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Dental Anxiety

OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
Hi,

I wasn't sure which sub forum to put this in so feel free to move it if it's in the wrong place!

I could really do with a dental check-up (and potentially descale & treatment at worst case scenario) as it's been several years since I last had one due to severe anxiety amongst other things.  A dentist visit is one of my worst nightmares though and I was wondering if anyone else is/was in the same situation and can offer any advice?

I suffer from severe contamination OCD and phobias around illness and injury which mean I struggle to get anything in my mouth, food is a daily hell, and a toothbrush even more so!  I can't cope with any liquid in my mouth (including water & saliva) without gagging and I struggle to spit anything out including the toothpaste.  Needless to say I am not able to keep my teeth properly clean despite trying hard every day, but am also absolutely terrified of the consequences of this!  I'm constantly 'checking' my teeth with my tongue and always feel something not right somewhere, I know that is most likely the OCD rather than anything actually wrong but of course I have no way to prove that without a check up.

On top of that, I struggle to leave the house and deal with people due to agoraphobia, social anxiety, IBS and again the OCD contamination fears around sitting in a waiting room etc.  I can't sit still, I'm constantly fidgety and suffer with acid reflux so have to keep swallowing which is not going to be easy in the chair.  I also suffer with an over sensitivity to lights, noises, smells, temperature, pain and touch - I can't stand being touched by anyone at all, let alone in my mouth.

I realise this is pretty much an impossible task but I am hoping to try and get at least a check up done by the end of this year...so if anyone does have any advice it would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
OA

Replies

  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 197Member Pioneering
    Hi @OverlyAnxious

    Have you ever had any CBT - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy? 

    It can be a really helpful way of tackling OCD and anxiety.  If you've not had it before [or even if you have!] you could talk to you GP as they can refer you for some free sessions.  Depending on how many sessions they can offer this may or may not be enough but you could then find a local therapist who can continue to work with you. 

    The only way to get through this is 'feel the fear and do it anyway' which is what you have been trying to do but you may find it helpful to have some support.

    But I'm also thinking that if your OCD/agoraphobia stems from specific events in your past you might also need a more specialised approach [as well as the CBT] eg EMDR, trauma therapy - you can also talk to your GP about that too, if they are any good they will be able to refer you to the right service/s.

    Either way I'd go sooner rather than later to discuss this with your GP [or talk to them on the phone if they'll do a telephone appointment] as the waiting lists for these services tend to be long...

    In the meanwhile if you haven't come across them there are some good books on OCD eg Overcoming OCD and Break Free from OCD both on amazon.

    I hope you get to achieve your goal of getting to the dentist, that would be a great achievement - I think when you come to actually have your appointment it would be worth asking for a dentist who maybe has experience of the sort of issues you have as they should be much more aware nowadays of mental health issues.

    Best wishes.

    Emma

  • charlie79charlie79 Posts: 120Member Pioneering
    Good day and welcome. I may have some advice to help but weather its the answer or  works for you is a different matter. I have multiple severe mental illnesses, but before I was a dental nurse for 12 years.
    I found patients felt at ease by bringing earphones and listening to music on there phone some even bought them sleeping aids the mask over the eyes to shut out light or distractions. As for the scale and polish if your teeth are severe enough to need a deep deep scaling under certain circumstances if severe enough they can refer you to hospital to have done under GA. Usually though if you explain to receptionist on phone they can explain to dentist when booking an apt. Hope this helps and good luck
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Hi Emma,

    Thanks for the reply!  I have tried CBT twice but sadly just trying to get to the CBT centre, go inside and then deal with the therapists caused so much anxiety (and in turn stomach & bowel issues) it just made things worse rather than better unfortunately, all I could focus on was getting out of there and was arriving later each time due to not being able to leave the house.  I also find it pretty much impossible to get to the GP for the same reasons, plus the contamination from it being an environment specifically for ill people, so I never can get anything across to them when I force myself there.   

    The basis of CBT seems to be that events won't be as bad as you're expecting them to be and that the anxiety will eventually drop if you stay in the situation long enough.  However I haven't found this to be the case with myself, events are usually even worse than I expect and the anxiety never does drop.  It's not like a 'hurdle' where I'm ok when I get somewhere, it just continues to get worse and worse until I get home, and of course every event like that just reinforces it.  I'm not aware of any specific past events causing the OCD & agoraphobia so I'm not sure if something like trauma therapy would be helpful, I haven't been offered anything other than CBT and pills so far.  I cant take pills due to the risk of side effects making me ill.

    I have read a few books on overcoming OCD but again, found no difference afterwards. 
  • charlie79charlie79 Posts: 120Member Pioneering
    Dentist do domercilkary visits which is basically home visits. Call your dentist and ask criteria for this request. It's been 10 yrs since I have practiced my dental proffreesion and rules are constantly changing. If they do a home visit can have a friend present
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    charlie79 said:
    Good day and welcome. I may have some advice to help but weather its the answer or  works for you is a different matter. I have multiple severe mental illnesses, but before I was a dental nurse for 12 years.
    I found patients felt at ease by bringing earphones and listening to music on there phone some even bought them sleeping aids the mask over the eyes to shut out light or distractions. As for the scale and polish if your teeth are severe enough to need a deep deep scaling under certain circumstances if severe enough they can refer you to hospital to have done under GA. Usually though if you explain to receptionist on phone they can explain to dentist when booking an apt. Hope this helps and good luck
    Hi Charlie, thanks for the reply.  Music sounds like a good idea as I often use the radio to help with anxiety & panic in other situations. :smile: 

    I can't cope with needles or hospitals so I don't think a hospital visit with GA would work for me but it's something to keep in mind if it's the least worst option.

    Would you say it's normal for most dentists to accept very anxious patients nowadays or should I try to find one that specifically deals with patients like that?  If so, how would I go about finding one?
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 197Member Pioneering
    Hi @OverlyAnxious
    It sounds like you've already worked hard to try to overcome the problems you have but you've not quite found an effective way of reducing the problem/s...
    It's hard to imagine the problems just came out of nowhere but perhaps they just started small and just grew and grew until you knew of no other way to feel safe and now it's virtually impossible to conceive of a life without the safety behaviours you have in place?  What would that look like?
    @charlie79 suggestion of a home visit from a dentist is a good one - I didn't realise they did that. 
    I guess another option would be to talk to your doctor as to whether they have any therapists or some sort of mental health supper worker who would see you at home and/or see if you could find a therapist that would visit you at home which you could fund through PIP if you get that?  I'm not sure if you could get direct payments to pay for something like this?
    I hope you find a way forward.
    Best wishes.
    Emma
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    charlie79 said:
    Dentist do domercilkary visits which is basically home visits. Call your dentist and ask criteria for this request. It's been 10 yrs since I have practiced my dental proffreesion and rules are constantly changing. If they do a home visit can have a friend present
    I don't even know who my dentist is lol, it's been at least 8 years since I was last able to go there so not sure if I'll even still have one?  
  • charlie79charlie79 Posts: 120Member Pioneering
    Contact your local pct x they can help
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    EmmaB said:
    Hi @OverlyAnxious
    It sounds like you've already worked hard to try to overcome the problems you have but you've not quite found an effective way of reducing the problem/s...
    It's hard to imagine the problems just came out of nowhere but perhaps they just started small and just grew and grew until you knew of no other way to feel safe and now it's virtually impossible to conceive of a life without the safety behaviours you have in place?  What would that look like?
    @charlie79 suggestion of a home visit from a dentist is a good one - I didn't realise they did that. 
    I guess another option would be to talk to your doctor as to whether they have any therapists or some sort of mental health supper worker who would see you at home and/or see if you could find a therapist that would visit you at home which you could fund through PIP if you get that?  I'm not sure if you could get direct payments to pay for something like this?
    I hope you find a way forward.
    Best wishes.
    Emma
    Hi Emma,

    I never really could cope with being alive, especially being ill or injured and dealing with other people socially, I can trace that all way back to even before primary school, I'd never get dirty with mud or paint etc and never take any risks.  By the end of primary I was really struggling with contamination and food and didn't really get on with anyone my age...and the transition to high school and teen years were really the last straw for my mental health, I just couldn't cope with it at all...and then one of the worst things for an illness-phobic happened, I started getting really bad IBS-D every single day before school, and couldn't eat or drink away from home during the day so felt awful all the time, by that point I really was just trying to get through one day at a time, and hoping I didn't wake up to another one...I never thought I'd have to go through choosing options in Year 9, or GCSEs in Year 11, or learn to drive, and definitely not move out...but it's now been about 15 years of just trying to get through one day at a time and unfortunately I'm still here trying to get through each day, the passage of time has just added a few more phobias, a lot more physical issues (to be expected with age) and safety/avoidance behaviours.  I look back now and wondered how I ever got through school & college! You are absolutely correct in that I can't see a life without safety behaviours, even from the age of 11 (high school transition) I couldn't see any sort of future for myself.

    It has made me wonder if OCD may be something we're born with as I can trace it so far back.  And although it wasn't noticed at the time, it's now been suggested a few times that I'm likely to be on the spectrum and may have suffered from an early age.  I am awaiting an ASD diagnosis but waiting lists are very long.

    I wouldn't be able to have a home visit unfortunately.  My flat is the one place I can try to control contamination and get some very brief rest occasionally, having any visitors is extremely difficult, I have just one relative over a fortnight for an hour maximum (the visit is for their benefit rather than mine!) which causes me huge amounts of anxiety and I have to disinfect anything they've touched afterwards, it causes days of after effects with my stomach & bowels, as well as muscle aches from excess tension so I couldn't risk having an unknown person over, especially a medical one.

    I don't currently get PIP so am also in fairly major financial difficulty now as I have to live alone due to my conditions and try to cover rent, bills and groceries on a very low income.  I failed the first PIP assessment recently which is why I joined this forum....though I wish I'd joined it earlier now! :smile:  I have now posted a mandatory reconsideration but it seems these rarely make any difference and I'll have to try and get through a tribunal, but that will be months away if it does happen.
  • WaylayWaylay Posts: 875Member Pioneering
    Hi there,

    I also have severe anxiety about dentists, although I don't have OCD. This must be so difficult for you! I found a dentist who will give me gas and air (nitrous oxide) while working on my teeth. He's NHS, but I have to pay for the gas and air. Basically, it knocks you out, or close enough that it doesn't matter. You recover in 10-15 minutes after it stops. It requires a see-through mask to be put over your mouth/nose/both. Works for me.

    Cheers!
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Waylay said:
    Hi there,

    I also have severe anxiety about dentists, although I don't have OCD. This must be so difficult for you! I found a dentist who will give me gas and air (nitrous oxide) while working on my teeth. He's NHS, but I have to pay for the gas and air. Basically, it knocks you out, or close enough that it doesn't matter. You recover in 10-15 minutes after it stops. It requires a see-through mask to be put over your mouth/nose/both. Works for me.

    Cheers!
    Thank you for that reply, that sounds like something I could probably cope with! :smile: 

    Do you get any after effects from the gas?
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Quick update, I now have an appointment for a check-up for next month... :disappointed: 

    If anyone has anymore tips or advice on dentist visits, I'd like to hear them!!

    I will have the option of going to a specialist clinic and having gas if I need any treatment but the check is at a normal dentist.  Tbh I don't know how I'm going to get through the check-up! :|
  • crazyjancrazyjan Posts: 48Member Courageous
    I don't have any tips, sorry, but just wanted to wish you the very best for your checkup. I'm terrified of the dentist but have managed to stick with the same one for a number of years now and he knows me and my anxiety! I hope you find a way of getting through this. I feel for you as it's a horrible way to feel. Good luck!
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 5,837Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @OverlyAnxious and thank you for the update.

    That's a huge step to have an appointment booked, you should be really proud of yourself. I have always had a huge phobia of the dentist (and needles for that matter!) so I appreciate how much of a big step forward this is.

    I too found that music helped, and my dentist is aware of how nervous I am. It's okay to tell them what might help you. I always ask them to just keep talking (about anything) which gives me something else to focus on. 

    I really hope you make it to the appointment, you can do this. :)

    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,390Administrator Scope community team
    It's great you've managed to book in for a check-up @OverlyAnxious
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 197Member Pioneering
    That's great news @OverlyAnxious, go for it! It might be useful for you to write down your worries re what you think might happen and then once you've had the appointment to see whether it was as bad as you 'predicted' it would be?  It can be good to realise our predictions don't always happen / aren't as bad as we think they would be... You can also use the list of things you are worrying about to think about solutions to those worries eg if you are worried about sitting in a waiting room - you could call up reception and see if you can have an arrangement  them where you call from outside to let them know you have arrived, then they can call you (or come out to help you in) when your dentist is ready, so you go straight into their room, for example... Thinking things through in this way might help. Good luck with it. Let us know how you get on if you want to? 
    Best wishes.
    Emma
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Well, so far I've just been trying not to think about it...but it's getting closer now and I've written out a short list of worries, it's by no means comprehensive and I'll probably add to it over the next week...
    •  Not being able to leave the house on time due to IBS
    • More traffic than I was expecting and/or not being able to find a parking space
    • Physically freezing outside and being unable to try the door
    • Having to use an intercom before the door will open
    • The smells and sounds being so overwhelming that I immediately panic and have a meltdown, panic attack, or just run out again
    • Not being able to speak to, or understand, the receptionist
    • Bringing the wrong paperwork to prove my free NHS entitlement
    • Not being able to get up the stairs to the waiting room due to the wobbly, dizzy, motion feeling that I get when anxious
    • Finding the waiting room packed with other people - especially if they are making noise, coughing, or appear unwell
    • Physically freezing outside the dentists door and not being able to enter the room
    • The sight of the dentist, chair and tools being so overwhelming that I have a meltdown, panic attack, IBS attack, or just run out again
    • Not being able to understand, or respond to, the dentist - especially if they have a strong accent (I always worry they'll think I'm racist instead of just anxious!)
    • Not being able to explain my problems, dislikes and phobias
    • Being unable to take the motion of the chair reclining and feeling dizzy/ticking (I can't use lifts or escalators) 
    • Being unable to lay flat due to reflux (I can't lay flat at home most of the time)
    • Being unable to remain still in the chair, particularly with a nervous tick I have where I suddenly twist my neck (the injuries could be severe if there are tools in my mouth when that happens)
    • Gagging before they even get close (if I gag just once I'll have to leave immediately)
    • Being unable to open my mouth at all due to 'contaminated air' in the room (Yes, I know that sounds ridiculous, but your nose acts as a filter)
    • Being unable to cope with the feeling of metal against my teeth, and excess saliva (can't stand bodily fluids)
    • Dentist being too heavy handed, putting too much pressure against my teeth, damaging or loosening them
    • Dentist accidentally cutting my gum or tongue (possibly due to me not being able to stay still!)
    • Not being able to say STOP if I need him to stop, or him not stopping if I do ask
    • Agreeing to something I won't be able to do (X-rays or water jet descale for example)
    • Terrified that he will find something wrong requiring further treatment
    • Not being able to trust his judgement (I can't trust my own mind to give me the correct information, how can I trust anyone elses!?)
    • Worried I'll embarrass myself with loud stomach/bowel gurgling, soiling myself or crying etc
    • Not being able to stand up out of the chair without being overcome by dizziness and passing out
    • Not being able to deal with the receptionist afterwards and just having to leave

    Why am I even attempting this...? :s
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 197Member Pioneering
    Dear @OverlyAnxious

    I guess in answer to your final question - because you are trying to see if you can do this... and it would be a great achievement if you can achieve any part of it?  And if you could achieve all of it it might be a big step towards changing your life because it might mean you could achieve less scaring outings after? 

    I'm wondering if you can eliminate any of the fears you have listed eg Have you called the practice and told them of your worries/fears so they are fully aware including the dentist?  Have you got anyone at all who could go with you?  Could you make an arrangement that once you arrive outside the practice that you call to say you are outside and that someone can come out and help you in, guide you to the treatment room etc?  Could you write down a bit of text that explains that you are nervous about your visit and what you would like someone to do to help you ie if you 'freeze' eg "Please could you explain to me what the process is in a calm way and help me through the stages of the appointment..."

    It sounds like it would be good for them to know so they can help you as far as possible eg by clearly explaining every step, simply and calmly, which might help?  You could even show them your list so they are fully aware of what a big deal this is for you but what will be every day for them...

    I hope you can do this, I'm sending you positive vibes and willing you on here!

    Best wishes.

    Emma


  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Thanks Emma,

    I think the reason I'm trying to do it is to reduce some anxiety from one area of life...but it won't work even if I can get through it, the constant doubt of OCD doesn't get removed by a professionals opinion unfortunately.  

    I can't use phones but have e-mailed the surgery to book, mentioning some of my issues at the time.  I doubt they will pass any of that on to the dentist though.  I thought about trying to write some down to take on the day but I don't think they'll have time to read it, I do understand it's just a job to them and they want to get it over and onto the next one as soon as possible.  

    I can't take anyone with me because I can't cope with people regardless of how long I've known them.  My Mum visits me fortnightly but that causes so much anxiety (along with dizziness, reflux, nausea, etc) even in my own home that I have to ask her to leave after about an hour as I can't cope any more.  Then I spend the rest of the evening in a right state, it gets more difficult every time she comes over but as it's for her benefit I don't want to stop it altogether...  I do wish I had an understanding mate in a similar situation that I could meet there but I don't know where to find someone like that or if that would help anyway...I tried a local anxiety group earlier in the year (after 4 failed attempts) and it went horribly wrong, couldn't cope there at all, even though most of them were probably in similar circumstances.
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 197Member Pioneering
    Hi @OverlyAnxious
    It really feels like you could benefit from having a support worker who has experience of working with people with anxiety and OCD, it would be long term work but would be worth it if you want to improve your quality of life, I'm making an assumption that that is what you'd like to do?
    Another option is to consider working with an online counsellor initially (online counsellors use video call, instant messaging and email) but I think ultimately you would benefit more from face to face work... 
    In the meantime I hope you can challenge and overcome some of those unhelpful negative thoughts as they are really not helping, the trouble is that negative thinking is both a habit and a survival mode of thinking so need some hard and consistent work to shift.  A support worker or counsellor could help with this...
    Best wishes.

    Emma
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    edited September 29
    What I'd like to do isn't something I have control over. I don't want to be here, it's not like there's a long term aim I'm working towards. I have no interest in relationships or families which I assume is meant to be the point of it all.

    Even if we take away all of the social/going out stuff, I can't cope with having to be alive everyday and having to deal with this body even in my own home.  There's no amount of talking that can change that surely?  And the longer I have to be alive, the worse my body will physically get, that's the same for all of us...the older I get the more I have to watch relatives suffer through as well, I can't understand why anyone would want to go through life, clearly I'm missing something there.  I can't cope with the thought of the future, and still having to be alive in a months time, let alone a years, which is one of the big issues I have with any 'long term' treatment, the last therapist I saw just kept talking about the future!  I'm now having frequent major IBS episodes several times a week which I can't cope with at all but can't do anything about, and it's not even like that's particularly bad on the scale of potential health problems so just reinforces how much I can't cope with bodies. I've tried asking the GP & dietician for advice who were the opposite of helpful, I can't try/prep any different food due to the OCD, I can't afford any extra/different food and won't be able to unless I am awarded PIP at the tribunal which won't be until summer next year at the earliest (and the thought of still having to be here by then is utterly terrifying anyway!), so I'm just stuck for now and that's only one issue out of many.

    How would I go about getting a social worker?  I guess that's something else that requires GP referal?  And how do I make sure it's one that spefically knows about OCD etc?  So far I've seen a CBT therapist that didnt know about OCD, a dietician that didn't know about IBS and several GP's that didnt seem to know about anything mentally at all...

    Sorry, reading that back it seems as if I'm having a go at you but I'm really not!  I just don't really know what to do next or where to start, so far every time I've sought help it's only made things worse and I really can't risk things getting any worse now, I just live in damage limitation mode or survival mode as you say.


  • pollyanna1052pollyanna1052 Posts: 1,299Member Disability Gamechanger
    Hi, I dont like dental work either...but my dentists visits me at home once a year. Luckily I never need anything other than a check up.

    The reason he comes to my house is because I am a full time wheelchair user and his surgery is in an old building, which is inaccessible.

    Are you actually on a dentist`s list? If so give them a ring and explain your problems.

    Hope it works out well for you.
  • EmmaBEmmaB Posts: 197Member Pioneering
    Hi @OverlyAnxious
    I'm not sure you need a social worker but more of a specialist psychiatric support worker. 
    I think the first step would be to ask your GP for a referral for specialist help.  Unfortunately, as you have found, there are a lot of useless professionals out there but there are some good ones. it's just a question of finding them!  If your GP is clueless ask to talk to a different one until you find someone who knows how to do their job...
    If you do in the end getting PIP you can use this money to pay for your own support if it comes to that.
    Something is keeping you going and there is an innate will to survive in you.  You've coped for so long in very difficult circumstances so it's going to be hard to change but change is always possible... but you may need some support to make that change happen.
    All the best.
    Emma

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 14,921Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    I'd also like to add that you don't need to see a GP for a referral for a needs assessment, which sounds like what is needed here. You can refer yourself for this here. https://www.gov.uk/apply-needs-assessment-social-services


    Of course for this to happen you would need to have someone from your local council into your home.


  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,292Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @OverlyAnxious   How are you today?  I have been reading your posts about what you are going through.

    Please can I suggest that first do not be hard on your self. A lot of what you are experiencing is not your fault.

    Mental health and related conditions that you have can be treated or coped with but it all depends what you want from any service, organisation or charity.

    You mentioned support workers. There are many types, most charities offer floating support or an out reach worker.

    Can help with benefit issues. Well being and other related health issues.

    I have used this charity before if this helps you please get in touch on their website.

    https://www.richmondfellowship.org.uk.

    If they are not available in your area have a look on line. What is available in your area. Usually look on NHS website often links to various charities.

    One final point many charities do take clientele with additional disabilities, conditions, as well as mental health.

    I have mental health plus physical disability.

    If you are experiencing difficulties with Doctors or medical professionals then access RETHINK.

    This is an advocate service that speaks on your behalf.

    Will discuss with you any support, any relevant information, advice on what to do next.

    Good to use.

    https://www.rethink.org.

    Telephone 0300 500 0927.

    Wish you well. If there is anything I can help with or be supportive please contact me.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Thanks @thespiceman 

    I never really know how to answer the 'how are you today?' question.  I don't really have good and bad days, as every day involves food and toilets and various other bodily functions.  I just have to grab a good half hour or so in between those now and then.  I did have a nice walk by the river yesterday.  I think the intermittent rain kept everyone else indoors, it was so quiet and peaceful, there was no-one else about at all.  The bench I had intended to sit on was under water though, I'd never seen the tide so high! I almost managed to dodge the showers but did get caught by one about 2 minutes before reaching the car lol.  

    I'm surprised by how little seems to be available in my area, the closest Rethink is 40 miles away, and the closest Richmond is 30 miles away.  Although I appreciate they have online services.  I don't really know what I want from any service, I just want everything to stop altogether which I know isn't realistic!  So I guess I've got to try and work out the order in which to work on each thing...I sort of feel it's like trying to untangle a knotted ball of string though...every time I pull one string to release one knot, that action tightens another one...

    I think what I really want at the moment is some local support & companionship from someone in a similar position...of course, that's easier said than done when I struggle to get out or cope with other people though! :pensive:
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 5,837Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @OverlyAnxious, thank you for sharing this information with us. I hope the support from other members has been beneficial.

    Please do let us know how you get on.
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,292Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @OverlyAnxious   Thank you for your reply. Understand what your are going through.

    I always ask any one who is a valued member of our community how they are.

    Being a polite gentleman of the forum have care and concern for those going through issues and problems.

    I wanted to highlight some points if you do not mind. This is to give you some reassurance and give you some positivity.

    I understand the two charities are far away from your area but the point is they are be able to help and guide anything you are dealing with.

    I wish to explain you can self refer to these charities or speak to them and see how they can assist in your well being.  Use the Doctor to apply.

    Also may I add most charities have a policy would need to assess you first usually at home.

    As how they can help you and give you a lot of support.

    Please one final point they are there to give you much needed confidence and reassurance.

    I have used both charities opened a lot of doors helped with coping methods, my wellbeing and lots of other issues.

    Around health. You mentioned problems with Dentists. 

    Referred by my support worker to Dental Hospital. A NHS funded Dental Surgery for those patients with anxiety and other mental health illness or conditions.

    At my local hospital. Near to me.

    One other aspect of the mental health charity I mentioned. If you wish to go to a event, meeting or support groups. The assigned support worker you may have will take you there.

    If that is something that you need to do.

    Remember small steps.

    I do understand not knowing what you want the problems, issues and difficulties are if you have to decide. That is the question you need to ask your self.

    Finding that your missing out on essential health care and opportunities to deal with any issues.

    Do I stay and regret the stones in my path. That are causing me a lot of concern.

    This is something you have think about.

     I know if the thoughts of negativity swirl around your head and mind. You can make yourself worse.

    I learnt that from accessing support from mental health charities.

    Add to that education on sleep, medication and much more.

    Anxiety is a serious health condition I know this myself. Yet had to make a choice and glad I did to cope with first addiction.

    Then my mental health.  

    I know have compassion and time for every one I am happy to listen to you anytime.

    I am here if you wish to know anything.

    Pleasure to meet you.

    Take care.

    @thespiceman




  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Well, I've had a couple of bad evenings.

    I was going to start another thread on this specific issue as I'm not sure whether it's common or not but it's directly appropriate for this one anyway.

    On Wednesday I had my fortnightly visitor which I always dread (it's for their benefit, not mine!), and had to ask them to leave after just 45 minutes.  I try to last 60-90 minutes but just couldn't do it this time.  I honestly don't think I've got any chance with the receptionist let alone the dentist now.  Or a PIP tribunal although that's a lot further on.  It's physically trying to deal with a person that I just can't do which obviously stops any sort of treatment etc.  The same happens with any person I try to deal with, either face to face or on telephone, whether that's the GP, a till worker, an MOT man, a friend, a relative or some randomer that's asking for directions.  I don't understand why it happens, but it's every time I try speaking to a person.  I thought maybe it was the act of speaking as I go several days at a time without saying a word, so I've been talking to 'myself' a lot more recently, but that hasn't made any difference at all, it seems to be the actual person rather than the act of speaking. 

    It's not the mental 'anxiety' that I can't cope with, it's all the physical stuff that goes with it.  Which in my case is a very strong feeling of nausea, along with acid reflux and the feeling that there's something stuck in my throat that I can't swallow.  I also get a very 'tight' feeling but I'm not really sure if that's stomach or bowels tbh, maybe it's both, I get very gassy from both ends!  I then start to experience this sudden motion where I feel like I'm falling out of the chair and have to keep steadying myself, and I become very sensitive to light with a strong fatigue feeling where I can barely keep my eyes open.  I keep trying to get through it, just giving one word answers of noises of agreement, keep trying to stretch my body to reduce this tight feeling and anything 'sitting' on my stomach to cause nausea but that doesn't really do much either.  In the end I have to ask them to leave which feel extremely guilty and frustrated about.  I get up to see them out and can barely walk because I'm so wobbly, I have to lean against walls etc on the way through to the door.  Once they've left, I use the loo immediately and then start sipping a glass of water.  As the evening progresses the tightness subsides but then I start getting a lot of pains in muscles and bowels, probably from the prolonged tension and maybe the excess acid?  What's really annoying is that despite the feeling of fatigue after an event like this, once I get to bed, I can't sleep, and just lay awake all night!

    Then yesterday I had another massive IBS attack out of the blue.  Around 4pm I started feeling very nauseous and uncontrollably shaking with achy bowels although I couldn't 'go'.  Again, getting the random motion and wobbliness along with light sensitivity.  I went to the loo 3 times but couldn't force it (sorry, tmi!) because of the nausea.  Finally it was just a small amount of normal stool...but by that point my stomach and bowels were already highly sensitive to anything else and I had to try eating dinner which made me feel really ill.  The after effects lasted all night with achy bowels and lots of gurgling.  I don't know whether there is any link with the visit on Wednesday, as I'm finding I'm getting IBS attacks regularly on Thursdays regardless of what I've eaten in previous days, I've kept a food diary for 4 months now and can't see any correlation.

    So yeah, TL:DR - I can't even cope with one person that I've known for my whole life, so have no chance with a dentist, tribunal, therapist etc...  If anyone has any ideas about how to stop the nausea and reflux in particular, with no pills, then I would be grateful to hear it! :smile:
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 14,921Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry to hear you are going through all of this. Whilst i can't help with your specific question i just want to add that what you've written above about what happens why you engage with others, is perfect to put to the Tribunal as you could potentially score points for activity 9 engaging with others, as well as preparing food.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 5,837Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @OverlyAnxious, I'm sorry to hear this, it sounds like it's been a very distressing few days. What have you tried in the past for nausea?

    Here is an article that gives you ways to reduce nausea
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,292Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @OverlyAnxious   Sorry to hear what you are going through.  Thank you for sharing.

    I do understand a lot of the symptoms you mention are around anxiety  

    Please can I ask are you on any medication certain ones have side effects. 

    One of the medications I am on has the same side effects listed that you describe.

    I am not a Doctor but know the medication can effect different people in different ways.

    I am aware also that many anxiety symptoms are distressing and cause issues for many of us.

    Including myself have sleep problems and lots of tiredness and other issues but know how to cope.

    As with any condition or illness they are ways to ease any symptoms.

    Looking at the reasons you eat and what you eat can cause certain susceptible problems in anxiety sufferers. Often causing IBS or other stomach, bowel issues.

    Having an anxiety stomach is some thing that does happen to many people.

    Including my self.

    After learning, educating and using the knowledge gained plus my own research.

    If you think your diet or lifestyle is blame could be that there are certain foods that need to be avoided.

    Also certain foods to be added as the anxiety sufferer often has a lot of stress. Missing meals or just not eating . So a sensible approach would be to eat small meals every three or four hours.

    Avoiding food or missed meals increased acid and reflux plus heartburn indigestion.

    Lean meat the B vitamins use Chicken or Turkey lean cuts remove skin.

    Eggs use as poached or scrambled.

    Green Leafy vegetables such as Spinach but frozen for convenience.

    Citrus fruits I buy easy peelers.  Vegetables buy all the ones around the Med . Peppers and Zucchini.

    Milky drinks sweeten with honey on a night use a microwave to heat up a drop of honey helps sleep.

    Remove Caffeine in Tea and Coffee this can actually cause a lot of problems with anxiety. Stomach issues, bowels and associated .

    Plus Cola and Chocolate. All alcohol.

    One tip I have is to buy Yoghurt I buy Natural and Greek ordinary. No added honey and use that after a meal does help to counteract any stomach issues.

    Add Cinnamon or Fennel Seeds or use Turmeric in recipes along with Cumin this calming and helps the stomach. Also antibacterial.

    Herbs Basil the main one helps with anxiety.

    Means effects the bacteria in your gut. Called Probiotics the level of bacteria in your gut can set off and lot of discomfort.

    There are many foods that help this level of bacteria and in turn helps with acidity.

    A lot of it is common sense such as fruit like Apples used a lot or Bananas or Pears.  

    If you eat a rushed meal or quickly eat. Take your time and use a glass of water after any meal.

    If you so wish use a hot water from the kettle this does also help as well.

    In certain countries use hot water flavoured with Mint leaves and Cinnamon to rest the stomach aid digestion after a meal.

    You mentioned IBS.

    I know that it is again a balanced diet. Include Fruit, Vegetables which you can cope with . Take a carton of Live Yoghurt..

    Water plenty of that.  High fibre cereals avoid and Foods you are known to cause you issues.

    Peas, Beans, Pulses, Lentils.

    Please can I advise always consult your GP.  They are there to help and give you a lot of advice and information.

    This is information I have used my self from gaining qualifications through looking at my own health issues.

    Have Understanding Health Level 2 plus have food science qualifications

    One which I know is to find what I right for you as I have mentioned before.  Using Mental Health charities can be beneficial because the staff are trained and have a lot of expertise and knowledge.

    If for example contact RETHINK.  They can intervene on your behalf and ask for a review of everything around your treatment.

    As will most mental health charities assess and look at everything.

    Often a lot of knowledge and education around diet, medication and looking at sleep with signposting with in the branches to assist you in getting the right health care.

    Add to that will have specific advisors to look at anything you may have problems with.

    I apologise for going on about the support available just I have been there.

    You mentioned your diet done a food diary this is something else they do as well. Bring in nutritionists or community health advisors looking at why you are having problems.

    All I can add is please consider the information I have given you might be amazed what can happen.

    I am and was in a similar situation to you. I found my path and now try to support others.

    Anxiety is a difficult, distressing stressful condition to live with I know as I still have days but just did the right thing.

    Using the support and finding the strength and courage to move forward.

    Please if I can be of any help a listening ear happy to do so anytime.

    I have patience, tolerance and lots of time.  Have compassion.

    Please can I say you will get there and achieve the goals you want.

    You will find the answers and solutions to what is causing the anxiety the mental health issues you have.

    It is how you as a community member can deal with what you have by doing small steps.  The first steps are the hardest always are.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman






  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    edited October 4
    I'm sorry to hear you are going through all of this. Whilst i can't help with your specific question i just want to add that what you've written above about what happens why you engage with others, is perfect to put to the Tribunal as you could potentially score points for activity 9 engaging with others, as well as preparing food.
    Thanks Poppy, I did include it in the MR but it was totally ignored.  The assessor wrote that I answered all questions fully and relaxed after being initially anxious at the assessment, which simply wasn't true.  I didn't bother trying to challenge that in the MR, just stated the facts but it is something I have highlighted in the appeal and tried to explain in in more detail as they made a big point of it in the MR decision letter.  At best, I think it's only worth 2 points from reading the desriptors so may not make a difference to the end result if I don't receive anything for food prep.
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Hi @OverlyAnxious, I'm sorry to hear this, it sounds like it's been a very distressing few days. What have you tried in the past for nausea?

    Here is an article that gives you ways to reduce nausea
    Thanks Chloe,

    I've tried all sorts so far but it hasn't made any difference long term.  The best way to stop it seems to be to go for a walk but that's obviously not possible when trying to deal with people, in an IBS flare or once I've gone to bed.

    I stay sitting up instead of lying down or even slouching but that's more damage limitation, it doesn't actually stop the feeling.  I've tried ginger which I thought made a difference but it seemed to just be a short term placebo.  I was recommended mint tea by the GP but that triggered a horrific IBS flare as well as more reflux so didn't try that again!  I don't drink any sugary, fizzy drinks or any caffeine, only ever water.  I eat at exactly the same times every day.  I try breathing exercises and distraction techniques but they're such a slow solution I can't work out whether they make any difference or whether it's just the passage of time that has helped there.

    The one on that article I hadn't heard of is lemons...I can't eat lemons (or anything acidic) as it contributes to reflux but the scent or them may help...  
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Hello @OverlyAnxious   Sorry to hear what you are going through.  Thank you for sharing.

    I do understand a lot of the symptoms you mention are around anxiety  

    Please can I ask are you on any medication certain ones have side effects. 

    One of the medications I am on has the same side effects listed that you describe.

    I am not a Doctor but know the medication can effect different people in different ways.

    I am aware also that many anxiety symptoms are distressing and cause issues for many of us.

    Including myself have sleep problems and lots of tiredness and other issues but know how to cope.

    As with any condition or illness they are ways to ease any symptoms.

    Looking at the reasons you eat and what you eat can cause certain susceptible problems in anxiety sufferers. Often causing IBS or other stomach, bowel issues.

    Having an anxiety stomach is some thing that does happen to many people.

    Including my self.

    After learning, educating and using the knowledge gained plus my own research.

    If you think your diet or lifestyle is blame could be that there are certain foods that need to be avoided.

    Also certain foods to be added as the anxiety sufferer often has a lot of stress. Missing meals or just not eating . So a sensible approach would be to eat small meals every three or four hours.

    Avoiding food or missed meals increased acid and reflux plus heartburn indigestion.

    Lean meat the B vitamins use Chicken or Turkey lean cuts remove skin.

    Eggs use as poached or scrambled.

    Green Leafy vegetables such as Spinach but frozen for convenience.

    Citrus fruits I buy easy peelers.  Vegetables buy all the ones around the Med . Peppers and Zucchini.

    Milky drinks sweeten with honey on a night use a microwave to heat up a drop of honey helps sleep.

    Remove Caffeine in Tea and Coffee this can actually cause a lot of problems with anxiety. Stomach issues, bowels and associated .

    Plus Cola and Chocolate. All alcohol.

    One tip I have is to buy Yoghurt I buy Natural and Greek ordinary. No added honey and use that after a meal does help to counteract any stomach issues.

    Add Cinnamon or Fennel Seeds or use Turmeric in recipes along with Cumin this calming and helps the stomach. Also antibacterial.

    Herbs Basil the main one helps with anxiety.

    Means effects the bacteria in your gut. Called Probiotics the level of bacteria in your gut can set off and lot of discomfort.

    There are many foods that help this level of bacteria and in turn helps with acidity.

    A lot of it is common sense such as fruit like Apples used a lot or Bananas or Pears.  

    If you eat a rushed meal or quickly eat. Take your time and use a glass of water after any meal.

    If you so wish use a hot water from the kettle this does also help as well.

    In certain countries use hot water flavoured with Mint leaves and Cinnamon to rest the stomach aid digestion after a meal.

    You mentioned IBS.

    I know that it is again a balanced diet. Include Fruit, Vegetables which you can cope with . Take a carton of Live Yoghurt..

    Water plenty of that.  High fibre cereals avoid and Foods you are known to cause you issues.

    Peas, Beans, Pulses, Lentils.

    Please can I advise always consult your GP.  They are there to help and give you a lot of advice and information.

    This is information I have used my self from gaining qualifications through looking at my own health issues.

    Have Understanding Health Level 2 plus have food science qualifications

    One which I know is to find what I right for you as I have mentioned before.  Using Mental Health charities can be beneficial because the staff are trained and have a lot of expertise and knowledge.

    If for example contact RETHINK.  They can intervene on your behalf and ask for a review of everything around your treatment.

    As will most mental health charities assess and look at everything.

    Often a lot of knowledge and education around diet, medication and looking at sleep with signposting with in the branches to assist you in getting the right health care.

    Add to that will have specific advisors to look at anything you may have problems with.

    I apologise for going on about the support available just I have been there.

    You mentioned your diet done a food diary this is something else they do as well. Bring in nutritionists or community health advisors looking at why you are having problems.

    All I can add is please consider the information I have given you might be amazed what can happen.

    I am and was in a similar situation to you. I found my path and now try to support others.

    Anxiety is a difficult, distressing stressful condition to live with I know as I still have days but just did the right thing.

    Using the support and finding the strength and courage to move forward.

    Please if I can be of any help a listening ear happy to do so anytime.

    I have patience, tolerance and lots of time.  Have compassion.

    Please can I say you will get there and achieve the goals you want.

    You will find the answers and solutions to what is causing the anxiety the mental health issues you have.

    It is how you as a community member can deal with what you have by doing small steps.  The first steps are the hardest always are.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman






    Thanks @thespiceman,

    I'm not on any medication at all...haven't taken a single pill in my life, haven't taken any other sort of medication since 2003.  I can't take anything due to the severe phobia I have of illness and the fear of side effects causing nausea (and worse)...  Oh the irony! :D  The GP of course wants to fill me with SSRI's, which are well known for side effects as I'm sure you know!

    I havent gone into much detail about food on here but I have a very restricted diet for a number of reasons, it's not a healthy diet and changing it would help, but knowing what to change is the difficult part, especially when I can't really cope with change either.  I can't handle raw meat or prep anything from scratch due to OCD contamination & injury fears so all has to come out of a box.  (I know that will upset you! :( )  I can't eat fresh fruit due to the fears of it not being washed effectively, and I can't really anti-bac wipe it! :p I can't eat anything with 'taste', everything has to be as bland and tasteless as possible.  I can't eat onions, garlic, pepper, spices etc as they all aggrevate the IBS.  I can't eat anything soft (banana, soup, milkshake, mashed potato etc) as it makes me gag.  I can't eat anything citrus as it increases reflux.  I can't try any new foods because the anxiety of doing so triggers panic and/or IBS.  I can't eat anything too hard/chewy or sugary due to the anxiety around teeth.  I can't eat anything too fatty or greasy as that causes immediate IBS (bacon, battered fish, fresh pizza etc). And on top of all that I'm on a really low food budget as well.  I literally eat plain wholemeal toast, cheese sandwhiches, breaded fish & chicken, potato chips & waffles, the odd pizza and one or two portions of frozen/prepped fruit & veg a week.  That's it...  I hate it, I hate food every day, I'd put into room 101 if I could!  I've never had a good relationship with food, but sadly thats got a lot worse this year since visitting the dietician.  I'm now trying to avoid FODMAPs as well which has made my small food list even smaller.  I've since been told not to risk the low FODMAP diet due to my low BMI but it's too late, the doubt about FODMAPs has already been set in my mind.  I was told I simply need to eat 'more' but I can't do that either as the more I put in, the more obviously has to come out one way or another, and I can't cope with the amount that has to come out as it is.

    Thanks again spiceman, you always take the time to write out very long and informative posts for us!  I haven't had the chance to look further into those charities and any more local services yet but will try to do that over the weekend.  :) 

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 5,837Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @OverlyAnxious, I'm sorry none of these suggestions have worked. I appreciate how difficult this must be. I hope you have a lovely afternoon.
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,292Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @OverlyAnxious   Thank you for taking the time to explain to me what you are going through.

    I did not know whether you were on medication.  I apologise for asking but do know that a lot of the meds have side effects.

    Yet these do settle down after a few weeks.

    I am like you self hate taking medication but have to think of how these are helping me and giving me a life back.

    I am always happy to suggest anything and have some ideas.  Like to help.

    I know the diet you are on the relationship with food and all around it is causing anxiety. This is something I have heard of before.

    As a person who had similar and came from a background mainly childhood .

    Experiencing trauma and memories from my Mother whose attitude was to constantly make me eat .

    Always forcing food in to myself.

    Even at costing me a lot of problems and have had issues. I used as I have done tried many times done volunteered in kitchens to ease and help myself over the problems I had.

    Which had helped but made me aware of kitchen rules and safety.

    I know this is about you not me just thought had to explain. After addiction had to look at diet and lots of the food issues I had.

    Fears, insecurities around food are a concern as you can imagine. The only way in my opinion is to seek some professional guidance and advice.

    You mentioned Dietician this is something not for you I do think might have to consult those like a Nutritionist or speak to those in the Community health wellbeing units run by your local council.

    There is a difference.

    I used community heath well being unit.  This was very useful for two reasons first can and did identify the triggers the problems the anxieties around food and all of the issues.

    I forgot to add will visit you at home if you wish to go down that road. I think that could be something to look at as it will give you some confidence.

    With some therapy.  They provide often sign posted to other support or organisations.

    There are such professionals out there.  Might have to be referred a example of this is the clinics of Doctor Ian Marber who runs a service for those with problems around foods.

    Known as The Food Doctor fascinating books and look on his website might be useful and informative.

    Second look at this is something else a community unit does. Have courses and seminars all around food.  Including looking at alternatives choices getting confidence and reassurance.

    One course they set up went to a supermarket with others who have anxieties around visiting .  Lots of knowledge and education.

    Including food preparation and lots of nutritional advice and guidance.  Often meet like wise people with similar issues and problems.

    The second reason that is a big step first look at reasons why you are experiencing difficulty with food.

    I think that is important.

    Small steps always.

    Understand I apologise for mentioning foods that may cause you problems. I know it is an individual thing.

    I was just suggested and know the foods I list are useful as anxiety aids and helpful.

    You added Ginger . This is old remedy and it is should work . Known to have good properties in helping the symptoms of nausea.

    I did suggest Yoghurt natural ones that have live antibacterial content does help with any sickness or nausea another ones are herbs.

    Such as Basil, Fennel Seeds.

    Understand do fears around food preparation. May be look at frozen meat or vegetables and fruit as well as dried, tinned.

    Frozen meat is a good substitute for fresh. Use Chicken like you mentioned Thighs or Legs or Drumsticks.  Can defrost over night.

    Straight in to a slow cooker  Something I would recommend.  Minimal fuss and no preparation just add vegetables of your choice and a stock you can buy these already done for you.

    In fact often better for you as they are packed fresh and frozen straight away no need to worry about cleanliness.

    Switch it on and leave it.

    Frozen Vegetables so many choose ones you like and can deal with.

    Frozen Fruit a good buy.  Also dried like Apple.  Just use hot water to rehydrate.

    Look at tinned. In juice but drain and use that. 

    Dried fruit yes some does contain sugar but there are exceptions.

    Dried Apples been used thousands of years as an aid to help nausea or stomach problems.

    There are other foods such as tinned fish.  Drain and use as a sandwich.

    I have been on a budget for years on my food stocklist and have always used another idea is to look at supermarkets websites.

    What is available that is no fuss cooking. No preparation.  Could be useful.

    A lot of the supermarket sell a variety of vegetables diced already for you.

    I do this regularly.

    I just want to add if you ever wish to talk to me privately you can PM.

    I am very happy to be supportive .

    I apologise again for long post just a gentleman hate to see a community member who is valued struggling.

    Please keep in touch.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman












  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    I feel I should update this, but it's not a positive outcome.  I honestly can't believe I was stupid enough to risk it knowing the consequences it could cause, although admittedly it was worse than I could ever have predicted. It was 2 days ago now.

    I had massive IBS problems in the days running up to the appointment and very bad on the morning, lots of D and large amounts of urine.  I did manage to force myself there despite constant shaking, short breath and a fuzzy head etc but couldn't get inside.  I paced up and down outside for a bit, eventually managed to push the door open by about 12" and that was the worst decision I've made this year!  The medical smells and sounds were overwhelming and it pushed the heightened anxiety over into uncontrollable panic, the world started rolling around me and I could barely stand let alone walk and just had to 'dive' for the car parked on the other side of the road, I didn't even check the road before the crossing (in hindsight!).  In my haste to get in the car managed to cut my finger open on the outside of the door somehow so had to try and deal with the blood and the thought of the contamination in the open cut on top of everything else.  I tried to wait it out in the car but it was just getting worse, I couldn't control my breath, I couldn't stop the feeling of motion, I couldn't stop the nausea.  I wasn't in any state to drive but needed to get away from that area.  After 5 minutes of no change I risked driving 2 minutes to a local park to try and walk it off.  That didn't help either, there were too many people and loose dogs and swans and squirrels and noises and colours and just an overwhelming amount of everything everywhere.  I tried walking around, I tried sitting on a bench, I still couldn't control my breathing or stop the shaking, wobbly, fuzzy headed motion feeling after about 30 minutes there so had to try and get home instead (10 mins drive).  I got back to the car and realised I'd parked in a permit only space, luckily no ticket as I wouldn't have been able to pay a fine!  I drove home in a right state and when I got there I needed some peace and quiet...but it turned out the landlord had chosen that day to rip out all the bushes around the flats with heavy machinery, so much noise and mess and utter carnage around the carpark and pavement.  I got inside, closed the door and just collapsed onto the floor, unable to stand, still shaking and unable to breath properly etc, and then noticed I had now walked park mud (and all the potential contaminants in that) into the carpet as well.  My finger was also still bleeding under the plaster and my hands were tingling.  I honestly didn't know what to do at this point, I don't remember the last time I had a panic attack that lasted so long or felt so 'strong' if that's the word.  Eventually I went to the loo, had a shower and changed my clothes and finally my breathing and the shaking settled to a reasonable level (but still above normal) around 2 hours after the panic started, and several hours after the initial pre-leaving anxiety.

    I felt bad all day yesterday (day after the event), fatigued and lethargic, achy, wobbly, fuzzy headed etc and by 7pm my vision was so fuzzy I couldn't tell faces apart on TV which really worried me tbh.  Once I got to bed I couldn't sleep, constant gurgling and churning in bowels, nausea and up twice for a wee which is near impossible with the fatigue.  

    Still very 'numb' and a bit fuzzy today but not as bad yesterday, I can at least read the forum today lol!  So in case you missed it above, I didn't even get in, let alone get checked so I'm in no better position there, I'm now in a worse position overall as I can't risk anything that could cause the same sort of reaction.  All I can do now is keep hoping to die before I need any medical attention as I've been doing for years.  There are loads of people with lives to live and contributions to make who die young yet those of us that can't cope with life and contribute to anything are forced to continue through it. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,390Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @OverlyAnxious. I'm so sorry to read what happened the other day, I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for you. 
    I've probably mentioned before, but I used to be a carer for someone with Agoraphobia, anxiety, OCD and social-phobia and the panic you've described is all too familiar. I know how wiped it used to make them feel for days afterwards and the pressure they would put on themselves after an "episode" (as she called it). 

    I'm really glad you're not feeling as bad today and hopefully you'll feel more like yourself again soon. 

    Please try not to view your attempt as a failure. You've done so well even making the appointment and trying to go. I know it's probably very easy to not attempt these things again for fear of the reaction, but it might help to break it down into smaller steps. It was a huge thing you tried to do and you should definitely give yourself credit for that and for the parts you achieved. 

    I have to admit the final few sentences of your message have worried me. You have a life to lead and you are contributing, even if you can't see it right now. Everyone has value. 

    How is your finger now and have you managed to get much sleep?
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Posts: 225Member Pioneering
    Hi @Adrian_Scope 

    I learnt an interesting thing about agoraphobia this week...there's more to it than I thought.  It seems that being trapped indoors or in any situation out of your control (public transport for example) is a large part of it as well as just the general fears of 'the outside world'.  I guess that explains why I can often get to the outside of local places by my own means, but then can't get through the door.  I still have an escape until that point.  I'm not sure what I can do about it though...exposure isn't working as it goes badly every time I try it which reinforces it.  Once I do get indoors anywhere I feel wobbly and fuzzy until I leave regardless of how long I try to stay there so the basis of CBT doesn't appear to work here either.  This also happens when I try to have a visitor in my flat...I knew there was more to it than the contamination fears but never thought it would be agoraphobia affecting me in my in my own home!

    How did your patient(? caree? sorry, not sure of he right word!) get on?  Were they able to access any suitable treatment etc? 

    I don't agree that everyone has value but appreciate that's not a common opinion.  I've been a burden my whole life so far, and with no chance of that ever changing.  I was already well aware of this by the age of 12 and if it wasn't for these damn injury fears I would've been gone that year.  Since then the burden has just grown, both financially and socially, and I can't ever repay all the money that has been wasted on me so far.  I accept that some people are a financial burden but contribute in other ways (socially etc) but I can't do that either, I just cause hassle for everyone that has the unfortunate task of having to deal with me.  It shouldn't worry you though, I can't cope with a cut finger let alone a proper injury from a failed suicide attempt so it's never going to happen sadly.  The recent realisation of that fact is what has forced me to try and get some help both physically and mentally in order to at least be able to get through life, instead of just being dragged through it by the passage of time, but so far I just keep hitting dead ends with that.

    My finger is healing slowly, it didn't get infected fortunately!!  It has caused considerable hassle with hand washing, cleaning and food prep though.  And the contamination fears and health anxiety have been particularly strong since then.  I had a few more rough nights after posting the last message but the last couple have been closer to normal (for me), if anything I'm now having the opposite problem of struggling to get out of bed in the morning, which is unusual for me.  I hate being in bed so much I usually want to get out, showered and dressed asap in the morning!
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 4,390Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @OverlyAnxious. That's a really interesting point about agoraphobia. I've never been convinced it's entirely down to not being able to leave the house, but rather the thought of being trapped in a situation that you can't get out of. The woman I cared for hated having people in her home as it removed the possibility of there being any safety net. If she needed to run away, she couldn't. She often described it as her 'safe zone'. 

    How did she improve? Like you, we found it really difficult to access support. She wasn't able to go to therapy, or speak on the phone or have someone in her house, which really limited the sort of help available. I honestly can't say what finally helped, and I know she still struggles, but she does now work and socialise which she sees as a huge achievement. However, she still finds it difficult to let people in her home and she still has days where she can't go out at all.
    Obviously everyone's journey is different, but she used to say similar things to you with regards to graded exposure and we realised she was pushing herself too far and not acknowledging the small steps she was taking. Some days just getting dressed was an achievement and when she realised that and started being kinder to herself it helped. She had to forgive herself for 'episodes' and not let it reinforce the belief that it would happen every time. 

    I know she won't mind me saying, she used to be always very down on herself and had very low sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Acknowledging her difficulties and accepting them as a part of her, not all of her (as well as realising she wasn't alone with them) helped her move forward. 

    Which brings me to my next point — I know you feel you don't contribute anything but you need to remember that even posting on here contributes more than you realise. Contributing can't just be judged on how much you produce, or how much money you make, but on how you affect others and while you think you aren't contributing socially, I don't think that's the case. There will be someone out there now reading your messages and finding support and comfort in the fact that they're not alone. I think living with anxiety has to involve a level of acceptance. You have to know that your experience of life won't necessarily be the same as someone else who might not live with anxiety every single day, but that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile in its own way.

    I know it wouldn't be an easy step for you to take, but if you'd be willing, we would be more than happy to try and find you some additional support. If this is something you're interested in, you can always send me an email at [email protected]
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • thespicemanthespiceman Posts: 5,292Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @OverlyAnxious   Sorry to hear what you are going through.

    I thought I would like to mention.

    Have been putting some posts on the forum. Some information and guidance, advice on coping methods, strategies I use every day.

    Psychological coping methods. 

    These are often given to you as part of your recovery . When you enrol as a member of a mental health charity.

    Might be worth having a look. If that helps you.

    This does take a lot of time and practise also may I add. Understanding your self and why you are the way anxiety and other mental health causes issues.

    Is having the tools and knowledge to deal with coping and finding answers and solutions.

    I hope @Adrian_Scope  can help with anything. I hope if I can as well always happy to be supportive.

    Please take care.

    @thespiceman
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