I was diagnosed with MS about a year and a half ago. Within the last year I've had a problem that I'm hoping someone else knows a good way to deal with. Basically, whenever I become emotionally stressed I shut down. e.g. having an argument, having to lay someone off, finding out something bad has happened...etc. Pretty much anything that causes stress and a negative emotional response causes headaches, confusion, extreme fatigue, restlessness in my limbs and chest, and shooting pains in my arms, hands, legs, and feet. When I feel myself start to get worked up about something I try to calm myself, but it's always too late and I very quickly spiral into these symptoms. It takes at least hours and sometimes days of rest and efforts to calm myself for them to subside. After one particularly bad situation my neurologist put me on steroids, which worked, but I don't want to have to go on steroids whenever something stresses me out.
So I was wondering if anyone out there has experienced this and if so do you know of any ways to counter it or at least mute the effects?
This is only one of many issues that I've had to face, but this one is incredibly debilitating.
My husband has this same stress trigger. In some ways it's a total blessing. Stess causes all kinds of health issues that can affect life span. So in some ways, my husband's MS is like a crazy alarm bell for when he's doing something stupid, like letting himself get worked up. (Clearly he would have chosen a different kind of alarm bell if he could have, but hey.)
For my husband it's about prevention. It takes time to come down from stress, period. So it really is about not letting yourself get worked up in the first place.
Can you try a 5-minute morning meditation? Just a few minutes of sitting quietly, reminding yourself that the world is basically a kind and beautiful place. That bad things happen, but we control our emotional response to those things. Calm, calm, calm...
I read a book by Howard Cutler and the Dalai Lama a while back, called The Art of Happiness. I'm not a Buddhist, and this book wasn't written for Buddhists. It was written for the average American, and it talks about ways to live a happy and balanced life. It's a little touchy-feely, but so is the whole stress-reduction gig. Overall, it had a lot of good ideas in it. Check it out.