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Author Topic: Freaking out, Don't know what to do. Brain Tumor?  (Read 225 times)

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Offline hawkeyc

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Freaking out, Don't know what to do. Brain Tumor?
« on: September 04, 2014, 03:05:54 PM »
Hello all, my name is Chris and I'm 23 years old.
 
I've had health anxiety for as long as I can remember. I remember being 7 years old, worried about kidney disease from seeing it in a movie. Then i remember when I was like 12, I fell into a deep depression because I thought I had testicular cancer. I remember not being able to get up until like 4pm every day, and just laying there thinking death would be easier. My HA then went away for a number of years until recently.

A little over a year and a half ago I started my current job. I assist in processing medical leaves of absences and dealing with the paperwork involved. Probably like last November I became convinced I had MS, just from a pain I would have in my legs every once in a while. I started getting shooting pains in the back of my head (and sometimes up near temples, occasionally behind a eye, one-sided) almost every day that I can remember, that never seemed to follow a pattern, just random shooting/electric/dull ache type pains that would last maybe a few seconds and go away for a while. It would follow the path of the occipital nerve, and generally went unnoticed for a while, until I could use it as ammo for my MS fear. After the MS fear passed I again, started to worry about testicular cancer for whatever reason. After a few months of that passed I still had the nagging head pains.

I recently started looking into posture, and how terrible mine is. My head pains would pretty much be linked to how long I would be in front of the computer (which is my job, so 8hrs a day, also a full time student). The more time I spent in front of the computer, or in a lecture, hunched over with my head forward the more intense and frequent the pains were. I looked into Occipital Neuralgia and Upper Cross Syndrome (rounded forward shoulders, head out in front of body, chest sunk in) and felt better about it for a while. I had a good amount of the symptoms related to upper cross posture, like the occipital headaches, random tingling in a hand or down arm, tight muscles in back of neck and jaw clicking. But the fear of a brain tumor never absolutely went away, because that's what was always in the back of my mind. Bad posture and weakened, lengthened muscles would take time, exercise and a chiropractor to fix and I knew that. But I still obsessed over this pain (that seemed to be less frequent and extreme when I would pay attention to my posture). Recently my anxiety about it has gotten really bad when I expressed my concern in a joking manner to my grandparents who then said headaches aren't a super common symptom, but seeing stars and things were. So I started to obsess over my vision and almost trying to see things. After a few weeks of that I occasionally would notice dark shooting dots in my peripherals (which I admit, sometimes was a fruit fly).

The past few days have gotten really bad though. Tingling on scalp or in the face. I admit the head pains have almost been non existent the past two days (probably because I've been obsessing over my vision and twitches, which has been seemingly worse) but I still get one or two a day I think. Earlier on my lunch break I was closing my eyes tight and opening them quickly to see what I would see and I kept seeing a very noticeable white light in the middle of my vision that would last maybe a second. Full blown panic attack mode. Had to lay down and breathe. Then I saw a much smaller unmistakable one a few minutes ago while I was working, that again launched a panic attack. Now i'm pretty much convinced I have a brain tumor. I have not been to a doctor, and I admit I haven't been to one in some years. My HA involves doctors and being diagnosed with something terrible too. So I am deathly scared of them, the mention of cancer (which I swear is almost every day it seems), and I obsess over symptoms. Almost create the ones I'm looking for it seems like. I'm even scared and feeling anxious typing this because I'm scared of a reply like "Woah, that does sound abnormal, you should go see your Dr. to rule anything major out". Which would launch a 3rd panic attack of the day.  :(

I hate this. Despite the frequency and intensity of all of the above symptoms being directly related to the severity of my anxiety and panic disorder, I am convinced I am going to die of a brain tumor soon.

Sorry for the novel, I just kind of let it all out I guess. Please just tell me how crazy I am. :/       
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Offline Intimidaze

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Re: Freaking out, Don't know what to do. Brain Tumor?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 05:37:28 PM »
Please stop creating symptoms. Been there done that, it's scary. I had Brain Tumor scares start when my friend was diagnosed with one. We're in High School. The best, easiest thing to do is get yourself checked out. No, I don't think you're crazy, or it's abnormal. I'm in a lymphoma scare right now and my health SEEMS to have gotten so much worse even thought they never bothered me before. You DO get physical symptoms from worrying, and looking it up only makes it worse. I have to go to the doctor tomorrow, and looked up Lymphoma and scare myself, and I advise you NOT to do the same. Good luck, I am sure you're perfectly healthy. You're not alone, just remember that. :)
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Offline sixpack

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Re: Freaking out, Don't know what to do. Brain Tumor?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 06:32:08 PM »
the things you describe are NOT evidence of brain tumor-----not even close.    What it IS evidence of is anxiety gone physical and/or just minor aches/pains ---little hitches in your giddy-up---that you have turned into something catastrophic.   As long as you monitor, ruminate, freak out over, look for abnormalities, the longer and worse these things get. 


Listen I've known 7 people either directly or indirectly with brain tumors.  One was my dad and one, my sister.  One a high school classmate who was dx'd with a glioblastoma 3 yrs ago.  He has a recurrence now.  In the last day or so  he had another surgery.   OOPS actually 8.  A friend of ours had an acoustic neuroma a year or two ago.    Not only do I know all of those peeps with brain tumors, my eldest has a serious brain malformation that causes all kinds of neuro issues with her.  I've seen what neurological cancers/tumors and dysfunction do to people.    So I will let you know when you get a symptom that looks like a brain tumor to me.   I am not one to give endless reassurance as it doesn't help but I will tell someone if , IMO,  they have an organic med issue that should be looked into.


when you get enough posts to your name check out my profile.  click on my username.  on my profile there are 4 links.  the third one is common anxiety symptoms.   the other three are my rambling posts about anxiety.   if you opt to read those posts, read the responses as well.
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MOST anxiety occurs on a subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state

Offline sixpack

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Re: Freaking out, Don't know what to do. Brain Tumor?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2014, 06:33:13 PM »
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MOST anxiety occurs on a subconscious level.  JUST because you don't feel consciously anxious or had a day or two of calm doesn't mean your mind & body are relaxed.  It can take months of reduced anxiety before a body goes back to a more non-reactive state

Offline hawkeyc

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Re: Freaking out, Don't know what to do. Brain Tumor?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2014, 12:05:38 PM »
Please stop creating symptoms. Been there done that, it's scary. I had Brain Tumor scares start when my friend was diagnosed with one. We're in High School. The best, easiest thing to do is get yourself checked out. No, I don't think you're crazy, or it's abnormal. I'm in a lymphoma scare right now and my health SEEMS to have gotten so much worse even thought they never bothered me before. You DO get physical symptoms from worrying, and looking it up only makes it worse. I have to go to the doctor tomorrow, and looked up Lymphoma and scare myself, and I advise you NOT to do the same. Good luck, I am sure you're perfectly healthy. You're not alone, just remember that. :)
Thank you for your reply. I agree, creating symptoms can be scary because the brain is actually capable of it. Good luck at your doctors appointment, I'm sure you are fine and it is just anxiety. After all, that's why you're here, right? :)

the things you describe are NOT evidence of brain tumor-----not even close.    What it IS evidence of is anxiety gone physical and/or just minor aches/pains ---little hitches in your giddy-up---that you have turned into something catastrophic.   As long as you monitor, ruminate, freak out over, look for abnormalities, the longer and worse these things get. 


Listen I've known 7 people either directly or indirectly with brain tumors.  One was my dad and one, my sister.  One a high school classmate who was dx'd with a glioblastoma 3 yrs ago.  He has a recurrence now.  In the last day or so  he had another surgery.   OOPS actually 8.  A friend of ours had an acoustic neuroma a year or two ago.    Not only do I know all of those peeps with brain tumors, my eldest has a serious brain malformation that causes all kinds of neuro issues with her.  I've seen what neurological cancers/tumors and dysfunction do to people.    So I will let you know when you get a symptom that looks like a brain tumor to me.   I am not one to give endless reassurance as it doesn't help but I will tell someone if , IMO,  they have an organic med issue that should be looked into.


when you get enough posts to your name check out my profile.  click on my username.  on my profile there are 4 links.  the third one is common anxiety symptoms.   the other three are my rambling posts about anxiety.   if you opt to read those posts, read the responses as well.
Thank you six-pack. Your confidence really made me feel better, it really did. It is also nice to see that you are such a respected member of this board as well. I would hope you wouldn't offer blind re assurance just to make me feel better, so it was nice that you addressed that as well. It helped that you know people who REALLY DO have this disease, and my prayers go out to them. I've always considered myself (and friends have) as a smart individual. I'm taking Calculus III right now in school, so it doesn't help when I think I know everything, combined with my obviously severe HA. The brain is capable of some pretty crazy stuff under anxiety and stress. I do not google symptoms, I am too scared. So it was nice to know you don't think they are even close to evidence of having one. Although I always thought seeing spots occasionally was a symptom, maybe you were more speaking on the head pains, and how they may or may not sound like the types of pains tumors could create. I read through the links and some replys, thank you for that.

It is nice to know I'm not alone, I just hope I can win this battle soon. 
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Online Jazeraca

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Re: Freaking out, Don't know what to do. Brain Tumor?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2014, 06:14:29 AM »
Hi there, Hawk.

I have almost the exact same symptoms as you do, except for looking for testicular cancer of course. =) I am 21 weeks pregnant, and like you, have horrible posture and use the computer a LOT (for work/play at this point). I have neck pain and I get headaches on the side of my head up to where my sinuses are, sometimes behind my eyes. Went to doc last week, he said he's not sure but it sounds like a sinus infection. Finished full course of antibiotics and nope, the pain is still there. Doc says it is very unlikely to get forehead pain from the neck but now I'm starting to wonder. I've had persistent headaches for 8 weeks now! Along the same time as the neck pain started. Granted the headaches do improve with rest, which is not what brain tumor headaches do (from what I hear). Do yours improve with rest?

I also have visual disturbances, but I also have had Visual Snow problems for as long as I can remember, since I was smoking weed when I was 18 I think (I'm 33 now). I see flashing lights occasionally and what looks to be black things darting across my peripheral vision. Granted, like you I DO have fruit flies in the house and I DO have floaters but I can't be sure that that is what it is. Your grandparents saying this is a symptom of a brain tumor is scaring the crap out of me right now, lol.

At this point I figure that either I'll drop dead before the baby is born, or when the baby is born I'll start demanding a CT or MRI or other work up. I did have one in Feb which came back clean. I also did have an eye doc check my eyes 3 weeks ago and she says my eyes look fine, except for astigmatism and borderline high eye pressure (20). Have you had any work up at all? How are you otherwise coping with this?

Personally I'm being told now that my visual/head symptoms are probably related to pregnancy (I've asked other pregnant women and they've never heard of this!) but I'm sure it will all be blamed on anxiety after the birth, lol.

Keep me updated with your progress.
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Dx: GAD, DESNOS, Fibro and other physical issues. Nothing serious, but of course my anxious mind will often find something very serious as with other things in my life. Anxiety is a fraud. Anxiety is not YOU or ME, it is an illness.

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