Please help! Terrible anxiety and feel like throat is closing up(80 Posts)
Please help! I've been having awful anxiety attacks since last year. I'm in a really awful job with a bullying boss. It's really stressful and ive just had the week from hell. Driving home I felt like my throat was closing up. Now I know it's just anxiety but what I can I do?? It's really frightening. I know that I can breathe and swallow but also think that I can't. I've had every anxiety symptom over the past few months but this is awful!
Classic panic attack symptom - someone will be along who can help soon though
If possible, I would just quit your job. Isn’t worth it.
I know. I can't put up with this. This particular symptom is terrifying. Will it just pass? Thank you for replying.
The thing I found helped when I had the same was controlling my breathing. It's called square breathing. Breathe in to the count of 4, hold for 4, out for 4, hold for 4 etc. It really helped me 'calm' (can't think of a better word) and then my throats felt less tight. Just concentrate on your breathing and close your eyes. Obviously not if you're still driving
Also, get yourself to your GP and ask for help. This was the biggest help for me! Anxiety is truly awful, you have my complete sympathy.
Have you seen your GP? One of the first things they'll try for anxiety is a beta-blocker, which doesn't affect your mind, but stops the physical feelings of anxiety, like the racing heart, palpitations, breathlessness. Makes it easier to cope with difficult situations because you're not being led by your physical reaction to the situation.
Stop what you are doing, do a relaxation video on youtube. That might help with the immediate panic, but next week get an appt with your GP (ha, you'll be lucky, but with panic and anxiety like this you can justify an urgent appointment).
But if you've a bullying boss then you probably need to get out before it ruins your confidence, self-esteem and sanity. Could you speak to HR about a transfer to a different team? Failing that, job hunting before you're so worn down you don't feel able to get out.
In the first instance whilst your panic seems overwhelming just try to concentrate on your breathing and regulate it - use nostril breathing i.e. Concentrate on breathing slowly and steadily in thru your right nostril and the then slowly and steadily out and then concentrate on doing the same thru your left nostril and then thru both nostrils (keeping it slow and steady). Do this for several rounds, this should help regulate your breathing so you don't breath too fast and then panic.
I have had bad anxiety and panic attacks and I know you will feel like you are going mad or dying or both! But you aren't it's just that you are being overwhelmed with anxiety and stress and it's your body and minds way of trying to cope.
The best way forward is to see your GP as soon as possible. You may need some anti-anxiety medication as an interim measure and be put on the waiting list for talking therapy e.g. CBT.
It sounds like your job is causing you many issues - it maybe you need some time off sick whilst you put strategies in place to improve how you are feeling and coping.
If your off work this bank holiday weekend try to relax as much as you can and not fill your time too much. Don't stay away from people though - it's important that you have company.
Talk to sympathetic family members and friends about how stressed you are feeling and about work - having people to talk to and who understand is very beneficial.
Take care and be kind to yourself
Look at mindfulness techniques, I suffer from anxiety and know these symptoms well, I find the best way to calm myself down is to move my focus to something else. I’m suffering this week after a stressful week, my chest has felt tight and I have had to try and regulate my breathing to ground myself.
I hope you find something that works for you, anxiety sucks
Yes, it will.
But if possible I’d really change the job. I had something similar - no bullying or anything but a very difficult period in my life compounded with excessive stress. Swollen throat, a lot of vomiting, palpitations. In short body in fright or flight mode. GP can give you something to alleviate the symptoms, CBT etc... At the end of the day it’s easier and probably better to just cut out the source of stress. Hot bath works reasonably well since it relaxes the body so could work quite fast for your throat.
Been there. Am still there occasionally. I am having the most amazing counselling at the moment. We are uncovering stuff I didn’t know I remembered never mind realised it was affecting me.
Go to your GP and insist on referrals and help with coping strategies.
Start collecting evidence against bullying boss and speak to your union.
Ducks in a row.
How do I know it's not actually closing up?
Get the GP to do a thyroid blood test - my symptoms turned out to be overactive thyroid related. Very similar with throat tightness etc.
Made worse by stress too.
I'm shivering and shaking now. Had a run in with her before I left and it's reduced me to this! Crazy! I think this is my cut off point now. I'm not going back. Thank you for the support I'll read properly later when I've calmed down.
Might sound strange but this article explains why symptoms happen and I used to find it helpful
Short term - you need distraction. Acknowledge it is just panic/anxiety and then do something else. Candy crush, brain training app, cook, sleep, anything that distracts you
Long term - GP. I was on beta blockers for a while and they really helped
I'm a mental health practitioner, and what you're describing are classic symptoms of a panic attack, including the thoughts that you're having - that your throat might close up. It won't. You're experiencing physical anxiety symptoms which while they feel horrible and scary are not dangerous - they are uncomfortable but they will not kill you. Focus on telling yourself that it is only anxiety, nothing bad is going to happen, and that it will pass.
Have a read of this www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/coping-with-panic-attacks/
Thank you. I have all those symptoms. No job is worth this. I can't believe I've let myself get to this point. I have 2 little children and mummy is shaking and thinking she's going to die cos of a job!
I tried to keep going as we need the money but id say this is definitely the end. I'm going to get signed off.
Thank you to everyone. It's helped not feeling so alone. Still got the feeling in my throat but trying to ignore it
Yuk. Awake from 2.30 with palpitations and feeling sick. Obviously at this hour my brain is going over it all. I was going to say I can't believe it's got this bad, but it was always going to. How long would I get signed off for?
That sounds horrendous!! I know anxiety well but haven't had that particular symptom and it would freak me out too.
So glad you can choose to quit the job, it does sound like it's not worth it. Take care.
Go to your GP ASAP, OP. Tell them what's been happening and also your physical reactions. You should also look into advice from an employment lawyer. You should have compensation for this.
Thanks both. I will be going to my gp definitely. I've already seen the gp several times. I'm also seeing a private counsellor who has been helping me deal with the workplace stress.
I don't want to lose my job. My boss is actually leaving my workplace in a couple months.
Do you have an HR department? I'd be inclined to
1. Get signed off by your GP
2. Write down what she's doing to make you feel this way
3. Make an appointment with HR and go through everything she's doing to you - you could even ask them to come to your home as you're unable to leave / go into work due
To the stress she's causing you
Can I just ask- what is she doing?
With panic attacks I find square breathing, also opening the window and taking large calm breaths helps. It's awful and it's not worth it if it's just s person doing this to you - she's clearly a bully
I don't want to say too much on here. Needless to say that HR already know, hence her leaving.
Get yourself signed off til she leaves - would you stay when she goes?
If you like everything else about the job then personally I'd get the GP to sign me off til she goes but also suggest to HR that if she's taken away from your line management you could start to rebuild your confidence and come back - out the ball in their court
I feel for you, there's a bully in a partner organisation in my job, she's absolutely the nastiest person I've ever come across in my life , she's had people off sick for years, about 30-40 people have left simply because of her, she's also shit st her job too, their department is always financially in trouble, because if her, and she pays a family member to do subcontracted work for the organisation, Which is immoral and probably illegal - everyone over looks it!
Some people are just bastards - get away from there and get yourself fixed, this isn't 'you' this is an affect of a shit head person being awful to you. Take time, get strong again and you'll be yourself in no
I don't want to lose my job. My boss is actually leaving my workplace in a couple months.
Oh sorry, I misread your comment. Thank goodness she's leaving.
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