Hi everyone, I haven't posted on these forums in years. Apologies for the lengthy post, I'll try to condense my post as much as possible. It also helps to discuss my feelings when anxiety really gets on top of me. I'll preface by saying I had an absolutely terrible spell of GAD/panic attacks from 2006 to around 2008 (less so as each year passed) due to a panic attack from smoking marijuana one night. Long story short, my anxiety from that panic attack continued to snowball and eventually it developed into GAD accompanied with panic attacks. During that time, I'd be in heightened anxious state and my mind would literally latch onto anything that seemed threatening or frightening, and I would be convinced it was going to happen. I had the classic irrational fears of thinking a headache might be a tumor, or oh no, I had food that was slightly expired, am I going to die? Same goes with the fear of losing my mind/losing control whenever my anxiety was at its worst. I'd think, "What if I go crazy and they have to put me away? What if I'm stuck like this forever?" Like I said, the seemingly classic fears and intrusive thoughts.
Flash forward to several weeks ago where I had my first legitimate panic attack in 6+ years. I had been more or less anxiety/panic attack free for 6-7 years, but I recently had a kidney stone which took its toll on me both physically and emotionally. I was feeling a lot more anxious than usual and that's when my mind tried to "identify" the cause. I had been taking oxycodone (5mg, smallest dosage) for about a week due to the severe kidney pain and that's what my mind decided to go with. "You're anxious because you're going through opiate withdrawal." That's when I had a full-blown panic attack and was scared to death that I was hooked on oxycodone. Of course, based on the duration and dosage this was extremely
unlikely (and I knew this), but it didn't stop me from freaking out. The mere sight of the pill bottle would cause my anxiety to soar sky-high because I'd think to myself, "What if I lose control and down the entire bottle like some sort of opiate fiend? What if I have to go to rehab? What will everyone think?" My anxiety eventually subsided because I researched that if you were to have an actual withdrawal, you'd realize it within a day or so (severe physical symptoms and what not) so my anxiety vanished. Why? Most likely because I had somewhat tangible
evidence and that was enough for my brain to accept that there is no real
danger and that I'm A-OK.
The other night I experienced another panic attack seemingly out of the blue and since then, it's been as bad as it was since those dark days in 06/07. I researched intrusive thoughts (since I recently had the fear I'd lose control when I saw those pill bottles), saw people discuss Pure O and how the thoughts tended to be violent or outlandish and that was enough to send me into all out panic-mode. All day and night I have had terrible anxiety and constantly think to myself, "What if I lose control? Am I going crazy, what if I just snap? What if something terrible happens!" Today I was talking with my parents and thought, "What if I yell at them for no reason even though they asked me a simple question?" Again, I realize that these thoughts are irrational as I wasn't feeling this way a mere few days
ago or at any point during the last 6-7 years (except for the previous panic attack I had earlier this month), but it's the doubt that fuels my anxiety
and sends me on this vicious marry-go-round. So here I am in a constant anxious state thinking I'll go crazy at any moment. "I haven't been anxious in years, why now? It must be because something is severely wrong with me! It's the only explanation!" That's the problem with anxiety, it can snowball so easily. Hell, just combing through this forum is enough to make me panic. I suppose my question is that, since my anxiety seems to stem from my brain latching onto irrational fears/thoughts and then constantly ruminating, is that Pure O? I feel like I have OCD in the more benign aspects of my life as well. Not in terms of rituals or anything like that, but sometimes I'll constantly over analyze something like a conversation. Not that often, but when talking to a woman for example. "Did I say something wrong? Is she not interested? Did I look OK?" Things like that. Again, it doesn't happen that often, but enough for me to take notice.
I seem to have the, "What if? What if? What if?" type of anxiety and I'd just like to hear other people's thoughts on the matter so I can alleviate my own fears and help address my anxiety going forward. This is also my first serious setback and it's left me frightened and confused (why now?). Appreciate everyone's time!