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Impending sense of doom - anxiety, or is something bad about to happen?!

(24 Posts)
BurningBridges Mon 16-May-11 22:43:44

You know that old saying "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you" ? Well does a similar rule apply to thinking something dreadful is going to happen?

I've had some very low times in life but I have never actually been depressed, I know that's a terrible illness and I definitely don't have that. However, I have had post traumatic stress and had counselling for it which worked really well. Counselling finished 2 years ago.

Since last Autumn I keep having all these odd physical symptoms which I google over and over again - dizziness, nausea, circulatory problems (which I do actually have) pains in the arm and hands, and - here - let's admit it - I think I have a brain tumour and am going to die. My GP thinks I am a bit of a nuisance but she does try to be kind to me!

I suppose I am saying that I wonder all the time if I have one of those rare illnesses which everyone misses until its too late. My Mum died when she was not much older than me, she had cancer for a long time, so not a rare illness etc., even so I do have a fear of dying young.

I am torn between going back to GP over and over again saying look something is REALLY wrong, or accepting that actually its just severe anxiety. Does anyone else go to bed at night thinking this is it, I may not wake up etc?

madmouse Mon 16-May-11 22:51:01

Hmm I'm just getting to the other side of PTSD too and some of the symptoms you describe are very PTSD-ish

sense of forshortened future (dying young), fears that are hard to lay to rest

dizziness, nausea , vague (??) pains can be anxiety/panic type symptoms (don't have to be of course)

Has anything happened in your life recently that has triggered things/unsettled you?

Treatment for PTSD can be really successful but in my experience this sense of what I call the trapdoor effect, waiting for someone to pull the floor from under your feet so it all goes wrong again is quite a persistent one and one that comes back in difficult times.

This does of course come with a massive disclaimer that I'm jst another sufferer with only my experience to go by and what I have read about it.

BurningBridges Mon 16-May-11 23:00:50

Hello Madmouse: Thanks for telling me about your experience. I suppose my treatment was so successful I had hoped that was it. End of story. I can't think of any particular trigger though so I'm a bit lost - these feelings don't relate to the original traumatic events. Maybe the treatment was like a sticking plaster and now the "problems" are just coming out in other ways, but this is unlike anything I've ever felt before.

I feel glad I've "said it" though, I've outed myself even if its on an anonymous forum. Here I am, my name is BurningBridges and I keep thinking I'm going to die confused !!

madmouse Mon 16-May-11 23:10:04

Have you actually told your doctor what you are afraid of?

I sometimes do this with my DH - if I have half a hunch that I'm overreacting I bounce it off him literally say something like 'do you think ds could have meningitis?' and then he gives me this look and calls me a stoopi eejit and then I calm down because ds is his everything and if he thought there was something seriously wrong he would not just sit there.

I've also quite recently discovered that vague feelings of doom I get are not my intuition: intuition with me is specific - I know what is wrong and I know what I need to do about it. These vague feelings of doom generally lie.

BurningBridges Mon 16-May-11 23:31:33

Yes, I did tell my GP and as I say, she tried to be kind, she said not to worry. She thought the pain in my arm was carpal tunnel syndrome, and that my circulatory problems aren't that bad. But I am saying to myself she is wrong, she's not that great a GP, and I surely do have this rare illness and that's why I have this sense of doom, because I really am doomed!

Unfortunately my DH thinks everything I come up with is ridiculous and I am imagining things. (However, if I'd like to talk about HIS illnesses ....!! ) But then that's probably because in January I thought the lump on my head was my long awaited brain tumour. In fact its where I keep sticking my glasses on my head ... blush Honestly I was crying and everything thinking this is it, then I googled "lump on head" and someone else had had the same experience with constantly pushing their glasses into their scalp then thought the resultant bump was cancerous.

I'm writing this sort of lightheartedly but seriously I am thinking I need to go back to counselling. Or get an MRI.

hellymelly Mon 16-May-11 23:46:06

How old are you? I had similar feelings to this and think it was hormonal,as I am in my mid forties,and it seems fairly common to get this as hormone levels fall. It could also be a thyroid issue. Interestingly I have also had ptsd,but I've been without nightmares etc for years so i don't think my feelings were related to the doom sensations etc,but maybe the way I reacted was,in that I found the sensations really frightening.

madmouse Mon 16-May-11 23:51:21

The thing with getting an MRI is that it is tempting because it will relieve your anxiety...

but probably only until the next thing comes along...

The way I see it is that I seem to have a certain number of anxiety/stress neurowhatevers floating around in my brain and they just latch on to whatever is available and get me a bit obsessed with it. Something to do with ds often: a year and a half ago when the PTSD was a lot worse still he had swollen lymph glands in the middle of his first winter at nursery - what a surprise, not! - but I got suicidal over an extreme fear that it was leukemia. Recently during s bit of a stressful time I got obsessed that our old car would break down again before the new one was ready and then that the new one would have some mysterious problem and break down - it was honestly ridiculous.

BurningBridges Mon 16-May-11 23:52:02

I'm 48 - very interesting you should say that, and it had crossed my mind too. BTW I've just had thyroid checked and was OK. But you are right, it could well be an age thing.

BurningBridges Mon 16-May-11 23:57:06

Perhaps once we have PTSD we are always be vulnerable to this sort of anxiety?

I have to get to bed now, I do have a (unimagined!) circulatory problem and I have to get my legs raised. Gosh I sound about 90! I do appreciate the replies very much, thank you.

shodatin Tue 17-May-11 00:11:48

I wanted to say that I feel like this too, with very similar symptoms but think the reason is most likely depression allied with poor health after chemo etc. Rare illnesses are indeed rare but depression is not, although luckily it is treatable and your GP might arrange CBT or similar if asked.

Hope you feel less worried soon

Chocattack Tue 17-May-11 00:16:34

I've not had PTSD but do suffer with the symptoms you describe. I suffer with with depression and anxiety and since January my anxiety has been worse than during any of my other depressive episodes (except my first when I had full blown panic attacks). I've always suffered with circulatory problems and dizziness due to low blood pressure but also now get
nausea (and occassional vomitting). My newest and most irritating symptom is pins and needles in hands and feet. I was convinced there was something major wrong but my gp kept telling me it was anxiety related (she did allow me to have loads of blood work done but it all came back ok). Now 4 months on I've accepted that it is anxiety. Do you and/or your gp think you're suffering from anxiety?

LovelyJudy Tue 17-May-11 00:18:02

This sounds entirely like treatable anxiety to me. i know (from personal experience) that until the anxiety abates, either through the passage of time, or with therapy, talking or pharmaceutical, you won't find it easy to shake the feeling of doom. but i promise you that lots and lots of people have experienced exactly what you describe and have come out the other side. It's worth talking to your gp about this, and specifically saying you'd like to help to address the anxiety. if you would, i mean... smile i think it's likely that your mother's death and your age is lurking in your subconscious, and if other stressful events are happening, they can combine to trigger this sort of episode without you seeing it coming. good luck!

BurningBridges Tue 17-May-11 09:27:17

Wow - Chocattack - I have exactly those same symptoms. I can't believe it. I have problems with varicose veins so my circulation is really bad, but now I am getting the pins and needles as well so I assumed the worst.

OK, next time I go to GP I will ask about anxiety - I had my PTSD treatment through that surgery though and of course I am embarrassed to come back and say oh now I've got something else, but I am sure most of you will be able to relate to that! I am really glad I asked - thank you everyone.

hellymelly Wed 18-May-11 23:56:31

Well I am 47,and the doom feelings came on at 45 ish.I was put on a low dose of natural progesterone by the women's health doc I saw and they went away. I get nausea on waking though,palpitations,and pins and needles in my hands/feet.My thyroid is on the very bottom end of normal and sometimes slips into under,and the pins and needles are worse then and seem related to that,I don't think that in my case they,or the nausea are anxiety related,i think its perimenopausal.But as you said,the ptsd probably means I panic more at strange unpleasant feelings than I otherwise might have done!! I would get them to check your hormone levels as it seems likely to me that its just the run up to the big M.(ughhh)

BurningBridges Thu 19-May-11 12:28:31

I've woken up this morning with a headache and sickness, obviously as I google it constantly I know that these are symptoms of my pet doom scenario - a brain tumour.

I had a full blood count done last week and was normal, GP also wrote "thyroid" on the slip so I presume that was checked and all ok. I am really very reluctant to go back to her and bring up the "I think I am dying all the time" but I will have to - I don't feel particularly upbeat about it this morning and it can't go on like this. Not a good day. I can't tell you how valuable it has been to me to see that other people have felt like this, I think I would have reached meltdown point this week otherwise.

Chocattack Thu 19-May-11 21:57:13

BurningBridges you need to stop googling! Assuming it is anxiety would you agree to treatment? If so, think you should definitely go back to see your gp, especially as she is kind to you.

madmouse Thu 19-May-11 23:03:14

yep - definitely google-itis - step away from the computer...

Daydreaming Fri 20-May-11 00:07:15

Hi - I also suffer from general health anxiety, and recently have started having panic attacks. Recently I have had heart palpatations and a "skipped" hear beat sensation - all of this is not fun, as I constantly convinced I am going to have a heart attack!!!

VforViennetta Fri 20-May-11 01:09:01

It does sound like anxiety/depression to me. Depression is not some kind of anvil that descends on your head, you may be able to get out of bed, you may be able to function, but it will still be there.

The anxiety is a part of the depression, I had it, although about my children rather than me (I had PND at the time). My particular pet dooms were herpes and HIV, gawd knows why, but my thoughts went round and round and round in a massive circle.

I had lots of physical symptoms, racing heartbeat/missed beats, tingling, headaches, nausea. Was all related to the depression.

Just because you had councilling to get over PTSD does not mean you are immune to anything else.

Go to your GP and explain everything, they may choose to send you for further tests to put your mind at rest. They may choose to treat your anxiety, honestly depression is not always a terrible disease where you retire to your bed, it can be subtle and insidious.

BurningBridges Mon 23-May-11 23:28:01

Hello again, just checking in as I am feeling much worse now. I have a GP appt next Tuesday after the bank holiday, but not with the nice GP, I chose to go to the one who is more likely to be straight with me. DH is coming along too, getting a friend to have DCs.

My physical symptoms are worse and I am terrified of what I might have. If I don't have a physical condition though, I definitely have a mental health issue and I need help. I got up this morning feeling not too awful and thought hey, I am going to beat this, I want to feel better today; yet I am going to bed thinking I can't beat this, whatever "this is" and I will never feel better sad

Chocattack Tue 24-May-11 21:29:05

Sorry you're feeling worse. Hopefully your gp appointment will help to put your mind at rest - are you more anxious because you know you are going to the gp to confront 'it'? Try to keep telling yourself it will feel better (even if you don't believe it for now). Hang in there.

hellymelly Tue 24-May-11 22:01:38

The more terrified you feel,the more you will be getting a physical response from the anxiety,rather than any underlying condition.So try to do anything that will help you calm down a bit,and think of what you want them to check for physically (e.g.Hormone levels/repeat thyroid levels/ vitamin B12 and iron levels) If you have been under prolongued stress then your adrenals take a bit of a battering,they might be under parr, hence the panic and strange physical stuff. And as I said earlier, a lot of this is unfortunately also fairly bog-standard peri-menopausal stuff,which you may be hyper aware of and getting frightened by because the sensations are new and alarming.Oestrogen drops cause palpitations and you can have adrenalin surges which feel almost like a panic attack,but without the mental aspect of thoughts triggering the panic. have a look here Some of these things may apply to you,e.g.10,11 etc.
You may of course be depressed and anxious for other reasons,but it is such a big part of the late 40's hormonal picture that maybe you can relax a bit thinking that it will level out in the end.Or that maybe some hormone supplementation now might work better than anti depressants.

BurningBridges Thu 02-Jun-11 16:36:40

Hello again. Well, I went to GP and so far it looks like I have something called vestibular neuritis - basically a form of vertigo/problem with inner ear. This could be caused by my circulation problems, or by a tumour, or - wait for it - by the cold sore virus entering the system. And in the week all this started I had two really strange cold sores, one each side of my face - almost symmetrical. It can also causes odd psychological symptoms and a form of depression. I am not out of the woods, and there is still an outside chance a tumour in the ear could have caused this, but I feel much better if you see what i mean. Although in fact physically I feel worse. And I should imagine stress etc has played a part in it as well. But as of today, I don't feel like I am likely to die from a brain tumour, and that has to be a step forward. So I suppose I am travelling hopefully. Thanks all x

madmouse Thu 02-Jun-11 16:39:17

So it was a good thing you went to the doctor after all smile

Well done, hope you are totally well again soon x

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