Author Topic: When Is It Psychosomatic ?  (Read 1908 times)

Captains wife

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When Is It Psychosomatic ?
« on: June 14, 2015, 09:56:03 AM »
I am just over 3 years out from losing my husband and my son's father in a sudden accident. I feel like we are doing "everything right" and have periods of time when we are doing very well. Recently, however, I have had a string of pretty bad news. I have also recently noticed my mood take a turn for the worse - plus I really haven't been feeling well...i.e. no energy (Fri I could barely get off the couch), headaches, stomach problems, achy, this morning I woke up with a rash. However, I am wondering if this is really psychosomatic - that my stress and busy schedule are just catching up with me rather than it being anything medically serious. I have been to the Dr fairly recently, have no serious medical side effects - i.e. fever etc. So I really think that stress might be having these side effects on me. Would be interested to hear if others have had similar issues during the grief process ?


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Re: When Is It Psychosomatic ?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2015, 10:22:21 AM »
Stress is grossly underestimated in terms of its effects on the human body.  Sounds like it could be the cause of you feeling lousy right now, especially given the fact that you've clearly had three years of some of the most intense stress imaginable.

I'm only about six months in (with a few months of dealing with her terminal illness that pushes me to about nine months of stress); I can tell it's taken a toll on my body.  In terms of coping techniques, I'm especially unqualified to coach others; my coping techniques are decidedly unhealthy.  Alcohol, overworking myself to take my mind off things, etc.  Those just add to the problems of stress, even though they do offer (well, they offer me) temporary relief.  I can only suggest perhaps talking to a counselor or therapist; your health insurance should cover this, and they do really help.  If I didn't have mine - someone I can rant to for an hour each week - I'd be even crazier/drunker/whatever than I am already.  Well worth the co-pay.  I might also suggest seeing your family doc for a little pharmaceutical help; a temporary and low dose of tranquilizers might give you some breathing room to reset your system.

Sorry to hear that you're still suffering so much three years after the fact.  Giant hug from one stressed girl to another.


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Re: When Is It Psychosomatic ?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2015, 11:55:33 AM »
I have some issues I'm wondering about myself.  I'm planning on scheduling an appointment to discuss it with my doctor but I'm going to see about getting a life insurance policy first. I'm figuring I'll have to get a physical for the life insurance anyway.  Stress is hard on the body.  My mother in law has been dealing with a body rash for months.  She's convinced that it's grief and stress related.  She has been seeing her doctor and using different creams and medicines.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss


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Re: When Is It Psychosomatic ?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2015, 02:43:15 PM »
I think stress can manifest itself in any number of physical reactions.  What I worry about is ignoring something because we chalk it up to stress.  When in doubt, get it checked out.  If medically everything is clear than it's time to address the stress.  That's where I am at now.  The stress needs to be minimized and the way I manage my stress needs to change.  When I figure out how do all of that I promise you all will be the first to know!

Catains wife, have you had blood work done? Lymes disease checked? It can definitely be stress but sometimes stress and exhaustion can bring light to some latent medical issues or leave you susceptible to catching something.
You will forever be my always.


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Re: When Is It Psychosomatic ?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2015, 03:02:58 PM »
CW, it is true that stress and grief can manifest in many ways physically. I stress that my situation is unusual from the norm, but it was serious enough that I feel compelled to share it with others as a word to the wise. I had a serious heart arrhythmia issue (enough that I now have a defibrillator implanted) misdiagnosed as stress and anxiety attacks for about 5 months. On my 6th trip to the ER, they decided to keep me overnight and do a stress test the next morning. While on the treadmill, the arrhythmia returned and they could see that it hadn't all been in my head as they presumed. I am very lucky to still be alive.

As I stressed, I feel my case is rare. However, if you are having symptoms you should get them checked. If you feel it is more than just stress, keep pushing for answers. Listen to your own instincts. They had me pretty well convinced it was all just panic attacks, but a little voice in me said it might be more. I'm glad I listened to it and went back to the ER again. I honestly think the stress test was offered to prove to me that my heart was fine. I'm just glad it was offered as I may well not be here if they hadn't been able to see with their own eyes what I had been was describing was happening to me.

All that said, the ventricular arrhythmia issues for me are real, however they haven't been able to find any reason for them, despite extensive testing. Purely an unexplained electrical problem at this point with the likely culprit - stress and anxiety. So, even if caused by stress and anxiety, real medical issues requiring treatment may result. Sigh... Like Trying, I'm working to reduce my stress - unsuccessfully thus far.

I hope you are feeling better soon, CW.
Without you, Baby, I'm not me.


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Re: When Is It Psychosomatic ?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2015, 06:54:32 PM »
I will chime in here, too. I have had migraines, since I was 10, and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 11 years ago. Recently, I suffered a minor stroke, which I am now undergoing medical attention and physical therapy for. All of these are very real medical diagnoses.

That being said, stress and anxiety can play a significant role in the onset and severity of symptoms in each of my very real medical conditions. Since my Kenneth died, 15 months ago, I have had a significant increase in the number of migraines and pain issues related to the fibromyalgia.

Did I mention I had a minor stroked recently? Initially, I thought it was a panic attack. Thankfully, my boss decided to call for an ambulance to take me to the ER. Fortunately, I received medical treatment almost right away, which I credit as a reason my recovery is going so well, at the moment.

I agree with the previous poster, who mentioned that when in doubt, check it out. I also agree it is better safe, than sorry.
"The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude." - Thornton Wilder

Thank you, my dearest Kenneth, for loving me and for giving me the best 13 years of my life.