Hi all. I would firstly like to apologize for the length of this post.
My Struggle with Anxiety
My anxiety started about a month ago. While I was at work, I started having anxious thoughts. I guess this sort of lead into a panic attack- I felt an intense feeling of dread. I felt dizzy and I felt as if I was going crazy and that I was going to loose consciousness. I also felt really disconnected from the world, it felt as if my soul was ripped out of my body (depersonalization) and I freaked out because I had never experienced this before. Prior to this experience, I would get these "5 second" feelings of being out of place, but I eventually "came back" if that makes sense. These feelings felt like I was under the influence of weed. (which I have done in the past) Anyways, these feelings didn't go away and I had to cope with them for the next couple hours because I couldn't go home from work. After coming home, I told my sister that I wasn't feeling like myself and that I was so frightened from my experience. I hoped that these feelings would pass by the time I woke up- but unfortunately they didn't.
Curious, I spent hours on Google trying to figure out what I gone through. I came across panic attacks and anxiety. I felt a sense of comfort finally realizing what I've gone through. But these feelings of "unreality" and anxiety were constantly on and off (more on) for the next couple weeks. I constantly worried about my health 24/7. I have always had a fear of schizophrenia ever since I learned about the disorder in psychology class. Everytime I had these "feelings" , I was convinced that I was in fact going crazy and developing the disorder. I started to do more research and found out the the onset of the disorder was around the late teens/early 20s (I'm 18) and I found out that marijuana can increase the likelihood of developing the disease (which I have done in the past) , and I kept looking up the symptoms and some symptoms such as "brain fog" totally matched up. I was convinced that I was living my worst fear. However, I also learned that anxiety has a way of making the individual constantly worry about problems, so I tried to start thinking more positive.
Anxiety has really taken a toll on my life, and has effected my relationships with my friends and family. I also find it hard to work because when I'm at work, my anxiety is high and its hard for me to concentrate and do my job. There is nothing more that I want than my life being back to normal. Being fed up with how I was feeling, I booked an appointment with my doctor, who eventually referred me to the psychologist. I explained to him everything- how I felt, my experiences, and my fears. He basically just told me it was anxiety and he told me that he was positive that I didn't have schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder, which provided me with much comfort. He sort of just told me to practice deep breathing and continue to go out with my friends to take my mind off my anxiety- and that eventually I would get better.
Ever since I had that panic attack at work, which was over a month ago, I haven't been feeling like myself, and it sucks because I feel like I have no one to talk to because I feel as if no one truly understands what I'm going through. I had hope until a couple nights ago, I had fallen asleep around 2:45AM (anxiety has effected my sleeping schedule) and I woke up around 5AM and I couldn't go back to sleep because of my thoughts. I fell asleep on my couch around 8:50AM and no more than 5-10 minutes later, I woke up and basically started hallucinating. I felt half awake and half asleep, and I felt very groggy. I woke up and I saw where I was at on the couch, I started seeing colorful geometric shapes and lights and I heard a constant beeping noise. It scared the hell out of me, and while I was hallucinating, I thought that "This is it. I'm going crazy." I was frozen and couldn't do anything. Eventually after about 10 seconds, I snapped out of it and everything was normal again. Frightened, I went on Google once again and came across sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations. I tried to search causes of hypnagogic hallucinations and I came across sleep deprivation, narcolepsy, stress, anxiety, insomnia, etc. I know I do not have narcolepsy, but I read somewhere that it could be schizophrenia and that if you have these hallucinations and don't have narcolepsy, it is a possibility that it could be schizophrenia. I am seriously freaking out. I don't know what to do with myself. I feel like my life is over and I feel like its just time until I start seeing/hearing things that aren't real. I'm seriously scared of my well being. I am constantly checking if I hear something. I even double check and ask people if they heard the noise as well. I'm so tired of feeling like this.
Today while at work, my co-worker had offered me some gum and I thought "What if she poisoned this gum?" I freaked out because I knew that she wouldn't do something like that, and I started to wonder why I would even come to that conclusion. I'm going to make another appointment with the psychologist and try to get some help. I really don't know whats wrong with me. I need some reassurance and closure.
Can anyone relate to how I'm feeling? And can anyone relate to my experiences?
Thank you all for reading- I means a lot. ):