Wednesday, 24 October 2018



In my blog I want to talk about another emotion that I have suffered from since having M.E. and that is linked to other emotions and symptoms. 

Sometimes I feel anxious. It doesn't feel like me. 

I don't believe that I really suffered with anxiety before the onset of M.E. 

I was a confident, outgoing and strong person. 
Yes I had problems - don't we all - but felt able to deal with them. 

However since becoming ill I often feel anxious, especially in the night. 

There is not always an obvious reason. This anxiety has sometimes resulted in a panic attack. 

It appears that anxiety type symptoms are common in M.E. 

In this blog by Cort Johnson asks if the Autonomic Nervous System is to blame.  

"Still a common core of symptoms – feeling tense, trouble concentrating, muscle tension, dizziness, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, etc. – are found in ME/CFS, FM and anxiety. It’s as if the more extreme emotional symptoms have been stripped away leaving a body and mind on edge.  Emotional issues are often present, but at a “sub-clinical” level. They’re not enough to trigger a diagnosis of anxiety but are enough to be aggravating. Plus, similar problems of catastrophizing and hypervigilance are fairly common."

"Anxiety, then, is clearly not always emotional in origin. In diseases with autonomic nervous system issues like POTS (and probably ME/CFS and FM) problems with the autonomic nervous system, sensory integration, blood flow or blood volume can produce anxious or even panic-like states."

I will not reproduce this blog but it's well worth reading. 

The feeling of anxiety can manifest in both physical and emotional ways. 
  • chest pains
  • feeling breathless
  • hyperventilation
  • irregular heartbeat
  • upset stomach
  • headaches 
  • clammy hands
  • sweating
  • a panic attack
  • restless
  • feeling tense
  • trembling
  • feeling weak or tired
  • unable to concentrate   
  • dizziness
  • nauseous
  • unable to sleep

So what causes anxiety? 
  • Often it comes along with a medical problem like M.E.  
  • Sometimes it can be a side effect of certain medications. 
  • significant worry about treatment and the future
  • stress of trying to live with acute symptoms
  • stress of having to deal with things such as medical appointments, forms to fill in, phone calls    
  • worry and stress over finances 
  • worry and stress when claiming benefits
  • stressful relationships
  • stress of not knowing and uncertainty 
  • social isolation
  • lack of support
  • poor quality of life
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • lack of control
  • abuse
  • a traumatic event
  • change of circumstances

My next question is how can we deal with and manage this anxiety? 

I suggest if you suffer with this symptom that you talk to your doctor. 

Perhaps there is some medication that may help you with your anxiety and your sleep. 

My doctor prescribed a natural supplement that has helped me. 

As far as possible avoid stressful situations and people.

As far as possible eliminate stress in your life.  

Accept that you are anxious but also accept that it may pass. 

Try calming strategies like listening to soothing music or nature sounds. 

Perhaps you may feel able to try some drawing or painting. 

If well enough, watch something that is distracting or amusing. 

If possible practice meditation and some breathing exercises. 

Perhaps writing down your anxiety and worries may help you. 

Perhaps you may want to share how you feel with others and make you feel less alone. 

Above all remember that you are not your anxiety. You are not weak. This is just a part of your illness.    


I’m feeling very anxious
And I don’t know why
I’m feeling very anxious
And I want to cry

I wake up feeling anxious
Half way through the night
I wake up feeling anxious
I just don’t feel right

I’m feeling very anxious
Keep thinking the worst
I’m feeling very anxious
Like my head will burst

I’m feeling very anxious
So sick and dizzy
I’m feeling very anxious
All hot and sweaty

I’m feeling very anxious
And it’s hard to breathe
I’m feeling very anxious
With pain and fatigue

I often feel so anxious
I can’t concentrate
I often feel anxious
And have a headache

Why am I feeling anxious,
restless and tense?
Why am I feeling anxious?
It doesn’t make sense
Why am I feeling anxious?
Could it be M.E.?
Why am I feeling anxious?
This is not like me.

I believe that I've done as much as possible to help reduce this feeling of anxiety and the stress in my life. 

However life often throws up events and problems that cause anxiety and stress. It's impossible to avoid completely. 

At least I know that if I feel anxious I have strategies to help me. 

Do you have any strategies that have helped you?   

I look forward to hearing from you. 

A bientot
From the French Femme