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Stress related health issues

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I want to post something on this forum in order to see if anyone has had a similar experience to mine or can help shed some light on the situation.

My lifestyle has been way way over the top. Most days looked like:
5:30am wake up for personal time
8:00 - work
4:30 - come home, update stocks, analyse futures
5:30 quick dinner
6:30 - studies/church commitments (taking trades if I'm at the screen)
9:45 - get home

I basically did not stop from morning to night and the weekends were followed by more study and commitments.

Although the schedule was hectic what was worse was the way I was allowing trading to take over in a way it didn't need to. I commented on my futures thread about this and people could see how consumed I was.
Some nights I woke up 3 or 4 times and ended up checking trades, feeling excited/anxious, struggling to get back to sleep, getting up early, analysing trading during the morning and even at work often being consumed by thoughts, checking stocks etc. Even during the breaks at my course and before going to bed at night. Even on my one night a week, Thursday with no commitments, I'd trade and be tired by 8pm and in a bad mood. On top of this I've had extreme family stressed. A family member went missing last weekend and the police were involved. This is an on-going thing also. The stresses I'm under in general are immense.


A month ago I was picking someone up from the airport and all of a sudden I felt like I was about to collapse and was out of breath. I took a seat for a few mins and stumbled back to the car (I wasn't driving). I went home and ended up in bed more or less for a week (I also had a virus too).

I recovered and was fine for a month and thought it was all ok.

About a week and a half ago it struck again. Virus came back and I got bad anxiety. Shortness of breath. Anxiety attacks.
I've never had anything at all like this before.
The virus passed during the week but I still felt bad anxiety. Almost constantly some days. Very light headed, faint, weak, strong pressure/tightness in my chest. Anxiety attacks. Waking up in the middle of the night and being short of breath.
The last 2 days this has been better, but still not good.
Tests are all clear. Blood tests, heart tests.
It appears that I've had some form of breakdown from the mental overload of everything.
I've been off work for 1.5 weeks (1 day I went in and lasted literally 5 minutes).
Even the THOUGHT of trading or going to work made me extremely tight. So I did neither.

The last 2 days I've finally been able to exercise and live reasonably normal. I'm still getting anxiety in my chest and feeling light-headed. I don't feel right.

I've looked up a bunch of stuff and sought medical opinions and it seems like my body has gone into complete overload. It feels like it is slowly slowly unwinding.

I've let go of a lot of stuff and have spent my days relaxing.

Has anyone experienced anything similar to this?

If so, how long did it last and how did you deal with it?

I thought I'd post on this forum given that trading stress can be intense at times, particular when swamped with a bunch of other commitments too.

Thanks heaps,
Matt
 

Logique

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You are very brave to share something so personal Pav.

Situational depr is also a possibility that you might investigate. My amateur analysis is - slow down man, way down.

Take your symptoms as a friendly warning from your body. Thank goodness your heart and blood tests are clear, this time.
 
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I want to post something on this forum in order to see if anyone has had a similar experience to mine or can help shed some light on the situation.

My lifestyle has been way way over the top. Most days looked like:
5:30am wake up for personal time
8:00 - work
4:30 - come home, update stocks, analyse futures
5:30 quick dinner
6:30 - studies/church commitments (taking trades if I'm at the screen)
9:45 - get home

I basically did not stop from morning to night and the weekends were followed by more study and commitments.
You need a way better work/life balance.

As you are probably aware, l don't believe in the man-made fantasy of religion, but if I could offer you something, it would be to change from your Church commitments to something like Buddhism - and take up meditation to relieve stress. You need to focus on yourself first, before spending all of your energy on others.

How long are your studies for? Uni/Tafe?


Although the schedule was hectic what was worse was the way I was allowing trading to take over in a way it didn't need to. I commented on my futures thread about this and people could see how consumed I was.
Some nights I woke up 3 or 4 times and ended up checking trades, feeling excited/anxious, struggling to get back to sleep, getting up early, analysing trading during the morning and even at work often being consumed by thoughts, checking stocks etc. Even during the breaks at my course and before going to bed at night. Even on my one night a week, Thursday with no commitments, I'd trade and be tired by 8pm and in a bad mood. On top of this I've had extreme family stressed. A family member went missing last weekend and the police were involved. This is an on-going thing also. The stresses I'm under in general are immense.
I was like this when working in the mines doing 100-hour weeks (only for the last few months of a certain mine-site).

Couldn't sleep properly, relationship went up the wall, was grumpy all the time, totally stressed out and doing a 3 man job by myself.
The most relief came when I said to my manager, "Screw this, this isn't what life is. I'll get a heart attack before next week. I quit." Then I did relief work (say 1 or 2 weeks a month), I was so much happier. You only live once, make the most of it.

You control your life.
 
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Long story short, ive battled with anxiety since i went into highschool.

I had panick attacks all the time. Eventually i got over it.

But 2 years ago (im 23 now) my anxiety turned from a physical sensation (shortness of breath) into a more serious anxiety. I thought i was losing my mind. I withdrew from society. I was to scared to even go out. i thought my life was over. I couldnt sleep. Couldnt really eat or train. I tried to go hard out of trading.

That made things worse. Eventually i was at the point that i couldnt handle it. Went to a gp, got booked for a session at a psychologist.

Best choice I ever made. Wouldnt ever have been able to rehabilitate myself without outside assistance. They taught me how to control my thoughts, be aware of my surroundings and how to really be focused and be mindful and observe every moment instead of question a physical sensation or negative thought.

I some times get overwhelmed and take time off everything including trading or the study of trading.

NO one will understand what your going through unless theyve been there.

You most likely have mild anxiety but mot what i had or have but you have to manage it.
Itll always be with me and Im always managing it.

Its completely normal and I felt so relieved when one of my friends told me he had went through the same experience.

Luckily for me i have a good family and i go to my dads work nearly everyday at my free time, bond with him and he gives me so much support.

GL pav and if you need help let me know.

Ive been to hell and i made it back.
 
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By the way if your having panick attacks, you just have to stop battling it. Relax your muscles. Dont keep taking big gasps of air. Youll just make yourself realy light headeed and add to the panick. Trust me ive nearly passed out a few times.

Your fear of having the attack fuels the panick attack. Just calm yourself down. Get away from everyone and focus on a sound or whatever and really focus on it. Every time your brain tries to draw your attention to your panic attack, acknowledge it as a thought and let go of that thought and go back to observing the noise etc.
 
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Note that I have no relevant qualifications in any medical field so the following is just my thoughts. Treat it as such, and seek professional advice from a qualified person if necessary.

It's going to be hard whilst the family issue remains unresolved. Hopefully that turns out OK.

After that, first thing in my opinion is to take a break. A proper break. A break where you put everything else out of your mind and focus on doing something different.

It doesn't need to be hugely expensive, just go somewhere and do all the touristy stuff, preferably somewhere that you haven't been before to keep things more interesting. Anywhere in Australia will be fine, no need to go overseas unless you want to. Cut yourself off from all news completely. And I mean completely. Definitely no internet use whatsoever and leave the mobile phone at home too (trust me on that one, there's no actual need for a phone whilst on holiday and leaving it at home removes any temptation to use it).

After that, come back but slow down. Your body is giving you a warning here that the situation isn't sustainable. Don't ignore that warning. Find some new things to do which aren't work-like but don't be afraid to explore new things. Gardening, bush walking, DIY projects, concerts, gym, whatever. Just get into that and drop some of the work-like stuff. (Note - seek guidance from a professional before starting anything physically strenuous just to be safe).

What are your hobbies and interests, either current or past, that aren't in any way work related?

PS - I've been there and done seriously long work hours for a sustained period in the past (the sort of hours that would be illegal now with all the OH&S considerations). Thankfully I actually like what I do, but there's still a limit to what's sustainable and you do need a break after a while. Lost interest in forex for similar reasons - was starting to consume my thoughts all day so decided that it wasn't worth the relatively small amount of money I was making from it. :2twocents
 
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Appreciate all the comments.

With this sort of anxiety thing... If I'm limitng my exposure to stress and over stimulation AND I'm dealing with the anxiety attacks well... is it the type of thing that then just naturally eases or dies down with time?

Does the body just need a period of rest or calmness to unwind and get back to normal?
 
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Hay Pav,

The first time i had this i was 28. I thought i was dying literally, yet all the doctors and specialists told me otherwise, this went on for over 6 months, no sleeping, pains in the chest and arms, forcing myself to breath because i felt that if i didn't force it, i'd stop breathing and pass out and die. Eventually they put me on Murelax, worst thing ever !!! well for me anyway. After 2 days of walking around like a zombie i took myself off them. Zombies and heavy machinery don't play well together. After i gave up Alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, toxic girlfriends and cut my work back to 40 hours, started excersizing and eating super healthy i eventually got better. I would say this took about 2 years, but it never really left me, i just managed it.

The second time it was financial about 5 years later. I was building a house, so i started working 60 hours, with a new baby and money was going out faster than coming in. So to supplement income i traded like a deamon in my spare time. It all worked out financially, but when my partner left one day with the child i realised i hadn't been doing so well. I had been Moody, grumpy, stressed, sick, but my priorities were out of whack.

The best thing my ex did was force me to a course about emotional intelligence. Lots of meditation, getting in tune with your body, feelings, emotions etc, but really the meditation was the key. I know when i get anxious, moody, or i can't make a decision and it frustrates me and the world suddenly feels overwhelming to the point it's going to cave in and crush me, i simply vanish for 10 minutes meditate and the problem generally solves itself, my bad mood vanishes and i have a clear head for the rest of the day. I can be a different person in 10 minutes and it really can be that easy. Sometimes my wife tells me to go and take some personal time, i swear she thinks i'm doing something else, but i am meditating.

My Goals are
No 1 - Look after myself
No 2 - Look after my family
No 3 - Look after my present
No 4 - Look after my future

I know when these goals get out of whack and i start putting the future before the present, or family or even myself, that's when stress and anxiety creep in and take over. It's like my brain fights with itself.

Anyway, that's my story and believe me it was a lot worse than how it sounds.
 
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It will moat likely disappear by itself youll get back to your daily routines and your anxiety will disappear as you realise everhthing is fine. It really depends on your personality though.

If yore a natural worrier such as me, then it has a bigger effect.

If it keeps bothering you, dont try to avoid the uncomfortable feelings. You will just struggle more and try to fight it and it will make things worse. as i said if it really bothers you, go see a phsycologist who focuses on mindfullness etc.


Its the best
 

tech/a

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PAV
You have my number and email.
I'm sure you have a few ears to chew
But if you ever run out---here's another.

Everything has it's own time and place.
Doesn't have to be today!
 

Wysiwyg

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We cannot feel other peoples suffering, we can only sympathise, offer advice or physically intervene.

I have fallen into physical, psychological, emotional and financial pits at various stages in my 48 orbits of the Sun and have climbed out with realisation and determination. In one week (23rd) am going for shoulder surgery after having my arm ripped out of its socket (called a dislocation) a few months ago. Depressed? A little. Determined? Very.

1) acknowledging the problem and cause
2) action to overcome the undesirable state

Talking about the issues with family and friends helps immensely. The realisation there are people experiencing far greater suffering (e.g. children in war torn countries, war veterans) promotes self insignificance. A determined fitness regime helps. A natural food diet helps. Helping others less fortunate helps both. If you're not ready to pull out on a deeper thought level then the cause/effect will continue.
 
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Appreciate all the comments.

With this sort of anxiety thing... If I'm limitng my exposure to stress and over stimulation AND I'm dealing with the anxiety attacks well... is it the type of thing that then just naturally eases or dies down with time?

Does the body just need a period of rest or calmness to unwind and get back to normal?
I don't know how old you are Pav, but I found a few years ago, that thinking about the long term goal rather than the overnight trade, worked best for me.

At the end of the day, you need dividends to replace your wage.

Once I focused on that, it worked for me, but everyone is different.
 
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I went back into work this morning. I don't feel fantastic. The last few days at home I felt "better". More normal but still not the best. Last night thinking about going into work I began to stress. It isn't heaps demanding. I'm not at all stressed about it usually and they will accommodate me in whatever way. So that's good.

The question I'm grappling with is... Do I push through as best I can even though I'm struggling to concentrate properly. Or do I take further time off which is an option at the moment?

I don't know what the best medium term solution is.

I'll need to get some professional thoughts on this too
 
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You need a way better work/life balance.
I agree.

If I was to make a suggestion it would be to start including some sort of exercise in your day. Even if it's something as simple as a 30 minute walk, it will help clear your mind and you'll relax a bit.
 
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Assuming you have ruled out biological causes like thyroid function or other?
Prolonged stress can lead to your base arousal level getting higher and higher. Then it gets harder and harder to get back to "normal"
Your brain/nervous system is responding to some threat to self-that can be directly about you, a loved one, a situation you feel you can't control or a collection of things. Sometimes the threat is over but is perceived to be current. Regardless, Your system is on threat alert (fight/flight etc) readying you for action, if the threat is perceived to remain then the system will stay on alert and keep you flush with stress hormones. Eventually this is exhausting at every level.
The key thing is that you need to do something so as to avoid the risk of an anxiety disorder developing.

Only you know the external factors that you can control-if there are useful things to do on that front then do them.

Re yourself-others have given useful advice summarised here.....

Physical exercise, educate yourself about stress and effects of prolonged stress, talk to a professional counsellor, prioritise sleep and healthy diet, do things that you love to do, hang out with good trusted others,

Regards
Lindsay
 
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An update...

It's a long process.
I've had 5 out of the last 6 weeks off work.
Back this week doing half days.

The anxiety and uncontrollable panicky feelings are gone. The light headedness is gone.

Currently very drained and exhausted. Half days have been challenging and a couple of nights I crashed. But a couple of nights I also felt ok. So I'm feeling positive.

All trading is still on hold for the time being.
I've cut down church commitments.

I've actually relocated for the time being to a less toxic location too.

I'm happy I'm here and not back 6-7 weeks ago but I'm still having to keep things to a minimum.

Been exercising, going on hikes, catching up with friends etc.

I've refused to get down during this time. My mindset has been positive.
 
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Glad to hear you are feeling better, Pav.

You are in our thoughts, and take care.
 
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Couple of important things I have learned over time:
  • Learn to say NO
  • Make appointments with yourself, and when asked to do something that clashes say "Sorry. I have somethign else booked at that time."
  • Further to your Church life, rest on the 7th day.
  • Wreck your health, wreck your life.
Good luck
 
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IMHO the brain needs the occasional rest from all the thoughts going through it in order to function properly. Sleep may provide this but if people are anxious when they are awake their sleep suffers.

Set aside 10 minutes a few times a day. Go to a quiet place where you won't be interrupted.

Focus your eyes on an object in the room, or shut them completely.

Inhale for a count of three.

Hold breath for a count of six.

Exhale for a count of three.

Keep air out of lungs for a count of six. Time these counts with your pulse if you like.

Repeat as many times as you like for the 10 minutes.

Not having to process information for that time relaxes the mind and allows better processing later. Like shutting down a few background process on your PC gives you more CPU for the important stuff.

Good luck.
:)
 

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