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Panic and anxiety as a symptom of ms?

Hi all,

I’m relapsing aat the moment and although the original symtpom (ON) is almost cleared up, I’m left with poor balance and dizziness, and a bad tremor. What is worse at the moment though is this feeling of being paralysed by anxiety and panic that just does not seem like me - I don’t recognise myself! I i feel my whole body shaking and my heart really races. If I go anywehere busy it becomoes overwhelming and I have to leave.

I’ve reached a point where I’m fine at home, in my gardenand walking my dog by the river, but I now feel afraid of breaking from this routine and setting off another panic attack. I haven’t been anywhere all week, I’ve still not gone back to work and am starting to think I’m becoming a bit agraphobic. At least I can see it developing and plan to challenge myself a little this week, one step at a time. MS nurse says it is psychological coping with my ms flaring up again, but I feel it is purely physical - not me (my mind) but my brain doing htis to me. Also feel over emotional, crying at nothing, which really isn’t me.

Neuro (via MS nurse) has offered amtriptyline for nerve pain, but I see it is also an antidepressant, so may help. Problem is I’m already on Keppra for seizures, and she says I’d have to increase that as the amtrip… can reduce sensitivity (i think that’s what she said, I was sobbing uncontrollably at the time so coudn’t take it in) I’m very wary of taking a cocktail of drugs…

Be grateful for any support on this, finding the site a great help again as it was when I was first diagnosed.

THansk all,

Gilly xxx

ps, i can spell, but can’t type, hands too shaky so forgive all the errors!

pps, i did post this yesterday as a reply on an old post but then thought it seemed better to start a fresh one

Get something to help and amtripilyine may do this, anything that helps you get through…

i had agrophobia after i lost a baby,years ago, and what helped me more than anyhing was a book by dr claire weeks,called ‘self help for your nerves’ it helps you understand whats going on,i cant stress to you just how much it did help me,you can still buy it from amazon.

mine started off with a massive panic attack on my own in a supermarket,i avoided all supermarkets,thinking it was these i was scared of.i soon stopped going anywhere on my own,so i know how bad it makes you feel CBT also helps,it wasnt heard of when i was ill,but i know it does help many.

J x

Hi Gilly, No real advice but wanted to say you’re not alone, if you look at my previous posts you will see I’ve had ON in March and then got Labrynthitis in April I think I was having panic attacks at the time. I’m on the mend now but still can’t drive so have pretty much been confined to my house/garden. The thought of being around lots of people scares me as I’m still getting double vision at times and also feel dizzy when around more than a couple of people. I will be nervous about returning to work and hope that people give me some space. Everyone is lovely and will want to catch up/check how I am, but it makes me anxious just thinking about. Maybe at least coming on here and voicing your concerns will help. L xx

amitriptiline (cant spell it) is good took it for a while I take citolopram works wonders for me I couldnt get by without those little beauties, Donthats me with them

me without them

Hi,

Thanks for all the replies, another sunny day, feling positive but don’t intend to go very again far today, will walk the dog soon, love doing that! I can’t face going anywhere busy - Star you sound just the same as me right down to the double vision creeping back in too, (hope you feel better soon too). MrsJ, yes supermarkets (and hospitals) were where I first felt this panic, I’m now just using online shopping (Tesco coming soon) plus my daughter gets bits and bobs in between. Maybe as a challenge I will go into the village shop later this week (but feel my heart is racing at the thought of this.)

I wonder if anyone has had this sort of reaction confirmed as a symptom of MS, rather than anxity about the condition / relapse as my MS nurse suggested. It is so unlike me - I actulally teach confidence building in my working life so have a good knowledge and undersanding of NLP + CBT etc, I know the theories but at the moment it feels physical, not psychological, and I can;t talk my brain out of the feeling. The brain controls everything, incuding emotions and anxiety, so surely a lesion in the right / wrong place (frontal lobe?) could accout for this. I feel stronger if I tell myself this is the MS, not me, and confident that it will improve.

Will look at the meds, i have a GP appointment next Monday, and MS nurse is sending me an appointment too, so will keep an open mind.

Cheers all,

Gilly xxx

There has been an interesting debat online this weekend, primarily around a Daily Mail article:-

People debating the link between Anxiety, Upset tummys in the early stages of MS and Parkinsons. Some of this played out on Twitter and I have to say that early into my Neurological problems, I sufferred hugely with cripling panic attacks, anxiety and mood swings, followed with tummy issues. None of related to my day to day life choices/situations.

As I have progressed slightly, this still crops it’s head up slightly, but nowhere as before. Rescue Remedy is my go to potion, it really seems to help when I need it and married with the concept that I embrace the worst bit of the attack and make myself aware of it, they pass far more smoothly.

The bit that makes sense to me is that I know the panic attacks are coming, I relax into them and make myself aware of them, I know when they are at their height and that they cannot actually hurt me, this seems to bring me down the other side. Horrible situation to face for you, hope it gets licked… don’t let them limit your life or your decisions, because they will happen regardless of what you are doing.

There has been an interesting debat online this weekend, primarily around a Daily Mail article:-

People debating the link between Anxiety, Upset tummys in the early stages of MS and Parkinsons. Some of this played out on Twitter and I have to say that early into my Neurological problems, I sufferred hugely with cripling panic attacks, anxiety and mood swings, followed with tummy issues. None of related to my day to day life choices/situations.

As I have progressed slightly, this still crops it’s head up slightly, but nowhere as before. Rescue Remedy is my go to potion, it really seems to help when I need it and married with the concept that I embrace the worst bit of the attack and make myself aware of it, they pass far more smoothly.

The bit that makes sense to me is that I know the panic attacks are coming, I relax into them and make myself aware of them, I know when they are at their height and that they cannot actually hurt me, this seems to bring me down the other side. Horrible situation to face for you, hope it gets licked… don’t let them limit your life or your decisions, because they will happen regardless of what you are doing.

Gilly - take whatever help advice you can get and if a tablet helps you through - so be it…

i told my neuro that i think i have lesions on the part of my brain that control the feelings of panic and depression,i said it wasnt because of having ms

he told me that even if that was the case,that it is treat the same …so if we have anxiety and panic attacks, caused by lesions we still have to use tranquilsers and CBT,beta blockers and so on…

i accidently came across an article on the autonomic system,and i feel as though my autonomic system is involved with my ms , i get really severe panic attacks,that come on for no apparant reason,and i also get episodes of rapid heartbeats for weeks on end,at times i nearly pass out with it,right from the very start of my MS (22 years ago) i couldnt go out in stores as the lights in certain stores really affect me,as soon as i came away from the store,after 5 minutes i feel much better…i think its something to do with the eyes that sets me off, like photosensitivity…i do all my shopping online these days,it makes my life a lot easier with amazon,ebay and tesco for food shops… i know i would have had to rely on family, a lot more than i do if it wasnt for the internet…i keep thinking i will ask for tests on my autonomic system,but i know that i will be made to feel like i am making it up,drs know very little about,so if you start quizzing them they dont like to admit they dont know, so make you feel stupid.

Hi MrsJ, I think it was your old post from a couple of years ago that I first found and posted on - very sorry to hear things haven’t got any better, that must have been 2 yeard old. Totally identify with the lights thing in supermarkets - for a long time I’ve struggled in them and get what we call my ‘supermarket head’, and have to cut my shopping short. though at the moment I wouldn;t even attempt it. The lights seem to be flickering, though my daughter says they aren’t, plus all the noise and busy aisles… i can feel my heart beating faster just thinking about it! Yes Internet shopping is brilliant for people in our situation, and forums like this so we can chat with prople in the same boat.

That is a good point about treatment - whatever the cause, (ms lesion or something else) the treatment would be the same. Have you had any treatment? I’m going to see my GP next week so will talk it through then with her if I can stay calm enough, (trouble is when I start to talk about it I start crying - very frustrating and not very helpful!)

Take care,

Gilly xxx

Depression and anxiety does seem to go hand and hand with MS…but that part of “MS” can be aided with medicaton, unlike alot of the rest of the stuff…

Thanks Redman, will consider it when I see GP, just worried about side effects and interactions with other drugs. I asked MS nurse about stopping the Keppra now as it’s been 6 months without any more epileptic seizures, but she hasn’t yet come back to me on that.

Gx

It might be an idea to write things down for the GP to read. Helped me. I was experiencing emotional lability. A bereavement and major work stress combined to leave me an emotional wreck.

I was given citalopram initially; I’m now on fluoxetine and feel like myself again.

I also had some counselling. I think a combination is the most effective.

Hope this helps. xx

Thanks Annelda, good idea.

Gx