anxiety and fibro

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mamanan
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 8/29/2009 7:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Can you please share your experiences with anxiety as it relates to fibro? Are anxious people more at risk for fibro? Is anxiety a symptom of fibro? Do you develop anxiety after fibro?

I'm asking b/c this last week or two, I been much more anxious, and I am starting to feel like a hypochondriac. I was never that anxious before I was developed symptoms of fibro, but I have always reacted severely to bad news.... racing heart, tunnel vision, tired, ringing in the ears to name a few. But I've never had anxiety attacks without a trigger before. Since my facial pain has really revved up, I am so anxious about my health. I'm trying to be patient and let the doctors do their thing, but it's hard. For example, I am so scared that I have a bone infection. Yesterday, my facial pain was more around my broken tooth, then my throat started being sore. I had trouble swallowing, and I felt just like if I had a bad cold. This new symptom started earlier this summer off and on with a feeling of something in the throat. So while it was hurting, I was convinced that I had a terrible abscess under the tooth, and that my body is going septic. I had a sore tummy last night, no appetite and feeling nauseous (lots of this since last week). My first thought was liver disease! I even have anxiety attacks out of the blue when I'm out at public places now. I know it's anxiety, but I still have a really hard time not panicking and falling apart. Usually I have the kids with me, so which makes it harder. I can't just go and hide and breathe until I feel better, kwim?

What is happening to me? I feel like I'm falling apart and need to get admitted :(
possible fibro and trigeminal neuralgia
50 mgs amitriptyline


myjoy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 686
   Posted 8/29/2009 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi.....I have had trouble with anxiety for 20+ years. I've had fibro for 3yrs. The two may be related - I'm not sure. Perhaps you should ask your doctor about getting on Ativan (Lorazepam) or something. This drug is very helpful for anxiety. Do some deep breathing too. Hope this doesn't get out of hand for you. Good that you recognize it for anxiety. That will help you.
DX fibromyalgia 2007, osteoarthritis, obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD, depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, hysterectomy.

fluoxetine (prozac), abilify, trazodone, lorazepam, prilosec, nabumetone, hydrocodone, c-pap machine.


vestabula
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2855
   Posted 8/29/2009 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi...I've suffered with panic/anxiety disorder long before I was dx'd with fibro.  I can't tell you how many diseases I thought I have had.  I don't know if anxiety is a symptom of fibro but many of us with this disorder have it.  Of course, it only adds to the pain.  At the moment, along with a flare I have been in for weeks, I am getting the ole heart skipping a beat thing.  It starts the minute I open my eyes in the morning and I go to sleep with it.  If I stay occuppied during the day I don't notice it as much.  But it still scares me as I think the doc has missed something even though I have been told, after many tests while it is happening, that it's just anxiety.

My suggestion is:  DO NOT GOOGLE SYMPTOMS!  Never, ever.  You are going to zoom in on the worst case scenario immediately.  If you do have a bone infection it can be treated with anti-biotics.  I am sure that if they thought you were septic, they would have not let you go home and wait for results.  Make sure you tell your doctor about these anxiety episodes.  Maybe he could prescribe something to help you get through them.

I wish I had a better answer, but I DO know how you feel.  It sucks.

huggies

Donna

 


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: Lexapro and valium


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17094
   Posted 8/29/2009 8:41 AM (GMT -7)   
First of all, Mamanan, take a nice deep breath and purse your lips and slowly blow the air out.  Do this a couple of times and you will feel some of the stress leaving you.
 
Now, anxiety.  I had anxiety before fibro...kind of like what you have.  It was like an adrenalin rush if I was frightened or worried about something.  Then, one day in church, I had my first attack...for no reason!  I won't describe the symptoms because, right now, you will take on anything I may suggest to you.  But, they frightened me so much that I didn't move for several days until I could see a doctor.  I though I was having a stroke. 
 
I saw the doctor and when he told me it was anxiety, I felt so much better.  He put me on Valium and I was having to take so much of it that it was changing my personality and it was making me groggy.  I didn't like that at all and found that all I was thinking about was how I was feeling.  I finally realized that anxiety is fear and I really didn't have anything to be afraid of.  I had just been checked out by the doctor.  I would conger things up in my mind and scare myself to death....just what you are doing.  So I decided I needed to get control over this and I stopped the Valium.
 
I already knew what anxiety could do to my body and how I felt.  I was sooo familiar with the racing heart, the breaking out in sweats, and all the other things that would follow those initial symptoms.  When they would come on, I would do breathing exercises and dismiss the symptoms because, after all, they were just symptoms of anxiety.  Then I would get busy doing something else...clean, read a book, turn on a movie.  After a few minutes I would find I was feeling better.  It did take a little practice but now I really have control over anxiety. 
 
It will still try to rear it's ugly head but I know how to handle it.  If I have something that might not be anxiety-caused, I'll check it out with my doctor...like when I first started having heart palpitaions.  I was thoroughly checked out and my heart was fine.  They are a symptom of fibro and anxiety so now when they happen and anxiety wants to kick in,  I don't give them a thought and get busy doing something else.
 
Have you seen your doctor about  your facial pain?  You probably have mentioned it but I read so many post that I can't keep them all straight in my mind.  If not, get checked out.  The sore throat and swallowing could easy be sinus drainage.  I get that.  Our sinuses can do a lot of draining with all the weather changes and rain in the summer months and this seems to be when it started for you.  If you have swallowing problems, cough.  That should clear it up.  It could just be mucous in the back of your throat.  Again, that happened to me.
 
The nausea and having no appetite can be anxiety.  When that first happened to me, before I got a handle on anxiety, I had myself at death's door!   shocked    I look back on it and just shake my head.  I am a strong personality but yet anxiety was tossing me around like a featherweight...until I finally put my foot down and would not put up with the terrible feelings it was giving me.  Feelings that made me feel totally dibilated...feelings that really had no basis in what my overall health really was! 
 
 You are dwelling too much on how you feel and then your mind congers up terrible illnesses and that increases the anxiety and that also increases the symptoms.  Anxiety can totally be dibilating.  Don't allow that.  You are a strong woman and you can get control over this.
 
Anxiety lies to your body and makes it think it's sick.  So, get a physical and, when you get your clean bill of health, kick anxiety to the curb.  NOW you will know what is REALLY causing the terrible symptoms you are feeling and you can stop it in it's tracks.
 
By the way, check out the scripture in my signature.  It's my dealing with anxiety that had me put that in my signature.
 
Sherrine
 


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Post Edited (Sherrine) : 8/29/2009 9:45:59 AM (GMT-6)


mamanan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 8/29/2009 10:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Donna, I do know better than to look for info on the web. But with this facial pain... I wanted to get informed (like I had for fibro) for the next time I went to see the doc. I can keep these silly thoughts at bay as long as I have minimal pain. It's when it comes back that I figure something bad HAS to be happening to hurt this much!

Sherrine, you said that dwelling too much on how you feel makes you feel worse. That's one of the reasons I had been away from here for so long. I had to learn not to take notice of every ache and pain. BTW, my fibro is so much better right now. What I don't get is how anxiety can make you ill even after you recognize it IS anxiety. I suppose it takes a little more conviction to make it go away ;)

I have gone to see the doctor about my facial pain. She has ordered an MRI, but it won't be for a month or two as it's not an urgent case. And my extraction with the orthodontist isn't until Oct 7th. I've been trying to get this tooth taken care of since the spring. I've been 4 times to my regular dentist, and she couldn't freeze it. Then I had to wait for a referral to the orthodontist for a look see, now wait for the appointment. I know it can't be good to wait so long with the large cavity that is in there. I wanted to wait until I had the tooth extracted to see my doctor again for the facial pain, so we could be sure it wasn't the cause. My pain was so bad last week I had to make an appointment.

As for the anxiety, I don't want to start taking additional meds for it. I've also neglected to talk to my PCP about it. He has been the only one to take me seriously and help me with my symptoms. He is an NP, and his old supervising doctor didn't believe in fibro. He (the doctor) had actually asked, after numerous visits about fatigue, body aches and facial pain, if I would be happy if they were able to treat the facial pain. I'm afraid that my NP will start dismissing me if I complain of anxiety now.

thank you for making me feel better! gentle hugs.
possible fibro and trigeminal neuralgia
50 mgs amitriptyline


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17094
   Posted 8/29/2009 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Mamanan, anxiety is fear and that kicks in the adrenalin that starts the ball rolling.  When your heart starts racing or skipping a beat you start to worry more and that causes more symptoms.  Your mind is very powerful.  You just have to use it's power in a more positive way.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


Cheez
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/29/2009 3:23 PM (GMT -7)   
I had anxiety before being diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  The docs tried to put me on meds but I was so sensitive to the side effects that I couldn't tolerate them.  So I started seeing a therapist.  This helped me tremendously.  I also started reading tons of books on dealing with anxiety & that helped me a lot as well.  Breathing exercises are wonderful as well.  Physical exercise is a great way of dealing with anxiety.  I walk my dog every day & it helps a lot.  Hang in there - you will get better if you work at it & believe that you are strong & can handle anything that comes your way. 

dn527
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/29/2009 7:36 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had anxiety for 15-20 years, but I didn't recognize them as such. The drs never explained it, and I refused to have them, or likewise, to be depressed. I have always claimed that scripture, and I know all about the power of positive thinking, and how it works on many levels. I think problems are just there to be overcome, and I will overcome them! I have been on several different meds, truly gave them a try, but I never saw any improvement in my "anxiety" levels. I have also had the fibro pain and many of its symptoms off and on for years.
 
It wasn't until I severely overdid it 2 days in a row (@ Dec1st, 2008) that I went into my downhill slide. Every pain and symptom I had got worse, and almost every other one started appearing. These weren't psychsomatic; I didn't know what  FM was, and never researched my symptoms. << Dang it! WHAT was I saying?>> ANYway, I don't know if the FM flare up/severe fatigue made my anxiety worse, or the anxiety made the fm worse? I know they feed each other. But I just get so anxious over the new symptoms - When will it end? There aren't any more symptoms than those I have, unless I develop something else, too! How can I work if I can't even remember words, and if I don't realize I'm substituting a completely unsuitable word? How can anyone want to be around me - I'm more trouble than I'm worth! turn Is that how you feel? So I double up being positive and refusing to be anxious (cuz seriously, I'm not scared, why should I be anxious?). And when that doesn't work, then I feel guilty cuz I'm not strong enough or good enough to overcome it, and then THAT perpetuates the cycle as well.
 
But I also have a lot of time when I go on auto-pilot, as I call it. Like when u drive to work, but then don't remember what happened, or what songs were on the radio? It's kinda like that. But then I suddenly "come to", and all the stuff I didn't notice before I notice, and it feels like cars are coming at me out of nowhere. My psycologist says it sounds like anxiety as well.
 
So, despite all my intentions, I have come to realize that I can't overcome everything on my own (even with God's help) - He didn't condemn drs, afterall, so why should I refuse to see them when I need to? So I've decided it's time to try their meds again. Only thing is, NOW, no one wants to give me any!
 
OK, so I can't remember what I meant to get across to you with this post, but maybe I managed to accomplished it. tongue
FM dx mar09 (although I've probably had it 5-10 years!), severe fatigue (ATP at 17), severe anxiety and depression, severe fibro-fog (word substitution, auto-pilot/zoning out, disorientation, and just plain forgetting everything). Im sure there's more, but I forget. Currently on weekly ATP/glutathione shots (started 24aug09) and vicodin (when I absolutely can't ignore the pain anymore).


dn527
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/29/2009 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh yeah, and I used to never have problems with the big things (wrecks, fires, burglers, etc). I just took care of the problem. Little things upset me and made my heart race. I flipped my car and just reached over and took care of my son's scratches, etc. 5 years later I bumped into someone at a stop sign and was just disgusted with myself. 2 years later (last week),  I practically duplicated that bump, and ended up in the ER terrified I was having a heart attack. But just more anxiety. OK, NOW I admit to having panic attacks! eyes
FM dx mar09 (although I've probably had it 5-10 years!), severe fatigue (ATP at 17), severe anxiety and depression, severe fibro-fog (word substitution, auto-pilot/zoning out, disorientation, and just plain forgetting everything). Im sure there's more, but I forget. Currently on weekly ATP/glutathione shots (started 24aug09) and vicodin (when I absolutely can't ignore the pain anymore).


Sera Smiles
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 8/29/2009 9:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Mamanan, you have gotten some good words and thoughts here, but I wanted to add my thoughts too. I fortunately have not had a lifetime of anxiety, but have dealt with it somewhat and in the last several weeks it has reared its ugly head. One thing I have learned to do, is to make a deliberate choice to confront it when it knocks. I have learned to pull at any mental/emotional 'thread' that I feels like needs attention. For example- I ask myself what is giving me a pain in the butt :) and what ever pops up, I stare at. Money- or kids- or whatever- I pull at that emotion, like a thread, I tug at it and see where it leads. So many times it literally runs in a circle and then goes nowhere because it is a non-issue, just anxiety trying everyway it can to derail me! :) I have been on meds for anxiety a couple times in my life and would not hesitate to do so again if I felt I could not find a way to deal with it. Please reconsider meds to get things under control. Just like physical pain, when we wait too long to take something and it takes much longer than necessary to deal with, emotional issues sometimes need medical help too. I hope you feel better soon!
"A butterfly is most vulnerable immediately after its' metamorphosis."
 
Dx FM- 2003
Rx Meds- Ultram, Flexeril, Toprol, Cymbalta, Buspar, Ambien
OTC meds [PRN]- Aleve, Benadryl, Claritin, B Complex, Vitamin D, Omega 3, Multi Vitamin
 
 


DreamspinnerCheryl
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 8/29/2009 9:59 PM (GMT -7)   
The anxiety is most likely triggered by the same "fight or flight" dysfunction that produced the fibro symptoms. Then, it all snowballs-our autonomic nervous system misfires, brings on adrenaline release: anxiety results which worries and scares us, ramping up the anxiety even further.....and the stress of it all damages our automonic system that much more. Which releases more of those stress chemicals, further damaging our bodies in ways medical science is only just beginning to understand.

Or, at least, that's my take on it. So, what damaged the autonomic system to begin with? Stress, viruses, pollutants, food additives and artificial sweeteners, who knows-probably all of the above. Now, if only medical science would figure out how to CURE it!!

Off my soapbox, and to bed. Perchance to sleep, and dream.

TreeBo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 8/30/2009 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I have anxiety as well.  I can't say that I have ever had a full blown attack, but i do get nervous. Some times my thoughts race. I have a sense of inpending doom.  I feel like something is so wrong. I usually end up calling every person I know to check on them, and my daughters school to make sure she is ok. After that the feeling doesn't disapear, but I am able to convince myself that things are fine.  I hope you feel better soon.
Treebo.


Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 8/30/2009 9:41 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had anxiety as far back as I can remember but wasn't put on meds for it til my mid to late 20s. Anxiety can cause a lot of crazy body feelings. When it comes to my health my motto is, when in doubt get it checked out. I would rather my doc think I'm crazy than to worry about something that is nothing. Just remember we hire these people and pay them and we can fire them whenever we want if they are not doing their job. I think it is ridiculous that you have to wait so long to get a tooth fixed and a MRI. All doctors and dentist leave room for emergencies during the day. Some times we have to be insistent with these people.
 
I have learned from having anxiety for so long how to detect what is causing it with self-analysis. I go through every aspect of my life and when I hit on what is causing it I can feel the anxiety and I try to change the problem if at all possible. Sadly, we are not always in control of the problem and can't change it but maybe we can change how we react to it.
 
luv and hugs
Marlee
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
 
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
 
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17094
   Posted 8/30/2009 9:49 AM (GMT -7)   

These posts are all so very good.  Marlee, you are correct in saying "we can't change it but we can change how we react to it."  When we accomplish that, that's when we have control over it.  That's what I was trying to get across but you had far better words!

Sherrine


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


manyembers
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 8/30/2009 6:58 PM (GMT -7)   
As a note of interest, I was reading an article the other day that said 58 % of people with fibromyalgia suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as well, whereas in the general population it was something like only 8% who suffered from ptsd. Stress or trauma in one form or another - whether a physical injury, a traumatic event or childhood etc. are often triggers for fibromyalgia starting up in a number of people.

I also have seen the connection after fibro. symptoms came along with increase in anxiety. For me if I give up white sugar and other foods that are toxic/hard on the body, and get sufficient rest, I normally don't have any more panic attacks. So there seems to be a physiological factor that is part of anxiety and fibro.

Sherrine is also right though. Anxiety is rooted in fear and we can make choices to believe thoughts that are rooted in faith and confidence instead to counter the fear. Even if it doesn't make the fear leave right away, it does help. My doctor also told me something interesting once. He said because fibro. doesn't have a specific known cause and the symptoms vary and change in a lot of cases, the mind is always searching for a solution to put things to rest. But because things aren't cut and dry it has a hard time just settling down. The irony is that when he told me that I suddenly didn't feel so anxious because someone understood the dynamic I experience at times and now so did I better.

Hope you feel better soon. Try not to worry. Don't let fear get a head start but nip it in the bud and just keep telling yourself that you're okay. Many symptoms pass in a few days anyway. So hang in there.

manyembers

mamanan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 9/1/2009 11:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much for all the replies, kind words and sage advice. (((HUGS)))

I normally never gave anxiety much of a second thought, but it did seem to be harder to shake this time around. I've printed your replies to read over if I get another attack. I do feel much better now. My face is much better, one week after doubling up my amitriptyline. I know, if it happens again, that I do not have a horrible infection, or the pain would never have left.

I still have discomfort in my throat, and stomach tenderness, as well as pain in my upper back. But it's also getting better. I imagine that it's aftereffects of my black diarrhea, an ulcer probably? from the Naproxen. But it can probably wait until my next appointment. I'll take a wait and see approach this week. The heart flutters and dizziness are gone. So much easier to look at things rationally when those signs of anxiety aren't there!

"I'm OK, I'm OK, I'm OK....." :)

My dh also brought up the point that maybe my meds are increasing my anxiety? Does anyone know if anxiety is a side effect of amitrityline? And I WILL bring this up to the doctor next time too, just so he at least knows. It doesn't mean that he will think I am crazy, or that I have to have more meds.

Thank you again SO much for all the support. What an amazing place this is!

I hope for a good day for everyone, gentle hugs.
possible fibro and trigeminal neuralgia
50 mgs amitriptyline


Marlee2
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 9/1/2009 12:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Mamanan, amitriptyline is for anxiety. I have been on and off of it since my 20s and can't remember it ever increasing the anxiety. Now cutting down on it can cause rebound anxiety. I have been on 100 mg for about 12 yrs. I tried cutting down a year ago this spring and went into a horrible two week flair so went back up to 100. Since fatigue is usually worse for me than the pain I do believe it helps the pain. When I have an increase in my daily tolerable pain it is cause I have picked up an 18 lb baby from the floor and held him for an extended time, like I did on Fri or like today, up and down on my step stool cleaning out our linen closet in our bathroom, I'll pay for that tomorrow.
 
You know what your doc told you Manyembers is true. I started getting symptoms of fibro many years ago and they still change constantly. Today I had a sharp pain under my left breast in the ribs, probably a spasm, didn't last long and didn't happen again. The bottom of my feet have been bothering me again, who knows why.
 
luv and hugs
Marlee
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
 
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
 
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
 
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin

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