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Horrible Stress?

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by douglasmich, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. douglasmich

    douglasmich

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    HI.

    One of my most troubling symptoms is the feeling of "stress". Most people feel stress when they are thinking about 100 different things, multitasking, deadlines etc but this is not the case for me.

    For example today i needed to make a recipe so i started to google it. I felt unbearable stress just from looking through different recopies and trying to figure out if i have the correct ingredients. After i finally select a recipe i have to lie down for an hour to just recover from the mental load of printing a recipe! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

    And that's just the start. When i make the recipe my brain is just being fried the whole time. And the worst part if cleaning up afterwards. The stress from cleaning up feels like what i would have felt 5 years ago from doing 24 hours of intense mathametics study AND and exam the next day. After i eat the meal i have to lie down again not due to fatigue but due to brain fatigue (if thats even a term).

    The same goes for juicing vegetables. The stress is debilitating.

    The only way to describe it is that my thoughts are always in the present. Im not worrying about the future or the past. But my brain feels like its being fried and i feel immense stress. Its like the stress from thinking too much except im not thinking ! Is this glutamate toxicity?

    Just wondering if anyone else experiences this, and if they know the cause.
     
  2. Deltrus

    Deltrus Senior Member

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    I experienced extreme stress and irritability at one point.

    Around 1.5 years ago, I was so tired in mornings that I would take around 1-2 hours to get out of bed. My parents would always get up early and let the dog out to go to the bathroom, and it would bark for like 5-30 minutes. I wouldn't have the energy to get out of bed, but I literally was going insane with stress hearing this dog bark. I would get so much stress hormones that for the rest of the day I'd feel insanely horrible, like I had a heat stroke or something. My parents would get angry at me for complaining, not sympathizing at all. They thought it was such a small thing... they told me it was their house, and if the dog had to go to the bathroom, they were letting it out.

    I'm not sure if my biochemistry mellowed out, or how I managed to deal with it. I know that I changed my mindset. I was tortured by this dog barking every morning, but I literally couldn't do a damn thing. I finally gave up. I started fighting against my reaction to the stimulus, rather than the stimulus itself. It is a principle in stoicism and CBT.

    This is a quick video on the concept.


    Of course CBT and stoicism are just tools, there are real chemical sources for irritability, anger and depression. Nothing is black and white.

    Other stuff such as supplements, multivitamins, etc probably would help. Vit C in doses of like 4g I found really good for irritability.

    I just thought I'd start you off mentioning CBT, as it is a skill that everyone should have. Even in the worst cases of depression, anger and irritability, it can at least take some of the edge off.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
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  3. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    I recognize pretty much everything in your post. I think it's due to:

    1: low blood flow to the brain (+ possible low grade brain inflammation - research to be replicated), which makes thinking a LOT harder;

    2: orthosympathetic dominance, i.e. your orthosympathetic nervous response is always on. This can be due to chronic low grade inflammation or immune hyperactivity, amongst other things. Orthosympathetic response is what is on when you are in a stressful situation. It's not on because a recipe makes you stressed - you feel stressed out cause the orthosympathetic response is always switched on. So you'll feel overwhelmed by even the tiniest task.

    Some things that might help:
    - laying down while searching for the recipe;
    - pacing this entire endeavour (i.e. searching the day before, printing it out in the evening, making it the next day, cleaning up in the evening)
    - licorice root extract is something that helps me clear my mind and feel less stressed. I think because it stimulates cortisol production.

    Oh, and don't beat yourself up over it. Just accept that it's just another weird symptom. :hug:
     
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  4. douglasmich

    douglasmich

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    Listening to monk chants does wonders no kidding. I have some ALPHA GPC which is meant to raise acytlcholine whilst also GABA so maybe il try it..

    The problem is wayy differnt to anxiety. Anciety i feel doom all over my body and im thinking about horrible htings. But this is just in my brain. Its like only my brain is affected.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
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  5. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    @douglasmich

    Two brain fogged thoughts come to mind in about your experience:

    1 - when I was at my sickest, I experienced a lot of anxiety - a tincture from a ND seemed to help (as did laser therapy on my brain stem).

    2 - I only experience anxiety now sometimes preceding a bowel movement: first I'll suddenly feel nauseous and headachey, then suddenly very anxious with catastrophic thoughts, then the urge for a bowel movement - these experiences may occur over 5 mins or up to 60 mins - after the bm I often feel tired and nauseous, but it tapers off over 30 mins.

    Even though I only experience these brief and occasional periods of anxiety now, those periods really, really suck. As you know.
     
  6. Violeta

    Violeta Senior Member

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    I have that, and the only word that adequately describes it for me is "overwhelmed".

    I've had it since I was a kid. When it's bad it can keep me from doing anything at all.

    Clearing off the kitchen table, counter, or my desk? Oh my, can't do that most of the time.
    And this is one thing that the biotin is really helping with. I have a feeling it's candida or maybe mycoplasma toxins in the brain, but this is just something I'm starting to look at so it's only a hypothesis right now.
     
  7. u&iraok

    u&iraok Senior Member

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    I'll have to look more into this CBT, but something similar helped me. I realized the anger was my problem. Now I try to blank my mind and tell myself, it's just noise, try to float and ride over it. Ok...doesn't always work. But often it does.

    But I just have to address the barking dog. People think it's normal for a dog to bark continuously. It's not. 30 mInutes?! No, that's a sign of boredom, stress or anxiety or a bad habit. You can train him/her not to do that. That will help you so much if you take that on so I'm going to be meddlesome ;) to try and give you some tips. If the dog is bored or too full of energy, have someone take him for walks or at least throw a ball and have him run his energy out fetching the ball. Otherwise you can just go out and tell him in a firm voice, 'no' or 'stop'. If that doesn't make him stop stand really tall and with a strong mind go right up to him into his personal space and just look at him authoritatively. If he barks just a few barks say, 'ok' and pat him showing him, thank you, you're a good boy to bark as a warning or yes, I hear you, I will pay attention to you, but that's enough. But if he goes on a barkathon tell him to stop. If he has extreme anxiety, you may need professional help.
     
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  8. u&iraok

    u&iraok Senior Member

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    I don't know if it's glutamate toxicity but if it involves glutamate l-theanine may help. It blocks the receptors or binds to the receptors that glutamate would normally bind to.
    I like what Effi says. Pacing is the key.You're doing too much. You can't juice AND clean up. :ill: It's a bummer, but you have to work everything out before hand and plan for simple tasks after you recognize which ones are difficult for you.

    When I cook I prep everything sitting down.

    I also found that it helps if I don't put pressure on myself to do things in a time frame or do them well. My father's favorite saying, "If you can't do things right don't do them at all." This is wrong for us. If I start to feel overwhelmed (key is start) I blank my mind out and/or go lay down until I can finish it. I know for me, part of the problem is fear that my mind won't be able to handle it. Well, it won't, not as well as a healthy person, so I accept that and let go.

    Sickness has it's own rules. Isn't it nice that we all live by those rules here and can encourage one another?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
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  9. JES

    JES Senior Member

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    The cause is likely chronic inflammation in brain, driven by over-active microglia, which in turn leads to excess glutamate and NMDA receptor activation. There is a long excellent thread on this forum here about treating inflammation-mediated anxiety with supplements. I had great initial success treating my anxiety with the supplements listed (unfortunately I couldn't keep using them as they suppressed some part of my immune response and made some other CFS symptoms worse).

    You can also directly treat the NMDA activation caused by glutamate. One of the best supplements I've found for this is Magnesium (Malate form works best for me, but anything other than Oxide should produce some effect).
     
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  10. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    I'm wondering @douglasmich do you experience anxiety, or a feeling of being stressed (without doing anything)? I think those are two very different things...
     
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  11. douglasmich

    douglasmich

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    Not anxiety. Its stress feeling. I rarely get anxiety because my brain fog is so bad i can't think about the future

    i tried alpha gpc to raise acetylcholine and it gave me bone aching fatigue and i slept for 12hrs waking up was life coming out of a coma lol. Maybe abit too sedated lol. Curcumin has the same effect on me
     
  12. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    yeah that's what I get too. I used to be able to juggle a hundred different tasks at the same time, no problem. Now only one simple task feels completely overwhelming. (your example about printing out a document, I have that too, it's utterly draining)
     
  13. ScottTriGuy

    ScottTriGuy Stop the harm. Start the research and treatment.

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    I'm having difficulty differentiating between the experiences of 'stress' and 'anxiety'. (To me, stress is an external cause: relationship problems, work issues / deadlines, working while sick --- whereas anxiety I experience as an internal cause: I only experience it as an short term and infrequent ME symptom directly related to some bowel movements)

    How do you experience stress and anxiety differently? How do they differ physically, emotionally and cognitively?
     
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  14. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    @ScottTriGuy I think we're saying the same thing :) The stress you feel from things like work deadlines etc. is what I (and others) feel when I have to do the tiniest thing like print out a recipe (as @douglasmich said). It is a feeling of being unable to carry out a task because there are too many different parts to it - a brain melt. A healthy person will print out a recipe while writing an email and maybe listening to a podcast. For some reason we can't handle even one of those things. They are as stressful to us as a work deadline or a family emergency would be to a healthy person.

    When I hear people talk about anxiety, I feel like it's more like a sudden (and usually very temporary) feeling of being unsafe, overwhelmed by life in general, unable to feel calm, etc. This could also make you unable to carry out a task, but I feel like that's different from a brain shutdown. I don't experience anxiety myself, so I'm not sure how to explain it... How would you describe your experience with anxiety?
     
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  15. Violeta

    Violeta Senior Member

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    To go along with the inflammation of the brain and over-active microglia, calcium dysregulation can be involved, and that is probably why calcarea phosphoricum is the #1 remedy when feeling overwhelmed is involved. That's why magnesium can help, it is a calcium channel blocker. This is a site with cell salts information. Correcting the calcium metabolism issue might be a better way to work on it. I have this cell salt, I have not been consistent with it though. There's so many angles that one has to work on, it's "overwhelming" and some of my supplements just sit on the shelf, lol, but it's not funny.

    http://www.brighterdayfoods.com/PDFDocs/l/LR72WHCKJQ1V9LTGKT8CGWX7TM5B1NP5.PDF
     
  16. Maria1

    Maria1 Silence speaks volumes

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    My brain fry is probably my most debilitating symptom, along with fatigue. My physical symptoms aren't as bad.

    I hardly post on PR despite reading quite a bit. I don't know how people cope with the responses when people reply. That in itself is paradoxically so exhausting, despite being supportive.

    I'm not sure that I would describe it as 'stress' or 'anxiety', but actually more that my brain now has some sort of physical reaction to the smallest stressor, which would, in the normal world cause an anxiety or stress reaction in a more functioning brain. (Not sure if I'm making sense here as my brain doesn't work so well, halfway through a post I lose the plot..) By 'stressor', I actually just mean a task or series of tasks that the brain has to do, eg. cooking a simple meal. For me it's worse if two tasks overlap so cooking is difficult and involves immense concentration.

    Like others, I could multi task like crazy before getting ill, actually thrived on it; now just the simplest of tasks cause this weird brain overload that only ever happened before for me at times of immense stress or anxiety. My simplistic answer for my own illness is that blood flow to the brain is affected. My reasoning is from my limited knowledge of blood flow changes with the fight or flight response in anxiety. It's as if the brain shuts down when faced with anything non essential and for some reason, multi-tasking (even if that's just two tasks at once) is deemed non essential somewhere in the priorities of blood flow.

    So driving is hard when I'm tired. It's made worse when a new element is added to my senses, such as rain, or my kids talking in the car, or the radio on. Even though it does not seem like a 'task' for the brain, the cognitive process involved in processing the fact that it's raining seems to tip me over the edge. I have to consciously deduct quite a few of these extra 'tasks' to keep below brain fry. Or having too many of these multi tasks in one day, or days like this in a week...

    Pacing helps, no surprise there. I think getting my ferritin up (this has taken a long time) may have helped too. I may also be getting a little bit better overall but my brain still frequently gets like this when I'm tired, or forget to keep the brain fry threshold low. I didn't have to think about any of this when I was 'well', so I do think something must be going on in the brain.
     
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  17. Old Bones

    Old Bones Senior Member

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    @Effi , @Violeta , @u&iraok , your use of the words "overwhelmed" and "overwhelming" describe my situation perfectly. Simple tasks I previously did routinely, and without much thought, are almost impossible to initiate, let alone complete. These include opening the mail, making phone calls, finding my keys, and deciding what to purchase for items as simple as shampoo or toilet paper. And, heaven help me if anything changes the slightest bit (eg. a software upgrade on my iPad, changes to my car when it's in for service). I am hypersensitive to everything, and it seems my brain shuts down as a defense mechanism . It's almost as if an invisible barrier is constructed around me as protection against the slightest stimulation. So, I'm typically on "auto pilot" when away from home interacting with people, not really aware of what's happening. Later, I tend to relive details of the event I missed while in a fog, desperately hoping I behaved appropriately in the moment, and that nobody noticed how vacant I was.
     
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  18. Effi

    Effi Senior Member

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    I've heard theories about how ME brain/body is unable to distinguish between important input, and secondary input. Every little thing is processed as a number one priority: driving, rain, kids talking, ... all fighting for attention. maybe to do with low bloodflow + low grade inflammation, and the brain therefore getting into survival mode, then crashing cause there's too much going on? who knows...

    @Old Bones making decisions, that's a good one too! such a difference from my pre-ME state...
     
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  19. Violeta

    Violeta Senior Member

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    @Old Bones , you hit on a few others of mine, too. (Making phone calls!)

    I have had relief from this symptom on and off, you can tell when it gets better the kitchen table is cleared off. I am currently working on candida because it think there has to be something gummy up the brain, and whether it is the candida itself or the toxins it gives off, I don't know. The symptom does go away when I go on a low carb diet, but I can only do that so long before I run into other problems that are even worse.
     
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  20. panckage

    panckage Senior Member

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    @douglasmich it sounds very normal to me. My feeling is just that our short term memory is pretty much nil. So we are desperately trying to keep information in our short term memory, but its kind of impossible. My coping solution to this is to do things one step at a time, never ever try to plan or think about the big picture. This is the only way I can cook. If I think too much about whether I have the ingredients or not I will just lose my train of thought and never get started on cooking. One step at a time!! Do not think ahead!!
     
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