hello derek,
      Anxiety attacks, while they have common symptoms, are very unique and look/feel different for different individuals. Rapid heartbeat, blurred vision, images, etc. can definitely be components of anxiety attacks. The images and thoughts, as you very likely know, can be a component of OCD. Throw stress into the mix, and our brains can do things that feel very bizarre and often frightening. Visiting with a therapist and discussing any changes as well as recurring things might be quite helpful. He/she can help you explore the root of certain things, learn techniques to manage and reduce this, and perhaps recommend medication (or an adjustment of current medication). What you are experiencing might be very bothersome, but you’re not stuck with it forever.

  70. georgie says:

    I started having panic attacks n getting dizzy in my car while driving my kids to school. I thought maybe carbon monoxide was getting in my car but it wasn’t I was just thinking crazy. So I sold my car thinking it would go away. I since have been in my house and have not left for 6mo. I woke up one day and had trouble wrecognizing my surrounding’s this has been like this nonstop now for 2months I feel like I’m in another place I never been b4 will this go away??

    • Hi georgie,
      I’m glad you visited and read Jodi’s informative post, and I thank you for commenting. You are not alone in what you are experiencing, and panic attacks are frightening. What you describe sounds a bit like agoraphobia, although it is not possible to even suggest a diagnosis in a limited online exchange. I merely mentioned it in case you’d like to look it up to learn more information and see if it fits what you are experiencing. I can confidently say that yes, anxiety disorders like this can absolutely diminish. Often, professional help is in order. Perhaps you might become comfortable with the idea of having someone you trust help get you to appointments with a therapist. At first it might feel very difficult to leave your house, but with patience and help, you’ll feel better doing it, and working with a therapist can be so beneficial. In the meantime, keep finding information and seeking answers by visiting websites like Healthy Place, reading comments from people in forums, etc. Know that you can heal.

  71. Michelle says:

    I just wanted to thank you again for answering all my questions, and sorry for bothering u with so many but do you think one day I can go back to how I used to be and feel connected to myself and not be scared of everything. I try everyday

    • Hi Michelle,
      I think it’s great that you are seeking information and answers and have such a strong desire to get better. I really do believe that you will be able to feel connected to yourself once again and have the fear go away. Working with a counselor who will get to know you and with whom you will become comfortable would be very helpful because you’ll get to explore what is going on and develop helpful techniques that will allow you to kick all this junk to the curb!

  72. JoAnn says:

    Hi. I am 48 years old and having panic attacks since about 2002. They were not too frequent. Now I have them quite often. I have a great family and a great job. I’ve always had some anxiety, but now it’s worse. I have panic out of no where, and it is scary. It only lasts a few minutes. I feel sooo unreal and not here on earth. I feel like I’m in a different place and time. It is very scary. After the panic attack, I shake really bad, then sweat, and the I get very cold. It’s so weird to me and so strange. I actually find it very scary. It always only happened in the shower, and when I am alone. Today, it happened at work in front of someone who got very scared for me, and he said I looked totally lifeless for the few minutes it happened. I see someone when this panic happens. I stopped fighting it. I think I am seeing me, but not sure and figure all this out. It happens out of no where. I have to say, I don’t feel like I’m here on earth when it happens, and it is real scary. Josie

  73. Anxiety, stress and tension gives our body and mind a bad energy and can cause a disease. I suggest you to try asian massage therapy, it’s a relaxing treatment and uses a range of strokes, gliding, kneading, or cross-fiber friction to work on the muscles and enhance circulation.It gives your body and mind a good energy to be able to fight the negative vibes.

  74. Michelle says:

    Thank you :)

    • georgie says:

      Hi Michelle I can relate to what your going thru. I’ve always had anxiety my whole life but on n off. The good news is is that at thst level it does go away. Its like a faucet that gets turned on by something happening that’s too much to mentally handle. Once you realize that there’s a cause for it you begin to understand how panic works and how to control it. Removing toxic relationships from your live .abusive people. Doing stressful things you don’t want to do. Don’t push yourself to do more than you can. Remove all negative things from your life or avoid them AS much as possible. Breathe ….know that you were put on this earth bcus you are loved and important to this world. Your heart isn’t going to stop from a panic attack it beats faster reminding you that you are alive!!! Its a scary feeling none of us like but at times in my life when I could convince myself I was strong it went away and I mean for years at a time. Be well michelle

      • Michelle says:

        Thank you I hope you are doing well too….. I know the feeling with the heart beating fast I used to think I was having a heart attack or dying but that went away now now I’m just scared of this weird feeling like I’m not even here just walking in a dream I don’t feel like myself and I even try to have a panic attack to feel normal again and can’t…. Have you ever gone through that as well? Thanks for your reply I feel alone sometimes like I’m the only one who has it. Hope ur are having a good day

  75. georgie says:

    Hi everyone I’ve read a lot of your posts and it helps thank you. I woke up one day 2mo ago seeing my familiar surroundings looking and feeling unfamiliar? Like I’m lost? And it is a constant nonstop symptom now. Is it memory loss? Alzheimer’s? I’m only 35 this can’t be happening I feel like I’m dying I’ve been on my couch doing nothing but laying down. I haven’t been sleeping good I wake up out of breath. Prob sleep apnea. I get 2-3hrs sleep if I’m lucky. I’m full of anxiety like my adrenalin is on n won’t shut off for days. I am starting to lose my grip on reality. Im confined to the house. Everything I look at has that weird unfamiliar feel to it. I feel like I’m dreaming while I’m awake. I am not on any drugs or prescription meds yet I just saw my Dr n he says just anxiety. Went to the emergency room freaking out and they say its anxiety. I however think I may have some kind of brain dAmage from sleep apnea maybe I stopped breathing in my sleep for too long n did damage?. I’m really out of it on not my old self at all. Nothing feels like it usto. Im scared to be left home alone bcus I’m so out of it I think im gonna have a seizure or pass out or die. I feel like I’m living in a blackout like parts of my brain is shutdown or died. I’m exhausted n weak its only been 2mo I’ve been in this state of being but its unbearable my gf is fed up w me she thinks I just need to take a Tylenol pm n shut up. My Dr gave me hydroxyzine and the er gave me lorazapam but I was scared to take it bcus of my sleep apnea I think i won’t be able to wake up to breath when I need too. Today has been the worst so far I feel like I’m in a psychosis I can’t snap out of! All I want is to snap out of this. I truly believe I’m dyng a slow sad death. Can anyone relate to these Alzheimer like symptoms with anxiety??? Pls I need to know if I’m the only one experiencing this . is it just anxiety????????

  76. jose03 says:

    Hey , ever since i can remember I’ve been passionated & full of determination in everything i did whether it was in socializing, new experinces, new challenges i’ll always bring that positive attitude that one the now i realize has a priceless value.I was pretty much the type of person that was view as “out going” by a lot of people, that proud feeling inside of me was always there( not to brag). but from about 2-3 I’ve been feeling disconnected with friends/family its like i don’t know who i am & most of the great memories and my happiness is pretty much gone.i feel like I’m totally the opposite from what i used to be:( I’m not as active, don’t socialize as much or approach new challenges bc i feel a big empty feeling inside of me, its really hard for me to talk (pronounces the words) i cant make the right mouth movements (tongue is too big/feels akward) & no matter how hard i try i run out of breath while talking very often and so people can’t understand me:(. how is this possible ?? its extremely difficult of me to concentrate thats another thing that really hit me bc i considered myself to be a “thinker” always analizing but now even something basic usual feels unusual. & that activeness is no longer there. on top of that i just started my first college & it’ll be a big challenge from what i had view so far me to continue with out finding my self.from my point of view its like a nightmare. i’ll appreciate it so much if you could read this & give me a few tips.

  77. Albie says:

    Hey Albie here I been following and reading everyone’s posts. I’m going thru similar to what Georgie is going through. And its pretty scary to not feel the same or see things differently its like being in a dream but your awake. My anxiety is so severe I do not know what to do with myself I can’t deal with living another day like this. I can’t think clearly enough to make a clear decision. I’m depressed I’m tired from the anxiety attacks I just want to end it all god forgive me but I feel helpless and alone. 6mo ago I was attacked by 2men bcus I was acting gay. I’m gay so what they called me faggot and I said I’m sorry if my being bothers you and the men ran up to me and started punching my face and beating me I managed to get away after a minute or so but after that I started having panic attacks and reatreatin back to my house and not coming out for months I relive it in my mind I cry I can’t sleep I think the world hates me I don’t belong I’m an abomination I let everybody down I’m just nothing. My mind is racing I can’t control it I’m going mad my mind just snapped and now everything seem not real outside is not real I don’t wrecgnize my surroundings anymore I’m lost I’m confused I’m in another realm I’m disconnected to everything I once knew. Even my home is looking unfamiliar like I’m being erased from existence can anybody share the same feelings or am I some sort of crazy?

  78. Albie says:

    Not much feedback on this blog ? Would’ve liked to hear some input or if anybody can relate? Is this a dying forum?

    • Hello Albie,
      I’m sorry that you seem to be having difficulty seeing feedback. There are over 150 comments/interactions on this thread, and very recently someone responded directly to your comment, addressing you by the name you used. I don’t have any advice for you, aside from refreshing your page (but if you’ve left the site and returned, that is a refresh) regarding how to remedy the problem. Perhaps using a different computer might help. I do hope you can see the conversations and your direct response soon.

  79. Michelle says:

    Hi thank you again for replying, what causes this though I never had this symptom I always just had bad panic attacks my entire life but never this feeling of not here or it’s not real. May I ask a question ever since I’ve been little when anything used to scare me I would have a bad panic attack and I used to have OCD really bad to control it but that eventually just went away not sure how but after the OCD I used to close my eyes and keep repeating it wasn’t real and that would eventually calm me down do u think that’s how I developed this or is this from something else? I do apologize for all the questions it’s just so scary sometimes I feel like I’m not even alive or dreaming like I don’t even know who I am anymore and walking around everyday like a robot …. It’s my thoughts I keep repeating that’s what still bothers me cuz it just won’t go away if I feel ok all if a sudden I feel it in my chest and think to myself wait ur supposed to be scared than that same feeling comes back and I feel totally out of it….

  80. Mihai says:

    when i fell a panic attack i just fell like nothing is real,like im traped in a kind of jail of illusion and everything arround me are holograms and they are not real…i dont know what to do

    • Hi Mihai,
      Thank you for sharing your description of what a panic attack feels like for you. I think that many people will relate to that. I hope that you find things here that you can relate to as well as helpful tips for what to do during a panic attack. Sometimes when people experience that unreal feeling, they find it helpful to ground themselves in the present moment by engaging all of their senses — what do you see (and describe it), what do you hear, smell, feel, etc. It’s a simple exercise that can help return you to the moment and remind you that everything around you is real.

  81. daquell says:

    My name is daquell and I had axiety for about two months. I stop smoking cigarettes two months ago so I know my axiety came from that .I sometimes have weired feel in my chest and I feel unreal. I be having a feeling like I got to throw up but. I dont throw up. I wanna know

  82. daquell says:

    If the Axiety going away im not axious no more really and i can stop my axiety and panic attacks it just the axiety symtoms like headache,constipation, and the funny feeling in my chest. I’ve been to the doctors and the hospital im fine. Just wanna know im I progressing forword? I forgot is it normal to lose wieght from axiety.cause i eat a liitle now

    • Hello Daquell,
      Anxiety can be frustration for a lot of reasons, including the fact that we can’t always tell if we’re progressing forward! It’s great that you notice some changes and can stop anxiety and panic attacks. That definitely is progress. Anxiety is felt in so many ways throughout the body, and it takes time to get ride of it everywhere. It’s very good that you’ve seen a doctor to make sure that you don’t have underlying symptoms causing the symptoms. And you’ve stopped smoking. That’s awesome! But it does take the body time to adjust. What have you been doing that is working (what do you do to stop panic attacks, for example)? Are there things you can keep doing, and are things that make you feel better that you can do more of? Perhaps seeking the help of a therapist might be helpful in ridding yourself of this anxiety. It sounds from your message that you are making progress. Hang in there and keep going!

  83. Molly says:

    Hello, my name is Molly and I think I have been experiencing a panic attack or just anxiety in general. I have always had a little anxiety about health related things, thinking the worst about any little pain I felt, but then one day I just felt like I couldn’t breath or that I wasn’t getting enough oxygen in my lungs. It feels like I have to take very deep breaths in order to breath enough and sometimes I feel like I can’t even do that. It got so bad that I went to the doctor diagnosed me with bronchitis, though I knew deep down that wasn’t it. After going to the doctor I had an episode where I really felt like I couldn’t breath and that my heart was going to beat out of my chest. We went to the er and I has an xray or my chest and an ekg and I was monitored for about 2 hours. The doctor said that everything looked normal and my vitals were very good and said the only thing it could be was anxiety. Even with him telli ng me that it has not helped and I still feel like a cannot breath and I need to take deep breaths. I have lost over ten pounds in a little less than a week because ibhave no appetite and when I do eat the breathing becomes worse and I feel like I am goi ng to die. I don’t want to live like this and I want to know if I will ever feel normal again.

    • Hi Molly,
      I’m sorry that you have been experiencing these things. You are not alone in what you describe, as you can probably tell just from being here. Welcome to Healthy Place in general and Anxiety-Schmanxiety in particular! You already on the right track to overcoming anxiety — finding/reading information, learning all you can, seeing what others experience and what helps them get better. I hope you find great posts and great interaction from readers to help you in your journey. As awful as this feels right now, it is absolutely possible to get better and to feel normal again.

      • Molly says:

        Thank you for replying. I am trying to help myself but it is very hard and no matter what I do I just feel like I can’t breath or I’m not getting enough it is very scary. Has this happened to other people? Is it normal? I get chest pains now too. The only time I feel okay is when I am sleeping. It is making me feel very hopeless.

        • Hello again Molly,
          Know that yes, this has happened to other people, and yes, it is a normal part of anxiety — including the chest pains. Please don’t feel hopeless, although feeling that way is definitely understandable because anxiety can be so frustrating and overwhelming. Overcoming anxiety isn’t a quick process, but it is very possible. Perhaps comments here from other readers might offer reassurance and even suggestions. Keep doing what you’re doing — seeking information and ways to feel better. Be patient with yourself as you work to beat anxiety.

  84. KC says:

    Last summer, upon moving into my new house, I experienced my first panic attack with derealization. Of course, at the time I didn’t know what it was. It really scared me, and I spent the next few weeks researching and trying to avoid that feeling. Not long after, I started having “philosophical” type thoughts (I guess they were brought on with the feelings of unreality), like “Why are we humans? Why am I here? Is everything just a figment of my imagination?” and other thoughts about the universe and the nature of reality. They are very intrusive and hard, if not impossible, to shut off. I hate these thoughts because they actually make my surroundings and my life feel unreal. Researching my symptoms didn’t help much, as I would latch on to nearly every scary thing I read. I suffered from a brief but intense lapse of OCD as a child, and was wondering if this could be OCD rearing it’s ugly head again. Now I’m terrified this is the onset of psychosis. This has been going on for a little over a year. Everything feels so strange, and I feel totally disconnected, like I am in a movie instead of my own life. Please help.

    • Hello KC,
      Everything you describe can definitely be a part of anxiety. And anxiety can make you feel like you’re going crazy; that’s a very common fear. Psychosis involves hallucinations and delusions. OCD has very specific symptoms. Have you seen a professional to help you sort this out? Only a doctor or therapist can make an official diagnosis, and once one is made you can work with him/her to develop a specific plan to overcome what you are experiencing. Know that you’re not alone in this. Perhaps you can tell simply from the number of comments on this single post that a great number of people experience things similar to what you describe. As horrible as it is, know that you can get better.

      • KC says:

        I have a friend who is a psychologist that I talk to frequently. She believes it to be anxiety or pure O-ocd. OCD is called “the doubting disease” for a reason, so of course I doubt that too! After having that first panic attack, I never forgot the sensation I had. I thought something was physically wrong (I’d had inner ear problems in the past) and had many tests run which all came back negative. In doing my own “research” (googling symptoms and reading forums) I became even more fearful, and that’s when the “existential thoughts” started occurring. Distractions help, but even when I’m doing things that are enjoyable, I start thinking about how weird and sort of arbitrary everything is, and then that fuels the feelings of unreality. I also get lightheaded and dizzy from time to time, with strange vision. Fluorescent lights seem to exacerbate the feelings as well. I just want to feel like my old self again, not constantly analyzing things I will never understand! Thank you for your reply.

        • Hi again, KC,
          I’m glad that you are talking to someone — and a friend and psychologist wrapped into one sounds like an ideal combination. You have great insight into what’s going on within. Insight is so helpful, but sometimes it can work against us too, when our mind obsesses about the insights, it increases the anxiety we want to get rid of. I’ve experienced something similar, but different, too because each of us is unique. It’s a process that can be frustratingly slow, but it truly is possible to be your old self again. Keep learning, talking, and experimenting with techniques that you might find helpful.

  85. Kelley says:

    KC- I had those same feelings and was over analyzing everything like you mentioned the “why are we humans?” etc. It helped me to be with other people to distract myself while also being very gentle with myself. It was horribly scary. I started saying “Stop” out loud to get my brain to stop going down that weird path of analyzing. You REALLY are okay and keep telling yourself that. Its just a feeling and you can talk back to it. Hang in there. I had some anti-anxiety meds to take til I got back to my old self. Panic free for 13 years now!

  86. Katie says:

    I am currently experiencing one of my “episodes” as I will call it. I am extremely overwhelmed and feeling helpless. One second I am feeling fine and normal and the next I will find myself drifting away into my mind. I get stuck and start feeling detached from everything, as if life is not even real. But how can that be so when I am right here? I feel like I am about to all of a sudden hit rock bottom like what I thought was real will turn out to be just a figment of my imagination. This comes and goes often. It’s as though I am in a dream state where I can’t get a grip on reality. I over think and over analyze everything. My chest hurts and my heart beats fast, my breathing gets shallow and I can’t focus. Sometimes it’s not as bad as other times. On occasion I may be able to pick up my phone and eventually calm down by distracting myself. I’m feeling so unhappy and just want this to stop. I want to feel normal like everyone else seems to feel.

    • Hi Katie,
      What you describe is commonly a part of anxiety. Have you seen a doctor or therapist? It’s a good idea to have symptoms checked out by a professional in order to learn exactly what’s going on. Once you know that, you can work with the doctor or therapist on a specific plan to overcome this. You are definitely not alone. It may seem that “everyone else” feels normal, but that’s not the case. Forty million people in the US alone live with some type of anxiety disorder! An important first step is to see a doctor or therapist.

  87. Katie says:

    If using a distraction isn’t successful for me I will try my best to sleep it off, but doing so is difficult since my mind is racing. My life consists of sleeping to avoid feeling. I find it hard to get out of bed and do chores or any activities. My anxiety (or so I think it is anxiety) and feelings of depression are controlling me. Which brings me to another thing. I can’t seem to control myself on any aspect. I feel so out of control most of the time I just feel the way I feel and can’t stop it. I constantly have “visions” or made up scenarios playing in my head that I can’t stop. This life is exhausting. I’m just glad I’m not alone. That does make me feel a little better.

  88. addo says:

    I ve been feeling this for a year now, i dont feel my self its like am lost, it started with breaking off with marijuana. I need help is there anything i can do

    • Hello addo,
      An important first step is to see a doctor to rule out underlying physical causes. With past or present use, it’s wise to seek a medical opinion. Then, you’ll be able to determine a course of action after you consult with your doctor. Perhaps, too, you will find valuable information in the comments people have left. You’re not alone in this!

  89. Desiree says:

    I get these weird symptoms like I am dying..i have this immense fear that if I don’t do something, sometimes like an OCD disorder, that I will die. I sometimes wake up from a dream in the middle of the night wondering why the dream happened and then thinking that the dream is going to become reality and it is really going to happen and I am going to die. I get weird pains thoruhgout my body and it makes me think that I have a medical condition that no doctor can figure out and it I going to kill me at some point in my life. I need help…I hate feeling this way. please give me some input.

    thank you,
    Desiree

    • Hi Desiree,
      The fears you describe can absolutely be part of an anxiety disorder. Physical pains, too, can be part of anxiety. Still, it is important to have things evaluated by professionals. Have you seen a doctor to rule out medical conditions? And working with a therapist can be very beneficial in addressing the specific things you are experiencing. You can definitely overcome this, especially with professional help.

  90. Matt says:

    Hello everyone. I’ve been really anxious for a while now. About 2 weeks… I have had anxiety issues in the past but have always gotten over them. I feel like it is because I started my career about a month ago and just don’t feel real comfortable there… but besides the point.. my anxiety is about me like I’m going to be a bad person and hurt someone and it is SO scary because I am 24 and have never done anything wrong or bad in my life. It seems like I always have these thoughts in the back of my mind lately and it makes me anxious and worried. I want my normal life back and don’t want to thibk like that anymore. I have such a good life going with my family and girlfriend and I just don’t want to think like this anymore! I know I’ve had anxiety similar before and have gotten over it but seems so hard right now. Especially when I have a decent day and a bad day after. I’ve started medication after seeing my doctor and he told me it might get worse before it gets better but I just want to see what you guys say and if it is something that will go away and that it’s just thoughts and not something I will ever act on cause I don’t ever want to do that! Thanks for all the advice in advanced!

    • Hi Matt,
      Thank you for stopping by with your comments! I won’t say much, as I want to encourage this to be open to others to comment. I do want to say that you are taking a great step in seeing your doctor, and your self-awareness is a great asset. The likelihood of your acting on certain obsessive thoughts is statistically very low. While your doctor is right that things will likely get worse before they get better (that’s the case in so many things), you will indeed get better. I hope you get much feedback from readers here over time. Best of luck to you.

  91. Matt says:

    Any comments?

  92. james says:

    Hi,

    Im james from Phils. My story is this i have develop worst anxiety since high school year 2000, it progresses until college then on my 4years of college i drop out that was year 2004. now im 30 years old. Now last 2012 i wanted to finish my degree so i return university again but it seems i felt nervous again cannot concenrate, cant sleep and always feeling hopeless, which is very disturbing leads me to quit and drop again. What meds will i take to control my anxiety ? I already lost 8years of damages in my life. Im tired of this abnormal emotion for many years please help. I need quick fix if posible coz im tired and depressed.

    • Hi James,
      It makes sense that you are feeling tired, depressed, and ready for something to help quickly. At HealtyPlace, we can’t recommend medications because that would be too dangerous. What works for one person might not work at all for someone else, and everyone experiences side effects differently. There are many anxiety medications that can be considered (again, medication works great for some but others can’t take it). A doctor can have a very good discussion with you about this. Hang in there. You can get help, and you can get your life back.

  93. Lauren says:

    I’m not sure if anyone can help me, but I went to sleep feeling completely fine and woke up the next day feeling as if I had had a stroke. I could not think, it was so hard to catch my breath, my heart was racing, it seemed like I could not see as clearly, and I felt like i was a different person. I had weird numbing/tingly feelings down my upper arms and fingers. This has been going on for a couple of months and no one can figure it out. All tests have come back normal. Its as if I can only focus on one thing and can’t think of what needs to get done. My memory is not nearly as sharp as it was. I am so desperate for answers. Could this be amxiety?

    • Lauren says:

      I should add that I used to love working out before this happened, and now its like I have no idea how to. Also, it almost seems like there is a block in my brain that is preventing me from having clarity. It’s like I do not know how to go about my normal routine and everything just stopped. None of this makes sense. Any help would be appreciated greatly!!

    • Hi Lauren,
      It sounds like you have been thoroughly been checked by a medical doctor, which is very important. There are other professionals who will be able to help diagnose you and help you overcome this. Have you seen a psychiatrist or a therapist? While this could indeed be anxiety, there could be other things to explain this as well. Getting checked out by a mental healthy professional is always wise.

    • Hi Lauren,
      It sounds like you’ve had things checked out by a medical doctor, which is a good thing. While what you describe could definitely be anxiety, it could be other things, too. It’s a good idea to visit a mental health professional, for he/she can talk with you and help you figure out what’s going on.

  94. Lauren says:

    Thank you for your response. Have you heard of this before? And, if so, does it go away? That is my biggest fear of not feeling like my old self.

    • Hi again Lauren,
      Yes, people do speak of similar physical, cognitive, and emotional responses to anxiety. While there are no quick fixes, I do have good news — yes, this can definitely go away. Working with a therapist is often very helpful. Some people find medication to be helpful (others do not; it’s a personal decision that is complex and can be decided between you and your doctor.) There are definitely things you can to to feel like your old self again.

  95. Lauren says:

    I have met with a counselor and a psychologist, and they both agree that this not anxiety. So I am lost…

    • That is interesting. I of course don’t know them and wasn’t part of the conversation, so I can’t begin to guess what brought them to this conclusion. You are entitled to seek different opinions from any doctor/therapist.

  96. sammy says:

    Hi..my name is sam and this is the second time i have experienced what can only be described as a living hell…..im undee the mental health team and on meds(started 4weeks ago)
    Ive had to quit work, spend my days aimlessly trying to fill my time and/or distract myself from these harsh and negative thoughts which bombard my brain constantly, no let up, i dont sleep properly then i wake in the morning with a deep dread of having to do it all over again….i really feel that life isnt worth living atm. I torment myself that if i get thru this my personality flaws will just bring me down again in time so whats the point? That im the one who makes myself so ill, that ill be damaged, not the person i used to be…it crucifies me.
    Can anyone relate to this?

    • Hello Sammy,
      I won’t say much because you asked if people can relate, and I’d like to leave your comment very open to reader response. I do want to check in with you, though, about your feelings that life isn’t worth living and that you don’t see a point in trying to get better. Despair can drag a person so low that he/she feels that suicide is an option, often the only option. It isn’t. Things do get better. There are many helplines that have people there just to talk. One is The Suicide Prevention Life Line — suicidepreventionlifeline.org 1-800-273-TALK. Lines like these are extremely helpful and are available 24/7.

  97. Alexander says:

    Hi all.
    I too have felt these feelings many times. It only started about a year ago when I was at work during a many day stretch. I’m 28 now.
    I’ve lost my parents both to cancer over the course of several years. Went hard on alcohol and drugs to swallow the pain and sorrow of dealing with the loss of them both. This all turned out to be pushing these feelings deeper until one day I guess they just burst out in the form of an anxiety attack. I was in the kitchen where I work and all of a sudden I was sweating profusely. I turned white as a ghost and felt as if I was a different person. On this day it had been a few days since I had done any drugs or had a drink. I believe this was reality trying to kick back in when I didn’t want it to.
    This is not how I felt at the time, but I would later realize this fact once I quit drinking and drugs, started eating right and exercised daily.
    I believe this “disconnection” feeling may stem from how the world demands our attention so much every day that we don’t stop and take a minute to appreciate what is around us. We constantly stare at blindingly colourful screens that send us millions of bytes of data a second and wonder why out brains are stuck in overdrive.
    I know everyone’s experience is completely different, but I thought I would just add my experience in case it helps anyone feeling “unreal”. Just 15 minutes ago I felt it, and because of these posts it just dissipated. Thank you to everyone. It’s good to know we aren’t really alone

  98. Abbey says:

    Looking at these on here has seriously made me feel so much better like I am not psycho. My anxiety started back in high school when I smoked weed the first time .I had a huge panic attack and I’ve never been the same. I felt fake and had almost a spiritual experience like I left my body it was terrifying. I got over it. Back then with some counseling and anti depressants but wished I had done it naturally. I had it come back about 4 years later very strong. I was very stressed from work and other things going on I smoked a CIG on break and bam full blown panic attack in the middle of a rush at work felt derealization immediately heart beat trembling it was awful. These attacks came everytime I was at work they got so bad I had to quit my job. I have been jobless now for 2 months. The first month was hard and felt derealization so bad that it affected my personal life and others around me. I have quit doing things I love in fear I might go crazy or it can cause a panic attack. Like smoking I’m scared I’ll smoke and have a panic attack I quit cigs 2 months ago and haven’t smoked since. Also alcohol and caffeine I heard they were bad for anxiety and have like almost feared them when alcohol was one of my favorite things. Recently I have had this intense phobia of my food or objects I touch being placed with LSD or halucinigens. It scares me so bad sometimes I won’t even eat. These fears have made me go crazy and there all I think about I want my life back and to stop having these flashes of feeling unreal like. I have done better but please anyways I can get over this without medication.

  99. George says:

    Hi I posted back in August about my anxiety and it is now mid October still feeling like my surroundings are unfamiliar and unreal but I push myself to go outside or for a ride around the block I find this helps and feels like a victory for that day and the rest of my day I feel like I’ve beaten it for the moment and that gives me hope for tomorrow. Im in therapy once a week still not on Mets as I’m waiting on a prescribed or my Dr to give me something that works. I hope this goes away and I can feel like I us to and be in tune with the world again

    • Hi George,
      Thank you for sharing your amazing story! I know you might not find it amazing as you aren’t quite where you want to be yet, but it is amazing. Despite the feelings of unreality, you are taking charge, making yourself go out, and living in the moment. And beating this one moment at a time is the best, most effective, and possibly the only way to do this. You might find meds helpful (many do), but you might not find them helpful (many don’t). Work with your doctor, and in the meantime, keep doing what you’re doing!

      • George says:

        Thank you and this blog has been therapy to me.reading the posts relating to others sharing experiences I feel part something and knowing I can get feedback from it when I’m depressed and at my lowest point somehow brings me up enough to get through one more day. Thank all of you for that

        • Hi again George,
          On behalf of everyone at HealthyPlace, I’d like to tell you that we’re glad you’re here with us. This is what we hope our site is — a place for people to learn and interact and know they’re not alone, a place to find solace and tools to move forward. Thanks for joining the community.

  100. Mughas says:

    I m nt felling well frm last 1 year fells like i m nt well all the time having headache daily and mosyly whn i go to sleep whn my eyes closed it start happens tht i dnt fell fyn
    Nd all my reports are totally clear
    Is this is anxiety ???

  101. Summer says:

    I am just so scared. I have never felt this unconnected with the world in my life.
    Before this I was fine even though I was constantly doubting myself and negative. But I still really did love life. It is a scary feeling what I feel right now. It is just terrible. I just want to cry. Don’t know what to do to fix it. Help.

    • Gabe Howard says:

      Summer -

      Please know you are not alone and there are many people who understand you. I have felt this way before — and it does pass. Please be safe. If you need immediate help please call 1-800-273-8255. This is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You are important and you do matter. ((hugs)) Gabe

      • Summer says:

        Thank you Gabe, I just feel real anxious in the morning especially. It is so unfortunate. Every time I think it is getting better I remember how it was before and it just begins again. I feel like I am not in the same world that I was before. People scare me and they look and sound different. Everything is overwhelming. What things should I do to cope or change this? Thanks.

  102. leslie says:

    i am dealing with the fear of losing my mind and feelng like it will never go away or will i ever be the same i know i i have beat this fear before but going through it again is not any easier than the first it came out f no where lastnght and im right back in the funk.why is it so hard to just realize wha it is and move on? i hate feeling that i have lost my mind and that im gunna be locked up in a mental hospital. i feel like no one can help me and im just in a downward spiral. can anyone help me?

  103. leslie says:

    when i feel good i can almost look back at all this and laugh like why the heck did u let that scare u u r perfectly fine. i just wish there was a switch to flip and turn it off. i as on prozac and it kept it away for 2 years and then i lost my insurence. feel so blah and like i dont care about anything ;(

    • Hi Leslie,
      Feeling blah is common in both depression and anxiety. It’s hard when people can’t continue medication that is helpful. While it’s not always easy, there are things that we can do to improve despite a lack of medication. Some things that have been helpful for many include keeping a gratitude journal/notebook. Each night before bed, reflect on the day and think of three things, no matter how small, that you are grateful for. Also, it can help to think of one little thing (it’s okay to start small, with just one, and increase over time) that you can do every single day that you enjoy. Don’t judge it or beat yourself up if you don’t care about it right away. Just do it. These are just two things that have helped people overcome anxiety and the blah feelings.

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