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Managing physical anxiety symptoms

(7 Posts)
PhyllisWig Mon 19-Sep-16 21:54:12

Long term anxiety sufferer here. Generally I can manage it fairly well. I've had some good CBT, I recognise triggers (ovulation/period for example) and know I go through cycles with it and am pretty aware of it. However, I've always suffered quite badly with physical symptoms such as tingly and painful muscles, foggy memory, early morning waking with racing heart etc.

Just recently I've had lots of brief anxiety cycles, mostly triggered by work stuff and manifesting like normal as health anxiety. I've managed them pretty well and moved through them. However, over the past couple of weeks the physical symptoms seem to have hit me in full - I ache and tingle like mad, seem constantly on edge, can't get my mind into exercise mode, headaches and bad quality sleep.

does anyone have any tips to handle on this? Like I say I'm ok with the mental side of this but feel really wiped out physically. I've been here before (seen gp and been blood tested etc) and it got better by itself but took months. I don't want to be as passive this time.

dangermouseisace Mon 19-Sep-16 22:53:07

Hi phyllis

Sorry things haven't been going that well over the past couple of weeks.

I don't have much in the way of tips apart from forcing yourself to exercise. Headache, no sleep, whatever- just pick a day and a time and say I am going to do I dunno…20 mins exercise at that time. I find if I tell someone I'm going to do it it helps (weirdly)…then a couple of days later 30 minutes etc. I did this (I've got aches I think are actually psychological rather than physical) and have got back into a routine and it's helping. I think vigorous physical exercise helps (well it does for me) as my body is feeling something different, and it is something with pronounced physical effects and I am in control of it, rather than it feeling like my body/mind is in control of me, even if I hate every minute of it to start!

gamerchick Mon 19-Sep-16 22:57:26

Betablockers, I only get the physical symptoms and they work pretty good. Intense exercise works as well but the bb last longer.

GinBunny Mon 19-Sep-16 22:59:45

Betablockers are helping me too with the heart racing, stomach churning etc. And I've just downloaded DARE on Kindle - it's had lots of really positive reviews and was recommended by a fellow anxiety sufferer.

erinaceus Tue 20-Sep-16 07:16:08

For the physical symptoms, for me, the only thing that really kill them when nothing else will is medication. I have never tried a beta blocker but have used other medications.

I agree that the physical symptoms can be wearing. I find camomile tea helpful; another thing is rubbing handcream into my hands, and a third is colouring in. Anything that is enough to distract me, I think.

Physical exercise, too, enough to release some endorphins, but it is hard to get started if you are in the anxiety doldrums. Maybe someone should make an anxiety-busting youtube workout video, where you could should mantras whilst you did star jumps or something?

Not heard of DARE, thanks for the tip GinBunny

PhyllisWig Tue 20-Sep-16 07:23:03

Thanks everyone. Whilst I'm certainly not anti medication (it has been a literal lifesaver in the past) I would like to avoid it if possible at the moment, at least without trying some other things first.

I suspect the exercise thing is key and I just need to gird my loins and get back to it. Not eating toast for tea every night and having some veg would probably not hurt either!

I will take a look at DARE too as I've never heard of it.

Thanks all

erinaceus Tue 20-Sep-16 07:45:22

Not eating toast for tea every night and having some veg would probably not hurt either!

I totally empathise with this. When my anxiety levels were at their peak, I do remember feeling as if I was living on red wine and chocolate biscuits, which was probably because I was, indeed, living on red wine and chocolate biscuits. Even when things are not that bad, I easily get in a cycle where my sleep gets disrupted and then I am sort of too tired to eat and too hungry to sleep. I find that pattern hard to break.

Are you able to arrange to go for a walk with a friend? I have never been on one of the walks at the below link, but I really like the idea. They are walks for people who have MH conditions. There is a FB group as well.

mentalhealthmates.co.uk

I know other people who swear by www.borrowmydoggy.com and Pets as Therapy and things like that. I think it is a case of keeping trying things until you find the thing that works for you.

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