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Author Topic: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!  (Read 42122 times)

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Offline Egg

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #170 on: February 08, 2014, 10:27:34 PM »
I am actually afraid of googling.  I know that I am capable of absorbing information, even reassuring information, and manifesting that information into symptoms later.  For months I couldn't even say the name of my initial feared disease out loud, or write it.

My main problem on that front is compulsive symptom-checking.  I realized recently that symptom-checking is "looking for the horror" -- opening a portal that lets my worst fears in, if that makes any sense.  When I check for symptoms, in some sense I'm looking for the worst to happen and anticipating that stomach-churning flood of terror.  I try to remind myself of that when I am tempted to check.  I haven't gone a whole day without checking, but I've reduced it.

My therapist has been on vacation for much of my most recent turn for the worse.  She was, I think, surprised by the volume of work that I've done in her absence.  I told her that I don't think my SSRI is doing anything for me, and she agreed, so I'm going to talk to my PCP about either changing meds or stopping SSRI's entirely.

I do have some Xanax, but I've only taken it once, and it didn't really help much.

One thing that does help is singing.  I have a problem with breath-holding, so if I'm in the car singing, it prevents me from doing that.  Exercise helps for similar reasons.

I also remind myself that I can't change or prevent the disease(s) that I fear -- but I CAN work on my anxiety, which IS undoubtedly real and which has a negative affect on my life.
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Offline Egg

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #171 on: February 10, 2014, 03:20:11 PM »
I'm also reminding myself that I have always been extremely healthy.  I rarely even get colds.  I have lots of energy, too.  And I run (when the weather is decent), and almost always log close to 10,000 steps per day on my pedometer.
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Offline Egg

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #172 on: February 12, 2014, 01:00:00 PM »
Checking in to report my positive steps:

1.  As per the HA workbook modules, yesterday I committed to reducing my checking behaviors to 3x per day for the next two weeks.  I can check my symptoms at 7a, 1p, and 8p.  Yesterday I slipped up twice between 1p and 8p, but today I've resisted in-between checks so far.  I think it is lowering my anxiety somewhat.

2.  I called my PCP's office to ask about getting off my current SSRI (which I think is doing me no good, and might even be increasing my anxiety) and discuss trying a new drug.  Somewhat surprisingly, they were able to fit me in next week (vs. April, which was when I was supposed to see me next).

I really miss being able to get outside to walk, which is usually a significant help for me.  I would be fine bundling myself up, but I have a toddler who would get uncomfortably cold in the stroller.

Baby steps here, but at least I'm moving forward.  How is everyone else doing?
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Offline jburzlaff

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #173 on: April 09, 2014, 02:46:37 PM »
First post here, last few weeks have been HA hell for me and today I finally see improvement!! I'll start slow, I pledge not to test my body for a day and not to google for two days! Wish me luck! :yes:
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Offline Carol7373

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #174 on: April 10, 2014, 03:33:30 AM »
What an awesome challenge!  For me, my anxiety has been an issue for as long as I can remember.  I was medicated for a short period of time before I decided to stop taking because I don't like meds.  It used to only be panic attacks but ever since this past November, it has only been focused on my health.  I wound up with a terrible cold, then my doc diagnosed me with adult on-set asthma.  This of course required meds and a daily inhaler.  After a few days of being diagnosed, I thought for sure I was having a fatal asthma attack.....couldn't breathe, tight chest, dizzy and had to be checked by paramedics.  So ever since Dec. 21, 2013, my daily life is consumed with thoughts of breathing or more accurately thoughts of not being able to breathe.

My challenge is #1- Not to google symptoms for one week.  #2. - focus on meditation exercises daily for one week. #3 - work on CBT workbook daily.

I will get over this with hard work !
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Offline jburzlaff

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #175 on: April 10, 2014, 02:11:40 PM »
I failed and ended up googling... But just once in the last 24 hours, I guess you can call this progress... Well I am restarting my goals as of now! This time I'll succeed! Oh, and I'm changing my phone's wallpaper to "DO NOT GOOGLE!"
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Offline Egg

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #176 on: April 10, 2014, 09:34:46 PM »
Welcome, new posters!  I love the spirit of positivity and resolve.

It's normal to slip up with whatever bedevils you (Googling, checking, etc.).  Just keep at it.  For me, I just try to reduce it over time.  I've gotten MUCH better -- from checking my symptoms MANY times a day to maybe once or twice, or sometimes forgetting entirely.

I'm doing pretty well.  I'm nearly done with my SSRI -- have tapered down to a tiny dose, of which I only have four left.  I honestly feel better -- both physically and emotionally -- the less I take.  I really wish it had been the magic bullet that it is for so many.
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Offline jburzlaff

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #177 on: April 16, 2014, 02:00:10 PM »
Today I had an emg (against my doctor will, since he said since the beginning that I didn't need one) and it was, surprise, surprise, clean, just like everything else. I am healthy, completely healthy. What I'll try to do now is to accept it, just accept it, for a week. I hope this week turns into two and three and the next time that I visit AnxietyZone, I'll visit just to share my experiences and not to look for comfort.
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Offline Egg

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #178 on: April 30, 2014, 03:58:32 PM »
Checking in to report that I've majorly backslid and have started checking myself for symptoms again.  To be fair, they (the checking and, to some degree, the symptoms) never went away entirely, but they were greatly reduced -- but now I'm right back where I once was.

Part of what feeds my HA, and my anxiety in general, is the perceived need for vigilance.  But for some reason I can't transfer this need for vigilance from "vigilance regarding health threats" to "vigilance regarding psychological threats," even though the latter is definitely real and the former is probably not real.

I am feeling frustrated, and disappointed, and my hope is faltering a little.

I try to remind myself that the Ivy League Trained Neurologist found no signs of the diseases I fear ... and that I definitely DO have an anxiety disorder (because I know that to be true) ... and that I have so very many of the common triggers for HA afoot in my life -- all these together certainly point to the great likelihood that I have anxiety and not disease X.

But it is hard to accept, and also that line of thinking feeds into my worry-reassurance-checking-worry loop.  For some reason my mind has a loop running: how does this part of my body feel?  Was that a strange sensation?  Let me pause and examine it.  Oh, no -- I felt it again!  [Try to reassure myself with the above dialogue about Neurologist, Anxiety, etc.]  Maybe if I check it now, the strange symptom won't happen and I can go on with my day.  But then I check, and perceive a symptom, and I'm right back in it.

I stopped taking my SSRI about ten days/two weeks ago [edit: tapered under the supervision of my doc], and it honestly didn't help, but I'm wondering if this near-complete relapse is due to withdrawal.  Hardly seems fair, since I got no benefit from the SSRI anyway.

Okay ... I vented, and now I'm done.  Back to focusing on positive steps.
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Offline mjd83

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Re: The NEW HA challange- Please join and lets help each other succeed!
« Reply #179 on: May 06, 2014, 09:26:08 PM »
My current HA is ALS... which has recently been relieved a bit thanks to the wonderful support on this site. My coping mechanisms:

1. I train Jiu Jitsu. I assume that if I really do have a life threatening, muscle wasting, paralyzing disease, that I would probably have a difficult time standing and basing or taking cross body armbars at some point. I have also noticed that the muscle twitches and cramps seem to mostly clear up when I get my mind on the mat and away from obsessing over every little twinge of my muscles. I still feel like my muscles exhaust too quickly, but atleast I'm not too far off from normal if I'm training and surviving.

2. I find making myself go outside helps a lot. Even though I have to fight the urge to do one more google search on twitching muscles, I've found that fresh air and sunshine is one of the greatest therapeutic tools their are.


BTW, for the people on this thread who have heart anxiety issues, totally been there. I have twice now been convinced I had a recurring, chronic myocarditis. I had a severe 24 hour stomach bug that landed me in the E.R.,  and immediately after had 5 months of left side chest sensations, fatigue, and lightheadedness...that actually came back for a few months recently. I have had more EKGs than I can count, several cardiac blood tests, have worn a Holtz monitor and have had a total of two stress echocardiograms. Never had one single blip on a single test... which makes me wonder if the whole thing was anxiety based.

I'm just now starting to learn the powers of anxiety.
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