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Author Topic: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.  (Read 350 times)

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Offline Soccer_Dude

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Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« on: April 19, 2014, 12:32:08 AM »
Hi,

It's been a long time since I've posted any updates.  I've been through a very rought time these past almost 3 years, with out of the blue severe anxiety/panic, insomnia, depression, then adrenal issues.  I've tried different medications without success most of them caused uncomfortable mental/physical symptoms.  I've done some natural therapies with limited success and some that caused similar discomforts as the medications. 

I have continued to work with ND's, and found some natural methods that have slowly started to bring me back around to where I'm starting to see some daylight.  My extreme anxiety/panic is gone, left with only small boughts of nervousness, my depression which was severe, as lifted to a point where I'm functional and can enjoy life more, although my moods at times are still dull, other times content, with small spikes of good. I'm getting there.  My insomnia is still pretty severe at times, which I believe is due to my nervous system and adrenals that are still healing.  Not much has helped me with my insomnia. Benzo's never helped, some natural stuff may help a little, for a short while then not work any more. If my body doesn't want to sleep, it's not going to sleep no matter what I take.  I've just gotten used to it. Now that last couple of days I've been getting better sleep with a new regiment, so we'll see if it continues.

I may go into more detail later about what I've been doing that has helped, but I will wait until I'm feeling like my old self again first... But wanted to let you know I'm better than I was when this started in July 2011, better than I felt in all of 2012 and 2013.....It's been a slow progress for me, but I'm getting there.

Anyway, I am dealing some with strange symptoms, I'm not too worried about it, but thought I'd throw them out to see if anyone might have any ideas... For several months, my calf muscles have been very tight, to the point of almost getting a charlie horse. I notice it more at night in bed. Not sure if it's my back issues that are causing the problem or not. It's a bit bothersome but not that bad. I can go for long walks without an issue.  My calves feel like I had just played a 2 hour soccer game, yet I'm not exercising much at all these past couple of years. Maybe that's part of the problem. I have had my electrolytes tested and they are normal, well standard tests show that they are normal. I had a spectracell test done where they look into your cells and it showed I was low in magnesium, manganese, zinc and B12.   I've been taking magnesium for some time and B12, so that surprised my doctor.  I recently started Zinc and Manganese.

I also have been getting some achy feelings in my right hand, like in the bones.  I'm certain not having growing pains at my age!  :)  It just comes and goes.  I also get some pins and needle feelings in my right hand, some times left foot.  This has been going on and off for some time.  I know some people might think, "MS", or "Diabetes". I've been tested negative for diabetes many times.  I've seen a neurologist when I first got really bad with anxiety/panic back in 2011 and was cleared of any issues, although I probably should go back with these newer symptoms.   I do have a lower back problem, nothing serious but not sure if back issues could cause all these symptoms or not. I also had my C5-C6 disc replaced in my neck, so those muscles are kinda sore and spasming but there shouldn't be any pinched nerves. Not sure if that would cause any issues in my hands. I do use a computer all day, so it could be a bit of carpal tunnel.  Not sure if carpal tunnel can cause pins/needles in the fingers, along with achy bone feelings?

The other sensation I'm getting as of last weekend is sometimes when I rub my hands together, or dry my hands off on a towel, it feels kinda pins/needle like feelings, same feels as if I rubbed my hands in stinging neddles.  So, I'm not sure what is going on. I'm not too worried. I will talk to my doctor next week and go from there.

Anyway, just wanted to let you all know that I am getting better as far as my previous bad anxiety/panic/depression, and my insomnia certainly isn't as severe as before, although I'm still not getting normal sleep consistantly yet.

Soccer
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Offline bluerose

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2014, 02:32:21 AM »
Thanks for the udpate!  Wishing you continuing progress on your health!  I too sometimes have a terrible time getting more than 3 hours of sleep a night.  Other nights I sleep 10 or more hours.  It seems to be either feast or famine.  I know my sleep problems are from anxiety even with medications.  I have the luxury of trying to take a nap in the recliner in the afternoon on the days I'm tired.  Usually I can fall asleep for an hour or 2, but sometimes I can't.  I know who draining being sleep deprived can be.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2014, 07:30:24 AM »
Thanks for the update.  Would love to hear about what has helped you.

As for the cramping calves and hand pain, tingling etc.  I can tell you that there is a phenomenon that modern medicine is just now starting to understand.  I have observed large online populations of people on many different message boards with symptoms both mentally and physically.  In Jan, I began twitching, first in my left hand then all over my body...I panicked and everything got much worse.  Then I got muscle pain, fatigue, cramping of feet and hands.  There was a time in Jan I couldn't shampoo my hair without my shoulder getting exhausted.  I have seen many people with the same symptoms but different diagnosis, like benign fasiculation syndrome, fibromyalgia, health anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome and post traumatic stress disorder.  There is one common link, and that is anxiety.  And while my medical education background is strong, this isn't something taught...or really researched all that much.  Fibromyalgia for years was considered a crazy woman's disease, not really taken seriously by the medical community.  Docs are just now starting to take a look at it as a real entity, as it was believed to be "all in a persons head".  It lead to many frustrated patients, doctors and online communities began to form.

What I believe is this...in certain populations of people you have a double whammy...first there are those with anxiety, ocd and hyperawareness.  They notice body sensations others ignore.  They fixate, they panic, and they get anxious.  This upregulates the nervous system.  Adrenaline in your body is very useful when used to fight off a rabid dog, but not so much when watching Seinfeld.  When adrenaline sits unused on the nervous system and other systems of the body including muscles a state of tension develops...hyperactivity...and a new baseline is set.  Your nervous system is now in a state of constant hyperactivity, so are muscles.  Cramping, pain, twitching, tingling, pins and needles, weakness, exhaustion are new baselines...new symptoms.  Our systems have been damaged.  When we do things, overuse syndromes and injuries are common...which makes everything worse.

The key?  You need to retrain your body, set a new baseline of relaxation.  The problem?  Well, it's tough because we have untreated anxiety.  Or we have masked the issue with medications.  I believe that's why few get better, even fewer get back to normal.  Until we can have an extended period without worry, anxiety and fret there is no way for the systems of the body to reset themselves.  We must attack this at the roots...which is getting to the bottom of why we worry.  While some of it's genetic that isn't a cop out.  We need to take ownership of our worry, and realize we are not victims.  We are not forced to feed this beast.  When new symptoms pop up, we are not forced to think the worst.  Many people will ignore symptoms or say to themselves...hmm interesting and don't grow concerned unless they don't get better.  We as a community panic and look things up feeding the problem.

The solution...

1) Talk therapy...we need tools...we need to process old pain and trauma.  Without it, its like trying to drive a nail with a shoe.  We lack the tools to do an effective job.

2) Faith...I believe we as human beings are born to be connected to that which formed us...and without that connection we feel lost, alone and unprotected.  Whatever faith means to you, pursue it.

3) Community...we are born to be connected to others...to help others and for others to help us...to commune and fellowship with other human beings.  Our disease isolates us making everything worse.  Service, getting out of our own heads by helping other human beings is extremely helpful to us as well.

4) Relaxation...massages, dead sea salt baths, walks in the park, prayer, meditation, worship, acts of service, petting the dog, gardening, cooking, or whatever relaxes you embrace it...instead of googling....anything instead of googling.

5) Make a commitment...to never ever google symptoms...ever.  If you need to figure a symptom out...go to a doc and accept their insight.

6) Exercise...light exercise, nearly every day is helpful to sleep, and overall general feelings of well being.  If your body can tolerate strength training this is VERY helpful as it burns off excessive adrenaline and promotes a new baseline of relaxation.

7) Nutrition...we must give our body the nutrients to heal.  If we expect to eat cheetos and twinkles and hope to get better we will be disappointed.

Looking at the list above we can now see why people choose meds over this list.  As a society we want instant relief.  And while meds may be right in some people, without the above they are likely to merely mask issues and people rarely make full recoveries.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline maple

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2014, 12:24:23 PM »
If those are the things that work for you, ShawnW, then that is great.  I know that I do all of those things, and it is not enough.  Taking medication isn't a matter of masking the issue, it's a matter of doing what it takes to feel better.  I would call that taking "ownership of the problem", as you wrote above...  and where do you get the idea that people who take medication do not make full recovery? 

I guess I would say your suggestions are great for people dealing with anxiety, depression, or really anything...  but your statements about people who decide to take medication are somewhat ignorant.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2014, 12:42:22 PM »
If those are the things that work for you, ShawnW, then that is great.  I know that I do all of those things, and it is not enough.  Taking medication isn't a matter of masking the issue, it's a matter of doing what it takes to feel better.  I would call that taking "ownership of the problem", as you wrote above...  and where do you get the idea that people who take medication do not make full recovery? 

I guess I would say your suggestions are great for people dealing with anxiety, depression, or really anything...  but your statements about people who decide to take medication are somewhat ignorant.

Maybe you took something wrong.  Re-read what I wrote as I said medications are needed for some people.  What did I say about people who decide to take medications that you find ignorant?  My point is all too often people are trying to find a solution in a bottle of pills instead of doing other things.  It's not to judge a person but to say if you think medications alone are going to be your solution...well you may be disappointed.  If this doesn't apply to you, then great.  As for ignorance, well considering I work with addicts for a living, and run treatment teams for mental health and addiction...I think I know what I am talking about...but to each their own.  I work continually with people who feel like medications were their answer, yet did nothing else to try to resolve their pain.  You give these people tools and often they don't need to be on anything.  And for those that do, they can usually get by with less.  Sorry you don't agree. 

BTW: Never said people who take medications don't make full recoveries.  Maybe you need to re-read my statements before you decide to berate me.

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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

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http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline maple

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2014, 01:17:59 PM »
Shawn, I did re-read your statements.  Here are the ones I responded to earlier, and they are still there:

"Well, it's tough because we have untreated anxiety.  Or we have masked the issue with medications."

"And while meds may be right in some people, without the above they are likely to merely mask issues and people rarely make full recoveries."

I'm not berating you, I'm pointing out that I disagree with your statements, especially the ones I've directly quoted above.  I think that a general attitude of people requiring medication is somehow a weakness, or masking difficult symptoms, is ignorant.  In your response, I think you clarify that is not your attitude, so thank you for the clarification.

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Offline comoso

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2014, 02:34:18 PM »
Since this has happened to me, I've talked to literally 100's of people that have been through it.  Exactly 2 are on medication long term and the vast majority said life sucked beyond belief during but they got better.  I love this support site, but I hate reading people saying "most" don't get better.  In my life, most do...
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2014, 03:55:51 PM »
Since this has happened to me, I've talked to literally 100's of people that have been through it.  Exactly 2 are on medication long term and the vast majority said life sucked beyond belief during but they got better.  I love this support site, but I hate reading people saying "most" don't get better.  In my life, most do...

People get better when they take ownership of their mental, physical and spiritual health and do something to get better. 
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline ShawnW

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2014, 03:59:17 PM »
If those are the things that work for you, ShawnW, then that is great.  I know that I do all of those things, and it is not enough.  Taking medication isn't a matter of masking the issue, it's a matter of doing what it takes to feel better.  I would call that taking "ownership of the problem", as you wrote above...  and where do you get the idea that people who take medication do not make full recovery? 

I guess I would say your suggestions are great for people dealing with anxiety, depression, or really anything...  but your statements about people who decide to take medication are somewhat ignorant.

I'm glad you understand now, but think I was pretty clear in the original post.  Some people need meds but many do not if willing to engage a program of recovery.  It doesn't make one weak if they need medication...not sure where you got that.  As for masking issues, I will disagree with you.  If the ONLY thing you are doing is trying to find a solution in a bottle, then yes you are masking issues.  You are not getting to the root cause.  It's not about "judging" people but it is about giving people solid advice.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

Offline bluerose

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 02:12:21 AM »
Obsessive  compulsive disorder is now thought to be an abnormality in the brain or brain chemicals.  It is no longer called obsessive compulsive anxiety neurosis.  For years I tried to get to the root of my problems with talk therapy.  Yes I gained insight, but guess what -- I still had severe OCD.  It was not until I got on the right medicines that the OCD was mostly silenced.  That is why I am still here at 55 when I never thought I would make it out of my teens or 20's.  It's like telling an epileptic to get to the route of their problems instead of encouraging them to take medicine to stop or lessen their seizures.  These 2 conditions are both brain disorders.
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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2014, 03:12:08 AM »
It's like telling an epileptic to get to the route of their problems instead of encouraging them to take medicine to stop or lessen their seizures

Until about WW2 med students were still being taught that epilepsy was mostly an emotional disorder. The high prevalence of comobid anxiety and depressive disorders mean it it often a neuropsychiatric disorder requiring treatment for both the neurological and psychiatric components.

It and the anxiety disorders share many of the same benzodiazepine-GABA binding site deficits which is why they both respond so well to benzodiazepines.

Ian
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NOTE: I'm not a doctor, and particularly not yours, so there may be factors I'm unaware of. Therefore all advice is of a general nature and you should consult your doctor before following any of it, especially before changing med doses.

Offline ShawnW

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Re: Update on my health - Slowly but surely getting better.
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2014, 02:39:10 PM »
Obsessive  compulsive disorder is now thought to be an abnormality in the brain or brain chemicals.  It is no longer called obsessive compulsive anxiety neurosis.  For years I tried to get to the root of my problems with talk therapy.  Yes I gained insight, but guess what -- I still had severe OCD.  It was not until I got on the right medicines that the OCD was mostly silenced.  That is why I am still here at 55 when I never thought I would make it out of my teens or 20's.  It's like telling an epileptic to get to the route of their problems instead of encouraging them to take medicine to stop or lessen their seizures.  These 2 conditions are both brain disorders.

And for some that is the case.  I can tell you in the population I work with...I take everyone off of everything...all meds, all supplements, all street drugs etc.  These people have been diagnosed with panic disorders, schizophrenia, bi-polar, depression, OCD, etc and so on.  I detox them then find out what their baseline is and we go from there.  I work with people who had no program, no recovery, no talk therapy, no spirituality nothing but drugs because they had been diagnosed with a mental disorder.  They went to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed then shuffled out the door with a script.

You would be surprised at what I find...the vast majority do very well without medication when the have been given alternative tools for recovery.  These people have tried the traditional routes and find themselves diagnosed and addicted.  I have seen over 1000 people in the last three years, I would say I had to send out less than 10 to an acute psych ward, and placed less than another 10 on medication.

Why is this the case?  Well because substances can also cause symptoms similar to mental illness.  Because you don't know what someone has or how severe it is until you clear the brain of drugs, process pain/fear/trauma and then give them tools for living.  I keep probably about a 1/3rd for a year or longer...49% complete the program without a relapse, without medication and without leaving AMA.  These people are leading happy and healthy lives...the same ones diagnosed with severe mental illness.

Can everyone do it medication free?  Absolutely not.  It likely means their disorder was more severe, and was resistant to medication free treatment.  But, with so many voices out there screaming for medications, I find fulfillment being one of the few fighting for another way.

So, the people here have their own experiences which I respect...but they can not extrapolate their experience onto others.  Each have their own journey, and medication free is one of those paths that works for some.
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My insight, thoughts, experiences or advice that may be posted in this forum are not meant as a substitution for the advice of your physician.

Want to know how to address your anxiety?
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,93402.msg521266.html#msg521266

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