Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Bunchy, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    This will be quite long but please help me if you have been where I am now – here’s the story:

    Been ill since 1988 – I was 19 when I fell ill.

    My illness is still a mystery to the docs although I have a tentative diagnosis of “atypical ME”

    There have been lots of twists and turns in my illness and many horrific symptoms often combining at different times and often I haven’t been able to explain what I feel physically in my body to anyone (even the docs) because the symptoms are indescribable. I believe many of them stem from an overactive central nervous system. I also have or have had in the past all the usual symptoms that go along with CFS/ME.

    The thing is I now have a really bad problem with anxiety, stress and phobias.

    It started with a sort of nervous breakdown when I went into a partial remission after years of being desperately ill about 9 years ago.

    I noticed after that that every time I would come out of very long flares I would develop either a phobia, extreme depression (situational) or extreme general anxiety over which I had no control no matter how hard I tried to fight it.

    Our last apartment got flooded with sewage (it was a basement) three times in two months and I was there once when it was happening – I still can’t forget that even though it was seven years ago now. It took us 10 months to sort the problems out and sell the apartment – 10 months of extreme REAL stress and anxiety.

    I was put on tranquillizers and sleeping tablets during that time.

    Since then I have had some terrible times with my health and this apartment comes with a “neighbour-from-hell”!!

    Over the years, I find as my life situation has become so difficult and no-one is very supportive in my family that I am less and less able to deal with stress and anxiety and it affects me mentally, emotionally and physically more and more each time it happens.

    I have a phobia of wasps – bad since there are a lot of them in Summer around our area. I have conquered other phobias but not this one.

    My chest feels like it is going to burst and my head explode with anxiety and stress at the moment as we are trying to move house again and it does not look promising at the moment as we haven’t enough money ( I don’t work – too ill).

    Doc doesn’t get the graveness of my situation and I have been rx’d more and more sedatives/tranquillisers and even they aren’t helping now as I am so tolerant and, yes, very dependent on them.

    I have a visit with my docotr on Tuesday – what can I ask for to help me? Stronger tranquillisers? Trazodone? What???

    I also have bad insomnia so don’t want to take SSRI’S.

    PLEASE ANYONE, what do I ask, say, do???? – HELP!

    Love Bunchy x
  2. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I am so sorry you feel so awful and about the phobias.

    I thi k it is all part of the FM(ME) as I too, feel scared a lot of the time. Particularly after a flare, like right now.

    I too, feel exhausted a lot. I start to feel well then think I can paint a room and have to give up after fifteen minutes. So I really am on the same page and wanted to say, just rest up as much as you are able, and be nice to yourself.

    I think the exhausted feeling is even worse than the pains, don't you? You know this feeling will pass though. I do too-Gee I only JUST recalled it is Easter and we did not get anything for our son-DH just went to store. I honestly could not have made that trip and it is 5mins drive. We are a strange bunch aren't we??? I just cried and said more or less the same thing you just did-why cannot they HELp this DD more, I cannot cope with this. I know both you and I will climb on top again, we always do. I have been taking amtryptiline at 5mg and I think it contributes to this exhaustion, even though it helps the pain and sleep.

    Hope others can be more helpful today.

    Big Hugz

    Love Anne C
    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2006]
  3. mai

    mai New Member

    Hiya Bunchy! Don't think I'm gonna be much help to you, as I feel as though I am in the same boat in so many ways. (but, then, aren't we all) Just hope it helps you to know that there are plenty in there with you, who truly understand, and we can at least keep each other afloat, til we reach a better 'land'!!! How about trying hypnotism to help with the phobias? I've heard they often get good results for those!? Sending you warm thoughts, all the way from Bonnie Scotland.

    Love & Light Mai :)
    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2006]
  4. painandagony

    painandagony New Member

    I am so sorry to hear your situation. I haven't had the anxiety issues or phobias you have, but I've been sick as long as you and almost the same age. I would suggest trying to find the right therapist. There are some very good ones out there and they can help you work through issues. They can also be a good resource. Someone else suggested hypnotherapy and i agree you should think about doing it. I have a friend who is a therapist and she has had a lot of success with hypnotherapy with various clients/issues. Also, when you have the energy, keep trying to find the right doctor who will work for you and not give up until he/she has found the right plan for you so you can get some quality sleep and relief from the anxiety. I feel for you and all of us on this board. It sucks. :) Good luck.
    Take Care
  5. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    I had bad panic attacks back in the late 80s through all of the 90s. I was treated for depression by therapist after therapist who wanted to throw a drug at it and bid my a fond farewell. Didn't help of course :).

    I finally got up the nerve to call up my insurance company to ask ** Do you have a therapist that !!specializes!! in anxiety and panic disorder? **

    They did. Within two weeks, I was driving to therapy sessions vs. taking a cab. I credit my therapist with most of my progress regarding panic attacks, though I benefit from supplements and just live with the fact that I'm phobic about freeways.

    I hope you can find one if you haven't already. They really do have a different approach from regular therapists. (At least the one I met with did :).)

    I really feel for you, panic attacks are the worst!
    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2006]
  6. catsmeow369mi

    catsmeow369mi New Member

    I have phobias too. Anxiety attacks & panic attacks too. So much fun(not). I take xanax 3x a day, Lexapro 2 x a day, seroquel to sleep. I had the worst panic attack ever last Sunday at the end of church. Once I got home I was ok(safe). I cannot do expressways or very busy streets so my DH has learned the longer & safer way for me. I don't know how much this will help but your not alone and that might help.

    I hope this has helped.

  7. spacee

    spacee Member

    Anxiety effects my ability to eat...I CAN"t eat. So I was weighing in at 108 and no doc knew what to do but have me on xanax 1 gm 4 times a day. Then one doc put me on a heart med to control the beat. Isoptin 240 sr. It is a calcium based channel blocker.

    It hasn't been the total cure but it was a wonderful start back. I still take xanax .5mg at bedtime and 1 g of Klonopin at bedtime.

    Hugs to you. I do know you need HELP! Spacee
  8. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I also developed anxiety and depression after coming out of several years of illness with fibro. It has been at least a year of struggling to get better.

    I have anxiety and compulsive behaviors. You are the first one who has had the same thing I have. I also feel like I had some sort of breakdown.

    So many things were stressing me for many years. In addition to being so sick with fibro - there was 15 plus years of stressful events in my life.

    You phobia of wasps does not seem unusual to me. Isn't everyone afraid of wasps??

    I have decided to start seeing a therapist. I just know it is going to help me. In my case, physically I am much better - I just need to get my mind straight.

    Do you think seeing a therapist might help you? Medications are fine to treat symptoms, but maybe seeing a therapist will help so you don't need the meds.

    I am taking minimal meds right now. Ambien 5 mg to sleep. Small amount of Klonopin for anxiety. Subutex to keep fibromyalgia in control (it works great). Tylenol gelcaps for fibro symptoms. Sometimes Ultram (Tramadol) for pain.

    Even though I have Ultram for pain, I don't have pain like before at all.

    My anxiety is partly because I have a fear of getting sick again. I was so ill to the point of being housebound for a few years. I will never allow myself to go back to that again, therefore I have anxiety and compulsive behaviors due to that fear.

    I have very little tolerance for stress so I take one day at a time and do the best I can.

    I am also having alot of problems with digestion and struggle to have appetite. I have lost alot of weight (over 50 lbs) which I needed to lose, however I don't want to lose anymore now. I have to work hard to take care so I can eat. Last week-end I had a gastritis and wound up in the emergency room. I was so sick. Thank goodness, I am much better now.

    My husband has to have back surgery next Wednesday, my brother lost his job in December after 12 years (he is age 58) and I have a 90 yr old mother in nursing home. Plus business to run... on and on....

    It never ends.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/15/2006]
  9. Bunchy

    Bunchy New Member

    First of all I want to say how touched I was by the responses I got to my post.

    Some of your posts moved me to tears especially the kindness in your words and just realising so many of you are in the same boat as me. Although it’s sad we are all in this mess, it’s good to know I am not alone.

    I went to my doc today, he doesn’t want me on yet another benzo but to stay on the ones I am on but he has given me a low dose SSRI to take in the morning and 50-100mg Trazodone at night. He thinks these should help with the anxiety, phobias and mood swings and possibly make me feel more stable emotionally which should in turn help me sleep better.

    He was quite kind to me and I will try this for a month and then see him again to let him know if there is any improvement.

    I’d love to respond to you all individually but am a bit tired but each of your posts meant a lot to me and I read them over and over until I felt better and until my doc visit.

    I know this board moves fast and it is difficult to get to know anyone very well but I do feel more at home here now and feel like I am getting to know some of the personalities on here and I love reading posts by all of you.

    I hope I manage to help others too sometimes. I do contribute at times but no-one ever seems to respond so I never know if the person has read my response or not. I guess this board just moves too fast sometimes!

    Anyway, thanks to all of you for saving me at the weekend, I’m so grateful and won’t forget this.

    Love and hugs to all,

    Bunchy xxx
  10. puppy2dad

    puppy2dad New Member

    Dear Bunchy

    I feel so bad for you honey. Several years ago I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and was heavily medicated for 9 years. What the didnt take into consideration was the fact that I had IBS, Pins and needles in my extremities, mood swings ect. I do not really remember most of those years due to the medication. I found a really good medical internist who had me weaned from the drugs and prescribed pamelor for the depression. My advice is be very careful with all of those psych drugs. They can actually make you feel worse! Now I am on a regimen of Vitamin B Complex, Pamelor and Cymbalta. I also found strength in prayer. I recite the rosary and talk to God every day. Oh by the way, Cymbalta has helped with my insomnia. Ambien is pretty good however it does produce other side effects like hallucinations and is addictive. Please just remember that you are not alone and hang in there!

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