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Psychological Ramifications


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This dysautonomia has turned me into such a shut-in, worry-wart, shrinking violet, wall-flower. In my former life I went to school in a foreign country, traveled the world and moved to many of the largest metropolitan cities all by myself. I used to be this free-spirit who danced all night and always said yes to any promising and fun adventure. Now? I live with my parents and freak out about any invitation that includes being anywhere other than home. I've become so timid and tender with myself and my surroundings and the more I baby myself, the more I worry that I'll never return to that free-spirit I once was. Does anyone else struggle with loss of confidence in their body that filters over into their mental and emotional life? Any tips? Please help. I miss the old me and I don't know how to get there from here...

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I totally understand. I was a real social person, would drive from Seattle to Wisconsin alone. Had no fear of anything or anyone.

I went through a period like you are going through now.

I know that I have physical limitations now, but I do push myself to stay in contact with people. You need to set small goals for

yourself. Take advantage of the moments that you feel OK (as OK as we feel) and go do something with someone. It doesn't always

work out so well but isolation is not the answer. Picture yourself how you want to be and tell yourself you can do it. Affirmations.

Start small, don't overwhelm yourself. Don't affirm to yourself that you are a "shut-in, worry-wart, shrinking violet, wall-flower."

Don't believe it.

I don't know what your physical limitations are.

I start by saying, I can walk to the post office and back (1 block away). Then when I get home, I say to myself, I walked alone and

I am still alive. I can do it. I talked to people at the post office. I will compliment someone on what they are wearing or buy a stamp just to have a conversation.

If I go somewhere with someone and feel very anxious, I just acknowledge that I am anxious but say to my anxiety, "anxiety, you

will not ruin my day." I take the power away and say I have felt like this before many times, SO WHAT!!!!!!

If my heart races or I become dizzy, I tell myself, this is not new you have been here before many times.

I know it is hard. Feel free to email me.


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Hi Waterbaby!

I hope you are doing better. I know to a degree how you are feeling. Maybe just try to take little steps at a time, and do what you can. You may have to push yourself a little bit. Don't be afraid to do things "normally". Just remember that you probably have different limits than others and the most important thing is to listen to your body!

As far as getting back out there are you a student or do you work? If neither is there any way to do either even for small amounts a couple of times a week?

Also, just for your own piece of mind and independence, would you rather move away from your parents, to avoid relying on them too much? Not to move cross country from them, but to get your own place somewhere, even with a roommate if you hear of someone you know looking for one.

I know that some of these things have helped me and if things were different I may myself be much more in that boat. I don't know all of your current condition so I do not know if any of this is possible.

Also, maybe even small things like going out for lunch with someone, or shopping, movies etc.

I am always tempted to say no to invitations and do many times, mainly because the other people can go party for hours after a six hour day of classes and I am exhausted. So, there are definitly limits a person can handle.

I wish you luck and that things begin looking up! B)

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Don't be too hard on yourself. You are having a natural protective reaction. I think the others gave you great advice. The one thing that has really helped me is setting small goals and rejoicing when I achieve them. I see a wonderful therapist and that has also been a huge help. It affords me time to think through my fears, worries and disapointments. When I leave his office I usually have a better understanding of my reaction to this illness as well as a renewed belief that I can get through the next day. Let's face it, your body has changed and is not behaving! Why wouldn't that make you change how you live your life? Sometimes I visualize me all better (and running - I miss it so much). Keep that vision of yourself but don't keep comparing. We need to forgive ourselves and our bodies. Just do the best you can.

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As I have mentioned on other posts- I have had cognitive therapy. One of the big 4 triggers of anixiety is called

"The fear of physical Collaspe". A person can unconscienously feel they are in physical danger because of "The fear of physical Collaspe".

It is not pssible for me to pass on what I have been taught. Its lenghty.

The bottom line is that is important to detatch consciencously from the idea of being in danger of physical collaspe. "WE" might in fact actually collaspe physically.

But this is not the same as a global collaspe- emergancy situation. IE life threatening. <<<<<<<<<<that is the subconscience message that produces massive aniexty.

The slogen to remember is that your limitions are distressing , but NOT dangerous. If you come to the place that you think you might actually be in danger, you see a Dr.

I hope that makes some sense to you.

And my spell check is not working either- sorry about that too!

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