Endo and Anxiety/Panic disorder?

I was reading through some posts today and it occured to me that many of us with endo seem to suffer from some degree of anxiety disorder

My panic attacks have totally incapacitated me. I had hypnotherapy for a few months a couple of years ago and it was brilliant - but as soon as I stopped the sessions, the panic came back

I wonder if endo and anxiety are somehow linked? Chemically, I mean; I get that constant pain would make people depressed (that box also ticked here) - but the anxious, nervy side of it - I wonder if it's more than an 'obvious' step? I wonder if there is something in endometriosis that triggers panic and anxiety?

What do you think?

16 Replies

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  • I have often wondered about this but I find stuff about anxiety on every Health related forum. I wonder if it is caused by the psychology of having a chronic condition... it makes people feel anxious when they feel they don't have control over their own bodies.

    But sometimes I still do wonder....

  • Hi, I have often wondered this. Adrenalin is a hormone and it's adrenalin that starts panic attacks, I am convinced that a link will be found one day. For me the panic started long before the pain so wasn't a result of the pain or being depressed etc. my first panic attacks were definitely hormonal as when I stopped taking the pill they stopped for a while. I now only panic in certain situations, almost like a phobia. maybe someone should research it!

  • I have wondered this too, I get anxious all the time and have suffered with panic attacks and depression, since I started getting pain actually, so I do wonder if it's linked. One thing I do get anxious about is what other people think, and others perception of me, especially since I started getting pain, I think it has something to do with being self-conscious. Maybe I don't feel like a strong enough female?because at the moment I feel so weak and like a failure as a woman.

  • & I also got panic attacks more severely during my period so definitely had something to do with mood swings and feeling particularly low

  • i'm no expert but i have done a lot of research since my diagnosis and we have to remember that endo is related to hormones. our hormones hang in such a fine balance that ANY change will lead to a physical manifestation; eg. crying before a period = hormone change.

    so, it must be the case that as endo adhesions not only 'feed on' oestrogen but also produces its own supply that there is an imbalance.

    we should also remember that many endo sufferers are also intolerant/allergic to progesterone --- the very thing they treat us with to try and 'balance out' the oestrogen dominance. for someone who is allergic or sensitive to progesterone the symptoms present as;

    "1. Markedly depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, or self-deprecating thoughts

    2. Marked anxiety, tension, feelings of being ‘keyed up,’ or ‘on edge’

    3. Marked affective lability (e.g. feeling suddenly sad or tearful or increased sensitivity to rejection)

    4. Persistent and marked anger or irritability or increased interpersonal conflicts

    5. Decreased interest in usual activities (e.g. work, school, friends, hobbies)

    6. Subjective sense of difficulty in concentrating

    7. Lethargy, easy fatigability or marked lack of energy

    8. Marked change in appetite, overeating or specific food cravings

    9. Hypersomnia or insomnia

    10. A subjective sense of being overwhelmed or out of control

    11. Other physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of bloating, weight gain. "

    the above is taken from a medical study on HRT compliance here humupd.oxfordjournals.org/c...

    we can also be intolerant of our own progesterone (PMS, PMD?? etc), but unfortunately, although it is recognised in a study questioning why women don't complete HRT treatment, it is rarely recognised by our gp's or gynea's.

    i'm of the opinion that we need to arm ourselves with the information out there as medical professionals rarely do due to time/ money/loyalty to pharmaceutical companies? constraints. and it won't do us any harm to learn more :)

  • Wow, that's a brilliant answer, Chickpea, thank you :)

    Timely, too; I've had a letter telling me they're reviewing my Incapacity Benefit, which I receive as I sometimes can't get to the bottom of my garden, let alone the bottom of the road, so work is out of the question. When I opened it, the letter threw me into a flat spin :(

    I bloody hate endometriosis and every crappy thing it brings with it :(

  • Hi ,I have always thought there was a link between endo and anxiety but now im convinced.i am 38 and had a hystrectomy for endo 4 years ago.i was completly pain free for four years and thought that was forever.In those four years i ran a company with 16 staff had a busy social life and felt confident to do anything.My endo has come back as i have kept my overies ,i cant work now and have just started prostap.I am an absolute bag of nerves just like before i had my operation i had forgotten the nervous unconfident person i used to be.I am avoiding all social situations as a shake with nerves and feel stupid.I worry about everything all the time.even going to the corner shop has become an event i gear my self up for.i hate being like this but keep going because it is not my fault and simply a symptom of this bloody disease. my doctor has give me proprnalol(nt sure ive spelt that right)but i take one a few hours before i know i have to do something thats gunna cause me intense anxiety and have to admit it has really helped,even though its yet another drug to take.! grrr so frustrating.

  • hi, i was reading your blog and really can relate to you, im a qualified proffessional who used to be so confident , now im wondering what the next day will be like, will i feel anxious, how will my bowel behave, will i feel dizzy, will i have pain, i dont get into the social situations i used to do and basically am becomming slightly introvert , only seeing certain friend and family and my partner of course. im 33 and had endo sinse diagnosed in suregry wheN 18 years old, ive had numerous surgery, mini menopause via zoladex and probebly what you have all had . im currently into my 3rd week sinse surgery and already dreading my return to work despite having a fantastic job and support as my day solely depends on how i feel . i can really want to go somewhere one minute, book it then on the day be that offwith hormoanes i could easily not go , is this how you feel. sometimes just sounding off to someone who understands can help us accept the special club we are in eh

  • That's amazing, Lou. Not for you, obviously, but it does seem to bear it out, doesn't it?

    Did you have any panicky moments during the four years you were endo free?

    Sending hugs. It's horrible, isn't it. Especially when you know that this isn't the real you at all, but you can't get to the real you through the nerves :( xxxx

  • Hi Chrissie,i can honestly say i didn't! not once i was anxiety free ,infact i had forgotten how it feels to be jittery and nervous.The whole four years i was like a different person or the real me i should say.Because the pain i have now is just monthly like when i had periods ,i'm hopeful that when my overies finally stop working on there own i shall have a bit or normality back.But im guessing realy. Prostap has left me feeling dreadful too so i'm not sure im gunna have the next injection. Yes its is horrible i feel like i'm just waiting for my life to start again.I'm just stuck in limbo its crap. Hope your ok.xxxxxxxxx

  • I was interested in this thread as in the last 3 years since I was diagnosed with endo (severe 4 in pouch of douglas and bowel etc ) I have been searching for someone to tell me why I suffer so horribly from anxiety and sometimes depression. I'm sure the violent mood swings are related to this disease. x

  • I completely agree! I suffered with an anxiety disorder at 10 years old and started my period at 11. Since then, I have been having problems with anxiety and my periods. I am 21 years old now. My doctor is certain that I have been struggling with endometriosis for a long time. My dilemma is that I have so much pain and anxiety during my menstrual cycle, but when I get on birth control pills my anxiety becomes much worse! I have to live with either intense pain and anxiety or little pain with intense anxiety. So I think that the two must work together in some way. It must be chemicals or hormones that are disturbed due to endometriosis or the anxiety that makes the other problem worse. That's my theory. All I know is that I am a victim of both and they continue to get worse with age.

  • since i was diagnosed other month ive gotten worse with my anxiety i dont leave the house im so depressed im having to go bk to the mental health unit x

  • stumbled upon this thread while trying to find a correlation as well, and though the thread is three years old i hope you're notified when i post this. there IS a correlation. a very strong one. (i hope my link below works)

    hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2...

  • I was just wondering that myself. The last few days my pain has increased and so has my anxiety. It feels as if my throat is being squeezed. I just hate it, and I spend the day laying down with a pillow to relieve the pain. I really hate it.

  • Since I started taking my anxiety medicine, I rarely have endo pain now. I think there is a connection.

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