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Anxiety & Pots..


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Hi,

I'm just curious as to how you can tell the difference between anxiety symptoms and POTS symptoms. There's no doubt about it that I have alot of anxiety, esp since I became sick with POTS. I'm just curious if there is any special way to figure out which is causing which symptoms....

My anxiety is getting to the point that I don't want to drive alone or go in stores alone, etc. My doctor wants to put me on some meds, but I am against that idea. I hate the fact of taking any meds, so I don't want another one to add to the list.

Thanks

Jacquie

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My anxiety and POTS get kind of mixed together, so I don't know exactly how to differentiate. I feel like my anxiety symptoms can just happen anytime whereas my POTS happens when I am upright (sitting or standing) and get worse the longer I stay in that position. The POTS symptoms are also especially bad for a long time after I try to push through them. Also I get a lot of visual stuff with the POTS (sparkles, dark spots, color bleeds, etc), but not with the anxiety. I am not well enough to do stuff my myself, especially drive, so the anxiety really is not keeping me from doing anything because I can't anyway.

Oh well, I don't know if any of that helped at all, maybe someone else will have something more specific.

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Jacquie,

I know exactly how you are feeling. Soon after I began having symptoms of my POTS the anxiety began. It was a mixture of the rushes and the fear of what was happening to me to the fear of the fear of the panic and anxiety happening again. It is a horrible circle. I to was very against taking meds. I tried a couple and did NOT like how they made me feel. After one of my visits with Dr. Grubb he explained that some of the discouraging feelings I had on some of the meds actually meant that they might just be the right med. So I began with a very small dose of celexa. 5 mg. I did have trouble sleeping for a while and had some very vived dreams, not bad ones though. I stuck it out and my dose is now 10 mg and now 4 months later I can tell you I am so glad I took the chance and listened to him. My anxiety level is very low. It has not grown to a panic attack in 4 months which has been so wonderful. I am not having some of the POTS symptoms every day such as the racing heart and BP drops. It still happens very infrequent.y and not anywhere near how it used to be. Somehow the celexa helps my POTS, he explained it to me but I don't remember exactly how it works. Last summer I couldn't get in the car by myself, I was so scared of the anxiety and the fear of having a panic attack. I got sick just thinking about leaving the house. It is so much better now. I did go to a psychologist for awhile, and gained knowledexiety and panic and it helped to have someone to talk to and work though some other issues that were causeing me much stress.

I still have stress in my life, actually a little more than before, but I try to not take it so personally and not let it eat me up. One thing that really helped me through was lwhen I did have to drive I listened to some tapes by Claire Weekes that help with anxiety. She has a soothing voice and really helps take the fear out of situations. I do hope your anxiety lessens quickly so you can do all the things you want to do. One thing I do remember is that Dr. Grubb said that some POTS patients do better starting off on a very low dose of antidepressant and working the dose up slowly. Maybe this might help you.

Take Care

Kim

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In my opinion (non-medical, of course, but having suffered from anxiety pre-POTS and now still suffering from it and POTS), all anxiety should be treated regardless of the cause. Of course, it's good to try and find physical causes and treat those accordingly, but since you've already done that, it's best to treat the anxiety alone. This doesn't mean you have to take medication; cognitive-behavioral therapy, biofeedback, reiki, acupuncture, etc., can be relied upon if you want. I have taken a variety of anti-anxiety meds over the years and am not helped right now by SSRIs or any antidepressants. So I have chosen to rely on clonazepam (a small dose daily) and alternative treatments. I practice yoga, deep breathing exercises, keep a journal, take long walks and try to make good decisions that help me manage the anxiety and stress in my life, because it will always be there.

So again, that's just my opinion. I feel your pain, though!

Amy

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well.. when i was about 16-17 i would have severe panic attakcs..the last time i had a severe panic attakc was in 2002 the night my grandmother died.. and its a good thing i was allready in a hospital b/c i freaked bad..

But the difference for me.. is when i used to get anxiety attack they would accompanied by really intense over powering fear and straight up panic..and aggitation/irritability..and anti-anxiety drugs helped..

Now during this time (16-17) i had potsy attacks.. but they where different.. and drugs did not help them.. often sitting in a cool shower helped them...meaning that my whole reaction and thinking during these where way different.. i wouldnt be over come by fear and panic.. But i well felt potsy fast heart rate.. I'd be on a tare.. with huge amounts of adrenaline zipping thru me.. and I'd feel jitter inside.. and couldnt sit still during some them.. when I'd get like that i'd clean sometimes..and looking back on this.. i realize that i'd get like this during the prime hours of norepephinerine release 2-5 am.. like clock work...I now know that even them i was surging with way to much adrenaline..

Now my potsy attacks are much different in nature..all together.. no fear panic with these.. just feeling really bad..

in a nut shell for the most part i can diferentiate between an anxiety attack and a potsy attacks..over time i learned the difference...

i got treatment for my "true" panic attacks.. worked with a good psychologist to weed out the boogie men in my closet for about 4 yrs. and learned some tricks to ground myself during an attack..i no longer get the severe attacks.. only once back in februaury i had a not so nice panic attack.. but ti was b/c I was expereincing new symptoms and started paralysisng left and right...

and i've also learned coping skills for potsy attakcs.. some time it helps some time it doesnt..

hope i'm making sense..

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Guest tearose

gosh, I feel like the alien... B)

I get POTS symptoms but never feel that is like anxiety. I get a racing heart, shortness of breath, a sweaty face, white spots and blurry vision, feeling faint.... and this is my dysautonomia.

I have gotten "nervous" before say, public speaking...but that feels more like butterflies in my stomach and worrying a little about what I have to say....

I don't get the intense anxiety as much as some here.

tearose

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