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AwkwardMango

Is this anxiety or something else?

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A little information about what’s going on that’s adding stress and pressure at the moment (might be related to what’s occurring right now):

-Dad has stage 4 lung cancer. Was diagnosed in February, had to be discharged because there were many corona patients at the hospitwl putting him in danger. Witnessed dad crying, being anxious and depressed, had a few health scare with his sugar level going down to a dangerous level -In a difficult financial situation because dad was the only breadwinner. Constantly worrying about my mom and my brother who is extremely depressed and said he doesn’t take life seriously anymore -Being pressured to graduate from university even though I’m not ready yet (this isn’t a big deal) -Staying up all night in the fear that I won’t be able to hear my dad if he calls for help 

What I experienced today: through out the whole day I felt like there was a tightness in my chest. Like someone was squeezing it hard with their hands. I tried doing breathing exercise but when I tried to breath in deeply, I could feel the pain in my chest again. I felt a bit dizzy. I wasn’t an emotional wreck today. As a matter of fact, I thought I was normal and bam suddenly this hits me out of no where. I had small dose of anxiety attack before but nothing as severe as this which is on and off through out the day. Now I’m feeling scared that I might have a medical problem? What if I’m having a heart attack? What if I have corona? What if I also have lung cancer? What if I die in my sleep tonight? Thoughts like this keep racing through my head (but only after the physical pain started) is this a long lasting anxiety attack? And if so, what are ways I can cope with it besides breathing?

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Posted (edited)

Necessary disclaimer that I am not a doctor. 

This sounds very much like a panic attack!  They're more severe than anxiety attacks (longer, more intense) but fortunately don't mean more medically than a panic disorder.  I get them a lot.  Mine are normally accompanied by the dizziness and tightness you described, but also nausea, tingling in my arms and legs, my face feeling flushed, and once the anxiety hits, massive hyperventilating.  They're very frightening if you don't know what's going on, because before the anxiety hits you it can feel like you're having a heart attack.  Deep breathing is good, especially if you're having trouble breathing steadily.  Try counting it out too (breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds).  I know this isn't necessarily something you have, but if you have a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication (xanax, valium, ativan, etc.), taking a pill is the best way to make it go away.  Since it's psychological, talking with a friend (or a psychiatrist if you have one) can be really helpful if medication isn't something you have (or even if it is).  For me, personally, I also find getting a big hug (let someone squeeze you) to be supremely helpful in calming me down (or holding a pet, if you have one).

If it's still something you're worried about, you should talk to a doctor (if possible), but it really does sound like a panic attack (especially because the first thing you mentioned was your anxieties).  If it is, it's scary, but it will go away.

Edited by spopo
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Posted (edited)

Also, drink cold water and get your blood sugar up.  If you don't feel like you can eat anything rn, drink something with sugar (eg gatorade, juice, chocolate milk, etc.).

Edited by spopo

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That's a panic attack 

I hope everything gets better for you

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Posted (edited)

I want you to know that you're too young for having a heart attack, if you had a heart attack you would faint and you would feel extremely tired. I don't think you have anything severe, don't worry. The corona symptoms are confusing, but cough and a high fever are the most common, and if you had Cancer you would scream in pain. Anxiety/Panic Attacks always show some sort of worrying and scary symptoms that are actually inoffensive. I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a hard time, try to relax, cups of tea could help you.

Edited by KawaeiRina

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2 hours ago, spopo said:

Necessary disclaimer that I am not a doctor. 

This sounds very much like a panic attack!  They're more severe than anxiety attacks (longer, more intense) but fortunately don't mean more medically than a panic disorder.  I get them a lot.  Mine are normally accompanied by the dizziness and tightness you described, but also nausea, tingling in my arms and legs, my face feeling flushed, and once the anxiety hits, massive hyperventilating.  They're very frightening if you don't know what's going on, because before the anxiety hits you it can feel like you're having a heart attack.  Deep breathing is good, especially if you're having trouble breathing steadily.  Try counting it out too (breathe in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds).  I know this isn't necessarily something you have, but if you have a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication (xanax, valium, ativan, etc.), taking a pill is the best way to make it go away.  Since it's psychological, talking with a friend (or a psychiatrist if you have one) can be really helpful if medication isn't something you have (or even if it is).  For me, personally, I also find getting a big hug (let someone squeeze you) to be supremely helpful in calming me down (or holding a pet, if you have one).

If it's still something you're worried about, you should talk to a doctor (if possible), but it really does sound like a panic attack (especially because the first thing you mentioned was your anxieties).  If it is, it's scary, but it will go away.

 

1 hour ago, KawaeiRina said:

I want you to know that you're too young for having a heart attack, if you had a heart attack you would faint and you would feel extremely tired. I don't think you have anything severe, don't worry. The corona symptoms are confusing, but cough and a high fever are the most common, and if you had Cancer you would scream in pain. Anxiety/Panic Attacks always show some sort of worrying and scary symptoms that are actually inoffensive. I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a hard time, try to relax, cups of tea could help you.

 

2 hours ago, Belkiss said:

That's a panic attack 

I hope everything gets better for you

Thank you guys. I think I was stressing myself out more because I thought it was something terminal. I feel a bit better now, I can breathe a little more more. I’m going to set up an appointment with my therapist soon~

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