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Muscle Twitches and Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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Old 09-11-2003, 11:32 PM   #1
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Ontarian HB User
Unhappy Muscle Twitches and Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Hello, everybody!

I have recently been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

I often worry about different things, mostly diseases + I am rarely able to totally relax.

The reason that I went to seek medical help was the fact that I started getting muscle twitches all over my body..My legs and feet (especially the right leg and the right foot) twitch almost constantly. But, the twitching is not restricted to my feet and legs. I also twich in my arms, shoulders, back, buttocks, chest...Name any part of my body - it has twitched (even my private parts...sorry to be graphic). This has been going on for almost a full month now. Beside muscle twitches, I also started getting the "pins & needles" senseation (+ feeling of coldness that usually accompanies the tingling). This happens mostly in my feet, but also elsewhere.

I should mention that all these symptoms developed soon after my grandmother was diagnosed with brain cancer and I started worrying about her.

The thing is - these muscle twitches do not seem to be going away. My Dr. says that it is all anxiety-related, but I mostly get them when I am relaxed (even before I fall asleep or while I'm sleeping).

My question is: Does anybody else here experience muscle twitches as a result of their anxiety. I have read a lot about the so-called "Benign Fasciculations Syndrome". It, however, sounds a bit too weird to me that I could develop BFS at the very same time when my anxiety became more pronounced (because of my grandmother's illness).

Any info. or experiences regarding anxiety and muscle twitches will be greatly appreciated.
My main question is: Can anxiety cause your muscles to twitch all over your body even at times when you are resting?

Thank you.

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Old 09-12-2003, 12:01 AM   #2
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Sanguine HB User

Hi there,

I think the short answer to your question is "yes". Anxiety can cause a great number of physical symptoms that seem highly unlikely or unbelievable. I firmly believe the mind can create the very sensations that we fear, simply because we fear them.

Personally, I find that I have periodic anxiety in the form of dizziness and a sensation that my mind is sort of slowing down or retracting. My muscles tense up, I get slight heart palpitations, and I notice my breathing is more shallow. And once in a while, I get the most annoying eyelid twitching...which can last for as long as I am concerned about it. It truly is bizarre, but the mind can exacerbate the very physical sensations we feel and fear.

That said, eyelid twitching is a fairly common symptom of anxiety from what I understand, as is muscle tension in general. You might also consider taking more vitamins and watching your diet in the meantime --a lack of potassium can make fast twitch muscle cramp up and sort of flutter on its own. Bananas are a good source of potassium.

Good luck...

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Old 09-12-2003, 12:05 PM   #3
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Ontarian HB User

thanks a lot for your reply.

I've read that eyelid, calf and thumb muscle twitches are relatively normal for people with anxiety, but what worries me insanely is that my fasciculations occur all over my body.


Old 09-14-2003, 06:34 PM   #4
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carebear73 HB User

Ontarian, I know exactly how you feel. I get twitches CONSTANTLY.. all over my body.. mostly in my legs.. sometimes after I walk a distance, if I sit down.. the back of my thighs start twitching like crazy! Then my legs feel kind of weak. I have anxiety as well.. I have been wondering about this as well.. what can be done to stop it? Even if I don't think about it , it still happens. It is rather irritating.. and scary especially when I get twitches in my chest. I have never had those before. Let me know if you hear or come up with anything.. and I will as well.. I know how you feel. Take care.

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Old 09-14-2003, 07:21 PM   #5
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slyJohn HB User

Ontarian, your first post could have been something I could have typed exactly. But my twitching started in my left leg; I also have a pain in my upper left quads and groin area that has been checked but still no diagnosis for the pain yet. The twitching progressed to my butt, left arm, then moved to the right side of my body and now everywhere... all over a span of several months. And then later on I began to develop those cold pin/needle like feelings in my left leg which progressed through my body as well but these feelings do not last a long time and only maybe once a week. It actually feels more like small light rain drops hitting my body at first. When I wake up in the morning I do not have any twitches but they progress throughout the day. While I do not agree with my doctor that it is just anxiety, the more I read of others having this the more I start to agree. But the thing is, my twitching occurs more often where it had originated from... my leg, just like you. I strongly think that once we find the cause of the pain in my leg that the rest of the twitching will start to subside. I have been constantly worrying about what is causing this pain for several months even after a number of tests already. I should be getting final answers though by the end of this month once I get an MRI of my leg.
Yeah chest twitches are the most annoying. I get them too and when you get them around the heart area, you tend to freak out and think it's your heart. Anyhow, try to relax Octarian. Expect the twitching to get worse but it is nothing serious, and it will go away on its own over time. I have had my twitching for about 10months by the way.

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Old 09-14-2003, 08:01 PM   #6
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pauline38 HB User

Don't worry, I have had the same exact problem. If you saw my post on Paxil, the "medical problem" I mentioned was generalized muscle twitching. It stared in my neck and around my mouth and eye and then spread to the rest of my body, even my tongue. It went on for months and is still happening but not quite as strong or frequent. They will die down eventually, I don't notice them much anymore. I was really worried it was something serious and had an mri and emg -- both normal. My doctor assumed it was anxiety related and said the Paxil would take care of it == WRONG! It is this Benign Fasciliation Syndrome which is often caused by a virus. Certainly anxiety can make it worse as it can anything so try to relax because most everyone agrees it does go away eventually or at least lessens after several months (usually 6 months or so). Good luck and havea glass of wine and relax but don't even think about taking antidepressants for a benign problem!

Old 09-15-2003, 01:12 AM   #7
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Jessers HB User

I don't feel there's anything wrong with you that would cuase any severe concern! Ever heard of RLS (restless leg syndrome)? Well I have it, and every one of your symptoms, I had, even the fact that my father and grandma had such symptoms...see your doctor, look into RLS, ask for Mirapex, your anxiety, jumpiness and numbness MAY GO AWAY! EMAIL ME!

Old 09-16-2003, 10:30 AM   #8
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Ontarian HB User


I wasn't here for a few days and look at all these replies.

I agree with Carebear and SlyJohn that chest twitches are the worst. Whenever they happen to me, I feel that my body is decomposing.

Thanks for all the insights, guys. I'm glad I'm not the only one with the twitching problem (Not that I wish these twitches to anyone).

My twitching seems to be getting better and, then, worse, depending on a day (or time of the day). Just when I think they're calming down, various muscles will start twitching uncontrollably. The worst fasciculations are in my right foot. It feels as if I have some bugs under my skin.

I still have hard time believing that all these twitches are caused by my anxiety, especially because they seem to be happening when I'm relaxed (also, they are worst a few days following a good exercise).

I have a feeling that these fasciculations are somehow triggered by anxiety and, once here, they become independent from stress, nervousness, anxiety and start acting on their own.

I started seeing a psychologist for my generalized anxiety, but I am in a very serious doubt that he'll be able to help me with these twitches...Oh, well,...At least my anxiety might improve...

I've read on BFS and it says everywhere that doctors don't really know what causes it. How do you know that BFS is caused by a virus?
The worst thing about BFS is that muscle fasciculations actually do not disappear with time and that you might have them for the rest of your life. That's, of course, the worst-case scenario.
Muscle fasciculations can also be caused by magnesium and/or calcium deficiency, lack of vitamin B, etc. Go figure...
I just hope we all get rid of them, because they can be extremely annoying...

Old 08-20-2007, 08:05 AM   #9
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Montreal
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clonalmachina HB User
Re: Muscle Twitches and Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Hello Group,

Reading your posts really made me feel better. Thank you. . In my case it is almost certainly the cause of anxiety. You may be interested in reading some of the work on stress by Robert Sapolsky:

His dire consequences of long term degeneration does not apply to our cases. In short I believe the source of all of our neurological problems is the accumulation of damage to our cells by STRESS via the endocrine system! I had quite a few extremely stressful life events in the last 4 years, and my job is really stressful. The one difference is that I cannot seem to gain weight, all my life it has been this way, plus I am a nervous person. So I wonder if I have an over active Thyroid...?

My twitching started after a really intense squash match, followed directly by another stressful life event. My neurons just said, "OK, we give up!".

So I am going to take action:

my plan 1) a regiment of healthy food and exercise+vitamin B complexes etc..
++rexorubia salt mix may be included (says it helps for muscles and nerves)
2) a vacation
3) no more damn news media preaching fear
4) meditation (alan watts and mentally versing the japanese
5) go to a sports clinic and sign up for full body massage sessions.
6) more time with my hobbies (reading and music)

I advise anyone suffer from stress related disorders to TAKE ACTION to reduce the stress on the long term ASAP.

Please add to my list of relaxing activities, and also comment on how to know if I have an overactive thyroid.

thank you and good luck.

ps Ontaian-when you relax it is normal for it to get worse, due to the loss of control from your cortex, don't worry it is anxiety!

Last edited by ms_mod; 08-20-2007 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Don't post "How To" search instructions. Ms_Mod

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