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Autonomic Dysfunction

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So this is now my "official medical diagnosis". Evidently I was in pure autonomic failure when I went into the clinic (I'm 26yo btw) but they stabilized me. The doctor didn't explain it very well. I've googled it to death and still don't get it. All I know is that I pass out all the time, now have a pacemaker and have to take loads of meds to keep my blood pressure up.

Anyone have this condition?

Or can anyone EXPLAIN it to me?

Thanks!
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replied May 21st, 2009
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Hi Red,

Welcome to eHealth.

Aparently the autonomic disorder you are referring to is some sort of malfunction of the central nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the part of the nervous system which regulates heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, breathing, etc.

It is what keeps us ticking, without our involvement. Most of the time we do not need to think to breathe for example, it just happens by default - well this is the ANS in action. You can say that it is like your body's subconscious layer.

Strangely enough, from what I understand, it is actually possible to make some of these function conscious. For example, by thinking about your breathing or your heart rate, you can actually change it. Simply by observing your breathing you will change it.

Try it out now... Just close your eyes, relax, and watch your breathing pattern for a few minutes, without trying to change it. See what happens....

Just out of curiosity, did you suffer some kind of physical or emotional trauma that led up to this disorder, or have you always had this condition?


Cheers,
Daniel
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Users who thank danielv for this post: truladyred 

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replied May 21st, 2009
Thank you for the welcome. I realized in a short period of time with the breathing exercise that I don't have regular breathing at all. It's fast and shallow, then I stop, then a deep breath...

Kind of random. I know sometimes I forget to breathe. Random.

THANK YOU for explaining this in a way I understand! My doctor was in such a hurry to just run tests and write prescriptions that his explanation made no sense.

I was severely abused from ages 2 to 18 (sexual/physical/mental) and my symptoms started at age 14. I was not officially diagnosed until later. Why do you ask?
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replied May 22nd, 2009
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You're most welcome! I asked because it feels like what you're going through is a way of escaping your body, and therefore your problems.

When we suffer deep emotional trauma, one of the coping mechanisms that we develop is that of shutting out the feelings, the pain, the body entirely.

It's good that you're willing to talk about your experiences... you may find the process of talking about it to be quite healing.

How are you dealing with the past? I'm curious what you've tried, what helped what didnt...

Regarding the breathing... most of the time we are not aware of our breath. There is something incredibly soothing about noticing it... isn't there?

You are not alone.
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