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Forums / Anxiety / Frustration with the received wisdom

Topic: Frustration with the received wisdom

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. Xanner
    Xanner avatar
    3 posts
    17 October 2020
    I started suffering from anxiety in 2002. I was hospitalised for nearly a month. Treatment with a certain medication was effective, and I was eventually able to reduce the dosage substantially, but never to zero without a return of some symptoms and disrupted sleep. Then in 2014, the TGA decided that this drug was too prone to misuse and made it a schedule 8 drug, with the net result that it was no longer available to me, so I had to stop taking it, which I did over the space of a few weeks. (This drug is meant to be highly addictive). I returned to my pre-medication disturbed sleep pattern, but was largely free of the other anxiety symptoms.

    Until now.

    There's no apparent external cause of my anxiety. I'm not fixated on anything. I'm not under stress (unless you count the anxiety symptoms). I just have a feeling of shakiness, some tingling in the fingers, muscle aches (from being constantly tense) and at times feel so light headed with pounding heart that I have to stop and wait for it to subside. I also have a hair-trigger sensitivity to any momentary stressor, such as the phone ringing, or someone knocking at the door. None of these things cause me any fear any more, because I know what they are, but they are still disruptive.

    So why is the received wisdom that I have something wrong with my thinking, such that cognitive behavioural therapy would help (been there, done that). Or lifestyle? Or diet?

    Why can it not be that my body has simply got its chemical levels wrong, and requires pharmacological correction? Why can I not have the medication that worked for over a decade? Why does any prolonged use have to be associated with judgemental words like "addiction", "dependence". I don't see diabetics been told to suck it up, and deal with it. They get the insulin they need, and no one ever suggests that they shouldn't take it for too long, or that they need to wean themselves off it.
    1 person found this helpful
  2. therising
    Valued Contributor
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    therising avatar
    1479 posts
    17 October 2020 in reply to Xanner

    Hi Xanner

    I truly feel for you as you face the frustrating challenge of adapting when people don't seem to be giving you a hopeful sense of direction.

    I'm wondering if any professionals have raised the topic of 'Having a highly sensitive nervous system'. Another angle on kind of the same topic involves 'Being an HSP' (highly sensitive person). Wondering if anyone's ever tried to figure out all the things you've sensitive to. By the sound of it

    • you're perhaps sensitive to sound. Is it only sudden sounds or are there other sounds that trigger you as well? Personally, I'm sensitive to food courts. There are too many sounds going on at once, which tends to agitate my nervous system. I'm also very sensitive to my husband's car. He drives a V8 Commodore. Every time he starts that car, when I'm sitting in the back yard beside the garage, it seriously agitates me on so many levels. I can feel the vibration through the chair and through my feet which agitates my nervous system. To say that my body does not experience a sense of peace would be an understatement :) The sound also overwhelms me. It's highly invasive. I'm sure some of our neighbours agree. I'm actually so sensitive to this car to the point where I can't travel in it because the vibrations give me a headache. I know, crazy
    • you sound sensitive to feeling what is going on in your body. We don't normally sense our heartbeat until it becomes noticeable. We typically don't sense buzzing or tingling going on until our energy starts becoming hyperactive (extremely active). Unless we're devoted yoga practitioners or contortionists, we always carry a degree of tension in our body. We won't feel it until it becomes noticeable. It is said that tension is the body's way of expressing dis-ease (unease). Some may call this dis-ease 'stress'. It is also said that the mind and body share stress or tension. If one experiences it, the other will also
      • I imagine you're very sensitive to questionable behaviour, hence why you're questioning the lack of seriously constructive guidance regarding alternative approaches (without the med that made a difference). I have found a common trait of a sensitive person is 'Questioning just about everything'. From questioning whether something is making a difference through to questioning why it isn't, questioning is definitely a part of the quest in regard to self understanding

    Wondering whether researching 'Highly Sensitive Person' might lead you to some answers on your quest.


  3. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    130 posts
    17 October 2020 in reply to Xanner

    Hey Xanner,

    i hope it’s ok, can I provide a perspective from the type 1 diabetics point of view? I’ve lived with this disease for35 years & it isn’t all roses. I get judged ALL the time. People confuse the different types & basically shame me & blame me for causing my own condition.

    Type 1 is actually an autoimmune condition. Nothing to do with diet or lack of exercise. And yet I spent my entire life feeling ashamed, like I didn’t belong, like I was a “bad” diabetic (as told to me by a medical professional).

    im endlessly barraged with people who tell me to just eat better, exercise more, try this diet, stop relying on insulin (I’ll die without it, it’s not a choice, I take it or I die), try this miracle cure, try praying blah, blah, blah.

    And I also get the stigma of mental illness too. So I can tell you, the grass isn’t greener on either side of the fence for this one.

    Anyone, not trying to stir things up, but I actually got pretty upset when I read this post a few hours ago. But my psychologist told me something. Because I said no one ever jokes about cancer but there are jokes all over the internet about diabetes. My psychologist specialises in medical illness & treats patients with cancer. And they DO get the shame & the jokes & the criticism too. It opened my eyes to realise that.

    Anyway, you have my support. Happy to help anyone in need. I hope things can get better for you

    so basically, the world is pretty screwed up & we just have to try best to stand up to it, brush it off & keep going.



  4. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    8221 posts
    18 October 2020 in reply to Xanner


    Welcome to the forum and thanks for writing your first post which can be hard.

    By writing your post you will help many reading it, who may not post, to feel less alone as they can relate to you.
    The rising has suggested some helpful points to research. I can relate to much of what you both said. I am always being told I am too sensitive.

    The BigBlue, thanks for explaining about what you have experienced with diabetes 1. I know for some reason when talking about mental illness people say if I had diabetes I wouldn’t get judged. I am glad you have pointed out that is not any different.

    I really think what you have written is so important. Thanks so much for sharing and being honest.
    It is sad that whether it is a physical or mental illness there is still stigma.

  5. Xanner
    Xanner avatar
    3 posts
    18 October 2020 in reply to therising
    TheBigBlue, I'm saddened to hear that people judge you as a diabetic, though I trust that you don't get that from doctors. Perhaps I should have used hypothyroidism (which I have) as an example of a disease that requires life long treatment where people are not judged. Mind you, there are no doubt some who would seek to judge even then - it really comes down to how ignorant they are.

    If I had type-1 diabetes and someone expressed views suggesting that I was in some way to blame, I would put them straight in no uncertain terms, and would almost certainly use the word "ignorant" in doing so. I would also send my anxiety sky high in the process (even just writing about it is raising it), but I've learned to tolerate doing that if I'm sufficiently motivated. It's certainly not something I'd recommend.

    What bothers me about the anxiety medication issue is that there seems little recognition in the medical literature that some people just need medication.
    1 person found this helpful
  6. Xanner
    Xanner avatar
    3 posts
    18 October 2020 in reply to therising
    I don't generally react to sound. Door slams affect me for reasons relating to my teenage years (that neurotic woman has a lot to answer for), but mostly it's noises that indicate that I have to deal with some issue (and never mind that the dealing itself is almost always has no effect on my anxiety).
  7. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    130 posts
    19 October 2020 in reply to Xanner

    Hi Xanner,

    Yes, judgement is everywhere, I find it a lot easier to hide my anxiety meds & antidepressants than my diabetes medication/management. So I guess that’s why I feel so more judged about diabetes.

    But on the other hand, mental health has so much stigma that I don’t open up about it with anyone outside my family. In fact, my parents know I see a psychiatrist but they don’t actually know why. Oddly they have also never asked... that irks me a bit.

    im lucky though, I also see a psychologist who specialises in diabetes & that makes a difference having someone who doesn’t judge. And I have a great endocrinologist now, wish it hadn’t taken so long to find her though!

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