AnxietyFilter: How do I psychologically deal with a potentially unknown chronic ailment?
September 1, 2009 10:08 PM Subscribe
AnxietyFilter: How do I psychologically deal with a so-far undiagnosable chronic ailment?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I have read through and examined several books on meditation type techniques, mindfulness, ACT, CBT, and seen 4 therapists so far in the last year (which really, when you're looking for somebody that's a good match for you, I suppose, is not that many). Some of the information was useful, but a lot does not seem pertinent to my situation.
I have a lengthy medical history, but not a whole lot in the psych area. I am pretty positive having to deal with a lot of the medical stuff is what landed me in the anxiety boat, although not entirely. I had a lot of success previously with acupuncture & biofeedback, but now it's ratcheted up to the point where I feel like those are just tiny band-aids.
I have found a good psychiatrist who has prescribed a variety of things I can try, and I will of course follow her directions, but I am looking for some kind of guide in this area, specifically.
I mean, sure, I know changing things about my lifestyle if they are unhealthy, eating differently, or doing more/different exercise, changing jobs, volunteering, etc can help. I've always been big into exercise and eating right. But the nature of this problem makes it difficult to do a bunch of the things I love doing - which some doctors might recommend, like tai chi or yoga, or ballroom dancing :) - and it is extremely frustrating. This thing impacts my breathing (even if I'm not anxious, taking a deep breath is difficult). Many days I have felt like crying, or have, sometimes several times a day.
This has been going on for over 6 months now and the longer it persists, the more I feel like I'm just spinning my wheels waiting for something to help me get going doing the things I love again. At least one diagnostic test has shown they can clearly see that there's a problem, but have no idea what's causing it.
I was on Zoloft a couple years ago, and it helped me a bunch with getting over all the previous medical things I mentioned I've got, but even without it, I was doing reasonably ok because I knew how to deal with the things I had. Recently after being fed up with the results from local docs, I went to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, and after a full week of tests and appointments they didn't come up with anything much different from the people where I live. (which is a whole nother thread in and of itself, but I'm not going to talk about that here so as to stay on topic).
Anyway. It's a bunch of stuff I'm dealing with here, and feel like I am just running out of any good way to cope. I am single and often feel pretty alone even though some of my friends are great, I don't really "come home" to anyone. (Sorry a dog is out, at the moment). I do go out and am not agoraphobic; I participate in social events even though I really don't want to (I'm often invited and not proactive about it at all anymore because I don't like how I look with all the weight I've lost). I still have a full time job, which I'm bored of but at least pays my health insurance.
I could join a support group, but which one? Unknown ailment support?
How do you handle something that impacts you so severely but nobody seems to have an answer for?