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I thought I might share my recent experiences as they may be of some help.

Anxiety is very common after a SAH, indeed after any trauma. It is fair to say that I am more anxious after the SAH than before; but when I had my son last August, anxiety levels soared and my anxiety is diagnosed as ‘severe.’ I found the birth traumatic, so that may account for my additional stress, but I am doing something about it.

My local authority runs a Stress Management Course which I went along to recently and I found it very helpful. It encouraged me to think about how I respond to stress. Prior to that, I was just thinking of things in an external way, i.e. seeing a person or a situation as causing me stress and becoming anxious when I could not avoid the situation.

The course encouraged me to consider my responses to stress and I can see how I am very passive and I lack assertion in a massive way. I have learnt that even assertive people can become more passive when they are unwell or tired and so fatigue may account for a large part of it.

Another issue I have is that if someone does not agree with me, I find it very mentally taxing to provide the counter argument there and then. This means that ‘I go along’ with what people say and do when it is not my preference.

In order to deal with this, I have commenced counselling for, amongst other things, to become more assertive. I have only had one session so far, but I am learning that I have choices in how I respond to people and that I don’t have to be the ‘child’ that jumps sticks all the time.

I am sensing, albeit in a small way at the moment, that I am beginning to express myself better, although I have not tackled a big issue as yet. I am saying things like, ‘I feel that…’ and ‘I think that….’ more.

Underpinning all this is healthy living habits. I’ve bought some new yoga DVD’s – ones that focus on stress relief. I’ve learnt that an anxious brain has forgotten how to relax and it needs to be taught. Relaxation exercises teach the brain how to shut off once in a while. I am also now very aware of how anxiety compounds fatigue and how I can exhaust myself through just thinking unhealthily.

I hope to see some further improvements in the following weeks and will let you know how I get on.

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Thank you for sharing this Lynne.

I completely understand the giving in even when it's not your preference when you are fatigued and just don't have the energy to find the words to express yourself. I've done that many times over the last couple of years. It's something I would not have done so easily before, I was described as tenacious pre-SAH but I don't have the energy to be tenacious anymore.

I am finding it helpful to say can we talk about this later. But that of course doesn't work in every situation.

It's very interesting to see that generally people do this when ill or fatigued. I've thought about it many times wondering if I've lost my ability to stand up for myself. When I'm well rested I have no problem expressing my opinion on things though.

It's helpful that you've explained this specifically. I'll be more aware now and hopefully less exasperated when I can't find my words, feeling fatigued, and stressed out.

Good for you for working on this, the counselling is an excellent plan.

Sandi K.

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Hi Lin-Lin

It's great to hear that you have started this. I'm sure it will be a huge benefit to you & look forward to hearing how it all goes.

I know I am & have been struggling with stress & anxiety for a long time. I did reach a calmer point since the SAH but feel that when my son got ill, that calm went & I haven't yet got it back. Unfortunately, I am more aggressive than passive which is equally not good. I remembered recently that I used to have candles on & listen to dolphin tapes (years before the SAH) & how much that tranquillity & peace of mind helped to calm my crazy, non stop brain. Now I don't seem to do anything to relieve the constant spinning & it would be good to re-learn ways to quiet my mind again.

Do you have the titles of the yoga dvds you have bought please? And are you finding them helpful?

Hope things continue to improve for you.

Michelle xx

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Hi Lynne

I was signposted to this course as well but didn’t take it up but may think about it now. As with much of the recovery process everything is so much clearer in retrospect. I absolutely did not think I was anxious (I really hate that word-it sounds so pathetic !) so I couldn’t see that it would benefit. I had read in loads of places including this forum that anxiety was a common outcome after SAH but I still didn’t recognize it in myself.

I recognise, however, that I've always been a ‘stressed’ person but I actually saw this as a positive thing pre SAH (!) as it was a measure of my attempts to control things in my life. In trying to control my recovery and the various fatigue symptoms I think unleashed a whole load more anxiety. With the benefit of hindsight, and a lot of reading and research, I can see that both pre and post SAH, anxiety has been a major factor in my life. It has absolutely made my recovery slower and more difficult and I am making progress in doing something about it –not least identifying and admitting the problem. But some of the anxiety must be so long standing and deep rooted because I cant even consciously feel it, yet I know its there. What on earth do I do about that I wonder?

I seem to remember reading something along the lines of –outcomes for people who were very stressed prior to SAH are not as good as those who had been less stressed. Thinking about it now I wonder if that meant that those kinds of people were more likely to be stressed post SAH ?


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Michelle, post SAH a friend sent me a cd of frogs chirruping , I imagine it's a bit like your dolphin cd. Anyway it does help to just have calm and quiet simple noise. I also have a bottle of lavender in my bag permanently.

Lin, think the course sounds great, hope it helps. I am headed back for some more counselling as my anxiety levels have gone up and although outwardly I might present very swan like and appear composed I think the hidden signs are far worse and probabl very bad for you. My recent hospital trip confirmed that when they started checking my heart as my BP went sky high. That was weird, I wouldn't have said I Felt anxious but my heart gave it away...so long term anything that helps calm things and make life easier is a good think.

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Lin "I’ve bought some new yoga DVD’s – ones that focus on stress relief. I’ve learnt that an anxious brain has forgotten how to relax and it needs to be taught." Can you share the name of these by any chance.

I use to have a very qualified Yoga instructor once that was wonderful although rather a nut but she had great classes and breathing was so important. She was far above any other teacher I have had. We all forget to breathe properly anymore, self included. More shallow and less purposeful. I need to be taught by someone showing me - not reading or listening anymore. Or shall I saw more so now.

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Thank you Karen and Lin,

I love the water so I used to do the waves coming in and washing over my body taking away the pain and or stress away with the wave returning to ocean. I have so much trouble with finding that calm anymore yet I am as lazy as they come most days. You would think I could close my eyes and just go there.

One of my favorite line of yoga DVD would be Rodney Yee - which are filmed in Hawaii I think..... I started today with my "new plan" again for getting well. This is like dieting or quitting to smoke it takes many times before it works out in your life. They say people quit smoking like 20 times before they can do it.

I think I am handling stress better because I am more passive now and choose my battles but at work it really just builds up in me to the point of my head wanting to explode. I mean out of control explode.

Elaine, I loved going to a therapist. I had only gone 3 times as I have to pay out of pocket each visit but he gave me focus and made me set goals. I was doing well with them until life throws you yet another curve ball. I seem to have fallen off the wagon again and need to go back for a "tune up" session.


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I use Mozart for meditation to de-stress and have done so since the early days of my SAH. I did some research on the "Mozart Effect" on the brain years ago and wrote about it on the site... I was also completely stressed out about the return of seizures and the anxiety it was causing when I was reducing the medication and used a specific piece of music to help. It does take a while to get used to, but I can totally focus on the music now and block anything else from going on in my brain...very calming and peaceful.

The CD that I use is called Mozart for Meditation: http://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Meditation-Classical-Music/dp/B0006OL5E0/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1371044864&sr=1-3&keywords=mozart+for+meditation

However, you can find Mozart for meditation on You Tube if you do a search, such as the following piece:

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Thanks Karen.

The DVD that I am enjoying the most is Tara Lee’s ‘Earth Foundation.’ She has other DVD’s which I will get in due course. Out of the ones that I have, this is the one which I would recommend. The others, I am not enjoying as much. That’s not to say that they’re not good; but the Tara Lee one is brilliant.

There is a section on balancing. I have learnt how actual balancing (tree pose for example,) helps balance the mind too. When I balance, I really have to concentrate on what I’m doing and the minute my mind wanders, I can feel myself wobbling and becoming unbalanced. By focusing on what I’m doing in the present, I am not anxiously worrying about unnecessary things and it is good respite for my brain, which has developed a bad habit of over activity.

Cyber Tree Hugs Everyone!!!!

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Thank you for the pm Lin, I read that before I saw your update on here.

There are so many helpful tips on this thread & it is really good to see that I am not the only one struggling to get things back under control. I have to say, though, that I did yoga many years ago & found the 'tree pose' hard going then - when my physical balance was good. It's good to have a challenge though - I'm going to order the dvd. I may post again from A & E :lol:

Michelle xx

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I was and still am sometimes the queen of stress. Now it is very unpredictable. I too thought my life was very productive and high energy before SAH. I too liked to control everything about myself...I was very disciplined at everything. When SAH hit, it through me way out of the bubble I had created around my perfect life. I came to realize that I too was stressed in ways that I couldn't articulate. I found meditation and yoga and both have helped me tremendously. Living in the moment helps me to remove any feeling of deficit I cary.

Before SAH, I lived my whole life in the future. I loved planning vacations, monthly calendars, saving financially for the future, anything really. After SAH, I lived in the past...to the SAH and it's toll it took on my body/brain. I still visit that place and now, I realize it and choose it when I go there as I am doing now. But, I have found the present moment to be the most fulfilling place to live. The last trip I took, I didn't do any planning...no buying tickets, no where are we going to eat, no picking hotels, just arriving and being. No regrets.


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I love the songs my Dad and Brothers used to sing, they calm me, well not all but this one.

Sung Slow!

Now up the lazy river by the old mill run

The lazy lazy river in the noon day sun

Linger a while in the shade of a tree

Throw away your worries dream a dream with me

Nice calming song when sung slow ~ Mills Brothers

Be Well and relaxed all

WinB143 xx xx

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  • 3 months later...


I just had the worst anxiety attack. It's been coming for the last two weeks. I've been going to my place of employment to work more these past two weeks and coming home vey tired. I have also been having more headaches than I normally do.

I am coming up on my six month date and want so much to be better. I have read how we can do great in the beginning and then feel like nothing is happening or we are regressing somehow. I feel like that today.

After working I came home and got my daughter off the bus and it just hit me. Started feeling nothing but dread. We went to dinner and sat outside at one of our favorite places on the water and I tried to be okay but I felt this pain across my head, which reminded me of that awful night, and started having hot flashes and butterflies in the pit of my stomach. I got dizzy and told my husband we had to go. My poor little girl. She is such a trooper.

I got in the car and just cried. Could not even go into the store to pick up a few things.

I have been having awful dreams lately and I must just be tired. I so wish the gloom and doom would go away or I could find a way to just accept what is. Very hard to do.

Okay, I'm done. Thanks for letting me get that out.


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Iola. Poor you what a horrid day. It will pass.

That's what you have to keep telling yourself when that feeling comes, it will pass.

My anxiety started at about that time lapse too, I had probably pushed too much at the four month mark as I was craving a normalcy so much that i physically forced myself to achieve it then shortly after I ended up back in hospital requiring more surgery and was back at square one I felt. And then came the anxiety. It's a lot better now but I still have those creepy dread feelings on occasion and I've learnt to be more comfortable with it.

Boy it's a strange beast isn't it? but It WILL and DOES pass.

Hugs for you today. And yes it probably is a reminder that you have to remember that it's only a short time since your bleed and that you're worth slowing things down for a little more than you maybe are.

My life is so much slower than the pace at which I previously moved at but I am happier and calmer for it, I can see that now. it's different, sometimes that frustrates me but you get to feel the wind more, see the clouds moving and take deeper breaths.

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Thank you Daff,

It is scary and hard to manage. I was type A and had to please everyone and do it all. My daughter told me the other day she wished this never happened and I could do more. Makes me so sad.

I am forced to slow down. I have to learn how to slow down and clear my mind. Maybe I'll try yoga again. I was not very good at it before, but, that was my fault.


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Hope the feelings have gone by the time you read this.

When you have any sort of scary feeling ie panic attack or thoughts of dread, remember they will pass. They cannot harm you.

They are scary and we build up our fear and panic.

I have said this before so sorry for repeating myself (What's new Win).

When my daughter had panic attack I took her to Docs who said "It cannot hurt you Sarah just try and relax.

and on the way out my daughter was all happy and could breathe normally. phew ! She still gets them but less

panic involved.

Hope you can relax more and chew gum to get rid of dry mouth or keep water near by you.

Be Well xx and relax.


WinB143 xx xx

Edited by Winb143
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Oh them oul smelly things they have been one of the biggest curses of my SAH literally put me back in hospital they did grrrr they were always worse in the mornings and would often wake me up.

Similar to winb's experience a doctor said to me that they are just feelings and you have not done any thing wrong and nothing bad is going to happen and they will pass, so I try to ignore the feelings in my stomach and occupy my mind to combat them.

When I feel it coming on which is usually everyday and sometimes more than once I concentrate on my breathing and ignore the sick feelings and butterflies and to occupy my mind I will do something as simple as think about what I will make for the dinner or what I will do with the child after school even something as simple as looking through the satellite tv listings to see what programs I would like to record for future viewing seems to work.

I'm lucky in a way that I can do almost anything with my girl as long as it does not involve climbing or to much noise, may I suggest you do the old favourites like colouring in pictures as we all have an inner child in us and its surprising as to how relaxing it can be and you get to spend time with your girl while not taxing your mind and body to much and also teaching her how to draw.

Try not to associate the pains you get now to the pain you had then with the pains now are you will just find your going back or thinking about back then and that is a backward step which means you might think about thy middle ie hospital, very sick, very sad, rehab and recovery which will stress you even more, the one thing I've learnt is that this illness is a vicious circle and every new set back has to be treated like a new illness with new thoughts on recovery.

At the minute I'm dealing with my moods which are horrendous as low as can be, but I will deal with it and when its dealt with I will deal with the spasticity in my foot and leg, the seizures and set a plan of attack to deal with or learn how to live with them and then I will deal with all the other less serious things like the random pains the weird sensations, weight gain and jerks.

If I tried to deal with everything at once I would be stressed to the limit and would probably implode and end up in a very bad place mentally.

Oh in terms of music I'm listening to a group called sacred spirit, try a song from them called Indian dreams if that can't take you to the place you most want to be nothing will.

Best wishes Iola.

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Thank you everyone. So much good information. I like knowing they cannot hurt me. I had not thought about that, but, you are right they cannot hurt me.

I volunteered today to make dinner for a family going through hard times. That has put my mind in another place and helps.

I've had anxiety attacks before but they have always been at home. This one just really shook me.

Thanks again for responding. Puts my weary little brain at ease. :)


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Hi Hwyaden,

Panic attacks anxiety seem to be an ongoing problem, I just stand in the kitchen on some days and just say,"I can't do any more, when I get too many demands from family. They all think after this length of time we should be back to normal, I just don't seem to be able to work as I used to.

I love my Grandchildren but I know I will get touchy as my daughter and 2 toddlers are coming to stay for 10 days! Noise and the constant tv all day really winds me up. At least I have got a lot of bulbs to plant so that will be some thing to do with them.

Beautiful day, lying in bed looking at the Holy Mountain other side of the valley, I don't say that in the winter when we are stuck in. Love Jill

Edited by Tina
Line spacing inserted for easier reading :)
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