Thursday, September 29, 2011

Trying to Eliminate Anxiety & Stress

The past week or so I’ve been suffering from insomnia. As you probably already read, I suffer from anxiety disorder and depression. I’ll sleep one night, and then be up the following two nights. The thing is, when I’m about to go to bed, I’m exhausted. Right when I start ‘falling’, is when I get these shots of adrenaline, like a ‘fight or flight’ response and jolt up as if somebody used a defibrillator on me and yelled, “CLEAR!” I sit straight up in my bed and try to catch my breath again, before returning, or better yet, hoping to go back to sleep. I’ll get about ten jolts before I finally sleep, and sometimes, I’ll be up all night too frightened to go back to sleep. Of course I scanned every online health article and ‘what it could be’ site, and I came up with a few things that made sense. Oddly enough, there was a huge message board with tons of people on it complaining about the same exact thing. I was surprised I wasn’t alone.

One suggested it may be due to indigestion and acid reflux disease. It definitely made sense since I’ve been suffering from it for years now, but it didn’t convince me 100%. The next person said it was anxiety. That one made a lot of sense, but my anxiety comes in different forms. Most of my panic attacks leave me exhausted. Also, why is it that I am at my calmest when these jolts strike? So I scratched that theory out. Then I saw a woman post something that made it all too clear. She said it was adrenal fatigue. Last year I was told by my OB/GYN that I have a hormonal imbalance. Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands aren’t functioning so well. They produce a variety of hormones which our body needs. It can be caused by chronic stress, anxiety disorder and can also lead into depression if not taken care of due to its lack of ‘feel good’ hormones being produced. In worse cases, it can also lead to fibromyalgia for some women. But it all results in one common denominator: stress & anxiety.

Although I haven’t been tested for this and yes, I have self-diagnosed myself, I truly believe that doctors don’t do enough research enough when it comes to someone not feeling well, or someone having chronic fatigue - they like to use blanket diagnosis’ - perhaps a safer one so they don’t get in trouble if they’re wrong - (CYA type of thing). Adrenal fatigue can also make you feel light-headed and dizzy. Last week, I heard a ‘pop’ in my head and I literally fell to the floor due to the dizzy spell. I blacked out while it happened. I had to be sent to the hospital and all they did was look into my eyes with a light and sent me back home. The doctor explained that it ‘must have been’ a blood vessel that popped in my head. I looked at him and said, “So in other words I had an aneurysm that bursted and you’re sending me home now???” He then went on to say that we have blood vessels that pop in our heads all the time, but don’t necessarily hear it all that much. The dippy nurse next to him said, “Yeah, like I totally hear my head popping all the time!” ---Umm, what? Anyway, I was taken back by the lack of research over my ‘pop in the head’ and the dizzy spell that made me black out. No cat scan? No other type of test other than a DWI type of test?

I insisted on more help. I went to my doctor the other day and she is sending me to a stress reduction center where a licensed psychotherapist will help me learn to overcome my anxiety and learn better coping skills. I have changed my diet a little- no refined sugars, less carbs, more protein and more fruit. I’m also on a vitamin regimen of 1,000 mg of vitamin D3, C, B12 & CoQ10. I cycle 3-5 times per week, (depending if I got enough sleep that night) and I have been trying to meditate more. So far, I have been feeling better overall, but the adrenal shocks are just driving me absolutely nuts! Interestingly enough, I received an email from Ryan Rivera, publisher and founder of Calm Clinic who is going to be a guest writer for me in the upcoming days in regards to anxiety and panic attacks.

His bio reads: “Ryan Rivera has spent 7 years of his life suffering from, as he calls it, the ‘whole package’ – panic attacks, severe anxiety, agoraphobia, social anxiety, unbearable physical symptoms, headaches, neck pains, constant tension, diarrhea, palpitations, pounding heart. After trying numerous different treatments for his anxiety (including various medication) a tipping-point in his life made him overcome his emotional problems. Ryan made a number of 'huge leaps' toward anxiety elimination and a more fulfilling life. His successes inspired and gave him determination to help other people who suffer from the same condition as he did and show them the light at the end of the tunnel.”

I’m looking forward to his article and can’t wait to hear some of what he has to say about treating anxiety and panic disorders as well as his opinions about the medications being distributed out there. I prefer hearing from people who have been through it, not just studied it. I’m more for the natural approach and don’t believe in medication, so I’m excited to learn more about Ryan’s methods. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding anxiety/panic disorder or depression, please feel free to leave a comment or you can directly email me. What are some things you do to try to eliminate stress and anxiety? I would love to know for personal reasons as well as for anybody else reading this.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com