Monday, 14 October 2013

Coping With Anxiety And Adrenaline

Adrenaline is one of those amazing hormones that your body creates when you are scared, angry or excited. Your body makes it when it thinks you need it, like a boost of energy and confidence to get through something. Unfortunately, when you have Anxiety, your body may misinterpret the signs and create adrenaline when it is not needed. When adrenaline is released into the body, it quickens the heart beat, strengthens the force of the heart's contraction, and opens up the bronchioles in the lungs, among other effects.

Some people refer to some activities as "an adrenaline rush", and seek them for the buzz that it can help you feel. I remember the adrenaline rush of our wedding day and it kept me warm in my sleeveless gown well into the night. My husband also refers to adrenaline when people ask how he copes when attending accidents with SES.

These examples are fleeting in their longevity, and do not compare in any way to the adrenaline I felt through Anxiety.

I would be emotionally and mentally exhausted, and battling several other symptoms of Anxiety, but my body would still be ready to go.

I would go to sit down in the late afternoon, or prepare for bed in the evening, and my body would fight it, trying to tell me that it was ready to take on more. I would be laying down shaking all over, from my chin right down to my toes. As much as I tried to stop it, my teeth would chatter, but I was not cold.
It was what I termed Adrenaline Shakes, and to experience it is quite disconcerting.

I had started medication, but knowing that it would take weeks to take effect, I wanted to do whatever I could myself to aid in the journey to recovery.

I was doing two forms of exercise a day. During the day I would pop in my earphones, put my head down and would take a fast, lengthy walk. Between dinner and bedtime, I would do a workout that would eat into that build up of adrenaline, such as an hour of Kick Boxing.

I have found exercise to be a fundamental part of treating my Anxiety, for using up the adrenaline, but also to keep me fit and able to cope both physically and mentally.

Palpitations were a complication of too much adrenaline too. I had numerous episodes, both at home and in the presence of medical practitioners. I used breathing, relaxation and ice packs to the head and face to try to slow down my heart rate, but eventually I had to be prescribed a Beta Blocker to control the palpitations until my other medication became effective. After a couple of months I was able to come off the Beta Blocker.

I was also aware that if I could limit my Anxiety by any other means, it would reduce the amount of adrenaline I was building up. I actively sought any forms of relaxation like breathing, massage, listening to music, yoga and progressive muscle relaxation.

I would love to know how Adrenaline has impacted on you and your methods of coping?