Stress Overload pt 2

Did you know it was entirely possible to have a panic attack with no mental panic.

Did you know that said panic attack can last for days, even weeks, in varying degrees.

I wonder if the difference between the typical panic attacks and one that only seems to affect your body are related to how afraid you are to die. Usually the feeling that your heart is beating so hard it could go into arrest, all your muscles contracting and the weight on your chest keeping you from being able to breath causes your brain to be flooded with chemicals usually associated with fear. The fear that you’re dying causes mental stress, racing thoughts, possibly a shut down in cognitive functions. Unpleasant. But what if that mental part is critical for the cycle to end. I know it is a mental trigger to the physical body to start the attack, but what if it needs that mental overload to shut it down as well?

So what happens when the thought that you might be dying doesn’t cause fear…when you’re so desensitized that there’s no real incentive to tell your body to shut it down. You keep on having constant dull aches in your chest, you have to constantly remind your body to breath, because it’s hard to do and sometimes your auto program just stops working and you realize you haven’t taken a breath for over a minute or two, your muscles all start to ache because they are so tight for so long and joints sometimes start to swell up, you become so tired that all you want to do is sleep. Even after you sleep tho, you’re still tired because within minutes of waking up the tightness is back, and everything hurts and you have to make an effort to breath, and your heart always feels like it’s working too hard to pump blood.

I’ve been asked, are you sure you’re having a panic attack tho, can you have one without the mental aspect? Well, I have no fever, no infection, blood pressure is within normal range, lungs are clear, heart rate isn’t elevated, EKG looked fine, cholesterol levels are excellent, lipids are good, liver function is good, and yet continue to have that pain in my chest, continue to struggle for breath, continue to battle constant fatigue now that it’s been going on for a week. It was the best guess of the last doctor I saw. I present as perfectly healthy and all my symptoms would be explained by stress. FUCKING STRESS!

I hope this cycle ends soon, getting real tired of feeling like this.


8 thoughts on “Stress Overload pt 2

  1. interesting, thanks for sharing. I had a panic attack for a few hours but after it I took more than a month to feel totally comfortable 🙂 cheers from Lisbon, PedroL

  2. I am sure this diagnosis is correct and I am really sorry you are suffering so much. You have probably considered these before but is there anyone at your local synagogue who could help you? Have you thought of acupuncture? My daughter is so much improved after her course of acupuncture. She hardly ever gets a panic attack now and when she does get anxious she is able to control it so much more quickly. She goes back every couple of months for a ‘top-up’ now which keeps her fairly steady.

    • I don’t have a history of panic attacks or anxiety really. That’s why this took me so long to figure out. I guess I just didn’t feel ready to deal with another sudden loss so I’ve been working on that issue so that maybe I will handle it better when the time comes. Right now I’ve got three symptoms pushed back to just tight, sore, muscles and fatigue. Increased my meditation and even tho I don’t have a tub yet I’ve been soaking my feet to try and relax a bit. Stopped trying to force myself to workout since that seemed to cause more problems but I make sure to do a lot of frequent walking. I’ll get there, it just sucked to deal with.

  3. I’m just waiting for a doctor to tell me that it’s all in my head. I hate when they read my medication list and assume I’m just making up something. I may not know how my brain misfires but I absolutely know my body. I know what stress feels like in my body but sometimes there is something just not quite right. I hope you find relief soon.

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