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)

Have coronavirus lockdowns made us more forgetful? California scientists launch study to test whether isolation and anxiety while staying home have impaired our memories. Mail Online, 11/17/2020.

Covid: What is the mental health cost to the young? Young people's risk of becoming ill with Covid-19 is tiny – but could the long-term mental health impact of virus restrictions be far more damaging? BBC Health News, 10/09/2020.

How Those With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Cope With Added Angst Of COVID. This pandemic has been really difficult for people battling obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health issues. Kaiser Health News, 06/22/2020.

Prevalence and metric of depression and anxiety in systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review and meta–analysis. There was high variability in the prevalence of depression and anxiety, ranging from 8.7%-78.6% and 1.1%-71.4%, respectively. PubMed, Semin Arthritis Rheum, 2020 Feb;50(1):84-94. (Also see Research on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus)

Helping Students With Test Anxiety. Parents can take steps to minimize their children’s worries about test scores, experts say. New York Times, 06/24/2019.

Childhood anxiety tied to school absences Kids with school attendance or truancy problems might be suffering from anxiety, a research review suggests. Reuters Health, 03/22/2019.

How to Harness Your Anxiety. Research shows that we can tame anxiety to use it as a resource. New York Times, 10/16/2018.

Anxiety tied to fracture risk in postmenopausal women. Older women with higher levels of anxiety than their peers are also more likely to develop poor bone health that increases the risk of fractures, a small study suggests. Reuters Health, 06/13/2018. (Also see Osteoporosis)

One hour of meditation is enough to reduce anxiety and stress on the heart, study finds. A single one–hour meditation session is enough to reduce anxiety and stress on the heart, a new study has found. Mail Online, 04/23/2018.

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

Factors associated with fears due to COVID-19: A scleroderma patient-centered intervention network (SPIN) COVID-19 cohort study. Fears due to COVID-19 were associated with clinical and functional vulnerabilities in this chronically ill population. PubMed, J Psychosom Res, 2020 Nov 25;140:110314.

Changes in mental health symptoms from pre-COVID-19 to COVID-19 among participants with systemic sclerosis from four countries: A scleroderma patient-centered intervention network (SPIN) cohort study. Anxiety symptoms, but not depression symptoms, increased dramatically during COVID-19 among people with a pre-existing medical condition. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 10/03/2020.

Understanding the Light and Dark Sides to Anxiety with Chronic Illness. Anxiety can be exacerbated or caused by the experience of constant pain blended with feeling exhausted and unwell. Scleroderma News, 03/20/2018.

Stress-related changes to immune cells in the skin prior to wounding may impair subsequent healing. These studies show the first preliminary evidence that the number and activation of immune cells in the skin prior to wounding are affected by stress and can impact healing. PubMed, Brain Behav Immun. (Also see Research on Digital Ulcers)

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.


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…

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