Lifelong health problems

Hey all,

Im currently thinking about finding some help or someone to talk to about recurring health problems i’ve been running into my whole life. The thing is that im not really comfortable with being dependent on specialists and whatnot and even though i run into problems concerning my physical and mental health im still alive, doing okay-ish (for what its worth), and life goes on.

How have you dealt with these kinda things? Are there people / places to talk to that aren’t concerned with fitting me into the system ? people that help you help yourself? that kinda thing


anyone? got some tips to share on how to deal with fear/breathing related problems? My body is choking me up as of late. I breathe heavily and fast. Sometimes my heart races as if i need to run but im just lying in bed. I get dizzy and confused. My consciousness turns all weird and twisty and inwards and i feel removed from this world as if a step out of sync or two. My body panics when my mind sees no reason to.
BC of this today i sat down on my bed and cried. its hard to explain the significance of this. I havent done that in a long time.

this shit happened to me 12 years ago. It hit me even harder then and it lasted me at least 3 years to get on top of it. Sometimes it came back for a day or two. But now its lasting for more then 2 weeks and its hard to get by like this. tired and confused and not many people understand whats up.

perhaps it sounds familiar to some ? i dunno.
anyway thanks.

take care

edit: btw i know this is not a mental health problem forum haha. But i feel i can get a better angle at things here and perhaps find some people that have similar issues. Also im not sure this is truly a mental health issue. For all i care this is physical or even spiritual. What i really think is that there is no difference amongst the three. (mental/physical/spiritual). and this is just what im experiencing and am interested in your views.

This really sounds like tachycardia. When you your heart races for unknown reasons. It can cause all sorts of light headedness, and other symptoms like you mentioned.

The real problem (if it is tachycardia) is that tachycardia is only a symptom of something else. (You are experiencing symptoms of a symptom) the real cause is going to be a bugger to find. I can tell you some of the things my wife did when she was going through it.

First, keep a detailed journal of what is going on in your life. (Some of the source problems could be poor diet or anxiety.) Record what you eat and what you are doing and feeling. (Probably we should always keep a journal of what we eat and exercise.)

Meditation of some sort can at times help. Didn’t do much for my wife but did a lot for me. See if you can find some mindfulness classes. Some of them are absolutely amazing. (And of course some of them are Meh.)

I can’t rule out getting an EKG or something like that. You could have a real serious medical problem that needs some hardcore medical interventions. However, remember that you are their customer and you have the right to fire them or reject their plan. I’ve found many medical professionals can forget that you are the boss of your body. If you disagree with what they say or they just aren’t willing to answer your questions, go find someone else. There is no reason to be bound to one doctor. (It helps if you keep a copy of your own medical records. You have a right to everything in your files.)

If you have more questions on how to deal with doctors, physician assistants, registered nurses and such I’d be happy to share my experiences dealing with them. I’ve dealt with them a lot.

I have done quite some check ups as of late as well as when this happened to me some years ago. Blood was tested. Heart was tested. My Stomach and intestines have been checked too (lifelong digestive problems too) and so on. Needless to say they couldnt find anything “solvable” that could be causing these troubles.

Personally im feeling these problems might be anxiety related. I identify with a whole slew of “problems” that i take for granted that are generally grouped under ADD for instance.

I like your suggestions some of em (diary for instance) i know would benefit me, but i havent picked up on yet. Meditation seems helpful too. I used to go to speechtherapy for stuttering as a child and my breathing skills are severly lacking. Anyway these are good suggestions! Im gonna look up on meditation and breathing exercises, but im not well versed in these things, are there some pitfalls i need to watch out for? how do i seperate the helpful exercises from the new-age chaff?

anyway just so we know
im not really looking for a magical cure or an easy way out. I just want to learn to live with myself and make it through scary episodes in which i feel removed from this world and myself. Im gonna go make an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, and tell him that too. I want to make a place for this part of myself, not declare war on it.

thanks for the advice
take care

hey Sarah,

i dont really have a place to escape to here. That has been bugging me for years now. I live in the Netherlands and almost everywhere you look is " developed country". A quiet spot is something i really miss. I remember fondly my days spend at quiet swedish lakes and finnish forests. I miss that quiet time alot.
I used to go to place that is like a developed “natural” area but at least it surrounds you by trees and birds and most of the time by “relative” quiet.
I need to look into finding a place that allows me to be like that somewhere. I’ll think about it and let you know if i found a place like that.

I really feel for you. When my wife was having tachycardia attacks we had a bugger of a time trying to get it caught in a way that the medical community can identify the root cause. Finally a really excellent doctor intuited her problem and got it fixed.

[quote=“timeLESS, post:4, topic:1543”]Personally im feeling these problems might be anxiety related. I identify with a whole slew of “problems” that i take for granted that are generally grouped under ADD for instance.

I like your suggestions some of em (diary for instance) i know would benefit me, but i havent picked up on yet. Meditation seems helpful too. I used to go to speechtherapy for stuttering as a child and my breathing skills are severly lacking. Anyway these are good suggestions! Im gonna look up on meditation and breathing exercises, but im not well versed in these things, are there some pitfalls i need to watch out for? how do i seperate the helpful exercises from the new-age chaff?[/quote]

There is a guy out there named Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn that does mindfuness meditation as part of the University of Massachusetts. He has a book on it called “The Mindful Way through Depression”. (I’m not claiming you have depression, but this is a really good book, not new age chaff) He’s doing this for chronic pain patients and has convinced the University of Massachusetts Medical School that it works through scientific testing. Amazon has it for under $13.00 US.

Here’s a website that seems to have some pretty good information. (Or at least a good jumping off point.)

The courses can be a bit expensive, I took one through the college I was attending or else I wouldn’t have gone. I notice that the web site has them for about $500.00, but I also found that the book I recommended works great without a course.

Let me know if this helps much, or if there is anything I can do to help. My experiences with my wife and her lupus have really let me to the same conclusion as you. Our mind, body and spirit are much more connected than we would like to admit. We can’t treat any of them in isolation.

Thanks for that. While i must admit it does look like a bit of a sell out thing to me, i arranged for a copy to appear on my harddisk, and i’ll start reading up in it later today.

again much thanks.

after some reflection i can tell my problems are anxiety/depersonalisation related. I found some places on the web to talk with fellow DPs .
at the moment im not sure how to relate this thread to rewilding much more except that DP & anxiety feel like very civilized “disorders” (if they even are that)

thanks for the input, & also the book mentioned before has already helped me by reminding me of things i knew already but that i forgot about in the confusion of anxiety and DP as of late.

thanks again

Anxiety and Depression can mimic physical illness, and physical illnesses can mimic Anxiety and Lethargy. If you had a trusted healer in a tribe, you’d go to them, so part of your issue sounds like trying to figure it out too much on your own. Don’t necessarily have to go to a guy with a white lab coat on, but could if you felt it might help.

As far as mindfulness meditation goes, it’s pretty popular, so you should be able to find a cheaper meditation retreat if that appeals to you. Also know of Tchit Nat Hahn and Eckert Tolle. You can also do the breathing exercises. And like Sarah pointed out, your environment not fitting with what you value, probably contributes somewhat to the feeling, though you may not be able to do anything about it at this time.

Also in one friend’s case, too much caffeine causes him panic attacks - so a basic food input like that could contribute too.

 I've been having anxiety and panic attacks on and off since I was 13 years old... with all different types of physical symptoms attached.  I just came close to a panic today, in fact.  I'm sure at the roots there are some psychological, spiritual, and biological dysfunctions in my body that are triggered by early experiences in Civ, but I try not to focus on that because I still have to live in this system, even if I don't fit in.

In short, I’ve found that there’s a lot of truth to anxiety being caused by an instinctual “fight or flight” reaction that kicks off a circular brain-body feedback loop which results in a flood of stress hormones that trigger physical effects (increased heart rate, breathing, sweating, dry mouth, emptying stomach, all meant to help you survive in a dangerous situation) These physical symptoms trigger fearful thoughts, and the fear triggers more hormone release which triggers more symptoms and worse fear, and so on, and so on… and this either keeps you with consistent low-level anxiety, or peaks with a panic attack, leaving you calmer but more tired afterwards.

Asking myself “what triggers my anxiety?” has become sort of a chicken/egg question. I’ve realized that sometimes the body informs the mind, sometimes the mind informs the body. Sometimes I feel tired, or I feel strange after ingesting certain foods, and the resulting feeling in my body gives me fearful thoughts which can then start the loop. Other times the anxiety seems to originate entirely in my thoughts or emotions. In reality, the mind and body are pretty much one and the same… but since our language-based culture raises us to think of them as competing (rather than cooperative) entities, I think we can make the mistake of trying to heal each one separately from the other.

Since I still experience bouts of anxiety, I’m not sure if I’m the best person to be giving self-help advice… but I have gotten through some long periods of depersonalization, and in the last 2 years I’ve become much better at stopping the feedback loop before it gets to the point of extreme discomfort. Through reading numerous anti-anxiety tips over the years and using trial and error, I’ve collected a number of different “tools” that have seemed to have worked for me in the past, and with practice I’ve become more effective at using them. They may not work for you, but they could be worth a shot.

The first tool I use is a type of awareness I learned from the “Alexander Technique”(This technique teaches you to “rewire” your approach to body movement one step at a time, rather than to just repeatedly move your body in ways that feel comfortable but are actually detrimental). Although I’ve never actually trained in this technique, reading about it taught me to be more aware of my posture and overall muscle use. One of the important lessons was to become acutely aware of muscle tensions, and try to release any tension that is unnecessary. This is often a good first line of defense for creeping anxiety, relaxing as many muscles as you can… I think it sends a message to the rest of your body that “things are okay” and if you also learn to maintain a healthy, “relaxed-but-confident” posture it can add a confidence-boosting psychological benefit.

Along with muscle tension, I also check my breathing. I’ve tried several different breathing techniques that involved counting during inhale, holding, and exhale… I found that these were good on occasion, but when overused they seemed to cause more tension and hyperventilating by overriding my natural, relaxed breathing pace. If you listen to a relaxed or sleeping dog or cat, they take an occasional deep breath and sigh, but the the rest of their breathing is a nearly inaudible…as a nice smooth flow in and out. In my experience, deep breathing is overemphasized as a tool for anxiety-prone people to relax, but I could be wrong (or probably doing it wrong). For now, I find it helpful to imitate the way that I think I breathe while I’m asleep, with the occasional yawn or sigh thrown in.

Much of the time, these three techniques (muscle relaxation, posture, and breathing) will help stop chemicals that feed the loop, before ever getting the chance to create anxious thoughts. If anxious thoughts or detachment are present or creeping in, however, it’s helpful for me to identify them as mistaken thoughts and remember that what I’m experiencing at that moment is still very real, but it’s just a chemical reaction, and I still have control over my own fate. I’ll try to decide whether I’m having trouble managing my anxiety because I’m tired, or if I’m anxious because I’m restless. It could be both, but either way at this point I’ve acknowledged the anxiety and the presence of stress hormones , so I can immediately stop thinking about it and go for a walk or work on something until it dissipates, all the while keeping the relaxed muscles and breathing.

The last thing that I’ve found just about always saves the day is what Victor Frankl called “logotherapy,” This therapy says that our primary motive in life as humans is a “will to meaning.” It’s a reminder of what’s meaningful to you and for what purposes you are on this journey through life, and what exciting things lie ahead each time your spirit is renewed through new experiences and activities. This shouldn’t be mistaken for the more overarching and meaningless question “what is the meaning of life?” Instead, Logotherapy emphasizes that life asks meaning of you in everyday situations and people you meet, and it is up to you to develop answers in response. I think when you are on the path of creating meaning you are less likely to be anxious, but when you do become anxious, I’ve found that even the smallest steps toward expressing, creating, working, or discovering can help that anxiety subside… even if it’s just a chore to get out of the way, or explaining something you’re really interested in to someone.

I hope you can find something in there that helps, and I really really hope you feel better!

Thanks alot Brian. This is totally helpful to me. I understand exactly what you are talking about. Down to every little detail. It might take a mere thought to snowball into an attack. Also there is the general low-level anxiety and the “high-level” attacks.

I found pretty much the same little defenses as you listed, and am currently seeing something we call a “haptonoom” in dutch. This is someone that helps you get back into your body by doing physical exercise. My first visit was very helpful and i am already looking forward very much to my next appointment.

this is the 2nd time in my life i am entering into a prolonged period of depersonalisation and anxiety attacks. Im not as scared as my first time, nor am i as lost. I really feel i wanna find a listen to what i can learn from this. At the moment im very sad and feel totally out of place but i know deep inside that things will change someday.

Thanks again for sharing your experiences! Its really good to hear a familiar experience.

take care

I find depression and anxiety quite natural between rw people. For myself, I use to put it in the back (or hide it, or whatever could be called) by a lot of chocolate and most of the times I turn this kind of pain into anger… But having heart problems… sorry for you guys, you have a really bad luck. I hope you find the way to fix it soon.
But anyway, as far as we live inside of civilization and isolated from each other, we are gonna be deeeeeeeeply depressed. I think only the ones who have a fucking strong mind could avoid it. … well… probably the ones who lie to themselves can also handle it in a way.
i think inside of civ, nothing can save us from depression and cancer :frowning:

good luck!