Keeping Your Mind Focused on Other Things Help Cholinergic Urticaria?
Post by: Hawkmoon on February 18, 2010, 03:36:34 PM
My name is Hawkmoon. Well, that’s not my real name – it is the name of the protagonist from one of my favourite books. Don’t worry, I’m not a fan of the band called Hawkmoon 😛
I’m 16 years old and currently living in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. I’m at a Sixth Form college here. I’ve been suffering from Cholinergic Urticaria (which I will abbreviate to Cholinergic Urticaria for convenience) for a couple of years. You can imagine how frequently Cholinergic Urticaria attacks come around when you live in a constantly hot climate. All I have to do is walk down the street in the sun and I start itching. I also get attacks when I am suddenly nervous or frightened. I suppose one of the good things about Cholinergic Urticaria is that it has taught me to suppress these emotions – very unhealthy, psychologically speaking, but better than having to tear my clothes off and lunge for the cold shower every ten minutes.
So far Cholinergic Urticaria hasn’t really had a big impact on my life. Sure, I’ll never go out and play sports with my friends again, but I’ve always been the reclusive type. In two years I will have finished Sixth Form and I plan to move back to England (from whence I came) for university. This is also strategically planned around my Cholinergic Urticaria which will hopefully be less aggressive in the colder climes of England.
I’ve never been to a doctor about my condition but, having done a heck of a lot of research, I’m certain I have Cholinergic Urticaria. I’ve never tried treating it with any of the drug or alternative medicine treatments people suggest – I just don’t want to worry my parents whom I know will overreact and think I’m about to spontaneously combust into a fireball in my sleep or something horrific like that. If they worry, I’ll start to panic too, and that won’t help anyone.
So I’ll leave the actual physical treatments until I’m independent. For now, I find the most effective way to stop the attacks from occurring is to avoid doing the things that set them off. I’ve managed to get a fairly comprehensive list down in my head and so far the phrase “prevention is better than the cure” seems to hold true!
Of course, it’s impossible to completely stop the attacks from happening, but I find the power of the mind works a charm. If I feel an attack coming on, or even if it is already in the middle stages, I stop whatever I am doing, clear my mind of all thoughts and focus all my mental power on making that horrible sensation stop. It works for me, unless the attack reaches its worst stage at which point I have to dive for the nearest source of coldness. This “mind over matter” theory also works for other kinds of pain – if I stub my toe, cut my finger, step on a piece of glass or sustain some other minor injury I can usually banish it just by concentrating hard enough. Of course, sometimes it is more practical and a lot more satisfying just to swear loudly and repeatedly.
Has anyone else managed to keep their Cholinergic Urticaria in check this way?
Anyway, I’m sorry to bore you will all my rambling. I’m so happy to have joined this community, it makes me feel a LOT better to know there are other sufferers out there, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all!
Title: Re: Hawkmoon’s Story
Post by: HivesGuy on February 19, 2010, 02:15:43 PM
Excellent post and welcome to the forum! I really enjoyed reading your post as I think we can all relate to a lot of what you said.
That is neat that you live in Spain. I have often wondered if perhaps people living in warmer climates would have a harder time with Cholinergic Urticaria (or if it would be easier since they may adapt to the warmth), but I guess it really is harder.
I am also a reculsive type (very introverted), and I tend to shy away from social activities too. But I do miss being able to play sports, and I get really frustrated when I can’t do something physical without breaking out in hives.
I can understand your desire to wait on the treatments. Some are more effective than others, but none of them seem to stop it 100%. Even though I have experimented with treatments, I tend to just try and live naturally and focus on simply avoiding the attacks (just like you). None of them really helped too much anyway.
About the mind control thing: I do think that is very interesting how the mind can greatly affect the hives. I often go do the same thing as you. When I start to feel an attack coming on, I try to really focus on it. I often become very still, trying to conserve any movement so I don’t raise my temperature. I then focus really hard on ignoring the pain and hoping that it will soon pass.
It does work well in many cases, but as you said, sometimes the severe attacks are so debilitating that no amount of mind power can overcome it. I then scratch myself like crazy. But I think it is a great strategy for overall management, and it really helps a lot in those minor attacks. Also, some have pointed out that prayer or medidation helps their hives.
Anyway, thanks again for the great post & welcome!
Title: A few general observations…
Post by: Joeshep on September 06, 2010, 11:47:15 AM
I think with me it’s because when I have a reaction, it takes so much more concentration just to do the most simplist of tasks, that I sort of transfer this hightened concentration even when I’m not having a reaction. Can anyone relate?
Because the reactions are impossible to control, it can become quite scary and intimidating in a sense because for those 10 minutes or so, you are so vunerable and suseptible to a whole host of out of control emotions. I sort of find myself protecting my self interests all the time.
I have so many routines now as well. I think I’ve developed a bit of OCD. I think I try to make up for the unpredictability of this condition by making sure the things that I can control never change.
Title: A very strange way to help with Cholinergic Urticaria
Post by: Nathaaan on November 20, 2011, 06:30:45 PM
I’ve realised a very strange way to help with Cholinergic Urticaria, well, it helps for me anyway, but you should possibly try it. I’ve noticed if i’m walking about alone, I get hot and itchy quite fast. But if i’m walking with someone else and talk to them, I don’t get itchy at all or after a quite a long time. It’s very strange, but must be a distraction from the itching. It’s also worked if I talk to someone on the phone too. What are your thoughts on this?
Title: Re: A very strange way to help with Cholinergic Urticaria
Post by: HivesGuy on November 20, 2011, 08:21:48 PM
Yes, I’ve often noticed in the past that keeping my mind off of it (by talking, listening to music, focusing on a movie, etc.), it seems to make the hives less intense, or pass more quickly. It didn’t always work, but when I only had minor attacks, it helped a lot.
Title: Re: A very strange way to help with Cholinergic Urticaria
Post by: Cathie on December 25, 2011, 07:19:19 PM
Doesn’t help me. Mine first started when I was in weight training class in 1996/1997 (I’m not sure which, I just know it was my Senior yr of high school). I jogged along with a few friends, talking and whatnot, and usually ended up with horrendously itchy legs. Didn’t know what it was at the time. Mall walking, going to the gym, etc, it’s always been the same and I usually go with others.