getting worked up

Hi, I’m new to the site. Diagnosed on Monday and since then I’ve not been too bad until this morning. Getting very anxious which results in spasms in my hand, fingers and toes on my right side. This happened twice in the gp’s surgery on Monday and he said I was hyperventilating…has anyone else had this and is it my own anxiousness causing it. When I calm my breathing the spasm passes after a few seconds but it’s awful at the time. I do have pins and needles in my fingers which are worse this morning but again I think this is down to my own anxiety. Hope someone can help… Thank you

Hi Nic, welcome to the site.

Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time… but no wonder… you were only dx on Monday!

It is very hard being dx with MS and all sorts of emotions come up… a roller coaster as they say.

The thing is, with MS, it’s a bit of a catch 22 situation… getting dx has sent you into emotional overdrive, and any stress sends the MS symptoms into overdrive. So the symptoms you are feeling are actually MS symptoms but have been caused by stress and anxiety. Make sense? I hope so.

Have you had a chance to talk to somebody about having MS and how you feel about it? That’s about the best thing you can do at this point, sit down with someone and really talk about how you feel and let some of those feelings out.

If you haven’t anyone to talk to you could phone the helpline for this site (number at bottom of screen) or you could go back to your GP and ask to be referred for counselling.

I’m so glad you’ve found us on here! This site can be a great place to find out everything about MS (and believe me we are more expert than the neuro’s!), but also a place where you can express your feelings, have a good rant, a good cry or a good laugh (which we are very good at!)

Try and have a talk with someone. Be very gentle with yourself. Give yourself time to come to terms with the dx… and it does take time.

Take care hon. I hope this has helped,

Pat x

Hi Pat, Thank you the advise. I’m currently waiting for a nurse to get in contact with me. I know that I need to try and keep calm but thats easier said than done my head is mashed and 1 minute I think one thing and the next my mind runs away with me which results in the spasms. The gp said the pins and needles will subside but at the moment my anxiety won’t let them. Thanks again.

Hello and welcome to the site

It definitely sounds like you need some help to get your (very understandable!) anxiety under control. I saw a counsellor when I was first diagnosed and it definitely helped me so I thoroughly recommend it. Your GP should be able to refer you, but you could also see if you have an MS Therapy Centre near you - some of them have counsellors.

I don’t know if it will help in the meantime, but: getting a diagnosis is not going release the flood gates of new symptoms etc; we all have day to day symptoms and it doesn’t mean we are getting worse so you don’t have to be hypervigilant for small things; you really will get used to your diagnosis over time - it honestly will get easier. Sure, we’d all rather not have MS and it certainly sucks at times, but it really is NOT the end of the world. Life may be a bit different with MS, but it can still be good!

If those pins & needles begin to really bother you and don’t show any sign of going away despite getting your anxiety under control, then you can always ask your GP for a med to help - the common ones for that sort of thing are amitriptyline, gabapentin and pregabalin. Some GPs are reluctant to prescribe without getting the approval of a neuro or an MS nurse first, so it’s usually better to speak to your MS nurse first.

Hang in there - your emotions are going to be all over the place for a while, but it will get better!

Karen x

PS I don’t know if anyone’s told you the two main bits of “housekeeping” that are needed when you get diagnosed? These are to tell the DVLA (they put anyone with a neurological condition on a 3 year, renewable (for free) driving licence) and to check any papaerwork you have that might have a critical health clause (e.g. your mortgage) - MS is a payable condition.

Hi Nic,

I am currently on a course called Mindfulness, It’s basically meditation, deep breathing. It’s very good for calming you and reducing anxiety. It has helped me no end in the past five weeks. If you go on iTunes and do a serach for Mark Williams, Mindfulness, you should find it. This is the link, I also take St John’s Wort (HRI) for mild depression. They are very good.

If you decide to try the Mindfulness, one tip, it’s all about the breathing, so when you breath in, count to four and when you breath out, count to four. This will stop your mind from wandering elsewhere until you are relaxed. Try it. It really has helped me. I was diagnosed in June and I was very angry and stressed.

Have a good day.

Adrian :slight_smile:

Hi, Thank you to everyone who has replied and the advice. I had such a good day yesterday that waking up this morning was a shock to the system. I struggled to get to sleep last night which resulted in my mind running away with me which I assume caused the muscle tension and spasms. The previous night I fell asleep straight away and woke up fine. Adrian, thanks for the link. The course will be downloaded and put into practice. I hope my anxiety gets better, well it couldn’t get much worse! Thanks again guys.