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Author Topic: MS Anxiety Is Taking It's Toll On Me  (Read 541 times)

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Offline gvjaguar

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MS Anxiety Is Taking It's Toll On Me
« on: December 12, 2013, 05:25:36 PM »
Hey everyone,

I skipped the introductory post and thought I would jump right into my issues. I would first like to say however that I am very appreciative and grateful for the kind community that I see here with people helping each other out. I'd like to give a little background on my situation and thank everyone in advance for their insight into my problem.

I'm currently a 21-year old college senior and times are getting tough. I suffered with anxiety throughout my whole life (my mom and aunt have anxiety issues as well). I had really bad OCD when I was younger, went through separation anxiety later than I should have, and even have been a sort of perfectionist when it comes to my lifestyle (which is no doubt related to my OCD). In addition, I've had what I consider 'mild Tourettes' throughout much of my life as I had tics that were always apart of me, although now my tics are almost non-existent.

During the fall semester of my freshman year I experienced a very rough period of anxiety that took a toll on my body. While I won't get into specifics, needless to say the experience I had caused me to have severe psychological stress for a solid year and a half until I got over it. During that time of heightened stress I developed visual static and floaters in my vision. Although I don't notice the floaters anymore, I still see the visual snow from time to time, and its worse when I'm more stressed.

Now that I'm a senior and have been under a lot of personal stress lately as a result of finals, projects, work and deciding on whether I want to return for my masters, I can see how my body is stressed beyond normal. Starting about a month and a half ago I took up a position as a part time cashier at a local retail store. While I'm very in shape and am a college athlete, I noticed my legs and lower back would be painful after work. My legs would twitch and have small muscle spasms in my thighs and calves. Once I quit wearing dress shoes and wore more supportive shoes, the muscle spasms and twitching during work essentially ceased to exist and I thought I had cracked the code behind my twitching. I had attributed it to a lower back strain that was putting unnecessary stress on my legs.

However, while the twitching has a been reduced, it now occurs after work and is mostly isolated in my calf muscles and sometimes my glutes (I hope other's have experienced that?" However, every time something twitches I get very nervous that I have MS, which usually just makes things worse. I experienced muscle twitches throughout my body before during my freshman year but they eventually went away. Now I'm just horrified that they returned due to anxiety and stress which I HOPE is the only reason. I can't go on living like I'm going to die of a life-threatening disease like MS or ALS and it is killing me. All of this twitching didn't really start until I focused on it.

A couple things I should point out is that I injured my left quad last year during soccer season which I'm not sure ever healed correctly, as well as I sprained my LCL on my right knee this season. I have a habit of running on my toes which has caused me a lot of pain and stiffness in my calves during soccer season, which would cause my feet to get sore. Also, over the summer I was lugging 100+ pound bags of shingles up a ladder to a roof during a job I was doing, which I'm sure put unnecessary strain on my lower back. (I also have poor posture due to being hunched over a computer through long hours of the day while writing things).

I don't have any numbness or random shooting pains, but the muscle twitching is really driving me up a wall. Does anyone have any suggestions such as vitamin supplements, hydration, or other notions that might help me nip this in the bud? I want to point out that while I'm at work there is no pain or twitching, it only occurs while resting or laying down. Could it be overactive nerves since I have mild Tourettes? I am deathly afraid of seeing a doctor and have him telling me I'm going to die a slow, painful death (thank you to my high school psychology teacher for making us read Tuesdays with Morrie.)

I really appreciate anyone who took the time to read that giant wall of text over, your input and support means so much to me and I will gladly give updates as to how my condition progresses (hopefully for the better!)
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Offline utahguy058

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Re: MS Anxiety Is Taking It's Toll On Me
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2013, 09:48:23 PM »
I have wonderful news for you. First off you do not under any circumstances have ALS! I am a fellow twitcher and have had doctors explain twitching in ALS. Twitching means that the muscle is dying and doesn't bounce around. It is constant and there is no pain involved. Often it is a very small twitching and tough to even notice. The weakness comes before the twitching. There is no way you would be playing soccer or standing all day with ALS. There is absolutely no chance that it is ALS. Twitching muscles is not a first presenting symptom in MS. Twitching muscles are a common symptom of stress and anxiety. Twitching is also common after muscle strain and use. Both of these are going on in your situation. You can rest assure that you do not have MS or ALS. You do have stress and different forms of anxiety however. I struggle wondering what causes my twitching. Mine tend to be in the calves and feet, but however have had them in my glutes and had them also in my eyes badly. They pop up everywhere, and I am sure that it has to be because of MS a lot of the time, so I know where you are coming from.  It's easier to look at someone else's situation and tell them that there is no way that they have MS, but when you see your own you can't see how on earth that you do not have MS. That you are not the exception. I know that if you went to the doctor that he would give you the complete clearance for ALS and MS. I am not sure as what supplements would help. I know hydration is important, but I think that when you lay down at night that it could help to go on youtube and find a relaxation breathing video and follow it, it tends to help to calm down my shaking. I bet it could help with your twitching. I am so sorry you are going through this, because I am going through the exact same fear right now. I have had multiple MRI's and got the clear, but for some reason I can't get over that the twitching and tremors are MS. I hope this helps, know you aren't alone and that you are experiencing anxiety, not MS.
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Offline skim50

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Re: MS Anxiety Is Taking It's Toll On Me
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 12:32:55 AM »
Doesn't sound like MS at all. Sounds like straight up anxiety. How do I know? Because I've had your symptoms and many more.

Here are two posts I made a few weeks ago when I went to see a neurologist.

"I passed my strength test, reflex, and coordination test, and the symptoms that I told him I had didn't seem to concern him. Said symptoms of MS don't come and go through out the day, and last for weeks, not a few minutes.. Just like many of you guys told me. He said by everything hes gathered he is very doubtful that I have MS. Said anxiety can cause every symptom I have, because anxiety depletes vitamin reserves, and messes with your bodies P H. For the others who think they have MS, my symptoms are tingling, numbness, burning sensations, and muscle twitches.. I've also had days where I THOUGHT I was off balance and weak.... Obviously I was wrong.. On the topic of muscle twitches, my neuro said that they are not the sign of early on MS, and come on many years after a diagnosis."

"I have just recently went through my MS scare.. Saw a neuro and had a battery of tests and turned out I was okay.. You really got to try and trust the doctors, they are the ones who went to medical school, not you.. The MRI is telling. There would be lesions if you had MS. My symptoms were.. buzzing of the feet, numbness, eye problems (visual snow), feeling off balance, perceived weakness, muscle twitches, joint pain, etc.. The neuro literally tested for MS, and every other autoimmune disorder, and lyme disease, and for diabetes, b12 deficiency, and it turned out not only did I not have anything (thank god) I was actually very healthy. You're healthy too. Once I accepted it was anxiety my symptoms have all but gone away. Best of luck. "

Stress can cause a lot of physical symptoms..

As for floaters.. they are very common and do not indicate any kind of problem. I have had them since I have been a little kid and have read scientific articles that claimed that the majority of people have them. Most people don't see them because our brains automatically hide them but for people who suffer from anxiety we are hyper aware and notice what our brains naturally tune out.

MS and ALS are very popular fears for anxiety prone people. They are diseases that make people lose control of their bodies.. This is a very scary thing, which is why so many of us worry about it. It doesn't help that the physical symptoms of anxiety closely relate to those of neurological disorders..

But as for ALS. It is literally impossible that you have ALS. Your age makes it statistically impossible essentially.. The chances of you having it are similar to your chances of being struck by lightening. 99 percent of the time it is people over the age of 55 who get ALS.. Also ALS does not come on slowly.. it is a fast moving progressive disease.. you would literally be so weak you wouldn't be able to pick up a piece of paper (seriously), and it only get worse from there. You would not think something is wrong, you would know.

Back to leg twitching.. mine is doing right now.. I have had it my whole life essentially. Docs rule it completely benign and anxiety/stress induced..

Here are some threads that might help you:

100 Anxiety Symptoms:
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,17050.0/topicseen.html


A Thread for Newcomers Worried about Multiple Sclerosis
http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,9832.0.html

best of luck
You will learn in time that your mind is a very powerful thing and can make you feel sick, even when you're not.
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Offline gvjaguar

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Re: MS Anxiety Is Taking It's Toll On Me
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 02:08:11 PM »
Wow, I cannot even begin to thank you for the relief both of you have brought me. Although I'm still not muscle-twitch free, I am much more happier than the depressing state I've been in for the last month or so. Some of the points you made were both excellent, and hearing your experiences has re-assured me that I'm probably okay.

About the way MS manifests itself, I guess you're right, if I really had it I would have symptoms that would last a longer time than they are now, and the symptoms would be much more localized as opposed to twitching in various parts of my body. In addition, I am not experiencing any weakness, only what is probably perceived because I've been so stricken with fear that I'm making these symptoms appear.

Now that I think about it, much of this started after I started excessively worrying about it, and the twitches slowly begin manifesting themselves throughout my body. They don't even happen when I'm at work, which is good, even though I'm thinking about it somewhat constantly, so I'm HOPING that's a positive sign haha.

I think what it comes down to is the mineral/vitamin depletion in my body since I began constantly worrying about my perceived condition. My thighs would get sore throughout work and twitch as a result of me wearing terrible shoes with no support and having poor posture (something I've had my entire life). Since I worried so much I wonder if my body never had the proper chemistry to heal itself like it normally would, resulting in the manifestation of muscle twitches. In addition, my visual snow never become apparent until after a very psychologically tramautizing event in my life either - If I had to guess I would say that my constant worrying and anxiety took me past the threshold which my body couldn't handle.

I suppose if I really had MS, I would have known it by now since it's been a worry for the last couple years. It definitely would have been much more apparent.

Thanks for your input guys, I look forward to more advice or experiences you've had. Thanks.
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Offline skim50

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Re: MS Anxiety Is Taking It's Toll On Me
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2013, 12:20:06 PM »
If you really had MS you would be numb, TALKING from the waist down, and you would have serious vision problems (Blind in one eye), and you would have electric shock feelings through out your body. You're fine. Don't stress. Muscle Twitches and sore legs would be a atypical onset of MS anyways.

As your mind calms your symptoms will begin to go away. It is also possible to have symptoms when you "feel calm" so don't let that scare you. It takes months for your body to go back into a normal state. I was freaking out for months before I calmed down and thought about everything rationally. Seeing a neurologist helped me as well. Also, you can still be subconsciously stressed and anxious. But I KNOW, Muscle Twitching is not a sinister thing, My whole family has it, and its usually due to low magnesium, and potassium.. So? Eat a banana and take a mag sup. It is also very common in athletes.

Best of luck
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Offline gvjaguar

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Re: MS Anxiety Is Taking It's Toll On Me
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2013, 02:19:48 PM »
Interesting, so anxiety really can cause benign muscle twitches? Ironically, I developed an occasional pinky twitch yesterday haha. The mind really is a powerful thing. And since they occur all over my body, that lends strength to the notion that I don't have either MS or ALS? What kind of magnesium would you recommend? I tried mag oxide, but someone said it doesn't absorb as well as mag citrate. Also, since there is no loss of function or strength, its most likely caused by stress and anxiety.

I've been so wound up lately afraid that I have had those two awful diseases, perhaps it really has taken a toll on my body. If I had either or, I would have more apparent symptoms without warning signs.

Also, since I've had tics my whole life, I can't help but think its related to a chemical imbalance somewhere in my body. Thanks again for responding to my post, I really appreciate hearing your experience.
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Offline skim50

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Re: MS Anxiety Is Taking It's Toll On Me
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2013, 07:50:07 PM »
Muscle twitches, in your case, are most likely due to tension. When you are stressed you tighten up, and you become stiff. Thats why us hypos usually experience the twitches when we lay down at night. because now our bodies are relaxed and the muscles that have been tight all day can relax and unwind, and that's when the twitching begins. If I had a dollar for every time I saw a twitching post on this forum, and people thinking they have MS because of it, well, I would be a rich man. There really is no easy answer for you, and I am not a medical doctor, but I am pretty confident you don't have MS. The twitching may happen your whole life.. It may happen when you don't feel anxious.. I'll tell you this. My muscles have been twitching since I have been a kid. I am in my mid 20's now, I hike 20 plus miles a week, I work out daily (cardio) I completed Marine boot camp when I was 18 before being discharged for a training related injury, I was a athlete in higschool, etc, etc. And look, I am still here... You're not going to die from muscle twitches, and it doesn't necessarily mean anything is wrong my man. When your mind calms, and time passes, and you realize, "hey, I am still here" you will notice that twitching subsides..

But as for MS, ALS, none of the symptoms you mentioned seem like MS or ALS lol.. Again, I am not a doctor, but at this point, due to  my anxiety over MS and ALS, I know as much of the two as a doctor would  :laugh3: If it continues to bother you, id recommend seeing a MD, and putting your mind to rest.

Get active though.. Continue to do your daily routines.. Don't fall into the trap of not wanting to do anything because you think you're dying.. That is a downward spiral, and things will get worse. I get like that sometimes, but I always force myself to do things anyways.. You gotta overcome AND prove that you are healthy..

best of luck dude  :action-smiley-065:
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