Angry feelings!

I'm not sure whether these angry feelings are coming from Polymyalgia Rheumatica, the sheer bad luck in getting it, just when life was finally looking up, after caring for my mum for 7 years with severe Dementia, she has now passed away, finding out that my only sister had been living on my mother's savings etc. etc. or are they a side effect from Prednisolone ( 20 mgs).

By nature I am kind and gentle so this rip roaring anger is a shock and it feels very alienating. I only really express it to my partner, who withdraws, leaving me alone with my bad personality. But I'm not really kindly disposed to anyone bar the helpless in my life.I'm not unhappy, practicalities are all sorted. I'm just well, angry!

11 Replies

  • Jane, although uncontrolled inflammation coursing through our bodies can make us feel very low and emotional, Pred itself can also really mess with our emotions - many people have mentioned that even their language became quite colourful! Added to this it sounds as though you have had to deal with a whole range of other stresses so it isn't at all surprising that you feel angry. There isn't a lot you can do at this stage unless, of course, you suspect any feeling of depression creeping in, in which case your GP can help with the relevant medication. Rest assured you will feel better as the inflammation in your body stabilises/remains under control and the steroid dose reduces - meanwhile a daily walk will help by releasing those 'feel-good' endorphins, and if there are any 'Mindfulness' courses available locally, they are well worth giving a try.

  • Thank you Celtic! There is something invigorating about the anger. My old companion depression has fled. I just wondered whether I could trust the fury that might lead to radical life decisions. Or am I simply experiencing side effects. I did a course of Mindfulness and agree with your recommendation, it does require commitment however and discipline. Not my strong suit at present. The best thing is spending time with my 21 month grandson whose company is incredibly healing.

  • I so agree with the sentiments in your last sentence - my little 'bundle of joy' grandson is just 12 months old. A wonderful 'escape' for you, I'm sure!

  • Mine too he is 9 weeks old !! ;)

  • Aaah! Still early enough days then to say congratulations Granny!

  • Yes is the short but possibly unhelpful answer - PMR itself can make you very labile in responding to anything that doesn't fit with what you want but so can pred, and the two together - well that's an unknown! Though in fairness I think I am far better tempered on pred than I had been in the months/years prior to diagnosis.

    You have a few reasons for feeling angry - and I think it is fairly obvious why you notice a difference in your feelings towards the helpless and to others. Nothing like family greed to bring out THAT sort of feeling - as I know only too well!!!! You also have two - even 3 - sorts of bereavement to deal with and each of them is hard on their own, never mind in tandem.

    Celtic has suggested mindfulness - I'd suggest bereavement or other psychological counselling if you want to go that way at all. My partner wasn't too good at dealing with the explosive fury I dealt in either - and actually the withdrawing bit used to make me worse! I HAD to get it out of my system before I calmed down - now whether anyone can help with that other than being a patient and receptive listener I don't know. It may even be a psychological problem. I had a wonderful clinical psychologist who helped me just before or in the early days of PMR - can't remember now. I know though that getting that sort of help takes a LONG time in the UK.

    Enjoy your innocent grandson - just don't haul him around too much! My grandson was an absolute elephant in the early days of my PMR and an hour or two with him left me exhausted! He's the skinniest thing out now as a teenager!

  • Probably all of those things and who can blame you , Steroids are not good for your mood and if your mood has other reasons to be bad ,Its all piling up . You have some freedom now and I really do understand from personal experience it is difficult to appreciate the freedom you have because you can feel guilty feeling any relief . Dont get in the situation where you cannot change your life because you hang on to the past in guilt of the future . You have a future and you have PMR ( I was exactly the same situation ) You will have to get used to dealing with the PMR nothing else for it . Sod the annoyances over the past they will eat you up .They did me.. Concentrate on your partner and try not to alienate them in you frustration .Its hard I know but the PMR is what you have to deal with now . This is your life . Live it . If you must alienate anyone I think you know who that should be . Get rid of the negative Let your partner be the positive, explain quietly to them in normal voice if you can ;-) how you have been left feeling .Maybe they will agree and if you are anything like me you will than begin to defend the people you are angry with .DONT . This is your tomorrow . YOURS !! The PMR is part of it . This site is good for advice use it I find information here that my doctor can't be bothered finding . Forgive my intrusion I know this sounds like a lecture but as I said I really do empathise .Honest .

  • Hi SheffieldJane

    Wow, not a bad thing to let off some steam?!

    This reply comes with the usual disclaimer that I'm not a medic or health professional, although I do have a keen interest in emotional / mental health from personal experience and my academic studies around these topics.

    Here's my take on things, if it helps.

    First, you've had a barrage of stressful experiences: as a long-term carer, dealing with bereavement, unresolved family conflict, and now a life changing illness just when you hoped for light at the end of the tunnel. And, to boot, you now have PMR and are taking a powerful medication that's known to affect mood and emotional energy in various ways. No wonder your deeper emotions are coming to the surface!

    So, unless you have a history of issues with anger management, I suspect this is far more about your (previously supressed, from how you describe your personality type?) feelings of anger / injustice emerging, more than a side effect of the Preds. Yes, a condition like PMR, combined with the drugs that control it, are bound to affect emotional energy / resilience (i.e. feeling more frazzled, more easily?) and our stress response, but the wider context matters too. It's my guess that the Preds aren't the main culprit - their known effects on mood are just amplifying the residual, (and perfectly natural) feelings that most, normal human beings would have in your situation. Also, these feelings can take some time to surface when supressed for a long time... I've been in a similar situation to yours, been there and got the tee shirt!

    On the positive side, in my experience, it's usually more healthy to express feelings of anger than to supress them, and you sound like you're on that therapeutic journey already. The only challenges can be in (a) understanding, objectively, where exactly the anger is really coming from (especially with multiple sources of stress / conflict), and then (b) how to express / process this emotional energy in a positive, not destructive way. It might be worth thinking about this so as to make more sense of things for yourself and to help others (e.g. your other half) understand you better?

    Anger can be a very positive driver of action and change, albeit more scary for some personality types than others. The main thing is not to feel bad / guilty about feeling angry - it sounds quite natural in your case. Perhaps you could sit down with your partner and try to explain, as calmly as you can, why you are feeling like this so that they can tune-in to you better and give you some emotional support (rather than hiding behind the sofa!). These major life events inevitably involve and affect our relationships with our nearest and dearest too, so think about it as a Team Effort to get through them together.

    If it helps, a while back, I wrote a post here about how our individual and differing Personality Types might (and I stress, might) impact on the emotional side of coping with major life events and Change. It comes with a few suggested coping strategies for different 'Types', and you might relate to one or more of them - if only in a small way.

    On a final note: the tunnel can seem very long and dark, but have faith that there is light at the end of it. Laughter can also be a great way of surviving the tough bits, and many would say that this is one of the best medicines of all. It's difficult to feel angry when you're smiling!

    Best thoughts on the Journey

    MB :-)

  • Second all of the above comments. I can totally relate to everything you wrote, having experienced variations on the themes. In fact I "credit" that tsunami of stressors with actually triggering PMR. No point being angry with PMR. In its unproductive way it's actually something which is helping you return some of your attention to yourself, to your needs, to the necessity for mindfulness. PMR is not fun, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but it can in a strange way also be a gift. Here is the reason you cannot and will not do things you don't want to any more. Here is the reason you will take time for yourself, to regain your true self, remember why you are on this planet at this time.

    Be kind to yourself. You deserve it. 💕☕

  • I can honestly say that you may be suffering one of the signs from bereavement ! Anger comes in many forms , Severn years of caring for your mum takes its toll on you mentally and phyisically , you did your mum proud looking after her for all that time , and to find out about your sisters behaviour adds fuel to your anger . Talk over how you feel with your partner , try not to isolate yourself just because you are experiencing these alien feelings I'm pretty sure the rawness will fade , take a long walk with your partner , and enjoy your time with your grandson , they are great healers . I am sending you my best wishers . Take care special lady .

  • Wow! Thank you so much for your thoughtful, helpful replies.

    I was grateful for my Polymyalgia Rheumatica diagnosis, something was going to give, I secretly thought I was dying, it could have been so, so much worse. There is an element of " you see! I told you I was ill" vindication. Real me has a Zen- like patience with my little grandson, my slower pace allows me to understand him and his pre- verbal communications. We are having a quiet little love affair, the best one of my life. So if you notice, as one door slams shut another can be standing quietly ajar. Thanks again Angels.

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