First things first, I can assure you: BESIDES OVERTHINKING THIS AND CREATING STRESS THAT YOUR SENSITIZED NERVOUS SYSTEM IS OVERREACTING TO, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. You say so yourself; the doctor has found nothing neurologically wrong with you.
I have had the exact symptoms you have, feeling light and airy and floaty, as well as those symptoms' evil friends, double gravity and moving floor and sudden dropping feeling.
Like you, I went to the doctor and had all kinds of balance, vision, neuro, etc tests, and everything came back normal. And like you, I didn't believe that nothing was wrong. The doctors had to be missing something, right?Wrong. Anxiety is a bitch.
The more familiar I've gotten with it, the more I respect that it has the ability to inflict immense suffering in uncountable ways. The biggest bitch of it all is that one of anxiety's greatest strengths is deflecting responsibility
to "neurological problems" or "heart problems" etc. All the while it hides in the shadows and inflicts pain.
So now, even if you don't believe it's "just anxiety" (as if that makes the suffering any better?), just humor me and pretend to believe it for a moment.
Anxiety is the result and the fuel in a two part cycle.
Part 1: Trigger (usually a thought) "My arm feels funny it is probably a neurological defect"
Part 2: Physiological Reaction - Something is wrong here, excrete adrenal to handle threat
Part 1a: Trigger (original trigger plus part 2 physiological reaction) "Oh my god, now my heart is beating and I am sweating and my arm still feels funny, I am really F$%^ed up now!!!"
Part 2a: (Part 2 Physiological Reaction)+(Part 2a Physiological Reaction) MORE ADRENALINE TO HANDLE MORE THREAT
The cycle continues on, until you reach panic, which eventually burns out your ability to physiologically react, which helps lessen the trigger, etc etc. and you return to a state of somewhat normal, except you are scarred with the panic experience.
The most effective way to combat this beast is to attack the cycle from both ends
- you need to soften the thought
, so that it doesn't cause as strong of a physiological reaction, and you need to become less sensitized to the physiological reaction itself.Softening the Thought
So for the softening of the thought, we re-frame the thought
. There is a right way and a wrong way to do this. The right way is when reframing, you must believe the reframe
. See below for a reframe from Part 1 above:
"My arm feels funny it is probably a neurological defect" becomes "My arm feels funny but it looks normal and it still functions correctly when I try to use it"Bad:
"My arm feels funny it is probably a neurological defect" becomes "My arm feels great! What a wonderful fuckin day!"
See the difference? The good example is believable, it is true
, it is just a different way of describing the current situation. The bad example is bullshit
. Your arm doesn't feel good, it feels like *****. Trying to reframe to some lovey dovey positive bullshit will only create more resistance
, as you will fight against the thought because it is not true.Desensitizing the Physical Reaction:
For this I use a tactic that is similar to meditation, you might even call it a form of meditation. The worst thing you can do when you get a physical sensation is to try to "get rid" of it. This only creates tension, and more anxiety. See below:
1. Legs feel shaky
2. Deep breathing for a bit, calm down3. Check to see if legs still shaky
4. Still shaky
5. Fidget around, test leg strength6. Check to see if legs still shaky
7. Still shaky, now heart rate increasing
8. Breathe deep to get heart rate down, sit down so can't feel shaky legs9. Check to see if heart rate down yet
This is big, so pay attention to this, if nothing else in this longwinded post makes sense, pay attention to this. The Checking that I have bolded above IS ANXIETY.
With the constant monitoring, you will never escape the anxiety cycle. There will always be something to find if you are constantly checking.
This is where acceptance comes in. The antidote to checking for symptoms (creating tension) is acceptance of symptoms
. A recognition of, but complete disregard for, their existence.
This is obviously much easier said than done
, or nobody would be walking around with any anxiety. So here is what I find most effective:
Find a quiet place, and do a quick internal scan of your body. For you, you probably have a lot of sensation/energy in your head that contributes to the DP/DR. Most anxiety sufferers have a lot of feeling/sensation/energy in their head/neck/abdominal regions.
Find a sensation to focus on, and just watch the sensation
. Bring it completely into your awareness. Once you have a good lock on it, start to notice things about it. What kind of sensation is it? Buzzing, tingling, foggy, dense, light, airy, floaty, cloudy, dark, ugly, spinny, sharp, dull, blobby. Be as observant as you can. Say to the sensation, "I see you dark foggy heavy blob in my head, welcome". Just watch it for a few minutes. Other sensations throughout your body will try to grab your attention
, and you may experience some very real discomfort, but know that it is anxiety, and you will not be harmed by it.
Notice how your inner dialogue will begin to resist sitting with the sensations. This is the core of anxiety, the resistance, the tension.
Some find that doing this and similar exercises has an immediate affect of lessening their anxiety, for some it can take a bit longer.
It is a paradoxical affect, that allowing the sensations of anxiety to have a place in your body slows down and eventually stops the two part cycle. Over time your nervous system will go back to pre-anxiety baseline levels, and you will feel normal. At this point in time, the sensations are happening whether you keep checking for them or accepting them
. So you can either keep feeding them by constantly checking
and resisting, or you can face them, accept them
, see them for what they are, and eventually become disinterested in them, stopping the cycle.
I've highlighted some parts of your posts below where you are projecting tension regarding how things are. These beliefs are fueling your continued sensitization. Attack them with the above and similar methods, and you will find relief.
If you would like some more thorough resources, look around the web for Claire Weekes and Sam OBitz.
My dp is really getting bad, unless this is something else, like my head feels so floaty my arms feel weird, my body feels so weightless when I walk around, it's terrifying me. I feel so ungrounded, like I'm just gonna float away. It's like nothing reminds me of my body unless it's touched. I feel like I'm made of air. I'm suppose to restart my effexor but I'm afraid it's something neurological and the effexor is gonna like kill me. I've just never had such physical dp symptoms. I've seen a neurologist and I've gotten an mri for something else, and I've gotten an eeg and I'm getting an emg soon, but he doesn't see anything neurologically wrong with me. It's starting to feel like my bones can't support my muscles. Any help would be appreciated, this is awful. Does anyone else get these symptoms this bad? I need help bad.
It's just like this weird floaty feeling, it's horrendous like I feel like grabbing on to something.
Now my body is achey as *****, this is awful