My Sweat Is Caused By My Anxiety – And Vice Versa – NOT Hyperhidrosis

Any time I’ve told someone of my issue, they’ve wondered “how do you know you don’t just sweat a lot?”  In other words, maybe this is strictly a physiological problem.  A physiological problem would mean that I sweat all the time.  But I don’t.

I don’t sweat when I sleep.  I don’t sweat when I workout (I might, but it’s hard to tell because sweating is a NORMAL part of exercise).  Most tellingly, I don’t sweat when I drink or smoke weed (when I’m drunk or high).  In other words, when my MIND has been altered, at long last the symptom ceases.  That is the ONLY time I feel I have control over this ailment.

If this condition was physiological, I’d sweat at all times more or less evenly.  But I don’t.  When I am stressed, I sweat more.  Much more.  When I have a social event or a performance my sweating ramps up.  When I think about a stressful situation that I will be in, my sweating increases.  This tells me one thing – my sweating comes from my thoughts.

But since this has become a major issue in my life, my thoughts also come from my sweating.  Its sorta a chicken and the egg problem.  But once I have drenched a shirt because I’m overexcited in the morning, or in anticipation of something stressful, I get in my head.  I wonder what’s wrong with me?  I wonder if this condition will ever stop?  And my anxiety THEN shoots through the roof.  And because my shirt is all wet, I can’t get away.  The thoughts return in full force over and over because I physically feel the uncomfortable wetness under my arms throughout the whole day.  It’s like Chinese water torture.

So anxiety causes my sweating.  No, wait, sweating causes my anxiety.  Sure, my trip abroad precipitated my sweating problem, but clearly the sweating originates in my thoughts, as discussed above…Truth be told, anxiety probably exacerbated my sweating and sweating then exacerbated my anxiety, which then exacerbated my sweating, which then exacerbated my anxiety a vicious and horrible cycle.

But it doesn’t matter which precipitates the other because I have been unable to stop the sweating and I’ve been unable to stop the anxiety.  They cause each other and snowball into a goddam avalanche.  Regardless, I know one hundred percent that this is NOT exclusively a physiological problem, this is more then mere hyperhidrosis.

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2 comments

  1. had this problem! HAD! here is what i know. as a young boy i didn’t sweat much no matter what i did! I became aware of excessive sweating sometime around 12+yrs, old. i was a great athlete in all sports,(could see something done one time and copy it perfectly!) and this is where i first notice something different about me. when playing baseball it was most dramatic,but also an important clue as to what was causing it! I noticed what was making me so good at sports! When a batter came up to bat, first i noticed his stance at the plate, the position of his hips, opened or closed? a few practice swings to warm up and i had his timing down to a tee! I now was able to predict, depending on the pitch(which i was able to compute in flight) where the ball was going to go(only left or right at this time), as the pitch and swing came together i was able to see the position the bat was going to strike the ball(up or down)! In short I could be at a full run before the ball was completely off the bat!!!! How does this tie into excessive sweating and anxiety? 1.)well to do this took complete focus, I heard or saw nothing else! 2,) I was predicting the future! 3.) I was expecting a certain result! 4.) Importantly the variables in a baseball game are very limited! Now take these skills to the real world, the variables are limitless! But, here i was trying to compute and predict the outcome of life???this is the simple cause of anxiety! You want to know the outcome BEFORE you engage in an activity! you try to protect yourself from a bad outcome by using your imagination. we are constantly considering how we will cope with different variables of a life situation! OH! THE SWEATING! In any sport I would be sweating profusely well before the start of any game(and I do mean DRENCHED in sweat)!This was my body’s way of speeding up to increase blood flow to the most important muscle we have THE BRAIN! I would look around at team mates and to me they looked like the were in need of a coat! On the baseball field this was mostly caused by the intense focus I had, i didn’t really feel much anxiety(a little i guess anticipating the outcome of my prediction). Do you see it now? THE INTENSE FOCUS AND ANTICIPATION OF AN OUTCOME! Real or IMAGINED does not matter! Oh, family matters are calling, Sorry about the length, but it’s very important to understand the why first! I did find out how to stop it completely without any meds! if anyone cares to know more or even believes what i’ve wrote,I ll check my email for reply’s and get back to you!

    1. I think control is a critical facet of this issue. As you say, we cannot control all of the infinite factors in life, the way we can manage them in a game. It’s not possible.

      I do, however, feel left on a cliff hanger. It’s one thing to recognize the issue. I think you’ve been clear as to that. How did you come to terms with it? Many days I tend to think I will never be able to live without the concern, the fear, of sweating.

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