Anxiety & Chronic Illness

Anxiety & Chronic Illness

16th October 2018 0 By cara mccall

One thing I wasn’t aware of upon being diagnosed with M.E/C.F.S is the amount of anxiety that would stem from being unwell. I’ve had my history with anxiety in the past but this somehow felt different to what I’ve experienced before. It felt like going from worrying that something silly may happen to worrying that something quite possible might happen.

I find myself a lot of the time worrying about being unwell, I worry that my life will amount to nothing and that I won’t be able to work ever again. I worry that I may miss out in opportunities like travelling, exploring and seeing the world. But one of my biggest worries is flare ups. I have so much anxiety surrounding going out, preparing for going out and what to do if I end up “stuck” with no energy to make it home. I find that if I have plans to go out, say an appointment, I tend to go to bed early the night before but stay up awake to silly hours riddled with anxiety that I won’t have enough energy to go to my appointment the following day which ends up becoming true as I stayed up worrying the previous night.

Mental health and chronic illnesses do go hand in hand and it’s something I didn’t want to accept for a long time. No I am not saying that Chronically Illnesses are mental health issues, I mean that having a Chronic Illness can lead to a poor mental state due to isolation, fear of the future and not being able to achieve as much as you used to, a sense of grief almost. Anxiety seems to be my biggest struggle that has stemmed from being unwell. I have developed more of my OCD tendencies too, which in my favour do go well with pacing. I tend to plan and over plan, check travel times, check arrangements for plans over and over again. I feel more in control if I know what’s going to happen as I feel I can pace accordingly. Not being in control of my health, I may as well be in control of how I travel ae?

I find that being on an antidepressant, I am on Duloxetine which is also great for nerve pain (please correct me if I’m wrong I have been on it for a while now and have forgotten what the doctor said) but it really does help me stabilise my mood and anxiety. I would recommend counselling too but it can be hard to make it out to weekly appointments so the treatment can be inconsistent but there are a lot of online counsellors e.g Better Help, I haven’t personally tried it but its an app that can organise weekly virtual counsellor appointments with a counsellor of your choice.

I plan on doing a post about Depression in the near future which I shall link here when it is available.

Sending chilled vibes,

Cara x