Deep anxiety coz of my symptoms.....what do i do ????

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 7/14/2008 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi i'm a 27 year old male, weighing about 80 KG. Habits include pretty heavy smoking (1packet) a day & social drinking......

Over the past 2 weeks i've been symptoms of tingling sensation in the palms & especially the feet. Also there is sudden numbness in sitting postures (especially when i'm in air conditioning or the restroom) & pin pricking feelings on & off....Must say that the symptoms are very much less - nil when i'm active  , but much more when i'm idling, lying down or sitting down on the couch watching TV...during the evenings....

Does this sound like peripheral neuropathy or some associated condition....

Now i'm also on the HIV prevention forum since i had a possible risk about 8 weeks 6 week test negative.....& i'm still waiting for the 3 month mark to test out conclusively....

1. Could these symptoms be associated to HIV as in neurological symptoms observed in early HIV infection.

2. Could they because of stress & smoking as both are on the rise as i've been generally stressed out at work & the HIV fear has got me stressed & worried too.

3. Could these be symptoms caused because of any other conditions that may be prevalent in my body or because of any habits or external factors...???

I'm not aware of the symptoms observed in early HIV & ofcourse the HIV forum is not really a fan of discussing symptoms coz theer may be so many of them & they may still mean nothing, but are these sort of tingling, numb & pricking feelings observed in people who are infected......with HIV & are in the early phase... I'm anxiety is really on the rise day by day as i wait for my final test......& i really need some help to bottle it!!

Please advise!!!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/14/2008 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   

Hello and Welcome to the A & P Forum.  It feels to me like you have some issues that are causing your anxiety and stress to be running on the high side.

You may just be having a bad case of anticipatory anxiety re the sx and the HIV testing.

Common Anticipatory Anxiety Reactions include :

Feelings: anxious, fearful, angry, confused, hopeless, losing control, numb, sad, moody, irritable, guilty.

Behaviors: withdrawal from others or activities, disrupted routines, startle reactions, easily crying

Cognitions: preoccupation with possibility of trauma, concentration difficulties, self-doubt, worry, indecisiveness, memory difficulties

Physical complaints: muscle tension, headaches, gastric distress, sleep and appetite changes, fatigue

Talking usually helps. Share your feelings with friends, family, on here are all good ways to work through the anxiety.

Relaxation techniques: Try deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization (imagining peaceful scenes), and/or listening to soothing music.

Realistic self-talk: While we can't always control what happens to us, we can always control what we say to ourselves. It's important to keep things in perspective. Talk to yourself in reasonable ways. Ask yourself "how likely is my fear?" Remind yourself that you have coped before during other challenging times. Don't just dwell on the negative but consciously look for things you can appreciate every day.

Make an effort to stay focused on what's happening now. What do you see, hear, and smell? How do you feel? Truly be 'present' in the moment! That will help you keep the anxiety down.

As far as your sx, I am not a professional and if you feel you need to please see a physician to discuss these sx.

Take care.


Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 7/14/2008 2:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome :-)

Here's the problem with symtoms of anxiety, they can mimic symtpoms of many other illnesses and vise versa.
Numbness and tingling can be caused by many things. I know nothing about HIV, but b/c it's an illness that affects the iummune system, I would think the symptoms would be more about getting a cold or a severe weakness feeling

Kitt has given you awesome advice. Try her method and see how you feel and PLEASE keep posting and keep talking

Moderator - Anxiety-panic forum
where we take it one panic attack at a time
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 60
   Posted 7/14/2008 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I completely agree with Kitt and peace! Anxiety symptoms present in many different ways and can mimic MANY MANY other illnesses. I myself tend to get very worked up when I'm having anxiety symptoms, and look them up online (bad idea) and become convinced I have some form of illness or another.
Kitt is right, try to stay in the moment. I always ask myself: "ok, i'm feeling anxious, but RIGHT NOW is anything bad happening?" and remember to breathe deeply
Good Luck to you!

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40406
   Posted 7/14/2008 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
It sounds to me like the numbness and tingling could be coming from poor circulation due to smoking so much. You said that you were a heavy smoker. Well that definately slows down the circulation of your blood which in turn causes numbness and tingling in the extremities. Try exercising more and smoking less.

  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 752
   Posted 7/15/2008 3:22 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi penalties..I think to put your mind at ease  - seek medical advice with these symptoms :-)

Sista J.

Love All
Trust a Few
But Always paddle your own Canoe...

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10384
   Posted 7/15/2008 6:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Penalties, the symptoms you're describing are classic anxiety symptoms. Be sure you're breathing slowly and regularly, as hyperventilation is one anxiety manifestation that can cause numbness and tingling. And you're smart, you've already discovered a way to lower your anxiety - keeping active. I'd suggest while you're waiting for the results and you start getting these feelings, get up and find something to occupy your mind. Read, write a book, play video games, go for a run, whatever will occupy your mind and keep it from straying down that undesirable path.

If you receive a negative report and still feel anxious, you simply must see a professional counselor to help you find out why you have this anxiety and how to deal with it. Good luck!
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
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Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 7/16/2008 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanx for all the replies's very heartening....Yes i really hope all these symptoms are cause of stress & they go away in's like the tingling & numbness keep lingering...& sometimes during the day for about 4 - 5 minutes it gets intense when i sit in one particular position...

My work entails travelling from time to time & i've got couple of trips coming up & hopefully i'l be able to get thru them alright.....

It's also to do with this HIV thing....i'm not generally sexually active...& it was just that moment of indiscretion & indulgence which i hope wont cost me....there are also so many opinions about HIV testing.....many poeple say that a 6 week test is accurate & generally puts you outta harms way...& i did get get a 6 week negative...others say you need to wait 3 months......which is confusing me & that's really getting the better of me...

The closer i inch towards the the 3 month mark i feel nervous...what if..what if......

Its gonna be really hard to kick the smoking habit...i'm trying.....but i'm in a country on a project & will be going back home in about 4 weeks to my home country.....where i will also be tested for HIV & any other STi's..

Also trying to keep myself busy, but when the symptoms occur especially the tingling & the numbness my mind goes back to the incident..telling myself that if i'd just been more discreet..

what could i do to tide over this......???

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17061
   Posted 7/17/2008 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Penalties!  First, I would take Judilyn's advice about breathing.  Take a deep breath through your nose and then blow it out your mouth like you were blowing through a straw.  If you do this a few times you will find yourself starting to relax. 
Now, why are you looking at all the negative aspects of your problem?  You have had positive results so far!  You are dwelling on the absolute worst even though your first test came back negative!  That was great news, Penalties!  Keep reminding yourself of that!  That is a very good sign.  I'm glad that you are getting all of the testing done so you can put these horrible thoughts to rest.  In the meantime, try not to dwell on the bad thoughts and start thinking about your good test results and just enjoy your life.  You are most likely worrying about nothing.  The worrying will not help you one single bit and it is causing you to feel ill, I think.  So go do something fun this weekend and enjoy your life!
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
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God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/17/2008 11:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Penalties!

I have pretty bad health anxiety sometimes, and your experience is centered on your health right now too. What helps some for me is to revisit my doctor and ask for a repeat of the reasons why he thinks I'm going to be okay. Even on those occasions when we've had to wait to run a test, or are waiting for results, replaying his explanations in my head calms me a little.

Considering probabilities also helps me. You've already had a 6 week negative result. That's a good sign. The chances that you've contracted HIV *and* are showing a false negative now are certainly narrow. You may not feel comfortable saying that you're 100% certain you're safe, but the odds of a mistake or a delay in symptom occurrence get slimmer and slimmer with each day. Try to remind yourself that it would have to be a very rare combination of bad luck for everything to be telling you you're ok if you're not. And how many of us, in the grips of feeling self-negative from anxiety, can convince ourselves that we're that unique? That something that happens to *no one* else will somehow latch on just especially to us?

Again, try your best to stay in the moment. Follow up with your doctors when you get home. I'm sure you'll be fine.


New Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 7/18/2008 9:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you very much percycat......i'm trying my best to divert my mind from these situations despite the fact that the symptoms exist....

I will keep you guys posted in 4 weeks time when i get home & get tested & hopefully things will improve!!! God Bless you all for having me helped me this much!!!
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