Between the ages of 19 and 22 I sustained several concussions. Since the last one, approximately 4 yrs ago, I have developed a constant fear of hitting my head again. The anxiety surrounding this fear has managed to wiggle its way into every minute of my life. Walking has become almost impossible. (The fear here is that I will fall and hit my head on a passing object.) Driving, although I make myself do it, is a constant panic. (Pot holes, uneven payment etc.) Over the years I have tried almost every SSRI known to man. Each one took about 30% of the edge off but still couldn't stop me from the constant worry. Its to the point now where everytime I take a step I get immediately dizzy. I have actually had to crawl at times. Does anyone have a suggestion. Effexor was probably the most effective of the SSRI but the side effects and the constant worry about brain damage from such a potent SSRI were equally as debilitating.
I have tried self talk and behavioral therapy as well. Both of these things help to calm my mind but never alleviate the physical symtpoms. (Dizziness, constant eye twitching, chronic neck and shoulder tightness, balance problems, brain fog, adrenaline exhaustion etc.) At this point I really don't know what to do. I have spent most of my twenties fighting this and I have not gotten anywhere. MY BRAIN IS FRIED. I have lost so many relationships because of this and work is nearly impossible. PLEASE HELP.
I think there's a couple of things going on here. Recognize that you're anxious...when you're anxious everything is magnified and seems worse. If you've sustained concussions and been checked by the dr., that really should be a thing of the past. When I read about the trouble you have walking it makes me think that you have a high degree of anticipitory anxiety about it, which will make walking always difficult because you EXPECT it to be. IMO you've given your physical symptoms full control over you. Anxiety is an emotion...nothing more. The thoughts you have are only thoughts not reality. The key for me was no longer fighting, but taking that energy and putting it into acceptance. Fighting and getting frustrated (which is normal) adds
tension and stress and hence anxiety into the equation. Go with they symptoms and realize its only your nervous system being overloaded. Your brain is not fried or you wouldn't know how to type or want help, right? Know that healing takes time so move at your pace in that direction. Read Claire Weekes' books soon. They helped me beyond belief. Keep in touch.
stop worrying about it and accept it and then gradually desensitise yourself, wear a motorbike crash helmet
books on how to stop worrying have useful advice
dizzyness can be caused by fear and many othger things, have docs checked for other causes of the dizzyness?
there are ways of falling without hitting your head, are you more likely than average to fall, if so see a physio about strengthening your ankles, there are exercises, a walking frame may help at bad times
Thanks beaster, your words were extremely comforting. What do you think about the SSRI route..Should I go back on them to alleviate some of the worry? Would going this route simply be doing more of the same?
You were exactly right about the anticipatory anxiety. The problem now is that this anticipation seems almost hard wired. Example. As I am walking my eyes are in constant flux. Left right, up down. I can never focus on anything and thus I have no concrete feeling for where any of the objects, (tables etc.) that I am passing are. This makes the fear ten times worse. The dizzyness while walking is automatic also. I can convince myself all day that I won't fall and still I get dizzy. Its almost as if the physical symptoms have become the standard now and the the normal reactions are no longer available. AGHHHH!!!!! Calming myself down never stops the physical response. What should I do?
there are several different types of antidepressants, effexor is a SNRI type
these meds need to be taken for up to 6 weeks before they may start working properly, some never work at all, then the dose often needs upping
when working, they do reduce anxiety, but valium type meds would also help about as much and could be taken only as needed on the bad days
I'm going to help see you through this. SSRI's...I dunno it seems like to me alot of ppl have trouble being on them (side effects or perceived side effects) and some ppl have found what works for them. At my worst I was on Zoloft for 4 mos. and felt strongly I wanted to use them only as a bridge to get some CBT or strategies in place and get off. That's what I did. Because some people don't want to be on anything. If you're really uncomfortable it wouldn't hurt but use them in concert with learning about the disorder, ok? About the hard wiring...have faith...you were somehow wired before this to not pay attention to these things right? So we know that 'rewiring' is possible either for good or bad. That's where you come in and make sure its the good kind of rewiring. The normal reactions will come...trust me. Keep walking and walking and walking! This way your mind will relearn how to walk without thinking these things. Or while you walk know that ALL this is is being dizzy. I used to ask to get more dizzy and you know what? It doesn't happen. Walk towards your fear and face it...you'll see its nothing like its being made out to be...keep in touch