Anxiety/Panic Attacks

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Ishy75, Jul 12, 2003.

  1. Ishy75

    Ishy75 New Member

    Hi Guys,

    I, as many of you, are having problems with my family believing I am truly ill with FM. My sister wrote me today (my brother wrote a horrible letter 2 weeks ago) telling me to convince her that I am really ill and that it's not just in my head. I was so angered by this. I never had anxiety/panic attacks before having FM as of 7 months ago, so she believes it's all in my head because of this. I am finally starting to get relief from klonopin but still don't leave the house much.

    She focuses on the anxiety part of it all and never the pain and other symptoms that goes along with FM. She believes depression is making me ill. I've tried telling her depression doesn't cause FM but she doesn't get it. I'm not asking any of you to convince her for me but if any of you never had anxiety/panic attacks before FM could you write briefly about it so I can "convince" her it happens to many of us and that I am not crazy and that it is a huge part of FM. I'd appreciate any help any of you could give to me. Warm Hugsssss.

    Chrissi
  2. GeneticDefect

    GeneticDefect New Member

    My closest caring and dearest childhood friends don't truly know what i'm going through. (Nor does my boss) The people who understand is on this board. Please don't be upset at your family....let it go. Don't aggravate your symptoms.


    And...it's okay to have a pity party for yourself.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/12/2003]
  3. Suzan

    Suzan New Member

    I spent most of my life being a confindent person..handling children, work and a social life without a problem. But the last few years I have found my self having difficulty particularly if I had to handle some event ( say a birthday party, or a dinner). I would be very nervous..and cry and sometimes snap at people...My poor hubby just didn't know what to do! He was so surprised at this "new" behaviour. But, as other symptoms kept appearing, which finally culminating in a diagnosis of FMS last November, I have started learning how to have a whole new life. Just last night I had 4 people over for dinner, and that was after a day of my MIL being rushed to the hospital with a heart attack! I can't say it wasn't a difficult day..but with some pain meds..and some support, I was able to survive it. This is a tough syndrome to understand..and a tougher one to live with. But with the patience and understanding of those around us, we can have some normalcy in our lives. Best of luck to you,chrissi
  4. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    You have my deepest empathy. Nothing is worse than being doubted by those who claim to love you. Many times they are just afraid to face the fact that it could be them getting sick and having their lives ruined,or maybe they are afraid of what they don't understand, but that is no excuse for cruelty right at the time when you most need their support.

    Anyone who knew me before FMS would say I was one of the strongest people they knew. I was a Psychiatric Social Worker, and had been put through every psychiatric test they have before I was allowed to get near a patient. I was the one everyone came to with their problems, and I was very independent and afraid of nothing.

    After about 2 yrs. of having FMS, I started having "panic attacks." In our case, they are caused by the PHYSICAL problems of Mitral Valve Prolapse, and/or the PHYSICAL problems of Neurally Mediated Hypotension and/or the PHYSICAL problems of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, and/or the PHYSICAL problems of dysregulation of the Hypothalmic-Adrenal-Pituitary axis, all common symptoms of FMS. I love the way ignorant people judge us wihtout knowing a single thing about this illness, don't you?

    BTW, I will have nothing to do with anyone, relative or otherwise, who is not on my team. It takes all of my energy to fight this thing and I have none left over to fight with idiots.

    You will always be accepted and supported here.
    Hugs,

    Klutzo
  5. Ishy75

    Ishy75 New Member

    Thanks so much for all of your replies. If none of you mind I'm going to send your replies to my family members, especially your's Klutzo. I agree with you so much. I told my brother to stop contacting me as his cruelity makes me feel worse. I don't need the negativity. My sister complained I spend so much time on the computer. I told her it's because you all understand what it's like and are never judgemental. Been there done that kind of thing. I cherish all of you so much. Thank you for being here for me when nobody else understands. Oh and Klutzo, thank you for the medical reasons for the panic/anxiety attacks. Maybe that will "convince" her enough to start wanting to learn a little more about it. If she wants to be a part of my world then she has to live in it MY way. :eek:) Thank you all again. Warm hugsssssss

    Chrissi
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Are a big part of our illness. If you read Dr. Cheney's article here in our library about Klonopin, you will gain an understanding of how our neurons are misfiring, causing all kinds of problems in addition to anxiety, including insomnia, RLS, and sensory overload. This is an excellent article for anyone with our illnesses.

    Love, Mikie
  7. Ishy75

    Ishy75 New Member

    Thanks, Going there to read it now! Warm hugssss.

    Chrissi
  8. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Great comments from klutzo!!(really) Why in hell would you or I make up being sick with a disease that is'nt even fully recognized by people?!!! This is'nt a game here!! If the non-believers could feel an oz. of our DAILY pain....they'd forever be changed!! I've had Fibromyalgia for a very long time,and I've suffered from anxiety a few times during. The anxiety comes from never knowing what this pain is from, or what that pain is from.Is it FM or something new?? How would they like to have to worry about all these weird,scary symptoms,and then be thought of as "its in your head". I guess millions of us just all got together and came up with matching symptoms to fool everyone!!?? I agree with Klutzo and have learned to live the way she does......if I detect someones a non-believer in me,they can go to hell!! They don't deserve my friendship, I don't need the added stress of explaining my illnesses!(this may sound mean but its the way i've become) My FM came first.....after about 3 years of trying to "Deal with it"....and deal with ignorant people,including some Drs.....Thats when the anxiety kicked in~ And until a person knows firsthand what we're going thru,they really should keep their mouths shut.......!! I could go on....but AGAIN, its not even worth the effort.(gggggrrrowwwwllllls!!)Would your sister think it was all in her head if it were your mother suffering from FM??(purely an example,as don't know what family you have around...I'm just saying if it were someone else would she not believe them?) Hang in there Chrissi.....Someday they might get it~
    Have a nice evening~
  9. Ishy75

    Ishy75 New Member

    Applauds your reply and again a big thanks to all of you. I agree completely. If it were cancer or something I had proof of my family wouldn't act this way. My Mom is supportive but why must the rest be "convinced." Oh and Mikie, thanks for the info on the article. I read it and sent it to my sister. You all are absolutely fabulous!!! Warm hugssss

    Chrissi
  10. Kim

    Kim New Member

    The first misconception your sister and brother and anyone else who doubts your being ill needs to know is that panic attacks AND depression are not "In anyone's head". They are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. We've all seen the research pointing toward FM as having a component of brain chemistry imbalance also. It never fails to amaze me that people, including many doctors, dismiss things they can't understand as "in your head" problems. Depression will make fibromyalgia worse because chemicals involved in dulling pain aren't doing their job. Depression makes everything you have worse and can even cause other illnesses because it does a job on your immune system. So, depression can be a contributing factor in the development of other systemic illnesses.

    I had panic attacks LONG before I had fibromyalgia. In fact, I never had an ache or pain or any unusual fatigue OR depression untill 1999. I had panic attacks 15 years before that and was prescribed Xanax which took them away. I think doctors get confused because some of the meds that work for depression also help with FM and some of the meds that work for panic attacks also help with FM.

    Tell your sister that you are not crazy. Also tell her that someone suffering from clinical depression is not crazy. They have a chemical imbalance in their brain. A diabetic's pancreas has a problem producing insulin; someone with depression's brain has a problem taking in the right mix of chemicals to function properly.

    One thing is for sure: people with FM, CF, anxiety disorders, and depression need SUPPORT, not criticism. Maybe you need a "vacation" from your sister.

    My prayers and support are with you. I hope the Klonopin continues to help and you get the rest and relief you need.

    kim
  11. Ishy75

    Ishy75 New Member

    Thank you so much. Applauds you also. (my hands are getting sore!! LOL!) You are so full of wisdom and I appreciate every single word and the time you all take to reply to this sore subject of mine. Warm hugsssss.

    Chrissi
  12. jka

    jka New Member

    you might try sending them an article from a magazine or info of the nefrom like the arthritis foundation.or send them the address to this web site.my hubby didn't really understand fm and what i was going thru until i accidently left an article by his chair.totally changed his outlook on fm and me!

    kathy c
  13. Ishy75

    Ishy75 New Member

    Kathy- Last night I sent her some of these replies from you all and also this website. I told her it's the best for info on what we are going through. We shall see if she cares enough to come here and read up on it.

    AaronKatie- I feel for you also. Your hubby's family sounds like a real bunch. Sheesh. It's so hard when you have to try and convice the people that claim they love you most. I sent a bunch of stuff via email to many members of my family and my Dad and Stepmom researched FM and truly understand. My hubby is slowly coming around too. My Mom has seen this DD from day one but yet at times I think she agrees with my sister. Who knows. If she expects a note from a doctor saying I have FM she won't get one. Sheesh.

    Thanks again for your replies. Once again you've all helped me feel better about this horrible situation. Warm hugssss to my great big extended family.

    Chrissi
  14. Ishy75

    Ishy75 New Member

    Jan,
    Thanks for your reply. You have a terrific husband!! Mine is finally starting to understand after I made him read a bunch of stuff about fibro. I have a 5 and 9 year old who cope with this better then the adults around me do. My sister wrote me back today after I emailed some of the responses from here and she was so angry. Told me it was none of the message boards business about our probs. I explained I was trying to educate her and I then told her that you all here are about the only family I have anymore and if I need help this is where I come.

    I am so sorry that you are feeling so bad right now. I was that ill back in February for a few months and I know exactly how you feel. You and your hubby are in my thoughts and endless prayers that you begin to feel a little better. God bless him for being such a wonderful loving man.

    Everything seems to be falling on me all at once and it's so hard to cope but today I was so proud of myself, I walked into Walgreen's and shopped for about 15 minutes. I havent been in a store since February. The florescent lighting just about killed me and set me off but I just kept talking to myself and telling myself I was ok. It was a HUGE step for me.

    I've lost my sister and my brother and I never thought that possible just over an invisible illness. Thanks for your kind words. I am beginning to understand that I can't change their way of thinking and make them understand. I just know I can't have them in my life anymore. Refusing to believe me is refusing to believe in who I am. I won't stand for it anymore. Warm hugsssss to you and your hubby.

    Chrissi
  15. JQP

    JQP New Member

    I am not surprised either, because she would have to back down and say sorry to you. You didn't say whether she is younger or older. If she is younger, then she could fear that the person she would have seen as the one to rely on is no longer there, or fears that she could get it too.

    My younger sister is much the same, i.e. 'if I really wanted to do something then I could ignore it' stuff. But then only SHE has so much pain, suffering, problems etc etc etc.

    Her attitude has hurt me for a long time, but in the past three years have basically kept my distance from her. I no longer phone her, or am surprised that the only time she phones me is when she wants something! We live 200+ miles away from each other, so don't see each other except at family gatherings when we are fine.

    It probably affects more because lost youngest sister nearly six ago now, and stupidly thought that would make a difference in that we only have each other. Mind you if there were something wrong with her, I still go and do my best for her. Suppose that is the difference really.

    Concentrate on you, as hard as it is to ignore them it will get easier, and it will hurt less as time goes on. Give your time and energy to the people who really care about you and your health, which will make it easier in the end.

    Much love
    Jacqui

  16. Ishy75

    Ishy75 New Member

    Thank you for your reply and sharing your story with me. So sorry about the loss of your sister. I'm 33 and my sister is 28. My brother who I had to let go from my life a few weeks ago is 35. I'm the middle kid. lol. My sister lives in Florida and I'm in Wisconsin so she doesn't see me or know how I feel and live day to day. That angers me also that she can call me a liar or a faker when she isn't even here. She never wanted us to be one of those families that wasn't close and now it's happened and of course they blame me for that. Sheesh. Why, because I got sick? I'm still the same person I was before in my heart. It's just time to let go at least for a while. If she comes around about all of this then she will have to do the apologizing. I did nothing wrong. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and thank you for sharing with me. Warm Hugsssss.

    Chrissi
  17. Bkay

    Bkay New Member

    I just wanted to let you know that i understand what your going through...I was always very active and loved being with people, but when i got FM, and started have these attacks, i thought i was dying..It took a long time for my friends and family too understand that these were real..I sent them articles to read and they finally understood...For a long time i didn't even dare to drive to town not knowing if a attack was going to come over me..I still get them once in awhile but they do slack up...I would just let it go, because it is not helping worring weither your sister believes you or not... Good luck and God Bless... Bkay
  18. vnr27

    vnr27 New Member

    hi i to get panic attacks from lights louid noises. ihave 6 kids am a widow and never got a panic attack before fm, so know it has something to do with fm, i feel out of wwack like my body doesnt work right, im sick of people thinking this is in your head who wants to feel like hell all the time cutthe peoplel that stress u ot outof your life,good luck
  19. Patti2

    Patti2 New Member

    Ishy,
    My husband left because of my "fake disease" I have. He even went to the DR's with me and still does not believe Them. Actually no one is in my corner except this site and my DR's. I also have a sister who has actually pushed me out of her life because I was to tired to go out on her boat with them. "all you have to do is sit here" It is a 40 min drive. I have 2 kids both grown, my daughter does NOT belive anything and is always asking for special dinners on Sundays or for me to keep her 3 boys (5, 18 mo. and 3 mo.) overnight. I just can't do it. I now screen my calls everything goes thru the answering machine and I choose who I am going to talk to. It is less stressful. I am very lonely and do have panic attacts now that he left. I get afraid to stay alone, maybe I am crazy. To boot he left me with all of the bills!!
    Hang in there, people that don't believe us need more help than we do...
    Life goes on.
    LOL
    Patti2
  20. Ishy75

    Ishy75 New Member

    Thank you both for your replies and your stories. It's almost impossible to believe that friends, family and even spouses leave only because of something that they will never have an understanding of. The last few days I've been trying hard to cope with the "loss" of some of my family but I have been focusing on the good things as much as I can. With all of your help and all of you on my side it has sure made it easier. You get tired of fighting alone and here I never feel alone. My prayers and thought are with both of you. Thank you again so much. Warm Hugsssss.

    Chrissi