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xersen 02-20-2007 12:37 PM

starting to lose it... need help
I really need some help. Im a 25yo male. On and off for about a year, and constantly for the past 2.5 months, i have had the following problems:

feeling intoxicated
unsteady, dizzy feeling
frequently running into objects
unbalanced, lightheaded

upper body muscle twitching, mostly in shoulder muscles

concentration problems
do weird things, completely opposite of intended goal. i.e opening dish washer instead of cupboard for food.
running red lights
can't understand what people are saying, can't follow conversations or instructions, difficult to follow along in school.
I feel like i am in a fog or not even present sometimes.

very poor short term memory
2-5 minute memory the worst

sometimes things that normally seem familiar are completely foreign
things that were once easy are now difficult and require more time.

vision problems that seem to be related to the dizziness.
frequent prescription changes
photo sensitivity
seeing latent images longer than normal in bright light.

extreme fatigue, not helped by sleep

Ive seen a doctor a few times about this, but its always the same story. "We don't know. This is all from anxiety" They put me on klonopin and was on that for about 6 months. Decided it was making things worse so i quit that.

Early on, when the problems started, i had an MRI and an EEG. both came back normal. Then symptoms seemed to go away and now came back with a vengeance this year. Ive had pretty extensive (i think) blood work and it only found that i had once had mono and epstein barr virus, but am not currently infected. Also found to have herpes simplex type 2, which was a surprise, because ive never had any kind of outbreak and I have always been safe and with the same person for 6 years.

Its ruining my life. My relationships, educational, personal, and professional are crumbling before my eyes. It takes a huge toll every day to feel like this and I worry that im really starting to lose it. I have an apt with a psych in april. but that seems really far away. I have all but given up on general practitioners. They dont seem to know what could be wrong or even really try to understand what I am explaining to them. They never even offer a conjecture about what [I]could[/I] be wrong. Maybe I expect too much.

Does any of this sound like anything? Any suggestions on what to do? I would really appreciate any help you can offer. I am really not interested in living like this forever, but its starting to look like that may be the reality of the situation.

Thanks so much

boxerlver227 02-20-2007 03:17 PM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
Just a thought have you had your ears checked??

Kasey443 02-20-2007 07:05 PM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
Your symptoms sound very similar to what I had for 6 months. I had dizziness, light headedness, trouble understanding things, remembering, thought I was going crazy. I went to the doctor for 6 months and he thought I had a virus, the steroids he finally put me on helped untill I had to stop them. They all came back right away then. I eventually found out all these symptoms were caused by a strain in my neck and upper back. If you have done any strenuous activity that your muscles are not used to, ( think back to when it started ) they can tighten up and press on the blood vessels causing lack of circulation and this can cause all of these symptoms. Muscle strain does not go away on its own, your symptoms just change. You do not necessarily have to have pain when this happens, it can come on long after the injury to the muscles. My only symptom before all this started was a stiff and aching neck a month before, which I just ignored because I thought it would go away. I only found out what it was myself when I got a dizzy spell one night, and put my hand on my neck to rub it because it was sore, when I put pressure on my neck it hurt quite a bit and was very stiff so I pressed pretty hard and found my neck was way worse than I realized, this also brought about the dizziness even more. I ended up going to physical therapy where they do soft tissue massage on the muscles, this gets all the knots out of them and frees them up and takes the pressure off the blood vessels. I only knew the cause because I had been to physical therapy before after a car accident and had the same foggy symptoms but with alot of neck and upper back pain and this time I just had the head symptoms without much neck pain. I would suggest you get checked by a physical therapist. They can pinpoint a muscle problem very quickly and you get relief very quick also. You can also ask a neuro. to check your trigger points. If this is what you have, all they do is put pressure on certain points in your back and neck and your symptoms will come on again, this is how they find out that your muscles are the cause. Good luck to you

xersen 02-20-2007 09:56 PM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
i havnt had my ears checked, but that thought has crossed my mind. you'd think that after all the times ive been to the doctor, they would at least look in my ears for inflammation. that is a good example of just how seriously they take me.... :rolleyes:

as for a back injury, i cant really think of anything happening, but ill keep it in mind for the next time i go in. i have a cardio appointment in a week, perhaps that will show something.

Kasey443 02-21-2007 06:56 AM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
The twitching in your upper muscles is a symptom of a muscle problem. You don't have to ( injure ) yourself bad to overdo a muscle. Just stretching one too much from work or exercise causes it to tighten up and press on the blood vessels. If you have no luck finding the cause, please just atleast have somebody check the muscles in your upper back and neck, just having them checked could rule out one more cause. I understand your hesitation in believing this but years ago there a poor guy on here who had been diagnosed with menieres disease, and had all of these same symptoms, he came on here because he was still searching for help. He had been diagnosed with this 2 years before. Because of all of these same symptoms, I asked him to go to a neuro. and have his trigger points checked, he went back to his own and asked to have them checked, he had barely any symptoms of a muscle problem and found out that this was the cause all along and did not have menieres disease after all. He came back on here ecstatic and was referred to physical therapy where the problem was taken care of. In two years of him going to the specialists, none had thought to check for this as the muscles that can do this can be very deep. Please atleast consider having this checked, it couldn't hurt. Good luck to you.

boxerlver227 02-21-2007 10:25 AM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
I find this interesting because I have very bad trigger points, TMJ and a tight neck and shoulders all the time.. I post on the headache board because I have chonic daily tension headaches along with all this.. There is a post on there Called Chronic tension headaches that I wrote that had lots of responses and trigger point therapy was one of them.. perhaps worth reading as well.. You will find that post on the headache board at healthboards.
AS for the dizziness. I feel like I am falling to the side, backwards, forward as if I am being forced or pulled it's that intense. I also feel like I am sinking, swaying like I have been drinking all day, along with a floaty feeling like my body weight is almost weight less.. I get the sensation as if I am on an elevator going up or down that same dropping feeling that too is very intense. I use to just get them a few times throughout the day. I remember my FIRST sensation which was years ago I was sitting at my desk at work and I felt an intense falling sensation. It scared the heck out of me and followed with a major panic attack.. I now have these wonderful feelings on a daily basis and if I am having a stressful anxious day they are that much more intense. I still think it could be related to something other then anxiety, I am thinking my daily headches, or possable inner ear or my TMJ which is
(jaw problems) from clenching do to stress.. It's hard to determine if the anxiety is causing the dizziness or if the dizziness is causing the anxiety, But I can tell you this if one is worse for me one day that means the other is 100 times worse also!! I am wondering does your lightheaded/dizziness feel like mine?? Thanks boxerlover:angel:

Kasey443 02-21-2007 10:51 AM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
boxlover, if your trigger points are bad, these are usually the cause. Have you been referred to a physical therapist who does soft tissue work? There are different types of therapy, exercises can aggravate this problem, deep tissue massage is where they knead the knots out of these problem areas and they are then no longer pressing on the blood vessels causing lack of oxygen. The guy who was diagnosed with menieres had been to many doctors, a few neuros and not one checked for this untill he went back and asked one to. It as then he found his were very bad also. He was sent to a PT. Then his own physical therapist asked what type of therapy I had because not all are taught deep tissue massage, only some are trained in this extensively. I floated around for 6 months also, and the falling sensation happened about every day, I had to catch myself. If you have bad trigger points, this is showing where the problem is coming from, sometimes you have to ask for what you want, like my friend on here did. This is a major source of lightheadness, dizziness, feeling out of it, that many many doctors don't think of as a cause.

boxerlver227 02-21-2007 11:10 AM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
Hi Kasey~
Thanks for your reply, I used to work for a PT and Dr. who specialised in this for 10 years. I used to get trigger point injections which seemed to help the problem some but was only temporary relief. The Dr. had mentioned many times this "could" be the source of my problem being that I had some trouble with my trigger points, but never really elaborated on the dizzy/foggy head feeling being connected. I know if I apply pressure to my trigger points I feel the pain radiate to my head.. I just question whether or not the type of dizziness I feel, and the brain fog, waking up feeling drunk could be related.
Thank you again for advice.. boxerlover:angel:

boxerlver227 02-21-2007 11:14 AM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
Hi Kaslager~
I am wondering as well if your dizzy/lightheadedness feels like mine? I also wanted to mention you are not alone on the Dr.'s diagnosing you as anxiety and not taking you seriously.. My Dr.'s looked at me like I was crazy when I told them how I was feeling!

Kasey443 02-21-2007 12:14 PM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
I am guessing that the injections you had were temporary because the knot in the muscle may have still been there, maybe just numb or shrunk from the injection, but not gone, comparable to a shot for my herniated disk that i had, it didn't make the herniation go away, just shrunk it slightly, so I still had symptoms, and ended up having to have surgery. The deep tissue massage started helping immediately, this completely gets rid of the knots in the muscles, I continued to get better after every session. The PT was painfull because the muscles were pretty bad and deep, but I actually went back when it happened again because it was the only thing that took care of it completely. Yes, my symptoms were pretty severe, I felt like I was floating half the time, I had trouble understanding things, I would forget simple words in the middle of a conversation, I would forget something told to me one minute before, I got dizzy spells and almost fell over, and I did wake up that way, I had every symptom you could imagine, and could not function, I even had to quit my job at the time because it was so bad. Now when I have the symptoms come on, atleast i know what to do and where to go where before, I lived on meds that didn't do a thing and had all kinds of tests that showed nothing. To this day, if I do too much physically, and have a little pain in my neck or back, if I ignore it, which i do and shouldn't, it then manages to turn into dizzy spells and light headedness again. The PT explained how the muscles work to me and how if it isn't taken care of, it then moves on to others areas as they are all connected. Upper back and neck problems usually go hand in hand. Neck problems can easily cause cognitive symptoms etc. Good luck to you. I hope you find relief.

jools182 02-28-2007 07:08 AM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
I have had similar problems

My symptoms started about 7 years ago when I was sat at work. I suddenly felt as though I was falling backwards off my chair along with the same falling kind of feeling you sometimes get when you are falling asleep. These feelings only lasted a few seconds and I seemed to be able to snap myself out of it. About 2 or 3 weeks after these symptoms I had a really bad dizzy spell, I just felt like I was losing consciousness, felt really confused and scared. I went home and went to bed for about a week, feeling like I had flu or something. Really weak and shaky and cold and dizzy.

After that I had occasional bouts of dizziness and feeling unsteady on my feet but eventually seemed to return to some normality although I never really felt 'right'.

A year or so later I started getting dizziness along with feeling flu like symptoms. I could usually tell in the morning if I was going to have a bad day, just a feeling. My symptoms then started with cold feet and lower legs and just feeling generally grotty.

Since then it seem like I have a constant level of dizziness which never really goes away along with nausea, chest pain etc. The dizziness can be very intense. I have ended up on the floor thinking I was passing out. I also sometimes get the feeling off being pushed or pulled around when walking

During this time I have been checked for Marfans Syndrome, have had ECG's blood tests, exercise tests and echoes of my heart, and tilt tests for blood pressure. I recently saw a neurologist who suggested I may be suffering from Basilar Artery Migraine. He put me on beta blockers which seemed to help a little bit for a while but then I think I passed out, I was so scared I went to the Emergency dept who said there was nothing wrong with me. I went to see my GP and he took me off the beta blockers.

I have been to the Emergency Dept about 4 or 5 times over the years because I have felt so bad like I was about to pass out

My symptoms seem to be getting more frequent these days and lasting for much longer periods of time. I have this constant dizziness, and worse still this feeling of being unreal, dreamlike, numb, somehow detached from reality

I have not had a full week in work since last October when I had a really bad episode of feeling like I was losing consciousness; I was really pale and cold.

I feel like crap the whole time and my GP doesn't seem interested in my symptoms or how scared I am.

I used to be quite sociable and I like the outdoors life and going to the gym etc, but now I am scared to go anywhere. Last time I went a decent walk I got the same symptoms again, feeling like I was passing out and feeling numb, and it also happened last time I went out on my mountain bike, so now I don't do any exercise.

I feel bad for my girlfriend too as we never go anywhere. I won't even go out for a meal these days as I just feel horrible the whole time and I am scared that I will have another of these attacks. I haven't even been to the hairdressers since September last year. Its sounds ridiculous when you write it down but it doesn't feel that way.

I went back to see a cardiologist as my Mum has contacts and got another tilt test which proved negative, however he now wants to do an Angiogram soon just to make sure, but I am so scared about this test. I have read about the risks and you can have a stroke, heart attack, kidney failure etc. My GP has expressed reluctance in letting me have this test and I don't know what to do.

I have also been to see an ENT who thinks there may be a balance problem but needs to do further tests

I want to know, should I put the Angiogram off until I have had the balance tests?

boxerlver227 02-28-2007 07:55 AM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
Hi Jools182~

I can totally related to your post. In the beginning my symptoms started out just like yours. I would suddenly get that same feeling as you when sitting in my chair at work, I would either be falling backwards or to the side. It is a very scary feeling. And as the days, months and years went on my symptoms became more frequent, and more intense.
I have been having these symptoms for "several years" now.
Back when my symptoms first started I had true vertigo~ room spinning could hardly stand. I went to the Dr. and was told I had an ear infection and was put on antibiotics. A few weeks into it I was still not feeling right and was sent for blood test, My test came back positive for Lyme Disease and was put on antibiotics again.. This went on for about 1 1/2 years, and the symptoms started to become in the form of the rocking on a boat, swaying, tilting, falling and sinking, and my favorite the elevator sensation~ just like you get when you are in an elevator!! I returned to my Dr. and was told this is NO WAY related to the Lyme and that I need to take other steps, I went to a ENT who looked in my ears, gave me a few hearing test, and sent me on my way with some nasal spray, and no money left in my pockets..
I was then sent to a neurologist who did the "basic" in office test and said I need to see a cardiologist, Went to the cardiologist who ran tons of test and monitors and said everything was normal, seen a physical therapist thinking it was neck related, Returned back to my MD who said oh it's just stress and anxiety!!! Yeah I developed anxiety over this period of time, first from not knowing what the heck was wrong with me, and second for feeling like this and my life being on hold!! My life has become so frustrating, and doing things that were once so simple, became a major task. I started to give up on finding answers to the cause, because I started running out of money and wasn't getting answers. I developed daily chronic tension headaches which make the dizzies worse panic disorder, from everything being so off..
It truly has been a nightmare!! :dizzy:
I've meet a lot of people on healthboards who have been so supportive, and that have the same symptoms and no answers as well. This has helped a great deal in knowing I am NOT the only one.. I still think mine is inner ear related and hope to one day find all the answers to this horrible journey! If I WERE YOU, I would have the ENT test done first. Most people will tell you these are "classic" signs and symptoms of some type of inner ear disorder, or migraine disorder. Talk to your Doctor and see what he or she suggest about the Angiogram.. I hope to have some inner ear test done, one of these years, so I can maybe get some real answers here as to what is going on with me. Keep me posted on how you are doing, I curious to see how you do at the ENT. I know how life altering this can all be, and I am here if you need to vent!! I truly understand.. Good Luck and feel better:angel:

midgadawg 04-04-2007 04:05 AM

Re: starting to lose it... need help

How long did it take for the PT to alleviate the symptoms. I have been to PT for 2wks and my neck is still painful and i still have many of the symptoms some of the other posters had/have.

Thanks for any help.

EminEm28GurliE 04-04-2007 07:54 AM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
Kslager.. I have every single symptom you named. I feel like i'm going out of my mind.. nobody knows how bad it is. just recently i went to a 3rd ent and he thinks i might have menieres disease.. i would be releaved to finally know what's wrong with me.. but there is no cure for it and it could possibly cause you to go deaf. all i know is this is really starting to ruin my life and i don't know what to do about it

Wowwwweeee 04-05-2007 02:11 PM

Re: starting to lose it... need help
I have been dealing with imbalance/vertiginous issues for thirteen years. My symptoms mainly involve a feeling of needing to lean to the right when I walk or drive, leaning to the left when I am sitting, a feeling of being in motion when I am still, and being unable to lie flat because I will "spin" or sway.

FYI that there is a condition called Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV) that you may want to investigate. Most people think that "migraine" means "headache", but it actually means "poor blood flow".

MAV is usually brought on by a spasming of the arteries at the base of the brain. It can be "triggered" by things like food allergies, weather/pressure, stress, hormones (for the ladies) to name a few. But it also can be genetic.

MAV is a ruling out diagnosis, meaning that you can't define MAV by a head scan or blood test. Usually, the more obvious conditions that can cause head symptoms are ruled out first. MAV is also partially defined by how responsive a person is to medication for treatment, and for the ladies, if the symptoms worsen around or during the menstrual cycle.

MAV can cause a host of bizarre symptoms, some of which can be thought of as neurological in nature.

And a person DOES NOT have to have a headache with MAV.

MAV can come and go, but it can also be every day. Symptoms may vary depending on the trigger and the length and severity of arterial spasming.

If you do a search on my current and older (Wowwweee) user name, you may find something helpful.

There is more information on these kinds of symptoms on the Inner Ear boards.

Take care.

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