Struggling to cope. Looking for advice

#1

Not really sure where to start, so I guess I’ll just jump right into the fact that, as of late, I’ve been doing a terrible job with maintaining a positive outlook on things. I feel like this ties heavily into the fact that I’ve been seeing doctors lately. Because of this, I have been getting blood work done for the first time since getting PAS (tried going to doctors in the past, got disregarded, decided to try again), and it’s just made everything so much more real for lack of a better way of putting it. Even though this August will be the 4 year mark for me, I feel like having this condition has never hit me so hard as it is right now.

To elaborate, I never really gave too much thought to the fact that I’m not, and have not been for quite some time, like all the other kids/young adults around me. I’ve had PAS since I turned 17 (almost 21 now), and at this moment I struggle so much seeing everyone around campus live seemingly perfect, normal lives for people their age. I struggle so much with the feelings of jealousy I have towards them even though I know it’s completely ignorant to assume the quality of another person’s life. On top of that, I just feel so inferior compared to everyone else, and it just isn’t a fun combo of emotions. Also, to make everything more complicated, finals are right around the corner for me, so I feel as if I don’t even have the time to healthily cope given the amount of work I need to tend to for the rest of this month. The way I have been coping with PAS just isn’t holding up anymore.

With that being said, I was wondering of all the ways you all personally get through your rough days. I’m trying not to repeat past mistakes I’ve made when coping with this (i.e. bottling it up and trying to deal with it all on my own), and I feel like this is a step in the right direction. Thanks for reading through all of this if you did, and I apologize for the ranting.

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#2

Wow. You are very considerate in what you’re calling a rant! I don’t think that’s a rant at all.

Firstly, congrats on making it through your studies this far. You are nearly through all the hard work. This period was probably always going to be stressful, no matter what you were doing. It’s ok to feel the pressure and it’s ok to need to blow off some steam. I’m glad you posted here, that’s part of what this place is for.

Recently, I’ve had some really good days with my condition. The last few days, has been quite bad. I’ve been feeling very low. For me, my coping method is to remind myself of the good days, especially of the most recent ones and to know that the changeability (if that’s a word) in my condition is proof that I’m not broken. Neither are you. Things just aren’t firing on all cylinders right now.

It is excellent that you’re not going to bottle this all up. Do you have people to talk to about this? Send me a pm if you want.

I don’t think you should feel bad about feeling jealous of other people. Acknowledging your lack of insight into what any other person might be going through just shows what a good guy you are. Sometimes, it’s ok to say that you can’t handle this or that, or that you need a little time to yourself or whatever else.

This is tough and that’s how it is. But not every day will be this hard. Try and be kind to yourself, make sure good people know you need some help and take it when offered.

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#3

You are still very young. There is lots of hope for you. You can literary wait 20 years for a treatment and you can still start your sex, dating, and romantic life at 40 (although you don’t necessarily have to wait). I am sure you think 40 is ancient but it really isn’t if you take good care of yourself.

For now, I would try to maintain a positive attitude and a high level of hope during the exam period in order to stave off rumination and negative emotions because that’s going to take away from your focus. If you have hope for the (near) future, that’s going to help you stay motivated to study. So just convince yourself there is hope, and there is, right?

However, once exams are over, you may want to shift a bit to the opposite strategy. Rather than bottling up, allow yourself to experience all the negative emotions - the jealousy, the regret, the feeling of inadequacy. That’s the only way you can neutralize these emotions over the long term. It is called exposure. This is not a magic bullet by any means as it is an extremely painful, laborious and time consuming process. But it is the only one that works (I think). You will make progress with it over time, in direct proportion to the amount of suffering you go through.

You need to be very careful with exposure though and not try take in more than you can handle at any one time. It is also important to take breaks (from suffering). PM me if you want. Also check out my posts on this other thread for a related discussion.

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#4

I am 25. I relate to your post an incredible amount.

Over a year and a half ago, @axolotl told me I was extremely brave for dealing with this at my age which at the time I was 23 and still in nursing school with a girl friend.

I think you are even more brave because I could not imagine being on a college campus with this. You have to realize the fact you are enduring this while being in the environment you are in now is a huge feat in itself and I personally do not think a majority of people would able to do what you do

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#5

I can relate so much! I’m 20 now and got into this shit when i was 18. It sucks so much :frowning: spending time with friends and just talking to people with similair symptoms helps me a lot. But i’m still struggling a lot with isolating myself

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#6

im 21 and can relate. im better now than at the beginning of my crash but my cognitive impairment drive me nuts.

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#7

Same! I dropped out of uni because of it. Reading shit seems impossible :confused:

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#8

yeah me too… im still at uni but i just fail every exam now… where are you come from ?

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#9

Belgium

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#10

ah ok. im from germany. is this cognitive impairment very common for the most here? i always have the feeling its very rare

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#11

Thank you for all the replies everyone. It really means a lot, and they’ve definitely helped to lift my mood. It’s always a lot easier to deal with this when I remember that there exists this community, and I’m very grateful for that. I’m feeling a bit better today, and hopefully things continue to improve. The hardest part for me at this very moment is just getting myself to focus on what I need to do right now. Still not sure why I’m struggling with that more now than ever before, but it seems whenever I go to do work I need to get done my mind ends up wandering to places that just amplify any negative feelings I’m having.

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#12

If you haven’t already please speak to your Dr and get support for your mental health. If you haven’t done this already it should be the next thing you do. You are dealing with a lot of emotions and negative thoughts and you are still very young. Overthinking leads to depression and depression leads to suicide. It sounds like you are already overthinking and need to deal with this right now. In the mean time read up on overthinking and adopt ways to help this, a therapist will be better placed to help you long term. Put time into your mental health each day and your outlook on life should start to improve.

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#13

I have definitely been thinking about seeing a therapist, and I can definitely admit that one of my biggest faults in all of this is thinking too much about the negative aspects of my situation instead of trying to fully experience and appreciate all of the positive things that are happening.

Regarding the therapist things though, do you know of any specific type of therapist I should be looking at? Like would a talk therapist be enough, or do you think that a cognitive behavior therapist would be more effective in helping?

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#14

Maybe others here could tell you what worked for them. Id just give things a go first. Whichever you choose it’s a positive step forward having someone there for you. You can already start researching overthinking and doing meditation while you wait to see someone.

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#15

Hi Bear,

I’m a fair bit older than you so have life experience to draw on. I have all of the sides but the cognitive ones effect me the most. Distraction strategies, positive thinking, exercise and awakening other senses are key to handling the symptoms a bit better. This disease isolates us which gives the symptoms more traction. When your low think of other things, count backwards in multiples makes u think. Look at your surroundings and the detail out there eg buds on trees, furniture in the home and how it was made. Smell flowers soak up the atmosphere, etc. For the majority of sufferers the symptoms disipate with time, hang on to that. Remember when it’s bad it’s the hormones doing this! They fluctuate because of many variables. Tommorow may be slightly better. Eat a good diet and don’t get pulled into all of the supplements as these invariably worsen symptoms after a brief uplift. Do exercise and go for walks this helps not only with distraction it also lessens the dark thoughts. I also think about people with terminal illnesses and realise they would swap places with any of us in a blink. We have hope some don’t. Feel free to mssge me outside of the forum if your having a particularly rough day. Sharing lessons the burden. Hope this helps

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#16

Additionally bear,

Some of the guys have provided me with some great advice at the most difficult of times, you’ve already picked up on it! There’s always someone here for you .

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#20

Always evaluate stress in your life, PFS loves to feed of stress.

Stress from diet
Stress from work
Stress from over exercise
Stress from poorly balanced hormones

Stress from…

When you can’t cope look for patterns in your life that maybe causing this.

Let’s be kind to ourselves, give ourselves a daily hug and some positive reassurance.
Let’s not react to struggle, let’s get ahead of struggle and do the work in advance,
making it harder for struggle to happen.

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