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Author Topic: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries  (Read 1044 times)

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Offline dan_76

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Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« on: March 03, 2014, 10:11:10 AM »

I have been browsing this and several other forums related anxiety. I have read the textbook definitions for GAD as well. If I have understood it correctly the main diagnostics criteria for GAD is the excessive worrying over something. Many of the sufferers seem to identify their source of worry rather easily.

But me:

I have a lot of physical symptoms; 24/7 dizzyness and lightheadedness being the worst. I am rather sure I don't have any serious physical condition because of all the tests I have gone through. Doctors tell me I am just fine and healthy and I just should go forward in doing things and it will pass.

I am not a worrier. I am the opposite. I am not worried or scared about my health or anything else. Especially so that it would be categorized as being "excessive". Of course by this point I am somewhat concerned if I ever will get my old life back, but I would not call that an excessive or irrational. Naturally I didn't have these thoughts when this all started around 4 years ago. For what I can recall the physical symptoms just started on one fine Sunday more or less out of the blue.

I know, no one can give a definitive answer to the following question. I do not expect that. I would like to hear your thoughts.

Can my symptoms be caused by GAD?

Why I think they could:
+ they fit the profile of physical symptoms nicely
+ practically everything else has been ruled out by tests
+ my symptoms get better and worse over time - they do not progress

So, without the requirement to be excessively worried, I could say I have GAD.
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 10:39:53 AM »
Hi Dan...

Many individuals that suffer with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic attacks, and depression, have no apparent trigger that is causing their symptoms.  Like you, I fall into the category.  Sure, I have stressful situations that occur in my life, who doesn't, but I feel I don't worry or ruminate over them.  Consciously, that may be true, but our subconscious maybe processing these stressors, and forming triggers.  It's outlet is that of anxiety/panic attacks/depression.

You mentioned dizziness/lightheadedness.  This symptom is the #1 complaint of those individuals being seen in an emergency room.  Dizziness/lightheadedness is a main symptom of anxiety, and it is also my #1 symptom.

It's great Dan, that you have seen your regular physician, had tests done, and have ruled-out many disease processes.  I did the same thing some four years ago.  I even went as far as to have a cardiac catheterization.

These days I have a psychiatrist that is in charge of my mental health needs.  She has provided me with a diagnosis, treatment plan, and has me on an anti-depressant.  If you haven't already, I would suggest you consider seeing one.

The very best to you, Dan!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 10:58:10 AM »
I think it's possible. I've had times where my anxiety has flared up and it's purely physical....particularly when I've been focusing on CBT journaling or meditation, where I seem to be able to nip "worrying" in the bud yet I haven't been able to clear up the physical symptoms. Also some of my anxiety is hormonally mediated and sometimes the physical symptoms can predominate there (but not always)
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Offline dan_76

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 12:11:41 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts, both.

I had an appointment with my GP today and had a short discussion about this possibility. He said that I am not by any means a textbook example of a mental health patient. But said also that he has seen so many different cases during his career that he would not rule it out.

So most likely I am looking at referral to a psychiatrist in the near future.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 02:39:11 PM »
That's a good plan, sounds like your doctor is being thoughtful and thorough. Good luck and keep us updated!  :action-smiley-065:
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Offline dan_76

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2014, 09:10:18 AM »
All right then. Got my referral and waiting for an appointment due on next Tuesday.

Will be my first ever visit to a psychiatrist. Anything I should be aware of? :)
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Offline dan_76

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Mind Freeze
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 08:36:14 AM »
What you think about the following:

I get these attacks or spells that do not last very long, but can come repeatedly which makes them kind of continuous state at times. 

They are very difficult to describe, it feels like my mind is going to freeze. For example if I am reading, the reading becomes impossible and it just feels like I cannot continue doing it and that my mind is somehow overwhelmed by all the inputs it is getting, so that thinking - and practically doing anything - becomes difficult. It also causes the surroundings to become kind of blurry and difficult to comprehend. If it happens at work or somewhere public I really need to put all my mental power to walk through these situations.

When these were at their worst about 3 years ago, they accumulated and finally initiated real panic attacks (that's what I think) and I was certain I am going to pass out and need to get to ER immediately. But now even I get them frequently again... I can somehow manage them... because I have never passed out, so why it would happen now. But needless to say this feeling is just frustrating. It is impossible to enjoy anything because I need to fight this continuously.

Any common experiences?
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Offline dan_76

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2014, 04:06:13 AM »
All right, went to psychiatrist yesterday.

Listen my story and asked questions. He seemed to be more convinced that there's physical reasons that have brought up mild anxiety. He seemed to be more inclined to think that the bradycardia and low blood oxygen saturation are contributing to my dizziness more than any mental disorder and that they don't really fit in the bill of anxiety and panic disorder. When I said that according to cardiologist and pulmonologist they should not cause any symptoms, he didn't really comment on that.

He continued on saying that as I have been thoroughly tested, it is utterly unlikely that I have any serious organic disease - my body function is just off balance for some reason and it is causing mild anxiety, which in turn makes my symptoms worse.

So, he's opinion more or less was that I would just need to learn to live with my condition and ignore it as much as I can. He also got oxazepam to take if the anxiety seems to take too much toll on me.

So, I am little bit lost. It seems that there's no specialist who would really take my situation as their own. Everyone seem to be saying that it's not under their specialty. Cardiologist says my heart is fine. Pulmonologist says my lungs are fine. Psychiatrist says I have no major mental disorder.

I still got these measurable imbalances, but no specialist seem to think they have any clinical significance.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2014, 06:58:47 PM »
What has your heart rate been? And where is your oxygen saturation at? I'm a medical practitioner so I can help you try to understand the numbers
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Offline dan_76

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2014, 09:35:39 AM »
My resting heart rate varies... but e.g. when working at the office it nowadays hovers around 50-55, but can go down to 45.

When I had my sleep polygraphy study made my oxygen saturation was between 90-95 while awake. I had also arterial blood gas analysis made and the partial pressure of oxygen was 9 kPa or 67 mmHg. All the other values were within normal range.

I have been told that these do not have any clinical significance and cannot be a reason for my symptoms. My heart has been tested.. stress test.. echo.. eeg.. My lungs have been tested.. sprirometry.. diffusion capacity.. all fine.
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2014, 11:19:49 AM »
A few more Qs, sorry  ;D

1) Are you a smoker? The oxygen percentage wouldn't be quite as concerning in a smoker, but is certainly is low for a non-smoker. And how old are you? A healthy non-smoker especially one who is a young adult or middle aged (I don't know your age) should NOT have a pulse ox of 90-95. 98% is normal. A 97-occasional 96 surprising but within the realm of reason.

2) Are you a vigorous exerciser? Certain, very extremely aerobically fit individuals can have resting heart rates in the 40s-50s because their heart muscle is so efficient it doesn't need to pump more frequently.  But these are TYPICALLY high performance athletes, regular distance runners, college level or above athletic fitness. Typically. If this doesn't apply to you, then yes, you probably wouldn't feel that good walking around at that heart rate.

One thing I want to clarify: I am not saying that you having the low pulse ox and bradycarida are DANGEROUS. I believe you've had quite a bit of workup. What I DO believe though is certainly this heart rate or this pulse ox alone could make you SYMPTOMATIC.  especially when you have both of them together. I have no clue why you would be told otherwise, but I would broach this possibility with your primary care doctor now that the specialist appointments are done.

 
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Offline dan_76

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2014, 12:32:01 PM »
Thanks for your thoughts, really appreciate you taking time to assess my situation.

The answers are...
1. I am not a smoker and I am 38 years (male)
2. I am by no means in any kind of shape or never have been. I have practically done no exercise what so ever past 3 years - mainly due to the fact that I am feeling like this

what you are saying is fully aligned what I am thinking. I visited my GP today and he practically refused to have any kind of discussion.. just said that now we done all the tests with specialists that we just need to wait and see how this folds out. This makes me rather frustrated because this has been ongoing so long, so why would it resolve itself now - especially when it seems to be getting worse. It makes me quite perplexed that no doctor is really willing to comment on this situation from this point of view.

On the other hand, I don't know if there's much there can be done, if there are no heart or lung ailments. My body is just off balance for some strange reason.

Like you said, I am not scared this being directly dangerous to my health, but I have started think more and more about long term consequences of not exercising etc... this is the most disturbing thought I am having. From time to time it seems rather difficult to keep the positive thoughts and soldier on.
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Offline dan_76

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2014, 07:36:35 AM »
I am confused. Somewhat.

During past week it has been a real struggle for me to get through the days' tasks. I mean simple things like going to work and back. That's about all what I have been doing. At work I mainly wait to get home. At home I wait to get to bed and sleep. When I wake up before my alarm, I feel rather hopeless as a new day of struggle is waiting.

According to doctors I do not have anything that would classify as severe anxiety. Still I got those oxazepam pills to overcome anxiety and to take as needed. Today is the 3rd day in row I have been on those (2 x 7,5 mg). It feels just impossible to get through the day without. In other words they seem to help.

When I feel miserable when waking up, I pop a pill. Then i take shower and force me to eat some breakfast while shaking from head to toes. Then get out and drive to work. At some point during this ordeal my head starts to clear up and I feel well enough to get my act together. I am not fine, but I can hold my self and my head together. In about 5 hours from popping the pill, the symptoms start creeping back. My mind feels it's going to "crash" any moment - unable to concentrate.

Two days now, I have waited until I get home before taking the other half of the pill. This is in about 9 hours after the 1st half. I have hoped that I could manage the night without, but both days I have been so shaky and feeling weak when I reach home that I haven't had a change. In 1-2 hours world clears enough, so I can feel confident enough to get sleep. I do not feel good enough to do anything other than sit on the couch tv open, but not really able or willing to follow what's on.

Does this sound like the pill is working or am I just enjoying the placebo effect?

I am rather confident that all this is not coincidence - the pill works. Can it mean that many of my symptoms are caused by some sort of anxiety after all?

Or is the oxazepam just making my body tick differently so I can overcome my symptoms caused by something else? How do you tell.


Right now it has been 6 hours since my morning half. I start to feel rather miserable again and I have a meeting awaiting in about two hours. It's time for my 2nd half. I am concerned that in the evening I need to take the 3rd half.

I would not like to (1) get hooked on benzos and (2) exceed the prescription which was for 1/4 - 1 pill per day.

But what can I do, I need to survive somehow. Next week I will meet my GP again and I need to bring this up. I am not so much intrigued on going on SSRI's either without a more certain diagnosis. Because with those it's anyway wait-and-see game and the result may not be so clear. But as my situation seems so impossible right now, I need to do something.

This won't just go away by waiting.
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Offline EsotericNonsense

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2014, 01:39:50 PM »
You should probably go back to the Psychiatrist to talk about your current symptoms. Have they put you on a SSRI yet?
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Offline AncientMelody

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Re: Anxiety - physical symptoms but no worries
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2014, 02:58:07 PM »
Is there perhaps another GP you would be interested in visiting to "try fresh" discussing your symptoms. not neccessarily to go through more tests but really to get a second opinion on the low oxygen and low pulse?
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