I've had an intentional hand tremor for as long as I can remember, I can recall some kids making fun of it when they saw my hand shake whilst I was writing in class from around about 11years old. I ignored it until I started getting panic attacks at the age of 14.
I remember getting my first panic attack - it came out of nowhere. I was dozing on the sofa and was woken up suddenly with my heart racing and my whole body shaking followed by sweating, dry mouth and cognitive confusion. I had two choices: I could have gone to my mother and told her what was happening to me but instead I ran outside because I felt like I couldn't breathe and needed to get some fresh air urgently. I was so scared. I thought I was having a heart attack or stroke. After walking around outside for about an hour I eventually calmed down and went back home hoping that this strange episode wouldn't happen again.
Oh, how wrong I was. They became a daily occurrence and my life became a living nightmare. But worse was to come. I became severely depressed, withdrawn and isolated. And then the twitches came. It started out as one constant twitch in my left leg that lasted for a few days. They soon spread to the rest of my body progressively getting worse over the next year. But still I didn't tell anyone. My intention tremor also got worse as I became more aware of them during anxiety attacks or stressful situations. No one else seemed to notice so I didn't tell anyone and started self-harming as a way to release my emotional pain and frustration at my loss of control.
As I got older the twitches and spasms subsided and in my early twenties I was living a normal happy life. I was doing well at uni, had a girlfriend and a large circle of friends. I occasionally got the odd panic attack and still had a mild intention tremor but I went to see a doctor who gave me anxiety pills and the panic attacks stopped. I also knew that alcohol helped to control my hand tremor and at 25/26 believed that I could cope with it without medication for the rest of my life.
I'm now 31 and over the last few years become increasingly dependent on alcohol. When I'm at rest I don't shake at all but it's now harder and harder to hide the tremor in my hands, legs and head when in movement. Things like typing with both hands, putting a key in a lock, putting toothpaste onto my toothbrush are harder to do than before. I have good/bad days. I try to eat well and get enough sleep but the alcohol use has become chronic. I've tried quitting but have only managed to last a month, at longest, and my life kind of sucks at the moment. I've left work or been sacked from 5 jobs in the last 4 months.
I'm finding it hard to decide what to do now. I know I should see a neurologist but I'm scared. Plus 16 years is a long time to have managed to hide my symptoms from those even closest to me.
I just want some advice from people who know how I feel and how they managed to cope. From my own research I have self-diagnosed ET and BFS. Is it common to have both? I'm worried that it could be something more serious like Parkinson's or MS.
Your post could have been written by many of us. Your
first recognition of the symptoms, peoples reaction to the tremoring, " What are you afraid of?" is a universal responce.
The progression or stages of the process. comming to terms with the changes in every aspect of our lives.
Trying to find a cure or way to hide it. Alcohol has been tested a billion times by people. It has a calming effect but I have heard " The morning after" is hell. Talk about a hangover LOL and then there is the addiction. ( Needing more to get the same results)
For me , I realized that i grieved everytime there was a new stage. and just when I came to some understanding...a change came along. I am not saying we can't find something that is unversal for each stage of change, just that it is hard to do.
keep posting.. if anything we can support each other.
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