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Dealing with Stress

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Old 05-22-2007, 01:55 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2007
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parisiancat HB User
Dealing with Stress


I've been reading the board for about two months now and it's been incredibly helpful. So thanks for that!

Short story is I was diagnosed just over a month ago. Luckily it's 'mild' at the moment with only a few lasting symptoms (but nothing I can't live with).
I've only had one attack (a year ago - misdiagnosed at the time as an unknown virus) but lately I've been tired and a bit stressed and I'm having days (but not everyday) of that exhausted, fuzzy, fluey feeling and it feels exactly like how my other attack started.

So basically, I know stress is bad for us and it can trigger an attack (I'm right, right?), but the feeling unwell and thought of an attack is stressing me out more than the situation that was stressful in the first place. It's easy to know not to stress, and sometimes you can deal with the outside factor causing stress, but I don't really know how to deal with the fear. I understand that I will probably have attacks in the future and will have to learn to deal with them but with work and other life stuff, this is not the time for an attack.
Any destressing advice?


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Old 05-22-2007, 02:55 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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jewels26 HB User
Re: Dealing with Stress

hi cat

i haven't been diagnosed with ms as yet. going through tests at the moment and this is whats suspected

i am writing just to offer a self-help way of maybe dealing with your anxiety which may be of a benefit. breathing techniques may help. there are many different ones including the yoga technique or the counting in for 4 and out for 4 with out holding your breath. it's just a smooth motion. make sure your shoulders are dropped when doing te exercise. these are good ways to relax your body and no-one can see you doing them. do them as often as you need. the other one is deep relaxation. you can get a cd or tape where the person is talking you through the exercise. if you look on the web you will find organisations who can advise or provide these

i hope this is of some benefit. you never know, it may help!


Old 05-22-2007, 03:38 PM   #3
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MSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB User
Re: Dealing with Stress

Cat, hi. Yes, you are right, stress can cause attacks. But not directly. What stress does is play havoc on your already overworked immune system; thus causing all sorts of lousy things to happen. So, how to avoid it? Live in a bubble? I swear thats what Most experts would have us do...

There is no easy way to avoid stress. Since you were just dx - I can tell you that this is the worst of it. Youll start to accept and deal with this better soon. Promise. One thing I do want to know, meds? Have you discussed starting MS Therapy Drugs? IF you havent, you should. If you are being told to pick one, pick it soon and start it. There is alot of evidence that the sooner you start the less likely that you will progress quickly. Little or no progression means little or no attacks, and little or no relapses! I cant speak for everyone, but I can tell you that once my body stablized on my drug of choice (Rebif) I started to feel better overall...however, I will be the first to admit it wasnt an easy thing to adjust to. Both mentally and physically, all of these drugs take their toll on you for a few months until you get used to them. Physically because - who wants to give themselves shots? Mentally because - who wants to give themselves shots? Lol. The good news is once you do get used to it, its like brushing your teeth...really.

Another thing you might want to talk to you doctor about is anti-anxiety drugs. Unlike anti-depresents, they can be taken as needed. And, you can take a very low dose just to see how you do. Xanax is often prescribed and Ill be the first to admit it I still use it as needed. Today, was one of those horrible days where all I keep doing is crying! I feel yucky, even though there is nothing really wrong- at least not any wronger than yesterday- and I know that if my husband looks at me wrong, I am going to pick a fight. Better to pop a pill and go to bed..or at least veg on the couch! Its going to calm me down, take the edge off and keep me from saying or doing something Ill regret.
And, this from me- who refuses to take pain pills! (We all have our weaknesses- mine is definately freaking out!)
You are going to get thru this and we will help you. since youve been reading and find it helpful, great! Start jumping in with questions...lots of great advice and feedback here.
Hugs to you.

Old 05-22-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
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Bearygood HB UserBearygood HB User
Re: Dealing with Stress

I completely agree with jewels. Meditation and Yoga are 2 GREAT tools, even if you just implement the breathing and relaxing techniques. In fact, just used some meditation techniques today in the MRI machine!

Old 05-23-2007, 01:26 PM   #5
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parisiancat HB User
Re: Dealing with Stress

Thanks for the support and advice! Feeling calmer today. Still exhausted but getting there.

Jewels & Beary - I'm looking into yoga classes at the moment. And in the meantime the breathing technique sounds good. I've caught myself lately holding my breath when I'm stressed. I really just need to remember to breathe!

Nikki - I hadn't even thought of anxiety drugs. My friend swears by 'Rescue Remedy' which is natural - all the better! I also hate taking medication and up until last year I hadn't even taken an asprin in ten years. I'm not on any ms drug yet. The doc brought it up when I was diagnosed but didn't push it. I have another appointment with my neuro next week, to see how I'm doing with the dx etc so it will be discussed again then. I need to read up more on them - it's good to hear some positive feedback. I hate drugs!.

Old 05-23-2007, 02:47 PM   #6
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MSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB UserMSNik HB User
Re: Dealing with Stress

Hey Parisian cat-
First of all, Im certainly not pushing drugs on you; but i BEG you not to do the all natural route, until you research the drug you pick wth your neuro or GP. Too many of the all natural drugs have side effects which boost your immune system, and that my friend, can really hurt you with MS. If you look up Bearygoods posts, youll see she knows TONS about supplements and natural remedies and she is very good at explaining the differences between thing which boost vs. support immune systems. Ive learned plenty from her. Yes, there are all natural anti-anxiety drugs out there, but if they have certain herbs in them, you want to avoid them.
I really hope youll consider starting MS Therapy like Rebif, or Copaxone, or Avonex...the sooner you start, the less progression and relapses you will have, and overall, youll feel better. Not right away, but you will within a few months..
good luck!

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