Anxiety Community
Physical? Mental?
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to generalized anxiety, anxiety and eating, anxiety and sleeping, mood swings, panic attacks and panic disorders.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

Physical? Mental?

We've all observed that the symptoms we've reported are essentially physical: irregular heart, shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness, sweating -the whole deal.

And we therefore say that these things are "not in our head." Yes. And No.

If you touch a hot burner, your finger hurts -ouch! Is the pain in your finger? Certainly the cause or source of pain is in your finger, so it makes sense to feel the pain there -so the problem may be corrected. But the brain and connection of pain receptor cells in your finger, to the nervous system, and to the brain is also involved. And so, the brain is intimately involved in detecting and registering the pain. No brain, no pain. So you'd be right to say the pain of the burnt finger is in your head.

The door swings the other way, too. You can create a sensation of pain in the brain, and have it reported to (felt by) a part of the body elsewhere -even a part of the body that does not exist. Amputees report often pain in arms and legs they no longer have.

A burnt finger tip, or any physical sensation to any part of the body which is obviously triggered by an external source appears "normal" to us in that it makes sense. Hammer on thumb = ouch. Needs no explanation. But a sensation -especially an unpleasant one- that has no "outside of us" trigger makes less sense. Either way, however, the brain is essential to detection and reporting the sensation.

And so, when people say to us that it is "all in our head," they are exactly right. But it is always in the head -for everyone and for every sensation and feeling, good or bad. What makes panic and anxiety especially difficult is that the triggers and source material are not always as easy to pin down as a hot burner or a hammer. If they were, we wouldn't be having this problem, now would we?

The point is that there are no physical symptoms without some mental (in the brain) component. And in fact, the origin of many feelings with physical aspects is in the brain. Feelings of love, affection and sexual attraction are cooked up to order in the brain, and they all have very strong physical expression and sensation. We made it all up -in our heads.

So, for those if us who are new to the world of anxiety and panic, the fact that our sensations may be triggered in our brains but experienced in our bodies doesn't make them any less "real" as physical events then the hammer on the thumb. But what it DOES tell us is that the corrective action must also take place in the brain. We can tell ourselves to put the hammer down, and take an aspirin for the pain. Likewise for panic and disorder we can take a drug if symptoms are really unbearable, but what do we tell our brain to make it stop messing with our heart beat or sense of balance in the first place? That is the special burden of the anxiety and panic patient.

And so, yes, your feelings and sensations are very real indeed, every bit as phsyical as any other. And yes, they come from your head. THE SAME AS EVERY OTHER FEELING.
Related Discussions
12 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
213375_tn?1202407400
You are doing people here such a great service!  It took me many years to accept these things, and few more to use this information to heal myself.  My long story short is this:  My father passed away sudden at the age of 50 from a fatal cardiac arrhythmia, and in the months following his passing I began to develop anxiety.  Of course the resulting heart symptoms scared me to death and further accelerated my disorder.  I refused to accept anxiety as the answer to my symptoms and it took me MANY trips to the ER, MANY tests run and sometimes re-run, and a slew of doctors telling me it was anxiety to finally accept it for what it was.  I had started out with health anxiety focused on my heart, but when the docs could find nothing wrong with my heart, I developed what I call "over-all" health anxiety.  By that point I was house-bound, unable to drive, and had lost the ability to truly LIVE my life.  When I finally accepted it as anxiety, after 3 years of literal h*ll, I began to battle my anxiety disorder med-free, for personal reasons to long to list here.  I have also never seen a psychiatirst regarding this issue.  But I have completed two at-home self help programs, and read many books focused soley on "re-wiring" my train of thought and my reaction to stressors, both interal and external.  The "cure" that we are all looking for truly lies within ourselves.  I, like you, come here to lend support to those who are struggling to find their way, but my initial fear of heart disease remains.  The only way I can describe it to you is this:  I was walking along the path of Life and feel over a stumbling block in the road.  I was so confused and scared, as it was so unexpected, that I began to run down that path and ended up taking the wrong fork in the road.  I became so lost that I finally sat down on the path and gave up.  After I sat there and collected my thoughts I picked myself back up, brushed myself off, and decided to retrace my steps to find the place where I lost my way.  I made my way back down the wrong path and ended up at my stumbling block.  I turned away from it and began my way down the opposite fork in the road.  But I still keep looking back, glancing at that horrid obstacle, unable to forget about it.  What do I do now?  How can I turn away from and put behind me something that I have such a fixation with?  

Thank you for lending your time to this forum, as you are helping more that you can imagine.  I hope you felt well today and that you have a Merry Christmas!

Cori
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I'm having a rough day ...although they are few and far between ...today came on with a vengance..reading this helped remind me how far I've come and snapped me back to a little better place....thanks to you both
Blank
366811_tn?1217426272
I follow you, and I admire you for having accomplished so much by deploying your own intelligence. The self-help books are especially valuable to folks who have the discipline to put the material to work.

But still, as you say, there is that fixation -that obstacle, that stumbling block. I'll toss out my own personal theory about this; use what you like and leave the rest behind. I think that our "issues" can exist at various depths in our minds and be more or less entangled and embedded in our present thinking. Basically, the early-life emotional and psychological challenges tend to loom especially large in the development of our over-all thinking patterns. The reason for this is that the younger we are, the less life experience we have to set a context for what's going on around us. This is why, for example, a child may feel terribly assaulted by what seems to an adult as something trivial. In addition, our parents are very big psychologically and often remain so throughout our lives. But the implication is that whatever is going on with them -whether directed toward us or simply sensed by us, makes an enormous impression.

At the same time, these "foundation" events and experiences tend to become somewhat hidden and buried over the years. Nonetheless, in the same way that a foundation for a house suggests its potentials and limitation in terms of what might be built on and supported by it, and yet is basically hidden, so also do the emotional underpinnings of our adult lives point toward certain paths of development or establish some boundaries, and yet is difficult to discern as a distinct part of the over-all emotional structure. Add to this whatever genetic predispositions we may have, and you have what material that is extremely important, but difficult to understand or tease out from current experience.

What you have done with your study -and what I think many others (including me) did in the early and mid-stages of therapy, was to start back-tracking through past experiences beginning with something recent and profound. You have, very astutely, identified your Father's exit as a contributor -if not the trigger, for anxiety. Stupid as this question may sound, let me ask you -what was your reaction to his passing; both the fact of it and the manner in which it occurred? I don't mean for you to spill this all out in the forum -I simply mean for you to do some emotional archealogy with respect to the event. Once you've pinned down some of your feelings and reactions, can you go backwards another step -what was a psychologically big event prior to that which felt very similar? How about before that? And before that -as far back as you can go.

What happened with me -and what others have described to me as well, is that sometimes we discover that we are applying, to our current life, some experiences from childhood that are really not appropriate to the current day -as an adult. Let me make up an example. Suppose that as a child, you worked hard to clean up your room. Your mother steps in, and observes that the bed is not made, reminds you that you promised to do so, then turns to praise an older sister for making her bed. She notices nothing about toys being put away, clothes hung up, etc. As an adult, you may just shake your head and mumble "Idiot" under your breath -but how might a child feel about this experience? Depending on when and how these kinds of things happen, they begin to embed messages about ourselves into us. Great difficulty throughout later life can occur because we start expecting people to be disappointed by our efforts -and so we subconsciously set ourselves up for it.

The therapeutic value of this kind of detective work is that once we've connected the dots from present to past, we can apply our adult mind to the old child's reaction -and choose to use other behaviors. As you do more and more of this, life begins to get better, and anxiety dissipates.

My premise and example may appear simple and easy enough, but the actual work of uprooting the old material is not always so convenient, and THAT is why a good therapist -who's been down this road much more than we- can be a great guide and helper. It may be, because of the advances you've made without "hired help," you could benefit from a social worker or even a spiritual advisor to take the journey with you; otherwise, it is the kind of exploration which can be enhanced with the expertise of a psychiatrist who specializes in this area. But none of this is really worthwhile until you've signed on to it conceptually -at least as worth a try- and are willing to have a helper work with you -believe me, even with the helper, the heavy lifting is still ALL yours -and there will be plenty.

I hope these thoughts are useful to you and very much appreciate your kind comments.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
me and JSGEAR will soon own our own counsouling center lol
Blank
248167_tn?1220367290
You can add me on to that counselors list, lol.  If anybody knows anxiety/panic it's me!!  Its funny how misery does love company.  We always feel better when we know someone going through the same thing.

Thats terrible, lol.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
totally right,
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
You are spot on!I agree, you would make a great counsellor.Your point of the symptoms being REAL is especially true.People who dont have this "THING",dont know what its like.The brain indeed is the "microprocessor" of the body.Thanks Scott for you contributions to this forum.I am sure your words are very reassuring to people.Regards,
Dimi.
Blank
213375_tn?1202407400
Sorry it took me so long to respond!  Christmas was busy for me, but I must say that it was the best I'd had in quite a few years, even though I had the flu :-)  I must say that you are spot on with your thoughts on childhood and the things that we experienced that shaped our views of the world, the manner in which we would behave in ALL relationships, and even had a major influence on our overall expectations and ability to set goals or have "dreams".  I remember having panic attacks as a child but "out grew" them by the age of 8.  By then I had become so jaded and depressed that the fear of the unexpected vanished.  I had adapted the mindset that if something bad could happen it probably would, and why do I deserve anything better anyway?  This part is extremely personal and almost too much information, but here goes...  I have recently recovered a repressed memory after the birth of my first child 4 years ago.  The pain I felt when I cleaned myself after birth reminded me of a pain that I felt when I was a child getting a shower with my mother, a pain I had not felt at anytime after that until that area had been "injured" again.  The longer I dwelt on the memory of that shower, the more questions I asked my mother about my childhood.  A fragment of the repressed memory finally came back to me and I realized that I was molested by my grandfather from the ages of 3-4.  My first memories go back to 2 years old:  my bedroom, the day our bird flew away, ect.  I remember my third birthday and how happy we all were.  I remember the first day we moved into the home across the street from my grandparents, and how happy I was to have a bigger room.  And then my memories from then until the age of 8 a just a blur, broken fragments that are full of a combination of anger, fear, hatred, and despair.  I remember walking up to mother one day and grabbing her hand, turning it over, laying it upon my chest and telling her I was dying of a heart attack.  She laughed and said "you're too little to die of a heart attack, you're fine."  I became so introverted that I had difficulty forming any relationships and used food as a comfort which resulted in my being overweight all my life.  Needless to say I live an extremely lonely life until I met my husband, who truly has the patience of a saint.  He stuck by me through my recurrent depressions, the alcoholism, the drug abuse (clean and sober 5 years now!), and my meltdown after my father passed.  My mother is also a major contributing factor in my behaviors/perseptions, as she is a very angry, non trusting, insecure person.  I know she loves me, and would lay down her life for me, but all my life it has been her way or NO way, in the most extreme sense.  She was raised by the man who molested me, who by the way had to have been Manic-Depressive from all of the stories that the family has about him.  Lets just say the cops made weekly visits to their house because of his behavior, and knew him on a first name basis.  My mother also has repressed childhood memories as she can't remember anything before the age of 10.  She just always assumed that memories differ from person to person and never wondered why.  I know now that she has her own demons to battle and would benifit from counseling as well, as she is now convinced that he molested her too, but repressed it in the name of self-preservation, but in forgetting it she didn't know to protect me from him, which is now a source of guilt for her.  Even though I tell her that the ONLY person I could possibly be angry with is her 10 year old self, and I never would, and not to dwell on it, that she didn't do it, he did, I feel my words are of little comfort to her.  Maybe we should see that same counselor so we can have single and joint counseling sessions, and work on our relationship as well.  

I think you tell by hearing all of this that I have pin-pointed the major milestones that have helped create this disorder, and that what I need now is someone to help me figure out what to do with this information, form some course of action.  I know this forum is not intended for support of child abuse survivors (I refuse to say victim, which is an accomplishment all it own) but anyone with any advice would be greatly apprecitated.

I agree completely that those of us who are seasoned veterans in battling anxiety would do the world a service if we would but lend some of our time to counseling others anxiety sufferers.  As a stay-at-home-mom I do what I can to help on the forum here, and will be looking into volunteering at a help line when my kids start school.  I know how it feels to look at your doctors and think "but unless you've walked a mile in my shoes, how can you possibly help me?"   But if I'm only ever able to help through this forum I know that I have made a difference in many peoples lives, hopefully on a daily basis.  

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and that you felt well today!

Cori
Blank
366811_tn?1217426272
What an incredibly RICH narrative! I had to meditate on it overnight before issuing a reply. I've decided to address two areas in particular:

1. Repressed memories. Especially when prompted by hypnosis, repressed memories are a subject of some heated debate and disagreement. Bear in mind that "repressed" doesn't just mean "forgotten." Rather, it means a memory that has been actively covered up and hidden by your brain, because it is so profound. The problem with repressed memories is entirely one that belongs with the psychiatric cases who made them up -and by "psychiatric cases" I mean the THERAPISTS, not the patients! The basic issue is whether or not the patient ever really had the experience that exists in the repressed memory. Maybe, just maybe, it is a "fig newton" of the imagination. There is sufficient evidence to suggest that such is the case, at least some of the time, and there is also evidence to suggest that material supplied by the therapist is what so-called repressed memories are actually made of. And that is why therapists who claim amazing results by unlocking "repressed memories" operate at or over the boundaries of real medicine and science. Call it Quackville.

Lizzie, and others, I don't mean for one moment to suggest that what you call repressed memories are not, in fact, memories of events that actually happened. But what I AM trying to say is that the process of repression -pushing them to the back- is not necessarily an unhealthy or bad thing. And in all cases, repressed memories are forgotten memories. I'm not sure anyone can say when a memory is repressed as opposed to merely forgotten -or what the significance may be. And, again, in all cases ALL memories are "forgotten" -until we remeber them!  What did you have for breakfast 2 weeks ago? Don't remember, do you? But the data is in your head, somewhere. Because, if 2 weeks ago, your divorce became final (hooray!) you might well remember you had champagne for breakfast! My OPINION is that all memories are shoved off to the side until we need them for some reason. And the need may arise in consciousness (a phone number) or sub-consciousness (working on an old relationship problem).

Let us allow of the possibility that what we recall NOW about a past event of high emotional value is not, in fact, what we felt at the time. In fact, let us even allow that the actual facts of the matter -as it actually transpired- are different from what we now recall. Does that make the memory false? Should we therefore not rely on it? I submit to you that it doesn't matter whether our recollection is factually or emotionally accurate, as an historical snapshot of the past. It doesn't matter that my uncle, who I remember as playing with my testicles on a fishing trip (and making me really nervous) actually DID so. The memory, after all, is not about HIM -it is about ME, my reactions, my feelings.

True story about 2 sisters I know. Their parents were close friends with another couple; in and out of each other's homes, vacations together -the whole scene. Turns out that the husband of the friendly couple was touching their friend's daughters in special places of their little bodies. We know this because he admitted it. Well, one sister refused to discuss it and became withdrawn; the other -the one who reported it- slugged that guy in the face and ran and told mommy. The fact that this guy is a pervert has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that the two daughters ended up growing into very different characters, one (the "slugger") being much more well-adjusted emotionally than the other. That they grew up as they did is a reflection of their intrinsic, inherited personality traits -the touching incidents did not inject into them a complete set of emotional instructions which would be controlling on their lives from that point forward. THAT SAID, had the event NOT taken place, perhaps the sister who suffers to this day from emotional disorders might NOT have had all those problems if she had not been "messed with." On the other hand, her basic fragility probably means something else would have throw her off balance.

Neither sister "repressed" the memory of these events. Suppose they HAD? What either may have eventually recalled about it doesn't need to be "historically accurate," because the memory is something that is experienced IN THE PRESENT. We may believe that the strength of our feelings is evidence of certainty about the actual events themselves but, in fact, the strength of those feelings is something occuring in there "here and now." It also possible -and often happens, I think- that the memories ARE very close to the historical event as it actually unfolded. My point is that the accuracy with respect to the past doesn't matter; what we're concerned with is the present, and the feelings are absolutely accurate readings of how we feel right now -how can they be otherwise? It is our present life -the here and now, that we're dealing with.

If what I say sounds plausible enough, then what's the significance? Just this: There is a natural tendency, I think, to "pin the tail on the donkey" when it comes to discovering (whether it actually happened or not) some external agent that was involved in early experience. And thus, if we were molested as kids, and now suddenly remember that jolly Aunt Thelma was the culprit, we might think that SHE was at fault for our problems today -and now that we know it, we can better deal with it, because it means we are not really the "defective units" we thought we were. And then, we find out we STILL have issues. The reason is that it wasn't merely Aunt Thelma's wandering fingers and bad breath that freaked us out. There had to be something within us that was sensitive to the approach in the first place. That sensitivity may be associated with a developmental phase as a kid, with a social context, and with whatever genetic personality components might come into play. So, while discovery of a prime mover should give us some sense of relief that our investigation is making progress, it does not, in and of itself, produce changes that allow us to adjust to the circumstances a bit better. On the other hand, such adjustments may be more difficult -perhaps even impossible- until we identify a few of the early experiences that gave an emotional nudge one way or another. The bottom line: those early encounter and experiences didn't "make us" do anything. We also -our nature, our stage of development- also was an essential ingredient. It doesn't matter if our coming to grips with these encounters takes the form of an "accurate" memory -what matters is that we recognize the importance of the emotional impact to us NOW.

Which brings us the my second topic:  "...and that what I need now is someone to help me figure out what to do with this information, form some course of action. ..."

Ultimately, that "someone" is you. But, along the way, your therapist and trusted others can be helpers and guides. All that follows is just my opinion and should be tested against the advice of a qualified therapist. While the value may seem uncertain, one mission of the discovery process is better "self-understanding."

Let me give you an example. A frail diabetic cannot consume large quantities of sugars and carbohydrates, and must take insulin. The individual may also have some special boundaries when it comes to phsyical exertion. He or she may never be able to do certain things without risk of death. Is this a character flaw? Is he or she at fault in some way? Will the disorder go away if he just changes his attitude? Of course not -he's a diabetic!  He understands it and, while he doesn't like it, he doesn't blame himself, either. Nor does anyone else.
Blank
366811_tn?1217426272
But suppose the diabetic made all kinds of choices or acted on all kinds of unwarranted assumptions because of the diabetes. Can't take out the trash, can't experience too much stress, cant ... can't ... can't. At the same time, the diabetic MUST do certain things. I'll let you make up the list. And, suppose further that the diabetic really believes all these "can'ts" and "musts" are really true -and is basically miserable because of a very restricted lifestyle. Worse yet, he was told he has diabetes because he ate too much candy when he was a kid, because his moher, who was a drunk and a *****, just shoved a Hershey bar at him when he complained of being hungry.

Now, I ask you: did his mother make him into a diabetic -or was there also a predisposition or developmental plateau involved? And all those restrictions and requirements? Suppose they are based on some bad information? Of course we know that this diabetic can actually have a much risher, satisfying life, free of many physical restrictions and rituals, free of the emotional burden. BUT he will still be a diabetic and need to take reasonable measures to stay healthy and feel good. Suffice it to say that while the guy doesn't owe his mom a world of thanks for her bad nurturing, he is still a diabetic, BUT is capable of much more than he ever imagined. He changes his diet, gets some exercise -etc. His self-understanding helped him make appropriate choices.

Now, that's diabetes, an observable, physical disorder. In the world of mental conditions, we don't have the same convenience -we must rely on thinking and talking and the collective experience of others who are like us. Nonetheless, improved self-understanding is possible, and looking back at how we got to where we are is one avenue toward reaching it. Perhaps the biggest lesson we can learn is that, while Aunt Thelma's perversion was no help -she's simply the agent who challenged us and blaming her accomplishes nothing. What we CAN do is understand how we, ourselves, are NOT at fault simply for being the way we are. Although I am free of panic for many years now -and don't see any reason for it to return- I'm also aware of the fact that certain situations are very uncomfortable for me emotionally because of "who I am" and I'll not intentionally place myself in them. My mother was high strung and needed "tranquilizers," my father was a very self-righteous kind of guy and BOTH were alcoholics. That doesn't mean I blame them for anything (although I did so in the past) it simply paints an emotional and genetic background that is "the hand I was dealt." And, while this background contributes to my nature, there is also some decay of their contributions -I'm different and not as burdened as they in some key ways, too. This may all sound so simple and obvious as to hardly deserve even mentioning, but learning not to blame others or yourself for the way you are is a big deal for someone who is haunted by the "why am I like this" question.

If self-understanding can be considered as a sort of strategic goal of the emotional archaeology, then testing behaviors and assumptions may be the "tactics." This is the Dr. Phil "How's that working for you?" part of it. If you can discern how early childhood experience -as you now recall it- tended to nudge you in certain directions so that as you grew up, you made more and more choices and more and more assumptions based on those negative early experiences, you may be able to see that you -as an adult now- are still making a "childish" choice or assumption. You can mentally return to those early experiences WITH THE BRAIN OF AN ADULT and make some evaluation as to whether behavior, assumptions and choices carried forward from then are really appropriate to you NOW. Sometimes, this can lead to quite profound new choices. You will be changed -and relationships will change. In my own case, I was delighted to find -and took it as an indication that I was on the right track- that choices I made in my own interest ("selfish") became possible WITHOUT GUILT. Getting in touch with the idea that other people should be essentially free of worry over my values to make thier own choices meant that I was entitled to the same thing! What a concept. Your milage may vary.

There is an interesting kind of interaction and mutual self-support between the self-understanding and the evaluation of behaviors, assumptions, etc. Progress in one area seems to open up or point the way to progress in the other. The more you can find old behaviors to toss out, the more you learn about you; and likewise, the more you find out about yourself, the more you can make adjustmenst to old "ways" of thinking and doing. None of this means your predispositions, whether genetic or developmental, "go away." It simply means you become better adapted and more self-reliant. The internal pressures toward panic are reduced.

As I said, this is all my own experience and opinion. You should run it by your therapist who can either validate it or tell you it is worhtless baloney. Meanwhile, if it provokes some thoughts that move you along in any way, it will have been worthwhile.

Blank
213375_tn?1202407400
I want to sincerely thank you for investing so much of your time and advice in my recovery efforts!  I agree completely about "repressed memories".  I was at a loss for words to describe what I had actually done with those memories which was to purposefully forget about what happened in an attempt to stop my mind from dwelling on those troubling thoughts.  My mind wouldn't let it go, as it needed a course of action, and being a child I was at a loss of what to do.  So forget about it is what I did.  I want to thank you also for advising me not to play the "why am I like this?" game.  I will admit that I did do it for the better part of my life, but through my recovery process, and the information I've sought out I have come to understand with conviction that the things that have happened to me in the past and my inability to "deal with it" are the reason I behaved the way I did, but it can no longer be an excuse.  If I learned avoidance behavior as well as I did (believe me I had a Masters in it!), I can certainly learn how to cope with stress/fear/anger/sadness with the same ease as I avoided troubling thoughts and situations.  It's all in how you view and react to things!  To generalize the point I'm trying to make:  when stressed I tell myself it will soon pass, when fearful or worried I focus on and hope for the best possible outcome, when angry I tell myself that it is OK not to agree with that person, that noone's opinion really matters but my own, and that sometimes it's better to let it go rather than say anything at all because the person you are angry with believes in their own views so strongly that your opinion is going to fall on deaf ears anyway.  It's the sadness thing that I haven't really changed at all.  I have always allowed myself to feel it completely, I actually embrace it, and from what I've learned, that is exactly what is needed to be able to put it behind me.  Through our posts here I've come to the realization that my emotional stumbling block that I experienced upon my fathers passing was not one of sadness, but one of fear.  Fear of dying suddenly, enexpectedly, prematurely, as if his fate was to be my own.  I also felt that it was incredibly unfair to have his life cut short so quickly.  In dwelling on those things I developed an over all fear of dying not only for myself but for my husband and eventually my children as well.  As a matter of fact the first panic attack I experienced as an adult was on a night that my husband was late coming home from work and my mind was racing with thoughts of his being dead, why he hadn't called, what else could it be?  The resulting body symptoms turned my attention to myself, my heart, and it was that day that I told my husband that I too had a heart condition.  I remember saying it with such conviction, even telling him to prepare himself to be a widower at an early age.  At this stage of my recovery I can see how unfair, cruel, and self-centered this was, but until just recently I honestly never realized it.  I became so wrapped up in myself, my anxiety symptoms, the health anxiety, and fear of dying young that I existed in a world full of despair.  My typical day would begin with my first waking thought being "Do I feel dizzy?  Is my heart racing?  Why are my hands and feet always so cold?"  It is clear to me now that I lived in a constant state of panic for over 5 years. I have posted a summary of my recovery process above.  As of today I have many good days and very few bad days.  But let an unexpected stressful situation come along causing my symptoms to come back, my mind will "instinctively" revert back to health anxiety focused on a premature death.  It is a constant battle, one that I am winning one small victory at a time.  

Blank
213375_tn?1202407400
I am sorry to have burdened you with such a touchy subject as sexual abuse.  I have three other incidents of a sexual nature that happened to me at the ages of 12, 19, and 25, all of which were fleeting moments in time, and each one caused momentary spells of anxiety.  I know now that I did have a genetic predisposition to develop anixety and that the initial abuse I endured as a child was the catalyst, not the cause.  If genetics didn't play a major role in the development of my anxiety disorder then my fathers death and resulting obsessive fears wouldn't have caused the panic to resurface.  It would have been focused only on sex and things of a sexual nature.  If I tried to hold fast to the sexual abuse being the reason then how would I explain my healthy sex life?  Sorry if that's too much information but I felt I needed to say it to make my point.  

Anxiety conditions will develop if you have a genetic tendency towards it and are faced with emotional stressors that you are unable to "deal with" on your own and you don't seek counseling/therapy regarding the issue.  It will not go away in time, although it may go through a dormant phase.  It is very much an issue of the mind.  Anxiety does manifest itself in very real physical symptoms experienced by the person with the disorder, yet there are no medical tests that can be performed for a doctor to detected anxiety.  Yet people with anxiety will only embrace this concept when they are at the appropriate stage of recovery.

Again I would like to thank you for the time and effort you have invested in me, and am looking forward to hearing back from you!  I hope you had a wonderful day!

Cori
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Recent Activity
Avatar_n_tn
Blank
michhh commented on A very inspiring colu...
4 mins ago
406584_tn?1399591666
Blank
10356 commented on atthebeach's status
46 mins ago
6579347_tn?1388505968
Blank
mele48 And here I am again... Comment
2 hrs ago
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Anxiety Tracker
Track Anxiety Symptoms
Start Tracking Now
Top Anxiety Answerers
480448_tn?1403547723
Blank
nursegirl6572
PA
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
remar
st. louis, MO
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
cj29
GA
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
anxiety860
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Paxiled
Arlington, VA
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
coh123
Grand Rapids, MN
Anxiety Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
3 Reasons Why You are Still Binge E...
Jul 14 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating: What Your Closet ...
Jul 09 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Anxiety Answerers
480448_tn?1403547723
Blank
nursegirl6572
PA
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
remar
st. louis, MO
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
cj29
GA
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
anxiety860
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
Paxiled
Arlington, VA
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
coh123
Grand Rapids, MN