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elkur

Adrenal Fatigue

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I submitted a question about adrenal fatigue. It is not diagnosed in Western medicine, however Traditional Chinese Medicine addresses this problem. I'm going to share my own experience briefly on this topic and maybe someone can relate to this.

When I started my independent life I put myself into a huge amount of stress I was not used to. I had no idea who I was and what I wanted, so I did what everyone else around me also did. Which is moving to another city to go to university and get a job. I noticed myself to be very unmotivated and 'phlegmatic' as one of my bosses said. I hated every singe one of my jobs and thought that there is something wrong with me. When I was working at a fast-phased restaurant I was often told that I was moving too slow and I started to push myself faster and faster even though my body was like dragging me down. I'm still unsure of what it was all about, but I'm getting closer.

These past five years have felt like going upstream constantly, I developed anxiety and panic attacks and now I ended up in a place where I crashed so hard I had to quit everything and move back to my moms, I feel constant impending doom, I feel like my body can't handle even the slightest stresses, even qigong seems like a too much of an exercise and I've also experienced some very dark feelings of depression. I've been feeling depressed a lot during this time, but I'm starting to learn that the majority addresses these symptoms I have (weakness, overwhelm, low stress tolerance, low energy, lack of motivation) as depression! I am honestly not sure if the emotional feeling of depression can really make you physically unable to function? As I said, I have experienced depression and yes, suppressed it big time, but I'm honestly amazed how I'm being labeled as 'depressed' when all I thought was that my adrenals are exhausted and they cannot produce stress hormones like they used to. I don't deny that I feel depressed emotionally, but the physical stuff is like a whole different world. 

That is not surprising at all given how I pushed myself to live these past six months, I started new school, new job in sales where I had never worked before, I was struggling with money, because the first few months I was learning skills and didn't make much. I had my first panic attack a year ago and developed a panic disorder, I successfully overcame it, but they did come back when I started my new work and school, I had 12-hour days, I was extremely anxiuos every morning and stressed out most of the days. Until I couldn't push myself anymore, I was mentally willing to, but I felt like I just can't do it anymore and I had to quit everything. I wasn't surprised how my body reacted, but it seems like these are 'just' symptoms of depression according to the mainstream. 

I've been trying to rest for almost two months now and every time I get out and be active I crash hard afterwards. I'm very unsure what to do and how to recover. I have contradictory needs, one is to rest and the other is to go out and see people, but I feel like they're working against each other. I have never considered taking antidepressants, but now I'm actually thinking about it, because I can't function normally. But at the same time, I feel like this would not treat the root cause, my adrenals. Well there is definitely another root cause beneath that, but that's another story. :) I've been thinking of seeing a Chinese Medicine doctor, but since I don't work, I cannot really afford it at this time. I need a recovery plan, but I'm unsure if western medicine has optimal tools for that. 

Other than that, my symptoms have gone a bit better and this feeling of collapsing or impending doom is way smaller, but I don't feel confident at all in what my body can or cannot handle at this time. I would really like an episode on it and if anyone has some light on that topic, I'm listening. :) 

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I just wrote a reply to banjo-player on this topic in Health.. Maybe something I've written there will help.

sorry to hear you are having a hard time. I know how difficult fatigue is to deal with.  

In your case context sounds important, doing jobs you hate..do you know a type of job you might like? A slower environment, a library.. Working outdoors?  Working somewhere that is fairly quiet..?  But first get your health back. Good luck :)

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