Difficulty swallowing issues

Hi. Few weeks back, I had a random panic attack on my birthday while I was eating cake. My doc said could be due to stress or perimenopause. FYI, I actually left a job 1 month before the attack due to stress level.

After that one attack, I started having symptoms related to perimenopause(uti, joint pain, etc) and other symptoms which I do not know if it’s related to perimenopause or not (dry throat, dry mouth, tightening of throat which cause difficulty swallowing of food).

Recently my swallowing gets worst. When I want to swallow food, my throat will tighten, so I have to drink water to swallow food for every meal. And my meal can take more than 1 hr to eat and i still cannot finish the whole plate. So I can get hungry fast. It can be tiring spending so much time to eat. Swallowing suddenly become a difficult task for me.

Because of these issues, I have been going for walks, doing deep breathing exercises,listen to music, ie try to relax and not get worried or angry of stuff. But I am in low mood because of my swallowing issues. Lowest point in my life so far.

I have a ENT appointment but it’s only in sep.

How do you deal with these swallowing issues ? And if you have recovered from it, can you tell me what did you do to get well?
Thank you.

Dear @jkids ,

Thank you for reaching out to share your pain and challenges with us. I’m truly sorry to hear about what you’re going through. :people_hugging: It must be incredibly uncomfortable and distressing to experience such challenges, especially with their impact on your mood and daily life. :orange_heart:

While I haven’t personally experienced this, I hope someone in the community can offer more insight into managing and recovering from it.

What I can share is that our emotions can manifest in physical symptoms like somatic pain. It can be valuable to explore both the physical sensations and the emotional aspects that may be contributing to your symptoms. This holistic approach can often provide a clearer understanding and guide towards effective management and healing.

Given the sudden onset of symptoms after a panic attack and considering your doctor’s suggestion of stress or perimenopause as potential factors, it may also be worthwhile to consider the somatic (body-oriented) aspects alongside relaxation techniques. Here are some insights and suggestions that might be helpful:

  1. Understanding Somatic Symptoms: Somatic symptoms like difficulty swallowing can sometimes manifest as a result of emotional distress or unresolved stress. The body’s response to stress can sometimes lead to physical symptoms, and these can be exacerbated when emotions are not fully acknowledged or processed.

  2. Holistic Approaches: Besides relaxation techniques such as walks and deep breathing exercises, it’s helpful to consider how your emotions and stress impact your physical health. Therapy can be beneficial for releasing stored tension in your body by addressing underlying emotional factors. For instance, approaches like Brainspotting use eye positioning to activate parts of the brain that are involved in processing emotions and memories, promoting healing on a deeper level that regular talk therapy might not fully reach.

  3. Therapeutic Support: Consider discussing these symptoms with a therapist who specialises in somatic experiencing or body-oriented therapies. These approaches focus on integrating physical sensations with emotional experiences to promote healing and symptom relief.

  4. Self-Care Practices: Continue with your current self-care practices, such as walks and listening to music, as they are supportive in managing stress. Additionally, gentle yoga or meditation practices that emphasise body awareness and relaxation could complement your routine.

  5. Journal Prompts: Journaling offers several benefits for mental and emotional well-being. It provides a private space to express thoughts, emotions, and experiences without judgment. Journaling and prompts offer a structured yet flexible way to support mental health and personal development.

Here are some prompts for your consideration:

  • Reflect on your current self-care routine. What activities or practices bring you the most comfort or relaxation during times of stress or discomfort?

  • Explore how your emotions impact your physical health. Are there specific emotional states that seem to correlate with your swallowing difficulties or other symptoms?

  • Describe a recent stressful situation and how it affected your body. What physical sensations did you notice during this time?

  • Consider your support system. Who are the people in your life that you feel comfortable discussing your health concerns with? How do they support you?

  • Imagine yourself practicing self-compassion. How can you show kindness and understanding towards yourself during challenging times?

  • Explore your relationship with food and eating. How has your experience with swallowing difficulties affected your approach to meals and nutrition?

  • Reflect on moments of resilience in your life. What strategies or strengths have helped you cope with previous health challenges or stressful periods?

  • Explore any fears or anxieties you have about your health or future. How do these thoughts impact your daily life, and what can you do to address them?

  • Describe a time when you felt emotionally balanced and at ease. What factors contributed to this sense of well-being, and how can you incorporate these elements into your current routine?

It sounds like the journey ahead may hold more uncertainty than you would prefer. I encourage you to approach it with patience and self-compassion. Trust in your resilience and strengths as you navigate through this challenging time. Remember, it’s okay to give yourself permission not to be okay sometimes. Reach out for emotional support and care too when it becomes overwhelming.

I hope the above has been helpful and if you’d like more resources or if there is anything else you’d like to share with us, please do. We’re here to listen to you, your feelings are valid and you matter! :grinning:

Take care,
Cool Breeze =)

Just wondering have anyone with my issues managed to recover? And if so, what did they do to recover and how long it takes?

I have been searching for a discussion group that has similar case like mine, but couldn’t. If there is, at least I can find out what advise they have that work on them. Helpless to deal with it but not sure what are the solution. Do you know of any discussion group with people in my situation?

Does seeing a therapist help?