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Anxiety about MS

roblob

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Hi all,

I have a long saga, and I'm not sure how many will be interested to read all of it, but it may be good for me to write it down anyways. It's hard to say exactly when my anxiety in general started, but I know when it got worse. In May 2010 my mother died suddenly from leukemia caused by chemotherapy for breast cancer. It was unexpected and I took it really hard. In the months after I had an anxious breakdown, convinced I had leukemia and I was also dying. Looking back it was not rational, but anxiety often isn't. In the months that followed I calmed down some but never really had peace. I started taking celexa and xanax. The celexa did not help much but the xanax did help for the effect of it's duration. In the years that followed, I had every health anxietyyou could think of, including many cancers, neurological disorders (ALS and MS included).

I started developing muscle twitches, and a tightness and sometimes mild pain on the leftside of my body. I could feel it in my arm/shoulder, and my left leg. I had muscle twitching also, but that was literally everywhere on my body. I believe this was around 2011. It came and went some, but in 2012 I went to a neurologist about it and told him everything and we did an MRI. The diagnosis, nothing. He said there was no sign of anything and it was a really clean looking brain.

After that, I had a series of personal difficulties including getting divorced, remarried, and I've since had another child (I already had 2). Throughout the years I've taken xanax for general anxiety, sometimes taking it for a couple weeks at a time, or longer.

In the past week, I've had some stress and started feeling back pain. Sometimes when I'm getting a cold I'll feel something tingling in my back. I kind of had some worry about this, so of course I took xanax. Over the next couple days I thought it was subsiding kind of, but couldn't stop obsessing about it. Then, I started feeling what I hadn't felt in many years in my left side in both my arm and leg, cramping and tightness. And a mild exhaustion of sorts. The feeling is hard to describe. I also feel it on my left cheek. Convinced these are hallmark signs of MS, I started googling again, and I've been crippled all day. I'm uncontrollably panicking and resorting to this forum to chat. Maybe I do have MS? I'm planning on seeing a doctor this week. I don't know how to face the new reality that I may have this disease, especially since the symptoms have returned after so long, and they are on one side of the body, and it says online that not all MS scans show lesions.

I honestly don't know what kind of help I'm looking for, but I need to write this and have other people hear me out. I'm already worried how this new round of anxiety and potential neurological illness will affect my new wife and family I'm trying to start, and I'm having a really really hard time.
 

PERPETUAL SUFFERING

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There are two ailments that I have feared above all the others in my many episodes of hypochondria, schizophrenia being the absolute foremost, while muscular dystrophy being a close second. MS causes muscular dystrophy so naturally it did not escape my gaze. I can say that what you describe looks to be fairly normal and benign. I mean, sure it could be MS, but it could also be literally one thousand other things. From what I have heard about MS, it starts out with dizziness and balance problems, then again it is different for everyone. Also remember your anxiety is actively fueling your symptoms. Psychosomatic disorders are extremely dangerous for hypochondria suffers because they can fully convince you, that you have a disease when the symptoms are actually being manifested by your mind. This has happened to me and it was extremely destructive. The more you focus on your symptoms, the more likely it is that your brain will begin reproducing them. I do not know how this works or why it happens, but it simply does.

I suggest getting some exercise.
 

roblob

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Thanks for your reply, I've been exercising quite a bit actually, I just started at a new gym about 3 weeks ago. I've felt great for the past several years, so having a relapse like this is particularly troubling. The fact that we are on this forum at all means we know we're working through something greater than just a physical problem. I hope you're doing well and wish the best for you.
 

bbenedict

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Feeling the same thing - strange sensation on right side for a week or so - but then I google MS symptoms and the first 4 I see are vision problems, dizziness, chronic fatigue, and numbness/tingling - I don't really have any of those so that is keeping me from totally panicking. I keep telling myself that if I am walking without falling down then it is very likely anxiety :)
Also, like you, I've had this feeling before (many years ago) so it is just hard to have it come back but the fact that I've had it before suggests it is probably a relapse of anxiety but I'm struggling with it nonetheless
 
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