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Author Topic: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?  (Read 730 times)

Kathleen

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How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« on: September 13, 2018, 12:38:58 PM »

Hello ladies.

I am curious to know how the ladies that experience a lot of anxiety actually describe it to other people and to doctors? A friend of a friend talks about an all consuming feeling of fear. I have an  internal shaking and quivering sensation. I thought that one lady's description of having swallowed a mobile phone that's stuck on vibrate was particularly good!

I also wonder how our doctors  can differentiate between menopause anxiety and the type of anxiety caused by other conditions, ie mental health problems?

I suppose my question is how do you know if meno anxiety has become something else that requires a different approach, ADs for example or CBT. At the moment I still have flushes so I assume my anxiety symptoms are  coming from my hormones ( or lack of ) but perhaps that's just confusing the issue and an anxiety disorder has developed alongside the menopause? 

I would be very interested in your opinions and experiences ladies. I have learned that the best people to ask about such things are the  lovely ladies who have been there and done that!

Wishing you all well.

K.
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Snoooze

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2018, 04:31:00 PM »

Well I've always had anxiety in one form of another since childhood but at one point during peri, it became all consuming. I don't like to tempt fate but nearly a year ago, it seemed to calm down but it's always with me.

So my earliest anxiety was a fear that I find too embarrassing to write about but to me, it was a big thing. The thought would enter my head and then I would go through a constant inner monologue of how I was going to get myself out of any 'nervy' situation I had found myelf in so I would be plotting my escape in my head at the same time my heart would start racing and my finger tips would tingle. As soon as I 'escaped' the situation, I would calm instantly.

Once I had my second child which was a very traumatic birth then health anxiety kicked in. I have often said that I would gladly go back to the type of embarrassing anxiety I had in my younger days than face health anxiety which is just dire. I will get a pain eg. in my head and instantly, my heart starts to race, get tingling and I'm thinking 'I'm going to die'.  Also, if I have a particularly bad attack, it leaves me feeling shivery and shaking.

During peri, my anxiety worsened but it was still the same feeling. The racing heart, the tingling finger tips, tingling upper lip, shaking feeling, nervous feeling, going hot, crazy thoughts going through my head which I find hard to calm and just a horrible feeling of dread or impending death!

I have never taken any medication for my anxiety. My health anxiety doesn't help matters as if I read any side effects of any medication I will convince myself I have them.

I think my anxiety has been with me so long now that I'm just used to it. I can rationalise it a lot easier than I used to be able to do in my early years.

My biggest regret is that I have passed it onto my daughter. I wish I had never let her see me in a panic etc but she started to pick up on it when she was 6 years old and then started with it.

As for describing it to other people...well I spent a long time not telling anyone. Then I confided in my best friend and she was a help but later in life I started to tell a few family members and I just felt they didn't understand it AT ALL. It was off putting and I wished I had never shared it so now I just keep it to myself.

I'm not sure how doctors differentiate but I presume it's same as is asked on here. If you have never experienced anxiety before then experiencing it in meno only points towards a hormonal problem. As for if it requires a different approach. I think it depends on how well you can cope with it. If it's becoming unbearable then I think people should seek out AD's or CBT.
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Annie0710

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2018, 06:01:31 PM »

I now know what I experienced in puberty was anxiety, but that word wasnít ever given to me, just thatvthe Dr told my mum I would grow out of it, my experiences back then weíre extreme shyness and when anxious I would disassociate with my body, I confided in my mum as it felt the same as when Iíd read people die, they see their bodies stay there but they float away, thatís how my symptoms were and it freaked me out so bad

After puberty and up until peri I never experienced it again but very rarely I would remember how it felt

Peri - wow, it all started up again.  Only felt comfortable in my own home either alone or with my hubby and son.  Any visitors or if I went out sent me into a shakey, light headed wreck and Iíd start to disassociate but didnít ever go as far as I did in puberty, almost like maturity had given me the ability to bring myself back (I feel like a nutter saying it lol) faced with anyone apart from hubby or son would make me feel as if I was about to faint, clammy or freezing cold, palpitations, off balance.  I gave up my job and distanced myself from friends and family.  I didnít tell anyone, until hubby phoned me one day after about 3 years of meno and Iíd plucked up the courage to seek private hypno cbt and he wondered where Iíd got to ! He said everyone feels nervous so I had to tell him exactly how it was affecting me

Then along came testosterone.  It has completely given me my life back.  I still get nervous, but Iím out and about so much now, and lots of it I am alone.  I havenít ever told a dr about my social anxiety, so have never been treated for it but was sure it had to be hormonal as itís only happened in puberty and menopause

I didnít see a future but now Iím enjoying it again, Iíve taken up golf and couldíve taken the easy route of joining hubbyís club but Iíve opted to join a different one so Iím having to face new people, play new people and just generally be a big girl again !

To add:  at the start of peri I was having health anxiety too but in my defence my health deteriorated literally overnight x
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Age 51
Hysterectomy 1999 age 32 and given 2mg oestrogen due to ovarian failure
Onset of new symptoms  2012 age 45
Diagnosed post meno 2015 age 48
2mg elleste solo til 2015
Started Estradot 75mcg 2015
Sept 2016 scan showed dissolved ovaries
May 2017 oestrogel & Tostran

Kathleen

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 06:21:22 PM »

Hello  Snooze.

Thank you so much for your response. Your story is very interesting and I can see how distressing your anxiety has been plus  I understand not wanting to take medication to avoid side effects but have you ever considered other therapies?

Your episodes sound a little different to mine but I sympathise because I have also had anxiety problems in the past.  I agree that the loss of oestrogen and it's traquilising effect adds  a new and unwelcome element to our troubles!

I'm afraid I can't remember if you are using HRT and if it's helping your anxiety but from what other ladies say hitting on the right formula is crucial for full symptom relief. Personally I can't wait!


Many thanks again for sharing your story and I wish you well.

K.









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shrosphirelass

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2018, 06:51:07 PM »

I have also always suffered with anxiety and am not really worse now, but then I think I have always been bad pre-menstrually so mine is definitely hormonally aggravated. I have had counseling, CBT and they were both fine up to a point, but didn't make it go away maybe made me better at dealing with it. One of my earliest memories are of being in the middle of the school playground feeling scared. I'm lucky that I don't have panic attacks.

My anxiety feels at times like uncontrollable fear. I am very anxious about anything concerning my health that I can't explain. I constantly talk (silently)  to myself rationalizing things so it's quite exhausting and others don't understand or realize the extent of it. Physically at night I sometimes feel as if everything is turned on full and everthing is going fast and sometimes I feel a buzzing feeling in my arms.

I do manage it fairly well and have not had medication. I feel like I'm having a battle with myself and don't always win!

It's really helpful to hear other peoples experiences as I don't think it is talked enough about.
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CLKD

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 11:27:11 PM »

How long have you got  :-\

My first panic attack at aged 3.  Became anorexic and diagnosed by 5.  Told I would grow out of it.  So nausea strikes: my thighs go weak following instantly by the calves, legs to weak and that's it.  I am a shivering wreck  :'(.  Suicidal.  Light headed.

Once the anxiety starts to come down I pee: a lot: every 10 mins. 4 about 3/4 hours.

The following day I am knackered.

For years I would plan things to do but have to retract, I would get half way to town and need to get home or once in town, anxiety would hit and I dashed to the car.  Himself would complete the shopping, no mobiles then. 

Much better these days ......... unless an event is important  :-\
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Kathleen

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2018, 10:45:40 AM »

Hello Annie0710.

Your story is also fascinating and demonstrates another way that anxiety can manifest itself. My hair dresser told me that she experienced anxiety during puberty and at 38 she is noticing problems starting again however  it was  her mother who made the link with hormones.

I'm pleased you've found a treatment that works for you, it gives hope to us all!

Thanks for responding and take care.

K.
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Kathleen

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2018, 11:01:03 AM »

Hello shropshirelass.


Thank you for your comments. I know lots of ladies suffer from health anxiety at this time and given the numerous changes that we are going through it's no surprise! Like you I have had anxiety before, possibly hormonal but I never really thought about it. I did have awful period pains when younger and could feel really ill so I focused on that rather than anything else.

I agree that anxiety should be talked about more often, also the different ways that it can present itself. We can learn a lot from each other.

Wishing you well.

K.
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Kathleen

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2018, 11:07:02 AM »

Hello CLKD.

Thank you for your post.

 I have read your story in other threads and it does seem that your anxiety is a special kind and I'm pleased that you now have the means to cope with it.
 
Take care.

K.
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CLKD

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2018, 11:51:18 AM »

'special' isn't what I would want  ::) - different may be. 
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Sgtvhilts

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2018, 05:39:56 PM »

Hi
I describe mine as my Ďspagetti headí. Not ever said that to my gp, heíll think i am nuts.......
But it feels like you cannot pull out a single straight thought;that its like pasta spagetti when you tip it in the colander!
When i had CBT once, my job was to focus on the worries specifically- but I couldnít, because I couldnít pull one strand.
I describe them to medics usually as racing thoughts, brain never switching off, whirring lol- i could go on &on.....
It has always been medication for me to switch the damn thing off
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CLKD

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2018, 08:00:16 PM »

When I was very ill my brain wouldn't stop long enough to focus on a worry  :-\.  It spun them all like a washing machine.
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Sgtvhilts

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2018, 08:14:32 PM »

Oh god, yes. Lol
Put my spagetti into your washing machine - sound like the same.
Whhhiiirrrriiiiiinnngg away.
I have suffered since a child, but only put a name to it in my late 20ís.  Know the reasons and triggers, but will it switch off NO.
Meds most of the time - which i donít regret at all, in fact it is them that has enabled me to process to a certain degree what this whirring is all about......
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Sgtvhilts

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2018, 08:16:21 PM »

Forgot to say- i almost donít try and Ďcureí it nowadays. Itís just about managing the beast. I have sort of accepted that it is just the way i was made
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shrosphirelass

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Re: How Do You Describe Your Anxiety?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2018, 03:27:27 PM »

Forgot to say- i almost donít try and Ďcureí it nowadays. Itís just about managing the beast. I have sort of accepted that it is just the way i was made

I feel exactly the same. No magic solutions for me
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