paresthesia & anxiety

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ivance
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/4/2017 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi all... just got back from the neurologist. The good news: apparently I don't have peripheral neuropathy. The bad news is, I don't have a concrete reason for why I have paresthesia. I've more and more suspected (and the neurologist basically confirmed) that the cause of my issues are stress/anxiety coupled with long term exhaustion.

Paresthesia emerged after around 7 months of chronic pain in forearms. Manifests as abnormal sensations (tickle feeling / strange warmth) in the palms and the feet, plus hypersensitivity in the palms and feet. P. emerged during a traumatic period of work-stress and illness (lasting seven weeks). I've recovered, but the paresthesia remained, and health-anxiety that emerged during this period gradually spiraled into obsessive-compulsive thought patterns.

I've taken the usual tests for paresthesia, apparently I am extremely healthy. The neurologist told me he's frequently had patients that have this paresthesia, and that it stems from long-term stress and exhaustion.

If I do deep breathing, i can control/reduce the sensations ... sometimes partially, a few times totally. I'm taking amitriptyline (25 mg), which seems to mostly help calm my mind a bit and aids me in identifying when the anxiety & paresthesia are 'rising' so I can manage it.

Smoking tobacco and MJ pretty much reduce/eliminate paresthesia for a period of time. I wonder if this is because these settle the anxiety impulses.

At this point, I am pretty sure that long-term anxiety/repressed anger across 10+ years/exhaustion is the core cause--stress hypersensitivity. Other than eating well, doing yoga, and breathing exercises, what else should I do? Neurologist suggested a therapist.

Post Edited (ivance) : 9/4/2017 12:20:49 PM (GMT-6)


Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26644
   Posted 9/4/2017 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ivance,

I am glad to hear that you were able to rule out neuropathy...good news there!

If you have done all you can with your self help and coping skills on your own...and the struggles remain...

...then yes, I absolutely agree with your doctor in seeking therapy as your next treatment option!

You will learn more tools in managing your symptoms, and lowering your overall anxiety levels in order to feel your best.

Keep us updated, so we can keep you in support!

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

ivance
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2017
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 9/9/2017 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Not sure if I've done all I can with self-help and coping... I really have only stabilized in the last three weeks. Sensations are less than before and, with the help of the amitriptyline (I assume), I'm identifying areas that stress me out and how to 'change' my response to it.

A big part of my condition, I suspect, comes from the body being in a constant stress-hyperstimulated state. When something stressful occurs, my body 'overreacts' -- and for a long time, I thought it was a medical condition of some type. After numerous tests, it's getting to the point that 1) I should seriously consider that the abnormal feelings are associated with my mind-body connection, and 2) engage in activities that help reduce stress both in the short term and the long term. This is hard, in a way... my natural reaction to confronting the chronic pain is that it must be some physical issue, rather than a mental one. But I've read that a lot of chronic pain emerges from stress & its influence on the brain, and until very recently I was having major difficulties with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, etc.--all associated with the persistent pain, and most probably augmenting it through worry, shallow breathing, OCD like thoughts, etc.

I also suspect that repetitive-stress damage in my arms and strain from computer-posture over many years are another area to work on... the anxiety/stress inflames these injuries and then adds to the sensations emerging from the extremities. Working on the sore tendons in my forearms produces some relief of pain sensations.

For example: the other night I was laying down, and felt heat / sensations... after deep breathing for 5 minutes, those sensations diminished considerably. They didn't vanish, but I've read it can take a long time to retrain the brain/body to a state of equilibrium.

Example #2 - smoking tobacco and MJ relieves the symptoms. The former, perhaps for an hour; the latter, 4-5 hours. I can actually turn the sensations off/on on the latter, using my thoughts as a 'switch'. This seems to be a product of anxiety, given these results. Hopefully, as I move forward and continue to do yoga, sleep better, do exercise, etc, I can wean myself away from these pain management tools.

Post Edited (ivance) : 9/9/2017 12:42:11 PM (GMT-6)


Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 26644
   Posted 9/9/2017 3:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I absolutely agree, and encourage you to continue with those healthy lifestyle efforts!

Look into therapy and see what your options are...

...and keep us updated so we can keep you encouraged!

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles...it empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT
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