24 Hour Extreme Sick Feeling. Docs, ER say Psychological

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by joeb7th, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    Hello again. It's the whiner here. Sorry, I know it...but this place is the only internet site where you can just unload...and I certainly do that. But I appreciate the fact that many of us in pain have this site and can do this.

    Years ago..what did people do? Talk to the sky?

    I post here sometimes just to keep my sanity. Just to express what I am going through to someone else besides myself.

    I have been so sick in the last two weeks that I have taken myself to our local ER twice after not going there in months.

    My main complaint was feeling so sick and fainty and also extreme soreness in my abdomen. But this level of sick feelings and faint feelings is beyond anything I have ever had. And "I HAVE" fainted 3 times since I have gotten sick several months ago and come so close so many times without even going to a doctor or ER that these latest episodes are when I feel that I cannot get through these on my own.

    I am 55 . I know what feeling "kind of" sick is. I know what it feels like when I have a flu or maybe ate something wrong.

    What I feel now 24 hours a day ( upon awakening and throughout the day regardless of what I eat or don't eat ) is a sick all over feeling that is such a "something is seriously wrong here feeling" and is a combination of a low to medium grade nausea ( not the kind where you feel you may throw up at any second ) and a feeling that traversing all through my veins is a low grade poison that is making every part of you feel this way. Dramatic sounding I know... but it's the truth!

    Something that makes you feel so sick you want to cry. Man or woman...be macho all you want...it is so bad at times, you would feel this too regardless.

    Besides this poisoned feeling, off and on during the day I feel chills, prickly feelings in certain areas, then kind of hot flash clammy then back. Almost constantly now in the last couple of weeks I have felt kind of a pressure and sick feeling in my neck in front beneath my jaws and up a little that also feels like it's being systemically made sick. I mention this sick, slightly swollen full feeling in there to the docs and they feel there and say they feel nothing with the glands.

    I could rattle off ten other off and on feelings and symptoms but you know what they are. Loss of appetite, Funny feelings in face and hands, bladder occasionally haywire feeling,eveything else haywire feeling, pressure in penis and a little tightness in testical area,( not every day and maybe once or twice on the days I do feel this ) back pain, muscle pain, and "just sick" all over with some light headedness and body weakness all over and my gait is slightly off. But in my neck and in my chest and abdomen I just feel sick, sick, sick.

    As usual my last visit to the ER they called the psych ward and they asked me the usual first questions. Am I suicidal, homicidal, etc.. They interview you and ask their coded word questions. I swear it is like the old Soviet Union when someone is politically not in line and they send you to the mental wards to be declared crazy.

    This last time as always, these guys left right away and told the ER doc that they weren't needed.
    But the message has been sent to you by the ER ... loud and clear. And it's always humiliating.

    Once your records show this psych ward call once or more
    any future doctors accessing these records don't even begin to think that maybe you are "not" a mental case. It's a patient reputation ruiner. Slander actually.

    It's almost as if most doctors love finding this "outlet from the unexplainable physical reasons." avenue with which to dump patients who effect their frustrations and feelings of insecurity about not being able to diagnose them.

    In my case... my previous 54 years of having nothing like this in my life means nothing to these doctors. You just all of a sudden have lost it. You raise a family, work in long term jobs, never get in trouble with the law, never do drugs or alcohol, never hurt family or friends or co-workers. In fact you may be looked upon as a fun and extremely liked fellow employee.

    But if you go through something this powerful and somewhat long term with it's draining and agitating and frustrating effect on you and you dare show some shortness and anger when you are in the prescence of doctors....you can too often be thrown into the psych ward category way sooner than in any other area of your life. And it's tough to shake this unfair label with new docs.

    In my experience the last 10 months I have found many doctors hold this over you if you make too much of a fuss or dare question them too much or disagree with them. If they have any disagreeable situation with you...it's always that the "patient" has emotional or mental problems...instead of maybe the "doctors egos" and their "fear of the loss of the doctor-as-unquestioned god relationship factor" that is the problem more than the patient's expected loss of patience after long term suffering.

    There is a book waiting to be written here in the good ole U.S.A. about the incredibly unethical and humiliating misuse of the psychological dumping system in difficult to diagnose cases. I would love to donate my story for one page of this book. In this horrible and humiliating American medical community failing, you find yourself defending your sanity as much as trying to deal with your physical symptoms.

    Thanks for reading my latest rant.

    Who knows, maybe someday this problem will be acknowledged enough in our society that we may actually have it corrected.
  2. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    Your story has deeply touched me. I pray you find a sympathic doctor who can help you.

    You should read the book "Osler's Web." It's about the history of CFS from the mid 80's to 90's. It documents the "psychological factor" that many drs beleived this illness was related to. This book will make you feel validated, make you mad, and make you sad. Check it out from your library. It may help you.
  3. yellowbird

    yellowbird New Member

    I agree with you that psychology and psychiatry have some very abusive undercurrents. These fields, in our society, are not all that different than what they were in the Soviet Union. Doctors don't like to be "told" (not in words ) that there is something they just don't know, that they don't have all the answers. So, to keep things in the order they want them to be, the patient gets labelled crazy, etc.

    I completetly agree with you. Being aware of the power imbalances inherent in these reltionships is half-way there to not letting yourself be humiliated by the abuse.

    I hope you can find someone who believes you and will look into what is really going on, or, at the very least, admit to not knowing!

    Take care
  4. sdown

    sdown New Member

    I'll say a prayer for you. I have Addison's and take cortef 25 mg a day. Have they checked your adrenal glands? Do you have low blood pressure? I know I get dizzy sometimes and feel faint due to my low blood pressure and adrenals. I was in emergency 1 year ago and one doc said it was psychological when I knew darn well it wasnt. I was suffering from severe deydration due to an infection. I cringe at the thought of all the other patients out there she will misdiagnose. My family doc is good. He admitted to me that alot doctors misdiagnose patients. Good luck to you. I know how you feel. Ive had 5 trips to the ER in 3 years. The only good thing that came out of it was one hot looking doc that treated me! Hope I made you smile! Take care
  5. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    I was the typical demuring unquestioning patient for the first 4 to 5 months of my medical crisis.

    Eventually however, with the incredible exhaustion and wearing down from my unprecedented, scary and never ending medical maladies and doctors saying there was nothing wrong and acting irritated and doing all the things I have mentioned when I would keep making appointments and telling them that I felt there "was" something wrong
    ( and sometimes even finding another doctor whose new tests DID find something wrong!)

    It became less and less crazy to think that a reasonable person "might" tend to start questioning the blind and undoubting obedience and beyond normal respect for these medical technicians that we have been so conditioned to give them.

    70 to 80% of the doctors I have seen set up this unreal authority relationship the second you walk in for your first visit with them.

    They watch your attitude and everything else in your responses to them and this unquestioned authority status is either established immediately...or they will find a reason to get out of treating you beyond that first visit. Laugh, call me a name, whatever...but I think most of you know this is true.

    You may want to believe that I am just a difficult person....but my upset feelings about this came to me only during this incredibly difficult medical crisis I have had and having to deal with so many doctors for the first time in my life.

    I always had jobs in the hospitality industry and I knew what it took to be pleasant and I always liked people and loved working with people. I learned never to act "above" anyone. And being difficult with anyone just hasn't been a part of my history and personality.

    But this unreal experience I have been through with humiliating, condescending and spoiled doctors in the last 10 months has shocked me, driven me and forced me into a self-survival, stand up for myself almost fighting/questioning mode like nothing ever has and has motivated me into telling what I see is the sad and shocking truth here.

    In difficult to diagnose cases, too many doctors in the U.S. are treating these patients like second class citizens and/or lunatics.

    I refuse to be treated like this way without at least writing and posting in public forums as much as I can what I see to be the truth here.

    From what I have personally experienced and read all the time on this board and on so many other boards of people with difficult to diagnose illnesses, this situation as I describe it is much more true and widespread than anyone wants to admit.

    But even now, after knowing all this...I still have to act unquestioning and obedient whenever I see a doctor. If I want to be examined and treated by any doctor I'd better act like this.

    I have learned to be obsequious, don't talk too much, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT ANY PREVIOUS DOCTORS, answer when spoken to and be brief and don't pressure doctors or try to act equal in anyway. Doctors are THE authority and even if they are polite about it....this laughably one-sided relationship is either immediately established and accepted...or you can go somewhere else, go without a doctor or see a psychiatrist.

    The real craziness here is how ridiculously high on a pedestal we have put doctors and how illogically one-sided our relationships with them are. Also, how they have gotten so used to this they expect it and will very seldom accept anything close to the kinds of relationships we all have with other highly trained technicians...car mechanics, electricians, computer experts, accountants, lawyers you name it.

    If any of these other highly trained technicians talked to me or you as condescendingly, authoritatively, arrogantly and as belittlingly as many of the doctors I have seen in the last 10 months, you and I would walk out immediately and find another one. Admit it...you would!

    So why do we tolerate doctors acting this way?

    And you never hear of any other of these technicians in our society saying we need to see a psychiatrist if we disagree with them or question them. Only doctors do this. The doctor/patient respect and authority relationship in America is so illogically out-of-whack, over weighted and over hyped on the doctor's side it's THIS that is whacky.

    On elderly lady from a European country who settled down here late in life with her daughter and son-in-law told me once in a conversation that she thought that it was crazy how we treat doctors like gods in this country. And how so many doctors here "act like gods with their arrogant attitutes!"

    She said that teachers had the highest respect in her country and in most European countries. She didn't understand why we put doctor's so high on the pedestal here. Even to me, a native American, I do not know how this came to be.

    Now, after having to go through this incredible medical crisis I am convinced that this is ABSOLUTELY ONE OF THE MAJOR PROBLEMS in our American medical system.

    I also feel we should have national health care for everybody. I would rather get "some" treatment" when I need it than no "supposedly great" treatment because I don't have the money or insurance or co-pays are so high I can't afford this.
  6. ladude

    ladude New Member

    You don't have to explain to me about the ER.
    Symptoms sound familiar.

    Pretty tired right now, either from cooking or eating my cooking. Read your post quickly and will read it again later when feeling better

    It seems like the klonopin helped me. Going for an EEG soon, many feel CFIDS have mild seizures in the brain and the klonopin helps calm the brain down.

    So yes it is in the head, our brain, that thing that controls everything.

    Remember you are not alone in this (unless you go to the ER), so always bring a friend.

    What part of the world are you from?
    Do you have fibro or CFIDS?

    Take care man
  7. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Absolutely insist they run a stool test for parasites like Giardia etc. You sound as if this could be your problem and it sickens me how often doctors overlook this.

    I just read advice from the president of the Family Practictioners Association of the USA:

    He says" Be proactive. At the doctors office make them take your BP in both arms when you are lying down. Make them check your neck pulse as this is the only way they can relaly check fib. rate. Make sure the take real notice of all changes you are experiencing for good or bad.

    You should feel, he says, once the door is closed, that only you and your doctor are in the building, that this time is yours.

    Gee, my feeling was, chance would be a fine thing. The only time I received this sort of interest ever was with a natropathic doctor who was also an MD. Figures!

    Anyway, I am so sorry you feel so ill. Please insist on getting those tests right away. They are dirt cheap(excuse the pun) and can tell a lot. Also have them check for yeast when they are checking for the parasits.

    Love Anne
  8. yellowbird

    yellowbird New Member

    there is such a thing as a good, smart doctor though. I think the ones that work in Emergency have to be particularly tough and insensitive.

    But... I have one doctor who says things like : "thyroid hormone is one the things we know regulates body temperature, but we don't know everything", in repsonse to my being cold all the time and having a normal thyroid test. Just the other day, another doctor said to me, when asking if I thought my arthritis was under control: "you know your own body". So there are some good ones, just not in the ER I guess.
  9. joeb7th

    joeb7th New Member

    Another simply crazy and illogical thing about our American medical system is how we got to this "universal" 15 minute appointment time standard.

    If I go to an attorney, the "minimum" amount of appointment time I have is at least 30 minutes.

    If I go to the tax person,or other advisor or so many other experts whose advice I pay for...15 minutes wouldn't be enough time to barely get out your problem.

    But in this crazy medical world of ours, we are all lined up in a standard "15" minute appointment time frame with 15 to 30 minutes of "wait" time in the lobby or sitting in an examining room waiting for the other "15" minute patient to be finished with.

    And I SWEAR...I have felt like I needed twice that amount of appointment time 50% of time I go to doctors. Because I was that sick and worried at that time and I desperately wanted to asked but forgot specific questions because I was so rushed. I literally have to write things down and force my doctor to listen to me get these things out and talk fast while I am doing it.

    The doctor will almost always pause and screen out many of the questions with a " I wouldn't worry about it" response and rush through another short answer to the others. Their body language and cut short answers are screaming at you to get it all out in their impossible "15" minute time frame.

    I am certain that over the years business consultants hired by doctors came up with this ridiculously short and quick factory assembly line time frame and told doctors that if you don't see this many patients in a day you will not make as much money as you can.

    But, when we all NEED more medical listening and advice time in the most pressing time of our lives ( physical distress) American doctor's business profit practices are giving people who need more time than any other visit to an advisor the SHORTEST time!

    Of course 15 minutes may be all that is necessary in maybe half the situations where people go to a doctor...but the rest of the people who go to doctors the other half the time are in great distress and concern and have more questions than 15 mintues can cover.

    And so many times you leave in more distress after this 15 minute rushed feeling where you didn't get your questions answered fully because you were so rushed and not feeling well and not so sharp mentally you forgot them.

    I can't tell you how many times I felt so bad being rushed like this and went home feeling bad not only with my medical problems but feeling I did not have enough time to ask more questions and get advice about them.

    I might as well get it all out here. If we don't do it here...where do we do this. And it's the truth.
    The 15 minute American doctor visit "rush" has someday got to be acknowledged as the unfair and unethical practice that it is. Doctors profit margin over patient care is the problem here.
  10. homesheba

    homesheba New Member

    when i read this post -
    i swear i thought i had written it,,,
    EVERY symptom you had written..

    ( except the male parts.).
    . are exactly mine to the tee!!!!
    i will tell this to the doctors
    and i get a ' blank look''
    like i am nutso.
    i also have gone to er figuring i must be dying if anything... but nope.

    i am so tired of feeling like this ,
    i just am so surprised that you have it also.
    and im also sorry you have it to...
    but anyway,
    since i have crohns and hep c
    and gastric problems
    they usually blame it on that stuff

    so that they wont look like they' dont know'

    ' but i know my old bod!!!
    and its none of those things...
    they just dont know and wont admit it..
  11. sascha

    sascha Member

    flying east on a plane. something came over me quite quickly as i sat in my passenger seat. i felt freezing cold, then nauseated. felt lousy. went to the plane bathroom- things started going black. i thought i might be dying. i put my head down as far as i could and just felt sick, sick, sick.

    it was similar to when i had salmonella food poisoning; also reminiscent of time i probably had whooping cough- just so sick. couldn't move. totally overwhelmed with powerful symptoms. i thought i'd have to lie/fall to the floor with feeling i had of losing consciousness.

    gradually situation improved. i had the thought that maybe the plane's passengers had been gassed with something poisonous. when i left the bathroom, there was a long long line waiting to get in.

    i was in a terrible state for a while there. if you are going through this for hours and hours i can't think of anything more awful. you must get to the bottom of this- find some help that helps. best to you- sascha *i'm scared it might recur.
  12. ILoveGreen

    ILoveGreen New Member

    Earlier this year, there was a special program on the very subject of parasites as well as personal stories related in graphic detail. Your multitude of symptoms and lack of Dx sound suspiciously familiar...

    I found your posting especially interesting because I've spent nearly the past year dealing with this very issue.
    Unless you want to continue to be subjected to shame and disbelief from the MDs as a part of the "esoteric knowlege" they acquired in their medical school curriculum, I think you're better off on your own.

    May I suggest Dr. Hulda Clark's website for parasitic cleanse. The knowlege you acquire through her website and others will restore your confidence and faith in your inner voice. Do her herbal cleanse RELIGIOUSLY and you WILL get better and regain some of the sanity the b#$%!@^s at the ER may have made you wonder if you've lost. Another tip: You can purchase the herbs in bulk at a health food store or apothecary for a lot less $. I also bought a "cap-em-quick" device to fill the hundreds of gelatin capsules needed for the cleanse.

    While it is not my intention to demean the entire medical community, I found that most Drs have little if any knowlege of the prevalence of parasites in the general American population. Supposedly as many as 95% of all Americans have some form of parasitic organism within their bodies. For the majority of otherwise healthy individuals, most parasites/flukes/protozoa will only reside in the intestines and cause no apparent ill-effects. A healthy body has alkaline blood (high pH) and a high level of O2: the combination does NOT create an optimal environment for parasites. In an immuno-compromised body of low pH and therefore high acidity and low O2 content, an ideal environment is present for the organisms to thrive and reproduce as well as migrate freely to other areas of the body taking up residence in the weakest organs and causing all kinds of ill-effects.

    My story? Since February of 2005 (besides the usual CFS/FM symptoms), I had been experiencing many other strange symptoms and had been hospitalized for recurring cellulitis of undiagnosed cause. By mid August I was desperate. I needed some answers and decided to take matters into my own hands. I was persistent (and lucky) enough to find an Infectious Disease Specialist with a special interest in Int'l Medicine and who claimed to be knowlegable in parasitology and entomology. I was tested (blood, tissue, sputum, stool) with no conclusive findings. Later, I learned from my own research that just as there is a specific test for each individual bacterial or viral infection, there is a specific test for each specific parasite and there are thousands of different parasites. I was tested for only the most "common" ones, even though I related that I HAD traveled outside of the US to Central American countries within the recent past. I also learned that multiple stool tests, for example, are necessary due to the various developmental stages of the specific parasite: Egg, larvae, adult (worm). After obtaining my medical records, I found that even the lab report stated "Up to three stool tests may be necessary to rule out the presence of parasitic activity".

    I hope that my experience and the information I've related is of some use and comfort to you. Best of luck

  13. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Joey, have they done a viral blood draw on you? I would check EBV, Lyme, CMV, Borrelia. The way you explain it is how I feel when I am viral, sometimes it becomes chronic and/ or recurrent. If you had a blood draw now, I bet they would see a current thing going on.

    And really, those kinds of tests should be done when somebody comes in with the symptoms you describe.

  14. darude

    darude New Member

    Your symptoms sound just the same as mine. I also have been to ER twice but this time referred me to a Neuro and did a Cat scan with contrast.
  15. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    have you already done the Cat? Results? I am curious about all this.

  16. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Is the pain in your lower or upper abdomen? right or left side?

    I had to do a liver detox about 4 years ago. Before I did it, I often felt nauseous and like poison was coursing through my body, and it was -- toxins that my system couldn't handle.

    Another digestive problem I had (and this is a little gross but that's the way it was) was my ileocecal valve which connects small intestine to large colon was getting stuck open, and waste was literally backing up into my body, also poisoning me. It made me very tired and feel sick.

    No regular doctor helped me with either of these problems or could even diagnose them. I was helped by a chiropractor who was very skilled in a form of muscle testing called Contact Reflex Analysis. He not only diagnosed me but helped me with the liver detox, and also helped with the ileocecal valve. At other times he helped with an inflamed gallbladder. I first tried the regular medical doctors with all these problems and they were helpless and clueless. So you might think about going outside the regular medical model for help. If I hadn't, I would probably still be very sick with these things.

  17. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Well, if 70-80% of doctors act this way, then we've got to go shopping. I assume that you believe that less than 70-80% of potential husbands/wives in the world would be unacceptable mates, and so I think it's wise not to expect anything more from M.D.'s.

    If you don't have a serious problem, many M.D.'s are fine. And if you have a serious common problem, probably a quarter of M.D.'s are fine.

    With this disease, hardly any M.D.'s are better than no M.D. at all (and a lot of them are worse than no M.D.). It takes a lot of energy to keep looking, but in the end it seems worth it. It has to me.

    Parasites are one possibility. I had some for a while. Great Smokies (they may have a different name now) found the same ones several times. Finally, I found a doctor who got rid of them. (If you happen upon b. hominis, Yodoxin is the answer. The only answer, as far as I can tell.)

    I wonder if what seems to you to be poisoning actually _is_ poison. Do you have MCS? I'd try chelation therapy if so.

    Hard to say. One thing I do feel sure of is that it's not psychological, though.
  18. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    I don't no much about the other problems that yu are having,but I get naseous just before the bad pain hits.Linda
  19. Jordane

    Jordane New Member

    So sorry about your ER experiences!!And am sorry you are feeling so sick.

    I have the nausea quite often.I used to tell people,that there are days I have a bad case of the flu,medium,mild,
    dfferent on any given day!! ABSOLUTELY NO FUN!!!:>( Ate gravol like candy!!!

    As for psych,that is a cop out for some Dr's.If THEY
    cannot find anything wrong they tell us its mental.Well the way we feel,sick,in pain,sick,in pain.


    Anyway, you take care!!And I hope you get some help.

  20. matthewson

    matthewson New Member

    I am going to post something for you to read and I don't want you to think that I am minimizing your problems. I went through the same thing as you and it took a lot of soul-searching and reading to figure out what my problem was.

    Serotonin: From Bliss to Despair

    Serotonin, first isolated in 1933, is the neurotransmitter that has been identified in multiple psychiatric disorders including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphic disorder (nose doesn’t look perfect after ten surgeries), social anxiety, phobias, etc. Serotonin is a major regulator and is involved in bodily processes such as sleep, libido (sexual interest), body temperature, and other areas.

    Perhaps the best way to think of Serotonin is again with an automobile example. Most automobiles in the United States are made to cruise at 70 miles per hour, perfect for interstate highways and that summer vacation. If we place that same automobile on a racetrack and drive day-after-day at 130 mph, two things would happen. Parts would fail and we would run the engine so hot as to evaporate or burnout the oil. Serotonin is the brain’s “oil”.

    Like a normal automobile on a race track, when we find ourselves living in a high stress situation for a prolonged period of time, we use more Serotonin than is normally replaced. Imagine a list of your pressures, responsibilities, difficulties and environmental issues (difficult job, bad marriage, poor housing, rough neighborhood, etc.). Prolonged exposure to such a high level of stress gradually lowers our Serotonin level. As we continue to “hang on” we develop symptoms of a severe stress-produced depression.

    An automobile can be one, two or three quarts low in oil. Using the automobile as an example, imagine that brain Serotonin can have similar stages, being low (one quart low), moderately low (two quarts low), and severely low (three quarts low). The less Serotonin available in the brain, the more severe our depression and related symptoms.

    When Serotonin is low, we experience problems with concentration and attention. We become scatterbrained and poorly organized. Routine responsibilities now seem overwhelming. It takes longer to do things because of poor planning. We lose our car keys and put odd things in the refrigerator. We call people and forget why we called or go to the grocery and forget what we needed. We tell people the same thing two or three times.

    As stress continues and our Serotonin level continues to drop, we become more depressed. At this point, moderately low or “two quarts” low, major changes occur in those bodily functions regulated by Serotonin. When Serotonin is moderately low, we have the following symptoms and behaviors:

    · Chronic fatigue. Despite sleeping extra hours and naps, we remain tired. There is a sense of being “worn out”

    · Sleep disturbance, typically we can’t go to sleep at night as our mind/thought is racing. Patients describe this as “My mind won’t shut up!” Early-morning awakening is also common, typically at 4:00 am, at which point returning to sleep is difficult, again due to the racing thoughts.

    · Appetite disturbance is present, usually in two types. We experience a loss of appetite and subsequent weight loss or a craving for sweets and carbohydrates when the brain is trying to make more Serotonin.

    · Total loss of sexual interest is present. In fact, there is loss of interest in everything, including those activities and interests that have been enjoyed in the past.

    · Social withdrawal is common – not answering the phone, rarely leaving the house/apartment, we stop calling friends and family, and we withdraw from social events.

    · Emotional sadness and frequent crying spells are common.

    · Self-esteem and self-confidence are low.

    · Body sensations, due to Serotonin’s role as a body regulator, include hot flushes and temperature changes, headaches, and stomach distress.

    · Loss of personality – a sense that our sense of humor has left and our personality has changed.

    · We begin to take everything very personally. Comments, glances, and situations are viewed personally and negatively. If someone speaks to you, it irritates you. If they don’t speak, you become angry and feel ignored.

    · Your family will have the sense that you have “faded away”. You talk less, smile less, and sit for hours without noticing anyone.

    · Your behavior becomes odd. Family members may find you sitting in the dark in the kitchen at 4:00 am.

    Individuals can live many years moderately depressed. They develop compensations for the sleep and other symptoms, using sleeping medication or alcohol to get some sleep. While chronically unhappy and pessimistic, they explain their situation with “It’s just my life!” They may not fully recognize the depressive component.

    Very low levels of Serotonin typically bring people to the attention of their family physician, their employer, or other sources of help. Severe Serotonin loss produces symptoms that are difficult to ignore. Not only are severe symptoms present, but also the brain’s ideation/thinking becomes very uncomfortable and even torturing. When Serotonin is severely low, you will experience some if not all of the following:

    · Thinking speed will increase. You will have difficulty controlling your own thoughts. The brain will focus on torturing memories and you’ll find it difficult to stop thinking about these uncomfortable memories or images.

    · You’ll become emotionally numb! You wouldn’t know how you feel about your life, marriage, job, family, future, significant other, etc. It’s as though all feelings have been turned off. Asked by others how you feel – your response might be “I don’t know!”

    · Outbursts will begin, typically two types. Crying outbursts will surface, suddenly crying without much warning. Behavioral outbursts will also surface. If you break the lead in a pencil, you throw the pencil across the room. Temper tantrums may surface. You may storm out of offices or public places.

    · Escape fantasies will begin. The most common – Hit the Road! The brain will suggest packing up your personal effects and leaving the family and community.

    · Memory torture will begin. Your brain, thinking at 100 miles an hour, will search your memories for your most traumatic or unpleasant experiences. You will suddenly become preoccupied with horrible experiences that may have happened ten, twenty, or even thirty years ago. You will relive the death of loved ones, divorce, childhood abuse – whatever the brain can find to torture you with – you’ll feel like it happened yesterday.

    · You’ll have Evil Thoughts. New mothers may have thoughts about smothering their infants. Thoughts of harming or killing others may appear. You may be tortured by images/pictures in your memory. It’s as though the brain finds your most uncomfortable weak spot, then terrorizes you with it.

    · With Serotonin a major bodily regulator, when Serotonin is this low your body becomes unregulated. You’ll experience changes in body temperature, aches/pains, muscle cramps, bowel/bladder problems, smothering sensations, etc. The “Evil Thoughts” then tell you those symptoms are due to a terminal disease. Depressed folks never have gas – it’s colon cancer. A bruise is leukemia.

    · You’ll develop a Need-for-Change Panic. You’ll begin thinking a change in lifestyle (Midlife Crisis!), a divorce, an extramarital affair, a new job, or a Corvette will change your mood. About 70 percent of jobs are lost at this time as depressed individuals gradually fade away from their life. Most extramarital affairs occur at this time.

    · As low Serotonin levels are related to obsessive-compulsive disorders, you may find yourself starting to count things, become preoccupied with germs/disease, excessively worry that appliances are turned off or doors locked, worry that televisions must be turned off on an even-numbered channel, etc. You may develop rituals involving safety and counting. One auto assembly plant worker began believing his work would curse automobiles if their serial number, when each number was added, didn’t equal an even number.

    · Whatever normal personality traits, quirks, or attitudes you have, they will suddenly be increased three-fold. A perfectionist will suddenly become anxiously overwhelmed by the messiness of their environment or distraught over leaves that fall each minute to land on the lawn. Penny-pinchers will suddenly become preoccupied with the electric and water consumption in the home.

    · A “trigger” event may produce bizarre behavior. Already moderately low in Serotonin, an animal bite or scratch may make you suddenly preoccupied with rabies. A media story about the harmful effects of radiation may make you remember a teenage tour of the local nuclear power plant – suddenly feeling all your symptoms are now the result of exposure to radiation.

    · When you reach the bottom of “severely low” Serotonin, the “garbage truck” will arrive. Everyone with severely low Serotonin is told the same thing. You will be told 1) You’re a bad spouse, parent, child, employee, etc., 2) You are a burden to those who love or depend on you, 3) You are worsening the lives of those around you, 4) Those who care about you would be better if you weren’t there, 5) You would be better if you weren’t around, and 6) You and those around you would be better off if you were totally out of the picture. At that point, you develop suicidal thoughts.

    Clinical Depression is perhaps the most common mental health problem encountered in practice. One in four adults will experience clinical depression within their lifetime. Depression is the “common cold” of mental health practice – very common and much easier to treat today than in the past.

    It sounds to me like you may have a combination of FMS/CFS and anxiety/depression. Some of your symptoms, the nausea, faint feeling are classic signs of anxiety. Been there, done that! I had a lot of your symptoms and when I was put on zoloft and xanax, they totally went away.

    If you have not already seen a psychiatrist, I highly urge you to see one. There is no shame in this. You need to feel better and they are the most knowledgeable people to help you. Most of them also understand FMS/CFS.

    If you would like to read the whole article, it is at drjoecarver.com. It is under articles on the right side scroll down to "The chemical imbalance in mental health problems." It is a very interesting article even if you think it has nothing to do with your symptoms.

    I hope you can find some relief from your symptoms. I KNOW how you feel because I have been there and also had the visits you describe to ER.

    Take care, Sally

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