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dilated pupils?

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Old 06-07-2006, 07:21 PM   #1
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moesciphish HB User
Unhappy dilated pupils?

Does anxiety cause dilated pupils? I have teddy bear eyes when I'm feeling really anxious... of course, I still can't figure out if it is true anxiety or a physical symptom causing the anxiety. I also sometimes notice I have bilateral mydriasis at times (basically one eye is more dilated than the other). Anyone get horrible body aches also and have received relief from meds? I've been having health issues, and am trying to find what's going on. It's caused me alot of anxiety and even panic attacks which I now have learned how to control by actually making myself have them and realizing that I am the one making them come on, not that I am dying or anything like that. Problem with the health issues, which I know I have, I can't tell which symptoms are from the health problems or from the anxiety... I'll list my symptoms and see which sound common to just anxiety:

out of it feeling, though not always and can't find a trigger
strange burning/electric sensations in my legs/arms/body sometimes
horrible pain in chest, back, muscles, joints
slow gastric emptying
tingling in head/pins and needles
temple aches and headaches
FREEZING cold hands at times (can this really be anxiety? vasoconstriction?)
sensitivity to light and sound and hypersensitivity to pain, like just sitting on a hard surface makes my butt ACHE or leaning my leg up against something hard causes intense pain easily, just poking my ribs causes intense pain also (I know with anxiety problems pain thresholds are lowered quite dramatically, or maybe fibro? Is fibro psychological?)
horrible intensified doppler effect
dizziness especially when standing up real quick
memory loss
hard to concentrate
find it hard to laugh or be happy because of constant worry about health
several others...

I guess after exhausting many medical options (cardiologist, neurologist, gastroenterologist), I'm considering psychosomatic causes and going on meds, but all the anxiety meds I've heard seem to CAUSE anxiety... I mean anti-depressants do atleast... I don't know about the benzo's, but man are they addictive... I know I've become depressed and very scared about my health, which is causing the anxiety, so feeling not depressed would help I'm sure.. but from what I've read, the meds can cause anxiety... I also have sinus arrhythmia and I know tricyclics can cause even more arrhythmia... oh what to do...I'm still not convinced it's not something physical also..because sometimes I am relaxed and don't feel like I should be anxious and still have the physical symptoms...

can they test for low serotonin levels to tell if it is psychosomatic? I mean, would a low serotonin level be definitive of depression/anxiety? Not just psychological analysis?

Last edited by moesciphish; 06-07-2006 at 07:29 PM.

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Old 06-07-2006, 07:32 PM   #2
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hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User
Re: dilated pupils?

anxiety can cause blurred vision, tunnel and fading vision, I dont know how the pupils react
also read up on the effects of the fight or flight response
Life is not a dress rehearsal

Old 06-07-2006, 07:36 PM   #3
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moesciphish HB User
Re: dilated pupils?

here's a question, I pretty sure I have digestive issues, maybe malabsorption.. if my body isn't getting enough l-tryptophan or other nutrients, could that cause low serotonin levels? I know back in the day, the drug propaganda would tell you that you only have a limited amount of serotonin and onces it's gone it's gone... but I did read l-tryptophan is a precursor for 5-HTP and eventually serotonin,... they used to sell l-tryptophan but had to remove it because of a contamination or something...

Old 06-07-2006, 07:55 PM   #4
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hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User
Re: dilated pupils?

I dont know the answer but you could see if its back on sale
Life is not a dress rehearsal

Old 06-07-2006, 08:12 PM   #5
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Location: Anderson, IN
Posts: 259
haileysheets HB User
Re: dilated pupils?

I have generalized anxiety disorder AND my pupils appear to be dilated most of the time. In fact, people will often ask me if I've recently been to the eye doctor and had my eyes dilated. My pupils are so large that I can't have Lasik. I never throught that the two things might be related, but it's weird now that you mention it...

Old 06-07-2006, 09:09 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Calgary, AB
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Therapeutic HB User
Re: dilated pupils?

I have very large pupils as well. When starting a new SSRI my pupils become extremely dialated as well, especially at night. In the sun, they are not as bad, but can still be dialated. I also know that anxiety can cause this, but i'm not sure why

Old 06-08-2006, 05:12 PM   #7
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SRMom HB User
Re: dilated pupils?

Dilated pupils are related to the fight or flight response. If you've read about this, you know humans evolved with this to help save them from danger like being chased by large predatory animals. The fight or flight response gives us an adrenaline boost which helps give us needed energy to flee from danger, increased heart rate and blood supply to the muscles, and it also causes our pupils to dilate to give us better vision. With constant anxiety and worry, our bodies begin to have this fight or flight response even when there is no real or serious danger.

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