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  • Anxiety/Alcohol and Lab Symptoms

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    Old 01-30-2004, 07:58 AM   #1
    lizzy33
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    Anxiety/Alcohol and Lab Symptoms

    Hi,

    I was just wondering what you all thought about the effects of anxiety/stress on all this. Does anxiety make symptoms worse? How is it possible not to get anxious about these symptoms? It seems to me to be a bit of a vicious circle, you get symptoms, you become anxious, you become anxious, the symptoms become worse!! I would appreciate advice from those more experienced.

    I continue to improve, albeit very slowly and can definitely say that January has been a far better month than December on the whole. I am even having a night out with a friend tonight but still worry about the effect of alcohol on all this - I have read differing things. My doctor seems to think that a small amount shouldnt make any difference to recovery and I must say that throughout this I have continued to drink moderately especially over Christmas and do not seem to have noted any ill-effects.

    Thanks to you all, reading all of your experiences has really helped.

    Liz x

     
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    Old 01-30-2004, 10:22 AM   #2
    dizzyblonde1
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    Re: Anxiety/Alcohol and Lab Symptoms

    Hi Liz, you've hit the nail on the head there, anxiety definitely does adversely affect the dizzies, yet being dizzy makes you anxious. As for how to deal with it, I think that's something you need to experiment with - different people find different things help.

    If you feel anxiety is a really big problem for you then maybe talking to your Dr may be an idea, they may be able to refer you for cognitive behavioral therapy or something similar or even prescribe a mild anti-anxiolytic. The fact that you're going out and about suggests that maybe it's not quite that bad, in which case indulging yourself in whatever you enjoy and can still enjoy with dizzy nonsense is a good plan. Personally speaking I've done a lot of reading, if you're not horribly strapped for cash I also had a day at a health spa which was absolute bliss!

    On top of all this of course, make sure you look after yourself as well as you can by getting plenty of sleep etc.

     
    Old 01-30-2004, 10:47 AM   #3
    lizzy33
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    Re: Anxiety/Alcohol and Lab Symptoms

    Thanks for the reply. I think you're right in the fact that I am getting out and about and continuing to work etc, so maybe my case isnt too bad. I know from reading some of the other posts on here, a lot of people literally cannot function for months. I can function, albeit slightly uncomfortable at times so I should thank my lucky stars I guess. This thing obviously affects us all differently and with varying severity.

    Cheers

    Liz x

     
    Old 01-30-2004, 11:18 AM   #4
    Wowwwweeee
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    Re: Anxiety/Alcohol and Lab Symptoms

    Hi Lizzy and all,

    I hope this finds the board doing well today.

    I have been dealing with disequlibrium symptoms/sensations for a VERY LONG time now. I am an older poster (Wowwweee) that recently had to update my user name. So far as I know on here, I have been battling these symptoms the longest of any poster on this forum.

    Feelings of imbalance CAN DEFINITELY provoke or cause anxiety conditions. For me, these symptoms have sent me into full blown panic attacks. When I first started dealing with these symptoms and sensations, first, not knowing the root cause was making me nervous and upset enough, coupled with the feelings of head rocking, swaying, twirling, spinning, feelings of motion when you're not moving, etc. As my symptoms continued to stick around, so did my anxiety. And when my symptoms intensified, so did my anxiety level.

    After a while, I became afraid to drive, to go to the movies, to go out with friends, to be left alone - well, you get the picture. It wasn't that I was afraid of the event itself, I was more afraid of the "what ifs" - what if I get worse, what if I pass out, what if I get panicky because of my sensations.... and more afraid of the way I was feeling - spacey, not myself, unreal, floaty, fainty, etc.

    As for stress, stress on the body can make anyone feel anxiety symptoms. For people who have to daily battle with something (like disequilibrium), the constant fight to feel normal is stressful enough, without adding the addition of worry, scary "what if" thoughts, limited physical activity and ability. If you add to that any other outside or personal stressors, well, for me, that does impact the level of my disequilibrium at times, and how I react to how I'm feeling. I can cope better when I am able to be objective and feel calm. If two or more areas of my life are in stress, then I am less likely to feel relaxed and able to productively deal with what I need to. Just the stress of going out for an evening with my friends, KNOWING how I am feeling, used to be enough to give me waves of anxiety.

    I think that there needs to be some sort of inner coping skill or mechanism that each person determines to help them through a condition. For me, I did try counseling, but I realized that I was going to need to find a way to deal with the bodily symptoms and sensations rather than to "talk out any problems" I was having. Counseling for me came into play while I was going through some other issues that were exacerbating my anxiety levels - I needed to feel more grounded internally so I could focus on reacting to my wooziness more calmly. Counseling did not help me at all with my woozy symptoms, however.

    I chose not to trial any anti-anxiety medications because I did not want anything to ADD to my symptoms. However, if you do a search on my old user name, you will find that I did try a medication called Amitriptyline, which is an older anti-depressant, and which alleviated my disequilibrium symptoms 100%. I stopped taking it due to (for me) sife-effects which I didn't like.

    As for saying "oh well, it could be worse" (to paraphrase your post on here), sometimes it's hard to say that when you feel so miserable all the time. I know. But it also helps to put things into perspective - it sounds like you are a glass half-full person, and to deal with something so debilitating such as this, it's good to be that strong, even if some days you just give in and cry over it all. But no-one should suffer needlessly, meaning, make sure your doctor has looked into all avenues, and that no-one tells you it's "just anxiety" so "take a pill". I feel that some anxiety conditions can produce a level of dizziness, but it's definitely not what we long time sufferers have, and you are important so don't let anyone sweep it under the rug by dismissing it as that. Always strive for an answer - and even THAT quest can be stressful, I know.

    That's not to say that anti-anxiety medication is a bad thing -it's certainly not. I guess it depends on the person, and how well they can deal with what they need to. I am slightly anxious about taking medications, so the IDEA of taking something to relax me was something that provoked nervousness in me.

    Over time, I have learned to maintain calm in the face of the storm, and ride out the tidal waves until they pass. But I still deal with symptoms and sensations, I just deal better now. In some ways, this condition has made me a more kinder and sensitive person. I am able to look at someone else and be more forgiving because you never know what they are going through too. On most days, to look at me, you'd never know I was dealing with something so awful. But somedays in my head I am screaming.

    Big hug.

     
    Old 01-30-2004, 11:27 AM   #5
    Wowwwweeee
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    Re: Anxiety/Alcohol and Lab Symptoms

    P.s. Lizzy:

    As far as alcohol consumption goes, I was unable to tolerate ANY for the longest time (y-e-a-r-s) due to it making my symptoms worse.

    I don't know why anyone would even risk a drink if they have feelings of disequilibrium, since alcohol tends to provoke that symptom anyway!

    As of this year, I'e tried two half-glasses of alcohol at different times. I was VERY nervous about it. I did okay, but couldn't relax becuase I was waiting for my symptoms to get worse, or feel worse the next day.

    I used to enjoy my wild weekends out with "da girls" and have a Long Island Iced Tea or two while I was dancing the night away. Those kinds of weekends ended when I started experiencing the woozy symptoms. A few people questioned the change in "fun" behavior, as well as wondered why I stopped drinking "just like that". But no-one ever pushed me to "hey, just have one beer" - it took a little while for my friends to adjust to the "quieter" me (it took me time to adjust too - I honestly feel that I went through a mourning period over losing the exuberant me), but that's the way it had to be for a very long time.

    Only recently, within the past two years, have I been getting out of my woozy shell more, and that does include moveis, the gym, shopping by myself, dancing, dating, etc. It has taken time. It makes me very thankful for the health and opportunities that I have, and the things I was able to do in the past.

    I doubt I will ever be able to ride the twirling tea-cups at the amusement ark again, but I am now out and about. I believe I STILL will keep drinking to a bare minimum. I don't miss it at all and I never feel like the odd person out if I am the only one not holding a glass of booze at a bar or party. I've just found ways to work around my wooziness and some of the limitations that resulted from it.

    DON'T drink too much!

     
    Old 01-31-2004, 04:29 AM   #6
    Emsybobs
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    Re: Anxiety/Alcohol and Lab Symptoms

    Hi Wowwweeee, just wanted to say I knoe EXACTLY what you mean about most of the time noone would ever know what you was suffering with but some days in your head your screaming. I am exactly the same and your description summed it up brilliantly. Nice to know someone out there who feels the same...

    xxx

     
    Old 02-02-2004, 08:42 AM   #7
    Wowwwweeee
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    Re: Anxiety/Alcohol and Lab Symptoms

    Can you hear me NOW??????? LOL

    Yes, Emsybobs, it IS good that we can relate. Some days I am a "grin and bear it" kinda gal, and some days I can roll with the best of them.

    It's a lonely feeling to be "suffering on the inside" when everyone around you is having so much fun, and you desperately want to be having that much fun, too. But I still try to go along for the ride, even if sometimes I am sitting on the sidelines!

    Wishing you the best today, and always.

     
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