Anxiety Makes You Feel Unreal and Disconnected
Panic attacks suck the reality out of us!
I talked two people down from panic attacks recently and both of them had been worrying that they had lost touch with reality. They felt totally disconnected to the world around them. In talking to them, they were so convincing. I almost believed that this episode was different. But I let go of my own fear for them. (My worry doesn't help anyone.) I quickly assessed that they were not, in fact, psychotic. They were speaking rationally and eloquently.
And I remember from my panicky days how I felt different and disconnected.
And this feeling different and disconnection totally charged up my panic. It went through the roof! Making me feel even more disconnected. This is because anxiety is what we feel when we are disconnected. Anxiety comes from a feeling of separation. That there is something missing in us that doesn't allow us to handle situations. A false assumption that we are different than other people (thus separate).
Feeling Unreal and Disconnected Is a Very Scary Illusion
It feels so much like it is possible we won't come back to ourselves. Like our sanity is about to go off a cliff somewhere, never to return. This is terrifying! And feeds the anxiety. An already huge snow ball, rolling around, gathering yet a wider girth. Intense panic ensues.
If your panic is that intense:
Stop and remind yourself that this is just panic, not death, not psychosis, not a cliff.
Remember: I cannot guarantee much in life, but I can guarantee that things will change, you will not stay here forever. That is impossible. This too shall pass.
Remember: You have most likely been here before and came out the other side, it only feels like this is more intense because it is happening right now. It was probably this intense before and you survived (or you wouldn't be reading this.)
Know: You can get rid of problem anxiety
Please tell me what is on your mind!
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Lobozzo, J. (2012, August 15). Anxiety Makes You Feel Unreal and Disconnected, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/08/anxiety-makes-us-feel-unreal
Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R
My name is Tanya. Jodi, the person who wrote this article, is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, so she's unable to respond to comments. I'm sure she would do so if she could! First, it's important for you to know that feeling cared and that you've snapped is a very common feeling. You're not alone, and there's nothing "wrong" with you for this! Having lived through difficulties and issues with mental illness myself, I understand that it truly can be frightening. You have many different things that you're dealing with, and it's all piling on top of each other to give you this awful feeling. You wisely observed that when you were injured, you lost one of your positive stress-relieving activities. That has a big impact on one's sense of both mental and physical well-being. Your questions of whether you will be okay and how to fix it are very legitimate and I'm sure scary to ask. Of course I am not in a position to evaluate you and your situation, but I will say that because you have been to a doctor, will be seeing a psychologist, and clearly are taking measures to understand yourself, your anxiety, and how to heal, you truly have the potential to overcome this. Be patient with yourself. Anxiety likes to hold on and fight back, but in the end, you are stronger than it. Work with your doctor and psychologist. You won't be stuck forever.
Thanks Tanya. It goes up and down, yesterday was better, today not so much. I know you are right. Just one of those things that happens and I need to battle through it.
We can only help ourselves.
I know it won't be forever. Just want to get back to being myself. It just feels weird that this intense feeling happened over night however many days back. If it came on that strong then it can go away that strong as well, that's what I'm saying. :).
Thanks for writing back. Much appreciated. x
Your comments about knowing that this won't be forever and that it goes up and down are very wise. I like what you're saying -- that it can go away just as strong as it came on. That's wise, too! Do know that "battle" is a good term. This anxiety can absolutely be overcome, but it's not always an easy fight. It can feel like quite a struggle sometimes, and that's very normal. Keep working to discover things that help, and then keep at them, and you definitely can feel better. Know, too, that you're not alone. Anxiety disorders are more common than people realize. Hang in there!
I am a 2nd year medical student. I am seeking a big help seriously. It was a month ago I took an oral preparation of Cannabis which made me Euphoric that day. I visited the Emergency due to tachycardia and palpitation, took a tablet of propranolol and returned after feeling comfortable enough. But suddenly I started having chest and shoulder pain, which made me restless. After 2 days I visited the Emergency again and I was given Lorazepam as I was said to have withdrawl syndrome. Still didn't help. Then I took an ECG which was normal. After a conselling from a senior I felt ok.
After 10 days I could feel something running inside my head. Again the chest and arm pain started. With the feeling of dizziness and pain, after some days I visited the Psychiatry department and prescribed propranolol TDS. I frequently visited a psychologist and took counselling also. It only helped temporarily. Again I started feeling detached from the world, unreal, unfresh 24 hours and not interested in anything (these feelings I feel till today). My psychiatrist diagnosed me with mixed anxiety depression and prescribed sertraline which I have taken for 2 days. I can't manipulate what's going on around. I have no concentration in studies which is really worrying as my exams are near. I am very feared and can't sleep sound sleep at night. Sometimes I get fearful vibes radiating from my chest to the neck which makes me restless. I am really, worried..Please help me....
Also I feel pulses in various parts of my body. I have sweaty palms and I feel very very uncomfortable. Oh! god please help me.
I am very sorry to read about your current experiences. Many of the symptoms you express do relate to anxiety, and this could absolutely be anxiety-based. The good news about that is, as scary and painful as anxiety can be, it can be reduced. However, much of your symptoms seem to stem from physical consequences/reactions to substances, both the Cannabis and the traditional medications. That isn't "bad," of course, but I think it should be the starting point for figuring out what is going on. It's great that you've been seeking medical help, but I wonder if it's possible that you have not received the correct treatment. Have you been to a medical doctor for a thorough exam (of course psychiatrists are medical doctors, but they do focus on psychological aspects)? I think that that is something that could be an immediate next step. Mention all of your history; it may be that you are having atypical reactions to anti-anxiety medications. It does happen. I'm not a doctor, of course, so I don't want to cause harm by speculating. I'd recommend that you seek a different medical doctor, and after ruling out physical problems or reactions to medications first. And of course in the meantime, continue to learn about anxiety, ask questions, etc.
I used to suffer from horrible panic and anxiety - to the point where I wouldn't leave my house from fear of having one in public.
I no longer have panic attacks, and only occasional blips of anxiety that are very short-lived. One thing that helped me was consciously slowing my mind down to recognize what my body was doing.
I don't know if anyone has seen that Kevin Costner baseball movie where he was a pitcher, but I used his technique. In order to clear his mind and focus entirely on his pitching he would say "Clear the mechanism". For some reason I was watching this trying to fight through a panic attack and knew plenty of athletes that have the same kind of routines. I thought if these professional athletes could use these techniques, maybe I could do.
As I felt the next "wave of terror" as I called them hit, I took a deep breath in through the nose for a count of four, and thought 'clear the mechanism' as I held in breath for a count of seven and I pictured all the chaotic thoughts leaving my mind on my exhaled breath (count of 8).
It was almost instantaneous, seriously amazing how fast that brought me from a solid ten on the panic attack scale to a 3-4. So, I did it again. This time I focused on exactly what I was feeling - shaky knees, yes anxiety. Fast breathing - yes, anxiety and went down the checklist of all my physical reactions. As I breathed in and held it, I 'cleared the mechanism' again and pictured each physical reaction returning to normal. Once again, I went from a 3-4 to a 1-2.
Yay! Cured, right? Nope, not yet. While this gave me confidence that I could control a full-blown panic attack, I was still very shaken and upset I couldn't control the thoughts that triggered them in the first place. The best advice I received was from a guy friend (pro footballer) who said the team psychologist taught them to turn their anxious thoughts into the 'enemy', and that they had two choices - they could believe the lies of the enemy and give in to it or they could recognize it as the lies they were and disregard it. Um, wow! You can do that?! You can just choose to NOT believe the lies these scary thoughts are trying to get your mind to believe? Yes, you actually can! I won't lie and say I never have scary thoughts anymore, that I never get depersonalization/derealization anymore - I do, on rare occasion.
The difference now is how I react to them. Now, I get the thought (for one example)"You're all alone and you will die" and turn it into "I may be alone, but you cannot hurt me, you cannot kill me, and if I ignore you, you will go away. If you don't go away, I can clear the mechanism and you will be gone instantly" And, the small little anxious feeling that was created by my 'scary' thought is gone so fast. I have used this is super tense places for a former agoraphobic! The mall, flying in an airplane, grocery shopping, the doctor's office (my most dreaded place ever because they misdiagnosed me with anxiety and panic when what I initially had was hypoglycemia - but, if you are told you are having panic attacks enough, you will have panic attacks. BUT, on the flip side, if you are told you CAN get over these panic attacks, you will start to believe that as well.
I never went to a therapist, psychologist or shrink. I never took any medication or supplements (not knocking them, at all, just saying they are not always necessary).
I'm sorry this is so long! And, one last thing, this process did take time, but I forgave myself of any setbacks as I knew they would only be temporary. First thing - FORGIVE YOURSELF (!!!) for having panic and anxiety issues. I know it feels like your own body and mind has turned against you, but in all intents and purposes, your body is doing exactly what it was designed to do. It has not turned on you! Forgive yourself, allow yourself to grieve just a tiny bit for that person you were before this started and then start looking forward to the person you ARE and WILL become.
Bless you all, I wish I could talk to each and every one of you face to face. I've been there, I know. I am okay, you WILL be okay.
Thank you for sharing your insights! It's great that HealthyPlace can be a forum for exchange and a place where people learn from each other and grow. It sounds like you've worked hard and persevered to find a very helpful method. Keep at it, and thanks again for your comments!
Reading these posts is somewhat reassuring for me. I felt fine for the longest time and then, about a month ago, I started having these "episodes" where I would feel somewhat similar to when I was having a panic attack from weed (I quit smoking for quite some time now). Now I think about it everyday at work and in social situations and feel like I'm not normal anymore. It's so scary because I am constantly thinking about it and considering everything under the sun that could be wrong with me. At work and when I'm out I feel disconnected. I feel like things are happening in real time around me but I'm kind of in slow motion with slow reactions and not really being able to focus. I can still communicate and function properly but I know that I'm not feeling normal in that moment. I feel completely fine once I'm at home so I don't know what the issue could be. I started having pains in my chest daily and find myself worrying a lot more about things that I shouldn't even be thinking about and about when I will get over this stage and feel normal again. I really need some help with this!
It's good that reading all of the posts has been a bit reassuring. At the very least, you can see that you're not alone. Taking action to learn what is going on is a great thing to do, so keep at it. It does sound like you are experiencing difficulties with types of anxiety. It's often helpful to see a professional to help sort out what is going on and to figure out what to do about it (and there are most definitely things that can be done to improve all types of anxiety). Keep visiting sites such as HealthyPlace, too, to find both information and support.
Right now I have just started counseling and just started on a low dose of Lexapro and Klonopin temporarily! It has helped but am having waves of panic and anxiety coming over me about the dumbest stuff. Just the mention of going to church or calling someone. There's no rhyme or reason. I struggle with looking at pictures or going certain places because my thought is, "The last time I was there, I felt normal!" It makes me cry and I don't want to go back. Sometimes it's hard to figure out if the feelings I'm having are panic, fear or anxiety. I agree with a lot of you that the feelings of unreality and thinking you're going crazy are the hardest! I love on my grandchildren but feel like I'm not there. It's like I've stepped into another world but I know it's because were so introspective and caught up with everything we're feeling! I pray that God will use me in the midst of this trial to reach out to others who are suffering so they don't suffer alone! I have come through this before and I have to have hope and faith that "this too shall pass"! Any and all tips on how to sleep would be appreciated. Prayers of peace, healing and comfort to all of you! I'm glad I found this sight. Lots of encouragement! Also thanks to everyone for sharing. It helps you to know you're not alone!
Welcome to HealthyPlace and Anxiety-Schmanxiety! I'm glad that you have already found this to be a useful place with many insights. We have wonderful readers, many of whom share their own thoughts and ideas. It sounds like despite some struggles with anxiety right now, you're taking charge and working to overcome it and that you are finding support in many places. Even though it's not always easy, with that healthy attitude/approach, you are right that "this too shall pass." I'm sure readers will have many tips on sleeping. For me, deep breathing and meditating (I can't do it like a guru, but I can do it "good enough") is helpful to slow down anxious thoughts. Best of luck to you as you overcome this anxiety.
I almost always get anxiety right as my head hits the pillow.
I don't know why, but during the day I'm fine, but at night as I get ready for bed BOOM!!!!
My thoughts turn worrisome and negative, sometimes I feel like a crazy person. No offense to anyone.
Can anybody relate?
Jodi, the author of this article, is no longer writing for HealthyPlace and is thus unable to respond to comments. The issue you mentioned is very common, and perhaps many people will share their stories of how they relate. I myself have experienced this very thing, and it's frustrating. During the day, we're busy with other things and our minds are distracted. At night, when there is no distraction, anxious thoughts can have free reign. Sometimes deep breathing or meditation is helpful in calming anxious thoughts at night. Also, stopping a thought and countering it with different thoughts can soothe nighttime anxiety as well. Other readers will likely have other tips, too.
Thank you so much for responding.
It does help to meditate.
I'm glad that meditation is helpful!
I am 12 and am not panicking consciously but I feel like I am not real an that something is wrong with my brain!!! Plz reply if you feel the same way!
Jodi is the one who wrote this article, but she is no longer writing the Anxiety-Schmanxiety column and is unable to respond. I'm Tanya, one of the current writers of Anxiety-Schmanxiety. While your comment is directed to other readers, I thought I'd reply as well. I like the way you worded your description -- that you're not panicking consciously. Many times people have no conscious idea why a panic attack begins, and often people feel it inside rather than show it a great deal on the outside. You really can feel like you're not real or that something is wrong in your brain that is causing this. Of course, it's always wise to have a medical checkup and to consult with a professional therapist because both can help a lot. What you describe, though, is very typical of panic. It's an awful feeling, but it doesn't have to be with you for the rest of your life. There are things to do to get better.
Thanks very much for replying:) my anxiety seems worse in the morning, for no reason other than I'm anxious because of my fear of having another panick attack. So I pretty wake up expecting to be anxious and not really sure how to go about changing this. Any idea what might help?
Your comments about fearing another panic attack and waking up expecting to be anxious are very insightful. Panic and anxiety often feed themselves because they are so unpleasant that we begin to fear and dread them, and this fear and dread in turn contribute to increased panic and anxiety. It's a cycle that is difficult to break, but it is indeed possible to break it -- especially with the insight that you already have. As you probably already know, there isn't a quick fix, and you can't just order your brain to stop anticipating panic and anxiety. Wouldn't that be nice! How do you feel about journaling? It can be helpful to, before bed, write down things that went well for you during the day, times (even if they were brief) that you didn't feel anxious). Focus on your successes as you go to sleep, and when you wake up and anxiety rears its ugly head, a first step could be to review what you wrote the night before and immediately remind yourself that you do have anxiety free (or at least reduced) moments in your day. This could be a helpful start. Working directly with a therapist can also be very beneficial as you'll have regular contact with someone who will get to know you and work with you on a plan that's just right for you.
Hi! I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and after having a panick attack a week ago, i have been feeling just like you wrote! I feel like i'm not myself and sometimes i start thinking these deep thoughts and i start feeling so surreal! and it's the scariest thing! but reading this and all of the comments made me feel better and i feel like i'm not complitely crazy and some others have the same problems that i have ! THANK YOU SO MUCH ! i guess it will get better by time :) i already felt more normal and so so reliefed when reading this. so i know the "normal-me"-feeling is there somewhere still! thank you again :)
Jodi is no longer writing the Anxiety-Schmanxiety blog. I am one of the new writers along with Anthony D'Anconti. I know Jodi would be very pleased with your entire comment (perhaps she has even seen it but is not able to comment). Congratulations for taking charge of your anxiety and panic and finding that the "normal-you" is still there!
I to suffer from anxiety/ panic attacks. I'm 24 and it first started about a year ago, I was so scared, my panic atacks would last all day and all night , I couldn't sleep etc. I went to the doctor and was put on Citralopram which seemed to helped, during this year I felt normal again, once in a while I would feel anxious but didn't pay attention to it I just let it be there and It would go away. My also suffers from anxiety and a few days ago I witnessed one of her attacks and it was so scary, I was trying to be strong for her, but now am feeling anxious again. My thought are consently racing, " is this what my future will be like?"," I don't to feel like this forever". I'm panicking just thinking if my mom will have another attack. It makes sad , and upset to see someone I love and care about hurting and I don't know how to let it go. I have to force myself through all the uncomfortableness and panic to get up and go to school each day to finish my nursing and some days it's so hard . Any advice is appreciated, anyone who can relate I'd love to here your story.
It shows great strength that you are continuing with school. It can be hard to pursue long-term goals when anxiety and panic make it seem impossible. Some things that can be effective in reducing and eventually eliminating the panic attacks you describe include looking for a pattern. While it may seem like the attacks are continual, often they are stronger at certain times. Keeping track of when they occur, how intense they are, and what you were doing at the time can be helpful in determining what lies beneath them. Also, make goals for yourself. Break tasks or outings into chunks. For example (and this particular one might not apply directly to you, but you can perhaps modify it to your own situations), if trips to the store heighten your anxiety or bring panic, rather than staying away completely, try tackling the store for a brief amount of time -- instead of taking a long list and filling your cart, commit to making a quick trip inside for two or three essential items. You're doing the right thing by seeking information. As you gather many different tips from many sources, you can choose what's right for you.
Ive had anxiety for awhile. Sometimes it feels as if its not anxiety. I cant hardly breathe, my chest hurts, my mind races, i feel like something bad is gonna happen to me all the time. Its very scary and kindof hard to explain.
Hello I have when threw all this feelings but sum how I don't know y I keep on thinking my mind will forget who I am or the people I love around me that's the main problem I have rite now is it just me or will it happen I feel scared most of the time.
Remind yourself, it is just anxiety!
Its kinda like how I feel,I've been feeling like everything is fake around me like and illusion I've had ocd really bad when I was little then growing up I use to get sad so I kinda pushed myself away from the ocd was fine then tried some cannabis then everything changed from there idk if it's from that or what but it's been like 6 years I use to occasionally have break downs but I had one like a year and half ago that kinda changed everything I got so overwhelmed and thought I was mentally gone but I've had this thought that everything is unreal around me and sometimes it really makes me feel that way and I wonder what's the point in getting help and stuff if it's all unreal then it's all setup to try to make me comfortable and what I wanna hear but I work a full time job and live life but im miserable and feel like im mentally gone and stuck and crazy and ill never live a normal life like I use to before all this worrying and crazy thought I can't shake
There are out there people who can help. You don't have to go through this alone. Check out goodtherapy.org for someone in your area!
Hi im 22 ive had weird sensations for 6 weeks like when i eat breath or touch things or talk it feels weird like delayed reactions its very scary my doctor put me on ataraxx but it doesnt help can you tell me what this is
If you've been cleared by the medical world that it is not anything wrong, then try to assume it is anxiety. This happens when you over think it. Like when you say a word so many times and that word just sounds weird. If you overly are aware of the world, it would feel so bizarre. Try to just keep going and it might go away.
I am currently in the middle of a 6month relapse after haveing gained control over my anxiety for the last 3yrs..(to anyone suffering at the minute it CAN be done) the unreal feeling is something I am really struggling with after haveing a full blown panic attack after all those years this is by far the scariest symptom I think I've ever had and the one I'm finding most troublesome to just let go.. I'm actually finding it difficult to go out anywhere again because the panic attack is so fresh in my mind ,the fear of just shutting down in public and not beign able to function to make it back home or just lose control ... finding this post has helped a little so thankyou x
I am glad Rachel. The anxiety needs you to be scared of it. That's is what is keeping it alive. Try to not be scared and you will se it diminish! xo
I had the same experience when I first had a panic attack. I thought I was gonna die. I can't even open my hands at that time. I even had to go to the hospital and this doctor had me on diazepam. I'm still having anxiety attacks every now and then. I think its because I worry too much about my health. Sometimes, I feel like I can't relate to other people about what they're talking about. Its really hard but I always tell to myself that I'm okay and that nothing is wrong with me.
One of my friends told me about this site/blog and reading your articles has helped me a lot, Jodi. Now I know that I'm noy crazy or anything and its just anxiety.
I am so glad I can be of service, Josh! And happy you got things under control! <3
Hi im only 16 years old. Last year I tried cannabis for the first time and d an intense panic attack. It was my first panic attack and so I hadn't a clue what was going on. I had never heard of the reaction I was having as my heart was racing and I completely zoned out of reality. I didn't feel myself and nothing seemed real. I was convinced I was having q heart attack and that the extreme feeling I was having was somewhat religious or spiritual and that everyone who is about to die experiences it(im an atheist btw). I quite embarrassingly insisted that my friend call an ambulance and of course I was actually fine when checked out. However this feeling of not being in reality continued and u began to fear for my insanity went to a counsellor and straight away she suggested that it was anxiety. I I then began researching online to learn more and I came across the term depersonalization/derealisation. It described exactly how I felt at the time and stated that it was anxiety related which explains a lot seen as I was (still am) being brought up in a good caring home with a low tolerance to drugs hence my guilt feeling of smoking the wred which may have triggered my attack. Anyways I am clear of all symptoms now and back to enjoying life just because of a little reassurance from online research where I could relate to other people's stories. I want to thank you Jodi for taking the time about to explain the causes and possible cures for these anxiety related symptoms because after all it was this type of info that helped me and I am extremely grateful for your work. THANKS!!
Thank you Darragh! I am so glad for your persistence in helping yourself. Keep it up!
I stay home quite often, I'm 15, play alot of games watch TV, play baseball in the summer. when I am out in public or with friends I often feel like things are unreal, I can't stay focused, Im always feeling as if Somone is staring at me or talking about me, I tend to look at people and kind of stare feeling insecure,when I am with one just one friend I feel ok, when we get around a group I get quiet, shy, not knowing what to say my mind just kind of goes blank.
This is not uncommon. Nobody is staring or thinking of you like you think. They are all thinking about themselves and what everyone thinks about them. This is a story you tell yourself, like a movie you play. And it perpetuates the nervousness. See if you can get help from your parents.:)
All my anxiety started four months ago with a huge panic attack.. I'm a hypochondriac so every little feeling gets me going. I too felt this "depersonalization" and still do from time to time. It gives me agoraphobia like crazy because I'm afraid il go somewhere and either A) pass out or B) freak out and get scared.. I made it through the fear of dying part (kinda) now I'm stuck on mental health. Afraid of going crazy more or less. It almost feels like my brain is telling me I'm like in a movie or a coma and this is all a dream and il wake up later to find that none of it happened. Freaky right? Personally I hate the feeling of weakness and all the shakiness: hands, legs, and teeth. I have been to the hospital a ton and they just always fall on anxiety. I even did a stint in a mental hospital... Very scary for anyone who hasn't done it, but worth the experience. Anyway I guess it's just that I'm afraid il lose my mind and be gone forever and lose my dreams.
I know this is long winded but thanks for reading.
Frank, These are all tactics for the anxiety to stay in control. Find some treatment. You can get rid of these feelings. Love, Jodi
thanks for the feedback Jodi, I appreciate any advice you have for me as I am looking for hope that this too shall pass,I keep telling myself that each day and know I must have the desire to be here or I wouldnt keep fighting for it everyday!I have put out feelers to get myself back into councelling, it just always takes so long to see someone, but I will see my family doctor and the psychiatrist until I can. Have you heard of this type of thing before? where someone doesnt quite feel real, I know I do have anxiety with it and it does make it worse, I was so happy to find this blog and read your words there that this too shall pass..gave me a small measure of hope. thank you for that.
Jodi, I guess I didnt answer your question of how long and when it started, I think I was feeling a bit like this for a few months, but it was once I got off effexor completely that it started to worsen and it has been about two months now of feeling like I have to fight to stay here and seems to get worse some days. I need some hope things will improve and I wont lose myself completely.
thanks for the reply Jodi, I am seeing someone but she is not much help as she does not offer councel as much as medication,I went off of a medication and had this occur, and keep feeling more and more like I am not really here, and not sure why as I love my boy so much and want to be here for him, but I guess there are times where I wonder what the point is to life, I am taking a medication now called cipralex and am really hoping it does help me,I have had numerous things happen in my life, losses and traumas, but have been through councelling and thought I was better, I had been on effexor for fibromyalgia for years and once I went off of it I started to present with these issues and am having such a hard time getting back to myself, your post here gave me some hope as its positive that this will not stay like this, I dont want to lose touch with my boy which is what I am most afraid of, that I will forget I have him somehow....not sure what that is about, I am fighting every day to go out and try to keep contact with reality it just seems like I am walking around in my own head alot.
Since I am not a MD, I cannot comment or give advise on medication. BUt going to someone for counseling again seems to be in order. Sometimes we feel better and then later in our life we get down to a further level of healing. This doesn't mean you are not really better, it is just the next layer. I am glad you are getting out. Keep that up. Stay out of your head as much as possible. Make sure you are speaking to your doctor about the side effects of the med changes. Hold on and get yourself to a counseling. I hear your desire to live and be OK. I know you can do this.
I get this same exact feeling! Especially how you said you can control the anxiety to a degree but its the feeling in the back of your head like you're so distant and far away. I wish I just had a panic attack from something I could pinpoint, but instead I have constant feelings of not feeling real. Sometimes I am okay with it and I can be strong and tell myself "this will pass, there's nothing wrong with you. It's just anxiety." But then it gradually worsens because I start getting overwhelmed and panic when the feelings don't go away. It's so horrible not being able to concentrate or "connect" with people and the world around me. I'm 34 weeks pregnant and having a baby soon and my anxiety was fine for almost a year and during my pregnancy up until just a few weeks ago when I hit my third trimester. That's the main thing I can think of that would be triggering my anxiety. All I can think about is the baby coming and feeling like this after she is here and I imagine myself so crazy and feeling like this that I won't even be able to take care of her :( I am so glad someone else feels this way though and that maybe I'm not going crazy. My therapist told me that if I question myself and I'm afraid of going crazy, then chances are I am not because crazy people don't know they are crazy and don't question it or even realize! I am also in my last semester of college right now in a very fast paved medical program. Graduation is right around my due date and I'm so stressed. My mom says I should take it easy on myself because I have so many stressors and should give myself a break. She says no wonder I have anxiety, that she would be anxious too if she had all this on her plate. When my anxiety is this bad though, all I can think about is how uncomfortable I feel. My voice is constantly talking in my head and trying to analyze how to fix this, what it could be, etc. I sometimes even convince myself this is a medical disorder and I'll be stuck like this forever. I have had anxiety all my life and started struggling with these feelings of being unreal about 3-4 years ago. At one point it was so bad I wanted to die so bad also. I still have those feelings now but I dismiss them right away. I feel terrible and guilty for my anxiety feelings because I have a great family and I'm having a baby soon, graduating college, I feel like I should be happy :(
I have good news for you. Thinking you'll be like this forever is your trigger. You know you won't. Anxiety can and does go away. You can get rid of it. The second bit of good news is that (and I know this bc I was uber anxious when I was pregnant!) if you breast feeding, the oxytocin this releases is a wonderful anti anxiety! I was going crazy during my pregnancy and once I had the baby it went away completely. Also, holding and cuddling a sleeping or staring baby is the best meditation in the world. You'll calm right down!
Love to you, sweet mama!
Thank you, I am just freaking out lately! Yesterday was a better day for me. But today I had a panic attack again when my boyfriend left for work and I was at the house all alone. I got a crazy "unreal" feeling. It's like I'm not myself and I can't think straight, my thoughts get distant and it's scary. Sometimes my body feels fine but inside my head I feel weird. Then I think what if I have some type of disease or disorder or something is wrong with my brain!? Can pregnancy cause anxiety to become worse? I haven't had any issues with my anxiety for the past year or two. It just started when I entered my third trimester and gradually had gotten worse to the point of where I'm afraid to be alone or be certain places because I will feel this way. Im just so scared and frustrated it won't go away because I don't want to feel like this when the baby comes. I think, "what if I feel unreal still and can't I next with her like I usually feel when I have this?" Or "what if I go crazy and can't take care of her because I can't even take care I myself during this!?" Just feels like I'm in slow motion lately. My mom and everyone tells me, even the doctor, that I should be feeling extremely tired and my hormones are all out of whack lately. This is just the worst scary feeling. I tell myself this time it is different and something IS wrong with me this time, but as I know from past experience, anxiety will try and convince you that this time it isn't anxiety and this time it's worse, etc. It feels like it for sure but nobody understands what I mean when I tell them this :(
I hear all the time, "This time it is worse." I heard the same thing from a client every week for two years. Actually from many clients. You are right, this is the tactic of the Anxiety. It means what meaning you give it. Hormones can throw off your anxiety, and so your sense of reality, out of control. Busyness of caretaking will kick in when the baby comes. You'll be distracted away from the panic. Oxytocin will take care of you. Forget the house or the worries and just sit and hold your warm beautiful bundle. Imagine this. See yourself in the big chair holding him or her. See yourself smiling. Imagine yourself relaxed and worry free in this scene. Do this imagery three to twelve times a day. Drink red clover tea.
If you feel this when the baby comes, you can get your hormones checked out by an herbalist and you'll be fine.
Hope this helps, also I do online therapy if you need some more!