I used to be very together! Mentally strong etc. At least six months before my diagnosis, ‘stress’, became a physical thing. Eg. I would sweat, have ridiculous and unexplained fear, pins and needles, heightened numbness, breathlessness etc. I knew nothing about anxiety or anxiety attacks.
I tried to ignore it and carry on at work as normal. However, memory loss, toileting issues and numbness got me an MRI and subsequent diagnosis of RRMS.
My GP supports my thinking that my anxiety is an absolutely, real part of my MS. To date, we have tried Prozac (I threw it up), citralopram, counselling (six free sessions), and now I am awaiting a telephone consultation from the mental health team (next Wednesday) with a view of starting cognitive behavioural therapy.
This ‘new me’, is so annoying. I am in charge of a big school department and in charge of other staff. I am off of work. It is completely debilitating. I think that it is part of my MS. Scaring somewhere in the brain. I do not believe that it is simply because I am ‘coming to terms with my diagnosis’ (as some neurologist’s suggest). I am not in control of my anxiety stuff. Eg. The other day stopping at the red traffic lights, my car automatically turns off. I panicked that I couldn’t drive?! Panic took over me until the driver behind me got out and talked me through ’how to drive’, ridiculous!
A yoga teacher has taught me three breathing exercises, but in the midst of rising anxiety, I forget that I have learnt them.
I am certain though, that longer term, there will be things that will help and I know that I am not alone in this.
sorry for the long, and somewhat, unhelpful reply. Warmest thoughts. Ali