Why Not Having Hives Causes Me Anxiety!
Hives cause me a lot of anxiety, and if you’re reading this, they probably cause you anxiety too. I worry about my appearance, whether my medication is working and if/when it will stop working. I worry about how my hives will evolve over time and if it’s even possible for them to get worse than they already are. I’ve recently gone into remission, and my hives have all but disappeared for the time being. So you would think that my anxiety level would go down, but no, it’s just as high but for different reasons.
Chronic hives triggers
I've had autoimmune hives for a couple of years now. The first time I really noticed it was about 5 years ago, and I had no idea what was going on then. But a few months after my hives appeared, they disappeared just as quickly. It was a while before my hives came back. I didn’t know they would come back, and what seemed to trigger them the first round did not seem to trigger them again. I was perplexed, to say the least.
When I first got hives I was triggered by heat and exercise which would cause my face to balloon and make me look like I had gained 200 pounds in a matter of minutes. The second round started with what appeared to be bug bites, which would morph over the course of a few days into very painful, burning, hot plaques of skin. I would still get the occasional spell of facial swelling, but never as bad as the first time and I never could figure out the trigger.
Chronic hives remission
After being diagnosed with chronic hives, I worked very closely with my doctor to come up with a treatment plan. We tried lots of different medications and treatment options. You can read about my treatment journey here, here, here, here, here, and here. After lots of ups and downs for over a year, I went into remission. I’ve been in remission for 3-4 months now. It’s a weird experience, honestly.
It’s strange to go from dealing with a debilitating illness one day, to almost nothing the next. I still take high doses of antihistamines every day, but I’m no longer on some of the stronger medicines that keep my immune system from going into overdrive. It’s a welcome reprieve, to say the least.
Hives and anxiety
But my hives will come back eventually, and there’s no way to tell when, how they will present, or how debilitating they will be when they do show up. And this is where the additional anxiety comes in. When will they come back? How bad will they be when they come back? How much will it affect my life when they come back? Will my doctor and I be able to find a treatment that works, after all, we’ve been through quite a few already. It’s these questions and more that cause just as much grief as having full-blown hives.
I’ve noticed my anxiety has been a bit higher in the last few weeks. I get the occasional itchy spot on my elbow or my knee or the back of my hand, and then I start to worry if it’s going to turn into a hive. I analyze the itchy spot…is it red? Just how itchy is it? How long does the itch last? But each time, the itch doesn’t last very long. If it is red or irritated, it eventually disappears. And every time this happens, I feel like I’ve dodged a bullet. I dread the day when my hives will return. And it makes me very anxious.
Have you gone through a period of remission with your hives? How long did it last? Did you find you were just as anxious too? Let us know in the comments.
Have you tried biologics as a method of treatment?
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