Our expert says:
This does sound like an anxiety disorder. The tingling can be due to the way some of us, when we get anxious, hyperventilate - we breathe faster and deeper than we need to, and this shifts the chemical balance in our blood, making us feel tingling and maybe faintness - when this happens, apart from trying deliberately to breathe a bit slower and less deeply, with less sighing, it can be helpful to breath into and out of a paper bag for a whort while, as this increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the air we're then breathing in, and this can help to correct the chemical shift we caused by the deep breathing !
All the symptoms you mention are typical of anxiety, and as one is already anxious, we tend to feel fearful of the symptoms our original, anxiety was causing. Other symptoms include such things as some trembling of the hands.
5HTP is NOT anywhere near as helpful as a properly chosen antidepressant used properly on the advice of a good doctor, and used in the proper doses, these should not cause serious problems at all.
Ativan is one of a family of drugs called Benzos, which are sedative tranquillizers. They act quickly, so one may feel some relief soon after taking one ( they're similar in some ways to taking a stiff drink of alcohol ) - but they don't solve the basic problem of anxiety, only provide some relief from the symptoms. Its not usually recommended that one take them in significant doses for more than a couple of months, as they can thern cause dependency, and it can be hard for some people to come off these benzo drugs.
Similarly, there are heart drugs called beta-blockers which can be used which don't touch the psychological sense of anxiety, but may calm many of the physical symptoms.
Antidepressants are effecgive in reducing the chemical imbalances underlying anxiety, and may help one to recover from the disorder. But they work more gradually, so it can be a couple of weeks before one starts to notice the effects. It'd be worthwhile trying this approach
I do not recommend hypnotherapy on its own for anything at all, and there's remarkably little good evidence that its useful for anything much ; used ONLY by a psychiatrist or psychologist as PART of a mixed plan of treatment, it could be a useful part of the solution. "Hypnotherapy " is not a formally recognized speciality ( except of course recognized by the hypnotherapists themselves !).
Another treatment method which HAS got lots of good sc ientific evidence that it works with lasting benefits, is a particular method of counselling called CBT ( COgnitive-Behaviour Therapy ) which helps you to unlearn the habits of getting and staying anxious, and to learn to avoid the triggers that set off the anxiety, and to reduce the anxiety deliberately when the symptoms start to arise. I like the way this method puts you back in control of yourself and your emotions. Many good psychologists are not able to offer this treatment.
Let us know, back here on the forum, in fresh messages, how you get on.
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