Anxiety without the anxiety?

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pantaleon
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/1/2008 6:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi all,

I've been posting on a couple different boards here trying to figure out what's going on with me. I have had some mystery symptoms happening for the last 10 months, with a very sudden onset, mostly involving dizziness, muscle and joint pains that come and go on what I'm beginning to realize are almost regular 3-5 week intervals. I've had just about every test you can think of done and doctors can't find anything that's really wrong. Most docs are telling me it's "just stress and anxiety." I am extremely skeptical of this for a couple of reasons, mainly that I don't feel particularly anxious/worried about things, and when my muscle start getting all achey and ropey-feeling, when I get dizzy or have jaw problems etc. don't seem correlated at all with stress -- I mean there are times when I've felt horrible during periods of stress and times when I've felt great, it really seems completely unrelated for me. I go to a college that's...erm...I guess kind of famous for mental health and stress issues among students and have to wonder if I'm being pigeon-holed here. I tried one antidepressant and it made me feel really, absolutely awful...ativan/klonipin make me pleasantly drowsy but no less dizzy or achey/sore.

I guess what I'm wondering is, is there anyone here who has been told they have anxiety problems...but had only purely physical symptoms? Did you benefit from medications and if so how long did it take?

Freya
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 5/1/2008 6:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pantaleon
I'm sorry to hear your having such a hard time finding an answere to your perplexing symptoms. Of course anxiety and depression are known to cause tons of ohysical symptoms, but if you feel there is something more going on dont let anyone brush your symptoms off as physical manifestations of anxiety. Keep trying until your satisfied with the answeres.
I've had these exact symptoms and it turned out to be lymes. Sometimes tests are known to come back negative because of so many different types of the disease. You may want to make an app. with a rhumatologist who can run a huge panal on all the lymes that are out there. A rhumy can also check for about a million other conditions that can be hard to pinpoint. If you feel that there is most likely something else other than anxiety going on, I'd make a rhumy the next stop.
I hope you can start to find some answeres soon and feel a whole lot better.
Freya

Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 5/1/2008 9:03 PM (GMT -7)   
That's pretty interesting. I think Freya is giving some pretty sound advice. If you feel like you're being pigeon-holed, you probably are, right? Its totally subjective and you're not satisified with what they're coming back to you. You sound smart. You've tried somethings and they didnt help you. Hmmmm.

Some odd questions:
1. Is your school at a much higher/lower attitude than you're use to?
2. Did you move to a new area in the last 10 months?
3. Are you drinking enough water?
4. New exercise or sports? Or lack of?

Change of environment is often overlooked. Also, hydration is something people tend to over look as well.

Keep us posted, will ya?

best
dan
---
Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Depression, possibly Bipolar 2.

"We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves."
- Pema Chodron


pantaleon
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 45
   Posted 5/1/2008 10:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies.

I'm not sure what to think as far as whether doctors are taking me seriously. I really have been given about a million different tests -- blood tests for just about everything, MRI's of the brain, c-spine and t-spine, special dizzy testing to see if it's the result of an inner ear problem, eye nerve conduction test, and various tests for autoimmune stuff. Part of my feeling of "Grr, argg, they aren't taking me seriously enough!" is probably stemming from my frustration of not getting anywhere with this, as much as it is from a feeling that the doctors just order a few tests then sit back and forget about me until my next appointment 2 months later.

So in the absence of anything showing up in the tests, some doctors are telling me it's "all in my head," others are expanding on this and saying it's some kind of deeply repressed anxiety, and some are wisely saying nothing. I realize a lot of my symptoms sound like anxiety...but they sound like a lot of other things, too. When I first went to the ER the night this began the doc told me I had "all the signs of a panic attack except the panic." Which strikes me as a little odd. I know there's this whole thing with "health anxiety" and that it sounds like I have it because I keep stubbornly insisting that something is wrong in spite of tests results. On the other hand, I'm not afraid or constantly worried of whatever it is being really dangerous or fatal...if they tell me I don't have MS or cancer then that's great, I definitely believe it, but whatever is hurting me (however benign it is) is still there and I want them to keep on searching until I feel better. So am I a hypochondriac wasting the doctors' time, or a sick woman bravely fighting a flawed system?

I'm actually seeing someone for Lyme because I was at Crane Beach (evidently notorious for Lyme...?) in MA one week before I (literally overnight) got sick. I figured I tried an antidepressant, so now I should try an antibiotic to be fair, if that makes any sense. No luck yet, if anything it's made me dizzier.

I go to school quite close to where I grew up - so no major relocations or altitude differences. As far as water, heh...when this first started happening the dizziness was much more pronounced in the sun and felt like heat stroke, so I drank ridiculous amounts of water every day for months until I realized it was making no difference. I haven't really changed exercise habits, I'm a lazy engineering student so although I do a lot of walking I don't oficially "work out."

Sorry for the novel-writing here. I think I wrote this as much to straighten out my own thoughts as to reply to anyone else :)

Freya
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 5/2/2008 8:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Sounds like you've run the gamet of tests and Dr's with everyone scratch there heads as much as you. If you have had lymes, those symptoms can come back especially if you didnt fully get rid of it before. But thats the other thing, if you have had a positive lyme test you may not always get a positive test if you have been exposed again. Thats what happened to me, got lymes one summer and a year later had all the symptoms with a negative test. Its not until I went to the rhumy that they did a more in depth test which came back positive. Of course thats not always the case which makes lymes a huge pain in the bum.
You know your body better than anyone else, if something is telling you to keep looking just go woth it. If you still have a feeling like you should keep following the trail, so to speak, I would really strongly suggest a rhumy, any test which they have done, even for autoimmune, a rhumy does that much more in depth. There kind of the last resort Doc, they can often find answeres to the medical mysteries other docs get stuck on. But you know whats best for you.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Feya
  In suffering, we are given the key to a door which most rarely 
      get to open.  Behind it lies the ultimate gift which is only visible
                             in our darkest hour.
                                True strength.


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/2/2008 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   

pantaleon

Welcome to HealingWell and the Anxiety & Panic forum. I am glad you found us.  I have not heard of anyone being dx with all the sx of a panic attack in the ER and being told it was not a panic attack.  That does not make any sense to me.................if you have the sx and nothing else was found what was your discharge dx from ER do you know?  Just my curiosity :)

As I am not a professional, I do not have a guess at what else might be causing your sx but I agree you have sx and I would consider the advice already given here and seek out the opinion of another physician. 

Take care and I hope you come up with the right dx.  Keep on posting as the members are very wise and caring here.

Kitt


 
Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic 
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
 


Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 5/2/2008 10:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey Pantaleon_

Hang in there!

dan
---
Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Depression, possibly Bipolar 2.

"We work on ourselves in order to help others, but also we help others in order to work on ourselves."
- Pema Chodron


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 5/2/2008 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, pantaleon, and welcome!

My anxiety started out in a similar way. I would get short of breath or feel that my throat was closing for no apparent reason. My stress levels were also pretty random around these symptoms. Obviously, though, a person will PANIC when they think they're going to stop breathing. Dozens of trips to the ER found nothing wrong and ultimately I was labelled with anxiety.

Mind you, I have always been a chronic worrier with widely scattered episodes of event-specific anxiety. However, these breathing symptoms always seemed to create, not result from, my "panic attacks," and I couldn't get that across to my doctors. After a particular bad series of symptoms this winter, I chased around to tons of doctors yet again. Finally, three years after my first "attack," I am being diagnosed and treated for acid reflux near the larynx, and all my physical symptoms are gone.

Unfortunately, at this point, my sporadic anxiety is still around, and chronic health anxiety has become a geniune problem. I don't want anyone else to develop that needlessly, so if you feel you have something physically wrong with your body, push to get a meaningful diagnosis. I wish I'd done that three years ago! As many on here point out, a smart doctor won't chalk something up to solely anxiety until other reasonable alternatives have been ruled out.

Good luck, and keep us posted.

percycat
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