new member. I was directed to this topic after my first post which was regarding anxiety being caused by physical reasons, not 'how you are thinking' which is often cited as the cause of anxiety.
I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibro Myalgia since 1995. I started getting anxiety around 2016, but it got worse around 2018.
As far as physical symptoms of my anxiety, I am grateful they aren't as terrible as most of you describe. Mine is just a general uneasiness that ebbs and flows, but sometimes rises into more of a panic attack. If I feel it rising, I take medication, I use it minimally, and it's also habit forming,so.
My panic attacks just feel like a dread that rises up from my stomach, and I usually need to stand up, and often I feel like I need fresh air, so I go outside and breath. I started getting them while I was asleep. I would wake up and see the dark room, and not be fully awake. but feeling scared of dying.
I did some research and it may be lack of oxygen that triggers it. Because of the CFS my body's temperature regulation doesn't work properly, so if I get a little dehydrated and get hot in my sleep, that can trigger the panic attack too.
When I first went to a GP in 2018, he directed me to an online course, which I did. It was all about 'how you think' which didn't resonate with my experience. I did some online research and found a site about how to deal with panic attacks, and I use those tips.
1. I say to myself: 'you are not in danger, you are just uncomfortable' over and over.
2. breathing: deep breath out, slow breath in, repeat. Basically trying to slow the heart which is pumping adrenaline around the body.
I usually can't sleep after these attacks, so I have a snack and watch TV or surf the net until I feel tired again. Usually takes 3-4 hours.
My contention regarding physical reasons for anxiety as opposed to 'how you think' stems from my experience with CFS/FM. The hormone system is disrupted, which makes you sensitive to noise, activity, temperature, smells, dehydration, some foods, etc. This, along with the socially isolating result of a chronic illness, tends to make you depressed and/or anxious, so if you think about your real situation, that can cause worse anxiety, and panic attacks. If I 'change the way I think' then I either have to deny my reality, or ignore it, which is difficult.
So I am posting for the people in a similar situation.