COVID Anxiety

Flexecif

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Hello,

I'm not sure of this is the right trend but, hoping you'll help me.

I've read that for people with chronic illness in particular, have high likelihood of having a concurrent mental health disorder may be exacerbated by their vulnerability to severe illness from COVID-19. Recently, a study also found that 18% of individuals (including people with and without a past psychiatric diagnosis) who received a COVID-19 diagnosis were later diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

Thinking about this gives me panic attacks. I can't longer differentiate COVID symptoms with fibromyalgia. I do always panic and I'm so drained now. Hope you can help me.
 

Jemima

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Hi Flexecif,

Great to hear from you again!

I wasn't sure from your post; have you had Covid already, or are you afraid of getting it? I'm so sorry you're finding it all so scary 😟

As far as I understand it up to now, the association between Covid and mental health disorders is only a correlation, as opposed to an identified cause and effect. While there might be something about the virus that triggers problems within the brain, equally, a decline in mental health may simply be the result of going through a difficult period of illness. Researchers have also tied going through lockdown to a rise in mental health problems, and that's certainly not a physical impact - meaning it's something that we can manage. We can't be sure at all that there is a bigger risk to us fibromites at this point, and focusing on what we do know, and what we do have in our control, is the best way to take care of ourselves.

What we can be sure of is that ruminating on those daunting "what if" scenarios, and ramping up stress levels in the process, will inevitably trigger our fibro more. I suggest taking a big breath and looking for compassionate ways to bring that anxiety down right now. Have a look for relaxations techniques, try meditating, work on your sleep, and go all-in on self-care. Perhaps also read up on the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system if you never have before, to better understand the chemistry behind your anxiety.

By doing all of these things, not only can we improve where we are now, but we can also build up some resilience in case something does tip us in a bad direction in the future. Consider it flexing your mental health muscles! Keep the faith 🌷 I believe this is going to be OK. Please do also keep us posted on how you're feeling if you want to.
 

sunkacola

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One good thing to remember is that correlation is not causation. Like other sentient animals we humans tend to want to link things, and this is generally not a bad thing, as it helps us to survive. but it's very important to remember that unless a direct causative link has been established, either through our own dedicated experimentation and experience, or through proper scientific studies, it is unwise to make one for ourselves.

As Jemima says above, the one thing we know for certain is that anxiety and panic will make fibro symptoms a lot worse. So, rather than focusing on this fear, spend your energy on not focusing on it, and instead learning how to relax and avoid panic and anxiety. These things are your true enemy, not Covid or any of the other things you worry about. Worrying or being anxious about something that has not happened and may not happen at all is not only a waste of your energy but is also something that can potentially make you more vulnerable. Jemima's advice to read up on the nervous system is very good.
 

Flexecif

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Hi all. Thanks for your responses. I appreciate them. I admit I kind of lost it for a bit there, but I can't help it. This pandemic is getting worse and it's making me more depressed. I wish I could just snap my fingers and it's all gone.
 

Jemima

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It's not surprising at all that this stuff gets on top of us. Fibro already leaves us thin on resources, and the thought that anything might make us feel worse than we already do is bound to throw us for a loop!

Do take care if you're feeling more depressed, Flexecif. Find someone to talk to, come and check in with us here, and dedicate as much energy as you can to self-care. We might not be able to kick the pandemic just yet, but we can be confident that things are going to evolve, and a new status quo will arrive that allows us to regain stable footing, in whatever form that might take. Sending positive vibes, in the hope that you feel better soon!
 

sunkacola

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It's not surprising at all that this stuff gets on top of us. Fibro already leaves us thin on resources, and the thought that anything might make us feel worse than we already do is bound to throw us for a loop!

Do take care if you're feeling more depressed, Flexecif. Find someone to talk to, come and check in with us here, and dedicate as much energy as you can to self-care. We might not be able to kick the pandemic just yet, but we can be confident that things are going to evolve, and a new status quo will arrive that allows us to regain stable footing, in whatever form that might take. Sending positive vibes, in the hope that you feel better soon!
Flexecif, what you are experiencing is so very common and so utterly understandable. It's as if we have been walking around on this nice solid ground where we could jump or run or sit on it any time, and suddenly the ground is moving all the time, has pitfalls, and quicksand, and we cannot go back to the solid. Of course it's unsettling. One of the tings this forum is good for is coming here to connect with others when you are unsettled or having a hard time.

I think you just have to find a way to look at it that works for you to help you get through each day and still love and appreciate the beauty you can find. There's a different way for each of us.

My perspective is a bit different from Jemima's. I believe this actually is the new status quo. Or, status quo is a thing of the past, not the future.
At the beginning, people kept saying "when things get back to normal", but I never thought they would, because I figured there'd not be a "normal" to go back to any more, and it certainly seems there isn't. Some changes are good, others bad. But we can't go back to what we were before the pandemic, as that time is gone. And we cannot predict that there will ever be a stable relatively unchanging world to live in some time in the future. To me, the facts indicate there won't be one.

Of course, we were never able to predict the future, but we could say things like, 'barring unforeseen events, this will happen". A continuum of unforeseen events is now the normal, no longer something we can reasonably expect won't happen.

So for me, the most helpful thing is to accept the unknown, get light on my feet and learn to calmly roll with the changes that are constantly happening these days. My feeling is that this is our future: a world in which the only thing predictable is that things will change in big ways, and no telling what or when. We are in a world where civilizations and cultures are crumbling, people are migrating in unprecedented numbers, a deadly virus is busy mutating and the planet itself is changing rapidly on a significant level.

My survival strategy these days is to work on being comfortable with the unknown, and accepting of the fact that nothing can be planned for the future with any degree of certainty. I think we all got very comfortable with being able to plan an event a year in the future, say, and it would probably happen, because radical change was rare. But that's not the reality any more, and I doubt it ever will be again. So my work is getting to a place within myself of, as Jemima says, Radical Acceptance of that unpredictability of life on planet Earth.
So far it's going OK, but every now and then something will knock me off balance. And I think that's also a thing to accept as part of reality.
 

Jemima

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My perspective is a bit different from Jemima's. I believe this actually is the new status quo. Or, status quo is a thing of the past, not the future.
At the beginning, people kept saying "when things get back to normal", but I never thought they would, because I figured there'd not be a "normal" to go back to any more, and it certainly seems there isn't. Some changes are good, others bad. But we can't go back to what we were before the pandemic, as that time is gone. And we cannot predict that there will ever be a stable relatively unchanging world to live in some time in the future. To me, the facts indicate there won't be one.
Perhaps our perspectives are not as different as they seem - I actually agree with you on all counts! I think by status quo, I meant our own adaptation, and flux becoming familiar. I suppose the optimist in me feels that while we are all reeling now from the loss of the relative stability that preceded the current era, to some extent we will inevitably adapt to the realities of how the world is changing - it seems like you're ahead of most on that, Sunkacola! I hope that as humanity comes to terms with what many thought of as intangible "one days" becoming concrete "todays", we might be able to evolve towards a more unblinkered and authentic way of navigating. Whether or not that will be the case, the fundamental thing we can all do is consciously steer how we react within ourselves.

So for me, the most helpful thing is to accept the unknown, get light on my feet and learn to calmly roll with the changes that are constantly happening these days.
Beautifully put - the ultimate goal for fibro warriors, now more than ever!
 

Rainbow

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I second the previous posts.

I will just add that there is now a Mental Ill Health pandemic far larger than the virus pandemic, so it is absolutely understandable that people like us with already pre-existing underlying health issues, that do by their very nature & complexity contribute to us feeling ill, exhausted physically & mentally & above all, increasing anxiety, which we need to combat, just like everything else we battle.

Thus a pre-Covid already existing struggle to meet our everyday challenges has been made even more challenging,
so it's no wonder we can & are brought down with all the added stress.

The wonder is that we keep on keeping on but we do and we have & we're still here & still meeting those increased challenges
& at the end of the day we all need to give ourselves a pat on the back for that because we're tougher than we think.

Though times may not return to what passed for 'normal' pre-Covid,
there was room for improvement & we as a species will adapt as best we can, as it's what we do & there is hope...

Hope that science will find a way of boosting our immunity to Covid & it's variants & whatever else comes our way
& yes, even for Fybromyalgia, ME, MS etc.

Meanwhile, being human means there was always uncertainty that we lived with on a daily basis,
it's just that Covid has brought that uncertainty into sharper focus,

There are good things happening, people are becoming far more community minded, people are looking out for each other
& helping each other, for however bad any situation, there are always helpers, so look out for them
& resilience will rise with time, so hang on in there & as others have said, be kind to yourself.

As Pollyanna said (I'm paraphrasing)...

"Don't look for the bad as you'll always find it, look for the good, it's there too."

And continuously count our blessings, for there is always something to be thankful for.
 
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Sabina

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Thank you for the great advice & positive messaging. Many of us really need to hear this now.
 

sunkacola

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Very well said, Rainbow. thank you.
 

Rainbow

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Having said all that, I'm in a heightened anxiety state now & will be for the next week at least, due to my Anti-Vaxxer ex Daughter-In-Law
sending my 3 of my grandchildren to stay in my tiny one-bedroom flat in the school holidays.

Don't get me wrong, as cramped, challenging & exhausting as that is for me, it's a joy to have them
- they bring life into this space.

Fact is, if I didn't have them, their homeless father who lives here with me, would not be able to have time with them.

However during their most recent visit, son took the 3 children + eldest grandaughter in her 20's,
away camping a couple of nights,
by way of giving me a break & giving them an adventure & a holiday treat & a great time was had by all until...

in the midst of all this my unvaccinated Ex-Daughter-In-Law makes contact to say she has tested positive for Covid (surprise, not)

So, in order to safe-guard me my son immediately drove the children home, after which we heard they all had developed Covid,
though all seemingly recovered now.

My son followed government advice by staying away for l0 days with eldest granddaughter who has her own flat
& then having tested negative every day, so believing it was safe, he came back to mine.

Then he tested positive for Covid & became ill, though he seems to have the mild version, thank God.

So, knowing it would be an absolute miracle if we don't get it,
it's now a fraught waiting game for me & my eldest granddaughter
& it's scary to say the least.

Has anyone else been through Covid with Fibro/ME & if so, how was it for you?
 
Last edited:

Rainbow

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But you know what, as we as a family are going through this,
in a weird way it's kinda a relief as well, having felt like I was being followed about by the Grim Reaper every day for the best part of 2 years
& I was fed-up of being scared all the time!

So far, my grandchildren seem to have recovered from it quickly,
my tested-positive son has experienced what he describes as a really bad cold
& other than, he gets easily tired so is resting most of the time but that's understandable.
& though my eldest granddaughter & I are more than likely next, if it's only as bad as the others in my family have had it,
then it's nothing to be terrified about.

So far with us, it's been nowhere near as bad as we expected it would be
& we now appreciate how fortunate we are to have had access to vaccinations & are thankful.

After all, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as the old saying goes.
 

Auriel

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Jemima I’m very happy, out of hospital I’m still not on my way to the cancer and hope 🤞🏼It never gets to that stage not afraid of dying , afraid of cancer though ( go figure???? ) hope your having a nice day it’s super sunny where we are ,I’m gonna have little sleep now , my fatigue is haunting me 💜 👻💜
 

Flexecif

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It's not surprising at all that this stuff gets on top of us. Fibro already leaves us thin on resources, and the thought that anything might make us feel worse than we already do is bound to throw us for a loop!

Do take care if you're feeling more depressed, Flexecif. Find someone to talk to, come and check in with us here, and dedicate as much energy as you can to self-care. We might not be able to kick the pandemic just yet, but we can be confident that things are going to evolve, and a new status quo will arrive that allows us to regain stable footing, in whatever form that might take. Sending positive vibes, in the hope that you feel better soon!

Oh, thank you for your sweet thoughts. Recently, I'm planning to be vaccinated. Which do you think is better, astra or pfizer? Do you think its the right thing to do to lessen my worries?
 

Flexecif

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tened anxiety state now & will be for the next week at least, due to my Anti-Vaxxer ex Daughter-In-Law
sending my 3 of my grandchildren to stay in my tiny one-bedroom flat in the school holidays.

Don't get me wrong, as cramped, challenging & exhausting as that is for me, it's a joy to have them
- they bring life into this space.

Fact is, if I didn't have them, their homeless father who lives here with me, would not be able to have time with them.

However during their most recent visit, son took the 3 children + eldest grandaughter in her 20's,
away camping a couple of nights,
by way of giving me a break & giving them an adventure & a holiday treat & a great time was had by all until...

in the midst of all this my unvaccinated Ex-Daughter-In-Law makes contact to say she has tested positive for Covid (surprise, not)

So, in order to safe-guard me my son immediately drove the children home, after which we heard they all had developed Covid,
though all seemingly recovered now.

My son followed government advice by staying away for l0 days with eldest granddaughter who has her own flat
& then having tested negative every day, so believing it was safe, he came back to mine.

Then he tested positive for Covid & became ill, though he seems to have the mild version, thank God.

Given that the government is pushing vaccines for children below 1 7years old, are you willing to take the risk for your grandchildren to be vaccinated?
 
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