All my life I've had problems with anxiety and depression. I'm now worried that I may have an anxiety disorder. The first time I started having anxiety attacks was when I was 14 and my family was moving after living in the same town for nearly 10 years. A few months before the moving date I began having anger issues and I was always feeling agitated at school. This was extrememly abnormal for me. It got so bad that my mom took me out of school. I never finished 8th grade. After that I started getting dizzy spells. Well I guess dizzy isn't the right word but at that time it was the only way I could describe it. It felt like I was in a dream. Like nothing was real, like I would float away or pass out if I wasn't careful. After a while I couldn't go anywhere unless my mom drove on the back roads because going over 35 mph in the car made me feel like I was going 1000 mph and I would start to hyperventilate. I'm a huge hypochondriac so I went through my mom's medical books and looked up "dizziness" and self diagnosed myself as having an inner ear infection. I never suspected anxiety. By this time we only had about a week before we were moving so my parents wanted to get this "infection" taken care of. We went to the docter and all he did was perscribe me some antibiotics. The night before we left I was a nervous wreck. I didn't sleep much. As we got into the car the next morning I was terrified. My mom just handed me a bag in case I threw up and told me to just hold on. As we pulled onto the freeway I did start to hyperventilate a little but as we got further and further away I began to settle down and that was the last of it. My theory now is that even though I was excited to be starting over in a new place, my mind/subconcious wasn't ready for the change and went into panic mode. After that I had a little trouble every now and then in high school. Mainly with depression. But I pulled through okay. I'm 19 now and I'm having trouble again. After I graduated I moved in with my Grandma. She only lives about 100 miles away from my parents. She has no tv or internet so I felt cut off from the world which is what I wanted. I spent my time pretty much hiding. I rarely went anywhere and when I did it was only with my Grandma. Then about a month ago I had a really bad night. My stomach had been feeling wierd the few days leading up to it. Then on that night I just couldn't relax and as weird as this sounds I couldn't stop trying to make myself burp. Around 5 am I started dry heaving. After every heave I'd have a really big burp and then feel better. I heaved maybe four times and then I was hyperventilating and another weird thing I did was pinch the skin on my sternum. I pinched so hard that I pierced it in a few places with my nails. I couldn't eat anything that day and I didn't have an appetite for the next few days. I never had any nausea, just a really uneasy feeling and food sounded repulsive. To make myself feel better I went to visit my parents for 2 weeks. The night before I left I had a huge anxiety attack. I was crying and hyperventilating and I was sure I was going to die. I almost had my Grandma take me to the E.R. My Grandma had to stay up talking to me almost all night before she was finally able to convince me that I was just having an anxiety attack. To make me feel better she took my blood pressure and showed me that it was normal. Once I saw what it said I felt alot better and was able to calm down. I got some sleep and then went to my parent's house.The first day I was with them I felt 100% better. I got to go shooting with my dad and I got to help my little sister with her cello (music is my life) and I got to spend alot of time with my mom. My appetite came back and I felt great. Then when I went back to my Grandma's my stomach got that uneasy feeling again and I kept having to burp. I'd have to stay up late watching funny movies on my computer until I passed out. That was the only way I'd get any sleep. If I tried to go to bed I'd lay there for five minutes then have to sit up and burp, then lay there for 5 minutes and have to sit up and burp. I felt so isolated and doomed and was always afraid of dying. I felt like life had no point, like there was a black cloud covering everything. I went to my doctor this past Tuesday and he put me on Zoloft. He said it would take 2-3 weeks to kick in. That night I was sitting down in the living room watching a movie as usual and all of the sudden it felt like my body temperature rose 20 degrees in one second and my mouth went completely dry. I jumped up, ran into the kitchen and began drinking water. I also started pinching myself again both on my chest and nose. After about 20 minutes I heaved up the water. Once again I had no nausea so I don't know why I heaved. Anyways I stayed up most of the night feeling terrified, shaking, and just knowing that I had a terminal illness and was going to die. Wednesday wasn't much better. I couldn't eat anything and kept having fits of trembling, dizziness and depression. Then sometimes I'd feel like I just couldn't move fast enough. Like I was on crack or something. Wednesday night I couldn't sleep beause my body temperature was so messed up. I'd get so hot and then freeze. I just couldn't get comfortable and relax. I didn't sleep that night. Thursday was the same. Friday I felt alright during the day. I still couldn't eat but my mood was a little better. Friday night was bad though. I just kept worrying about having a serious illness even though I knew it was just anxiety. My Grandma told me it was anxiety and my doctor thought it was just anxiety. I went through one of my Grandma's medical books which I know is a bad idea because it terrifies me. I was thinking stomach cancer, gallstones, a thyroid disease. But when I really thought about it, I would realize that I had none of the symptoms. Then I came across anxiety. The symptoms the book listed were dead on. The nervousness, trembling and even the constant belching. It also said people with anxiety disorders worry about having a serious illness due to their physical symptoms. Pretty much everything I'm going through. Yesterday my parents said they wanted me to move back in with them until I get this under control. I got here last night and last night and felt alot better. My appetite even returned. I still can't eat alot though because I haven't eaten in almost 4 days and my stomach is sensitive. I got an okay night's sleep last night and today I was feeling great until about an hour and a half ago. My dad cooked up some cheesburgers and for some reason seeing them triggered an anxiety attack. My skin felt like it was burning and I got really shaky and my heart started racing. I was able to calm myself down enough to get on here and post this. I'm sorry it's so long but I wanted anyone who reads this to know enough details to offer me some good advice. Is it possible I have an anxiety disorder? If so what do I do about it? Should I see a therapist? I'm just so worried that I have a disease or something even though I know I don't. Can someone please help?


2533 days ago

honestly, I think it would be essential that you see a therapist to get a clear diagnosis and to be sure that the medication you are on is correct for you. It sounds to me like you are having adverse reactions to zoloft so I urge you to also tell the prescribing doctor of the symptoms you are having

I was confused by some parts of your post and may just have misunderstood them, but at one point you talk of your grandma having no TV ir Internet but then you talk of being on your computer and watching movies? I think when back at her place??

If you are only getting the reactions when you are there, it may be you are allergic to something in her house. Could her home have a mold problem? Mold has been shown to cause both mental and other health problems so that is an important factor.

2532 days ago
I agree with Chemar - it sounds like the Zoloft doesn't agree with you and it doesn't seem to be helping you at all. From your post it appears like you suffer from anxiety and panic attacks. It's also very common to worry excessively about illness when you have anxiety. Another common symptom is having digestive upset and dizzyness - there's a well known saying -"the stomach is the 'window' to the soul". The dizzyness is most likely from hyperventilating. If you didn't have anxiety but felt dizzy then, it would be best to look for physical reasons.

I don't understand why you have to live with your grandmother instead of your family?? Are you happy living with her - if you aren't, then it makes sense why being at her house, would make you feel more sick. You need to go back to your doctor and explain the additional physical/emotional problems you're having, since being on Zoloft. Ask if there's an alternative med and you should also be getting therapy - so you can learn coping techniques for the panic attacks. One thing that will help a great deal is, learning how to do 'slow deep breathing exercises'. I think once you get the anxiety under control, you'll stop worrying there's something more serious wrong with you. Here's a link to read more about Zoloft: