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Crippling anxiety

(20 Posts)
mamma12 Wed 11-Jan-17 17:52:39

Im not sure if this is the right place to put a thread but I was wondering if anyone had any advice regarding anxiety? To cut a long story short I've suffered from a painful condition for the last two years and it's triggered the most awful health anxiety. I wouldn't wish this feeling on my worst enemy. I'm in my 40s and I feel like the worries about my health were triggered when my daughter was born 10 years ago. My dad died when I was 8 suddenly from a heart attack and I am petrified of leaving her motherless. Even though I know it's really wrong I keep finding myself googling medical related stuff and it makes me feel awful and out of control. I feel so ashamed of myself for feeling like this but I just cannot help it. I had CBT last year but I didn't really find it very useful. The lady i saw was lovely but I think she was a bit inexperienced and kept asking me if she could record me for her course. I was wondering whether anyone had any practical tips on coping with anxiety (please don't give me any health advice because it will just freak me out). I do yoga, swimming and go to the gym and I've started eating really healthily but the anxiety keeps spiking time and time again and I don't know what to do. I'm terrified of taking medication because of possible side effects. I can't help hating myself for not being able to control anxiety this for my daughter's sake. I'm terrified that my anxiety is going to rub off on her and make her anxious.

Foxysoxy01 Wed 11-Jan-17 18:13:27

Panic attacks workbook by Dr David Carbonell.

This literally started my whole recovery from anxiety.

It will get better you just have to keep going, easier said than done I know flowers

NightTerrier Wed 11-Jan-17 18:55:55

I've had bad health anxiety on and off for years. Stay away from Dr Google! I know it's really difficult, but Googling just feeds the beast. It's like an addiction isn't it.

I was advised to have half hour to an hour of 'worry time' once a day when I could worry and research all I wanted and then had to use distraction techniques, keep busy and stay off health sites the rest of the time. It really helped.

The other really important thing with all mental health issues is getting enough sleep.

Failing that, try going back to your GP to see whether you can get a referal to your CMHT. That will give you access to a psychiatrist, who can prescribe meds that your GP can't and they might be able to refer you to another therapist or offer you a different kind of talk therapy.

Strongmummy Wed 11-Jan-17 19:01:48

I'd really recommend going back to CBT with an experienced practitioner. I still have anxiety, but it provided me with the tools to control it. The brain is an amazing organ and it can cause you to believe something is happening to you, even when it isn't, hence the feelings of anxiety. So your thoughts cause your feelings. Learning to understand the brain really helped me. I too have health anxiety by the way (one of many issues) and I do feel your pain. Good luck

MoonshineJungle Wed 11-Jan-17 19:05:52

I had horrific panic attacks which stopped me leaving the house for nearly a year, CBT therapy helped me so much along with mindfulness, I still have them but I can control how I deal with them now so even if it's an extreme one I can't work myself through it

georgethecat Wed 11-Jan-17 19:20:50

Echo going back to GP

Also there is a free online CBT program called mood gym.

Quit sugar & caffeine

Actually maybe some grief counselling to consider how fathers death has effected you now.

Do not Google!

Side track self with thought blocking activities - crossword, knitting etc

Relaxation cd daily if needs be

Just some stuff that helped me! X

biggles50 Wed 11-Jan-17 20:19:25

The great pain deception by Steve Ozanich is a great read, helped me with crippling back pain, now gone. Read dr Sarno's books and look them up on YouTube. Health anxiety is a real issue, oh nearly forgot Nicole Sachs on YouTube her healing vids are fabulous.

Chocness Wed 11-Jan-17 20:25:11

I've been reading a book about how nutrition can help those with anxiety and Mental health issues. It's called 'Optimum Nutrition for the Mind' by Patrick Holford. I've taken on board some of the authors recommendations on nutrition for the brain and it's helped my anxiety already. also the book 'Daring Greatly' by Brene Brown. I've found it excellent in helping me put things Into perspective so that my mind doesn't run away with me and let the anxiety kick in. Finally, I find that coffee and a surgery diet (esp cakes and chocolate) impact my anxiety levels so I've cut them out. That's made a big difference too.

kat088 Wed 11-Jan-17 20:33:51

I can really recommend alternative nostril breathing. It's really easy and can take you to a good place in about 5 minutes. I imagine there are lots of videos but the one I saw was on the yoga with adriene on youtube.

YouOKHun Wed 11-Jan-17 20:39:50

Hi OP, sorry you didn't get a good experience with CBT, it does sound like your therapist was inexperienced so it might worth going to your GP and asking for a referral to IAPT for step 3 CBT. Alternatively you could go to the BABCP website and look for an accredited CBT therapist; by the time we are accredited we've done post grad qualifications and many hours with supervision. I think CBT would be worth trying again because it really is very helpful with anxiety problems specifically. There is a book called Overcoming Anxiety which is helpful. Mindfulness might be a helpful back up and I think this book is helpful: Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Penman & Williams. A good CBT therapist should assess you to see what else is going on and you may find a more 'trans-diagnostic' approach like Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy more helpful (BABCP website has accredited practitioners listed and there are a few working in IAPT). Good luck.

Susiesoop Wed 11-Jan-17 21:02:19

I manage mine through taking care of myself exercise, daily walk as a minimum, jogging too. I listen to relaxation tracks on YouTube regularly and breath exercises really work too as they calm the physical system (there's a long word for it which I can't remember!) Diet helps, I no longer drink coffee as seems to crank anxiety up. I practise mindfulness, try finding an 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction class in your area, I can send you a link if you like. Alternatively you can follow the 8 week course by yourself in the Mark Williams book 'The Mindful Way through Depression'. The No Panic website has some useful resources too. All the best with it, there are lots of ways to support yourself and find what works for you. Xx

Vulty Wed 11-Jan-17 21:11:33

Hey there, I've had anxiety for years it's the worst thing ever. Some medications are good but they work differently for everyone, I have been off mine for about 7 months now I switched to kalms, which were okay. I am now on beetablockers which are brilliant! No side effects like antidepressants, they simply slow your heart rate, so when youre anxious or having a panic attack it doesn't feel so full on because the racing heart symptom isn't really there.

Try a hobby to take your mind off it, knitting is good, adult colouring books. Treat yourself to some fancy pens. Cooking, Baking?

I have found anxiety makes days seem really hard even if theres nothing difficult about what you have to do in that day so I cut it into chunks. I definately agree with everyone about going back to the GP, counsellers work wonders!

caz323 Wed 11-Jan-17 21:16:09

Oh, my goodness, mamma12, I'm feeling your pain here! So sorry for your troubles. Are you on top of your physical pain relief for your condition? Do you have a good, sympathetic GP on your side? Losing your beloved daddie at such a young age has impacted deeply on you. And understandably, I might add. Please go back to your GP - he/she is your first point of call. Love to you & your little girl. X

ellalouise123 Wed 11-Jan-17 21:18:17

I have really bad anxiety and I google everything, spend ages online reading things that make me feel worse and it's an endless spiral. Everything feels 10x worse when I let myself get into that 'everything is rubbish I am the worst' frame of mind. So when I can sense myself doing that I step away from the internet and go do something that involves thinking/talking/seeing someone so I don't end up lost in my negative thoughts. Anything that takes your mind off your spiralling thoughts.

I have beta blockers which stop the physical effects of anxiety and they really help. I agree with the person who said split your day into chunks and deal with one thing at a time. I get really overwhelmed if I have a few things that NEED doing that day so I write a list, tick one thing off at a time and that makes it seem so much more doable.

Zafodbeeblbrox10 Wed 11-Jan-17 21:23:24

If you mean panic attacks, I found that deep controlled breaths help, whilst repeatedly telling oneself that you are Ok, and everything is fine..you have to convince yourself, and gets easier every time.
If you mean anxiety where as you've described an obsession with your health..I'd suggest employing logic, and adopting a positive outlook over time, it's easy to get bogged down with negativity and worry. Think of all the years you've been apprehensive about your health, and the fact that you are still here and in good physical health is proof that your worries have been unfounded. You're not the only one who has irrational thought patterns, and it is possible to overcome, so good luck OP

havingabadhairday Wed 11-Jan-17 21:29:49

Avoid googling anything to do with health. It's my New Years resolution to stop looking at websites that exacerbate my anxiety!

I find relaxation techniques - visualisation and breathing - help as well. I can't empty my mind when I'm anxious but I can try and focus on something else.

Please don't completely write off medication. I did for a long time until I felt I really couldn't cope any more, went and told my GP and tried beta blockers. Really minimal side effects for me, I felt queasy after taking them for the first few days nothing since. They've made a huge difference to be my life.

YouOKHun Wed 11-Jan-17 21:31:35

I meant to say there is a book called 'Overcoming Health Anxiety' specifically.

pastizzi Wed 11-Jan-17 21:47:41

Beta blockers left me constantly spaced out and dizzy, sadly.

Please get a copy of one of the books by Dr Claire Weekes. Written some time ago but she devised the most genius (yet simple!) strategy imaginable to deal with anxiety of all kinds. She was nominated for a Nobel prize for her revolutionary work.

Fighting anxiety and constantly trying to distract yourself only makes things worse.

If you google her or look at reviews of her books on amazon you will get some idea of how many people she has helped 'cure' from a life of anxiety

qwerty232 Wed 11-Jan-17 22:43:36

Poor you. I can really relate to this, having suffered from chronic worry and anxiety for most of my life. Among other things, my health has always been an obsession.

I read a really good book about worry (I forget what it's called) in which the author defined worry as the intolerance of uncertainty. Worriers cannot bear anything but total certainty, but as total certainty is impossible the worry is endless. The moment someone with health anxiety is reassured by a doctor, they'll immediately start worrying about something else. And on and on.

And he or she said that the trick is to accept uncertainty. To accept that you do not have total control of things and be at peace with the. If you think about it, uncertainty about the future is not bad. It just means you don't know what's going to happen. It's neutral.

That really helped me - just accepting that I'm not that important in the grand scheme of things, and that I can never control everything and know everything right now.

There are also more everyday things you can do. You mention that you get lots of exercise, which helped me too. Also, if you haven't already, I'd recommend cutting right down on caffeine, or even cutting it out completely.

I don't know how old your daughter is, but if she's older maybe you could talk to her about your anxiety? If you feel that you have to hide your anxiety from her it could make it worse.

I've tried medication and I wouldn't recommend it. Everything they put me on made me feel worse. CBT can help if you've got a good counsellor.

Anxiety stems from a feeling of powerlessness, and that the world is a perilous place. Losing your father might have contributed to that feeling of vulnerability and helplessness. My mother left me when I was young and I felt like that too. Just understanding the root of your anxiety can help in itself.

I really hope you feel better soon.

mamma12 Thu 12-Jan-17 08:32:52

Thank you so much everyone for your kind words and suggestions. I cannot even put into words how grateful I am. I'm going to make a list of all the suggestions and work through them. It's so kind of you all to take the time out to offer your kind words x

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