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Why does this illness keep bringing up "bad stuff" to the surface of the mind?

Discussion in 'Cognition' started by SilverbladeTE, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    by this, I mean, I keep having bad memories/knowledge etc kind of "brought to the surface of my attention/mind" far far more often than they should.
    It's very odd and unpleasant.

    I've had an "interesting" life in the "Chinese Curse" kind of way, lol, but dealt with that, the "monsters got put away in their cages, the woes in their boxes and filled away", sometimes brought out, dealt with and put back, but didn't bother me that much. Know what I mean?

    I'd long before used philosophy, confronting such things etc and had got over 'em, and just thought I'd left 'em in the past...

    and then ME/CFS came along and when it got worse, it's like the "cages and boxes of the mind that contain such crap" get opened up again...blech!!
    hard to explain, but couple of other people in chat noted same.

    Now I rather obviously loathe *he says like Austin Powers* :D the damn "Weasel type psychs" so I sure as hell reject a psychological basis for ME, which is a patently absurd concept at best
    But, it is neurological and the distress of it all does have psychological effects after you get ME 'cause it's a bloody horrible illness.

    So what is triggering this resurgance of the sh*t in life, from time spast, that one had buried, to come back up into the light and get ya down?
    Psychological, neurological? Both?
    I feel neurological due to stuff I can't quite easily explain, including way my memory is being "swiss cheesed".
    I am or at least used to be, capable of dealing with mental issues/crap in life as said above
    And other symptoms of more obviously bodily nature (weird nerve pain for example) make me feel it's more organic than psychological, but can accept psychological is a possibility too
    I've been unable for years to do the things that truly relax me/give spiritual lift etc, for example, which doesn't bloody help.

    The "brain fog/internal balaclava" lifted for me years ago, few years after I went from "Light" to Moderate" severity, instead it became persistant and damn annoying headaches, and irritability and these issues of bad memeories etc became a feature. I can't say for sure it started at same time though, my symptoms have slowly changed over years and hard to pin down time and dates etc, certainly not exact dates!
    Could this change from "brain fog" to "headache" be a factor?


    Could it also be side effects of the testosterone injections?
  2. Anne P

    Anne P

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    Hi Silverblade. This thing of bad memories surfacing over and over again (but for me especially when feeling more ill or painy or headachey) is very annoying and potentially depressing and soul affecting to me. I don't really know why it happens but when it does I think 'Oh! No! here it is again' and try to see it as just another symptom of physical disease and not part of the real me of today. Easier said than done when it lingers for days though and it is horrible having to continually go through the same struggle to put 'all that' back in its box. I suspect it is related to overproduction of certain cytokines in body and brain. In myself they can be triggered by PEM, and food chemical intolerances. Its a relief when it passes.

    Anne
  3. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    The brain is a pattern matching machine. For whatever reason, something in your current CFS biology is triggering those old patterns, producing the memories. It might be a similar brain chemistry or emotional state to the state you were in during some of the past bad experiences. One thing for sure though, it is NOT an indicator that there is any psychological involvement in the genesis of CFS. Could it be testosterone? Perhaps if there was elevated testosterone at an earlier time during some bad experience (which seems likely).
  4. Marg

    Marg Senior Member

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    I seem to have trouble with this when I know I am in a detox mode. All the junk has to go through there. I have been told that as well. It does pass and has not happened in a will. I was having some very morbid thought for a while.
  5. Marg

    Marg Senior Member

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    One more thng I just thought oif. In natural healing they speak of retracing past things, illness and emotions.
  6. kurt

    kurt Senior Member

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    Right, I've heard that to, the homeopathic healing process, or something like that. Again, this makes perfect sense when you consider the role of the brain, as a pattern-matching neural network. As you go through heaing, perhaps somehow the shifting biochemistry triggers those old pain/symptom patterns again.
  7. drex13

    drex13 Senior Member

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    I've definitely noticed that when I'm not feeling well physically, my mental state goes south. I've also noticed that when I feel worse physically my thought process and outlooks change from a long term, "in the future" type of thinking to a short term view on things. In other words, when I'm feeling fairly well I am able to look forward and make tentative plans for or have hopes about the future, when I'm not feeling well, all I can think about is the now and can't see any further than tomorrow.
  8. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    I understand the sudden negative feelings. At times I feel something almost like chemical rush of stress (with none of the energy) and then negative feelings come soon after. I don't know if that makes sense. It isn't like anything I felt before I got sick. It comes on suddenly, often for no reason. I have wondered many times if it has something to go with this illness. Mabey it has something to do with certain nerves in the brain firing too fast?


    The most aggravating memory problem I have right now, I think, is forgetting how to spell words and put sentences together. I used to be a secretary and I new my spelling and grammar. It frustrates me so much. That and getting lost in Walmart.
  9. sleepy237

    sleepy237 Senior Member

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    Hey Silver, I know that this illness has stirred up things I thought were dealt with completely in life. I think on the whole this illness can take us to very bad places by the experiencing of relentless symptoms. It is as if the brain produces "pop ups" randomly of things I don't really want or need to remember. I don't know the exact mechanism but I certainly do relate. Things are even filtering through dreams now too. I hope it is a sign of healing but I can never tell. Hugs. ~Sleepy
  10. Nico

    Nico Senior Member

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    Thank you Silver for starting this topic. I think you and I share similar "repression" or Chinese Curse mechanisms....up until now. I used to careen through life...white knuckle riding often. Since becoming ill, I get "blind-sided" by memories which bring up - consequently - strong emotions. The most prevelant emotion is saddness, shame, and regret. Here's how I've described the process.... it's like being on my death-bed, and just getting blind-sided with (the caged) memory.....
    Although I could easily buy into the neuro-chemistry aspect I am not in a position to make such a declaration. I'm not a scientist or neurologist. It would be speculation.
    I do, believe, that we are given experiences in life....to teach us...and help us heal that particular thing....it is not always comfortable....like a thorn being removed.
    Although I know this illness is physical for me, I do not discount the ramifications of a psychological state(s) that may have paved my way here. Anyway.
    When my repressed-memory-blind-sides happen, the emotional tidal wave can last a day to a week. I see it as just part of the bigger scheme. The feelings are uncomfortable, but there's no repressing them or running away from them now. The creatures simply cannot be caged - so run amok they must. :)
  11. Anne P

    Anne P

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    This is a very interesting thread. I've often wondered about brain 'patterns' with these recurring regretful shameful type memories.

    I think though that If bad memories flooding back when I am ill means that I am healing, then after 30 years of it happening I would expect to see some positive results. Similarly I would expect that having dealt with them through therapy and CBT then they would not normally flood back in a jolt/wave when a relapse hits. So I still go for the biochemical trigger...causing a neurological response.

    Silver, perhaps a hormonal (as in the testosterone) surge could be a factor, especially if it has only happened since getting the injections. I wonder too if the increased headaches is related to the testosterone injections or did the headaches come first?
  12. caledonia

    caledonia

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    I get this kind of stuff too, although I agree more with the pattern matching theory than it's a physical/chemical part of this illness. I view pattern matching as more electrical than chemical. But then again isn't the electrical system ie nervous system also out of whack with this illness? Is it the chicken or the egg, lol.

    Anyway, there is help for it, or at least it's been very helpful to me. It's a technique called Emotional Freedom Technique or EFT for short. You can learn it for free at this website. http://www.eftuniverse.com/ There are also videos on YouTube if you prefer learning that way.

    What EFT does is better than putting the memories/emotions back in the box. It zaps them, never to be bothered with them again. While you would remember that they occurred, they just don't bother you any more.
  13. Wayne

    Wayne Senior Member

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    Feedback Loops in Our Brains

    Hi Silverblade,

    Have to say, I can relate to some of your descriptions. I look at this in a variety of ways, but I'll just mention the primary one. In short, I believe my (our) brains are vulnerable to entering into repetitive "feedback loops". I think the reason for this vulnerability primarily results from a physical brain injury and/or various kinds of cerebral allergies. I think a possible reason for either of these is a breakdown or dysfunction of the blood brain barrier.

    Example: I have really strong and difficult reactions to odors of all kinds, including foods I enjoy eating. If I get hit with some strong odors on a particularly difficult day, the odor can stick around in my brain for quite some time afterward, often lasting several hours. On a couple of occasions, I would even wake up repeatedly in the night smelling the odor over and over again.

    Another example: I occasionally (maybe every couple months or so), have a repetitive dream that goes on literally all night long. It's feels rather torturous, and often can't recall the details. Just know that some kind of feedback loop has taken hold, and for whatever reason, can't get out of it the way I should be able to.

    There's more examples, but for me, I feel I deal with "feedback loops" that are primarily physical, but that eventually begin to intrude onto my emotional and mental well being. I've tried different things to control this as best I can, and have found some things that work quite well. But it is such a pervasive aspect of my life, that I find myself continually needing to be creative (and alert) to keep myself free from some of this undo influence.

    I think the testosterone you mention could have the potential to affect this dynamic. I once tried a testosterone precursor, and noticed it slightly aggravated my own situation. Even low-dose hydrocortisone had a similar negative effect in the beginning until I got used to it. But for the most part, I think it's every day environmental exposures (including EMFs), effects of various viral and bacterial infections, and food allergies that cause most of my own difficulties.

    Best Regards, Wayne
  14. camas

    camas Senior Member

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    Silverblade,

    I wonder if it could also be a form of grieving? I say this only because I've experienced what you are describing since the death of my husband. Even though it's been almost five years, and I'm in a happy new relationship, I still occasionally get hit with a sneaker wave of grief.

    Like most people with ME/CFS my brain tends to be oversensitive to most stimuli. Odors, as Wayne described, can be a particularly powerful trigger. Yesterday would have been my husband's 54th birthday, and I was fine until I walked into my yard and caught a whiff of daphne and felt like I'd been hit with a ton of bricks. (My daphne always began opening its blooms by his birthday.)

    Anyway, didn't mean to ramble (not feeling too articulate tonight), but just wondered if something the illness is doing to the brain could be triggering episodes of grieving.
  15. busybee

    busybee Senior Member

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    I remember a study which was based on learning and passing exams. It concluded we recall information from when we were previously in the same mindset.

    I don't believe there is anything clever going on here our brains are just equating the suffering we are doing now to whats happened previously.

    As you become more well it disappears.

    Wishing you all well :)
  16. hoMEy

    hoMEy

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    when we say "this illness" we externalise it as seperate from ourselves. testosterone injections imo would most definitely cause hormonal inbalance not to mention liver toxicity and all the physical and emotional problems bodybuilders face. every organ grows on testosterone jabs...permanently! synthesized testosterone is not the same as it's natural "counterpart". only the body can accurately regulate your glands, better to nurture their function than take manhood in a jab. your body will tell you what to do if you listen. atb
  17. IamME

    IamME Too sick for an identity

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    I can't believe this thread.

    sorry but i can't agree that it does this. that would sound like a licence for cbt! Since when was 'negative thinking' a symptom of ME?

    the nearest you can possibly get to the negative thoughts bs is traumatic flashbacks and nightmares but that's merely a mirror to the (usually ongoing) hell/abuse of having ME. And if you feel like hell then you're not going to be a a happy bunny but so what, that's entirely rational and it's unethical to brainwash ppl into being unrealistic/living in la la land without trying to change the fundamental pathologies.

    i donr think there's any real evidence that genuine pwme have disproportionate negative thoughts and find this a bizarre and unhelpful thing to say. it's not what concerns 99% of pwME and not what keeps them awake at night or in pain vs. profound serious organic symptoms due to serious pathologies which is where the focus and discussion should be and is desperately needed.
  18. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    IamME
    that is a very...poor, thing to say.

    1) It should be pretty damn obvious I have little love for the "Weasel psychs" as said in intro of this thread

    2) Again, in intro I said this is a neurological illness, k? :)
    Psychotic like effects, depression, self destruction, irritability, phobias etc are all well know with such, see rabies, syphilis, Lyme Disease etc. Those are neurological, too. neurological is NOT "pyschological"

    Neurological illnesses affect the brain and nervous system, which can cause peculiar symptoms unlike any other as they can and do affect the mind! Largely by organic changes/damage and also because of the distress the patient suffers.

    It is incredibly foolish to ignore such aspects of this illness
    Just because those rotten SOB psychs have screwed us up, doesn't mean that *good* psychiatry is a valid aspect of treating this illness since it affects the brain and mental function it IS does lie to an extent in the realm of psychiatry, plus any chronic nasty illness/problem often needs pyschological help because they aren't bloody easy to live with

    alas the lunatics have taken over the asylum in regards to Psychiatry, ugh, but still does not negate the fact that we require the aid of that branch of medical science...we just need to get the ratbags booted out of it!

    Do you doubt this illness causes depression? do you think depression can only be 100% psychological caused by pain, loss etc...or that the hormonal changes and brain damage can also cause it?
    thus do you think it cannot also cause many other unpleasant things by neurological damage/hormonal changes etc caused by it PHYSICALLY affecting the individual?
    Pain...panic attacks...light sensitivity...sensory overload...multiple chemical sensitivity?

    Remember, we know for a fact that ME/CFS affects the Hypothalamus, Pituitary and Adrenal glands. In my case it's direclty affected the pituitary, visibly so on MRI. or does this not fit in with YOUR "view" of what is "acceptable" for the illness?

    jeesh open up! :)
    It's bloody complex illness, we know tragically little about it's deeper causes, and the over all crap has prevented exploraiton of it's full facets of effects and thus treatments.


    Other posters,
    sorry I didn't respond, it's just a very difficult one, as there's no empircal evidence I can offer or debate with and it is very...unpleasant/difficult :/

    I think Wayne has a good point, the "feed back loops" :)

    Camas
    yes grief could well be a component, we have seen the "death" of our old lives/selves, but have no common means of truly delaing with that
    a person who loses a limb, this is socially acceptable and understood
    but us? hm...does that affect the way we deal with it? I can believe so.
    Sheer freaking rage at the way we've been treated, prevented from being "socially accepted" causes immense distress whihc is outrageous to do to the sick.

    hoMEy
    note I take testostrone under prescription as ME/CFS has screwed with pituitary and it is no longer producing the control hormone for testosterone and so I have basically *zero* testosterone :/ In a big guy, that is not good, seriously not good.

    the injections sure help a lot (I was at the bottom end of what I'd think of as the "Moderate" severity, next step being Severe and house but not bed bound)
    but the injections don't stop the illness or deal with a lot of it's ongoign effects
    best way to explain it is:
    you know that feeling of having your blood/insides/energy sucked out your navel, makes you feel like yer dying? it stops that. and thus makes life MUCH more bearable, and brought back fair bit of muscle tone I'd lost :)

    During zero testosterone time, depression (as in CLINICAL f'ing HORRIBLE depression) was an issue at beginng of it, took almost a year to crawl out of that hole *shudder*. Huge difference between that, and "depression of being sick etc etc etc". First is a nightmare, latter one's a freakin downer.

    there are interesting differences, mentally, between the two states (high-or rather "normal" vs low testosterone).

    Oh and I do get checked yearly for cancer etc because of the injections, just wish they'd do a yearly MRI to track any differences in pituitary and as they said "extensive lesions on brain"
    i was suppsoed to get more MRI and SPECT scans done, but..nothing happened...NHS seems ot have a secret policy of not allowing follow ups of ME patients.

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