Anxiety and no diagnosis

Hello everyone, I had a stroke 16/08/21 following multiple TIAs (which I didnt know about). Care has been great but they cant identify the cause. On suitable medication to prevent another, but feeling incredibly anxious and scared. How do you cope?

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Hi there, sorry to hear you are feeling so anxious and scared. This is so normal, so please don’t worry about it. I had my stroke 2 years ago and like you spent nearly a 12 month thinking it was going to happen again and I might die!!! In my 2nd year this has eased somewhat, I can go quite a long time without worrying, now and again I have a bit of a wobble, but I keep thinking I am on the right medication and I am still here fighting. So you are not alone in feeling like this, It will pass eventually. Keep your chin up, Jane.

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Thank you Jane for your reassurance. Helps to know others have the same experience. Often feel very alone. So thank you again for sharing

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Glad to help. Feel free to post any time you feel alone.
Jane.

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The fear of another stroke is always present in a new survivor, the odds on you having another are very low but it is the normal fear in early stages of recovery. The fear will pass when you feel you have your life under some sort of control again.
Sorry I cant be more sympathetic but we have all been through this stage, it is a natural fear and only time will ease the situation for you.
Deigh

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Thanks Deigh. Appreciate the understanding

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Hello @claire.charlton, I had six TIAs (unbeknownst) followed by a major cerebellar stroke. The stroke remains cryptogenic (cause unknown) which can lead to enormous levels of anxiety. This all happened September 2020, at the age of 44. I find there are several reasons for fear arising; one is that over a period of time I had the TIAs and didn’t know they were leading to a stroke, these TIA symptoms mirror symptoms now when I am challenging my brain too much, so I fret I am having another TIA. Another is the ‘unknown cause’ which means I don’t have anything to monitor, manage or avoid which makes the idea of having a secondary stroke just as feasible as the first. And lastly, the symptoms of recovery mimic the symptoms of the stroke, so every time they are acute, I get a little panicky.

At the six month mark, I opted to take Citalopram. This was because prior to my stroke I had managed panic attacks for about fifteen years, and was starting to get them every day. I had previously used Lorazepam as a means of quashing a panic, but I would only need ten tablets a year. This was always a last measure, and they are quite addictive and shouldn’t be taken for more than four days in a row. So, I sought a ‘long-term’ option (two years at least), and Citalopram was it. I needed to just nail it in the head, because I was spending too much time managing my anxiety and not my symptoms. One was feeding the other, and I was getting in a rut.

I also attended a nine week online Mindfulness course run by WATerS (Wellbeing After Stroke). I do Tai chi, and play video games. These are all part of my artillery in keeping anxiety at bay. After twelve months, 2022 is the year I face my fears. I have recently started auditory biofeedback, and it is so far very good. Not everything is foolproof, but a knight doesn’t go out into battle just with a horse.

I often recite to myself and to others; don’t worry about not being strong. Be brave, because even the most scared of us can be brave. I joined an online Zoom group of stroke survivors that meet once a week, and I have a Thursday group that meets down the pub. There may be groups you can join in your area, it might be worth doing a browser search.

Oh, and welcome to the forum. You will find lots of empathy and support here.

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Hi Claire,
I had my stroke in 2014. In the first few weeks I was terrified of having another stroke (they never did find the cause of my stroke). The worry does go away. I was on antidepressants for 2 years, but came off them. Exercise & Vitamin D tablets helped keep the anxiety/depression under control. Just keep active and concentrate on getting better (and keep taking the tablets!)

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Hi Claire @claire.charlton welcome, I had a stroke in Sep 2021 and now suffer from anxiety, so I can empathise with what your going though.

I’ve started having counselling sessions to manage the anxiety and the counsellor has recommended various tools, breathing exercises, grounding techniques, journalling or a thought record log to get me back into the present and to help the conscious/thinking part of the brain to ‘kick’ back in rather than let the amygdala (primal - flight/fight/freeze) part of the brain take over flooding the system with adrenaline and cortisol causing the anxiety/panic episodes.

It takes a little work but these techniques can help.

Wishing you all the best

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I feel the same i had mine may 22 and incredibly anxious all the time seeing and hearing peoples stories on here and the support from people is so nice i still dont post muxh but its just cause im still struggling but hopefully through time i will post more x hope your ok and you begin to feel better soon take care :ok_hand: