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JasonMerrill 09-26-2001 07:19 AM

Is fear of having an undiagnosed but serious illness a thing in most of your lives? I Know it sure is in mine. I had a serious episode - it was a hot day, i was in the passenger seat of a car that had no AC, and i drank A LOT of alcohol the night before. my fingers started to tingle and i thought it was a little strange but didn't think too much about it. then my arms feet and legs began to tingle. soon after my whole body was tingling, and i felt as if my bones were trying to escape my skin. my speech slurred and i had the urge to drink something cold and to cool down. my body reverted to the fetal position and my hands to fists. it took all the energy i had in my body to open my fists (i almost passed out it took so much strength) i could not move so i said (as well as i could, i was barely intelligible at this point) to take off my clothes for me. he pulled into a burger king drive thru and got me a large ice water. i poured half of it over my head (it was instinct, not a concious decision) and drank the other half in 1 or 2 gulps. in a few minutes i felt completely better except for some numbness in a few fingers. up to this point, the first tingle to feeling mostly better was the span of about 10 minutes. the last lingering numbness cleared up after an hour, and i just didn't think about it again for a long time. I never asked a doctor what happened, what was wrong, and would it happen again. I just forgot about it. i used psychedelic drugs about twice a year, and 2 years later i had a bad experience using lsd and stopped doing drugs. the bad experience seemed to trigger panic attacks and anxiety, however one of the symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders is random meaningless tingling in various parts of the body. now whenever i feel the slightest tingle, my imagination goes into overdrive (oh my god it's happening again!!! oh my god i'm gonna die!!!). it happens a couple times a day, and has been going on for the past 2.5 years. i recognize that i need to work on it and i may need therapy, but I live in Sweden (i'm american but married a swedish girl) and I don't speak swedish good enough yet to talk to a doctor. I was wondering two things. for one, does anyone know what may have happened to me in the car that day? and for two, does anyone know of any place i can turn to for help here in sweden? I'm tired of being scared all the time.

[edit]let me clarify, that the episode in the car, or anything close has never happened again, only the panic attacks happen a couple times a day, and the fear that this episode will repeat itself comes a couple times a day, not repeat episodes themselves[/edit]<p>[This message has been edited by JasonMerrill (edited 09-26-2001).]

siouxzee 09-26-2001 07:58 AM

Re: Hypochondria
You probably got overheated. Symptoms:
muscle cramps
profuse sweating
weakness and light-headedness

What would also indicate this, is the fact that the cold water snapped you out of it.
Calm down, it's not going to happen again out of the blue. It may never happen again your whole life and if it did, this time you'd know it was heat exhaustion. Take steps if you feel heat exhaustion setting in to avoid it. If you still feel the need to see a doctor, have your wife go with you.

JasonMerrill 09-26-2001 08:14 AM

Re: Hypochondria
another problem is that even if is is psychological, that the fear is still real. my wife just says 'get over it' and isn't very supportive. very frustrating

Cat54 09-26-2001 03:00 PM

Re: Hypochondria
Hi! I agree with the above poster about getting overheated. Also, alcohol is dehydrating, and you were probably a bit dehydrated also, that in combination with overheating can cause that. Have you tried cognitive behavior therapy for your anxiety/panic? There's a fairly inexpensive book by Dr. David Burns called "The Feeling Good Handbook" which is very good, as is his book "Feeling Good, The New Mood Therapy". CBT really helped me with my anxiety/panic. This time last year I was going crazy (or thought so anyway) now I can actually live with this. Best of luck to you!


Edited to add:

Jason, I sympathize with you, my husband is like that also. He wouldn't know anxiety if it slapped him in the face, and thinks people should just get over it. I've learned to just let it slide and take care of me. Good luck!<p>[This message has been edited by Cat54 (edited 09-26-2001).]

JasonMerrill 09-27-2001 02:32 AM

Re: Hypochondria
thanks for the book tips <IMG SRC=""> i'm gonna slide on over to right now and make a few purchases <IMG SRC=""> what's a few dollars when the prize i get is serenity, right?

rocket boy 09-27-2001 09:12 AM

Re: Hypochondria
Hi Jason

This sounds really similar to what has happened to me. The scariest time of my life, without a doubt. I think you should check out some stuff on the the Brain and nervous system disorders board. Saves me writing it all again. This is the heading. 'please help one knows whats wrong with me...i fear i cant go on..' There are a couple of us with the same issues.

From my own perspective things have gotten a lot better for me recently. It's been a hard road but it is soooo good to finally see some relief. I was getting panic attacks triggered by physical sensations in my body. I kept on dwelling on them and they got worse and new twitches and tingles developed which brought on more panic attacks....a bad spiral. However I managed to somehow come through the other side and now every day is getting better. So don't dispair are not going to die. I think you need to get yourself checked out by a doctor, get a referal to a neurologist to rule out anything major. When that comes out all clear then you can let your mind rest that you aren't going to self destruct. These guys will tell you if you have likely damaged your brain by using drugs, but I really doubt it.

If you've got any questions I'll check this board again soon. You will be OK positive.

JasonMerrill 09-27-2001 12:33 PM

Re: Hypochondria
i think i've had every test done outside of getting an MRI or a cat scan. Every doctor says i'm fine and I specifically ask about the nervous system and they all tell me I'm fine. My fear just seems to hide from the fact that I know nothing is wrong. Today was one of my good days, only one attack, and a very mild one. (in public even. I was able to keep my compsure and continue what i was doing) My wife has come down with a virus (i only know the swedish name for it) and i have a little bit of worry related to that, but it's not serious, she'll recover just fine.

as for looking at the brain disorders board, i think that board would simply fuel the hypochondria furnace inside my head, so I choose to stay out, if you know what i mean? <IMG SRC=""> I've already banned myself from doing web searches on my specific symptoms.

kristis2 09-27-2001 01:28 PM

Re: Hypochondria
Jason,as a fellow hypocondriac,I applaud you on not looking up all these symptoms! I have tons of medical books I am constantly searching through and I am constantly searching the web for any info I can get! Bad girl!! lol It is a big part of anxiety and when you can sit back and say "the Drs say I am fine,I accept that this is anxiety" You will be making a HUGE step in the road to recovery! The fear is what causes them and the less you fear the less you will feel them! Good luck, we all will get past this! Take care! Kristi

chinadoll66102 09-27-2001 02:16 PM

Re: Hypochondria
Hey alright, a hypochondriac message board! (I have been waiting for one since I am too a hypochondriac) I am actually quite better now...just about a month ago, I was a compleate nervous wreck. But I put myself through some very very hard positive reinforcment. When you're a hypochondriac, you always think of negative outcomes. (I'll get cancer, somethings wrong with me, the doctor's don't know what they're doing...etc.) You have to force yourself to be positive. And from Dr. Burns's Book... <IMG SRC=""> "Only you control your emotions. There's no such thing as a positive or negative event, only the way you look at it! They have nothing to do with your emotions!" Plus, if you are like me, you'll notice you will start your sentances with "what if?" Like "what if this experiance I had was something like a brain tumor?" Stop your what if's right there! What if's, rarely happen. Yes they are possibilities, but ususally the chances of those are very slim. And you perhaps, like the rest of us, have heard things like "1 out of 10 women will get breast cancer" (I know you're not a women, but oh well, the technique of thinking still applies)Many people think "OH my gosh! I know 10 women! One of them will get breats cancer!!" in reality, there are different risk factors and, genetics, diet, whether they take hormones, etc. Now reverse those statistics. 9 out of 10 women WON'T get breast cancer. Doesn't sound so bad now, does it?

Dr. Burn's book helped me think positivly, but a book that I felt REALLY helped me alot was "The Worrywart's Companion" by Dr. Beverly Potter.

rocket boy 09-28-2001 08:32 AM

Re: Hypochondria
I definitely understand your reluctance to increase your concerns by looking at the other boardÖIíve certainly given myself enough scares by doing exactly that. Iím not sure if you want the whole run down on what happened to me so Iíll give you the abridged version. I had a big panic attack, just like you described, except mine was after I had been out clubbing all night. I went to hospital and they monitored me for a few hours and then sent me home. I really thought I had damaged myself by taking Ecstasy and had a constant feeling of anxiety. I then started to develop lots of physical symptoms such as tingling all over my body, muscle spasms and many more. I convinced myself I had some sort of disease or disorder that the doctors were not picking up. This progressively developed over the past 8 months

A month ago, by chance, I ran into a guy at a party who has been dealing with the same sorts of symptoms that I have been having. It was bizarre to hear him talk about his own situation as it virtually mirrored my own. After listening to him talk about his own situation I was really encouraged by what he had been doing recently. Anyway this is what I have been doing lately and it has really helped.

1. Liver Cleansing diet (Book by Dr Cabot). To flush out my liver and basically clear out my system
2. Drink 2oz of wheat grass juice a day (Got to grow and squeeze it yourself unless you live next to a juice bar). Heaps of info on the net about this stuff. Tastes like lawn clippings but itís really good for you.
3. Bikram Yoga 3- 4 times a week. This is done in a heated room and you really sweat it out. Awesome for controlling your breathing a getting a real calmness. I had forgotten what it was like for my body and mind to be relaxed, so when it happened for the first time I almost lapsed straight into another panic attack Ė it felt so alien. Itís so good now that I know that feeling once again. Any yoga will probably do if you donít have a Bikram yoga class where you live. <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A>
4. Lots of relaxation and meditation. Hard to do to start with but slowly gets easier.
5. A regular sleep pattern.
6. Vitamin B supplement, Fish Oil and a Calcium/Magnesium supplement.
7. No caffeine or alcohol.

I have come to the realisation that the panic attacks and symptoms that I have been getting were not Ďcausedí by taking drugs. It is so easy to make this connection. I donít think I have irreparably damaged my brain as a result of taking E or charlie or smoking pot. I admit that this was definitely the trigger for it happening but I get the feeling that it may well have happened in any case. Anyway Iím not going to dwell on the past or the reasons why. I prefer to focus on the future and getting well again. It has become my mission! I seemed to hit a brick wall with everyone I went to for advice, so I decided to really help myself and trust in my own instincts about what I was feeling in my body. I believe that part of why I am starting to get better can be attributed to a complete change in attitude. I have really focused on being more positive and trying not dwell on my symptoms. This has been really difficult to do but it has got easier as time has gone by. The less I fester on the crazy sensations in my body the more relaxed I become and the more I begin to enjoy myself. It is exactly the opposite of the spiral that led to the development of these sensations. The meditation and the yoga have really helped me to do this.
My neurologist said that she suspects I have nothing wrong with my brain and although I am still waiting for an eeg I am positive that it wonít show much.
I havenít had to resort to medications. After lots of research on panic and anxiety disorders I decided to try and sort myself out by addressing the aspects of my life I had been neglecting for so long. All Iím really doing is focusing on living a good, clean and healthy life style and it seems to be working.

I hope this is of some help to you. The biggest thing for me was the decision to get out and help myself. Some of the things I have tried havenít worked but for me it has been a process of trial and error to find some things that do. Iím far from getting back to Ďnormalí and sometimes I wonder what normal was. But Iím definitely improving and that is the important thing to recognise. Week by week Iím getting better, my symptoms are diminishing and it feels really good.

Good luck JasonÖlook after No. 1

Iím also having some Reiki done. Iím a little sceptical about it but I come out of it very relaxed (if nothing else) and that is a real benefit for me and makes it worth while.

Any of the books written by Dr Claire Weekes are very good.

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