Physical Pain and Anxiety

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I have recently written a couple of blogs about feelings post stressful situations. If you recall I wrote about not feeling anything (Is feeling nothing an emotion?) and about physical reactions following stress (why am I so tired all of the time?).

Simple research

I have researched (although not deeply) about why I feel the way I do. I have found some useful tips and others have just been general common-sense answers.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Physical Pain and Anxiety

It has been shown that chronic pain might not only be caused by physical injury but also by stress and emotional issues. In particular, people who have experienced trauma and suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are often at a higher risk to develop chronic pain.

Evolution of pain

However, recently my mental pains have evolved. As previously stated I have been going through a period of tiredness and now I find myself suffering with physical pains.

The only way to describe how I feel is to liken it to the pains following a heavy period in the gym or after a boot-camp. Not only am I still tired but I feel aches and pains in my joints, back, feet and suffer terrible headaches.

Debilitating

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Physical Pain and Anxiety

These pains are prolonged and have seemed to not have stopped since I noticed them. Let me be clear, I have not suffered any form of physical injury or have previously suffered with any similar symptoms. But I am sometimes finding that the pain can debilitate my ability to move with ease. But to make matters worse I have realised tonight (which is why I am writing this blog) is that it seems to be increasing my feelings of hopelessness, depression and anxiety.

Full circle

I really thought I was doing well. A few months ago, I locked myself away from people and sat in my room either reading or watching TV but again I am finding that I am becoming introverted again. I have no time for other people and don’t really enjoy going out and about like I did recently. I have gone full circle. I felt I was getting better and now I find myself back to how I was. This ‘merry-go-round’ is exhausting in itself.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Physical Pain and Anxiety

I am familiar with the knowledge that emotional stress can lead to stomach pains and headaches. But I am wondering if my muscles are screaming out after a period of tension – is there a correlation? Have my muscles and joints become fatigued and so, as a result now become inefficient?

Awareness

I am aware that I am still stressed. I have not had any proper conclusions to my previous issues and concerns following my abuse. I have raised formal concerns and mentioned how my mental and physical health is declining. Yet I still await answers and explanations. Never in my life have I realised how wicked and cruel society can be to those of whom are finding things difficult. Perhaps my anxiety and stress has found a new focus at the abandonment I now feel by people who should have helped conclude the events I have had to endure.

Is this another branch of PTSD?

I think it may be reasonable to suggest that this is another form of PTSD. I have had this for a while and I have been able to manage it to a satisfactory point. However, I think my cup has recently overflowed and it has all become too much. Peter Levine, an expert on trauma, explained that trauma happens;

 “when our ability to respond to a perceived threat is in some way overwhelming.”

Most researchers disagree on a precise definition of trauma, but do agree that a typical trauma response might include physiological and psychological symptoms such as numbing, hyperarousal, hypervigilance, nightmares, flashbacks, helplessness, and avoidance behaviour. I can accept all of these points.

Survival mode

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Physical Pain and Anxiety

During and after my recent events I can now see that I fell into a ‘survival mode’ and so it may be acceptable to consider that I am having difficulty to revert back to ‘homoeostasis’ of which seems so distant to remember.

It’s all so different but the same

This has seemed to create a vicious circle of which is difficult to ‘jump’ from. I have actually found that I handle stressful situations so differently than before. I recently witnessed what would be considered a stressful situation (an accident on the motorway). As expected I felt nothing and had no consideration at all for the events as they unfolded. However, my physical and mental pains are making me feel as if I am being traumatized all over again, but in a different way. Perhaps I am not explaining this at all well. I just hope that you as the reader can understand what I am trying to say. I don’t feel stressed about stressful situations but I am getting stressed about how I have changed physically and mentally.

Keith's Story - Male Victim of Domestic Abuse & Depression Physical Pain and Anxiety

Although people may not be aware of the lingering effect of a traumatic situation, or believe that the traumatic event has been put behind them, my body seems to be clinging to unresolved issues.

It needs to be stopped

I am due my final counselling session tomorrow but I actually feel I need it now more than ever before. Again, I think I need to lay down the banner of ‘blokeyness’ and consider that my PTSD is rearing it’s ugly head again.

One Reply to “Physical Pain and Anxiety”

  1. Hello, Keith. I am so sorry you are going through all of this. I literally just arrived back home after visiting with my therapist. This was probably the first time I came home feeling empty.
    I have endured PTSD besides the whole gambit of other mental illnesses. I have a very hard time going to public events/places unless I’m with someone or many others that I know & trust. She couldn’t understand what I was saying when I expressed “I feel as if I can’t trust others surrounding me & that I do in fact feel threatened.” (This is after she knows the trauma I had when I was younger by my father, my ex-fiance punching me in the face, and an ex-roommate doing the same thing only back in early March of this year.) Duh???
    I too have chronic pain in my knees & back for years now. I contributed that to depression and anxiety as well.
    Yes, things have gotten better…but, there is still so much I go through. My sleeping pattern is all over the charts lately. Which is why I didn’t even do a blog entry yesterday. I’ve been exhausted. Then I beat myself up for not doing it for all of one day.
    I don’t know if you read my entries regarding PTSD, but if you haven’t you may learn a few more things that may assist you in how to handle it a bit better. I should practice what I preach too. LOL!!!
    I truly hope you feel better. Take care of yourself. Beckie

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