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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I have noticed that my anxiety is cycling! On a monthly basis sometimes even more. For the past several weeks I have been totally 100... ok 90 -98% fine! Seriously totally DR free almost Anxiety free! This has happened a few times before. And when I go down I go waaay down! Because of this I wondered for a while if I was bipolar.. I however do NOT have episodes of mania! I do not have extreme ups! My ups are when I am normal for the most part! We all have higher ups than usual sometimes, that holds true for me. my lows arent horribly horribly low just feeling down and out, anxiety kicks in, DR kicks in, and I get panickey and freaked out feeling... which of course sorta makes me feel depressed. Not as much depressed as on edge and unable to relax which makes me unhappy.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway. So I guess these cycles relate to my menstral cycle? I mean last month when I hit my down it was the day before I started my cycle. I felt better after 2 days and my anxiety and DR went away totally after 2 weeks. Now almost 3 weeks latter I am starting to feel a little anxious again. which makes sense since I tend to run on a 38 - 45 day cycle instead of a 28 day cycle like most. but is it really the cycle?
I have been thinking for a while now I just need to go see a psychiatrist and get some anxiety meds and be done with it. ... but then when I have my ups I feel totally fine! So I start thinking why see someone... even though I know I will have downs. Sooooooooooo... should I really be going to talk to my OB? Would she know what is up? I mean BC makes me feel more nuts so I dont want on that.
Beyond that is there a greater reason why my DR keeps comming back like this? Is there something further psychologically going on? should I go see a psychiatrist? I wonder sometimes if the DR comes back with my anxiety only because I am thinking about it and expecting it too! I mean for 2 weeks now I have been saying... is it comming back today? I mean not all day I just think it when I wake up. I try not to be that way but it is so hard! It keeps comming and going! Makes it hard to trust that it will really stay gone! you know?
Any thoughts?????
 
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The problem is not WHAT you describe, but THAT you are describing it.

IF we are that tuned in, to write a detailed (and very observant and interesting) post about the specifics of how we feel moment by moment, we are really screwing ourselves.

We MUST stop paying attention to the details of the symtpoms.

We FEEL them. But we do have to STUDY them. And studying them is what keeps us so trapped inside the experience.
 

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if it was me I would ask a doc like that about it b/cuz hormones can really wreak havoc for sure. Then you end up with anticapating anxiety. You might really get some relief from seeing the doc who treats the women's hormone and issues. Didn't see the problem of describing the symptoms on here. Janine are you burnt out or what??
---Jake
 

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We MUST stop paying attention to the details of the symtpoms.
This quote needs to be put put on the front page of this Forum. In big bold letters. Flashing letters. In fact, write it on your foreheads so you can remind yourself of it every morning when you look in the mirror and begin the daily cycle of fretting over who you are.
 

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I do agree that is a powerful statement andglad Janine wrote it down. The part I don't get is why a person asking aquestion is being toldthat describing how they feel on here IS the problem. The origial poster observes and concedes she has "anticapatory" anxiety but her basic post had physical and emotional questions--I guess I see no point to the new people coming n if they cant describe YES in detail if need be, at first, what they feel. You guys were all new once, I'm not saying the poster IS new. But new ppl probably join every day--cut some dam slack.
 

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No, no, you misunderstand Jake. Of course, people are are encouraged to describe their symptoms, to share with others, to reassure, and it can be very cathartic to get it off your chest. I, or Janine, didn't intend to shout someone down. What she is emphasising, and with what I agree with entirely, is that the constant and relentless scrutinising of our 'symptoms', in itself, feeds the disease. DR/DP is a beast that feeds on anxiety, obsession, fear, and the more we study the details of how we feel, the worse we'll get. Believe me, I know.

The nature of your symptoms is unimportant. They are usually the same for everyone, with small differences of degree. If you have a headache, you recognise it, and instead of (unless you are a professional hypocondriac) focussing on the pain, you try and do something about it.
 
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Martin's correct. I know "Squish is Me" - and therefore, know this is not a first post or a first-time effort to describe one's mental state.

It's a verryryyy tricky area to navigate. Of course we all, at first, desperately want to be reassured about what is happening to us - are we losing our minds? - is there hope/help? - has any human being ever felt like this besides us?

But we are also HIGHLY obsessive.
We are prone to crippling hypochondriac fears.
We are self-monitoring and self-scrutinizing.
We are easily able to identify with ANY symtpom or syndrome we read about, and we don't have the self-control to stop surfing the net in search of new conditions.

In short, totally aside from DP, we're often a mess, grin.

Over the years, I've noticed a remarkable distinction - people who can really GRASP that they must stop the self-observation get well much much faster. And people who continue to seek and get reassurances on each individual "condition of the moment" have a very hard time climbing out. They are getting something from the reassurances that is VERY hard to let go of - but to get well, we must let go of it. So everytime I (or someone else) reassures the insatiable thirst for reassurance, we are feeding something that is keeping the person stuck.

NO amount of reassurance is enough.

Not today's, not yesterday's, and not tomorrow's.

As soon as one condition/report of how someone feels is soothed, they will focus on something else happening within their mind/body. We are seeking reassurance against a gigantic concept: we want to be convinced that ANYTHING we observe in ourselves is not a threat. We want to be able to STARE into the mirror (symbolically) of our self-monitoring and reassure ourSELVES by our observations on whim. 24/7. Like someone who constantly feels for their own pulse.

But if we DO that - we are feeding a monster. The self-monitoring fuels DP feelings, which in turn terrify us, make us focus on ourselves MORE (inward focus) and that feeds the need for more reassurance. It ain't a pretty picture, guys. And there is no stopping it except for TURN AWAY from the powerful urges to indulge in it.

If you have bad symptoms, talk to a doctor. Once. Or twice. Accept that what you're told is probably correct. If it's NOT correct, what makes you think telling it a hundred more times will change anything.

Then, at that point, stop giving so much attention to OBSERVING yourself. I realize you will still feel terrible, and scared and depressed and unreal and odd, etc.

But you should NOT be able to tell me exactly HOW you feel now compared to yesterday because you should not KNOW. You should not be keeping that close of a scan on it. If this is you, then you're watching way too closely: this is how I... felt this morning, and how odd Ifeel right now by comparison, and how mymoods changed this week compared to last, and how the DP seems worse in the sunlight but only when overall anxiety is high and not if mydepressive mood is more pervasive and only when I've gotten too much sleep or if Iare thinking too much about how long to sleep and this article I read last week about sleep and insanity which I can't stop thinking about has made me realize my sleep patterns indicate I might..." GET IT?

THAT IS "WATCHING" your symptoms. You are observing them like a sentry guard watching a prisoner, and reporting on their every move.

It is a "habit" that is close to OCD. We immerse ourselves in self-observation to the point that we acculmulate NEEDS to do it - the mind loop that recurs and reinforces itself in OCD is very similar to that of hypochrondriacal obsessions.

You cannot NOT want to do this. You have to turn away from the urges and STOP doing it while you still WANT to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Janine,
I think you articulate what you are trying to say very well! I am always amazed! The thing is that after having read several posts like this one I have come to understand what you are saying and made great stides toward moving on! Before I found this site I never had a day without anxiety! Things like you have said here are the reason I have been able to move on to the point of have weeks where I am totally anxiety and DR free. I feel possibly that you missd the reasoning behind my post though.
Though it is true that when I wake in the mornings I wonder what the day will bring, I do not mull over it throughout the day. In fact if I think about how I am doing at all it is at the end of the day before I go to sleep and I have gotten surprisingly good and shutting that off! I do have momments ocassionally where I feel panicy. Happened a few nights ago. I began to panic and didnt know why. I carried something out to my car. Stood on the stairs for a few seconds, breathed deep, said shut up! Your ok! And went on, not to think of it again! I was fine the rest of the night and didnt think twice about the moment.
I really have learned alot from you and waht I have read here! I have actively implimented it into my life and am an entirely different person( me again) most of the time.
My observation of how my moods change and so on is something that I have gradually noticed of the past 8mo. Not something I have closely monitored. No. It is something that this past month as I went through this cycle it occured to me that this cycle has taking place before. Which brought up the question why. Why do I cycle. Not to seek comfort and reasurrance. Rather because I am through being trapped by this! I want to move on! So, I thought if this (the cycling) could possibly be menstral related then I will talk to my ob. If it is something else then ok I will deal with that. If it is entrirely cuz I am worried it will come back then good... I will tackle that.
My purpose here was entirely to see why I feel as though I may be cycling through emotions so I can move on from what is doing it. Now that it has occured to me I figured there must be a reason behind it. possibly I am wrong.
As I said, I was not seeking reassureance just an answer, if any, to what I have notice just recently. As they say knowing is half the battle.
 

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Janine said:
Over the years, I've noticed a remarkable distinction - people who can really GRASP that they must stop the self-observation get well much much faster. And people who continue to seek and get reassurances on each individual "condition of the moment" have a very hard time climbing out. They are getting something from the reassurances that is VERY hard to let go of - but to get well, we must let go of it. So everytime I (or someone else) reassures the insatiable thirst for reassurance, we are feeding something that is keeping the person stuck.
I have to disagree with this. My sense is it is because I am older (46) and have chronic DP/DR for 30+ years.

I would say I always avoided self-observation and introspection -- I was afraid, deeply afraid of this early on -- but perhaps being a doctor's daughter, my approach to this was it was always a medical condition.

I got that impression from my mother/psychiatrist.

I never wanted to "go there", to "test the limits" of the DP. And recently, I'm not "checking" for its presense sp? or really obsessing over it. It has become integrated as part of my life. I have to say, OK, I have this crap, I have to do the best I can with it. To be honest, I've given up on thinking this will go away, which does not please me.

"Letting go of control" yes, especially in the past year has taken away more fear. But always saying to myself, when this gets TERRIBLE (and it hasn't in about 9 months? knock wood), "This is an illness. This feeling will pass" has helped immensely.

I understand in the throes of this it is impossible to "make this go away" and I have never seen reality in so many years -- though I have NEVER forgotten it.

Oh, Lord I'm rambling and can't get to the point.

I will say the most "obsessing" I ever did was over my health in general as a world class hypochondriac as a child through say age 30. That gradually subsided, as did the dizziness/off balance stuff.

My greatest fear is my inability to handle this in stressful situations. I do have anticipatory anxiety which can exacerbate this. But I'm not "looking for the DP."

So, the point. I feel, unless I'm fooling myself :shock: (God help me) that I have "GRASP[ed] that must stop the self-observation" and I have not gotten better as a result. The DP/DR is still ever present.

I will say my attitude has contributed to less fear of this monster jumping at me out of nowhere, but I know the triggers, and work on calming myself in re: said triggers, and calming myself during bad episodes.

Bottom line, I see so many young people on the Board who haven't gotten to this stage... age wise, perhaps? The craving for reassurance is because the experience is so new and terrifying. In looking at the age poll for members of this Board, I'm in a minority in terms of age. So many here are teens and twenties, and many have rec drug onset.

Also, the drug induced DP/DR seems to be more likely to clear up, vs. the non-drug induced. It also may remind folks of odd experiences on drugs which I have never experienced. I may be wrong about this as well, but those who have reported about this in a poll here or a thread, forgot seem to have recovered from drug induced much more quickly.

Those who receive reassurance that this will pass, who receive coping skills, and who experience periodic remissions (episodic vs. chronic DP) seems most likely to to have a positive outcome -- though I can't make a general statement about that -- this NODID survey will be fascinating in getting some answers.

I believe it also depends on what the DP/DR was triggered by, and also the support system that was offered. I believe I am deeply conditioned to be this way (DP/DR) at the "bearable" level I have all the time. I believe HAD I received love/reassurance/coping skills very early on this would not have gotten so bad, wouldn't have become chronic.

My case is particularly odd in that my mother, a doctor, psychiatrist convinced me this was hopeless, very early on. I'd say that contributed greatly to the chronicity of MY case. Not constant obsessing.


ACH, I hope this makes sense!
We are all unique! 8)

Best,
D
Edited TWICE. :?
 

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hmmmm...for once i sort of don't agree with janine. i think that if some of our dp/dr is caused by hormones (and i don't know how anyone could disagree that it's possible), then it would help to some degree to monitor when you are feeling it. that could help your ob figure out when to test your hormones and which hormones you need. my dp is almost all caused by hormones and i have sucessfully lowered my dp/dr with hormone replacements.
 

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For me, the glaringly obvious points in recovery from this are
1 - How you deal with the symptoms
2- Why you get the symptoms

If you look at all the people on here who have episodic dp, as Dreamer said, they are better equipped in dealing with it. It is a process of reinforcement, those who have chronic or life long episodic dp will be more resistant to focusing outwards and more vulnerable to the symptom state. But, I don't believe the symptoms are any different, and the way out is still the same, but because we all have different beliefs about our illnesses and different relationships to our symptoms, we all have unique difficulties in dealing with them, and more inbuilt resistance to changing our ways. In theory it's the same, but in practice, it is very different, because you can't use a broken mind to fix a broken mind.

Rambling again :p
 
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There is probably some good advice above re: biological causes.

However, I still maintain that for the vast majority, their symptoms are not ?only caused by hormones? ? some may be. Absolutely. And if you TRULY and HONESTLY (honestly in your heart of hearts) believe that you are not a hypochrondriac, not anxiety-based in your thinking, not obsessive by nature and always have been, not preoccupied with issues of control, and self-monitoring and real/authentic Me versus Fake me, or what is me versus what is not me?.then it?s probably good to record your ?patterns? to see if it?s hormonal. My advice would still be: monitor it for a few months and then STOP ? take your chart to a doctor, talk, ask questions and see if there is something sensible to try med-wise, and then STOP the monitoring. But I doubt that is what happens most of the time. Self-Monitoring becomes a second career. It was for me.

I know many people do not agree with me. That's cool. There is a huge divide in the profession of mental health. I am of the psychologically-based school. And of course each person is unique. However, there are many people who fit into these categories of symptoms and behaviors. Not all, but many. And these are ideas that represent a large portion of psychiatry. Everyone is a grown-up here and will take what speaks to them and ignore what doesn?t.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
JanineBaker said:
There is probably some good advice above re: biological causes.

However, I still maintain that for the vast majority, their symptoms are not ?only caused by hormones? ? some may be. Absolutely. And if you TRULY and HONESTLY (honestly in your heart of hearts) believe that you are not a hypochrondriac, not anxiety-based in your thinking, not obsessive by nature and always have been, not preoccupied with issues of control, and self-monitoring and real/authentic Me versus Fake me, or what is me versus what is not me?
Deep inside, even as a child I have always been this person! I have always been anxiety based in my thinking, not so much a hypocondriac, yes somewhat obsessive by nature, yes somewhat occupied with issues of control but not to the point of it consuming me... real and fake me... having now had periods wher I feel like "me" again I have come to understnad that the real me is just exactly the same except without the excessive anxiety and fear!
I however have never known how to change those things about myself even before my severe anxiety and DR set in. So I decided not to dwell on them because I guess it is who I am. However I can choose to decide how much these things control me. Also, I thought possibly my hormone cycle could be a big contributor to ongoing anxiety that seems to grow around that time each month.
Make sense? was I clear?
 

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Gawd, this is teetering on going around and around in circles.

Look - can we forget what triggers DR/DP for a moment? Who cares whether it's hormones or child abuse or drug abuse or the wrong type of weather......in the end, we're all in the same boat.

Now...continue...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey Janine, someone sent me a thing with like a "is this you" thing attached and it soooo is.

Fun to be with. Secretive. Difficult to fathom and to be understood. Quiet unless excited or tensed. Takes pride in oneself. Has reputation. Easily consoled. Honest. Concerned about people's feelings. Tactful. Friendly. Approachable. Emotional temperamental and unpredictable. (<- I am not sure about this... I wanna say yes and no. I dont consider myself emotionally unpredictable.) Moody and easily hurt. Witty and sparkly. spazzy at times. Not revengeful. Forgiving but never forgets. dislikes nonsensical and unnecessary things. Guides others physically and mentally. Sensitive and forms impressions carefully. Caring and loving. Treats others equally. Strong sense of sympathy. Wary and sharp. Judges people through observations. Hardworking. No difficulties in studying. Loves to be alone. (<- that isnt true though... I really dont like to be alone for the most part... never have.) Always broods about the past and the old friends. HOT. Waits for friends. Never looks for friends. Not aggressive unless provoked. Loves to be loved. Easily hurt but takes long to recover.

Thought maybe that would help you understand how I was trying to explain me... I dunno... maybe not... lol
 
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Squish: I do hear you. And yes, absolutely agree that PMS, or homornal changes in general can make anxiety and DP states MUCH worse. Mine were always worse with those fluctuations. And you describe emotional peaks and valleys ? what you are calling ?cycling? ? and that can certainly be from hormones too. So I guess my reply would be sure, if you want to try some adjunct of hormonal treatment to try to minimize the impact it has on your anxiety, go for it. However, I will tell you that my own PMS was terrible while I was ill, and now it?s just mildly irritating. My mood swings were MASSIVE when I was ill ? and now they are just normal ups and downs (with a few experiences of POWERFUL emotions and over-reactions to things in life, but even then, not really crippling).
Nothing wrong with trying to make things easier on yourself now, of course. But SOMEwhere in your post, for some reason, I kept hearing something else. I wondered if you had just researched/read something about Bi-polar (manic depression) Disorder and were trying to convince yourself you had ups and downs for Hormonal reasons, to reassure yourself you were not bi-polar. I could have misread you entirely, and apologies if I did.

And I enjoy annoying Martin, so I want to add this: The reason that it can matter how someone regards the Origin/Source of their mental symptoms is that if they are convinced it stems from a physical cause, they have no reason to seriously consider making intense changes within their personality/character. They may feel perfectly ?entitled? to keep doing their life the way they?ve always done it, obsessing right and left, monitoring themselves every hour, demanding perfection, maintaining a self-status of victim, and imposing unrealistic expectations on themselves, other people and reality at large.

If the symptoms are only coming from their brain chemistry, then no reason to undertake the VERY difficult challenge of trying to make structural changes.

However?..if/when we really can ?get? that HOW we are, in our overall way of being ourselves, has contributed and continues to contribute significantly to why we are having terrible symptoms, then we might (MIGHT) be motivated to consider some serious work/transformation. Even then, it?s damn hard. But seeing the connection between the two at least gives us a CHANCE at being willing to do that kind of hard work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well honestly I have wondered if maybe there was something else wrong with me from the day I found out my mom is BPD! Because I dont want to end up that way! The exact reason BiPolar struck me is just because I was in college at one time for nursing and took some psychology classes and know that BiPolar is based on hi ups and downs. So yes when I noticed that I was have ups and downs it made me go... weeeeeeeeeeell ... maybe.... but then I thought about it for about 30seconds and said no... I really dont think that could be it. Since I dont have the charictoristic mania and depression (where low and really really low) nor do I have a whole slew of other symptoms that coinside with it. so Like I said at first I did go hey maybe but it passed breifly.
I am growing to see i have to let go and learn to just enjoy life again. I have my days or even weeks where I crash out but I recover much much faster now! Beyond that I do have days where I feel totally ok! no anxiety, no DR just me being crazy old me again! I am anxious to get around the periods of downfalls and since they seem to coincide with my menstration I was thinking there could be help with that.
Honestly I have always had heave mood swings with my periods! Like I said I cycle almost a month and a half a time instead of 28 days (less than a mo) like most. I know when you are about to cycle the level of hormones drops straight downa nd since mine build for almost 2 weeks longer I attribute it to that! I always say that I am like a total nut for 3 days when I get my period! 1day before and 2 after I start! lol on the same note I cycle for up to 10 days so the depressed moody feeling that most of us get each month last longer for me so I figure it probably contributes to my anxious down feelings for the following week because I have been in that hormone induced state for that long. ... It is something I always knew about myself but never really had a reason to think about before.
Janine I think you are an amazing woman! I think your posts are wonderful and insightful! I am thankful I found you! You have opened my eyes and so many others! you are amazingly articulate! You seem to be a pretty inteligent woman with a good head on your shoulders! I cant see my OB till I have my anual in a few months so I though I would run my thoughts by you. I take no offense to anything you say! I appriciate honesty!
 

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Martinelv said:
Gawd, this is teetering on going around and around in circles.

Look - can we forget what triggers DR/DP for a moment? Who cares whether it's hormones or child abuse or drug abuse or the wrong type of weather......in the end, we're all in the same boat.

Now...continue...
Oh My,
I've got hooked in again, and it's yet on another day of a sneezing fit. This isn't good.

I was disagreeing with this specific point.
Janine said:
people who can really GRASP that they must stop the self-observation get well much much faster. And people who continue to seek and get reassurances on ..... [don't]
I think I personally am well aware of my self-observing self, my need to control, etc. Yet, I still have chronic DP/DR. I also don't constantly ask for reassurances that I'm not going mad, etc. When I was young, the first words to my first shrink were, "make these weird feelings stop!" Not, "I think I'm going crazy." I was 15 at the time.

Also, I forgot to mention, yes, I know with myself, "that time of month exacerbates" DP/DR for me and for many women on this Board. How can that be discounted? That was squish's point. That isn't bipolar by a long shot. It is also good to note as agentcooper said. Years back I did make a journal of my symptoms, actually for two doctors, and keep a journal again now.

Without fail, PMS exacerbates my depression and DP/DR. That's sort of a side point.

Then who said, there IS a difference in how we got DP, when we got DP, and if it is chronic or episodic. I believe that. I may be wrong, but I believe that. Also, Martin, you have had two? rec drug onsets which gave you ONLY DR and you went into remission. I have NO drug onset, first experienced this at 4/5 and DIDN'T find it scary, and mine is now chronic. Also, it is my understanding from your posts that you have a strong support system -- your family is supportive of you, etc.

ToO MANY VARIABLES. 8)


I FEEL VERY STRONGLY WE EXPERIENCE THE SAME THING, but getting out of it, or not is related to MANY DIFFERENT CAUSES, and the way out is NOT only one approach.

Oh, I'm not yelling. 8) I don't feel like stopping to bold.

I have to admit, keeping a daily journal is important in looking at symptoms/triggers. And what I mean in my case is, I'm not obsessing over my DP. It is just "there". It's been there for 30+ years. So the theory Janine stated at minimum doesn't work for MY CASE.

I'm dealing with it better with the outward focus, but it's true, how does one get any "positive reinforcement" that this will go away when one hasn't had relief in years and years and has given up really worrying about it. Etc., etc. I'm worried about getting old with this is all.

All I'm saying.

Best,
D :shock:
Edit x 1
No one likes me :(
 
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