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Old 07-04-2013, 12:37 PM   #1
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How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Sorry if this is not the real place to ask this, I'm new to this forum.
I'm 18 years old and I've been obsessed with brain tumor since forever. Two years ago, I started to feel weird sensations in my head, like a pressure or sharp pains that last for about 5-10 seconds. But, after one week the pain went away. One year later, I got my first panic attack, followed by shortened breath, tachycardia, nausea, etc. The next day the pain in my head showed up again. It didn't go away for two weeks (it doesn't hurt the whole day but for example, 3 times a day for about a few seconds - enough to scare me), so I visited a neurologist who told me that the pain is probably caused by my neck and back problems. I was scared because it hurts on the back of my head and scalp, not temples or forehead and he told me that the muscle knots cause pain. But, the pain didn't stop and I was totally freaked out so he told me to do a CT scan, just so that I could convince myself that I don't have brain tumor, cause that was the only thing I talked about. The scan was clear and I kinda felt relieved but not for a long time. The pain in my head and my panic attacks continued for the next three months and when I finally decided to visit a psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with health anxiety. After long talks, the panic attacks disappeared but not the head pains. I mean, I was better, I started to get them only twice a week for example but there were times when it could hurt for 10 days and then disappear for a week. It just can't go away forever! Why can't it? I visited 3 different neurologists and did a CT scan again (clear) and all of them told me it's just my anxiety and the pain won't go away until I convince myself that it's not a brain tumor. But I can't, since the pain is here all the time, I'm not one of those people who will ignore the pain and continue living life normally. I'm so desperate...

 
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:18 AM   #2
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

My question is why do you think brain tumor when there are 100s of other issues that could cause pain in the back of the head and scalp as you have described?

Are you desperate because of the obsessive feelings you have about brain tumors specifically or is the desperation due to the fact that you do not know what is causing your pain or both?

Pain in the head the way you have described is most likely from your neck muscles getting tight and pressing on the underlying nerves causing pain that radiates into the head.

Have you tried bio-feed back or learned how to relax those neck and shoulder muscles during the day to minimize the stress on those muscles? Even physical therapy might help you to learn how to loosen up those muscles especially if you spend a lot of time working at computers (this can cause extreme tightness in upper body and translate into tension headaches).

None of us can diagnose what is causing your pain but we can tell you our experiences with similar situations.

Try the exercise and relaxation techniques to lessen the stress on those upper body muscles and the biofeedback and see if that helps you.

Additionally, I believe that prayer helps. I will pray that you get relief from your pain and from your obession.

 
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:42 AM   #3
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

You must have done some MRI or sth like that. So try to understand those report first and then you will be your doctor saying you have no brain tumor...

 
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:21 AM   #4
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Thank you. I think I just need to hear this from more people, since none of my friends have experienced something like this and I felt like I was alone in this.

 
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:55 AM   #5
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Jimmy,

It is good that you have the CT scans that show your brain is clear. It is also good that you continue to seek an answer to why you are having pain.

During this time that you are seeking the source of your pain, biofeedback, physical therapy and meditation can teach you incredible coping skills. Not only for pain, but for all of life's situations.

I spent years scoffing at those type of people that meditated. I tried it and thought it was for crazies. Finally my health got so bad and more than that I was in a constant state of panic about what was wrong with me and why no one could tell me why I was in so much pain.

Desperate, I told myself that no matter what happened, I would spend 8 weeks doing the mediation program (I went to the library and got the Jon Kabat-Zinn Stress Reduction meditation program on CD) and my life began to change.

The first three days I almost quit several times even though you only have to sit and be quiet and breath for 15 minutes a day. I could not get my mind to stop racing in all directions. And how to breath deeply - my body would not do it.

However, I persevered and made it into week two. wow. I started to learn to calm my breath and get through the exercises/meditation for the 15 minutes. In the second week I realized that when I was in a stressful situation my body automatically started to calm itself without me even thinking about it. This was a total surprise.

By the third week I was in complete disbelief at the subtle but profound way that meditation was impacting my life - all of my life from pain management to relationships were getting better, calmer more joyfilled.

Take it from me, if you knew me you would know that I am the last person to do physical therapy and meditate. Now I do my PT exercises daily and meditate daily because it has become as necessary as breathing to my life.

I hope you will give it a try.

Additionally, people all over the world care about you and want to help (someone from Bangladesh responded to your request for help, I am from the USA).

(The best gift I can offer you is my prayers and my experience.) My prayers are with you. Please keep us posted on your progress and do not give up.

Hang in there.

 
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Old 07-07-2013, 02:52 PM   #6
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Thank you! I will try meditatation, a lot of people have told me it would help me. I'm going on a vacation with friends tomorrow and I hope everything is going to be okay there.

 
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Old 07-12-2013, 08:20 AM   #7
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Jimmy18,

How did the vacation with friends go?

Even if friends don't really get it - good friends do their best to help in any way they can. Have you tried being honest with your friends about your fears? Sometimes people surprise you and can be very helpful and supportive. (it works both ways though)

You might try keeping a pain journal. Get a notebook filled with lined paper and each day date a page and write up when you have pain, what you were doing prior to the onset of pain, how long did it last, how bad was it and what type of pain was it and where the pain was located, and what you did to try to resolve the pain or cope with it or make it better. Write down whatever you think is important.

After a few weeks review your notes and you will be surprised at patterns and things that stand out about your pain and causes and effect etc. that you didn't realize or see before.

This is an awesome tool in pain management. I started to see patterns to my pain - and the ways I dealt with pain. It helped me figure out what caused spikes in my pain and different ways I reacted to it. I even figured out that certain foods make me feel better and some worse.

I began to use the journal as an experiment in my life to overcome pain. I would add say fish oil to my diet and see if - over time - that changed what I wrote down in my pain journal. it has been very interesting and helpful for me to kind of know how to better control my pain.

When you get back from vacation stop in and let us know how you are doing.

 
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:33 PM   #8
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Thank you for asking about my vacation. It was really, really fun, despite the fact that I still got head pains. I tried not to focus on them and enjoy my time. Thanks for your advice, I've never thought of something like that before. If it helps, I'll try the journal thing for sure. Anyway, I'm thinking about visiting a psychiatrist again but I don't want to take antidepressants. Would it be a good idea?

 
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Old 07-22-2013, 05:45 AM   #9
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Jimmy,

If you find a psychiatrist that you connect with and one that is helpful to you, someone who gives you good ideas about how to handle your particular obstacles and concerns - it is always a good idea to seek help.

Regarding the anti-depressants, if you do not feel depressed or do not want to take a medication, do not take it.

I do not know much about your diagnosis other than health anxiety and pains in the head. Anti-depressants would not be warranted for those issues. (Sometimes anti-depressants are used for chronic pain and maybe that is why the doctor wanted to prescribe them to you?)

Additionally, any time a person has chronic pain and most medical tests to diagnose that pain come back normal, doctors automatically gravitate toward the pain being a result of mental stress or some "mental" issue. The concept that it is "all in your head". If a doctor cannot find some obvious reason for your pain it reasons that they would think to look at the person's mental health or the mind.

Stress does increase pain and some anxiety about that pain is natural. It sounds like you are fixated on one diagnosis(brain tumor) that has been ruled out by all available medical tests.

This is where a psychologist can help you figure out why you are fixated on this particular diagnosis versus the other ones that could fit your symptoms and then provide you ways to retrain your brain to perceive the pain differently, to react to the head pain differently, so you do not automatically and immediately think the pain is a brain tumor (which it is not).

Definitely seek ongoing treatment regarding the mental fixation you have. Also be vigilant about what the head pain is and more importantly is not. Figure this out through journaling (keeping the pain journal to see what comes before, during and after the headaches), through talking with friends and being honest about what you are feeling and through meditation/relaxation techniques to help you through all of life's obstacles (good and bad).

Also, exercise is key. I love to exercise. Many people don't, but some sort of daily exercise does wonders for the body, mind and soul.

Keep us posted. I am praying for you.

I might add that sometimes it can help to talk to your friends about what you are going through. Find a friend that connects with you that seems to be able to help you through this or to listen to your fears. Those types of friends are priceless and accept you no matter what.

 
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:48 AM   #10
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy18 View Post
Sorry if this is not the real place to ask this, I'm new to this forum.
I'm 18 years old and I've been obsessed with brain tumor since forever. Two years ago, I started to feel weird sensations in my head, like a pressure or sharp pains that last for about 5-10 seconds. But, after one week the pain went away. One year later, I got my first panic attack, followed by shortened breath, tachycardia, nausea, etc. The next day the pain in my head showed up again. It didn't go away for two weeks (it doesn't hurt the whole day but for example, 3 times a day for about a few seconds - enough to scare me), so I visited a neurologist who told me that the pain is probably caused by my neck and back problems. I was scared because it hurts on the back of my head and scalp, not temples or forehead and he told me that the muscle knots cause pain. But, the pain didn't stop and I was totally freaked out so he told me to do a CT scan, just so that I could convince myself that I don't have brain tumor, cause that was the only thing I talked about. The scan was clear and I kinda felt relieved but not for a long time. The pain in my head and my panic attacks continued for the next three months and when I finally decided to visit a psychiatrist, I was diagnosed with health anxiety. After long talks, the panic attacks disappeared but not the head pains. I mean, I was better, I started to get them only twice a week for example but there were times when it could hurt for 10 days and then disappear for a week. It just can't go away forever! Why can't it? I visited 3 different neurologists and did a CT scan again (clear) and all of them told me it's just my anxiety and the pain won't go away until I convince myself that it's not a brain tumor. But I can't, since the pain is here all the time, I'm not one of those people who will ignore the pain and continue living life normally. I'm so desperate...
If the pain persists seek further help! An MRI SCAN SHOWS UP MORE THAN A CT SCAN and an aniogram shows us anything they miss! My young son aged 26 nearly died as he had an AVM FISTULA that went undetected as scans do not show this! He was begging for help and was even ridiculed by some but HE KNEW HIS HEAD PAINS WERE REAL! He had a whooshing sound in his head and severe head pains and a doctor put a stethescope behind his ear and could hear the blood whooshing!

One way of detecting an AVM fistula! I don't want to scare you but my son nearly died at Christmas because his illness had gone undetected! Now he is on disability and is left with permanent eye damage at age 33 years old!

NEVER BE SCARED TO SPEAK OUT TO THE DOCTORS! DON'T BE EASILY FOBBED OFF! If you have head pain there is a reason! Hope you get it sorted!

 
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:32 PM   #11
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Well, that didn't help at all.

powergrub thank you very much for all your advice!

 
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:54 PM   #12
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Sorry but i had to share this because of my son's experience and I dont want anyone being fobbed off! He was ridiculed for 10 years! I share this out of concern but it might not be applicable to you! But these kind of things need advertising more as not all doctors pick it up!

 
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:39 PM   #13
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Yeah, it's okay... I'm sorry about your son thought and I'm glad he's okay now.
It's just not easy for me to hear something like this, since all of my doctors and psychiatrists try to convince me that there is nothing wrong with me and when I finally somehow start to believe it - bam! somebody tells me that it could be something that the doctors couldn't see.

 
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:48 PM   #14
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Hope you get the answers you need and find the right people to help you whether it be through pyschiatrists or surgeons! My thoughts and prayers are with you! My son no longer has those terrible crippling headaches! It is so good to see him pain free!

 
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:09 AM   #15
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Re: How do I convince myself that it's not brain tumor?

Jimmy,

People are just trying to help you - especially a mom (Lindyrosette). Mothers are true saints and I cannot even comprehend the prolonged pain that both Lindyrosette and her son endured - for 10 years - trying to get to the bottom of her son's head pain.

Her true motherness shone through in her post and she is trying to protect you and help you and guide you in the only way she can relate to your post.

She is right about figuring out the source of your pain, your headaches. That is why I suggested you try the "journaling" to see if you can figure it out on your own. What things might trigger the headaches, say a food, the panic attacks, too much sugar or caffeine etc.

Most headaches are tension or stress related. And your panic attacks cause your muscles to tightened up and contract so hard that the muscles press on the nerves and you get head pain and body pain etc. When you have a panic attack your entire body goes into that fight or flight response.....your whole body reacts not only your brain.

The side effects from a panic attack, as you know, can last several days - even a week or longer depending on how you treat your condition and the attack. If you have panic attacks several times a week your brain and body gets conditioned to know that something is "going to happen" and it will not be pleasant.

Example: It is like losing control on your bike and your brain knows you are going to fall. Your brain and body "prepare" for impact. Your muscles tighten up, your heart is racing full out and your muscles and nerves are on high alert. Ready for impact.

If you are riding your bike daily and you fall everyday - your brain gets conditioned to know something negative is going to happen and your body gets ready for a fall even before it happens. Same thing with chronic panic attacks. Your brain and body begin to anticipate the attack.

Panic attacks can cause chronic head pain, but it is good for you to continue to be vigilant - start to write down when you have the headaches(time of day), how long do they last, how bad are they on a scale of 1-10, what was happening before, during and after the headache. This can help you see patterns and maybe get you closer to knowing what is going on with your body.

Also, no matter what you are dealing with, exercise and stress reduction techniques are always helpful whether you are healthy or dealing with a chronic illness. (Look up stress reduction techniques on the Internet to get some ideas.)

If you are concerned about the information that Lindyrosette shared, call your doctor and tell them your concerns and ask them to test you for it. Do whatever you need to do to help you cope.

Hang in there. My prayers are with you.

K

 
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