Brass yourself, this post is excessively long. Some of the symptoms have been added as soon as they occur, free written and not revise (feeling anxious as I write) so it might not make sense sometimes. Sorry.
I'm a 26 years old female, I have severe generalised anxiety which began on March 2009, a month after I quit smoking (12 years smoker). These high anxiety symptoms occur most days and they're always accompanied by irrational thoughts. I rarely get panic attacks anymore but there's this constant feeling of not being able to breathe properly, like there is a rope tightly tied around my chest and lump in the throat sensation. Sometimes I experience dull pain in either side of my arms then weakness and crawling sensation running up and down my legs and feet. Tension at the back of my neck and scalp, brain zaps and compression. When I'm startled my heart doesn't throb like it should when one gets startled, it's replaced by an intense brain zap.
I had began using The Linden Method, it had helped somewhat, but shifted my anxiety from the daytime to night-time --Heart palpitations, mind racing, body jolting me awake, difficulties breathing, severe body aches etc. as soon as my head hit the pillow.
I'm hypo-sensitive to medications so my first options were to try relaxation, several natural sleeping aids, melatonin unfortunately they weren't effective, after long periods of restless nights (sometimes not being able to sleep for 24hrs) I finally gave in to my GP who happily prescribed anti-anxiety meds Antenex for the insomnia. Took it on and off for a couple of months, with no more than two nights straight. It came with side effects which the doctor hadn't warned me about... things like paranoia. As I was watching TV a bizarre paranoid thought began whirling in my mind... What if that man in the TV is talking about me, literally talking to me? I got terrified but knew that was ridiculous and irrational. Those types of thoughts happened several times.
I tapered off those pills and experienced the withdrawals that came with it.
Still having immense trouble sleeping I was switched to desperation mode once again... loathed the previous GP for prescribing Antenex so I choose a doctor that morally was against anxiety meds. He prescribed Avanza Soltab 30mg, once bitten twice shy, I asked about side effects and withdrawal... he reassured me there were only weight gain and sleepiness. Boy, did he lie!
These Avanza pills increased my already heightened anxiety to the point where I'm questioning whether or not it really is anxiety, or developing into something else.
I took it in low dosages (1/8 pill) only once or twice a week for two months... even with that short duration it heightened my already high anxiety and added horrific new symptoms. Constantly analysing my thoughts and feeling like I'm trapped in my mind and can't get out, irritability and anger, racing mind and increased, new varieties of intrusive thoughts and memory loss... several times a day I'd forget what I had gone to get.
* Intrusive thought no 1: With every movement I make... I'll wash the dishes and instantly "what if I forget to turn off the tap and water floods the whole house"... Turn off the stove and what if I forget to turn off the stove and the house burns down.
* Intrusive thought no 2: If a situation (even minor) goes right for me intrusive thoughts enters my mind like "what if it's one of the symptoms of serious mental illness, my world is distorted and I only think things are going right for me when in reality it really isn't. My mind flips through scenes from movies, news, what I heard, what someone said trying to find the right information to freak me out with.
* Intrusive thought no 3: When I'm watching something... an automatic thought would come into mind. Example: scene in the holiday Cameron Diaz's first day at the cottage and she's bored. An intrusive thought pops up... She'll literally go insane if she spends more days in the cottage not occupied, not doing anything at all.
* Intrusive thought no 4: And I get intrusive words/phrases thoughts that suddenly come to mind... For instance, In the middle of praying, reading or listening to music, "insanity" or "you're insane" word thought disturbs me. It's not a voice... It's a thought. It's like an intrusive image but in word format. Is it still anxiety or has it progressed into "something else"?
* Intrusive thought no 5: When home alone, I'd look around and instantly question... What if I've always been alone, but I've lost my mind so I don't know it? Seeing my family's belongings What if I bought things and left it there so I think it belongs to someone in my family?
* Intrusive thought no 6: Get paranoid thoughts like did I really put the book on the couch or do I think I just did it?
* Or my mind would replace the words someone's saying... example: "what am i saying"... "What am I insane"? But I know exactly what she said. Or it'll select the word first before it's said... "Have u ever been on a... Date?" to "have u ever been... Normal?"
* Repetition of words... and sentences... often when I'm watching TV or conversing with someone but not entirely paying attention, my mind would repeat what they said once straight after they said it. It'll happen one sentence or a few sentences in a row. Makes it hard to follow what they're saying.
* My whole obsessive fears, irrational intrusive thoughts are mostly about 'insanity', use to be about 'schizophrenia'... that subsided after repeated notion "so what, they have medication for that". But 'insanity' fears are harder to break. "So what, if it happens I wouldn't know anywhere".
* Any word/phrase/image relating to serious mental illness is magnified.
* When I think about the future... thoughts of insanity would pop up and replace my attempt to be positive thoughts.
* I'll question why my boyfriend/family member is doing certain things that they don't usually do
* Why is this stranger smiling at me am I doing something bizarre or resembling something with a serious mental illness.
I had been experiencing severe migraine headaches every day, mostly evenings for 5 months after I painted my bedroom and stained my window frames. One time it felt as though my head was going to explode, it was 3am and I called the ambulance. Checked my purse, blood pressure and regarded everything to be normal, dismissed it as only a migraine. Went for a Head and Spinal CT scan, results show neck muscle spasm... No indication of brain tumour, haemorrhage... brain spilting or ticking time bomb. Silly to say, but being diagnosed as a tumour would be some sort of relief, then I'd know the exact cause of all this hell.
I'd rather a thousand physical symptoms then one mental symptom.
Is anyone going through what I'm going through? Is this a type of high level anxiety or is it something else?