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Anxiety feeling that is not anxiety

The first time this kicked in for me it layed me out for a couple months. I feel a strong physical fight or flight feeling, but I can think clearly and have nothing to feel anxious about. I’ve always been a calm person, a first responder who gets mellower as the tension increases. Now I still wake up to a feeling of anxiety but I really think its just that my brain doesn’t know which way is down and translates that into a sensation of physical anxiety. My body feels like it is trembling and I feel shaky.

And then it affects my thinking and interpersonal relationships. I get short tempered, etc.

Does anyone else get this?

Its my primary symptom, but SRI’s make it worse. Camomile has some effect, Benzo’s are wonderful but those are out of the question.

There’s a theory that a migraine brain is hypersensitive and turns harmless or ordinary stimulus into a fight or flight situation. Hear a sudden loud noise? Nausea. Smell a chemical smell? Dizzy. Bright light? Pain. When you’re in constant fight or flight your body is pumping out anxiety. Get the migraine under control and the anxiety calms with it.


What works best is when I do my vertigo exercises, the thing where you twist your head side to side rapidly but keep your eyes focused on one spot. But it only helps a little. Just wondering if this is an MAV thing or am I getting a sudden onset of anxiety type brain condition, though my audiology response saya my left ear has a 40% reduction in response.

Vestibular Rehab Therapy can be a great thing, though most of us find it’s only really helpful when our brains are stable - usually as the result of finding an effective preventive medication. Once my brain found solid footing with Effexor, my performance in VRT really improved. It sound like you’re using the exercises as a form of meditation. I use breathing exercises to get to the same place. And yes, you’re definitely describing a MAV thing. There’s a whole lot of territory on the migraine spectrum.

Thanks Flutters, doctors can’t seem to find a diagnosis and none of the ones I can see in my area have even heard about MAV. My audiologist and balance rehab specialist gave me the diagnosis, which seems to be correct. Can’t get an appointment with neurologists to see if it might be something completely different, but all I read in this group leads me to firmly believe I have MAV. Someday I might get to a neurologist.

Just trying to clarify if I have MAV or if I have another brain issue.

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I think I know just what you mean. I have posted about it before. And remember discussing it with @ander454 Quote from my PD.

One more strange thing. Anxiety. I never had any understanding of ‘anxiety’ pre-MAV then, with symptoms at their height I was waking up every morning with that “you are to be shot in five minutes time’” or maybe the “butterflies the size of elephants pounding around” feeling in your stomach. A pyschologist told me it was ‘body anxiety’. I find if I get it now symptoms are much less it is in fact my brain warning me something’s not right. I experienced it this morning on waking to find ear/head pressure. Some days I find my brain a nuisance. Some days It just amazes me. Helen

Interestingly as time has gone on incidents have diminished in frequency and in intensity the latter to a point where it’s not easy to recognise it as Anxiety but I am sure that’s what it is. Symptoms reducing presumably due to increased medication so @flutters is right.


Or not the right medication. A neurologist is needed. Maybe a telehealth appointment?

Certainly sounds the perfect recipe for bringing on a really severe attack of vertigo to me!


My symptoms seem to confirm that idea that the migraine brain increases sensitivity to stimuli and stress. Got an appointment to experiment with amittriptyline.


That’s a good starter med.

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In my findings, anxiety is the wastebasket word for: trembling and shaking, and the Docs don’t know the real answer. They save face by giving you a diagnosis at the same time. Granted, some anxiety meds do work, hence that’s why they rely on them. My trembling changed when I found out about Zanaflex when my husband lifted too heavy. I was doing heavy work, would this be good for me? YES INDEED. Worked like a charm. But I was lucky. The Pharmacy happened to have the EXACT MATCH for the ZANAFLEX BRAND in Dr Reddys TIZIDINE, the generic made in India. When my Pharmacy changed to another generic, I realized it must have been made in “OPPOSITE WORLD”. So my Doc stated on the prescription: “Dr Reddys brand necessary”.
This med lowered my BP, but as I had a slightly high BP it was great. It did or for most of the time, knocked me out, so taking it at night about 1 hr prior to sleep worked fine for me as I had sleep disturbances where brain was still engaged!

Thanks Joan @Smile_of_theSun. Never heard of either of those things. What part of the world are you in?

So I wrote less than 12 months ago. Strange to read that because I’m currently experiencing a quite dramatic increase in intensity of these early morning Body Anxiety episodes and this is approaching a month since another increase in medication. All I can think of is in my subconscious I’m fearful of losing the resultant tremendous gains and when I wake up with symptoms, this morning an extremely heavy head, I’m anticipating a relapse and the Body Anxiety is more intense than it ever was previously.

Checking back through contemporaneous notes I note that the psychologist suggested getting both feet in the floor in some form of rhythmic exercise, walking?, to alleviate this though not quite sure how that ties in with his other suggestions to ‘just go with it, accept the anxiety and go with it by which I think he’s inferring one should be able to learn from it.