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anxiety - panic and dissociation?


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I had a really intense therapy session this morning.

Love and Hate, and Despair and Longing are really at war in me...

I was pretty much dissociated in 'the other Katie' for all the session...

Afterwards I couldn't face going straight to a sub in Subway and then work, so I went home - very briefly - inbetween....sort of a 'fast thinking walk by myself' to use Winnie The Pooh's words...

When I got to work I was exhausted (the change in route involves a lot more walking...and after yesterday. I'm all walked out now...)

When I arrived I felt not only exhausted, but dizzy, I had a headache, and I couldn't concentrate on my work at all...and it was hardly brain taxing, but simply sitting on the chair ( I would have prefered the floor..) and turning my head and looking at the computer brought on a dizzy spell.

I'd already arranged to take some leave and go an hour early, but here I was not even thinking I could make it as far as 2pm, and here it was 1.30....

I felt tight in my chest, and I couldn't think clearly or even identify any feelings....and I had the perceptiveness to feel that maybe I was having intense anxiety, and was on the verge of a panic attack...although this was like no panic attack I'd ever had before, the closest it felt was to efexor withdrawal.....with the dizziness and vertigo type feelings...I realised that maybe I was anxious, because of what feelings I'd explored very intensely in therapy this morning, well, the transition to the depressive position (another Kleinian term....for integration of love and hate....as existing in one person...not split....not projected...) is very very anxiety provoking...

The thing was I was dissociated from this anxiety...like it was happening to another part of me...weird.....unfamiliar....

So, I took a propranolol. just one. 10mg. and almost immediately the dizziness passed, and I felt more alive and had more energy and felt able to cope with work...its amazing......so, it was anxiety/panic then....I'm fascinated...

So, I'm wondering about how others here experience anxiety and panic, and how you know...and, most of all, those of you who dissociate, how does this relate to your anxiety, and how you respond to yourself when you get unfamiliar symptoms.????

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hi Tom. Thanks for replying.

Its more than simply the therapy session, its where I am in my mind right now, with my mother's illness and .. just who I am...

dissociating and panicking? well, as far as I understand it just now is that I feel/t all the anxiety feelings in my body, but not emotionally. which is why I thought it was just tiredness to start with...but, if it had just been that, the beta blocker wouldn't have brought relief...

and, yes, I get panics at the 'usual' things, too.

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So, I took a propranolol. just one. 10mg. and almost immediately the dizziness passed, and I felt more alive and had more energy and felt able to cope with work...its amazing......so, it was anxiety/panic then....I'm fascinated...

That is amazing! I wonder if it might work for me, since I've had such bad luck with benzos. I get dizzy, move around sluggishly, feel sick, get the fast heartbeat and panic attacks. I can't concentrate, my mind doesn't process what people are saying to me, sometimes the words don't even make sense, I can't put my thoughts together cohesively, my thinking is extremely muddled, I'm in my own little dream-like trance (I guess this is something like dissociation). My OCD goes into overdrive when the anxiety gets to be too much. Mostly the obsessions. I have to halt and divert my train of thought constantly...It gets so tiring. I wish I could just shut off my brain when it gets that way, go into hibernation mode. I almost forgot, I get a tad psychotic, too. I think everyone's staring at me, I sometimes get olfactory or tactile (?) hallucinations, my thinking can get very paranoia-ridden and it's nigh impossible to think rationally.

When I get unfamiliar symptoms... I don't think I do anymore. It's the same old, same old. Oh, no, wait, I did start having very minor migraines for a spell. I'm still getting them off and on. Very odd. The pain was so faint, just annoying, that taking an Imitrex didn't seem worthwhile. It was the same sort of pain, though, and I had the light/noise sensitivity and felt naseous. I attributed it to anxiety and expected it to go away when the anxiety abated. And it has become less frequent since I've come down from my last manic-like episode.

I think it makes sense that you would experience more anxiety as a result of such an intense session.

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Hi Ella.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Sorry you have this stuff to deal with too. Your anxiety and panic sounds pretty similar to mine...I get the paranoia and feeling people are staring at me, too.

Propranolol is amazing to me. Initially I was spectical, but, I have had several really good experiences of it - particularly -

1) When I was freaking out at work when manager was too close to me getting something off a shelf and touched my arm by accident. (when I was deep in efexor withdrawal shit..)

2) The experience I've described here.

I also took a double dose before visiting my mum on Sunday.

p.s. I like your Maya Angelou quote....

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i can see how that would cause dissociation. i haven't dissociated it in a while, but when i did it was when whatever was happening was either a)too much to the point i thought i would somehow break or b)something that threatened or changed the way i viewed myself and the world. so like, when i was doing DBT and i had to do radical acceptance with my mental illness and learn to look at it's place in my life without a violent emotional response, i went off all the time. it was really hard for me to let something i had been fighting against just be. (acceptance is not judging something as good, just accepting that it is there.)

so, to me, dissociating because you were working on a fundamental key to your make up, and working on changin it. of course that would cause waves in your psyche, right?

i have anxiety all the time and i thought i knew very sign of it, then last summer my lips, hands and feet went numb and i didn't know why. i was hyperventilating. who knew? i don't think it's possible to know and predict every aspect of anxiety or personality.

i'm glad the propanol worked for you and you were able to get it under control.

penny

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ok, here now. back from GP.

Tom, don't think I haven't thought about it...there are times when I've envisaged going to my pdoc and begging for an anti-psychotic or something to quell this horror and fear in my mind.

And no doubt some pdocs would prescribe me one.

But, I am travelling the route of insight and awareness and using that as my tool for change. Because I know at root that I need to learn to trust people (all I was 'taught' growing up led me to fear people)and can only do that in a therapeutic relationship, reaching out to the befriending relationship I also hope to have....to gradually ... become more human....

Also, the flower remedy I take is the one for paranoia, psychotic type thinking..I know not everyone agrees about Bach remedies, but, it does seem to be helping some.

When I was younger, as in, about 10 years ago, I did semi hear voices,and my thinking was much more obsessive.....but back then it was untreated....I was too scared to see a dr, and back then I'd not even known therapist existed....

Also, I've read that APs don't really help much with dissociation. Its probably because its a different part of the brain or something.

Anyway, I'm holding onto each moment of hope that I am given...

Penny, thanks for understanding. Waves in my psyche is spot on.

Although I'm not in DBT, I am still always in the process of accepting my illness and being sensitive to understanding it more and more each day. Its part of who I am. I have to understand...

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Propranolol is amazing to me. Initially I was spectical, but, I have had several really good experiences of it - particularly -

1) When I was freaking out at work when manager was too close to me getting something off a shelf and touched my arm by accident. (when I was deep in efexor withdrawal shit..)

2) The experience I've described here.

I also took a double dose before visiting my mum on Sunday.

p.s. I like your Maya Angelou quote....

Maya is awesome. I used to surround myself with inspirational poems and quotes, and I think it helped a bit when I would start to despair. I'm trying to get back into that habit.

Now I'm really interested in Propranolol(ololol--I almost couldn't stop!). Do you know if it's safe for a person with very mild circulatory problems? I don't know why you would know that; maybe if you had the same issue.

Tom, don't think I haven't thought about it...there are times when I've envisaged going to my pdoc and begging for an anti-psychotic or something to quell this horror and fear in my mind.

And no doubt some pdocs would prescribe me one.

But, I am travelling the route of insight and awareness and using that as my tool for change. Because I know at root that I need to learn to trust people (all I was 'taught' growing up led me to fear people)and can only do that in a therapeutic relationship, reaching out to the befriending relationship I also hope to have....to gradually ... become more human....

I think that's a very courageous way of dealing with it. It would be easier to pop the pill, but I'm sure that the more difficult route is more rewarding. I read about your befriending relationship in a different thread. I hope that works out for you! I can't wait to read your updates.

Tom, I don't know if you were responding to Nestling only or both of us (since portions of both posts were quoted), but my answer is that it's something to consider. My psychotic tendencies have gotten better with Lamictal, and if I find a better pdoc I might be able to get the dosage raised, which might clear my thinking even further. I know that APs are heavy-duty drugs, and I don't seem to be able to metabolize a lot of meds properly, so I'm kind of leery of them.

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Katie,

I have been so far out of touch...but I just read through this thread and I am AMAZED at how far you have come.

I had a dissociative break last week, after really years of trying to resolve all my health problems and finally even my pdoc was kicking me to the curb, I had a break and left me body. It was actually a relief, but was also really scary. I had not dissociated in many, many years and for some reason I thought the process of integration was a once and done thing...wrong! Of course now it makes sense that there would be many levels and facets to it, like so many other things we deal with recovering from PTSD and other MIs.

I too have been following your comments about propanolol, this is Inderal, right? Wow, if that works on anxiety like you say, that would be a godsend, as I am going to be going of benzos directly (but slowly) as they are horrible addicting.

When I was 20-something, I tried a trial of Inderal for prophelaxis for my migraines, but at the time I had borderline low blood pressure so I had to stop. And Verapamil (calcium channel blocker) never worked.

I'm going to talk about this with my docs too.

Thanks for sharing, and I'm glad you made it through the rest of your day more comfortably. You rock, you have been so courageous and just keep on slugging away at this crap. It's inspiring to me, even though I've done it before, for years! Right now I'm so in the crapper I feel like I can't do anything anymore. That I'm toast.

Anyhoo, I am still not fully back in my body. I feel I remove away from my feelings, numb, which is good for now. I've been seeing my tdoc more in fact I gotta scoot soon to go see him.

again, thanks!

Hugs,

Suze

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S9 and Ella. Hi. Thank you. I am touched by your responses.

yes, propranololololol ( ;) ) is Inderal.

I guess I would class as having mild circulatory probs also, in that my hands and feet are always cold. (apart from when its really warm) I noticed some tingling in my hands and feet when I first started taking it, but nothing like that since.

Be careful on the blood pressure thing, though S9. I get my GP to check mine regularly, but its always normal.

S9, I hope your therapy session helps. With dissociation I find my 3 sessions a week especially helpful, as I've been able to explore in depth what happened on Monday when I was dissociated fairly soon after.

I will keep you posted about things re the befriending and such....

Ella, I collect quotes too....I also have a file of validating articles I've printed up from online. Its comforting and supportive to me to read some of them when I'm feeling down or lost..

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