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Mentally Control Episodes...


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I'm diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and orthostatic hypotension.

Sometimes it feels like i can mentally induce an episode, or at least worsen an existing one. I probably sound crazy to all of you, or that because I think i'm having an episode I believe I am. But it's not like that. My heart rate is actually too fast and irregular.

Thing is with this is I can't stop it from happening once i've triggered it and I do sometimes also get symptoms that i don't feel is anything to do with my mental state, but the worse episodes always are.

Anyone think it's possible that I can somewhat cause it mentally? Or am I going mad?

I've heard that many POTS patients get misdiagnosed with anxiety disorders, is it possible that i'm the other way around? Or have both? I'm hardly the most mentally stable person. I have an eating disorder and had severe phobias in the past.

Thanks to anyone who replies :)

And please don't think i'm too crazy.

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I know what you're talking about here ... I could tell that I was making myself feel worse by NOT laying down when my body told me too. It seems NORMAL to me though that if you're body is telling you to lay down now or ELSE ... it would make a person anxious. :o

I just try to lay down when I first start feeling weak or light headed. Fighting it has never helped .. In fact, I'll get petite mals if I continue standing ... and then it will take me even longer to recover ...

tc ... Marcia

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There are phenomenon called pseudoseizures in people who do really suffer from epilepsy. I'm sure it's possible for POTS patients who do really suffer from syncope to have pseudosyncopal episodes as well. That means yes, you can induce a fainting episode mentally/emotionally. Pseudoseizures usually happen in front of people, and it is generally interpreted as an attention-seeking behavior, with much debate as to whether or not the patient is conscious of their motives or even conscious that it is not a real seizure. Under what circumstances are you mentally inducing your fainting? Do you know why you do it? Is it only when others are around who might sympathize with your symptoms only when they are severe or take that form?

It is also known that some people can mentally stop real seizures, although this is potentially very different from fainting because fainting essentially is caused in the cardiovascular system while seizures are coming from the neurological system. But patients who have succeeded in this feat usually say they tell themselves a word, mentally not aloud, and that word is usually one word: STOP or NO.

I believe a person with POTS would have difficulty controlling a faint via top-down processing (using thoughts to command body functions) because of the damage between brain and organs (the dysautonomia itself). But I suppose it's possible, especially if the person has gotten to know himself or herself and can manipulate their organ function (e.g. respiratory rate, heart rate) by inducing the appropriate emotion and its associated hormonal and internal organ response. You can also use biofeedback to acheive this, or you could at least try and see if it works for you.

There is an incredible relationship between your mind and your body, and it's not very well understood in science. One thing we know is that top-down and bottom-up processing both influence experiences, thoughts, behaviors, and physical and mental health. That means your body influences your mind and your mind influences your body.

And of course you're not crazy. Nobody here is crazy. We're all coping with stress, and that might produce behaviors that we don't really want to embrace in the long term, but that doesn't mean there's anything abnormal about such a reaction. Even if you are experiencing pseudoepisodes, there is a real reason for the fake symptom and that reason might be lack of affection and concern shown by those around you or lack of understanding and you are trying to make them understand. Or perhaps you are trying to figure out what is causing this problem, and you are experimenting with causation by trying to induce it. In any case, you seem perfectly sane to me.

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My husband and I had a discussion about this last night. If I am afraid I am going to have an episode of fast, pounding heart, nausea, faintness (not fainting), weakness, and tremors; he says I can make it happen. When I go to the dr. I get so nervous and upset I get to feeling so bad I can barely sit up. I can try all the deep breathing and relaxation exercises I can think of, but the day of the appt. and during the appt. nothing will bring down my heart rate until I leave the dr. office. Even then, my heart rate stays up some the rest of the day.

Also, I have issues with some foods and meds making me feel bad. I sometimes think that if I expect that something I am going to eat is going to make me feel bad I can trigger myself into feeling bad. At that point I really don't know if the food/med did it or if the stress and fear of thinking maybe it could has launched me into an attack.

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