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Anxiety and Attitude

Author: Janey Willis. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer.
Overview of Anxiety
Scleroderma and Anxiety
- Anxiety: Personal Stories
- Anxiety: Sclero Forums Discussions
- Attitude Personal Stories

Overview of Anxiety

ScarecrowAnxiety is a normal reaction to a tense situation such as an acute or chronic illness. It helps one to better cope with the situation. However, too much anxiety can lead to serious illness or worsening of a existing condition.

Anxiety is a symptom that needs to be addressed and minimized when one is dealing with a chronic illness such as scleroderma. (Also see: What is Scleroderma? and Causes of Scleroderma: Stress)

Anxiety Could Increase Stroke Risk. Severe anxiety leads to an increased likelihood of suffering a stroke for both men and women. Times Healthland, 12/28/2013.
Your Physical Illness May Now Be Labeled a Mental Disorder. Somatic Symptom Disorder is defined so over inclusively by DSM 5 that it will mislabel 1 in 6 people with cancer and heart disease; 1 in 4 with irritable bowel and fibromyalgia. Psychology Today. 01/17/2013. (Also see: Difficult Diagnosis)
Stressed out? Smile your way through it, say scientists. University of Kansas study finds that the simple act of smiling — even if the smile is forced — can make people feel better during stressful situations. Daily News. 08/02/12.
Even Mild Anxiety May Shorten a Person's Life. The study found that people frayed by even slight distress, meaning they sometimes stayed awake at night worrying or had trouble concentrating on tasks, for example, were about 20% more likely to die over a 10-year period compared to people who reported no such symptoms. WebMD. 07/31/12.
When life hands you lemons: the new science of positive thinking. Positive psychology emphasizes strengths more than illness. It focuses on happiness, well-being, resilience, empathy, gratitude and forgiveness — how to "flourish" as a human. Canada.com. 07/09/12.
Panic attacks. Panic attacks were once dismissed as nerves or stress, but they're now recognized as a real medical condition. Signs and symptoms may include rapid heart rate, sweating, trembling, shortness of breath and hyperventilation, chills, hot flashes, nausea, abdominal cramping, chest pain, headache, dizziness, faintness, tightness in your throat, trouble swallowing, a sense of impending death. Other health problems— such as an impending heart attack, an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or drug withdrawal— can cause similar signs and symptoms. Mayo Clinic. (Also see: Lung Involvement, Heart Involvement and Thyroid Disease)
Panic attacks can occur at any time, even during sleep. An attack generally peaks within 10 minutes, but some symptoms may last much longer. It usually comes with sweating, racing heartbeat, chest pains, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, numbness, terror, fear of going crazy or a desire to escape. 60% of all panic attacks are accompanied by hyperventilation. Softpedia.

Scleroderma and Anxiety

Photo of Fun House at the Fair by Janet PaulmennCauses of Scleroderma: Stress. Stress can cause hormonal and cellular changes in our bodies which can lead to a variety of medical problems. Chronic stress is thought to be a trigger for the development or exacerbation of autoimmune diseases. On the other hand, there might also be a positive role for stress in reducing inflammation in some circumstances. ISN.
Stress and Disease
Stress and Fertility
Stress and Inflammation
Reducing Stress
Dyspnea-related anxiety: The Dutch version of the Breathlessness Beliefs Questionnaire. Dyspnea-related anxiety may lead to reduced quality of life and functional disability through fearful avoidance of dyspnea-evoking activity. Steven De Peuter, Chronic Respiratory Disease December 20, 2010. (Also see: Symptoms of Pulmonary Function)

Anxiety Personal Stories

Alina: Scleroderma CREST Syndrome This site is very helpful as I have been reading articles of people with my condition and can relate to what they are going through...
Daphne: Daughter of Scleroderma/Polymyositis/Antisynthetase Syndrome Overlap Patient By early 2005, she began to exhibit Raynaud's phenomenon. She was also having swelling in her face, hands and feet.
David B: Raynaud's I am fifty-one years old and suffer with Raynaud's, bipolar affective disorder, high anxiety and phobias for which I am unable to take medication...
Marla: Difficult Diagnosis and Anxiety I have never been diagnosed with Raynaud's but one of my toes turns white sometimes...
Rosebud: Diffuse Scleroderma with Raynaud's, Diabetes, Depression and Anxiety My hands are the worst. They are completely swollen, red, itchy, with burning sensation and in pain constantly...

Anxiety Sclero Forums Discussions

Having A Hard Time. It is hard for me to write this. I am usually good at maintaining an upbeat attitude but the last week has been really rough on me. I hate to complain about things but here I go... Sclero Forums.
Scleroderma is Ruining My Life! I feel like this disease is ruining my life. I had plans and now I feel like those plans are a joke.Sclero Forums.


People who feel younger may live longer. Everyone dies, but a new study says feeling sprightly might suggest a person has more time left than people who feel their age or older. Reuters, 12/15/2014.
Small steps everyone can take to arrive at greater joy. Happier people are healthier people, studies show. And getting there is easier than you may think. Los Angeles Times, 10/31/2014.
Fibromyalgia: Ten Strategies for Maintaining a Positive Attitude Deborah A. Barrett, Ph.D.

Attitude Personal Stories

Barbs: Systemic Sclerosis and CREST. First I want to say that I have never given up my positive attitude, or my faith that one day they will find a cure...
Elaine GH: Limited Systemic Sclerosis I tell everyone I meet about scleroderma. I have joined two support groups and bought all three editions of Voices of Scleroderma...
Judy Dee: Diffuse Scleroderma. Through physical therapy I learned to walk again, feed myself and gained a better attitude on life. I learned to appreciate the small things...
Kathleen S: Eosinophilic Fasciitis I noticed that winter during gym, that when we did push-ups, I had to do knuckle push-ups because I could not straighten my fingers...
Kathy M: CREST (Limited Systemic Scleroderma) If you do not have the right doctor, do not get furious, move on...
Melanie V.: Scleroderma and CREST. About three months ago I made a decision that has affected every aspect of my life: I chose to live...
Rosebud: Diffuse Scleroderma My hands are the worst. They are completely swollen, red, itchy, with burning sensation and in pain constantly...
Go to Coping with a Child's Chronic Illness

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