Looking Ahead to Change: Little by Little
I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I don't think I ever really did, but the last decade or two would have been enough to stifle that impulse. I've just been too aware that I don't have that much control over what happens in my life.
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What impact does a little stress have on you ?

Discussion in 'Cognition' started by Dechi, May 15, 2017.

  1. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    I am litterally amazed at how much of a disastrous impact a little stress has on me. After a hard time this winter, I was pretty much back to my baseline, ie not having too many symptoms and managing the illness well with pacing and resting, for the major part of the last 2 weeks or so.

    Then, today, after discussing about a family event I need to organize with the help of my daughter for about 15 minutes, bang ! Right after the discussion, I am trembling, weak on my legs and having this blackout feeling in my brain. I then slept for more than 2 hours. And for the rest of the day, the symptoms remained stronger.

    It seems that no matter what I do, how long I rest, how careful I am to have a very clean life, whenever the smallest stress happens, I get worse. Which is really, really destroying my hope of going back to work. It seems the area in my brain responsible for stress management is incapable of handling this job.

    Emotions also have a strange effect on me : when I feel joy, or sadness or excitement, my body temperature rises. Enough that I need to peel off a layer or two for up to an hour or more, just for feeling something a few seconds. Weird isn't it ?
     
  2. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    Hey @Dechi, I have the same experience of stress. As I can no longer meditate, I'm looking into neurofeedback in conjunction with LDN as a way to build stress resistance and reduce brain inflammation.
     
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  3. Alvin2

    Alvin2 Senior Member

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    Are you a worrier?
     
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  4. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    @Dechi - Yes, yes, and yes! Same experience here, I find that in order to protect myself, I just disengage. That is not always possible of course and so I end up like you, crashing when it does occur.

    @Jesse2233 - Meditation is an interesting concept. I find that without working memory, I'm always in the present moment. Is meditation even necessary anymore? I say that facetiously, but it is a strange experience.
     
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  5. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Are you capable of working ? I want to start LDN soon. I am trying to convince my doctor to prescribe it for me. I never heard of neurofeedback,
     
  6. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Yes, I have generalized anxiety disorder. Very much a worrier.
     
  7. Alvin2

    Alvin2 Senior Member

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    Some forum members have said they can get PEM from just too much thinking
     
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  8. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    @Diwi9 I try to stay away from stress as much as possible. But I can't anticipate it always. Like this situation today. I was just having a conversation with my own daughter for a few minutes. I never thought I would pysically react to it.
     
  9. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    I guess that's sort of what happened to me. PEM from worrying...
     
  10. Diwi9

    Diwi9 Senior Member

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    It's part of what makes us unsociable. We literally do not have the energy to carry stress.
     
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  11. Alvin2

    Alvin2 Senior Member

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    Worrying is treatable but it requires energy that us ME/CFS people can't spare :(
     
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  12. Jesse2233

    Jesse2233 Senior Member

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    Unfortunately I'm currently not able to work for both physical reasons and cognitive reasons.

    Neurofeedback is interesting. Some on here have reported both good and bad feedback so results may very. The basic concept is that by measuring and promoting certain brainwaves through an interactive process it can physically change and repair brain function.

    I have a formerly anxious friend who swears by it, though he does not have CFS/ME. I spoke to a neurofeedback doctor today and he said he's used it successfully to treat fibromyalgia related fatigue and post concussion neurological conditions but not post viral. I'd be very curious to know what Dr Byron Hyde says about it
     
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  13. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1

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    I notice you said "family event I need to organise", I wonder how you crashed due to "thinking" too much, it may not be the stress as much as you think. Thinking too much about anything even non stressful things, can crash me and will cause me to have to sleep more. Im supposed to get myself a cool suit but I keep putting other urgent things first as I know there is a lot of thinking involved in the choosing and that is a crash risk factor for me (I'd enjoy sorting that out too but that doesnt get rid of the thinking affects).

    I have to extremely limit how much thinking I do every day and really pace thinking/decisions out so only work on sorting out one thing at a time

    I get the body temp raise and can go slightly measurable feverish on the thermometer after thinking or trying to organise things. I'll often end up sleeping without my quilt on a cold night or getting hot and cold after a day where ive done too much thinking

    Not being able to think hard or think too long.... really puts quite a limitation to things. I feel like a snail at the speed im able to sort things out. My disability parking pass ran out in Dec and its taken me till yesterday to have enough mental energy up to try to sort it out.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
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  14. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    Very good points. To me those are two seperate things : the effect of working my brains, and the effect of stress. When I am at my baseline, I can do brainwork for a few hours a few times a week without PEM. And PEM from cognitive work starts slowlier; I would be working and after a while I realize I need to stop, my body is going nuts and so is my brain.

    The stress PEM is much faster. I would be talking and suddenly I feel this anxiety/stress building up in my stomach and then it transfers to my brain where it leaves this blackout effect. PEM is felt within minutes of the stress happening.

    I am just starting to realize this. I have only been sick a few years so this is still relatively new to me. I now understand I can have cognitive, physical and emotional (stress) PEM. And they're very hard to prevent all at the same time, which is why this illness is so damn difficult to treat !
     
  15. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    @Jesse2233 I will be seeing Dr Hyde soon, I will put it on my (very long) list of things to discuss.
     
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  16. wherearemypillows

    wherearemypillows

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    I never used to think too much about the way stress was affecting my body because I figured it was mostly isolated to a mental battle and that I could handle it. But lately I've been noticing that on some days, even nominal levels of stress seem to cause a dull physical sensation in my head that makes me want to just go to sleep. So I think I know what you mean with the "blackout feeling in [your] brain". It sucks :(
     
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  17. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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  18. Jessie 107

    Jessie 107

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    Yes I can't seem to cope with stress at all well now either, my Mother has Alzhiemers and has become quite aggressive verbally flying off the handle at the slightest thing. This sends my stress levels soaring, I have to come home and lay down and just try and shut off from it. As I am seeing her most afternoons (no choice) I'm sure it brings on PEM, my sister who is not ill deals with the situation much better than I do
     
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  19. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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    I think this is an impossible thing to do. Stress is a constant. We can not control, reduce, or eliminate stress. But we can control how we react to stress, which is quite a different approach. Maybe you would have more success focusing on better ways to cope with stress rather than attempting to avoid it.

    The AA mantra comes to mind: grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

    When I find myself stressing about something, I try to have a conversation with myself to understand what is specifically making me anxious. Once I actually pinpoint it and get to the heart of why it's bothering me so much, I can then decide whether it's something that's out of my hands and I need to let it go, or whether there is something I can do to eliminate the stress.

    Since I have a really terrible short term memory, I often stress about forgetting important deadlines/tasks. So now, I have redundant systems in place to remind of these things - I write a note on the calendar, I set an alarm on my phone, I write a note on paper I tape to my front door or kitchen counter. Once I have those things in place, I don't need to stress about the possibility of forgetting.

    This is just one example, plenty of times I feel stressed about things I can't change. But once I understand that I can't change those things, I can focus on reframing how I think about them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2017
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  20. Dechi

    Dechi Senior Member

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    @Basilico You're absolutely right. But being a "regular" anxious person and having TAG are quite different (maybe you have TAG also, I am just explaining for the sake of discussion). When you have TAG, you have it pretty much since you were born and it's a second nature that's very hard to repress. You're not even thinking, it's how ypu are. Therapists who massage me are always amazed about how tensed I am.

    The suggestions you are giving are really good ones, and I have lots of them for all situations in my life, that I have been putting in place for a long time.

    I am also in therapy to manage my anxiety. It has helped me with sleep and worrying at night. It works up to a certain point but past that, the anxiety just gets amplified.

    So for now I try to avoid stress as much as possible. Even though it's not perfect, I have more control over that than managing my anxiety. I hope one day things get better and I can go back to being a person. Right now I'm just existing, not living. :-(
     
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