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Can you have an anxiety attack without feeling it during?

Hi there!
I'm new here. I decided to make an account to post this question because I am worried and hoping maybe some other people have experienced the same.

-Completely out of the blue a few weeks ago, I started having knee pain..followed by chest pressure,chills and stabbing pains in my back and ribs that brought me to tears. Background, I never cry and am a genuinely healthy person who has never had any major health problems, anxiety, etc.

-Went to ER a few hours later for fear of blood clot/PE or heart attack.
-They ran EKG, Ultrasound on leg, CT scan of lungs, blood test, etc. Long story short they said everything looked fine and sent me home to follow up with primary care doctor.

-Primary Doctor said it was likely just stress/anxiety and a lack of muscle that made me susceptible to nerve damage....

-It has been two weeks since that day everything began out of nowhere, and I have been having continuous random pains: Pinching/Stabbing pains in my heart, random shooting pains in the back of my arms & calves, feeling overall groggy/weak.

I am wondering if it is possible I could have had an anxiety attack without realizing and if so, is it normal to have continued symptoms weeks later? Is this my body still recovering?

I have never had what I understand to be an actual panic/anxiety "attack"...no sweaty palms, shortness of breath, ,etc.... Just keep getting these random on and off pains throughout the day at any point.

Could this all be anxiety related?

1 Responses
Avatar universal
First off, not all anxiety sufferers get the same physiological symptoms when they get a panic attack.  It depends on their lifestyle and the fact that brains are just weird things.  But you definitely know when you have a panic attack because you're terrified.  You don't just get physical symptoms, you get anxious thoughts and irrational fears or real triggers that stimulate forces in the body such as cortisol that then cause the physiological component.  If you're not an anxious person, it's most likely not anxiety.  If you are, then it might be.  There's no way for anyone to definitely know if it's anxiety or not, because many people have physiological conditions that create the same symptoms but can be very hard for docs to find and they usually don't look very hard.  Thyroid problems, blood sugar imbalances, hormonal problems, hidden viruses, pernicious infections, use of medications or drugs, can all cause symptoms that anxiety also causes.  The only thing you can do is get the best medical work-up you can find to eliminate all possible physiological problems as best as can be done in the current state of medicine, and go from there.  There is a category of doctor who specializes in this called a functional physician -- this is a psychiatrist who still practices medicine and eliminates medical issues before concluding something is a mental problem.  They are hard to find and never take insurance, so they are very expensive as they order a lot of tests.  But they are out there.  Also know that having unexplained problems can trigger anxiety, so that even if anxiety isn't the cause, it can become an accompanying problem.  So the knee pain and original symptoms don't sound anything like anxiety, but your reaction to them and the subsequent problems do.  
Thank you for information! That makes sense.

I am definitely a worrier in general, but don't experience the sudden feelings of fear and heart racing like you were describing.

People have been telling me that anxiety can come on suddenly without an actual attack as a result of stress building up over time. Almost like a latent reaction.

I want to push for more testing but my family/the doctor I saw are making me feel like I am crazy and that its all just "anxiety" related
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