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Old 09-08-2005, 02:05 PM   #1
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How does a doctor diagnosis Anxiety Disorders?..

I'm just curious how a doctor would go about figuring out if someone has an anxiety disorder or not.. Probably from a psychologist? =\

I've always worried about everything. But lately, it's gotten BAD. I get nervous/scared very, very easily and I start to feel lightheaded, my body feels rrrreally "off".. and just weird, and I feel as if I may pass out. I had to leave my college class today because of it. Sometimes it happens outta no where & sometimes it's me.. just getting nervous or scared about my health or daily activites.. It's gotten me really scared & I'm not sure what to do about it. My thyroid is being tested & I haven't gotten the results back just yet.. could a thyroid disorder make my anxiety worse?

Also, panic attacks/severe anxiety runs in my family. If I truely have this, how would I go about getting up.. or possibly meds? They seem to help my family members.. =\

I'd also like to add I have OCD, depression.. I've always experienced some type of anxiety. =\

Last edited by Kiyuri07; 09-08-2005 at 02:11 PM.

 
Old 09-08-2005, 02:14 PM   #2
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Graciecat HB UserGraciecat HB User
Re: How does a doctor diagnosis Anxiety Disorders?..

There is no test for panic and anxiety.
The only real way to diagnose panic and anxiety is to run tests to rule out other illnesses.
I've heard panic/anxiety disorder described as the "Great Mimic" or the "Great Pretender", because the symptoms you have with those disorders are also the symptoms you have with some physical disoders.

A good GP...and I had a great one, will run tests to rule out other things.
I had all kinds of heart tests, everything was fine there.
I had blood tests for high or low blood sugar, thyroid problems and a couple of other things that I can't remember.
In short I had every test known to man I think .
Actually that easied my mind a great deal, at least I knew what I had wasn't going to kill me.
After all those tests came back normal, then and only then was I diagnosed with Panic disorder.
IMO, if you go to a GP and all he does is ask you a couple of questions and then tells you that you have panic/anxiety disorder without running any tests, it's time to find a new GP.

 
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Old 09-08-2005, 02:42 PM   #3
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Re: How does a doctor diagnosis Anxiety Disorders?..

you need to explain all your symptoms to your doc. I was seen for years, (by old school gp who cause id had a baby assumed i had postnatal depression and anxiey- it turns out he was right but you still need that reasurance). ive had various tests for all the usual things the only thing that was ever found was that im anemic (which i still think contributes to a lot of my symtoms), we eventually got a new doc at our pratice who has been my life saver, he tried to rule out anything physical before offering any medication (he thought all along that my symptoms were caused by anxiety- but didnt just assume. IT WAS A great reflief to discover i wasnt actually dying of some disease although i still have theses thoughts that i am. Even the most unsypathetic doctor should be able to pick up the telltale signs between anxiety and serious illness, if not ASK for a second opinion. I too have a family history of ocd, depression and anixety. Your not alone with this,post back to let us know how your doin. Good luck

 
Old 09-08-2005, 04:02 PM   #4
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Re: How does a doctor diagnosis Anxiety Disorders?..

There are lists of criteria that doctors use to diagnose panic disorder. You can find them on the internet. Panic attacks are also symptomatic of other disorders (OCD, depression, phobias, drug abuse, etc.), and are not classified as panic disorder per se. Like the people above have said, the doctor will ask many questions to try to focus in on a patient's particular problem, so they will know how best to treat the condition.

 
Old 09-08-2005, 06:46 PM   #5
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Re: How does a doctor diagnosis Anxiety Disorders?..

I thank you all SO much for your advice & comments! =D

I'm not sure if I'll be able to get another doctor's opinion.. See, I'm currently going to a small doctor's office.. which costs $25 a visit, I guess you call them health clinics?.. I don't have a doctor. I don't have a job so I can't afford a doctor, I guess.. lol I'm only 20, and my mother passed away when I was 18, so I'm new at finding doctors & stuff on my own.. =\

I'll be sure to talk to the doctor I've been seeing. She's really nice.. but I keep thinking that she doesn't know alot? lol, I dunno..

Anyways, I'll be sure to let her know how I've been feeling & all about my anxiety problems. Thanks for the help, guys. =)

 
Old 09-08-2005, 09:13 PM   #6
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Re: How does a doctor diagnosis Anxiety Disorders?..

Synesthesiia:

If you are in college, is there a health care center on your campus? When I was in college, we could get health care for free...I'm sure it's different now, but something might be available to you that you haven't considered. At the very least there should be counselors there that could guide you to the help you need. You should also be able to find a psychologist who will treat you on a sliding scale (based on your ablility to pay...sometimes it could be free). Look in the phone book and make some calls.

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Just the thought of you going through this without your mom brings tears to my eyes. I hope you will keep reaching out for help here, or elsewhere, and continue to take care of yourself like your mother would want you to.

There are medications you can take on an as-needed basis, to help you on days like you had today in school. I take the generic Xanax called Alprazolam .5 mg., and it costs about $8 for 30 pills. I only take it when I really need it, for anxiety attacks like you describe, and 30 lasts me for a couple of months...especially if I only need to take a half a pill.

I also wanted to say that, yes, a thyroid problem could cause the symptoms you describe, but under the circumstances of your life, I would bet on anxiety being your problem. It's still a good idea to rule out physical illnesses and I'm glad you have someone helping you with that.

Remember, don't be scared by panic attacks. They are scary and do come out of nowhere, but they cannot hurt you. Try deep, even breathing when you feel anxious. You are doing the right thing by researching and reaching out for help. I'll be keeping good thoughts for you. Take care.

-SRMom

Last edited by SRMom; 09-08-2005 at 09:16 PM.

 
Old 09-10-2005, 09:42 AM   #7
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Re: How does a doctor diagnosis Anxiety Disorders?..

*hugs* Thank you SO much, SRMom. =D

I'm not sure if my college has a health center, it's just a small community college so I kinda doubt it. =\ I'm sure we have counselors though, so I'll be sure to try and talk to one soon! I didn't even think asking them for help. =\

And yeah, going through all of this without my mom is very difficult, but I have the most wonderfulest boyfriend ever, he's been taking very good care of me. Especially making sure I don't freak out or worry too much. =P Which I do at times, lol.

When I go back to the doctor's office, I'll be sure to mention my anxiety problems! I'm kinda starting to think it's not just anxiety.. I think something else is causing my anxiety to become worse. My neck is swelling and I ache under my arms, sometimes around my chest.. I dunno if stress or anxiety could cause that. =\ I'm just not sure.

Monday, I'm going to go have an ultrasound done on my neck to see what's causing the swelling. HOPEFULLY, this will be able to tell me something! I just hope we find out the cause right away, so I can get started on fixing it.. and feeling better. =) I'm TERRIFIED of doctors, so I'm really proud of my self lately! I've been seeing the doctor alot, lol.. probably too often, lol.

Anyways, I'm very thankful for you & all the advice you've given me. I rrrreally appreciate it lots! Thank you SO much, SRMom. =D

 
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