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Hi All

I'm currently waiting for my referral to come through to see a GI (hopefully early December), to start the proper diagnosis trail.

In the meantime, I've been keeping a proper diary of my day to day symptoms, to see if there's a pattern to what's going on. We'll see - at th moment, it's all just yucky.

Anyway, one thing I have realised is that I am going through the mill a bit psychologically speaking. For me, my serious symptoms come on without warning and with nothing I can do to stop them. The last time I had an attack (you woudl call it a flare), I went from being absolutely fine one minute and then less than 5 minutes later, curled up on the floor in absolute agony, almost fainting with the stomach pains, throwing up, sweating etc etc. In fact, I do remember thinking 'Oh ***, not again' as the first unminstakable signs made themselves known. That followed with 3 days off work and ever since then (4 weeks ago), not being right at all.

So, what ti all boils down to is every time I get a twinge in my tummy/abdomen, I can feel myself tensing up in fear that 'The Pain' is going to hit me all over again. At home, it's dealable with, but I travel 90 minutes each way to work on the train - I can't imagine how I would cope if an attack started then.

I'm not a panicky person normally, and I certainly don't feel the same about my epilepsy, which too could strike at any time. This has really got me foxed. I'm not stopping doing things, but it's there, at the back of my mind and I hate it.

I think what frightens me most is that once it starts, there is nothing I can do to stop it and also, it is utterly debilitating - there's no way I could just carry on with things and grin through it. Ugh.

Can you relate to this?


Staff member
It sounds similar to the fear of going to have a panic attack. Perhaps you could try some of the methods for dealing with anxiety to try and focus your thinking towards something else rather than on what "could" happen. Here's some info I was given:

Overcoming Anxiety

Cognitive Restructuring: Anxiety can be reduced either by decreasing your perception of danger or increasing your confidence in the ability to cope with threat. (Basically saying to understand what's happening with your body, accepting it and to think about what you can do to help yourself cope, like say you're driving to work, if you get that uh oh feeling, what can you do to get to a safe place if needed? Pull off the road, use hazard lights, know your surroundings on the way to work etc. so you can make it to a bathroom if needed and keep a cell phone handy to call for help if needed).

Relaxation Training: physical and mental relaxation methods like Pregressive Muscle Relaxation (tense and relax certain muscle groups), Controlled Breathing (breathe in and out at slow counts of 4 for 4 minutes), Imagery (visualize relaxing scenes, imagine the smells and sounds as well) Distraction (don't focus on what makes you anxious like "what if this or that happens?" Focus your thoughts on something else so you aren't thinking about what worries you such as the clouds in the sky or a fun tactile toy you can play with (stress balls and such).

My advice would be to try not avoiding doing anything because it only feeds your anxiety. I did that and became home bound for a while and I'm not an anxious person either or at least didn't use to be before my panic disorder started a couple years ago. Don't let it control you just like you don't let your epilepsy control what you do. The above information may or may not help but its very similar. Distraction helps me the most out of the list above.
Hi Crabby (love your name!)

That is useful - thank you. I'm very wary of letting this fear take control and whilst I haven't yet given into it, it's something that is at the back of my mind. Recently, I had a relapse of my epilepsy seizures after 4 years, just before I was due to embark on a round of public-speaking. Funnily, whilst I was a little anxious that 'something' might happen, I just sailed on through anyway (frankly, having a fit in front of people doesn't bother me since I'm not aware of what's happening until after it's all over!).

So - yes, I take your point and will try not to let this fear take hold. As for distraction - thankfully I am gainfully employed, and am busy outside of work too. But distraction in the moment of fear - that will take some training!

Best of luck to you too and thank you for your advice.