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Author Topic: Why canīt I relax my muscles?  (Read 159 times)

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Offline Rasalhauge

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Why canīt I relax my muscles?
« on: August 22, 2014, 04:45:19 PM »
Ok, I seriously donīt know how much more of this I can take. Given that itīs indeed anxiety and not some serious neuro disorder, how do I relax my muscles? Every single muscle fibre in my body is tense to the point of bursting, and I canīt take this feeling any more. It hurts, not just this achy feeling, but actual (and quite severe) pain.

Iīve been through "real" pain before in my life, Iīve broken most bones, dislocated joints and even been stabbed with a knife, but nothing has ever caused me such a long-lasting pain as this. I know you all think I must exaggerate, but I donīt. Itīs unbareable.

I canīt even smile like a normal person anymore. I donīt mean that in the emotional way, i.e. "Iīm so sad I canīt smile", but i litteraly CANīT smile. My facial muscles are so stiff that my smile looks severly off. The corners of my outh opens up when I smile wide, and they havenīt done that before. How do I handle this?

Is this really just anxiety? I mean, my logic tells me that sleep at least would help lessen some of the stiffness and such. But it doesnīt. On top of that Iīve started to have night sweats from hell, and nightmares that are beyond my imagination.

Every single night itīs the same thing, if I by some off-chance manages to fall asleep, then I get these nightmares (and they are so real). Most as of late has been about Afghanistan, and I donīt know what to do about it. It sounds like such a sob story to speak of how hard of a time one had when stationed abroad, and I feel like such a wuss for even thinking like this. I mean, I got to come back from that hell hole of a place, most of the people I met there didnīt have anywhere else to return to.

I hate what this does to me; when I look through my posts on this forum all I can see is an never-ending pity fest, and I hate that cause thatīs not who I am. Iīm not selfish. Or thatīs not true anymore, the "new" me canīt manage to do anything but feel sorry for myself.
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Offline patmob

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Re: Why canīt I relax my muscles?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2014, 05:46:46 PM »
I'm sorry you're going through this.  I really don't know anything about it but have you been diagnosed with PTS?
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Offline Egg

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Re: Why canīt I relax my muscles?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2014, 05:47:29 PM »
Rasalhauge, I have had that EXACT same experience with my facial muscles. I felt like the Joker from Batman. I realized that when I'm sleeping, I tense my facial muscles.

It was really bad when I was at the very height of my anxiety last summer. To this day, difficulties with my facial muscles are a dead giveaway that I am super-anxious.

In fact, it just happened today in a situation where I needed to be "on" and make a good first impression. It was fine, but I definitely noticed it.

I've read a number of your posts, and we have a lot of the same symptoms. I am pretty sure mine are due to a nervous system that has been exhausted due to years of the anxiety cycle. At least, an Ivy League-trained neurologist couldn't find anything wrong with me.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Why canīt I relax my muscles?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2014, 06:10:02 PM »
Chronic muscle tension can be a tough cycle to get out of. I had developed a wrist tendonitis in 2012 that I dealt with for almost a year, and ultimately resulted in anxiety and building tension into my neck, shoulders, back, arms.

What helps? If you wanted to try a long acting benzodiazepine that can help muscle tension as well as anxiety. For me acupuncture and massage therapy were critical to resolve the tension, not amount of "relaxation" could help once my muscles were locked up. But the massage and acupuncture over the course of 2-3 months resolved things tremendously, then exercise afterwards to help maintain things.

You were in a very difficult experience in Afghanistan, please don't minimize this. It sounds like you may have a measure of survivor's guilt. If you haven't tried counseling I would strongly consider it. Best of luck to you, sir
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Offline Rasalhauge

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Re: Why canīt I relax my muscles?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2014, 06:40:48 PM »
I'm sorry you're going through this.  I really don't know anything about it but have you been diagnosed with PTS?

Both yes and no to that question; immediately after I got back i received a "preliminary" diagnosis of ptsd. But, since I was hoping to get back into active duty again I managed to downplay my problems, and after seeing a psychiatrist for a couple of sessions I managed to get my security clearance back.

Now, some years after this I've given up on ever being able to return to active duty (too many diagnoses for that to be possible).
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Offline Rasalhauge

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Re: Why canīt I relax my muscles?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2014, 06:47:05 PM »
Rasalhauge, I have had that EXACT same experience with my facial muscles. I felt like the Joker from Batman. I realized that when I'm sleeping, I tense my facial muscles.

It was really bad when I was at the very height of my anxiety last summer. To this day, difficulties with my facial muscles are a dead giveaway that I am super-anxious.

In fact, it just happened today in a situation where I needed to be "on" and make a good first impression. It was fine, but I definitely noticed it.

I've read a number of your posts, and we have a lot of the same symptoms. I am pretty sure mine are due to a nervous system that has been exhausted due to years of the anxiety cycle. At least, an Ivy League-trained neurologist couldn't find anything wrong with me.

Sounds just like me, I know for sure that I tense up immensely during sleep. And I always wake up with aracing heart, tremors and sweating like a pig. I don't know what to do, previously sleep was the one thing that kept me sane. But now, when I'm either sleepless or wishing I was I don't know what to do.

I've started to experience blackouts during the day, and today it was at an all time low on that point. I just froze, and couldn't remember how I got to where I was at. I was lost, I lean literally lost, and this happened at a place Ive seen more  or less every day for the last couple of years
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“There is no greater sorrow than to recall in misery the time when we were happy.”

- Dante Alighieri

Offline Rasalhauge

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Re: Why canīt I relax my muscles?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2014, 06:54:54 PM »
Chronic muscle tension can be a tough cycle to get out of. I had developed a wrist tendonitis in 2012 that I dealt with for almost a year, and ultimately resulted in anxiety and building tension into my neck, shoulders, back, arms.

What helps? If you wanted to try a long acting benzodiazepine that can help muscle tension as well as anxiety. For me acupuncture and massage therapy were critical to resolve the tension, not amount of "relaxation" could help once my muscles were locked up. But the massage and acupuncture over the course of 2-3 months resolved things tremendously, then exercise afterwards to help maintain things.

You were in a very difficult experience in Afghanistan, please don't minimize this. It sounds like you may have a measure of survivor's guilt. If you haven't tried counseling I would strongly consider it. Best of luck to you, sir

Thank you for the tips, I might actually try and see if massage or acupuncture could help me out a bit here. I've tried bensodiazepines, even more than I'd like to admit. It wasn't my cup of tea, to put it mildly. I've been through some nasty withdrawals from Xanax and stuff like that, so I try to stay away from them now:)

I'm going to start therapy around October, if I'm lucky enough to get an starting appointment that is. Hopefully I'll be given the opportunity to both start cbt and physiotherapy around then, it might help:)

But this tension and muscle pain is beyond me, it's so hard to feel physically debilitated just because I'm anxious.
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“There is no greater sorrow than to recall in misery the time when we were happy.”

- Dante Alighieri

Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Why canīt I relax my muscles?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2014, 07:19:40 PM »

But this tension and muscle pain is beyond me, it's so hard to feel physically debilitated just because I'm anxious.

Yes. Yes it is.  :yes:
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Offline thenomnomnomicon

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Re: Why canīt I relax my muscles?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2014, 04:13:34 PM »
Obvious one, but not thinking about your worries helps immensely. For you, I know that may be too challenging without assistance. Shawn has told you, and me, before that engaging in your life is the best remedy for anxious thinking.
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