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I need to know if anyone has similar symptoms surrounding anxiety

F*ckAnxiety

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Big hello from New Zealand to my fellow anxiety warriors.

I have suffered from anxiety (predominantly health anxiety) for half my life which sounds like a lot however i'm only 24.

The past month has been extremely difficult for me and im nearing my wits end with suicide becoming a more and more attractive solution.

I am going to paste a timeline/ diary of what i've been experiencing in hope that someone here has similar experiences.
It makes for pretty crappy reading but i hope that someone reading finds some peace as well as I if experiences are similar.


I have written the following timeline to ensure I am able to express everything I have been experiencing since the 2/8/2019. I hope this information is enough of a template to begin extracting a diagnosis from.


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2/8/2019

-Near death boating experience which included extremely low temperatures for an extended length of time.

-Strangulation from a friend under the influence (index finger rammed forcibly into around my right trachea)



9/8/2019

-Begun to worry about the sensations in my throat

-Started forcibly feeling around the affected area.

-Began to feel:
  • Extremely light headed
  • Profusely numb
  • Legs excruciatingly painful
  • Felt as though I was going to die.

-In my panic, I ran next door and asked the neighbour to take me down to ED.

-I was sent away from ED with some bruising to my pride and a vivid memory of what ‘felt’ like a near death experience.
ED diagnosis- Panic attack



10/8/2019-14/8/2019

-Was unable to work during this period.

-Was in a constant state of anxiety about any organic issues causing persistent physical symptoms since the initial trip to ED.


-Physical symptoms include:

  • Numbness all over (especially head and right side of body)
  • Fatigue and weakness of limbs ( noticeably more on my right hand side)
  • Spells of complete fatigue, which seemed to be prior to any of my panic episodes
  • Pain and spasms in right and left neck
  • When getting up from rest my leg weakness is notably worse for a longer period of time.
  • Off balance
  • Hot spells
  • Nausea spells
  • Pressure in head

-Seeked reassurance via after hours GPs my regular GP and another trip to ED

-GP requested:
  • blood tests
  • CT scan on head
  • xray of neck
  • ultrasound of the carotid artery.

-Results for all of the above came back as normal.
GP diagnosis - Anxiety / Mental Trauma / Some swelling in neck.



15/8/2019-16/8/2019

-Able to return to work for some hours after requesting to be placed alongside a colleague at all times.

-Anxiety and excessive worry continued to be significant.

-Physical symptoms persisted, at times causing extreme fatigue and numbness.

-Eventually at work on the 16th these symptoms were so bad I was taken to the after hours GP.

-Without realising at the time, these symptoms were exacerbated by heavy breathing during the prolonged panic.

-I collapsed in the foyer of the GP where I was put on to a bed and had an ESG done (checked out normal).
Diagnosis -Panic attack


17/8/2019 - 19/8/2019

-Another trip to doctor
diagnosis-anxiety

-Anxiety continuing mood lowering exponentially.

-Physical symptoms persisting.



20/8/2019

-Went to pick up dinner after work.

-Entered the van and had a hot sensation in the affected neck area.

-Legs began to be painful, I went dizzy and lightheaded, numbness especially of head and limbs as panic set in.

-I recognised the panic and took 2x diazepam

-It took 40 minutes before I was able to drive home



21/8/2019- 26/8/2019

-3 more trips to the doctors in disbelief that there is nothing organically wrong.
GPs diagnosis -Anxiety / Trauma/ (after mentioning my concerns)- probably Glossopharyngeal neuralgia/ possibility of vagus nerve damage but no treatment.

-Was prescribed sodium valproate and ordered to increase my mirtazapine by the doctor on Friday, however hesitant to do so before seeing Dr Gareth.

-Anxiety continues however not as debilitating as previous.

-Feeling helpless as I still have no other explanation besides ‘anxiety’.

-My mood is reaching new lows as the continued uncertainty, potential for panic attacks and physical symptoms are preventing me from doing many everyday tasks and activities.



-Physical symptoms persisting- Especially :

  • Weakness of limbs (hard work to walk at times)
  • Numbness of extremities.
  • Fatigue
  • Feel uncoordinated (sometimes needing to hold myself up)
  • Irritable bowel and nausea
  • Spasms in left neck






27/8/2019

Anxiety is not as high as previous days due to comfort in knowing I have an appointment tomorrow with Dr Gareth.

-Dr rang me up regarding my concerns about potential vagus nerve issues.
Dr said if there is issues it could be causing a slower than normal heartbeat.
Dr prescribed me a salmeterol inhaler which would increase adrenaline for 12 hours to see if it eases the weakness.
Dr said what happens if damaged it over produces the inverse chemical of adrenaline causing symptoms synonymous with my symptoms.
Dr said this will help to identify the cause, however there is no treatment.

-Symptomatic periods in late morning.

-Took the salmeterol

-Periods of weakness but seemed not so significant in afternoon - I will need to repeat this over the next week to see if this is actually helping.

-5:30, physical symptoms set in strongly- Possibly, the extra adrenaline used up before 5 due to physical labor?

28/8/2019

Had a meeting with Dr gareth (physiatrist)
The meeting went well besides my anxiety preventing me from getting everything i wanted out, anticipating this I printed out this to give him to read.

He told me I have severe anxiety

Was prescribed a months worth diazepam

Ended up having a panic attack towards the end of the appointment - felt extreme numbness in head, cold legs and some weakness.



29/8/2019 - 30/8/2019

2 more large panic attacks with multiple periods of constant high anxiety levels.

Panic attacks seem to be triggered by the seemingly not related sudden numbness and weakness.





31/8/2019

Anxiety levels high even when taking a regular dose of diazepam.

Still have constant weakness especially down right hand side.
Functional limb weakness brought on by fatigue and /or panic attacks?

Have sudden belts of weakness .

I have a sharp pain in my neck which is probably from constantly feeling around

I also have a lump and pain in right jaw near the joint but behind the bone.

Everytime I stretch my neck out and feel the pain everything goes jelly all of a sudden weakness in legs and arms and numbness all over especially head.This seems to happen before I have any physiological changes from the panic, which appears to follow the numbness and weakness.

The subsequent anxiety / panic is what everyone sees.

Could the nerves be damaged enough to produce these feelings?
Could a branch of the vagus nerve be producing this?
The X-ray results said there was some inflammation.
Where was this inflammation and could it be nerve related.
Would a CT scan of neck and jaw pick up any issues?


1/9/2019

Pain in neck persisting

Am trying to not take any diazepam today to see if it helps.

Sudden weakness where I feel like I need to get up and walk which is happening since the beginning of this timeline.
Nerve damage to vagus?
Sudden dissociation?










-My (definitely naive) potential self diagnoses

Physical :


  • Chronic fatigue?
  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia - Doctor said is likely
  • Damage to the vagus nerve? - When reading about Glossopharyngeal neuralgia it states that 10 percent of patients (who have damage to the glossopharyngeal nerve) also have damage to the vagus nerve ‘damage to the vagus nerve can cause potentially life threatening heart irregularities and slower pulse which can cause slow pulse, sudden drops in blood pressure, fainting.’
** This has me most concerned as it seems likely that it could have been damaged with the strangulation and/or anxiously feeling around in the area . Sudden drops in blood pressure, lightheadedness,weakness and longer times to get blood around my body when standing or moving from rest makes this somewhat resonate with my ongoing symptoms.

  • Other nerve damage?




Mental:
  • None of this is happening and i'm just staring at a white wall in some unit like in the movies?
  • Some kind of persistent panic disorder?- Could this be synonymous with the seeming random episodes and underlying anxiety?
  • Health anxiety-certainly
  • Functional neurological symptoms disorder? -numbness and weakness, particularly on one side of the body is a common symptom.
  • Conversion disorder? Trauma from my first trip to ED of which felt like a near death experience ?
  • I've somehow sensitised myself to the symptoms surrounding my first panic attack and am feeling them constantly?
  • Functional limb weakness?









I can admit that the symptoms emanated from my original trip to ED which likely points to this physiological event as the origin of all my symptoms. However, In my eyes the physical symptoms and anxiety issues are largely their own entities thus I am still doubtful that my physical symptoms can be solely explained via the umbrella of anxiety.

I am anxious to speak with a specialist regarding my vagus nerve concerns as I am too afraid to do any more research since stumbling across the quote I mentioned above.

Ultimately, I am wanting an answer as to why I keep having spells of fatigue, weakness, numbness and discoordination as i find this to be most alarming.

If in fact there is no organic cause, I feel as though I need convincing psychological reason(s) that explain my ongoing physiological and physical experiences before I can begin to recover.
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If you managed to get to the end of this, Thank you and please feel free to provide any insights.
 

SusieQ

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That's what so tough about anxiety is it has symptoms but it's hard to convince yourself that it's anxiety and not XYZ. I have weakness on my left side so I get what you are saying when you talk about that. When I get anxious I feel numb in my face. I feel like I'm not in my body. Anxiety can bring on some horrific scary feelings. I'm glad you went to your Dr and she has diagnosed anxiety over and over even after testing. So now you work on the anxiety. It's hard and it's a daily thing but it does and will get better. I'm sorry you are going through this. This is a great community to vent to so keep up doing that.
You have been through tough tramatic experiences in Feb..you probably have PTSD from that which is why you have the continued anxiety. I didn't catch (I apologise) if you are speaking with someone about what happened ?
And I know how hard anxiety is. Don't give up. This life needs you in it. I don't know you, but I wish I could give you a hug. You aren't alone.
 

F*ckAnxiety

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Hi susie,
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and write back, i really do appreciate it!
Its so good having a forum where people are inspired to help eachother out. I guess the inspiration comes from the severity of this 'disease' thus big hugs your way too!
I have done a bit of reading up on the weakness down one side and it looks like it could be functional limb weakness which is a phycological phenomenon which can be caused by dissociation ( like you describe yourself having) and panic which is terribly bizarre hey.
actually everything i described happened in august just over here we write the month second because we are backwards haha.
Its just so hard to believe that something so physical is purely driven by my mind/brain.
PTSD possibly from the near death boating incident. I guess is it possible that when i was so physically numb during that, my anxiety has manifested into numbness? seems far fetched but maybe..

Thanks susie stay strong.
 

TenLettersRap

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stress can over stimulate the vagus nerve, as well as poor gut health affecting the vagus nerve, from the bottom up. inflammation can result from both, your doctors might say theres nothing more to do, but i want you to possibly look into a functional medicine approach. look into the microbiome and "minding my mitochondria" i've had some of these similar issues.
 

F*ckAnxiety

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stress can over stimulate the vagus nerve, as well as poor gut health affecting the vagus nerve, from the bottom up. inflammation can result from both, your doctors might say theres nothing more to do, but i want you to possibly look into a functional medicine approach. look into the microbiome and "minding my mitochondria" i've had some of these similar issues.
Hey mate, thanks for the reply!
Inflammation plays a big part of everything aye.
What kind of function medicines are you referring to?
and this reassuring that we have some like for like issues, what were these and how did you overcome them?
Thanks heaps
 

TenLettersRap

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Hey mate, thanks for the reply!
Inflammation plays a big part of everything aye.
What kind of function medicines are you referring to?
and this reassuring that we have some like for like issues, what were these and how did you overcome them?
Thanks heaps
well some of my initial symptoms began with some gut pains,heart palpitations, a dull ache in my inner thigh, testicular pain..then i started getting really bad headaches in the front of my head that hurt my eyes and felt like a lot of pressure, then i started having feeling like i was goong to pass out(mostly at work), then my right arm and leg both got really weak and tingly feeling one day at work that lasted a few hours, then from there i started getting a lot of fatigue and tiredness, i was finding ways to hide at work and sleep, then i started having muscle twitches in my legs, and eventually my whole body. i was getting to the point where i couldnt stand for more than 5 minutes and my legs would tremble. it was by chance i kept seeing this lady on youtube and finally clicked her video and she talked about functional medicine practices after her own experiences with conventional medicine were failing her. its all about proper nutrition and cutting out a lot of junk
 
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