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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1771
   Posted 3/23/2009 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Do any of you find that you are more likely now to get stressed than you used to be before fibro? 
Today something happened, and my reaction was way over the top for the circumstance.  I didn't respond with anger or anxiety, but just plain old hyper, freaking-out stress.  I actually embarrassed myself with my behavior.  Like I said, I wasn't mean or ugly, just really "freaking out" (can't think of a better description).
I don't know if my cup is so full already dealing with constant pain and fatigue (I also have a cold right now) that it doesn't take much to tip it over or what.  I just know that I don't really like feeling and responding this way.  What should be a minor annoyance or inconvenience, My brain responds to like a "code red alert".
I don't know how to chill out.  I can always see that I shouldn't have gotten so stressed in hindsight, but I have a hard time keeping my cool when the event is actually happening. Then, I have a really hard time with guilt because I think I should have handled the situation better.  *sigh*  I wear myself out.
Oh well, thanks for letting me vent.  I feel better already (still embarrassed, but feeling some better).  Any coping tips would be appreciated.  :-)
Hugs - Austen

"There is no charm equal to tenderness of  heart." - Jane Austen
Fibromyalgia, 2 back surgeries, Meniere's Disease, 30+ kidney stones, GERD, IBS, Asthma, Allergies, Endometriosis, Heart Arrythmia, Myofascial Pain, TMJ.

Post Edited (AustenFan) : 3/23/2009 6:24:43 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 716
   Posted 3/23/2009 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Austen, I know exactly what you mean.  I can overreact to an apple rolling off of the table, it will startle me & I react like a priceless ming vase was falling.  I also, startle when I am the passenger in a car.  I have been talking to the driver, turn & look out the windsheild, see a car ahead of us & startle with an intake of breath that makes everyone react, like "What???!!!??"  My grandchildren get the brunt of it when they are all talking & playing & my mind just can not process it.  I have to say "will you all please be quiet?"   We either have too much of something or not enough, I don't know.  Just another Fibro gift.  LOL  It can be embarrassing at times.  My family knows I do it but when I do it around people who don't know me I feel very foolish.  Take care Austen, gentle hugs, Denise

 I have:  Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Holt-Oram Syndrome, nasal allergies, food allergies, depression, TMJ, anxiety  Married to a wonderful supportive husband & between us we have 4 children & 7 grandchildren As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it.    Prov. 25:11

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 3/24/2009 6:11 AM (GMT -6)   


So sorry you're having a hard time.  I think one of the reasons fibro brings on these over-reactions is because we're so tired, full of fog and in pain.  I think part of the theory of our brains being hyper-sensitive has a lot to do with this issues.  I get worked up over what other people would thing is nothing.  I also think that fibromites have a hard time dealing with stress (I know I do) and that's why you see anxiety as one of the main symptoms.

As for relaxation, have you ever tried yoga?  How about a passive hobby??  Massage??  Breathing exercises??  Long baths??  Are you taking Xanax, lots of fibromites take it for anxeity.. if not, maybe you should discuss it with your doctor.

I hope you find some peace and relief SOON.

Take care & warm hugs,

Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel, Psoriasis. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Xanax, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 478
   Posted 3/24/2009 7:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Austen,

I feel very much as you do. I find I just do not have the patience for things I used to. It is noticed by my family but after years of stress it takes its toll.

Denise, I am also very jumpy. If anyone comes up silently I will jump through the roof. Lately this has been much worse for me, yes, in the car too.

Panda is right about our fatigue. Without real restorative rest it makes the nervous system bonkers.

WE fibro people do have very heightened sensitivities to noise, light, temperature and that is adding to our stress. My eyes just tear outside without glasses.

Also Austen watch the caffeine. It has helped me to cut that back.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1279
   Posted 3/24/2009 9:36 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Austin-

I think I have always had a sensitive/or heightened nervous system and now that I have fibro it is even worse. Lots of sound and stimulation will get to me fast. I have to take rest periods not only for my body but my mind also. I have to close my eyes and rest, either on my couch or bed a couple times a day. When I don't get those rest periods because of a hectic day or something, I go on overload and start to get crabby. I am not a crabby person by nature, but the fibro sure can test my patience!


Fibromyalgia, Depression, Anxiety, TMJ, Arthritis/neck, SAD
Zoloft, Tylenol 4000 mg., Darvocet  

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 3/24/2009 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had this problem for a long time way before fibro. For me I think it has to do with my anxiety problem. But in the past 10 yrs it has gotten much worse and I find myself either underreacting or overreacting to situations, mostly overreacting. If something scares me my whole body overreacts and I really do think people can be scared to death. It's like my whole nervous system is messed up. Xanax does help me with this to a point.
When Ken was going through all the heart stuff I was stressed to the max and I totally went off on one of my DILs over a phone call, okay she did deserve it, but normally I would have overlooked her whining to keep peace. I don't have the patience with some people I use to but I think I am more patient with children and anything that is helpless now that I'm older. Not that all my grandchildren running through the house doesn't get on my nerves cause they are like a small herd of horses sometimes but I get impatient with their parents for not stopping the behavior not the children.
luv and hugs
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 3/24/2009 12:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know what to do about my inability to handle stress.  I do a whole lot of avoidance.  Right now B. is handling a lot of the insurance stuff that gets stressful and aggravating.  But it's beginning to show on her sad   And ya, it's not pretty once I get stressed out.  I wish I could do better.
Anxiety is certainly a big factor, and klonopin helps with that. 
Lyme, anxitey, depression, chronic C. Pnuemoniae
"... expect the unexpected ..."  (O. Wilde)
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." (Mark Twain)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 716
   Posted 3/25/2009 1:31 AM (GMT -6)   
My daughter came over today & I was sitting in the living room watching a show on TV. I didn't hear her come up on the porch & when she knocked I jumped a foot-literally. She saw me through the window & we both had such a good laugh over it. She has Fibro too & has the same problem. We are always startling each other. LOL Hugs, Denise

 I have:  Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Holt-Oram Syndrome, nasal allergies, food allergies, depression, TMJ, anxiety  Married to a wonderful supportive husband & between us we have 4 children & 7 grandchildren As apples of gold in silver carvings is a word spoken at the right time for it.    Prov. 25:11

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