Saturday, January 2, 2010

It was never "just anxiety"

In my last blog I had posted some information about postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. It is something I have looked at on and off, esp. while in benzo withdrawal. Anyone who reads this blog knows that back then my heart rate usually was 100 beats sitting and 130-140 standing. I seriously started to read about postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome over the past few weeks. It would explain the last 20 years of my life. 99% of what I have experienced and my avoidance behaviors would match this disorder. First I need to clear up a few things. I am not saying I am not prone to having anxiety, because I know I am. I was a nervous child and I think it is just something I have to live with. However I never believed the reason why I was so sick was from "anxiety". I think a lot of people are told they have anxiety and in fact don't. To me the label is broad and a cop-out.

I spent years in and out of therapy to treat "my anxiety". I was always told I was so insightful by the therapists and no matter what they said I would answer with the real reason, not what they were trying to get me to say. Truth is I do not believe in self fulfilling prophecies. My reason is this. When I would have mild stress many times in my life I would throw up. It was claimed that it was "because you are worried you will throw up, so you is a self fulfilling prophecy." Really? Then what about the first time it happened as a teen? I certainly was not worried about it then, after all it had never happened before from stress. What of all the times and there were many that I worried I would throw up and never did, where was my self fulfilling prophecy then? I have come to believe that in many ways psychiatry is nothing more than a pseudo science. I also think it can cause horrible damage to a person. I know from personal experience the hardship those pills have caused me. This is the point where someone says "I feel great and I have no side effects." No side effects that you know of. You have no idea if your DNA is slowly being mutated. Let me put it this way. I can snort cocaine and have a heart attack. You might be able to snort coke for 20 years and be fine. It doesn't make cocaine safe. "But that is not the same thing??!!". Really? Cause Cocaine was a psych drug at one time. Don't forget psychiatry is also what brought you the lobotomy.

I do not believe that in most causes the labeling of a psych disorder is even correct. So many illnesses are known to cause depression. The difference is in many cases the persons doctor never runs all the tests to make sure their is no "organic" health problem or there is no test to run yet because the illness causing the depression has not been discovered by science yet. (Of course I am not talking of depression caused by life, such as a loss of a loved one. That is depression plain and simple.)

OK I got off track. The point is I never believed this was an "anxiety disorder". The word agoraphobia was pounded into me and truth is I don't not go outside because I am "scared to", I don't go outside because often times I do not feel well enough to go outside. I do not travel far away because I often don't feel well enough in my own apartment and the last thing I want is to be on some highway driving or on vacation where in all honestly I am not able to rest the way I can in my own private apartment.

I will list just some of what I go through and have for a long time. Some symptoms have become worse over the years and others have stayed the same. Many have become exacerbated from whatever the xanax and the single dose of paxil did to me back in 2009.

1) Every morning I wake up and feel zoned out and sick. It takes me sometimes 5 to 6 hours to wake up and feel alive.
2) I have fatigue so bad that I am unable many times to keep my apartment clean, take out the trash or shower as often as I would like.
3) When I shower my heart rate in the shower is 130-140 beats a minute. When I get out of the shower it can take over an hour for my heart rate to return to normal. Often times after a shower my intestines start to gurgle and I can have diarrhea. The shower can leave me wore out and tired and not refreshed at all.
4) I am heat intolerant. Even mild discomfort in the heat causes a high heart rate, skipped beats and anxiety feelings.
5) When I stand up if my sitting heart rate was 70, it might go to 90 which is not bad, sometimes I am lucky and it stays there, often a few minutes later it will be 110-120 that is a 40-50 beat, increase just standing in the absence of dehydration.
6) I am thirsty often and I urinate often even at night sometimes I have to get up a few times. My blood sugar is normal.
7) I have a hard time standing in lines. Yes it causes me anxiety, but I have just as much discomfort standing for the same about of time in front of my couch alone. It is not some anxiety about being in the store, other than the fact I don't like feeling like that alone, let alone in public.
8) Low exercise tolerance. Just walking on my treadmill at 2mph brings my heart rate to 140. I am left tired for many hours after and with an elevated heart rate for over an hour as well.
9) When I stand up often my heart pounds very hard for about 10 secs. It also often pounds very hard when I sit down fast. These are slow, hard pounds.
10) I lose my appetite and can hardly eat for days, not because of some stressful event (granted that could cause that in me or many people), but just because I am no longer hungry.
11) Cramps in my colon, like IBS, that at times in the past have been so painful on the left side that I could pass out from the pain.
12) Insomnia. I can't fall asleep often. Sometimes I get 4 hours of sleep in 48 hours. I am not manic during it. There is no hyper mood, just a sick feeling because I am unable to sleep as I zone out looking at the computer screen waiting till I can sleep.
13) Sometimes I have events that wake me up out of my sleep. Like I am choking or being suffocated. I roll over and go back to sleep. There is a weird burning in my bronchial tubes at times during it.
14) Sometimes when I first wake up in the morning. The very second I am awake and my eyes are still closed, my heart starts to pound and race for about 10 seconds and then I no longer can feel my heart beating and it is back to normal. It is uncomfortable when it happens.
15) Acid reflux. I feel full and bloated at times as well. I can wake up and my belly is flat and by the time I go to bed it looks like I am 6 months pregnant. Sometimes even though I have no heartburn I can feel my throat burning.
16) My pupils get weird. I have been asked in the past by people my age "Hey Bri, what you on?" Because they think I have some good drugs for them because they at times dilate out. Also when I take tylenol (and I am sure many other drugs would effect this as well) an hour later if I look at my pupils they are going in and out in a shaky fashion. It is hard to explain, but tylenol changes the way my pupils act.
17) My hands turn purples when they are at my sides. My feet can turn purple as well and become cold.
18) Sometimes my feet feel ice cold to me and when I touch them they are not cold at all or only mildly cold. The parts of my socks where my toes are are wet because my toes sweat all the time now.
19) Small movements cause my heart to temperately race. I can reach for the tv remote and my heart takes off racing, maybe about a 20 beat increase, then back down.

There are so many more issues I have, but I would say those are the ones that pop in my head right away. I was going to discuss something in this blog post that happened on the 31st of Dec., but I will update that in the next blog since this one has become long enough.

1 comment:

Marie said...

I get that waking up thing when you feel like your are choking. I am convinced it is because I sleep with my mouth open and a spider crawls into my mouth lol.