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  • Anxiety, Health Problem, or just Overreaction?

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    Old 07-09-2012, 04:31 PM   #1
    GDR720's Avatar
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    Anxiety, Health Problem, or just Overreaction?

    Hey all, I'm a long-time lurker, first-time poster. This is going to be a long one, and I'm sorry about that!

    I've always been anxious particularly about health stuff-- I'm almost 22 and it's been going on since I was 12. But the past two months, it's gotten out of control. I just graduated, and I have no idea what's next in life, so my brain is using the new-found time to work against me.

    I had mono a little over a year ago, and since then I guess I've felt a little directionless and down. I was also in one of the huge tornadoes last spring, and I still have nightmares about it, so I guess Post-Traumatic stuff might be taking it's own toll as well. I was down in the winter like I always am, but didn't seem to bounce back like usual after graduation. Then it got worse.

    About a month and a half ago I had an episode of long-lasting chest and stomach pains. Convinced it was the world's longest heart-attack, but also knowing I was going to just sound ridiculous, I finally went to the doctor and got diagnosed with GERD.

    Normally, going to the doctor resets my anxiety and hypochondria, allowing a long time of calm (4-6months) before the next freakout. This time, it didn't.

    I started noticing joint pain in my hands without swelling, and tingling/numbness in my my hands and feet. I started having headaches and worrying my vision was weird (light sensitivity, some focusing problems, lingering afterimages, trouble with motion on TV screens). After several weeks of this, I went to the doctor one day because I was feeling clammy and dizzy, and Dr. Google had me convinced I had diabetes.

    All the blood tests came back negative for everything, as did the physical neuro test they did (stand on one foot, touch your finger to your nose, etc.), so they did an x-ray of my head, and found a frontal sinus infection. The treatment for that is finished, but the dizzy spells linger on worse than ever, as does head pressure/headaches and vision that is slightly weird. Sometimes a mental fogginess and general grogginess joins the party. Not to mention the intermittent "I feel like I have a term paper due tomorrow" anxiety over my health or over absolutely nothing. I can't get to sleep from worrying, until past three a.m. most nights. Between the TMJ I believe I have, the GERD, and my anxiety, all these symptoms are totally explainable.

    But then, a brain tumor could also explain much of this. Guess which one my mind is going with.

    So tomorrow, I'm going back to the doctor, and I really need some advice about the following things:

    --do I confess to the doctor that I'm a hypochondriac, or not mention it, in case it makes them not take me seriously?

    --should I request an MRI? How stupid will this make me look? I feel like I wont be able to put this to rest until I have one, but I'm scared of looking like a crazy idiot.

    --Is my anxiety bad enough to even be looking into possible medications? Or am I just obsessing over it to the point where I'm *making* it bad? Maybe I just need to suck it up and distract myself like I always have before, until it goes away.

    --What if the doctor pats me on the head and says it's nothing, and my anxiety will sort itself out? I'm not sure I'll be able to accept that.

    If I were reading this post by someone else, I guess I know the sort of advice I'd be giving. But I'm terrible at taking my own advice, so I'm asking for any you guys are willing to give. If you even manage to make it all the way through this post, it's already more than I expect!

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    Old 07-09-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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    Re: Anxiety, Health Problem, or just Overreaction?

    I've been having similar symptoms for approximately 8 months now. I thought I was going to die many times because I felt so terrible. It is looking like my stomach plays a big role. The only advice that I can give is that if you are feeling sick, keep going to the doctor and never tell a doctor that you are a little hypocondriac. Most doctors now days stop looking and blame every symptom you are experiencing on anxiety. Hope you feel better soon!

    Old 07-10-2012, 12:49 AM   #3
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    Re: Anxiety, Health Problem, or just Overreaction?

    Anxiety can cause a lot of different things. It is okay to get everything checked out just to be safe and then if everything comes back normal than you can focus on trying to get your anxiety under control. I have been having issues with anxiety for the last 7 months. I tried medications but for me they didn't help. Reading books on anxiety has helped a lot and trying to stay busy. I went to a nautropath doctor for my stomach issues and she gave me some suggestions about herbal treatment for anxiety. That has also helped and they are not addicting and doesn't come with the side effects that some of the meds come with. I found that understanding why you have the anxiety helps so maybe reading or seeing a therapist may help you. Good Luck and hope you feel better.

    Old 07-11-2012, 01:07 AM   #4
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    Re: Anxiety, Health Problem, or just Overreaction?

    I think that anxiety is as real as the physical symptoms. It's right to not tell your doc that you've been panicky and worrying, because even IF that's the cause, you may still have developed some negative physical manifestation of that anxiety that can be treated.

    Old 07-12-2012, 07:49 AM   #5
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    Re: Anxiety, Health Problem, or just Overreaction?

    I have a similar story. Been anxious since as far back as I can remember. Graduated college and something "snapped" and the horrible thoughts and sensations hit full force. That was 2 years ago. I have since been taken by ambulance once, had echocardiogram and several other hearts tests. Since the medical testing has *somewhat* convinced me my heart is fine my thoughts have now manifested in my lungs and I always feel smothered or like I have to make myself breath. I have never been on meds but did 18 months of CBT. It's been a year since any therapy so I'm thinking that's why old anxieties are manifesting again. I have even started thinking to find a new doc and get lung tests but like you, I know it's not right, but I still want to. When I went to the heart doc, I did mention that I had anxiety so I think you should, too....let us know what you decide to do and thanks for your post!

    Last edited by msmod; 07-12-2012 at 08:26 AM.

    Old 07-12-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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    Re: Anxiety, Health Problem, or just Overreaction?

    I have the same thing going on. I feel like I forse myself to breathe out. I was told it is anxiety, but until I get my lungs checked I'm not going to be able to focus on getting the anxiety under control. I feel like all I do is go to doctor appts. anymore.

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