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Depletion while waiting for something or someone.

Discussion in 'Post-Exertional Malaise, Fatigue, and Crashes' started by Cindi, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

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    hi all

    I have a problem that I wish to share with you. I have trouble with waiting for someone. I can be on my pc for about an hour time but I get extremely depleted if I am waiting for someone and person does not show up in time. For example let's assume I have an appointment with some one or waiting for a phone call. I can wait for him approximately for only half an hour or so. if person does not show up or does not call,I start getting depleted. This puts me in nervous and panic mode.I generally have total depletion and start crying within about 40 minutes time. It does not matter if I am in bed or standing.Than,it takes me long time to recover. I wonder if any of you experience a similar problem?Which part of the brain could be related to this problem? Thanks.
  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    Interesting. I have found that I have extra trouble when I am frustrated, when I am expecting something to occur and it does not. But for me it's little and immediate things, like if my computer is not responding normally. I think it's something about the extra processing required. When I click, my brain doesn't have to think about what it's doing. When I click and something unexpected happens, I have to process that and then there's an automatic attempt to problem-solve it and figure out what's going on and what to do. And that takes more brain power than is available sometimes. It's not the same sensation as getting irritated. It's getting tired and almost like some part of my brain is sincerely confused about why this is happening. Like, "What do you mean it isn't working smoothly? Didn't you get the memo that I'm worn out today?" I'm not sure that will make any sense to anyone but me, but it's the best description I can come up with at the moment.

    I also could see how just the act of waiting for something might be extra taxing for me. I think for me it might have to do with keeping my brain in a constantly "alert" state, anticipating the change and staying ready for it. And that takes extra mental resources. I'm not sure if that's anything like what you're experiencing. I also get super drained out from even mild forms of stress, so if anticipating their call or the fact that they haven't called yet is stressful at all, that would wipe me out greatly.

    I would wonder if the tears were partly because you're so over-taxed and strained and your body is sending you the message to stop and rest, but you have no choice but to continue because you're waiting on that other person and they're not showing up. I could see that being a very helpless feeling. And I know my brain doesn't handle emotions as gracefully when I'm really drained.
    peggy-sue and Marco like this.
  3. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

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    Thanks Sparrow. yes,what you describe is exactly the same with what I was trying to explain.I also have problem on little things like computer problems but in such cases I am alone with myself and always have a choice of stopping my work and getting some rest.When you are dependent on someone else that is not possible. You said `I also could see how just the act of waiting for something might be extra taxing for me. I think for me it might have to do with keeping my brain in a constantly "alert" state`. Yes, I also think that is the problem.I keep saying myself `Ok,don't think about it,don't wait for it,keep yourself busy with something else` I can manage doing that only for about 20-30 minutes.After that time I am always depleted. yes, you explained the reason for tears so well. Thanks so much:). I am also wondering what kind of a problem in the brain could cause this?Best wishes.
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Senior Member

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    I think it's a side effect of the general neurological issues. Thinking is harder for us. And it drains us out. I know that there have been some SPECT scans of the brain that have showed reduced blood flow to the brains of ME patients, particularly after activity (either right after, or the next day). That may be part of why things seem to get harder and harder the longer we try to do them, and also why it sometimes helps a little to think while lying down. I seem to recall seeing FMRI's that showed something similar. There were studies showing that while for most (healthy) people a mental task gets easier the longer they do it, that it really does get harder for us instead. It may not be an issue with a particular part of the brain not working right, so much as the whole thing having more difficulty.

    Other people theorize that it has more to do with HHV-6 or another virus in the brain causing problems. Or with an autoimmune response attacking some part of the central nervous system. Or with mitochondrial issues that make it difficult for us to produce the energy needed to fuel thinking. Or, or, or...

    I think it might be a combination, and it's hard to know which is the cause and which is just another effect. I do know that the trouble I have with mental tasks getting harder and harder until I hit my breaking point is very similar to what happens to me with physical tasks. So I would guess that the mechanism behind what happens might be similar.

    I wish they knew more specifically what was wrong there. I imagine progress for treatment would be much farther along if they did.
    taniaaust1 and merylg like this.
  5. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I think this statement hits the nail on the head.
    "I also could see how just the act of waiting for something might be extra taxing for me. I think for me it might have to do with keeping my brain in a constantly "alert" state, anticipating the change and staying ready for it. And that takes extra mental resources."

    It's an adrenalin rush keeping you alert. It arises because of the social pressure involved.
    I get exactly the same thing - even just waiting for the postie or having a parcel delivered.
    I can't bear it when I have to wait for somebody to 'phone me - I far prefer to be the caller.

    Folk do not realise how much energy the brain uses up. It uses masses and masses and masses of energy!
    merylg likes this.
  6. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

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    Thanks! I also hope they will fınd the causes soon.
  7. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

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    Oh ! Yes.. How well i understand you about the postie and phones!Also prefer to be the caller.Social pressure... Himmm. Thanks.
  8. Cindi

    Cindi Senior Member

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    Once a friend of mine told me she wanted to help me. Okay. I told her she could drive me to a place that I needed to visit.We set the time for her to come over me and I requested her to be in time. She was late by 45 minutes and I was totally depleted when she arrived. That day was terrible for me and since than I never ask help from anyone if I feel they are not punctual.
  9. GracieJ

    GracieJ Senior Member

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    I experience this often, and agree that it must be adrenalin related. It's almost as if expectations put the system on red alert, and it doesn't come off it if the expected event doesn't happen. I can be worn out really fast by someone no-showing on me, especially if I have my "best foot forward," so to speak, while waiting. I've learned to put it out of my head, but that is easier said than done, and has made for some rather embarrassing situations! :) Maybe not for me so much anymore... don't really care if I'm in my robe and slippers when that doorbell finally rings. Getting away from this pattern freed up a lot of energy I needed for much more important things.

    My thought on why this happens is that we are so energy depleted, that to add on additional tasks demands more of our energy "points" than we have to give them, so the body kicks in with an adrenalin response and REALLY messes it all up. It definitely shows that mental tasks eat up just as much energy as physical tasks.
    peggy-sue likes this.
  10. SickOfSickness

    SickOfSickness Senior Member

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    Yes I completely agree with the first 3 posts. I have the same thing.

    For someone who is healthy, the equivalent would be, if you told them they were going to start a race in 1 minute. They would start getting mentally prepared for something physically hard. Then they are told, oh the race is delayed, but it will start 1 minute late. And on and on. It feels like that. Like you said, even if I am waiting for something small and unimportant.

    Personally I had this problem before I had ME. I think I was predisposed to get ME because of the high stress I had for a long time, and then I was too reactive to stress after that. I'm not saying that's everyone, but it's some of us.
  11. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    I hate waiting. If I need to lie down, I don't dare. If I need to sleep, ditto. Since I lose track of time the only way I can respond in a timely fashion is if I stay alert (or the pretend alert I can manage). This is also draining. The day before yesterday I was waiting for someone. I confirmed it by phone in the morning ... but they never arrived. I had no sleep the night before, I could have used a nap at least, and because I may not hear a doorknock or be able to respond if I am sleeping I could not do that. Its not just the waiting. The way I see, most people can do something and something else. We can do something OR something else, and when we run out of energy that stops. If I am waiting I am not able to do much else.
  12. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Maybe cortisol also plays a part in all this. I myself get low cortisol at times and cortisol helps us to deal with life stressors. We use up more cortisol when we are under stress.. or maybe we are also doing so while just "waiting" .. due to as another said..having to then have ourselves ready in like an alert mode and with also our adrenaline going a little higher in anticipation.

    Maybe the whole waiting thing is just causing you to like burn out due to these things and once burnt out.. the emotions really go off and the tears come. Im currently treating my adrenals.

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