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Help. I'm an anxiety freak

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Alfaman147, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. Alfaman147

    Alfaman147 Well known member

    Does anyone else have a constant spasm in their anus? It's like a pressure sensation. I have been diagnosed with health anxiety and am suffering alot this last few weeks. I thought it was levator ani syndrome but after checking in with myself more closely I can feel it's my anal sphincter that is in a state of constant tension. It's an awful feeling and I have had it on and off for 6 years or so. I had a gap of nearly 2 years without it but now after a stressful time it has come back. I know it's psychological because as I'm going to sleep in can feel it flutter and start to relax and I always wake up feeling OK with no problems. I'm my own worst enemy and cannot stop reading up on it searching for answers hence all my old posts on levator ani and rectal spasms. But I can tell it's my anal sphincter that is the cause. Not to be too graphic or anything but if I just touch my anus it makes the tension go away. Or gently inserting a finger is absolute relief.
  2. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Honestly young man, whatever happened to staying away for a week :)

    Seriously, given the relief your finger can give maybe you could explore gentle self-massage. Maybe you can transform tension and pain into pleasure.

    https://www.aneros.com/ (Aneros)
  3. Alfaman147

    Alfaman147 Well known member

    Don't fancy shoving anything up my ass really haha. Yes I know I'm a dick. I'm having to go away for work in a few days so I'm stressing about having my bad ass. Which I suppose is making the pain worse and in turn making me Google more to find an answer. It's so weird as I write this and start to calm down my ass sphincter is starting to flutter and relax a little bit. I can feel it sort of relax and then tense up again straight away haha. And my in laws want to take me and my wife out for a meal tomorrow night so I'm stupidly panicking about that too. I'm such an idiot. My lower back also felt really tight today too. I think I was tensing up all day
  4. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    THE book for anxiety and all of its related physical symptoms is Hope and Help For Your Nerves by the wonderful Claire Weekes (no longer with us). In a very small book written in, I think, 1962, she offers calm, logical advice for getting through the anxiety attacks, and reassurance that there is nothing wrong with you.

    Her most famous advice/exercise is:
    Face it
    Accept it
    Float through it
    Let time pass

    Some people find H&HFYN a bit dated (1962, after all - and she was born in 1903) but if you can get past that, her advice is timeless.
  5. Renee

    Renee Well known member

    Jan - I read the book last year but didn't understand "floating." How can a person get themselves to float when they are experiencing the oncoming feeling of terror of a panic attack? Can you explain the process?
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    For me, it was a form of visualization - and I've been practicing visualizations since the 1980s, when I read Creative Visualization*, which was many years before I discovered Dr. Sarno five years ago.

    I think that "floating through" simply means LETTING GO. Which is something that us goodist/perfectionist types have a really hard time doing. We LOVE our anxiety.

    More technically, our primitive brains are in fact wired for anxiety - way way back, when we lived with real-life dangers every day, anxiety was the key to survival. Constantly scanning the horizon for danger meant that we were more likely to see danger approaching. It's not so useful in our modern safe world, and if we intend to exceed the short life spans of our primitive ancestors, we've got to manage it a lot better.

    You've got to be willing to face your terror, accept your terror, and then let it go - that's all. You can float through it, or past it, or you can visualize it falling by the side of the road without the ability to keep up with you. However you see it, the key is that you do NOT need it. Let it go.


    * Creative Visualization is another little book. It was written by Shakti Gawain (1978 I think) and more than 30 years before I discovered Dr. Sarno I was blown away by the power of visualization. Perhaps accepting this at an earlier age helped me to understand, much later on, the power of our brains to cause TMS symptoms. The actual mechanism of TMS, whether it's oxygen deprivation or something else, is, I think, irrelevant.
    hecate105, plum and Colly like this.
  7. Renee

    Renee Well known member

    Thank you Jan. Yes, I'm extremely bad at letting go of EVERYTHING! It's so funny because saying we love our anxiety doesn't make any sense but I completely understand what you mean. I will check out that book.

  8. riverrat

    riverrat Well known member

    Yes sir,
    I've had it - I've had it very bad - what you experience - in the area you describe and vaginally as well. It IS tms!!! You are only tense and tight in the pelvic floor muscles! Nothing more. The massage/ gentle pressure you describe proves that.
    And I know you know this on a deep level, that this is all it is. You know it in your heart, i can tell by your posts. now just tell it to your brain!
    When you feel the need to research, or even come on here. Try meditating instead. Fight the need to research each time by deep breathing and meditating instead. Say a sound some like "om" as you meditate too. Or some word. Make that your focus. It will make you focus on pain much less.
    You might Think about rhodiola herb to calm your anxiety as an idea.
    Do more calming, relaxing and fun things in life. You don't need this pain, man. I know how it sucks. Get rid of it. You did before. Do it now! ;)
  9. BeWell

    BeWell Well known member

    This is getting weird. Let's stick to medicine, not freaky fingers in the anus or fluttering sphincter or rectal spasms. What the hell?! Where in the medical literature is that mentioned?

  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    This reply betrays the reason you may be having some problems understanding the diversification on the forum. Not everyone here suffers from back pain, or pain at all but from other manifestations of the nervous system. A contraction of the rectum is one of the signs that the sympathetic nervous system is engaged. There is nothing weird about this or about touching your own body. Nothing at all. We touch places that hurt to investigate the cause (especially places that we cannot see), we touch to soothe these places, we touch to apply soothing balms and we touch for the simple pleasure of touching. I appreciate that some people are not comfortable with these ideas and that is their prerogative but I would ask you to respect @Alfaman147 words on this and not engage in any form of shaming. It is hard enough to talk about such intimate problems and to his credit Alfaman does that with a degree of self-deprecating humour even though he is quite clearly seriously concerned.

    @Alfaman147 You're a good sport and I appreciate you taking my initial reply in good spirits. You're not an idiot though, you're just a guy whose sympathetic system is activated and, as I said above, these sensations and spasms are a perfectly natural part of what the sympathetic does. I'm going to be writing something on this at the request of another member so I'll give you a nudge when that's done. Meantime @JanAtheCPA gives you a fabulous resource in Claire Weekes and there is lots of stuff about her on the forum. I think there may even be some audio clips. Enjoy the meal out sweetheart and remember you have support here if you need it.
  11. westb

    westb Well known member

    This (pelvic/rectal pain) is my main symptom too these days, closely linked to digestive issues, and is what brought me to the forum. I have had severe back problems in the past, which have been much helped by cranial osteopathy but that's another story. Both sets of symptoms have been preceded by severely stressful life passages and by unwittingly allowing myself to be "drained" by negative work issues and personal relationships as well as by my own tendency to hyper-react to situations that others aren't seemingly particularly disturbed by. I'm so grateful that the knowledge of how to deal with this hyper-reactivity is out there, and I'm about to order Dr Hanscom's book.

    So alfaman you're not the only one. What I'm finding helpful these days when I'm flaring is to *gently* do the opposite of what I feel like doing - which is to stay at home and get increasingly anxious and low and search the internet! I had a flare yesterday morning but I had a dental appointment in the afternoon (nothing serious) and allowed myself extra time in town to get some old jewellry repaired at the local silversmith's and to pop into the health shop to try a new herb tea. Then I went into Waterstone's to look at their book displays. When I was chatting to the silversmith (who was lovely) I wasn't aware of the pain at all, likewise in the bookshop. It was a bit uncomfortable walking around town but not enough to get in the way of what I needed to do and I had a real sense of accomplishment. Today is much better.

    I live alone so it is easy to fall into the trap of obsessing and fretting I think, perhaps more than those who have someone else around the house. What I'm also doing when I am alone at home is a load of decluttering - very therapeutic. I visualise as I get rid of items that have bad memories or which I no longer need I'm shedding thought patterns and energies and memories from the past that are possibly getting in the way of my recovery and healing. And making way for happier things.
  12. Alfaman147

    Alfaman147 Well known member

    Wow thanks guys. I woke up this morning feeling so miserable and anxious. I felt like I was in a pit of worry. I havent felt this bad in a long time. I think it's because I want to just stay at home instead of going out. But for God sake I know what the trouble is. I can feel the tension down there. I'm going to go out for this meal. I'm going to have a few drinks to relax myself . I'm just happy people also have the same symptoms as me.
    hecate105 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  13. Alfaman147

    Alfaman147 Well known member

    And I know googling is the worst thing I can do. It's just a tight anal sphincter isn't it. I had it many times before. I have beaten it before. I think because I'm a bit stressed at work and stuff it is kind of making it worse. I have to be positive. I'm just keen to see who else has this problem
  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yes that really is all it is. Every single person on the planet will have experienced it when they are nervous, say before a date, or stepping on stage, or giving a presentation at work, or before your driving test...in Britain we call it squeaky bum time. It's refers to that horrible feeling of squirming in your seat because things have got tense. I believe it was coined by a football manager, Alex Ferguson, during the rivalship between Manchester United and Arsenal.
    hecate105, JanAtheCPA and Alfaman147 like this.
  15. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Good on you. The worst thing we can do is close down our lives and stew in our own juices. I'm also decluttering. I'm following the Kon Mari method. It's the brainchild of an adorably kooky Japanese lady (anyone who has read the book will understand what I mean), and it is weirdly brilliant. She describes how sorting out your stuff is sorting out your mind is sorting out your life so there is a nice unconscious resonance to the whole process. It's not that different from other forms of space clearing really but I picked the book up secondhand and it's a fine incentive.
    JanAtheCPA, westb and Lily Rose like this.
  16. Alfaman147

    Alfaman147 Well known member

    So plum did you have the anal tension as your problem???
  17. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Not beyond the typical experiences I mentioned earlier. I've not experienced it as a problem in the ways you are currently. I have chronic pain in my mouth area which is frankly the other end of the tube, as it were. So I can empathise.

    (Without seguing too much into other areas that may upset delicate sensibilities, I have explored that area erotically. That has yielded many insights. The anus is one of two places where we experience both unconscious and concious control. The other is breathing. Our bodies are truly magnificent.)
  18. Alfaman147

    Alfaman147 Well known member

    Westb how are your anal symptoms??? Is it a constant pressure
  19. westb

    westb Well known member

    Tightness is nearly always there to a degree but sometimes so mild that I don't notice it at all, but if I have a digestive flare (IBS), bloating etc then the whole colon, including the rectum seems to go into rigid, painful spasm which makes it hard to focus on anything else. Bowel movements too become irregular. Thankfully this degree of pain isn't permanent, may last between 6 - 24 hours.

    I'm aiming now *not* to focus on it when it isn't there and concentrate on things that I enjoy and which interest me, and even when I have a flare to distract myself as much as I can. Reeducating the brain and all that! I'm just sick of the symptom and the obsession and am determined not to let it take over my life.
    paintnpourparty and plum like this.
  20. westb

    westb Well known member

    Isn't decluttering great?! Yes, I have that book, it's good. Also Clear Your Clutter by Karen Kingston is very helpful and got me started on the whole process.
    paintnpourparty and plum like this.

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