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Author Topic: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.  (Read 587 times)

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Offline Caribou

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Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« on: January 24, 2014, 09:16:01 PM »
I have had a plethora of symptoms for over 2 years now and I am at the end of my rope.  It started in October of 2011 when I thought I was having appendicitis because I had minor pain around my lower right abdomen.  I went to Urgent Care and they ran blood work, took an x-ray image, gave me a physical and determined it wasn't appendicitis.  That pain diminished and then went away completely.  Ever since then, I have had numerous problems and symptoms.  In order (I think) I had the lower right abdominal pain, severe neurological symptoms such as eye twitching, muscle jerking all over my body, pain behind my eyes, speech problems, horrible memory, awful headaches, etc.  Then I had this horrible abdominal pain.  And it started in my belly button and was sharp and stabbing with nausea.

Then I would have night sweats, terrible lower back pain, chills and difficulty breathing.  Then it was cloudy urine and abdominal pain again.  Now I have this mid back pain on both sides of my spine (and my spine) and a nauseating feeling.  This started a few days ago when I was at work when out of nowhere I had a sharp pain on the left side of my back in the middle and ever since that moment I have had a lingering dull ache in my back, mainly under both rib cages wrapping around to the front at the same level and when I used the bathroom this morning I had a bowel movement that had a somewhat metallic smell to it - not really noticeable but I kind of questioned it.

Well, I am tired of trying to figure out what is wrong with me because I know I never will.  I may have cancer, or some other disease(s), but after the past 2+ years of progressive symptoms and no one can pinpoint what's wrong, I don't think I care anymore.  I find it almost upsetting that at 20, so much of this can happen to me.  Is anyone else like this?   :(
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Offline Kindra11

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2014, 11:46:00 PM »
You sound a lot like me! You are too young to have any major undiagnosable illness, so I'm guessing your stomach pains are either IBS or muscle spasms  along with your back pain also probably muscle spasms.... They hurt! And as the muscles try to relax the pain gets better. Nausea is a very common anxiety symptom and a lot of people experience eye issues ( twitches, blurring, pain or pressure behind the eye, etc) I feel for you! Every symptom you have listed, I too have experienced and it seems like once you quit focusing on one symptoms 2 or 3 new ones show up
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2014, 11:55:12 PM »
I have had a plethora of symptoms for over 2 years now and I am at the end of my rope.  It started in October of 2011 when I thought I was having appendicitis because I had minor pain around my lower right abdomen.  I went to Urgent Care and they ran blood work, took an x-ray image, gave me a physical and determined it wasn't appendicitis.  That pain diminished and then went away completely.  Ever since then, I have had numerous problems and symptoms.  In order (I think) I had the lower right abdominal pain, severe neurological symptoms such as eye twitching, muscle jerking all over my body, pain behind my eyes, speech problems, horrible memory, awful headaches, etc.  Then I had this horrible abdominal pain.  And it started in my belly button and was sharp and stabbing with nausea.

Then I would have night sweats, terrible lower back pain, chills and difficulty breathing.  Then it was cloudy urine and abdominal pain again.  Now I have this mid back pain on both sides of my spine (and my spine) and a nauseating feeling.  This started a few days ago when I was at work when out of nowhere I had a sharp pain on the left side of my back in the middle and ever since that moment I have had a lingering dull ache in my back, mainly under both rib cages wrapping around to the front at the same level and when I used the bathroom this morning I had a bowel movement that had a somewhat metallic smell to it - not really noticeable but I kind of questioned it.

Well, I am tired of trying to figure out what is wrong with me because I know I never will.  I may have cancer, or some other disease(s), but after the past 2+ years of progressive symptoms and no one can pinpoint what's wrong, I don't think I care anymore.  I find it almost upsetting that at 20, so much of this can happen to me.  Is anyone else like this?   :(

I don't understand.  You are here on an anxiety board, an active contributing member, and you are thinking you have something physically wrong with you?  Why? 

You have to know that you have an anxiety illness, and unless you are malingering, you must work to get your anxiety under control.  If you cannot go to counseling ( and it's hard to find a good counselor), read the books by Abraham Low MD and participate in Recovery International. 

Wait, I just noticed your age.  I'm sorry.  Look, you have to know that around 18/19/20 is when anxiety prone people usually have their first attacks with physical symptoms.  Please try to follow the anxiety aspect of this and please, please, please, try to get help.  If I had known at your age what I know now, I could have saved myself a life time of strange symptoms and fear. Please help yourself and save yourself.  Read those books anyway.  They will help.  Google for info.
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Offline marc

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 08:24:50 AM »
I have had right upper quadrant pain off and on for over 10 years, with no organic cause
found. I was told to live with it as I have no choice.
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Offline Caribou

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2014, 10:40:15 AM »
I just don't understand.  All of this pain has to be originating from some cause.  Especially the pain/tight feeling under my left and right rib cage (I.E. where my spleen is on the left side).  But, the last time I went to the doctors for my stomach pain, they took another x-ray and said that it was fine.

I wonder how people have dealt with this for 30+ years.  I can't imagine living like this the rest of my life though.  Although Kindra11 I did notice that once I stopped worrying about my brain tumor concern, my symptoms went away.  But, I have noticed that one thing that helps my symptoms a little is if I masturbate...I'm sorry if that's inappropriate - but why does that alleviate symptoms, albeit temporary?

How long can this possible last?
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 10:47:58 AM »
I just don't understand.  All of this pain has to be originating from some cause.  Especially the pain/tight feeling under my left and right rib cage (I.E. where my spleen is on the left side).  But, the last time I went to the doctors for my stomach pain, they took another x-ray and said that it was fine.

I wonder how people have dealt with this for 30+ years.  I can't imagine living like this the rest of my life though.  Although Kindra11 I did notice that once I stopped worrying about my brain tumor concern, my symptoms went away.  But, I have noticed that one thing that helps my symptoms a little is if I masturbate...I'm sorry if that's inappropriate - but why does that alleviate symptoms, albeit temporary?

How long can this possible last?

Please, your symptoms will last as long as you have an anxiety problem.  Why do you think that you don't notice your symptoms as much when you are getting off?  Simple: you are not focused on them. 

You're not hearing what I'm saying, and that is your choice.  But if you accept that your strange symptoms are caused by an anxiety illness, and if you take steps and get help with this, you will get gradually better, as you learn to control your thoughts and not the other way around. 

If you think I'm full of it, so be it, but I'm speaking from thirty years down the road, and this is what I would tell my kid in no uncertain terms, especially if he/she wanted to live a fulfilled life and not a life of fear and confusion.

Just my thoughts.  Take it or leave it.
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Offline christina10778

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2014, 11:26:18 AM »
I've been having all of those crazy physical symptoms that you listed and more for 9 years now....
And for the past 5-6 of those years it's been 24/7.
It's always something...

I have had 3 of those symptoms that NEVER leave me alone for the past 2 years.
(Dizziness/"off-balance" feeling, Trouble breathing, and Disorientation/Dipersonalization)

I've been to countless doctors and ER's...and have had plenty of tests.
Still nothing...it is just my Anxiety.

I've decided to stop looking for a physical answer, accept my diagnoses, and focus on getting better.
I have the power to, just as we all do, I just need to use it.
You should do the same....

And it's not going to go away over night.
You have to retrain your thinking....

Health Anxiety is a totally different animal, if you will.
It is not quite a real physical problem and it is not quite a full mental illness...it's in yourself; your thoughts.

"For reasons not fully understood, stress and unresolved psychological conflicts can manifest as physical symptoms, including excessive worry about those symptoms. When this happens, a vicious cycle of stress, symptoms, more stress, medical worries, and even more stress begins and continues until interrupted.".....

....."Because the primary culprit in health anxiety syndrome is your thought processes, the cure lies within the realm of rethinking your life experiences and interpretations of physical symptoms and complaints."
-George Zgourides, Psy.D.-
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1 Peter 5:7 - "casting all of your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you."

Offline vardnas

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2014, 12:16:47 PM »
I've decided to stop looking for a physical answer, accept my diagnoses, and focus on getting better.
I have the power to, just as we all do, I just need to use it.
You should do the same....

And it's not going to go away over night.
You have to retrain your thinking....

Health Anxiety is a totally different animal, if you will.
It is not quite a real physical problem and it is not quite a full mental illness...it's in yourself; your thoughts.

"For reasons not fully understood, stress and unresolved psychological conflicts can manifest as physical symptoms, including excessive worry about those symptoms. When this happens, a vicious cycle of stress, symptoms, more stress, medical worries, and even more stress begins and continues until interrupted.".....

....."Because the primary culprit in health anxiety syndrome is your thought processes, the cure lies within the realm of rethinking your life experiences and interpretations of physical symptoms and complaints."
-George Zgourides, Psy.D.-

This is exactly right. Caribou, you would do wise to heed the advice you've been given. I too know it's difficult to A) accept anxiety as a diagnosis, and B) get to work reducing it. However, it is the only way you will begin to feel better. You've really got to want it, though, and sometimes that's the hardest thing to admit—that being scared and miserable and wrapped up in health concerns is far more comforting than facing those underlying issues. 
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In case anyone is still confused:  googling your symptoms will cause you to remain in a state of extreme anxiety. Stepping away from the internet is the first step toward lasting peace.

Offline Gomubukai

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2014, 04:34:52 PM »
I just don't understand.  All of this pain has to be originating from some cause.  Especially the pain/tight feeling under my left and right rib cage (I.E. where my spleen is on the left side).  But, the last time I went to the doctors for my stomach pain, they took another x-ray and said that it was fine.

I wonder how people have dealt with this for 30+ years.  I can't imagine living like this the rest of my life though.  Although Kindra11 I did notice that once I stopped worrying about my brain tumor concern, my symptoms went away.  But, I have noticed that one thing that helps my symptoms a little is if I masturbate...I'm sorry if that's inappropriate - but why does that alleviate symptoms, albeit temporary?

How long can this possibly last?

It is... It's originating from your anxiety. And it will probably last until you start to really try to change your thoughts and behaviours so that this has less control over you.

It's hard. Very hard but you can do it.

The first step though is admitting that you really do have anxiety and that it can absolutely cause physical discomfort. There are people on here who know exactly where you're coming from. Some have had your exact symptoms and some have had health anxiety for longer than you've been alive.

They're trying to help you get to the root of the problem here. Listen to them if you can, the advice they're offering will take you much longer if you try to figure everything out by yourself. :)

I know it is hard to believe but once you understand the level of physical discomfort anxiety is capable of causing. You'll be on your way to beating it.
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Offline Caribou

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2014, 06:26:09 PM »
Why is it so hard though?  I mean, to try and put two and two together that it is most likely just my anxiety but every time I have a new symptom it just tears me apart.  Like today I was sitting in my room and suddenly out of nowhere I had a sharp stabbing pain right in the middle of my abdomen (in my navel) which has been happening for about 1 year now on and off.  That suddenly has thrown me off because it's scary because I think it's appendicitis or a tumor growing and my back pain is caused by that too.

I'm able to ignore minor aches and pains - but it's the sharp pains that terrify me (like today).  Why is this so hard to overcome?
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2014, 06:39:42 PM »
Why is it so hard though?  I mean, to try and put two and two together that it is most likely just my anxiety but every time I have a new symptom it just tears me apart.  Like today I was sitting in my room and suddenly out of nowhere I had a sharp stabbing pain right in the middle of my abdomen (in my navel) which has been happening for about 1 year now on and off.  That suddenly has thrown me off because it's scary because I think it's appendicitis or a tumor growing and my back pain is caused by that too.

I'm able to ignore minor aches and pains - but it's the sharp pains that terrify me (like today).  Why is this so hard to overcome?

You know, try to read what everybody above has posted and take it seriously.  The way you are living is no way to live.  Only you hold the key.  I will tell you though, as a guy, you will still in this 21st Century, find resistance from doctors and others to men having anxiety problems.  You must be your own advocate.  Also, as a guy sometimes you can't spot yourself that you have an anxiety/depression illness.  You are young.  You can more easily change your thoughts now than ten and twenty and thirty years down the line.  I know.  I've been there.  I had to face the music and face my fears.  Fear can be your jailer.  Don' let it.  Live!   :angry:
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Offline Gomubukai

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2014, 07:31:02 PM »
It's hard because we are so used to dealing with things in a certain way that the behaviour has become ingrained.

The difference between us and 'the normals' (ie non anxious folk) is how we choose to react to the sensations our body gives us. We are under the impression that perfect health means never getting any symptoms and that just isn't true. 'The normals' (for some reason I love calling them that!) feel the same sensations we do. But they don't stop what they were doing and say 'hold up! What was that? Was that important?!' It's our very emotional and fearful response that keeps the cycle of fear going.

We become used to stopping what we were doing when we feel a twinge and start scanning our bodies I see if the sensation was important. We give it meaning and we give it attention. If we feel the sensation but don't give it an emotional response our body realises that although it happened. It's not worth paying attention to.

The way we form behaviours is done via the pathways we connect in our brain. If we constantly give all of our twinges importance, then our default reaction when we feel something will be fear.

It is hard to reprogram these thoughts so that we do not instantly catastrophise each sensation and random thought but it can be done.

Eg I'm doing a bit better than I used to be. My main worry is about my memory at the moment. But every now and then I get a sudden sharp pain somewhere in my body and my brain (which I'm in he progress of trying to rewire) screams 'blood clot, BONE CANCER!' It's a fleeting thought but as I have now recognised the extent to which I was living with anxiety these thoughts now make me just laugh a little at my faulty thinking.

It's taken many years to build up these pathways in your brain, it won't be possible to fix them overnight. Gradually chipping away will get you there though. It's a long road but I really do believe you can do it :)
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Offline Caribou

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2014, 02:06:12 PM »
Thank you everyone for helping me.  My abdominal pain has lessened, but my back pain is still present.

I guess I never thought anxiety can be so powerful.  I just feel that "oh I have lower back pain, so it must be bone cancer or a tumor" or "my abdominal pain must be a tumor growing inside of me" despite the fact that I have had 2 abdominal x-rays saying otherwise.  I just worry that I'll be judged for seeking therapy or taking medication for my anxiety.  Honestly, that's one reason (not the main reason though) as to why I haven't been seeking therapy.  I guess that since I have dealt with anxiety/HA for so long that I've just grown accustomed to it.

But, how can I tell what's my anxiety from an actual problem? 
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Offline NeverAgain2

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2014, 05:27:37 PM »
Thank you everyone for helping me.  My abdominal pain has lessened, but my back pain is still present.

I guess I never thought anxiety can be so powerful.  I just feel that "oh I have lower back pain, so it must be bone cancer or a tumor" or "my abdominal pain must be a tumor growing inside of me" despite the fact that I have had 2 abdominal x-rays saying otherwise.  I just worry that I'll be judged for seeking therapy or taking medication for my anxiety.  Honestly, that's one reason (not the main reason though) as to why I haven't been seeking therapy.  I guess that since I have dealt with anxiety/HA for so long that I've just grown accustomed to it.

But, how can I tell what's my anxiety from an actual problem?



How?  Just believe the test results and start to seriously work on your mental health.   You may be judged by some ignorant people, but you will have to let that go.  Everybody exhibits some symptoms of anxiety and stress, but some, like you, like me, like others, are more sensitive to it.  It is not your fault; you were born that way.  However, once you either start your own DIY self project on yourself, or you do it with help, you will find that you will react to normal bodily sensations in a different way: you will not go over the "what if" cliff, and you will be able to replace an insecure thought with a secure thought, until one day you are wondering what happened to the old, nervous you.

It is hard work and daunting, and you must work at it, but the alternative is a life of fear and frustration.  And, speaking from experience, the physical symptoms only get worse with age. 

Start now.  Seriously start now. 

You will get there.
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Offline Gomubukai

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Re: Over 2 years of symptoms, no answers.
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2014, 06:13:56 PM »
Thank you everyone for helping me.  My abdominal pain has lessened, but my back pain is still present.

I guess I never thought anxiety can be so powerful.  I just feel that "oh I have lower back pain, so it must be bone cancer or a tumor" or "my abdominal pain must be a tumor growing inside of me" despite the fact that I have had 2 abdominal x-rays saying otherwise.  I just worry that I'll be judged for seeking therapy or taking medication for my anxiety.  Honestly, that's one reason (not the main reason though) as to why I haven't been seeking therapy.  I guess that since I have dealt with anxiety/HA for so long that I've just grown accustomed to it.

But, how can I tell what's my anxiety from an actual problem?

This is classic anxiety :)

We feel a vague unconnected symptoms and then our fear driven mind connects one with the other, unrelated symptom and we end up with a 'diagnosis' from our googling etc that had made us oh so knowledgeable about health. Basically 2 + 2 = 5. :)

I'm not saying that 'the normals' don't experience these sharp or sudden pains, they do. It's just that they don't attach an emotional response to it like we do. 

It's our thinking that is faulty and the expectation that we should never have any symptoms. (Which is just impossible)
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