Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Struggling with anxiety

I am new here and came with the intention of finding others that have experienced the same things I am going through now. I woke with a headache like nothing I’ve ever felt before months ago. Fast forward through a lot of waiting and stent placement, I am still struggling with anxiety from it all. It’s like I’m scared of every feeling in my body sometimes. I still get some pains behind my eye where the aneurysm and stent is and it takes me back to when I found out and it scares me. The doctor said it could be related to the aneurysm or something else entirely. Anyone else have these experiences?

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Ohhh yeaa, very much so, but I do have to say this “It gets easier with time”. Initially every pain, every ache was a PANIC and I was questioning “Is that my head?” But as time has gone by I have learnt which pains are ‘Normal’ (If you can ever call them normal) and which pains are a sign of something more significant. The dr’s line of “it could be related to the aneurysm or something else entirely” is another way of saying ‘we have no idea’. You say ‘…it scares me.’ and I can tell you that’s normal. It is scary.

I’ve now required a few neurosurgeries, so have a bit more of an idea. I now look for a progression of symptoms. For example a headache, even a BAD headache is my normal. But if I start getting tingles down one side, that’s concerning. If that progresses to include visual distortions, that’s a bit more of a concern. If that progresses to nausea and vomiting, it’s time to act. These are my signs and your signs maybe different, but over time you will learn your own signs.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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Merl is spot on, but he usually is! Everyone has different signs they need to watch for, with my rupture it was bad headache (you eventually learn to tell the difference) neck stiffness and pain ( I’ve got three dislocated vertebrae in my neck, so this was a tough one) and the vomiting. Dr.Wolfe and her team gave me a list of things I have to do for headaches (We keep the list in our phones and on the refrigerator)

  1. Hydrate
  2. eat protein
  3. ice pack/slight pressure on carotid (this helps me but she warned to be very careful with applying pressure)

I didn’t have anxiety over my rupture and the issues it’s caused but my better half has enough for both of us. I had no affect whatsoever for a couple of years. When I was well enough to drive, it would scare me and I would have to stop for awhile. The only suggestion I can make is that when you’re feeling anxious, remind yourself you survived the surgery and breathe deeply exhaling completely for a few minutes. I believe all of us have a purpose, so perhaps focus on what you can do for that purpose.

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Yes, yes, yes. Mine did not even rupture, they found and coiled it, and still everytime I had a pain or headache I was terrified that something was going wrong. As was already said, it has gotten better with time. We went from living a normal life to having a life threatening condition. I think it is my new normal response of having a foreign object stuffed in my brain.

For me, stopping smoking, eating well, exercise and living well has greatly reduced my fears.
Be easy on yourself. You have been through a huge ordeal, and I think anxiety is natural. I would be a basket case if mine had ruptured. If you feel you might be in PSTD territory, please talk to a counselor/therapist. I hear it helps immensely.

Sending well wishes,
Michelle

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For me the anxiety lasted about 18 months. I’m sure this is not unusual. It will get better with time. Having said this I still go to the ER if I’m feeling ‘strange’ in my head. Never do I assume it’s ‘only’ anxiety. Going to the ER getting a CT scan and an MRI helps calm me immensely. I’ve gone three times in the past 8 years.
Please take care of yourself. Pay attention to signals. My husband got me to the ER that prevented a rupture because he was concerned about symptoms I described. I’m very very fortunate.
This event is life changing. I give thanks every day for being able to walk to talk to be alive.
Hope this helps. Wishing you peace and wellbeing!
Peggy

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Thank you Peggy. I still have some pain in the side of my head and behind my eye which is what caused me to seek medical attention in the first place. So far not as bad as it has been but it definitely gets my anxiety ramped up when this happens! May I ask what symptoms you were experiencing that caused you to go in and be seen?

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