Forum

Relapse and anxiety

Hi there everbody , im a 43 year old male who was hospitalised for severe abdominal stomach pain for 5 days . Nothing medical was found and so i was discharged a week ago with a diagnosis of psychgenic pain which i cant accept , the pain is very real even stopping me sleeping . I saw my ms nurse who basically said the pain “couldnt” be ms related and carried out his usual reflex and strength tests . I came home feeling really anxious as my hand and neck tremors have worsened significantly making me more anxious about stopping me returning to work ( currently off sick) . I saw my gp who prescribed me trazadone (3xdaily) for anxiety and zopiclone for sleep . I am currently experiencing fear of driving or going out alone as my short term memory had become terrible as well as my concentration … Confused . Is there anybody who can help ???

Hi Gaz, sorry to hear you are going through a tough time. I always call 111 NHS number now for a second opinion, it can’t do any harm and puts my mind at rest. They usually get a paramedic, doctor or nurse to call me back to discuss my symptoms. Phoning the number has helped me a few times now.

I’ve found that anxiety worsens my MS. What has really helped me with my anxiety is meditation, I do this twice a day. It’s calmed my anxiety down a lot. Mindfulness meditation is available on the NHS through your GP or Neurologist. There are other forms of meditation, such as TM meditation which has good reviews and good health benefits.

Well i had a CT scan , endoscopy and xrays , so anything sinister ruled out , since being on the trazadone my stomach has eased a little , i just cant get my head round the brain fog . Is it Anxiety , the Medication or m.s ? I guess im never going to know . Frustrating …thankyou

Hi,

OK, first off, psychogenic pain IS REAL. It doesn’t mean you are imagining things, and certainly not that you are making them up. Just because a physical cause can’t be found, and your nurse believes it’s unlikely to be MS, it doesn’t mean the pain you’re feeling isn’t real.

The causes of pain are complex, and in some ways, we know shockingly little about it - especially considering how many people live with it on a daily basis. So: “We couldn’t find the cause” does NOT mean: “You’re nuts/being silly!” It just means they couldn’t find the cause, and it might not be one medicine is capable of finding at the moment. That doesn’t mean you’re a fraud - or that your diagnosis of “psychogenic pain” is wrong, and they’ve overlooked something terrible.

I would not like to say whether your stomach pain could be linked to MS in some way. I can only say it’s not something I’ve experienced myself, and I could only bow to your nurse’s superior knowledge about whether it’s at all likely.

Pain - whether from a known or unknown cause - is linked to our emotional state, so your experience of the same pain is likely to vary according to whether you’re upbeat or anxious that day. Anxiety certainly won’t be helping things, so your GP’s attempts to curb that are reasonable. I’m not saying it will fix the pain, but it may improve your capacity to deal with it.

Only you know whether you are fit to drive, but if you’re at all unsure, the responsible thing is obviously not to. Legally, the onus is on you to do the sensible thing, and not wait for a doctor to tell you.

Anxiety can adversely affect memory and concentration - but so, paradoxically, can the drugs used to treat it. Particularly with Zoplicone, I’ve apparently had whole conversations or done things I couldn’t recall, between taking it and falling asleep. The odd thing was that apparently, I didn’t seem intoxicated - I had successfully negotiated quite complex tasks, such as reconfiguring my laptop - I just had no recollection of them! I had to reluctantly admit it must have been me, because there was nobody else it could have been - I can’t seriously imagine any burglar or hacker breaking in just to do me a few favours and then leaving. Also what had been done bore strong hallmarks of how I would have done things if it had been me - so I was forced to conclude it was me, even though I had no recollection of it! So Zopiclone’s a funny drug. If I experienced strange memory gaps whilst on it, I certainly wouldn’t be too quick to blame MS.

The “lost” intervals never did come back, but I never discovered I’d been doing anything dangerous or out-of-character, so it was like having a strange pixie in the house, who’d been doing things that were completely in keeping with my wishes - I just didn’t know about them! Haha, weird!

I would try to view it as a positive that the hospital has not managed to find anything alarming, and see how you get on with the anti-anxiety regime.

Tina

Thankyou Tina for your time and your comments . I think the anxiety meds are starting to work although im still very worried about driving and going back to work as my work does involve a lot of mental ability as well as driving and using small components which i could no way handle at the moment . Trying to stay positive with the increased tremour and difficulty walking and balance is really tough and certainly doesnt help .

I am taking 1 x 50mg trazadone 3 times a day for anxiety and 1 zopiclone at bedtime so am zombified during day which certainly doesnt help with my walking , concentration , balance or speech .

sorry to ramble on

gary