Hi ya'll... hope everyone is well this morning :)
I suppose I should start off by saying that despite the numerous doctors I've been too, nobody has "officially" diagnosed me with GAD or any form of anxiety or stress. Granted, it's been listed as the most probable cause of symptoms on most of my visits to the ER (anxiety/panic attacks, specifically). More on that later.
A little background on me. I'm an otherwise healthy 32 yr old male, have never had a serious illness or anything that required long term hospitalization. Worst that's happened to me is about 8 years back when I spent 3 days in the hospital, treated for a relatively minor head injury following an accident. Last summer, my physician warned me about being overweight so I began a diet/exercise program that led to me losing 45 lbs over 6 months. I do deal with issues from acid reflux, which both my physician and GI dr. describe as minor.
I started to write the entire saga in detail, but from reading other's intros on here, my story is not all that different. In March of last year I began having episodes of occasional light headedness, tingling in various parts of my head, arms, hands, etc. Numbness in those same areas. In the worst attacks, I would have chest pain, increased heart rate, and elevated blood pressure. These symptoms would become more common as the year went on, going from occasional to nearly constant. Towards the end of the year, migraine headaches began occurring as well.
I went to the ER with varying symptoms on 5 different occasions, visited my physician on a regular basis and began seeing a neurologist. The neurologist ordered an MRI w/dye of the brain and noticed evidence of vestibular migraines, so he prescribed low dose medication to treat that issue. Because of the increased heart rate, blood pressure, and chest pain, I did see a cardiologist as a precaution. They performed several tests, as well as an exercise stress test, but ultimately ruled out my heart as the cause of any problems.
Every doctor suggested the same thing - anxiety. Anxiety was a difficult diagnosis for me to accept. All my life, I've been the laid back guy that people find easy to talk to. I've always been the one to calm others down and give them reasons to stop worrying about situations that were troubling them. I discussed the anxiety suggestion with my closest friends who have known me the longest, and they were as surprised as I was. So, for the longest time, I blew off the anxiety suggestion because, IMO, I didn't worry about situations whether at work or home. Whatever was causing these episodes just HAD to be biological in nature, there had to be a trigger somewhere.
The troubleshooter/engineer in me began researching causes of the various symptoms, and came to the conclusion that you could pretty much tie any symptom to any diagnosis according to the google results. I researched the symptoms I was having, combined with the medications I was taking and came up with the same results - anxiety and stress. Two weeks ago, not having anything to lose, I took 8 different anxiety tests online. I'll admit, I cheated on a few by giving answers that I felt were less indicative of stress. On 7 of the tests, I scored very high for severe stress and anxiety.
I accepted what the doctors had been telling me all along, that maybe I was stressed and anxious. Just accepting that alone has been a tremendous help in alleviating a lot of the lightheadedness and other symptoms I've been struggling with. I'm still dealing with tension, headaches, high bp, and other issues but I think I'm on the right track to resolving the problem.