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Deeply Frustrated and Scared

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by eskimoeskimo, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Guseman

    Guseman Peer Supporter

    Hi EskimoEskimo,

    I just wanted to help add some comfort that I also understand the heartbeat thing. I developed panic disorder about 10 months ago now, and I don't think I had checked my heart beat more that once in my entire life before it started. Now it is a very common distraction. It is SO hard not to check my pulse all the time, and half the time its just pounding hard enough (not fast always, just hard) such that I can just feel it all over my body. What generally helps me is to really distract myself with something - and I have to keep changing the thing I distract myself with every time. Either working on a paper for work, watching a really hilarious stand up comedian, cooking something, calling someone to talk about something not related to health, etc. Sometimes its re-reading "Unlearn your anxiety and depression". It doesn't always work, but sometimes I notice like 10 minutes later that I haven't thought about my heart in 10 minutes, and that calms me. I had very good luck with the SEP program the first time, but not until about day 37. Then I took 2 months off, and its all coming back again. So I'm definitely in a phase of trying to figure out why the hell its all coming back.
    My big trouble is that I've done a lot of journaling and uncovered a few associations that I think are very important, but I don't have any huge back history of abuse or resentment or bad childhood or any of the sort of typical things that come up in the books. I think for me its largely still not recognizing how I process my current feelings. I think sometimes it might not be something incredibly A-ha. I don't know.
    But it really, really sounds like you've got the TMS. I wish you the best of luck, and your symptoms are definitely shared and can go away. We are healthy! Our hearts are working exactly as they should! They are just responding to our anxiety and we are sensitized to notice them all the time.

    Jessica
     
    eskimoeskimo, Tennis Tom and Forest like this.
  2. eskimoeskimo

    eskimoeskimo Well known member

    Jessica,

    For some reason, your message didn't show up in my alerts, so I didn't see it until now. Thank you for posting. What you described is exactly, exactly how I feel about the heart thing. Just noticing it upsets me so much, so of course I notice it all the time. The distractions you mentioned are just the type of thing that work for me too. But, although they're much needed relief, I don't feel like I've gotten to the bottom of this thing. I've never had any luck trying to get out of the negative feedback loop. Instead, the successes I've had are of the variety you mention... looking back and realizing "wait a minute, I haven't thought about my heart(insert neck, back, anxiety, w/e) in 10 minutes." I'd like to move in the direction of being able to notice my heartbeat, or the pain in my neck, etc, and still feel okay. As it stands, this stuff knocks me to the ground an it's become more and more difficult to find effective distractions.

    How do we de-sensitize?

    Thanks again,
    Best,
    Eskimo
     
  3. RichieRich

    RichieRich Well known member

    Eskimo,

    Don't focus so much effort on desensitizing. You're only going from one extreme to another. You go from extremely afraid to extremely hell-bent on eradication with no real sensibility about the situation.

    When you have a headache, is the normal reaction to get onto Google and start researching headaches only to find out that you have some twisted advanced type of genetic organism that's creating cancerous lesions brought about by nitrates from the Vienna sausages that you had for lunch after your breakfast with eggs and bacon that causes angina which is probably the cause for the chest discomfort that you've determined may be an aneurism brought on by high blood pressure that's causing all kinds of palpitations, so now you need a BP machine and maybe Dilaudid or some valium!?!?!?!?!?!?!............No, because that's not rational thinking.

    You accept it as being a common occurrence, and you simply go on about your day being somewhat annoyed by your headache.

    I had a small panic attack 2 weeks ago accompanied by scary heart palpitations, feeling like I was going to croak on the toilet. It was due to stress from my job. Now it took about 5-6 days to resolve itself because I had to retrain my brain not to be so fearful, and now it's gone. What I'm getting at is you have to give your brain and nerves a rest.

    The easiest way to do this? Let it happen. You're going to feel like total garbage while it resolves itself.

    Don't stop what you're doing, unless of course you're binge drinking or snorting drugs, then you may need to rethink some of your life choices.

    Before desensitization happens you have to allow the surges of fear to happen. Eventually your body becomes accustom to the sensations, and they'll become less and less noticeable until they finally disappear.

    They will come back from time to time, like a headache, but once you've made it beyond the initial hump(first experience with the sensations), your brain is experienced in managing the response to future sensations.

    And don't misinterpret the initial hump as being a random, short lived episode. If you've been suffering for months or years, and the sensations come and go with constant frequency, you've never made it past stage one.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2015
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