Inability to deal with stress

This has become a very bad symptom for me. It seems to be worse since I have been trying Topamax but has generally been worsening anyway. Essentially, whenever things heat up in an argumentative way (whether its disciplining my kids or having a disagreement with my wife), I just can’t handle it and need to walk away. I get overwhelmed with a sense of shakiness, weakness, and my dizziness is out of control. It almost feels like my body is unable to produce the correct hormonal fight response. Does anyone else have this as a symptom? Thank you. Ben

I haven’t exactly had that. Perhaps, stress is a big trigger for you. I’m not sure… sorry Ben.


I have that also and I have to walk away instead of allow myself to fall into the extra stress. My kids are grown but this has been pretty stressful for my husband and we do have discussions that may end up with stress invoked in them and I just walk away and have to go off by myself and relax so as not to bring it to the point where it affects me in a negative way. So I do understand where you are coming from…

Hey Ben,

Yes, stress is probably my top trigger. And it’s an instantaneous result. Luckily, it takes a fair bit to wind me up but if someone drops a bomb on me that causes an emotional upheaval, I really suffer – immediately. This condition really forces us to get a grip on anxiety and how we react to things around us or else pay the price.

Can you look into some sort of stress management, whether it be meditation, or doing a “mindfulness” course, or even CBT? One thing I’ve learned is that stress reactions are pretty much just bad habits we learn over time and can be unlearned too with practice. Our nervous systems just kick off the same results over and over again unless we actively work at changing it. Easier said than done I know.


Thanks for the responses. I think that stress has slowly crept in as my big number one issue. Scott, I will definitely look into some stress helpers - there is absolutely no doubt that I could benefit and perhaps if I had done that years ago I wouldn’t have wound up in my current state! Ben

Hi Ben,

It’s not too bad for me now, but when I was last in a bad and ongoing MAV state I remember being in a really stressful meeting (the owners’ corporation of the apartment building I live in) and BANG, my anxiety (physical and emotional) went up straight away.

So, while the MAV was really bad I made big efforts to keep stress out of my life (I quit the owners’ corporation committee, didn’t chase promotion etc). I found what also helped was realising that a lot of what I was feeling was not actually emotional anxiety but physical (the cold chest fizz) of MAV. Somehow that makes me worry less.

I think you’ve probably hit on your own solution by walking away. I agree that CBT, breathing exercises and/or meditation could all be helpful as well.

Good luck!

I get this and have to walk away as my body goes weak, I am shaking and sweating (I usually forget what the argument was about as body symptoms have taken over). I think its too much adrenaline. I have been diagnosed with CFS and we are supposed to produce a lot more adrenaline in one go than other people. Also have lower cortisol, so no reserves.