Dealing with Crippling Anxiety


I wanted to ask you all what you do to cope with anxiety, if you suffer from it. I have always been prone to being anxious but recently I have been suffering from it far more frequently and I am getting really bad attacks of anxiety.

I wouldn't class them as panic attacks but I get a horrible sick feeling in my stomach, my hear start racing and I start feeling really anxious, like dreading something unpleasant is going to happen. This is happening several times a day and although I can still function I am getting really fed up with it. There is nothing going on in my life that I can put it down to either, which makes it worse. It's affecting my ability to sleep and relax.

Even just thinking about it brings it on, making it a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have had a few months of stress but touch wood everything has sorted itself out and I should be feeling far more relaxed and chilled than I am.

I don't really want to take more meds but I am seeing my GP next week and will mention it. If I have to take something to help me feel less anxious I will, has anyone got any recommendations about meds or relaxation techniques I could try? Many thanks.

11 Replies

  • I do have some free relaxation apps on my iPad if I ever do get stressed which I have to admit is rare for me .... But my GP will give me some diazepam 2mg of which I take very rarely but if something has managed to stress me a day or two of these and I am fine again.. There are very few meds I can take so I am so glad these suit me

    VG x

  • I have them often, I was told it was part and parcel of the fibro, like many of these condition, Ive been told recently that Tinitus which I have is also down to fibro, the Hodp have given me what they call a pacifier box, it looks like a clock, infact it does have a clock in it, and it olays all the natural noises like sea, thunder, rain,, waterfall ect, he says to put it on after i take my hearing aid out to drown the tinitus noise when i go to sleep, and it does work to a degree, as far as the panic attacks feeling, imnot sure what you can do apart from meds, or think of something good, also deep breathing does help, but it is a horrible feeling good luck, gentle hugs ...Dee xx

  • Hi Silverstar

    My anxiety predates my Fibro, at least in terms of diagnosis. It sounds as if you're having a delayed reaction to the stressful period you've recently gone through. Sometimes we run down our nervous systems to get us through stressful periods and we seem to be coping at the time because we have to but we pay for it later. When I've had my worst panic attacks, they've often come AFTER a prolonged period of stress - a sort of delayed reaction. You might find it helpful to take something in the short-term to break the cycle and to get you through the worst. It depends how you are with Diazepam. I'm lucky in that I can take it occasionally. I also take 10 mgs of Paroxetine which I've been on for several years. It did subtly help with anxiety (although my circumstances also changed at the same time). The down side of anti-depressants is they don't half put the weight on!

    K x

  • I have been feeling really anxious too lately and really low in mood. I think mine stems from lack of confidence - I think anxiety is another thing that kinda comes hand in hand with freaky fibro. I'm hopefully going to get to speak to someone really soon although I've been waiting about a year now so who knows :I x

  • Hi

    And many thanks to everyone who took the time to reply. I weaned myself off a high dose of amitriptyline (I was on 75mg-100mg a night) for sleep and nerve pain and am really reluctant to start taking more meds again, it will feel like a backward step. But on the other hand I am fed up with feeling like this, it's been a few weeks now, I was hoping it would bugger off to be honest.

    I think Kirby has hit the nail on the head, it is probably a delayed reaction. I had a very long wait about my ESA decision, both my son's have finally found full-time jobs after a lot of messing about and uncertainty, I look after my elderly disabled mum several times a week and we gave up the car. And it is only in the last couple of weeks that things have settled down and I probably now have the leisure and space to realise what a difficult time we have had all in all.

    So as Kirby rightly says my body is realising that I have been surviving on very little sleep and lots of adrenaline and can't seem to switch off. I would like to learn to relax but this has always been really difficult for me.

    I used to do yoga years ago and always found the relaxation bit really hard. My mind never seems able to stop wandering and focus. I used to think about the shopping list when I should have been thinking about sandy beaches and palm trees lol.

    I tried meditation with my MIL she is into new age stuff but couldn't do that and concluded I am just crap at switching off. I wish I could find a decent med that would allow me to sleep, keep the anxiety manageable and not have hideous side-effects such as hair loss, sweating or looking like the Michelin man.

    I think I will try and look for the app that Grumpy suggested and see if that might work. I also think some it is down to severe lack of sleep. Thanks again guys, you are the best.

  • Hi Silverstar

    No wonder you're having a delayed reaction after all you've had to contend with! And coming off a high dose of amitriptyline to boot! Hopefully, now that the stress has passed, your body will catch up. For sleep I take Zopiclone. I don't take it every night. I only take it about once a week (I take Diazepam about once or twice a week). But Zopiclone is good. Otherwise, maybe you will find a more natural way to relax. I know what you mean about guided relaxations and when you're feeling anxious sometimes it makes it worse, 'having' to relax, and 'having to concentrate on the lovely beach' lol. You shouldn't beat yourself up either if you think about the shopping list! The thing that works best for me is absorbing myself in something I love. For me it is writing. For others it may be art or reading etc. And I have found that I need to 'forget to remember' if that makes any sense because when I'm really anxious I keep thinking about the symptoms etc and then get more anxious in an ever-vicious cycle. But I can't make myself forget, the shift just gradually happens and then I realize I'm not worrying about it any more. :-)

    Best wishes to you.

    K xx

  • Hi

    You sound like me lol. I read which is a lovely way to lose yourself and when I am able I like to potter around in the garden. But trying to relax to order just makes it worse, especially when other people are falling asleep and I am still wide awake.

    I currently take melatonin for sleep which is a hormone, I wanted to try and avoid drugs again but although they do seem to help me to drop off I have real trouble staying asleep so I am resigning myself to the fact that I may need something stronger. I am also on morphine twice a day but that no longer seems to make me sleepy anymore.

    It's a shame because I was so pleased to be off the amitriptyline but if I am not sleeping and feeling so anxious all the time then I may just have to give in and ask for something. Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it.

  • You're welcome, Silverstar.

    It's funny because a friend gave me some Melatonin to try and I was going to mention those too but as I've never tried them I couldn't say whether they helped or not! But you are already taking them so you know more about :-) Yes, re morphine (or any opiate) as you'll know you stop feeling the benefits after a while because your body builds up a tolerance to the drug. I totally understand you not wanting to take any more drugs.

    Yes, relaxing to order is a contradiction in terms, isn't it? I used to go to meditation groups and like you, I felt everyone around me getting more relaxed while I was getting more and more tense! I didn't want to concentrate on my breathing, I wanted to escape from concentrating on my body!!

  • Hi

    I still think the melatonin helps me fall asleep but not to stay asleep and at the moment that is the issue. I used to go to a yoga group and the old boy next to me would always fall sleep guaranteed. It used to infuriate me especially when he started snoring lol. That is guaranteed to wind me up even more.

    I have been looking at various options for treating anxiety and whilst CBT and counselling would be great, realistically I know there will be a very long waiting list.

    I need something sooner rather than later so will ask my GP about different meds I think. Just hope they don't have too may side effects.

  • I too weaned myself off amitriptyline, its been a year now since my last tablet. I've had a lot of anxiety since in my head going over and over stuff and blowing things out of all proportion. For a while I took valerian and Siberian Ginseng which really calmed me right down but I didn't think it wise to take it long term. I got it from Holland & Barrett and they give good advice. Probably should ask GP if taking prescription drugs. Eventually I got Zoplicone from my GP for sleep but I got depressed and not wanting to go back on antidepressants I've started taking St Johns Wort so had to stop the Zoplicone. I feel so much better for the SJW but I don't really sleep all that well in general but better than I was. I'm also 8 weeks into a course of counselling. Its been good to talk about the stuff going round in my head because I'm far too sensitive and probably my own worst enemy! Hope you feel better soon! x

  • Hi my name is messi and I suffered with anxiety for years but I now take sertraline. And I am so much better even though I feel so I'll with Fm and ME good luck finding some help X

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