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Strange fatigue?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Sloane, May 9, 2016.

  1. Sloane

    Sloane New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I'm looking for help and I love reading this website---I feel like I'm on the right track. I have no life anymore. The only places I go are to my doctor and my psychologist.

    Quick intro: I'm female, 28, spent the last 5 years having panic/anxiety. Battled depression on and off since teen years. People pleaser, never speaks up, says yes when I want to say no, will feel 'sick' if I can't tell someone "no."

    I've had a range of odd pain and pressures in various body parts that the doctor never found causes for.

    I began to suspect TMS a year ago when I started having intense pain in one ear that was coming and going and definitely felt stronger when I was anxious. It could feel like something was going to burst in there. It made me feel nauseous and the only relief was putting olive oil on a napkin and plugging my ear with it - never left the house needless to say! No hearing problems, no infection. The doctor suspected it was psychosomatic. But I wanted a CT scan. The scan showed nothing and I never had that ear pain again.

    In its place came jaw pain, head pressure, diaphragm tightness, heavy chest, neck discomfort, OUTER ear pain, but never the same inner ear pain again. But odd sensations persist. I say odd because they're impossible to describe. Like I would feel numb on one side of my face but it WASN'T numb. I easily had 500 panic attacks over that sensation. If I tried to ignore it it would start feeling like pressure as if to say "pay attention to me!" Felt like my cheek was going to explode. Then that disappeared, too.

    The thing I'm struggling with now is FATIGUE that apparently has no medical cause and happens the same time every day. Between 1-4pm. It varies in intensity but makes me feel like it's hard to breathe and I just feel weak, like I'll pass out, but my body isn't tired. It's in my eyes and head. I can pretty much count on feeling it every day and I wake up dreading it.

    But here's the strange thing: if I am preoccupied with another sensation like the ones I mentioned, I don't get the fatigue. It's like I just have to think fatigue and it's there. Other days I will have another ache or pain and spend all day fixated on that.

    When I feel this afternoon fatigue I don't want to leave the house. In my mind there's NO WAY I could go grocery shopping, for example. I'm preoccupied with thoughts of passing out. It's not just feeling tired and it's very hard to describe. I've felt this in the doctors office and he got the nurse to check my blood sugar (because the 'fatigue' came on so suddenly like a low blood sugar attack) and it was perfect. The 'fatigue' also makes me feel like my chest is heavy and I can't breathe so he checked my lungs, oxygen, all fine.

    But the fatigue isn't the thing that keeps me from going to the shops or functioning either. If it's not fatigue, it's one of the other sensations because I attach medical significance to it and fear what will happen. For example if I have a bit of neck pain I won't go to the shop because I think neck pain could mean an artery problem, blood clot, stroke. ANY ache, pain, pressure frightens me and i don't want to leave the house.

    The tiredness makes me fear I'll just drop. Even though I can actually run laps in my backyard with it, like I said its in my eyes and head. But it makes me feel so out of it that if I go out with it, I panic. I also feel like it's probably not safe to drive.

    I don't feel like sleeping either. If I do try to "sleep it off" in the day, I wake up with a racing heart like I've been shocked awake or I get that sleep paralysis sensation where the eyes are open but I feel like I can't move.

    I'm depressed because I can't leave my house. I don't know what to do anymore. How can it be just in those hours? I'm going crazy. It feels like something is seriously wrong with me and I can't stop obsessing about it. The doctor said its a form of anxiety manifesting. The funny thing is having a panic attack about it makes the fatigue go away! Lol.

    I'm not lightheaded... But I feel like I could pass out! Like I'll just get so tired I won't be able to move. I've had moments where I feel paralysed by the fatigue and can't even walk to the kitchen for a glass of water. But it's not REAL because I CAN move.

    Come 5pm, I feel fine. 10pm I have energy to do anything.

    It's so strange.

    Can anyone give advice, relate, piece together what's going on? I feel like this is my last hope! It's so much appreciated. I didn't even know TMS was a thing. It would answer a lot. But there's still that doubt in my mind that there's something else going on and that anxious thinking alone is draining.

    Thank you!
  2. Eve

    Eve Peer Supporter

    Hi sloane

    I empathize with you.
    I know how hard it is to stop the worries and the negative thinking pattern.
    I did the same for many many years.
    However, this kind of behaviour is only making matters worse.
    our nervous system is already on high alert, causing all these uncomfortable pain and sensations.
    It is trying to get our attention by letting us know that something is wrong.
    However if we keep thinking about the pain or the symptoms, we are letting the brain know that he is right, that there is something wrong and then the brain creates more symptoms to protect us from this 'danger'. In this scenario we create a vicious circle in which symptoms create fear and the fear about them creates even more symptoms.
    It is very important to interrupt that vicious cycle.
    During the day i would suggest to stay very mindfull at when you are having negative thoughts, negative beliefs, all thoughts that concern yout body.
    Whenever you notice you are getting away with a thought, literally stop yourself physically.
    You can make a stop movement with your hands and say something to yourself like: stop it sloane, there is nothing to be worried about, i know what is going on and i refuse to live in fear. You take a deep breath and you smile and you visualize yourself happy and healthy.
    After that, you just continue what you were doing.
    i had to do this more than 100 times a day sometimes, and sometimes i still do.
    Doing this, the thoughts will become less and you will become more calm, releasing more energy.
    Don't let the fear hold you back.
    You will be fine if you go out and do things.
    The symptoms can well disappear when you are focused on something else.
    Let go of the fear first of all, this could already make big changes for you in your progress but this is the first and most important step.
    good luck
    Sloane likes this.
  3. Eve

    Eve Peer Supporter

    This is a link to the gupta programme, it is for all chronic pain syndromes, anxiety, cfs and fibro.
    He explains on his website that vicious cycle i talked about.
    He developed some techniques to help you cope with the anxiety and symptoms.
    http://www.guptaprogramme.com/anxiety-disorder-treatment/ (Anxiety Disorders Treatment | The Gupta Programme - The Gupta Programme)

    What also helps me when i am anxious is EFT.
    Maybe this will help you too.

    It is very important not to pay attention to it in an anxious way, but in an other way we have to make contact with our body and symptoms as well, but not from a place of fear.
    The symptoms are here for a reason, they are trying to let you know that something is not right
    It could very simply ask you to stand up for yourself or being open about your emotions or making more time for yourself. Ask yourself what is your body trying to tell you. Then act upon that.
    Speaking up for yourself when you haven 't for so long is bound to create internal frustration and stress. Counteracting upon the messages it gives makes the symptoms become useless, and eventually they will have no more reason to exist. Communicate with your body, mind and emotions.
    I hope this helped.
    Sloane and mike2014 like this.
  4. mncjl123

    mncjl123 Peer Supporter

    I tried "tapping" years ago under a therapist and spent loads of money. I'm sorry to say it didn't work for me. And, when I look at it now, it is such a joke! I'm glad it works for some. I really am.
    Boston Redsox likes this.
  5. Sloane

    Sloane New Member

    Sorry to hear about your tapping experience. I tried it from a youtube video and I didn't get anything from it either. I'm glad it didn't cost me anything!

    Thanks Eve, you helped a lot. It makes so much sense and its advice that all applies to my situation, but I've gotta put it all into practice, too. Yours was more helpful than my psychologist who as lovely as she is, just says "so what if it does?" if I tell her that I fear something happening. When I wasn't anxious I believed that too. I KNOW life is beyond our control and I also know I don't control the things I can control (such as expressing my feelings) but since I started doing that a week ago, I do feel better. And that's a key - these symptoms aren't occurring because of things I can't control, but things I can control but won't such as enforcing boundaries, speaking up for myself, etc.

    "You will be fine if you go out and do things"

    I really want to believe that --- it takes so much mental energy and the manifestations are so real/physical. I just hate how I feel like I cant trust my body anymore to alert me to real problems since tension has caused so many real feelings that have me wasting mine and doctors time. In my rational mind I know I've felt this way for many years and nothing has happened.

    It has taught me that not enforcing boundaries and internalizing everything instead is not worth it. I also accept that this stuff didn't happen overnight, its taken about 10 years of this behaviour to start causing panic attacks and odd symptoms. I'll start with the thought stopping you're talking about. I think just even keeping a tally of how many times a day I have to do this will help me to realize how often my thoughts are creating tension.

    Thanks so much!
    Eve likes this.
  6. lina82

    lina82 Peer Supporter

    Hello Sloane! I'm sorry to hear about your severe symptoms. My advice for you is to google Somatic Experiencing. That method helped me with fatigue similar to yours. It's a method where traumas are safely resolved from the body. There are ways out of your situation!
    Sloane and Eve like this.
  7. Eve

    Eve Peer Supporter

    Hi lina82

    It's funny you mention somatic experiencing, i am working with the exercises in his practical book ̀ˆhealing trauma".
    I had huge reactions to some of his energy activating exercises so i am sure that trauma is stored in the body.
    I was actually looking for someone who had experience with this technique.
    Would it be ok if i send you a private message about it?
    Thank you
    lina82 likes this.
  8. lina82

    lina82 Peer Supporter

    Yes, please do :)
  9. Orion2012

    Orion2012 Well known member

    Dr. Schubiner's Unlearn your Pain says chronic fatigue is no doubt a mind-body syndrome.
    I'm no doctor, but it makes sense to me that this mystery fatigue phenomenon is yet another TMS equivalent:

    an autonomic nervous system dysfunction, most likely the result of repressed emotions and/or unhealthy stress response. So it should be fully reversible with proven mind-body healing methods (therapeutic journaling, meditation, affirmations, etc.).
    Sloane likes this.
  10. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Sloane. I had similar feelings of anxiety and depression and a panic attack some years ago. A shrink I went to was no help, just took my money. Thant heaven there is more help now, and I recommend these books:

    Hope and Help for Your Nerves
    by Dr. Claire Weeks. She says not to fight or be afraid during panic attacks but to "float" through them and they go away.

    You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay.

    I think they have some free videos on Youtube. You can find them or others like them who discuss anxiety and stress.
    Sloane likes this.
  11. Sloane

    Sloane New Member

    Thanks everyone, it is a huge help. I was going around the bend with this.

    Walt- I'm seeing a psychologist who is more just someone to talk to than helpful. What can she do really? All she can say is "get out and do things" and I know it will work eventually but the agoraphobia has gotten pretty bad. Like I said if it's not the fatigue it's something else. Obviously the root cause is anxiety but the problem is I entertain the what if thoughts every time I leave the house. Always on high alert, probably hyperventilating, not relaxed at all. Now I just have to think of walking into a store while I'm sitting at home and I will feel anxious.

    I bought 4 of Claire Weekes books. They were extremely helpful and made me really believe I could conquer the symptoms/thoughts. She described it all in a way I had never been taught. Better than my psychologist!

    The fatigue seems linked to boredom as well. I'm bored because I'm afraid to leave the house. Boredom does cause a feeling of no energy - like I said its not really fatigue because I cant just lay down and sleep like tired people do.

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