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Offline kvndl2

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Health fears galore to be honest
« on: August 24, 2014, 12:22:56 PM »
As some of you know I've been going through a lot of fears lately, but now I'm going to give you all a background as to what's going on in my life to fuller detail.

So--I moved to a different state about a half a year after my father passed away in a motor accident (completely unexpected)
I had lived in said state for 13 years of my life and now I live in one that my mom grew up in so a lot of her family is here.
We've lived here for a year now but I don't have a job or friends. I went to college for a semester and I was good.
But once it was over and I was no longer really socializing or had distractions my anxiety started gradually getting worse.
Last week of July I woke up with anxiety and it's been a anxiety roller coaster ever since.
I bumped up my buspar to 30 mg a day instead of 10 mg a day and I've been doing that for about half a month now.
Then just last week since my ativan wasn't working anymore I asked for klonopin to see how it would go. So now I have .5 mg of klonopin to take (As needed twice a day)
I don't take it that much, but I know that it's a medication used to treat seizures.
(I also take 20 mg of Lexapro but I've been taking that for about 4 or 5 years?)

With the change of mgs of medication I've been having a lot of DP/DR
It's very stressful since I'm acting like myself (besides being anxious) but I haven't really felt like myself on the inside.
Which I know is common with DP/DR

now onto symptoms:
  • Body Tremors
  • Headaches / Fogginess
  • Weakness in limbs and face (hands, feet, arms)
  • Nausea
  • Not getting much sleep / keep waking up at random times
  • DP/DR
  • Face pain and ear aches
  • Eye fogginess
  • and pretty much any physical symptom that can come with anxiety

Now on Halloween it'll mark the two year mark of losing my father.
I keep fearing everything, brain tumors, seizures (from the body tremors), ALS.

I don't know how to get out of this vicious cycle. I keep telling myself it's my anxiety.
But I'm afraid that the klonopin will trigger seizures and the fact that none of my anxiety is going away must be because I have a tumor in my brain.

I used an ear cleaning kit yesterday and it helped with my DP/DR so I'm thinking that a lot of that had to do with my sinuses being clogged?

I live in a part of the new state where there's not many available resources.
I can't have a counselor because none of them take my insurance, there aren't any group things to go to.
I have a doctor's appointment on the 4th which is the soonest I could get in.

I keep going out and doing things with my mom and some family members but nothing really seems to help.

I've tried so many natural anxiety things too like yoga,
vitamins, but nothing relieves me for very long.

Friends from where I used to live were supposed to come visit me but of course things in their life came up (Which is ok) but I feel miserable and I try to stay positive (fake it until I make it) but that's so much easier said than done.

I feel like all of this stress and anxiety is going to throw me off the deep end.

I'm gonna try and get a job, but I fear that wont help either. I'm just so frustrated.
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Offline Slangevar

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Re: Health fears galore to be honest
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2014, 01:41:03 PM »
Have you tried any Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques online?  There are actually a lot of them and it helps to try different techniques to see what works for you. Here are some that have worked for me:

1) Never Google symptoms. If the urge becomes too great, try "reverse Googling." For example, let's say your leg is twitching. Instead of Googling "leg twitching" which will turn up an array of terrifying diseases, think to yourself, "is there anything simple that could be causing this?" Maybe you went for a long walk right before you noticed it?  Maybe you've been eating badly?  Maybe you're dehydrated?  If you look up "leg twitching" and "vitamin deficiency," "dehydration," or "exercise," you'll find that all of those cause your legs to twitch. And they're all much more likely causes than something like ALS.

2) When you worry, stop and make two lists. 1) All of your actual symptoms (which you did on this post) and 2) Possible benign causes of your symptoms. On list #1, force yourself to be realistic about each of your symptoms. For example, do you feel like your hands might be weak or have you actually lost the strength and dexterity to button your shirt? Only the second one is a real symptom. In #2, consider all possibilities - medications, anxiety, dehydration, too much or too little exercise, vitamin deficiencies, hormones (in women) and natural aging in people over 40 are common culprits. In your case, I can attribute all of your symptoms to anxiety and meds. Make these lists every time you start to feel anxious and it will gradually retrain your brain.

3) Check the list of anxiety symptoms. To help you out with #2, always refer back to this great list of anxiety symptoms that Sixpack posted: http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,89766.0.html   I've experienced many of these - it's amazing how anxiety can cause very real, very scary symptoms. (All of your symptoms are on this list, btw.) 

4) Exercise, do yoga & meditate. If you're not already doing it, try doing some form of aerobic exercise (really get up a sweat) at least four times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. For people who have chemical HA, this is a HUGE help. Yoga & meditation can also clear your mind, help you focus and help you sleep.

5) Keep busy and distract yourself. Anxiety is sometimes the product of people feeling restless or insecure about a job/school/project/situation/event. If you have a project that's making you nervous, jump in and finish it. If you're feeling restless, pick up a hobby. Go to the movies with friends. Keep yourself busy and feeling successful will greatly help HA in a lot of cases.

6) If all else fails, make a Bucket List. A few months ago, I hit a period of intense anxiety due to a confluence of factors in my life. I was convinced I had cancer and even my doctor was stumped at diagnosing my very real symptoms. I finally got so worried and sick of being worried that I said, "Screw it... okay, so I'm dying. What do I really want to do before I die?" I actually made a bucket list - not a crazy one with "go on safari," but a real list of things that I don't want to put off any longer. And I started doing them - I went on a couple of trips, finished a book, worked on a project with my husband, started spending more time with my family, etc., and it actually made me feel better. I still totally fear death, but somehow checking those things off made me feel like I had some control over what was happening.

Those are just some of the things that have worked for me - there are a lot of other free CBT techniques that you can find online and try. The importance is to really do them. CBT doesn't magically eliminate anxiety in your life - it retrains your brain to help you process anxiety like "normal" people so you don't get stuck in the anxiety swamp.
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Offline fordaisy

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Re: Health fears galore to be honest
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2014, 01:50:21 PM »
I get tremors and limb weakness too - I hate it. Have you tried magnesium. I feel calmer for several hours after I take it. Can you talk to the doc and maybe have him change your meds?
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Offline kvndl2

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Re: Health fears galore to be honest
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2014, 02:06:25 PM »
Thank you Slangevar for all of that helpful advice I greatly appreciate it!
Are there any CBT things you could recommend me to me? I've tried looking for some but they are all books that you have to pay for.

Fordaisy; I have not tried magnesium. I've thought about it but never have actually gotten any.
Also I don't want to switch my meds in fear of it just making things worse.
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Offline Slangevar

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Re: Health fears galore to be honest
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2014, 02:40:09 PM »
I haven't used any of the online resources (I went to a CBT therapist and devised some of my own), but these look interesting:

Basic info on anxiety and CBT: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/anxiety_therapy.htm  and http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/AnxietySelfHelp.pdf

A free online course: http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/cbtstep1.htm

Mindful breathing instructions: http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/MindfulBreathing.pdf  (A note: this never worked for me unless it was guided by someone, like in a Buddhist meditation workshop.  My mind tends to get off-track too easily.)

Thought Record: http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/HealthAnxietyThoughtRecord.pdf  (This is a bigger version of the list trick I mentioned. If you can get yourself to do this sheet every time you feel anxious about a symptom, you'll definitely improve.)

There are others you can find if you Google "cognitive behavioral therapy"and "health anxiety."
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Offline kvndl2

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Re: Health fears galore to be honest
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 03:43:52 PM »
Thank you so much! I will try these out!
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Offline potternut

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Re: Health fears galore to be honest
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2014, 03:51:36 PM »
Have you tried any Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques online?  There are actually a lot of them and it helps to try different techniques to see what works for you. Here are some that have worked for me:

1) Never Google symptoms. If the urge becomes too great, try "reverse Googling." For example, let's say your leg is twitching. Instead of Googling "leg twitching" which will turn up an array of terrifying diseases, think to yourself, "is there anything simple that could be causing this?" Maybe you went for a long walk right before you noticed it?  Maybe you've been eating badly?  Maybe you're dehydrated?  If you look up "leg twitching" and "vitamin deficiency," "dehydration," or "exercise," you'll find that all of those cause your legs to twitch. And they're all much more likely causes than something like ALS.

2) When you worry, stop and make two lists. 1) All of your actual symptoms (which you did on this post) and 2) Possible benign causes of your symptoms. On list #1, force yourself to be realistic about each of your symptoms. For example, do you feel like your hands might be weak or have you actually lost the strength and dexterity to button your shirt? Only the second one is a real symptom. In #2, consider all possibilities - medications, anxiety, dehydration, too much or too little exercise, vitamin deficiencies, hormones (in women) and natural aging in people over 40 are common culprits. In your case, I can attribute all of your symptoms to anxiety and meds. Make these lists every time you start to feel anxious and it will gradually retrain your brain.

3) Check the list of anxiety symptoms. To help you out with #2, always refer back to this great list of anxiety symptoms that Sixpack posted: http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,89766.0.html   I've experienced many of these - it's amazing how anxiety can cause very real, very scary symptoms. (All of your symptoms are on this list, btw.) 

4) Exercise, do yoga & meditate. If you're not already doing it, try doing some form of aerobic exercise (really get up a sweat) at least four times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time. For people who have chemical HA, this is a HUGE help. Yoga & meditation can also clear your mind, help you focus and help you sleep.

5) Keep busy and distract yourself. Anxiety is sometimes the product of people feeling restless or insecure about a job/school/project/situation/event. If you have a project that's making you nervous, jump in and finish it. If you're feeling restless, pick up a hobby. Go to the movies with friends. Keep yourself busy and feeling successful will greatly help HA in a lot of cases.

6) If all else fails, make a Bucket List. A few months ago, I hit a period of intense anxiety due to a confluence of factors in my life. I was convinced I had cancer and even my doctor was stumped at diagnosing my very real symptoms. I finally got so worried and sick of being worried that I said, "Screw it... okay, so I'm dying. What do I really want to do before I die?" I actually made a bucket list - not a crazy one with "go on safari," but a real list of things that I don't want to put off any longer. And I started doing them - I went on a couple of trips, finished a book, worked on a project with my husband, started spending more time with my family, etc., and it actually made me feel better. I still totally fear death, but somehow checking those things off made me feel like I had some control over what was happening.

Those are just some of the things that have worked for me - there are a lot of other free CBT techniques that you can find online and try. The importance is to really do them. CBT doesn't magically eliminate anxiety in your life - it retrains your brain to help you process anxiety like "normal" people so you don't get stuck in the anxiety swamp.


GREAT list, Slangevar!  I'm printing it out and hanging it up.  THANKS!   :yes:
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It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

Offline Slangevar

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Re: Health fears galore to be honest
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2014, 08:03:00 PM »
 :sign0201:
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