This is a long one, i apologise!
I have recently come to realise why I may be experiencing several physical and psychological symptoms over a long period of time - stress!I don't have a proper diagnosis but hope someone out there will have more insight into my story. I am female and 19 years old and began suffering from this when i was roughly 12/13. At first these symptoms were mild and were brought on/got worse with years of bullying. As a quiet. happy and gentle kid, i became quite a pushover and definitely let other people speak words in to my life that had no place there. After becoming very physically ill about a year ago, i knew i had to make a change and this is when i realised that i hadn't been okay for a long time.
Being physically ill came to the point where i couldn't eat as i was so scared of the aftermath (diarrhea, constipation, bloatedness, headaches, tiredness, dizziness to name a few)
Initially, doctors said this was just IBS but i knew it was a lot more than that. Eventually, a doctor said it could be down to stress. Realising how anxious i felt at little things i found this was the most likely explanation. However, the only solutions they advised were more physical exercise or going onto anti-depressants (which i was not willing to go on due to several reasons)
I really wanted to find a more natural way to help my symptoms so i started taking the supplement 5-htp a few weeks ago with a dose of 100mg every night. I increased this to 150mg yesterday (2 at night, 1 during the day) to see if this made a difference so i await to see how this helps.
My first experience with 5-HTP was great! It definitely helped with my low dips in mood. The only thing is, i am still experiencing a lot of my symptoms which 5-HTP doesn't completely delete and know that 5-HTP will not make everything vanish at once.
My mild symptoms from the age of 12/13 weren't alarming - when i was nervous i would get a sore stomach and a jittery feeling. If i felt in danger from bullies, my whole body would tighten and i would walk home very fast in order to get away from the problem. I still experience this tightening feeling.
A list of my symptoms now are:
I get stressed extremely easily and find it hard to contain the symptoms both physically and in my mind; these 'stressful situations' could be anything from getting ready to go out, choosing an outfit, meeting a friend for coffee or taking a walk to the shops.
. As said above, tightness of the body, uptight feeling
. Body tightness often causes neck pain
. Panic attacks/anxiety - worsened by sudden noises, movement, when put into 'stressful situations'
. Fatigue, tiredness
. Bloatedness, excess air
. Low mood
. Lack of motivation, feeling of worthlessness and failure
. Lack of concentration, dizziness, clouded mind, find it hard to solve simple things
. Increased heart rate
. Spots worsen, can't seem to ever get rid of them fully
. Dry skin and oily skin (moisturiser doesn't help much)
. Sweating nervously
. Obsessive thoughts - mind races between several different topics, find it hard to control, counting, volume has to be at a certain number
. Extremely worried about what others think of me
. Not feeling good enough for anyone - fear of people judging me
. Obsessively check behind doors, double check locks etc. to make sure house is safe
The 'time of the month' is probably the worst, all of my symptoms heighten along with the typical traits of a period
I do regularly try breathing techniques which can help but is usually temporary.
I want to add: I know that i am not this person and can see myself living an amazing life and enjoying it the way i should (e.g. i love physical activities - swimming, tennis, running, walking, you name it! I often have invites from friends to go to the cinema, coffee, dinner but find it far too stressful and also can't find the motivation to do any of the above and i know that it's not down to pure laziness) I remember the things i used to love and just want to be happy with life but its like i have a wall blocking me. I am incredibly detailed and love organising things, planning ahead, being prepared, especially my future. But at the moment i can't even see a possible route for me to take, it's like i'm at a dead end. I feel like I can't do anything but when i remind myself, i know deep down that's not true.
Also - i eat as healthily as i can and i am and have always been interested in health and fitness. So for me, it's extremely confusing when i'm feeling sluggish, spotty, tired, unmotivated and unhappy.
I am a perfectionist and feel like nothing i do is ever good enough. It's soooo hard to fight these thoughts and feelings and my symptoms just pile on top of those. I just want to get better so i can live my life fully. I am determined not to be diagnosed as depressed (for whatever reason - whether i am or not) but want to be able to help myself without taking anti-depressant drugs.
My hope in this post is really to find out if anyone else out there is suffering from something similar and how you dealt with it? Any advice/stories are greatly appreciated.