It's All In Your Head

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Ero-Sennin, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Morning "workout" - Started at 2:30 AM. (Still trying to get myself into a normal sleeping schedule. :p)

    Wide Squat/Standing Leg Raise intervals: - :30/:30 sec. intervals. Repetitions done slow and deep. Squats are wide to loosen up the hips, leg raises are to build strength/endurance in the hip flexors.

    * Shot for 15 minutes, made it to 7 minutes before my head started feeling really bad.

    Neck Stretches: - :20 Second stretch X1 per side of neck. (Lateral and Front/back)

    Important things to note: - I started getting symptoms of an oncoming anxiety attack (tight throat, tensing neck/head) around the 5 min. mark. I find a common theme between my heart rate increasing and symptoms that happen pre-anxiety attack. Hope is that I can start training my body to get used to increased activity level in my home so I'm not affected as badly when I leave my home.

    ** Got the Mindfulness and Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety the therapist I'm working with suggested. Will be working out of that today and will probably post reflections on things I do with it. I have guided meditations to do and everything. :p


    Decided I'm going to try and get 10,000 pedometer steps in a day. This is the average every person should be getting throughout the day for sufficient physical activity (different from fitness related activity) for a healthy body. I won't be keeping a pedometer on at all times during the day so the steps are measured in "with intent to increase step count aside from normal daily activity" (because really, I don't do much aside from reading and a few chores). While I aim to eventually complete these 10k ped. steps outside in exercise form, I'm currently having some difficulties and will be performing 10k steps in intervals via pacing around my apartment.

    2,000 - pedometer steps
    Repeated neck stretches


    Made note during trip to store that one of the windshield wipers broke and wasn't working properly. Wasn't feeling well enough to stand in the rain at 4am to fix it so I went out at this time to switch the passenger wiper over to the driver side. Wife is feeling ill so I don't think I can get her to get another blade to fix the passenger side. Had to make two trips outside due to having to look up how to get the blade off online. First trip I felt decent with slight disorientation upon walking outside. Second trip didn't feel so good but my frustration with the windshield wipers overrode my symptoms and I got it fixed. Felt fuzzy for a good hour afterwards but I got the job done. :p

    ** Important to note that the disabling symptom of anxiety for me (tensing so hard my neck hurts which is followed by my throat tightening to where breathing is a focused and almost forced task) wasn't strong, which is a good sign. The throat tightness is my weakness in dealing with my anxiety currently as I have managed to deal with the slight disorientation and mild feelings of "impending doom." It's also significant to note for reference that the pattern of symptoms for anxiety can rotate. Throat tightness is something I dealt with early on in the injury, it receded until the second week of December and has been the major cause of my slight relapse.


    Getting a little caffeine in my system (1 cup of coffee). Caffeine can cause some pretty big problems for me if I'm trying to get outside during the day, but in smaller doses it can help with headaches a bit but in moderation. It's a debated topic in medicine on the uses of caffeine for people recovering from mTBI, and too much caffeine can compound anxiety problems. I've found that I can measure my mental state (if I'm going to have serious anxiety issues) on my tolerance to caffeine. I haven't had caffeine in a good two weeks because it was too much after my slight relapse. I take it as a good sign that I can now tolerate a small cup of joe.


    2,000 ped steps.
    Repeat neck stretches.

    **Started tensing up (neck/head) around 1k steps, throat felt like it was tightening, no real feeling of anxiety though. Eased up at about 1.6k. 2k ped is about all I can stand for pacing around one room.


    1,500 ped steps

    ** Feeling pretty awful, head is feeling real funny which means I'm coming down with a headache soon. Been up since 1am so fatigue from being awake is also affecting me. I know this level of activity is pretty shameful but what can I say? Seems a brisk workout (if you can call it that), fixing some things on the car, and 5,500 steps was my limit today. Always tomorrow.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  2. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Because this log is of particular significance I've made it a sticky, meaning it will feature at the top of the training logs page.
  3. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oh lawd, the pressure is on to keep up with this log religiously now. :p

    Just a note, I updated the 'Symptoms' post due to currently researching some mTBI stuff and realizing not everything was on the WebMd list that I experienced. I guess I'm lucky that I experienced pretty much every symptom, even the ones that don't always occur normally.:rolleyes: :)p) Seven months of suck isn't always on the front of the mind.

    Edit: Apparently since this is now stickied, I can't update (edit) posts prior to anything I posted today so I'll just attach it here.

    Strange Bodily Sensations:

    This one really bugged me out and lasted for a good four months in consistently reducing strength. It's also one of the things that caused a lot of anxiety; there is nothing like suddenly having your tongue and hands go numb or have shooting vibration feelings going down your leg. The worst was my tongue and hands numbing up. One of the medications I was given (sumatriptin) for migraines caused certain muscles in either one of my forearms to feel extremely weak and I didn't take it at all for the initial month of the injury. These symptoms were the most unnerving for about a month and especially during the two weeks of being bed ridden. After a while they stopped but would reoccur with less intensity at random times. One thing I do remember is if I were watching or reading something that made me emotional my leg would get a shooting numbness and I would get goosebumps and chills. I don't experience this much today.

    I want to describe everything in as much detail as possible. I was reminded of this particular symptom while going through this website: which makes reference of "numbness and tingling" for physical symptoms in a chart.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  4. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Daily Goals - 10k ped steps, 100 pushups throughout day, possibly some shoulder work with light weight. Get outside for a few K ped, read through anxiety workbook, do a significant amount of stretching/foam rolling.

    Wake Up - 4am

    - Felt good this morning. Neck had a burning tightness at base of skull (posterior, right side) where the Semispinalis Capits inserts. That's the area I generally have problems with in my neck on both sides, dominantly the right side though. Length of neck on Splenius Cervicis and Sternoclediomastoid are also target areas, nothing feeling tight there though.

    2,000 ped step


    3,000 ped step
    Neck Stretches - Repeat x2 - 20 sec hold
    Neck Exercise - 1x20 - 1 sec hold at contraction

    ** Ped step felt good, was able to get myself worked up in my thoughts. This can be bad because it contributes to getting an anxiety attack sometimes depending on what I'm thinking about. Don't think I had any of the tenseness or anxiety due to being in my home with other worries bothering me like being outside would have.

    Neck Exercise I did starts at 1:40 of video, I also do all the other stretches aside from the posture one. Will be dubbing this the "Neck Jerk" (no jerking going on though)

    [ame=""]Physical Therapy Exercises for the Neck - YouTube[/ame]


    2,000 ped steps

    *Feeling good today, have some moments when my head feels funny or I tense up a lot but overall I'm doing good 7 hours upon waking up.


    2,000 ped steps
    Neck Stretches - repeat x2 20 sec holds
    Neck 'jerk' - 1x20
    20 pushups - 2x10

    ** Pressure building up in head from pushups, causing head/neck muscles to tense. Making left side of head feel funny.

    Funny Story - (Going to insert these from time to time) When I was initially bed ridden a week after having initial symptoms I didn't go to the ER right away. Cost of medical bills were a concern and I didn't show any bleeding in the head on the first ER visit. After two days my wife got worried and called the ER. I spent those two days under the covers and curled up in a ball hating life. When the EMTs came in it was a traumatic experience for me but it is absolutely hilarious. For some reason they took my wife saying, "He's locked up in the room" as "He's dangerous and may have a weapon and will shoot you upon entry." They came in cautiously asking me something and all I could do was grunt back, then they acted like an assault team making their way into the room and tearing the covers off of me while turning the lights on. From there they ripped me out of bed and put me on one of the rolling emergency bed things.

    It was so traumatic and symptom flaring I couldn't make sense of what was going on. When I could make sense of it I was horribly embarrassed. I hadn't showered and was wearing some rags for clothing so I know I smelled and just looked terrible. Not to mention I felt completely helpless. We tried to tell them I had to go to a VA hospital so I wouldn't get a crazy bill. Them being civilian EMTs they took me to Walter Reid down the road which is an active duty military hospital where a lot of casualties from Afghanistan go to. This of course caused a lot of problems at the hospital in making it clear I was no longer active duty. What we found out was that they conveniently don't tell you upon exiting service is you can still go to an active duty military hospital during your inactive period of your enlistment (you enlist for 8, 4 active duty and the other 4 as inactive which is more of a "in case ww3 happens we don't have a lot of paperwork to get you back in). They will take you if you have room and you won't be charged a cent.

    Because I was emotional (crying) I got the full psychological evaluation by a psychologist. He asked me if I was thinking about killing myself and I told him, "man, if I was going to feel this way the rest of my life then I probably would but they're telling me it isn't so." I passed the evaluation so they kicked me out a few hours later and wheeled me out in a wheelchair where I had to wait in a lobby (agonizing because the TV was so loud) for a cab with my wife. I thought I was going to die on the cab ride and walking up to my apartment where the cabby offered to help take me up (which we didn't accept). The next couple weeks were spent in the bed. Looking back at it I can't help but smile about being seen as a potential murdering psychopath ready to commit suicide when I couldn't even walk 10 steps.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
  5. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    I just wrote a huge post about MBSR...then read through the log and saw you're doing it, or will be, anyway. (That'll teach me!)

    I've started doing MBSR (on and off admittedly) about 2 years ago, my meditation has gone down a different path over the past few months though. It really has helped a lot dealing with anger issues, anxiety and depression. John Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living) is worth looking at if you haven't. I don't like his style so much, but his books have a lot of good info in them...if you can get through the padding.

    I'm not sure what kind of meditation you are doing, but try and be consistent and don't get frustrated with it. Just let it happen. Like any form of training, you'll have good and bad sessions, no different from doing dead lifts or a kata.

    I'm really interested in how you get on with it - Keep us posted.
  6. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    6am wake up

    Went to bed at 6pm so I ended up missing out on the intended goals of yesterday and sleeping 12 hours straight. Part of starting this log is to start structuring my days better as well as log in the things that seem to stress me out and bring on any symptoms and find ways of dealing/working up to being able to deal with them.

    Things to note:

    -Woke up feeling like crap, also had a headache. Sleeping for more than 8-9 hours seems to make me have a headache upon waking up. I've noticed this happening before I started logging it.


    Felt like I should go outside even though I started off the day feeling bad.

    1,000 ped steps outdoors
    1,000 ped steps indoors immediately after
    Neck stretches x2 - 20sec holds
    Neck Jerk 1x20
    Foam rolled back

    Things to note:

    - Felt pretty bad outside, working on "acceptance of bodily sensations from anxiety." That probably sounds weird unless you've dealt with therapy for anxiety, will probably put details some point in the future about it.
    - Neck was extremely tense during stretches, got a little euphoria stretching them out.
    - Back/neck muscles close to spine were very tense, foam rolling felt good.
    - Headache continued to persist, decided to take a migraine pill of which I have a limited amount of for sever migraines when I feel they are developing. (pill taken around 9:30am


    Performed a movement that has the potential for a severe anxiety attack, I went to the convenience store. Unfortunately I still dip (chewing tobacco), something I'm sure isn't helping me but dealing with addiction withdrawal that makes your head feel funny, and your head feeling funny all around just adds to the irritation/disorientation. I also got a small Redbull for caffeine.

    Things to note:

    - Trips during the day where there is traffic and people around are especially hard for me to deal with, anxiety attacks are common in this situation and things were not going in my favor since I already had a developing migraine. The trip went surprisingly well other than learning my wife parked the car under a tree and there was bird crap all over the windshield. I was happy the trip went well regardless and it lifted my spirits for the rest of the day.

    - Headache subsided shortly after drinking caffeine. Between the migraine pill and the caffeine boosting its delivery it worked out well for me.


    2,000 ped step (indoor pacing)

    Pacing "circuit" - performed 5x10 8lbs rear delt raises, also did 5x10 resistance tube (unknown weight, but it wasn't hard at all) of single arm, standing rows at random times while pacing.

    2x20 - Monkey "bangers." (called another name but it isn't ToS appropriate.) Exercise consist of grabbing your ankles, squatting and then standing while maintaining grip on ankles.

    Neck stretches - x2 - 20 sec intervals
    Tennis ball neck massage
    Random stretches

    Things to note:

    - Pacing brought on some anxiety feelings/symptoms up until the third set of rear delt. raises.

    - Tenseness and anxiety left, but I got worn out pretty easily by this little circuit.

    Rest of the Day:

    Something I took note of today reflecting on past attempts on "getting back to the world" is that when I make a little ground I try to start running. At the start of December I started being able to walk outside, so I walked out side for an hour and some of it at a fitness worthy pace, along with making trips to the store regularly. This resulted in a good week where I didn't even think I could make it to the store I felt so bad. Today I felt like I could really start pushing myself outside with walking, maybe even go to the grocery store or at least getting 10k ped steps in.

    So I didn't.

    I will continue to try and do a little more each day. Between walking outside AND making a daytime trip to the store I have already made quite a bit of progress in comparison to the state I was in when I made this thread. The exercises I'm doing haven't been a normal occurrence over the past 7 months, so I need to let my body learn what's happening and how to react to these small things before I start adding on. I'm experiencing some anxiety symptoms in my home which is good for learning how to deal with it in a safe environment vs. an environment (outside) I feel my attention needs to be focused elsewhere (cars/traffic, people with dogs, etc.).

    I'm saying this more for myself but, "to get something new, you must do something new." Nothing I'm writing in this log is stuff I haven't done in spurts here and there in my recovery, but the method is a lot different. Now it's structured, has clear goals and I'm being more "accepting" of my situation and trying to make a constructive approach where complete failure doesn't happen as often.

    Not sure what I'll be doing tomorrow, I have a therapy session online and am thinking of writing a post about anxiety attacks and acceptance may be appropriate.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  7. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Sorry to hear you're feeling so bad. :( If it's of any help, I find ice on the hurty spots works better than asprin/pain pills-except for extreme pain. Plus, the pills tend to cause stomach damage long-term. Are you bad enough to be on morphine? If so, keep up the medication schedule and do ice as a supplement.
  8. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oh no, I'm not that bad anymore. The problem with posting a log like this is there is so much that I have to write down for notes for future use (this log is serving to be a lot more for me then just a thread on MAP) that things will get looked over or not get noticed or forgotten by the time somebody gets to the end of the darned books I'm written for posts! And I don't blame anyone for it!

    I have no problem restating anything though. My current problems consist of anxiety attacks and intense migraines. Both bring on symptoms similar to that of head injuries at the intensity I experience them. My body has learned to associate feeling bad with "you're going to be bed ridden type injured again!" and the result has been anxiety attacks. If I have a headache or feel funny, I have anxiety. If I have anxiety for fear of having an anxiety attack with my head feeling fine, my head starts hurting which causes me to have an anxiety attack. It's all a vicious cycle right now and I'm trying to break out of it. I also can't push myself too much too fast because my brain isn't used to it and I can get a sever migraine from it, which pretty much resets me back to a starting point erasing any progress I made.

    I'm not in the state I described in the initial posts. I am much, much better off! Just not at "normal" yet. I need to try the ice out for headaches more often. I've done it a few times and sometimes it works, just need to remember to keep trying it to see if I can avoid taking as much advil as I am currently.
  9. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    Thanks for the details, mate. :) I looked up "anxiety attack", as I have no experience with it. (My mother suffered a nervous breakdown once, but that's different)
    I have a CNS disorder myself, so you might get something out of an exercise I do sometimes. Just close your eyes when you feel an attack coming on and hum a drone note (any note you feel like). This tends to calm down the brain and nervous system and allows you to breathe more calmly.
    Hope this is of some help to you. :eek:
  10. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Therapy Session​

    ****I am set up with Veteran Affairs (VA) through the VA Hospital I'm registered with to do therapy sessions online to help me work through the different mental issues I'm dealing with. This is separate from the training log, but can affect the training log. I hope that my experiences with these sessions serve multiple purposes for me to adapt my lifestyle and deal with my issues, and it would be a great plus if the reader of these posts got a peek into mental disorder type therapy sessions. By putting myself out there, hopefully I have the opportunity to help remove the stigma of mental disorders. I'm also posting this because this is my real log aside from my notebook (go MAP!), and I'll use it to go back for reference.****

    My therapist recommended a book for me. I've mentioned it somewhere in the pages of ridiculously long posts already in this log, but it's called The Mindfulness & Acceptance Workbook for Anxiety by John P. Forsyth, PH.D. and Georg H. Eifert, PH.D.. I don't enjoy reading this book because it has a very strong "home shopping network" tone and dumbs things down way too much, but after todays session it has been critical in being able to make a connection with my therapist and being on the same page when we discuss things. I've had four other sessions and haven't gotten much from them, since we're now working from the same material in developing an approach we made a lot of 'progress' today. The book was certainly needed due to the online nature of the sessions.

    So, onto the actual therapy session:

    Mental issues I have​

    Between belltoller recommending I start this thread, the support from MAP, my own ambition to get better, and the therapy session/book, I have been able to finally feel like I have a formula worked out to be able to identify the symptoms of different mental 'disorder' issues I have and how they affect me.

    The mental disorders are:

    PTSD: I got this in service obviously. I have it so bad I have one more level to reach before I can collect Social Security because I would be recognized as too disabled to work. I do not have it from the things you would think I have it from. While the act of killing, seeing people killed (friends or enemy), and everything else happening in a war zone I don't attribute my PTSD to the acts in warfare. I do not cringe during fireworks, I do not avoid potholes in the road. Some people suffer from this, but things involved in the acts of violence in all its forms were not even discussed during my initial disability rating interview with a psychologist. My PTSD is still a bit of a mystery to explore for me, but my issues are focused on leadership issues, what I would consider an "atrocity" and a "violation of trust" by leadership, witnessing poor leadership resulting in the death or harm of military or civilian peoples, and the ever present hate/anger I have in relation to these events which were common throughout my time in the Marine Corps. It's not your normal PTSD stuff, and I don't have a firm grip on how to explain it; I only know the areas and topics I find distress in.

    Panic Disorder: This is "fear of fear." This has changed over the months of recovery and has developed more into the fear of having a panic attack. Any symptom I experience from Post Concussion Syndrome or PTSD or actual Panic Disorder creates fear of having a panic attack, and it has caused me to be self-defeating often.

    Actual Physical Injury: Just for clarification, I am also suffering from Post Concussion Syndrome which is the prolonged effects of mTBI symptoms. They aren't as severe but are present and can develop to be sever enough to be debilitating. A thing to note is that PTSD, Panic Disorder, and Post Concussion Syndrome can ALL have a lot of the same symptoms.

    What I got from today's therapy session

    Between this log and the reading material over the last week, and confirmed with the therapist today I have been able to recognize that I am dealing with three different problems (listed above in bold) and I have been having a hard time accepting and differentiating the difference. Now that I understand fully what I'm dealing with I have a foundation to work upon to develop my physical recovery and mental recovery in a structured manner. We worked through some of my log and discussed some areas where I'm probably suffering from Post Concussion Syndrome and I thought it was Panic Disorder, and some areas where I thought it was the other way around.

    Recent Evidence: I noted in my log I went to the store earlier in the week and was worried because I had a headache. The trip went surprisingly well. The reason it most likely went well was because I was dealing with a Post Concussion Symptom rather than a Panic Disorder symptom. The "crappy feeling" I've been getting during the first 1,000 ped steps in my pacing routine have been Panic Disorder symptoms which I'm learning to identify and accept, be aware of, focus on my breathing and calm myself down and work through. A headache doesn't mean I'm going to get a panic attack, and having a panic attack doesn't always mean I'll get Post Concussion Syndrome symptoms. Because I was able to keep my composure and stay calm on my trip to the store, I didn't have a panic attack and was only dealing with mild PCS symptoms.

    This is important because it's going to help me identify where I think I can make progress in my activity level and getting back into the real world, it helps me to provide structure. Another important thing derived from the therapy session was that when I have a relapse in my condition it is probably caused from having more sever PCS symptoms, pushing myself through them (you can't do that) and causing myself to have a panic attack. Since my bodily systems get ramped up during a panic attack this amplifies the PCS symptoms which can last for days/weeks and are an effort to alleviate.

    Key Points of Therapy Session:

    - Identify PTSD, PCS, and PD symptoms and be able to differentiate between them

    - Use this knowledge gained through logging it all down to provide structure to daily activity.

    - Figure out limits and what I can push myself through.

    If you made it through this post you get a gold star. :star:
  11. LemonSloth

    LemonSloth Laugh and grow fat!

    I just want to take a moment to say that posting that took stones dude. You're a remarkable individual and an inspiration to us all as a fellow MAPper and (presumably) a human being. Thank you for taking the time to post, irregardless (yeah, yeah :rolleyes) of your terrible abuse of the english language :D
  12. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    5:30am wake up

    -Felt good. Didn't take a med that makes me drowsy so I only slept 8 hours.
    - Had coffee, made head buzz for a good 10 minutes, went away.


    1hr pacing - 5,300 ped steps
    Neck Stretches - x2 - 20sec holds

    Things to note:

    - Fell like caffeine made me excited, dealt with strong feelings of anxiety first 10 min. of pacing. Was very tense. Working on "acceptance" of panic attack onset symptoms (tenseness). Felt relaxed and was fine after 10 min.


    30 min. pacing - 2,400 ped step

    Things to note:

    - First 5 min. was very tense, had to focus on relaxing. Felt good afterwards.
    - Felt a nice painful throb in left/front side of head


    Therapy Session. Things to note: got tense a lot due to emotional excitement. Was able to focus on relaxing/breathing similar to what I do during ped steps. Worked but had to keep a conscious mind of it.

    3:30pm - 4pm

    2,300 ped steps

    Things to note:

    - Last 10 min. was having a hard time with pre panic attack symptoms. Very tense, throat tightening.

    - Left side of head felt strange/fuzzy during last 10 min. Too much activity inducing PCS symptoms?

    - Took 2 advil migraine pills @ 4pm, head feels fine now while writing log entry at nearly 6pm but am still very tense.

    ***Ped count total surpassed 10K slightly. Progress!

    Take away for the day: Starting to feel good and refreshed in the morning. As the day goes on I get mentally tired and symptoms of anything are harder to deal with. Will have to start getting the exercises I want to get done early in the morning while I have the endurance for it. Would like to start making significant gains in flexibility here within a couple weeks.

    **Note - Log in your other stretching! Noticing that I'm not logging in horse stance isometric holds or leg stretching in my logs. Why not?!
  13. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    What slothy said.

    Best of luck with the recovery Ero, I know someone with very mild anxiety and even that can be quite debilitating on a bad day, so I can only imagine how difficult facing three different ailments (especially with similar and overlapping symptoms) must be.

    As you have explained previously, sometimes the "typical man" way of dealing with things (just shut up and get on with it) isn't always going to work, but it takes a significant amount of courage to even admit to yourself that you need help from someone else, let alone seek it, let alone share the process with relative strangers on the net.

    Consider my cap doffed sir.

    And good work with the 10k steps :)
  14. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    I knew that anxiety attacks were a part of your TBI/PTSD landscape, but I didn't realise till reading up on your journal - how much and how frequently you have them.

    My heart goes out to you especially as one of my sons has severe OCD and GA (generalised anxiety) and I have lived with this day in and day out, trying to manage it; trying to teach him how to manage it. Trying to teach my spouse how to manage it - and conversely, she helps me when I fall down.

    Knowing how stressful it is on immediate family members, you need to make certain that your spouse is in contact with a support network that understands what this is - can't emphasise that enough - I know from watching my wife over the years, with respect to my son's illness, - they can seem fine on the surface - stalwart troopers the wives; but with them, their 'cracks' develop from the inside first and by the time you see outward manifestations of something...

    Just curious...are there any associated motor tics present with your anxiety attacks?
  15. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Even though the two terms 'anxiety attack' and 'panic attack' are sort of the same thing, for the sake of clarifying I'll use 'anxiety attack' as the less severe instance and 'panic attack' as the more severe and disabling occurrence.

    I get minor anxiety attacks pretty often, I would put them in the mild to mid range severity depending on what I'm doing. So far with everything I've put in my log, I've been experiencing low level anxiety during the small workouts/activity I've been doing. Prior to the log when I kept trying to push myself outdoors I would get what I would define as a mid level 'anxiety attack.' They are enough to make me slow down or stop what I'm doing to hopefully gather myself. Panic attacks are what I really worry about and they are basically like an inward, catastrophic failure of myself inwardly. I can tell I'm feeling anxiety by how tense I get in my head and neck and I know it's strong if my throat starts tightening. Increased heart rate and paranoia start setting in when a panic attack is rearing its head. When I have a panic attack breathing becomes a conscious and forced effort (I usually end up holding my breath), I get a little disoriented, I start feeling like I'm choking and am going to puke, and it usually ends up in hightailing it back home if I'm out and about.

    The last panic attack I had was about two and a half weeks ago where I dropped my half full shopping basket in the grocery store and ran out of the store. It is my suspicion that I was also suffering some PCS symptoms at the time because for a whole week afterwards and the day of I was battling a migraine and wasn't feeling too great. Currently I feel like I'm getting a grip on dealing with the anxiety I apparently have whenever I start physical activity but haven't been fully aware of. My method prior to the log and therapy has been "ignore it, push through" and the symptoms just build and build up to a panic attack eventually. Here's to doing something different with the aim of getting different results. :p

    I don't have motor tics that are recognized with anxiety related disorders. The only things I can mention along that line is I get incredibly tense in my neck and head/facial muscles. It's significant because it's an unconscious tightening of all these muscles. I had a period where I would uncontrollably clench my jaw all day to the point of my teeth constantly hurting, but I moved past that somehow. This tenseness is associate with oncoming anxiety, the more severe it gets the more tense I become. When I'm about to get a panic attack I get so tense I think my muscles are going to pop and it's an impossible effort to stop. If anyone wants to experience this, just tense all the muscles in your head and neck to the point of your head shaking and then stay like that for an hour. Impossible to do, but it happens involuntarily for me at critical points. It really sucks. :p

    I think I need to follow your advice again about helping to get my wife informed. I need to figure out how to do it or just tell her to read this log as it can become especially tough on her at times and often I feel like she doesn't quite understand what exactly is going on. I'm not always great at in person communication, but I think it would benefit both her and myself in the long run. Nobody likes a know it all with constant good advice belltoller. :mad: (said with love of course :p :D)

    Best wishes for your son and family through your own struggle as well.
  16. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    Significant Day Of Symptoms

    I must say, it's nice not having to scroll down to find my log since so many people are logging things. :p

    Wake Up: 5:30am
    - Felt good
    - Had coffee, didn't make me feel as 'on edge' as yesterday, the edgeyness it did give me only lasted 10 min.


    1hr pacing - 5,600 ped steps
    Neck Stretches - x2 - 20 sec hold
    Neck Jerk - 1x20

    Things to note:

    - Took a good 5 minutes of startup to work through some anxiety I was feeling, not as bad as yesterday.
    - Felt like a minor headache was coming on.
    - Took 2 advil migraine

    ***At this point in the day I start to notice I'm very tense whenever I get up to move around and am constantly focusing on relaxing***


    Horst stance - Stance held for 1min then 50 sec. then 40 sec.. Each 'set' stance got wider. Last ten seconds of each 'set' I performed slow squats in stance.

    Circuit: 1x10 L.Leg raise (standing) 1x10 R.Leg raise(standing)1x20 Monkey Bangers. (Repeat x3)

    3x20sec - squatting butterfly stretch. Stood on hands so I could press inwards with thighs to make it into an isometric exercise/stretch

    Foam rolled tight spots on back.
    Used tennis ball to roll out tense spots in neck and back.
    Neck Stretches - x1 - 20 sec hold

    Things to note:

    - Fell like it's time to start doing isometric stretches for neck. Seems like I'm able to go further quicker with stretching, but it doesn't feel like it's 'sticking' for normal daily looseness unless I stretch it out multiple times during the day.

    **Attempted to take a nap at 10:30am to 12pm. I've been feeling that at the end of the day I'm very tired mentally and figured a nap would help. Wasn't happening. Started feeling crappy around this time, head and neck felt funny and my guts felt funny**


    2,300 ped steps

    Things to note:

    - Feeling real "meh" at this time
    - Head feels a bit funny


    -2,200 ped steps

    Things to note:

    -Felt ok doing this

    **Note that during day I have felt pretty crappy all around. Felt mentally tired, not so much physically.

    5:30- to present And so it begins.

    Threw back 4 advil at this time.

    What I believe to be PCS symptoms
    - Started feeling really distraught. Head felt funny, vision would blur in one eye and then switch, saw 'flashes' in vision while blinking or when eyes were closed, felt trembly/weak, got very sensitive to sound (would startle easily)

    What I believe to be PD symptoms

    -Getting almost uncontrollably tense, throat tightening, jaw clenching, very anxious (really? whooda thunk?) and distraught, heart rate increases at bad periods of increased intensity.

    Things to note:

    - Took the advil at 5:30, must have kicked in to take care of some PCS symptoms. I was very, "get the hell away from me" for about an hour though and felt terrible enough to just lay in a dark room and focus on my breathing while my head buzzed.
    - At about 6:20 I felt good enough to get up and write this log entry. Gotta' maintain discipline :p
  17. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Ero, you should write a book, or at print these logs until such time you are able to write a book.
  18. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Think of her as your 'supply line' - that's one you want to secure! Your hospital's website will have a "Resources" menu. In that menu will be a list of other sites or telephone numbers and hotlines for "family members of those suffering from..." Critical that you take care of that first and foremost.

    Last thing you want is to have a major breakdown there just when things start to get hairy. Don't assume - trust me on that.

    A "know-it-all with good advise"? ...hmmm well, I certainly would've advised you to shine a field-map light on whatever spot you intended to sit upon if you are 'camping' in an area known to be habituated by deadly scorpions :D
  19. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Well-Known Member Supporter

    It's an idea I've played around with in my head in a couple different areas because of my future dilemma in which it will probably be difficult at times to find employment (when I'm better and educated). This is due to being a future military spouse and moving all over the place constantly. I have to be productive somehow! I have to get over the lump of insecurity that I'm not worth enough to write and try to get published. :p

    I've started with giving her a link to this log through email. I really need to be a better communicator. She's got it rough too with all this happening at a pivotal point in her own career goals/education. Not only is she constantly busy but now she has the extra stress of being a caretaker. I feel bad for her and feel guilty often.

    Is that a reference to when I sat on a scorpion? It took about an hour to reach the mountain in the cover of early morning darkness, then dawn started breaking as we climbed. By the time we made it half way up where we set a post (me and a few other guys) it was broad daylight! I didn't even need a field light, I just had to look before I sat on the guy! :p
  20. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    I see a new voice in the 'grit lit' scene, kinda like a young Thom Jones. That's Thom Jones, not the Welsh singer with the undies. Jones is an ex-marine, boxer, suffers from epilepsy (IIRC) and short story writer. Just get a couple of pit bulls, a habit of some sort and get writing.

    I'm clowning around, but quite serious! A lot of your experiences are similar to the stories Jones and others in the genre write about.

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