Anxiety Support
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I can't get out of bed in the mornings

Hi,

I recently wrote about morning diarrhoea and anxiety.

But when I wake my stomach churns and I am shaking and sweating and feeling sick. The whole thing is as if I am reliving a stomach bug I had 3 months ago.

I have to drag myself out of bed, force myself to eat. And by the evening I am feeling calmer. But then I dread going to bed because I fear the mornings so much. It is a vicious circle that I can't get out of. I suffer with emetophobia which doesn't help.

I am going to the doctors tomorrow, but she doesn't seem to understand.

I am in such a state, my life seems a complete misery.

Does anyone know what I'm going through, have you any ideas? I would be grateful just to talk right now as nothing else seems worth it, I can't even go out through fear of being ill.

Thank you for reading xx

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Oh dear. At least you are getting help which makes you braver than me.

I am still struggling with eating and now scared about weight loss and feeling wobbly.

Am about to force myself to go out as it is sunny but cold. Have managed a small porridge and a banana. Now worrying about lunch......how stupid is that.

Well done for making a doctor's appointment. Shall be thinking of you. Good luck.

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Hi Forestina,

It's not stupid, my husband said he was going to do me some beans on toast for tea when I was really bad a couple of months ago and I got myself in such a state about it all day. I had to take a diazipam before I could eat.

To keep me going I was drinking a Complan every day and a banana, and gradually got back to better eating, not properly even now, but better.

I had a rough weekend with needed the loo at the weekend and it's put me 3 steps back again.

I feel slightly nauseous all the time, that stops me eating, but I know if you don't eat the nausea is worse. It sounds similar for you.

I do hope you can relax and eat better soon, it's frightening, and the weight loss, yes I've been there too. That is what really made me eat again as I was disappearing.

xxx

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My gosh. How very similar. Can manage the toast and keep having teaspoons of the beans cold. I used to hate cold beans. Even so a large tin has taken me three days!!!!!

Lunch was a burger and about ten chips. Not a great success, the addition of a tomato just about made it bearable 😁 slugging loads of water. Still my throat hurts from forcing it down. Just returned to two biscuits after another walk.

Buying day to day is so expensive and I have the added difficulty of not being good in supermarket queues so go to a local store.

I was enjoying pre packed salad but my stomach is better without.

Sometimes I have a sip of coal which can be refreshing

That is how I keep telling myself it is all in the mind as some things I can eat.

Meals have become such an issue the anxiety builds even looking at the clock

I suppose this is all too familiar to you. I am on day 80 of this and need to return to my part time self-employment after half term.

Here was me thinking that eventually you would feel hungry and naturally eat.

At least since stopping the salads no gas.

Thank you so much for responding. I am so sorry that you are suffering. May I ask if you have been suffering long?

Every time I go out I look at people getting on with their daily lives and it is as if they are of a different species. They don't realise how lucky they are. It is all so isolating.

So sorry for having gone on so but it is amazing to have found someone with such similar symptoms.

Hope eating apart you are having a good day. At least there is sunshine today if you are in the UK.

xxx

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Hi Forestina,

Yes I am in the UK, I live in Gloucestershire, whereabouts are you? It has been a lovely sunny day here, albeit cold.

I have been suffering this since the 1st of November, the day I had a horrible tummy bug, so 3 months now! I have had tests etc, but am still suffering bouts of diarrhoea in the mornings. And all day struggling with eating.

Like you I see other people getting on with their lives eating, drinking, not giving it a second thought. I want to be like them again. It seems completely ridiculous, but it sounds as though you know what I am talking about.

I have very recently started taking a probiotic every day, hoping it might settle things a bit.

My anxiety isn't helping my stomach, I get in a bit of a state when I wake, as I am weary of another day like this, and means a dash to the loo...and then I can't bring myself to even try to eat anything until gone 10 o clock.

I have the doctors tomorrow, she wants to check up on me, but don't know what I'm going to say.

I have tried some anti nausea pills, which do help quite a bit. Or I have a few diazepam for really bad days. Can you not bring yourself to go to the doctor?

Hope you have been ok today? xx

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I am in Dorset.

My troubles started after antibiotics for a UTI I was only on a five day course and I know they mess up your gut. The symptoms started as soon as I completed the course.

There is some evidence hidden away on websites that they can trigger anxiety which can hang around a while, but then maybe I am clutching at straws.

Hope all goes well for you tomorrow. I am too much of a coward to go back to the doctors which I know is silly. It is really hard to get an appointment and any sitting or standing waiting has me running for the hills.

I have to get a grip on this. I say that every evening and in the morning it is back to square one.

I don't want to eat too late but it is definitely lunch that brings the panic and all the issues so tomorrow I shall have a rethink.

So far so good with the binding properties of porridge. Not a great texture admittedly but it is quite nourishing.

Good luck again for tomorrow would love to hear how you get on should you feel able. Although our route to this situation is slightly different the time scale and symptoms are very eerily similar.

🌼 xx

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If your stomach is bothering you a burger & chips is probably nt the best. Maybe try something more bland. Can you eat yogurt. I know bland food doesn't taste the best, but may make you feel better. xx

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Hi b1,

Not sure if you were replying to me or Forestina?

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Sorry - It was to Forestina. To both of you, however, a gastroenterologist might be able to help you. I have irritable bowel syndrome and a gastro was helpful both in relieving my anxiety about this, and in providing diet information and other tips.

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Hi, fellow emetophobe here so I know the problem well. My anxiety always takes a knock when I've had a stomach bug because although my phobia is so much better I still find it really traumatic. I would be firm with the GP and insist on a referral to the primary mental health team if you're not with them already, because they can really help with both the phobia and feelings of not wanting to go out. There are several exercises they can teach you to calm the muscles to stop/reduce the nausea and stomach problems, but in the meantime do you like peppermint tea? Peppermint oil is supposed to be good for calming the cramps that cause diarrhoea. I hope you feel better :)

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Hi Rubixcube93,

Thank you for your reply.

Yes I have had a talk with the mental health team, but when I told them about my fear, they didn't seem to notice much. It really feels like I'm reliving that horrendous day all over again every morning, as I equate loose bowels with sickness. I know it's 99.9% not going to happen, but I start shaking and sweating with fear. It's as though I am suffering a form of PTSD!

On the other hand they sent me for an endoscopy, which was all clear thankfully...but of course that made me start to worry it could be something else.

I am going to docs today, she wants to check up on me. So I will ask for specific help with the emetophobia. It all points in that direction because until that day I wasn't like this.

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I find it so frustrating that they can't get their act together with mental health because it makes you worry more with all the medical testing for no reason. I've had really successful therapy for the emetophobia in particular, with graded exposure. I remember going back and for the GP before they finally sorted it, for ages they just gave me anti-emetics and didn't diagnose me for years.

I still get that feeling when I'm really anxious, It's not like a regular panic attack, it lasts for hours and I can barely eat a packet of plain crisps in that time! That's the thing with the therapy, it helps you focus on the 99.9% because no matter how much anyone says it, you always feel the 0.1% chance is massive and definitely going to make you ill, when you know in the logical bit of your brain that you won't. That's why I find it hard after getting a bug because it convinces me more. I usually take ibs type medication from the chemist to stop diarrhoea if I get it because I feel like if it's not there in the first place it won't trigger the phobia and cause all the nausea etc.

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As my problem is so similar to Funkyfaerie I have enjoyed all your posts. Thank you.

Struggling loads today even with the porridge. In desperation I have managed a Snickers bar for calories and a small banana.

Nothing is distracting me at the moment. Done chores and a short walk so very much work in progress.

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You have helped me too Forestina, and if you'd like to keep in contact, I'd be more than happy to talk.

Sorry you are having a bad day today. The only thing I can say to you right now is, I do d the more I eat the better I feel and you are doing good keeping in trying a little at a time.Eventually, and I know you probably don't feel like it right now, but eventually when I started eating tastier foods ( I won't mention what right now as I don't want to make you feel worse!) But the tastier foods brought my appetite back.

I'm not say I am 100% better because I am not. And because I get these episodes of panic and loose stools in the morning I still feel bad until the afternoons. I think I told you I had a bit of a relapse this week as was back on the complain and bananas for three days. Bananas are great, but get so boring, I must have eaten hundreds :-)

Are you on your own coping with this? Did you give a thought to the anti sickness medication?

I don't know if we could chat easier if we private messaged each other, but I don't know how to do it from here. But only if you wanted to of course. I am more than happy to stay on here.

Off to the docs in an hour, will let you know what's said.

I hope you feel better as the day goes on, it is true the more you eat the better you will feel. Being as you had antibiotics, proboitics would do you the world of good.

Take care, speak soon x

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Thank you. I have sent you a pm

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Gosh Rubixcube,

In your last paragraph you have got me down to a T!

I equate loose stools etc with a bug, so I immediately feel nauseated.. but as you say I know it's not going to be a bug, but start to freak because I feel vaguely sick.

And yes I have bad for three months since the day I really did have a bug. And now I feel as if I have PTSD, as I am reliving the fear of it every day, starting at 6am, just like the day of the bug. I know it's crazy, but I can't seem to shake it off.

My emetophobia doesn't effect me when it comes to other people being sick, after all I have had three children, I don't like it....but my main fear is me and I know in reality it doesn't happen very often in life, but the fear of it all is intense.

I am off to see the doctor in a short while and I will ask if there is any specialist help I can get. I have never bothered before, because I have been like this since I was 8 and didn't think there was a way out. If you think they have helped you I am willing to give it a try. If you don't mind me asking, how bad were you?Thanks for your mail.

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I've also had it since a child and I was bad with other people as well as myself, I think seeing it happen with other people made me feel ill which was what made me panic in both situations, to the point I couldn't see it on TV or if people coughed too hard - it's strange looking back at how bad I was. I had to ask someone sit with me if ever I got a bug or something because I'd be crying and shaking, terrified basically.

Now I'm the one who can sit with someone who's unwell so I think the progress there has been the biggest. It was harder to overcome myself being unwell but now I'm not ever bothered by it when I'm at home (I suppose because I'm in comfortable surroundings) but I do get the feelings if I'm away from home and unwell (although nowhere near as bad).

I think it's a long process but worth it in my opinion because the agoraphobia I developed after those initial feelings of not wanting to go out has been what I've struggled with the most since. I wish I'd got it under control before it got that bad because I know people who had good treatment for a phobia and they're absolutely fine now :)

Forestina have you tried plain foods like crisps, bread sticks, crackers etc? I also find ginger biscuits good. They always help me just to nibble on them as I go as it keeps the hunger feelings at bay if nothing else. I hope you're feeling better soon.

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Thank you. It is just that I have discovered how few calories I was eating. Today has been a disaster. Have ended it with violent cramps and diarrhoea. Waiting for them to subside before going to bed. Years ago did have a slight lactose intolerance. Maybe bulking up with chocolate and three small bowls of porridge throughout the day wasn't good, or the two cubes of cheese for protein. It is getting seriously scary what I can eat.....then the anxiety then the nausea, awful.

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