This is your body on anxiety
Link to the original on http://www.lifehack.org- via this link:
About the Poster: This Is Your Body On Anxiety
This poster shared by Siobhan Harmer is fantastic and easy to follow and displays what Anxiety does to our bodies, such as how we look paler due to elevated blood flow, how our liver ends up producing too much sugar and the spleens reaction to anxiety, our muscles becoming tense and held like that until the nasty episode of high-anxiety wanes & how come we always end up with a dry mouth….
…. the diagram in the poster digresses into a second section which, briefly, explains how long term anxiety can be a causal factor behind other health conditions that particularly affect the heart, lungs, brain, immune system & stomach/digestive tract.
I personally like this poster for its simplicity and the way it is easy to follow without high end medical jargon that I don’t understand. It will help at times when trying communicate to others the effects of my long and short term Chronic Anxiety Disorder 🙂
… so I am sharing it with you & hope you do too 🙂
Following on from the poster, here on this post, (and not after the poster on the original post) I tell you my own thoughts and personal experiences on how having a long term Chronic Anxiety Disorder may have affected my overall general health. If it’s highlighted in blue it’s an active link so you can click it and see 🙂
What do I think about my own anxiety & its short/long term effects on my own general health…
……. & not just the HMS, CFS, Fibro & its friends?
Being a Chronic Anxiety Disorder kind of gal, and advocate for better Mental Health Care,
that also lives with #fibro, #CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) & #JHS (Joint Hypermobility Syndrome), #chronicillness, #invisibleillness, #Depression, Psoriasis, Arthralgia, Skin Issues & varying other things…..
…. I do believe from my own personal experiences that Fibromyalgia & anxiety often go hand in hand, which leaves us fibromites with a whole new set of things to fix and recover from on a regular basis.
Anxiety has affected my fibro pain scores by clocking 8/9’s daily, my IBSC/OBD (Obstructive Bowel Disorder) worsens because of the muscles tensening, severe headaches because my head can’t cope with what has happened just yet it just knows that something is wrong, chest pains and breathing problems.
So, I have found that my anxiety could be a factor behind my elevated pain scores at the same time of having an episode of ‘High-Anxiety’ in the short term, because my hypersensitivities – Hyperalgesia & Allodynia become very sensitive to the point that the tiniest of touch hurts like I’ve been whacked with a hammer and the vibrations are loud and spread outward so that my whole body is affected. I’m too immobile with fatigue and chronic pain to move to cause the elevated levels the way I would do normally. However, this can all be explained through also having the combination of illnesses JHS, Fibro & CFS as well.
Whether long term anxiety has made my hypersensitivities worse I could never say because I’m not a medical professional. 🙂
My chest tightens a lot and I require an inhaler for it, probably predominently my own fault for being a smoker but also because of the chemical hypersensitivies from having JHS and Fibro and also something I have vivid memories of from my childhood.
Stress/Anxiety can also be a delibitating contributing factor in the short term in the form of migraines, the pressure builds in my head making it feel like it will pop like a balloon………… and then the nausea, dizziness & flashing lights (for me only in the peripheral vision and when I’m at my worst!!) kicks in and I must go and crawl into my dark nest of comfort to heal. But my migraines could also be because of my photophobia (hypersensitivity to light) and again something from childhood that I now know stems from my HMS and possibly also the Fibro.
I catch all the bugs and lurgy’s.
My Psoriasis flares, which instantly renders me at hisk of infection and it moves around on my hands and feet, head elbows and ears and can linger for months flaring up then down moving onto the next bit so that I am never really clear from a psoriasis flare. It can be very debilitating at times and my CFS sucks me into bed and my JHS & Fibro don’t like being stuck in bed or I end up feeling like I’ve been…..
……….. ‘run over by a steamroller and I haven’t even got out of bed!’
This last time was the worst of my life rendering me bedbound on and off for months because I couldn’t walk and when I could hobble I could only get my boottee slippers on. My hands get so bad sometimes, just last week I couldn’t even squeeze the pain gel or the steroid ointment from the tubes. I can’t take anti-inflammatories because I took them over the course of many years when in my twenties for my chronic pain and now my body says ‘no-way’ to them or I’m simply allergic to them. This makes controlling inflammatory conditions such as Psoriasis very difficult.
Then there’s the topic of anti-biotics, which I no longer seem to be able to take without it causing bad bouts of IBSd which, in my opinion, then renders the treatment useless anyway!
I have terrible problems with fatigue, balance & co-ordination and cognitive functioning, which are also a result of the medications that I take each day and then there’s the dreadful hypersensensitivies to… well, not quite everything, yet!
So overall, I know that my anxiety disorder has contributed massively in the short term at the same time as points of high-anxiety, but, I am also aware that it has not helped my overall general health problems in the long term either. It is safe for me to say that there have been and still are many other contributing long term environmetal & physcial health factors to take into consideration as well.
It appears to me that the anxieties of my normal ‘mundaneness‘ escalate and cause the Flares, which in turn make me stress more, which makes the flares worse, the stress worse >>>> Does the stress of the flare make the anxiety worse!! or is it the Flare causing the anxiety?
It’s a ‘chicken and egg’, or, ’cause & effect’ scenario, which appears to ‘mirror’ the personality of my Fibromyalgia, which of course becomes worse due to the Psoriasis flare and in a nutshell, it’s a viscious circle and it all causes a whole lot of unwanted stress!!
So, thinking about it, when a person is undergoing a lot of stress/pressure at a, singular, particular time and experiencing an episode of ‘high-anxiety’, when it is difficult to focus on the task in hand, say, paying an overdue bill or be cut off scenario, pay your mortgage or lose the house situation, or could be even something as menial as making a cup of tea or needing to go and get showered and dressed for a hospital appointment and then get to that appontment and survive it and the journey home….
…… that they are all, actually, very ‘equally’ stressful to each individual who owns that anxiety and what comes along with it 😮
I have, personally, decided since reading this poster regarding the long term effects of anxiety on our bodies that ‘my’ anxiety disorder has had a terrible effect on ‘my’ overall general health & ‘my’ fibro in a similar way as if I’d gone out and walked a mile just using me & my sticks the day before.
I am grateful to motability.co.uk for the power chair so that I can get out & about and lessen some of my anxiety and pain at the same time. 🙂
Fibro Management & Positive thinking
Anyhoo! One of the main reasons for me sharing this with you all was so that I could show you how important it is to practise something like relaxation/meditation/yoga/pilates as part of your daily ‘Fibro Management’, if not daily then regularly for approx 30 minutes which is adequate.
Practising relaxation is a great way to help relieve anxiety and pain and soon there will be more info added to The Chillout Lounge for you to read and try out for yourself. Please always consult your GP before embarking on any new treatments in case they may clash with your existing ones 🙂
Another reason for sharing this poster is to bring to light that you could also start looking at the ‘Art of Mindfulness’ or ‘Positive Thought’, to help releive your stress and pain.
Exercise can also prove to help with anxiety, to help relieve some of the stress in a healthy manner rather than letting it absorb you into the world of binge-eating and/or depression which both have diverse effects on my IBS, pain levels and skin to name a few.
When I say ‘exercise’
– I use that term very loosely because it’s not me ‘pumping iron’ down the Gym….
….. and more like ‘me’ making myself do my physio stretches and exercise on the stairs to get me mobile, or, when I’m well enough taking the time to tidy up my room in bursts rather than in one go (Pacing – coping strategy), for example.
So what I mean for those of us that can’t exercise as per the norm try to keep yourself mobile. For example, you could try gentle walking or taking up a hobby to help distract yourself through using the Distraction method of dealing with chronic pain and/or anxiety.
On a serious note though! I am classed as being high-risk for heart attack and stroke because of the long term Chronic anxiety disorder that I have been surviving, and sometimes only just, for the last 20 odd years. In the last 20 years I’ve gotten to know my body very well, so well that when something such as a pain, twinge, snap, crackle or pop is legitimately different I spot it!
NOW – I am to avoid stress as much as possible and wherever posibile and it is impossible to acheive no stress at all.
It is possible, however to get help to learn how to manage living with Fibro and anxiety if you talk to your GP, or anxiety support service, which could possibly mean counselling of some description or any of a range of treatments and therapies that are on offer today. Talking to someone worked for me but just because it did doesn’t mean it will for everyone else as we are all unique with our ‘own‘ Fibro & Anxieties.
I have pasted some useful links below to find further information about anxiety and where to gelp help & support. I got help from Sunderland MIND where will you go?
As this FibroFlutters blog grows new sections will appear and one of those new sections that is currently under construction is:
got some ideas? Why not pay a visit and leave a comment 🙂
Thankyou for taking the time to read and please tell your story if you like, via the leave comment box.
Wishing you all wellness and sending sunshine and smiles to you 🙂
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT:
If you’d like to chat to others about your anxiety you could visit an online community forum such as;
or, would like a friendly confidential chat to someone about your anxieties you could call:
#chronicillness > medlineplus.gov – coping with chronicillness.
American College of Rheumatology (ACR) >
Fibrofly post – Fibro Symptoms
#JHS > HMSA – Guide to JHS
Access for the disabled > www.motability.co.uk
Positive Thought > Mayo Clinic ~ healthy lifestyle & stress-management > positive thinking