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30 Replies
Canada17 - December 4

I received some bad, potentially life threatening, news about a family member this week. Since then I have been have "mini" anxiety attacks. I take deep breaths and remove myself from my head and they seem to go away, but they come back....and they are getting stronger.

I know anxiety is a common condition associated with FM and while I have it from time to time, it hasn't been this bad in years. I'm bouncing in my chair and I just want to scream and jump out of my skin! I feel like I have something in my chest that is trying to get out and it is affecting my breathing - not quite hyperventilating but I feel like I am not getting enough air though I know I am. It's driving me nuts!

The whole situation is very stressful for me and there isn't much I can do to mitigate the stress. It is what it is.

I don't have a good enough control over FM yet to deal with this situation but ignoring it is only going to cause me more problems.

What am I to do?? I can't get in to see my doctor for at least a couple of weeks, if at all before the new year. And I am concerned that anything I might be prescribed will be too much for my body to tolerate...

Can anyone give me some tips on how to control anxiety the natural way? My medicinal marijuana helps so much but I can't use it until I get home from work.


Fantod - December 4

I totally sympathize with your situation. Go to the health food store and buy L-Theanine. I use the 200mg strength. It acts like a mild sedative. It should not make you groggy. I am hyper sensitive to medication and it doesn't bother me - just takes the edge off. Be sure that you understand how to take this homeopathic remedy and any risks associated with it. Also, when you feel an episode coming on, try taking 5 deep breaths in a row - the kind that make you move your stomach. That should also help you relax.

I am very sorry to hear about your family member and I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.


iliveinpain - December 4

Canada17, I'm so sorry to hear that you've received such bad news about your family member. When my dad was dying the only thing that got me thru it was xanax, which isn't 'natural' but if you can get a prescription for that when you see your doctor, you might find it helpful. Sorry to not be of more help to you, but just know that you can always come to this site for support during any difficult times that may follow. We're all friends here, good luck to you. Wishing you well, and please let us know how things turn out.


Canada17 - December 4

Thank you Fantod and iliveinpain, I appreciate your advice.

At this point just thinking and talking about the situation brings on an attack and we don't even know how bad it is yet. We have to wait a few weeks, we will probably get the results just in time for Christmas.

I will keep you guys posted...


Canada17 - December 4

...I did a little research, L-Theanine is in Green Tea. This worries me a little, I will have to talk to the health food store about it, but I can't drink Green Tea - it gives me crazy heart palpitations...maybe it is the caffeine content that does it to me...I don't know...hmmmm


sulydi - December 4

Canada17, I too am sorry about your bad news. I suffer from anxiety, and don't do meds. I do see a counselor who specializes in anxiety, and that helps me tremendously.
I think however, that you need to find one who specializes in anxiety. Best wishes to you.


FibroDale - December 5

I have been using meditation for about 6 years now. It has been amazing and has helped me through a lot of emotional issues. I use holosync which requires no effort on your part. You put a cd in the player and headphones on and you can think or sleep or whatever and it still works. Google centerpointe or holosync, they have free sample cd's you can try.


axxie - December 7

I'm sorry for you Canada17, but feel quite at ease, that what you are feeling, all of us suffer from it.

Keep calm when things get angry and breath deeply and calm yourself by imagining that we are all there holding your hand through the rough part. Talk it out, and when you get really jumpy, I found the best thing is to do some physical work, whatever you can do, sometimes just washing clothes, or taking a walk, or going up and down the stair, she help you change your mind set, so that you can get on with life.
Above all, take it easy, and when people talk about a subject and it's getting difficult for you, remove yourself from that conversation just enough to compose yourself.


Canada17 - December 9

Thank you, axxie. I do take comfort here. I am about to get real personal here and I feel a little guilty for putting it out here but I need to let it out.

I had a visit with this family member the other day. I had to shut down. The person who is sick mentioned Splenda (she puts it on EVERYTHING and I've always said it's no good) I mentioned again that it really isn't as good as the makers would like us to believe and she looked at me like I was saying it is what has made her sick.

In January, this person ended up in the hospital because she wasn't taking care of herself (a whole whack of bad habits including smoking). The whole family intervened, but I had already been trying to help before that. It all came down on me, the blame, the reasons; it was all my fault. At least that is how this person reacted. A diabetic, she locked herself in her room and refused to come out, she wouldn't even let us bring her food. My sister was able to get through to her though. The aftermath of that night led to me developing an incredibly painful muscle spasm in my trap; I couldn't even move my neck. That is how stressed out I was!

Now this person has become sick, she has cancer. And my husband quietly hushed me when I started to talk about Splenda (something I have always done) so I shut down. My anxiety is rooted in a silence that has been forced on me. If I say how I am truly feeling, if I talk about what I know, I am accused of not being supportive. But saying nothing and shutting down to protect myself from the stress and anxiety has the same end. This is only compounded by the fact that the person who is sick is my mother.

I don't know what I am supposed to do. If I am true to myself, I know it will cause major problems. If I lie and pretend, it will eat me up inside and cause me unnecessary stress and anxiety. And if I remove myself from the situation, I will be accused of being selfish.



axxie - December 9

I feel for you Canada17, I had many girlfriends who had the same relationship and felt cheated by the commotion mom made. They were all sick, and everyone is trying to appease situation and it's fuels it instead, because no one is allowed to speak except the person who screams the loudess.

For women in this generation, I see an awful lot of rivalry between mothers and daughters. Theres' an awful lot of tension, withholding, and misunderstanding. It's cat and mouse game, mom sees her dauther is this, and mom thinks she knows best, because mom are suppose to know best, but actually the problem is mom who can't give herself the chance to let her daughter grow up as an indepedent woman.

The best gift a mother can give a daughter — and, as she becomes an adult, that a daughter can give her mother — is permission to be herself.

I think you an independent and strong-willed women, which is good, but also kind. It's important to be your own woman, but also to have some compassion and understanding of other people, otherwise I think your life becomes too too narrow. Women are told now that they must be strong and assertive, and that's fine, but you need another component also to have a satisfying life. That's how I see it, and I hope that's something that you have received by your mom, if this had not happen, then you are left holding cat's bag, say something no matter how important it is, it discounted as rubish and then well wishers come in and they try to sush you and then you feel your opinion is not valuable. So you have the anxiety attacks. Give yourself the world and allow youself to be that indepedent loving person that you are. Even if it means to not say anything, because two wrongs don't make a right.

Be proud of youself to everything you have accomplish and you smile and square your shoulders and you go out in the world with the big smile of yours and keep saying to yourself that you can withold your comments because it's the best thing to do, not because peopel sushed you.


iliveinpain - December 9

Hi Canada17, so sorry to hear about your mom. You're in an incredibly tough spot right now. I think whatever you say is probably going to be taken wrong, it's a no win situation. I can understand your mom's feelings, only because I just went thru a similar situation with my husband. I'd been on aspartame for YEARS and have only quit a few months ago. As yet, I haven't felt any improvements, but he was always 'nagging' me about it. I did feel that he was in fact blaming me for giving myself fibromyalgia, because I refused to believe there was a connection between the fibro and the artificial sweeteners. So, yes, when you have an illness and think people are saying it's your own fault, not only do you have to deal with the sickness, but you feel shame and regret that you may have contributed to your own decline in health, and that is very hard to accept. On the other hand, I completely understand and agree with you on wanting to help your mom. I finally gave up the aspartame, and it wasn't easy, cause it's in EVERYTHING, but I was finally ready on my own to make the necessary changes in my life. I don't know if it's actually addictive, but I felt it was, much like smoking, and it's tough to admit it may be harming you. She'll have to realize it on her own tho. Try to realize that you are not in charge of making her well. I take on much the same type of behavior you've described here. I am always the one trying to make sure everyone is happy and healthy, and then I am always the one getting sick with stress. It isn't worth it, and people are just going to do what they are going to do, regardless of your good advice. Try to take care of yourself now, because stress is going to compound your symptoms. I think the most important thing for us to do is to realize we cannot fix everything and make everything right for everyone we love. Take care, and keep us posted.


bmcgovern - December 9

I am really sorry to hear Canada17,
My mom passed away last year. She was in the hospital for a week before she passed. She was delusional and also went into a coma. She was diagnosed with Addison Disease. She was so sick for a year and it really stressed me out everytime i saw her i just wanted to cry she was in so much pain it really hurt seeing my mom like that. I tried to help her get heathier. My mom drank for years and i think that is what caused it during this time the only thing that got me through it was my husband and family they were all there for me. My mom made it a year when she was diagnosed when she went into the hospital she was in the coma and the doctor told us the night before she passed away that she was doing better and the next morning he called us early and said your mom is went down hill in the middle of the night and to get to the hospital because he didnt think she was going to make it. When she was in the coma the doctor said her liver failed and she Pneumonia. We decided not to put her on life support because the doctor didn't think she would make it she lasted four hours and finally let go. It was the hardest thing for me my mom and i were very close. I know how your feeling it's hard it hurts so bad but just keep your head up get all the support from your family it does help with the anxiety and stress. I really like that i can share my info with all of you here. I really like having everyone here that understands. Thank you


bmcgovern - December 9

Sorry i meant her kidneys failed not liver.


Fantod - December 9

Canada17 - I am so sorry to hear about your mother. And, I feel your frustration too. I would like to suggest that you consider journaling the things you want to say to her that may be construed as "negative" by her and/or your family. That way you'll get it out and perhaps some of your anxiety will be relieved. The way it is coming out now in the form of panic attacks is not doing you any good. And, saying anything about Splenda or any of her other habits now will not change the reality of the situation. I'm not saying that your anger and frustration isn't valid. My point is that it is now affecting you in a very negative way. You can either chose to put this aside or possibly make yourself unable to function when your mother needs you the most. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless.


Canada17 - December 9

Thank you everyone. I really appreciate your advice.

I have become a strong, independent woman thanks be to my husband and mother-in-law. I didn't realize how badly I felt and how much the way I was being treated was affecting me until I realized that it isn't normal to be put down every time you make a comment on something.

I've learned quickly that asserting myself in my family does nothing but create tension for me. I feel as though it's my fault sometimes because I have two sisters (I am the middle) and neither of them have this issue. Middle child syndrome maybe? Keeping quite doesn't help anything either. My family would much rather I lie and pretend that I am ok with something than have no comment or tell the truth. I guess they know that when I don't make a comment that it is because I don't agree with them. My parents did always say, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

But when I know the dangers of smoking and artificial sweeteners, preservatives, chemically concocted food from a box...why shouldn't I speak up when it directly affects me? My mother smoked (more than a pack a day) in the house until I got pregnant at 23. For the first 15 years of my life, both my parents smoked in the house and car and where ever we were. I now have acute bronchitis and environmental asthma and my mom still doesn't understand why I am so against cigarettes. Because our family doctor is a "quack" he told me and my mother that my lungs were like a lemon car, that I just got a bad set - even after all the research that has been done to proven just how bad second and even third had smoke is.

Again, I really appreciate your advice. It really helps me to reaffirm what I already know I have to do. I guess it's true that advice is what you ask when you already know the answer but wish you didn't. I just wish there was some way that I could express my own opinion and still feel valued.


fancithatt - December 10

I don't want to take over your post and I totally sympathize with you. Some one was talking about mother daughter relationships and that's been my anxiety. My 17 yr old has many problems. She is trying to grow up but in a not productive way. She decided she was old enough to move out and in with her boyfriend ( which is allowed in Texas) she has gotten into fights, tried to attack me 5 times,cussed me out like you can't believe, quit her job, and allows the boyfriend to drive the car and he doesn't have a license. I have Fibromyalgia for about 20 years now, ostoprosis, degenrative disc disease, rls, colitis, and other problems. I had overian cancer 9 years ago. She also lies to me like I'm going to fall for it. All of this has brought on so much mental and physical pain that I can't bear it. It's eating me up inside and all the meds (which I have a lot of) don't seem to help right now. I am usually a happy person, but enough is enough!!! I feel like I'm breaking in little pieces. My husband has been caring but he can't understand why I don't feel like getting out of bed. I just want to get off the merrygoround for a moment to take a breath. Does any one ever feel like this or am I just going crazy??


fancithatt - December 10

Canada17 I went and did my own post because I don't want to take away from your problems. My heart goes out to you. It seems like at times we can do nothing right. Please hang in there and know that you were only trying to help and give advice. You tried



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