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Thread: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

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    Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    I really dislike how suggestible I am sometimes, even when I'm not dealing with overt anxiety. I'm a member of several Facebook groups for a few diagnoses I have. In one group, someone posted about trouble swallowing, and a surprising number of people responded, saying they had the same trouble. Ever since reading that, my swallowing doesn't feel normal, and I'm quite distracted by it. The throat is powerfully affected by our perception and even the power of suggestion, isn't it? Has this happened to anyone else before?
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    Re: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    I am very much aware of the power of suggestibility.
    At first I had noted about listening or reading as to what others say or post but on reflection I know that I can start thinking about a condition that doesn't seem to have bothered me in ages. If I get lucky that will be a fleeting thought if I can nip it in the bud, often through distraction,, sometimes though it can be the start of a scaling up in physical and emotional turmoil, it is very annoying and can be quite debilitating.

    As an example sometimes my wife will tell me about her becoming aware of her own breathing and it causing her some issues. I can almost guarantee that it is not long before I too am focusing on my own breathing. I can make my self dizzy on that one, literally..! That can go on for some time, my wife tends to forget about her own issue within a very short time of mentioning it to me.!

    So yes I very much agree with what you have noted and I'm not sure how this pattern of thought processes, some of which maybe on a subconscious level, can be altered.

    These thoughts seem to make much worse or even start very real physical responses, which are rarely fleeting and very disturbing.

    Best wishes, hope that things improve for you soon.
    Last edited by Dibbler; 11-04-18 at 09:02. Reason: Spelling mistakes and additions.

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    Re: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    Thank you both, Dibbler and Raindrops! It can be quite confusing and distressing. I also think I'm more vulnerable when I come across things like those Facebook discussions at a time when that same issue is already a concern for me. About a month ago I had trouble swallowing food properly one evening, as it kept getting stuck at the back of my throat, and I needed to drink water to help it go down. My neurologist has ordered a head and throat MRI, and my GP ordered a barium swallow test. My swallowing has been fine since then, and I've eaten a month's worth of meals without trouble until this evening. Now my anxiety is back, and that same Facebook conversation I read a few days ago has sparked my anxiety. I suppose it's a bit different than regular HA, since I already have a certain diagnosis and I'm afraid it'll progress in a way I didn't expect. But it's still HA nonetheless, since I'm afraid of developing a sub-diagnosis that I haven't been diagnosed with yet.
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    Re: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by bulan View Post
    I really dislike how suggestible I am sometimes, even when I'm not dealing with overt anxiety. I'm a member of several Facebook groups for a few diagnoses I have. In one group, someone posted about trouble swallowing, and a surprising number of people responded, saying they had the same trouble. Ever since reading that, my swallowing doesn't feel normal, and I'm quite distracted by it. The throat is powerfully affected by our perception and even the power of suggestion, isn't it? Has this happened to anyone else before?
    This is why NLP is so powerful. I would definitely look into it, Bulan
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    Re: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by KK77 View Post
    This is why NLP is so powerful. I would definitely look into it, Bulan
    Thanks, KK77. What is NLP?
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    Re: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by bulan View Post
    Thank you both, Dibbler and Raindrops! It can be quite confusing and distressing. I also think I'm more vulnerable when I come across things like those Facebook discussions at a time when that same issue is already a concern for me. About a month ago I had trouble swallowing food properly one evening, as it kept getting stuck at the back of my throat, and I needed to drink water to help it go down. My neurologist has ordered a head and throat MRI, and my GP ordered a barium swallow test. My swallowing has been fine since then, and I've eaten a month's worth of meals without trouble until this evening. Now my anxiety is back, and that same Facebook conversation I read a few days ago has sparked my anxiety. I suppose it's a bit different than regular HA, since I already have a certain diagnosis and I'm afraid it'll progress in a way I didn't expect. But it's still HA nonetheless, since I'm afraid of developing a sub-diagnosis that I haven't been diagnosed with yet.
    I completely relate to what you have written.

    Late last year I went through a similar situation regarding my bowels and stomach. I suspected that the issues could have been caused by my pain medication but still pursued the doctor / specialist route of going through a colonoscopy and CT scan with dyes and contrast. Also many other tests were performed.
    Everything was clear and over time the issues sort of improved, altho my pain meds and IBS will always be a problem.

    At the time that I was going through these investigations my brother just looked at me in amazement, the only thing we have ever shared in common is our last name. He has got some serious long term health conditions and yet he always seems to manage to find context and be very much relaxed about things. We are all wired differently.

    I am hopeful that my up and coming CBT, with a focus on mindfulness, can help.

    Have you tried any CBT or other therapy type help and support....?

    Best wishes

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    Re: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by bulan View Post
    Thanks, KK77. What is NLP?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuro-...ic_programming
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    Re: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by Dibbler View Post
    I completely relate to what you have written.

    Late last year I went through a similar situation regarding my bowels and stomach. I suspected that the issues could have been caused by my pain medication but still pursued the doctor / specialist route of going through a colonoscopy and CT scan with dyes and contrast. Also many other tests were performed.
    Everything was clear and over time the issues sort of improved, altho my pain meds and IBS will always be a problem.

    At the time that I was going through these investigations my brother just looked at me in amazement, the only thing we have ever shared in common is our last name. He has got some serious long term health conditions and yet he always seems to manage to find context and be very much relaxed about things. We are all wired differently.

    I am hopeful that my up and coming CBT, with a focus on mindfulness, can help.

    Have you tried any CBT or other therapy type help and support....?

    Best wishes
    Thank you, Dibbler! I haven't tried CBT yet, but I did see a therapist two years ago, and I was beginning to practice the steps she gave me, but then I found out my insurance didn't cover her sessions. Then life got busy, and I haven't sought out someone new until now.

    I admire people who have serious health issues and seem to be anxiety-free. I'd love to know how your brother manages not to let his health consume his thoughts, and how he manages not to imagine the worst case scenario. Have you ever asked him how he handles his health mentally/emotionally?

    ---------- Post added at 19:44 ---------- Previous post was at 19:44 ----------

    Thank you, KK77!

    ---------- Post added at 22:21 ---------- Previous post was at 19:44 ----------

    Can I ask everyone a few swallowing questions? When you're not consciously anxious, have you ever experienced food getting stuck at the back of your throat for an entire meal? It happened to me about a month ago, and I haven't had it happen again since, at least not to that degree.

    Also, can anyone describe to me how it feels when you don't swallow normally? I'm curious if what I'm feeling is similar to other anxiety-related swallowing problems. Tonight, for instance, I felt like my esophagus was narrow/tight most of the time. It took extra time for food to travel down my throat, and even drinking water feels as if it's forcing its way through a narrower area.

    Lastly, does your tongue and/or the muscles in your throat ever feel tired or weak when you're swallowing? I get this once in a while, and it might legitimately be tied to an existing condition that I have. But I'm curious to know if anxiety can do this as well. Thanks!
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    Re: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    Quote Originally Posted by bulan View Post
    Thank you, Dibbler! I haven't tried CBT yet, but I did see a therapist two years ago, and I was beginning to practice the steps she gave me, but then I found out my insurance didn't cover her sessions. Then life got busy, and I haven't sought out someone new until now.

    I admire people who have serious health issues and seem to be anxiety-free. I'd love to know how your brother manages not to let his health consume his thoughts, and how he manages not to imagine the worst case scenario. Have you ever asked him how he handles his health mentally/emotionally?

    ---------- Post added at 19:44 ---------- Previous post was at 19:44 ----------


    Thank you, KK77!

    ---------- Post added at 22:21 ---------- Previous post was at 19:44 ----------

    Can I ask everyone a few swallowing questions? When you're not consciously anxious, have you ever experienced food getting stuck at the back of your throat for an entire meal? It happened to me about a month ago, and I haven't had it happen again since, at least not to that degree.

    Also, can anyone describe to me how it feels when you don't swallow normally? I'm curious if what I'm feeling is similar to other anxiety-related swallowing problems. Tonight, for instance, I felt like my esophagus was narrow/tight most of the time. It took extra time for food to travel down my throat, and even drinking water feels as if it's forcing its way through a narrower area.

    Lastly, does your tongue and/or the muscles in your throat ever feel tired or weak when you're swallowing? I get this once in a while, and it might legitimately be tied to an existing condition that I have. But I'm curious to know if anxiety can do this as well. Thanks!
    My brother seems to share some characteristics as my wife, well in one respect, they both seem to lack the ability to panic or worry, my wife being the more adept. It simply does not occur to them when dealing with what life can throw at them. My brother has a long term life limiting condition and yet he, for the most part, remains worry free. He does have some emotionally troubled times, then he distracts himself with his hobby of antiques / collections etc. For him that is enough.
    When my wife was going through her diagnosis for cancer, then went through surgery, chemo and radiation treatment, I was the one emotionally in pieces.
    My wife just doesn't seem to have the wiring in place to join the dots which then leads to a worry / panic cycle overwhelming her. That must not come across that she is uncaring or not understanding to others needs, as she most certainly is. But worrying is, at the very most, limited to a very basic level of, using the above example, "What is the date of my operation" and when she was told she was then fine. She was a little upset at being told she would have no hair for our Sons wedding, but a wig soon resolved that.
    With that "wiring" being absent in her make up she doesn't really have to try and not worry as the worry is just absent....!

    It truly amazes me how we are not only all different physically but the same also applies to how we all have different capacities to cope emotionally with life.

    I have had counselling from various professional people and yet one of the best types of counselling for me was the Mindfulness CBT approach.

    Prior to trying that I had largely considered some aspect of my psychological make up to be "broken" or can be fixed, I must not be trying hard enough.

    Just that thought process alone can be pretty debilitating and emotionally tiring. However the mindfulness approach to CBT has taught me to be more accepting of my own self and deal with the moment of here and now, using anchors to help to reinforce that.
    It has helped me somewhat, at least I try and not give myself such a hard time with these escalations of anxiety and depression. But both of those can be severely debilitating and all to easy to spiral out of control.

    For once Mindfulness has made me understand and accept (a little anyway) that I'm not something which is "broken" or that I need to "pull myself together" but how to deal with events a little better day to day.

    At the moment by BP is being troublesome. It would be nice to have a break from all of this....!!!!!

    Best wishes
    Last edited by Dibbler; 14-04-18 at 09:07. Reason: Added BP note

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    Re: Swallowing trouble, and the power of suggestion

    Thank you, Dibbler!
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