Anxiaty help required?

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Chooper_27

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Mar 20, 2019
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Scotland, United Kingdom
#1
Firstly thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this and respond, im 31 years old and since december this year I have been suffering physical symptoms which initially I believe to be medical however as time goes on I'm beginning to think it's anxiaty and depression related. It started with a stitch like feeling I had in my abdoman, I then went on to develop the flu or cold it was going about at work, however over christmas this flu/cold disappeared and the stitch feeling turned into major pain on my left abdoman, needless to say i googled my symptoms and came up with bowel and colon cancer, I panicked reading this, I seen my doctor who organised ultra sound which came back clear and a colonoscopy which would be 5 weeks away, during this 5 weeks I became obsessed with this pain and kept googling and using sites to diagnose, I started to get a pain in my back and once again googled my symptoms and pancreatic cancer came up, once again I became obsessed by this and turned from bowel stuff to pancreatic, I should state for years I have had pale floating stools which is a symtom of pancreatic issues, I also had stool test which showed inflammation in my stool, during this time I paid to see a Gastroentorologist about how I was feeling he suspected it was post viral and the symptoms I was suffering were just that, during this time I was in and out of a and e with pain and had countless blood tests done which all came back fine apart from one time where my liver was slightly abnormal however this has apparently went back to normal, again this was something I obsessed over why was this abnormal, I eventually had the colonoscopy which showed nothing but again cause I had convinced myself I had pancreatic cancer I didn't think it would, again in this time I have had almost daily trips to a and e with pain, I paid for a ct scan with a contrast dye as I was told this would show the pancreas up best I had this done and no issues where found, I also had another ct scan with contrast through the nhs 4 weeks later and was sure something would show as when i was the machine I was feeling very ill, again results came back with nothing although there was a haziness of the mesntry fatty tissue that supplies the blood vessels to the intestine again this worries me as it didn't show on the first scan but I've been told this can't be causing my symptoms, I have repeated the stool test and the inflammation found has came down to a normal level, again because of pain being felt I again took to Google and pancreatic sites and came across a few stories where the tumour wasn't found on ct scans this sent me into panick overdrive, I also read up more about symptoms and not only was left side abdominal pain and back pain one pain in the middle of the stomach was also another, well low and behold I developed pain below my sternum and was having trouble breathing again more trips to a and e for no issues to be flagged up and trips to my gp with no real avail, however my gp started to ask the questions of is everything okay at home, any stress? I was rather defencive when this was asked as I felt they were giving up trying to find out what was going on, I said I didn't have any stress at home which is a lie as I have had financial issues which have defiantly caused stress, also all the googling had defiantly caused stress and anxiaty, so now I am 3 and half months into my ordeal and no answers medically, I have lost lots of weight I was 124kg so had lots of weight to loose but now I am 114kg so 10kg lost in this time, I have also started muscle twitching all over especially in my feet something I have experienced before, 5 years ago I developed muscle twitching out the blue shock horror I googled this and convinced myself I had als as it was one of the symptoms I spent alot of money to find out that this wasn't the case but I stressed over it and eventually gave myself chronic fatigue, during that time afterwards I put on alot of weight and haven't been the same person, this episode in having in no way started the same as before but now I have the twitching in now thinking is it related, I have also had left sided headache and pressure behind my left eye for a few weeks now, I'm struggling to sleep, 20 mins at a time and I'm not eating whatsoever toast and odd bannana which is not good and alarming as I used to be someone who loved food, I'm in A place where my gp thinks it is pretty much anxiaty causing my issues and as I have been In a and e alot they seem to be thinking the same, I'm finding it very difficult to accept due to the very real symptoms I am suffering but each doctor tells me I have had so much testing that the likelihood of it being something is so small, for me the pains and weight loss are a huge worry I've been prescribed anxiaty meds which I've started, I realise I have been obsessed with self diagnosing but so far blood tests, ultra sound, 2 x ct abdominal scans, colonoscopy have found nothing all of which each doctor is saying is extremely reasurring, I haven't been out of bed due to the pain and suffering so am alone with my thoughts alot, if I scratch my leg these days I question what that could be, I'm in A dark place just now and I'm hoping that someone recognises similarities to what I'm going through and can maybe she'd some light on my experience, I thank anyone who responds and takes time to read.
 
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gam9147

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Feb 18, 2019
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246
Location
Delaware, USA
#2
Hi My friend, welcome and thank you for sharing.

Health anxieties are hard, and I understand when you say you almost wish it was something because then you'd have a cause.

Let me try to posit a slightly different way to look at it that has helped me somewhat -- Let's say you do have something seriously wrong. In this case it would be natural to have some anxieties, but even folks who are dying of cancer probably don't have as much anxiety as you have regarding health. Whether or not you have a health issue, you most certainly have an anxiety issue. Clearly you are already exploring all medical routes to the health issues.

How about the anxiety? The first step is you need to bring your eating and sleeping back to normal. I understand because when I'm feeling poorly, even last night, my sleep gets disrupted and my eating goes out the window. Medications are usually used to help with the sleep. I don't see if you wrote it anywhere, are you taking a medication for anxiety? and/or for sleep? Once you are able to rest and achieve some calm, your appetite will return.

You should if you have not yet, seek out some therapy. Again whether or not you have a medical issue you have an anxiety issue and just as with any medical issue, you should seek treatment for it. A trained therapist (cognitive behavioral is my recommendation) can help you to try to live in the present moment and not focus as much on future/health thinking. You should of course try your best not to google symptoms as this only tends to make your feelings about health anxieties worse. Trust in your doctors for the time being and trust that if there is anything seriously wrong they will help you find it and they will work on your continuing care. Every symptom you are listing can simply be anxiety and in your case, the most likely cause.

If it helps to have something from my personal experience, a few months ago I had what was probably a series of panic and anxiety attacks that I was sure were low blood sugars (despite happening after I ate). These are tricky because the symptoms are the same. It freaked me out and I went on a medical hunt as you have with blood work, and what not, was even going to get a CT scan of my pancreas. I finally got a good doctor who stopped me and said really your blood sugar is normal and it can't be doing what you thinking its doing. But anxiety can.
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

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California, USA
#3
Yep. I wound up in the hospital, sure I was dying of liver failure. Loosing weight. Horrible abdominal pain. Tests all came back clear. Once I started treatment for my mental health, the pain slowly went away and my appetite returned.
You must quit googling symptoms. Focus on getting good sleep and getting treated for anxiety and depression. Maybe get therapy. You have hypochondria - health anxiety, which can be treated. Now you just need to pursue getting it taken care of with as much diligence as you have been with the other things you feared you had.
 
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Chooper_27

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Scotland, United Kingdom
#4
Thanks so much for the replies it really does help having people who have been through similar experiences passing on there knowledge, I think I really do need help on the mental aspects, I have read up a bit on anxiaty and I think that my body has been in fight or flight mode since I got my first symptoms, I have been given medication now for sleep which has helped that side of it, only been on it a day and half, still very little appetite but this might take time, I do have a problem, I've convinced myself of bowel cancer, pancreatic cancer, and now because my twitching has returned als, I recognise this isn't healthy but I just can't seem to switch my brain off and my body is suffering, the heat coming off of my left side of my body is also a worry for me mainly my abdoman and back, is this a common anxiaty symptom? I feel like the heat and burning is a warning something is going on inside, I should also state that I'm taking anxiaty meds now which will probably take a bit time to kick in, I'm just so aware of everything my body is doing at the moment that any tiny thing is a trigger in my head, especially down my left side, can I ask, can the body almost mimic symptoms of a disease that you have read up on if you suffer anxiaty or as mentioned hypocondria? Like I say all my issues seem mainly down the left side of my body, again thanks for the responses it really does help knowing there is people who have experience of going through this and coming out the other side, all the tools and advice I certainly take on board.
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

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#5
I'm glad you are going to be getting help with sleep. Proper sleep makes everything so much easier to deal with, so that's great.
Anxiety medication - some work pretty fast (benzodiazepine class), others take some time.
Yes, you can completely start feeling symptoms of diseases you are worried you have. Your mind is very powerful that way.
It sounds like you've been checked out by the doctors, and they aren't coming up with any physical problems, so for right now, assume it's your anxiety.
And anxiety can have so many symptoms: loss of appetite, trembling, hot flashes, dizziness, body pain, sleeplessness, the list goes on. Adrenaline and cortisol are running through your body, putting you into a, as you said, "fight or flight" state.
Have you ever tried body relaxation/guided meditation exercises? There are many on YouTube, and there are free apps - Insight Timer or Youper are good ones. You just lay down, close your eyes, and listen to soothing music and a calm voice guiding you towards relaxation, along with deep breathing. Try this, seriously, it helps.
Lastly, you may find help with therapy, especially CBT.
I hope the medicines start working, and that you find peace. You deserve to feel better, and you just have to keep working to get there. You will!
 
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Chooper_27

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#6
Thanks again for taking time out to reply, I will take your advice and look into relaxation techniques, my problem is I have always been such a negative thinker, always looking at the worst scenarios and having so much self doubt, in the past I would laugh off things like relaxation and therapy but now I'm realising that I probably do have a major mental health issue, and thinking about it having such a negative mindset for so long has probably contributed to this, if I am truly honest with myself I haven't been happy and somewhat depressed for such a long time which has in turn developed into anxiaty specifically more so about my health, I've always refused to admit to myself that I have a mental health issue and so when others bring it up ie doctors I get very defensive as I'm convinced my problems are more physical and sinister, I go back 5 years when i had my first health scare, i developed all over body twitching and as I have previously stated I googled my symptoms, low and behold I had diagnosed myself with als and became majorly stressed and anxious, I then got all over joint pain and then chronic fatigue, I feel this was due to my body being in that fight or flight mode it didn't know what it was doing and burnt out, I got checked for als the doctor that I seen said it would be a waste of my money but I insisted and it turned out I was fine, I was told it was normal for people with lots of muscle and that are active to have such twitching, back then I was in great shape and loved sports although I defiantly had stress as I had a gambling problem which I was keeping hidden and have done so all my life, this current episode didn't start like that before and I don't recognise similarities until recently the muscle twitching has returned, in my head I'm back to being convinced I have als but more likely it is my body's stress response to anxiaty and stress, but getting my head and mind to accept that is proving impossible and I can't switch off therefore making the twitching more prominent and it's a circle that just continues, its nice to have somewhere to be open and honest with no judgement,
 
Victorianna

Victorianna

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#7
Yes, because you have health anxiety, your mind will always go to the worst possible reason for any ache or pain.
Try relaxation, try breathing exercises, and if you can afford it- try therapy. You need to learn how to challenge these catastrophic thoughts you have, and a good therapist can help.
Another resource is books. Try: Overcoming Health Anxiety, also: The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook.
It’s very hard, I know. I’ve been through it, and my son suffers from health anxiety and depression. In your rational mind, you know it’s anxiety, but your emotional mind won’t let you accept that, and insists it’s a real disease.
It’s a difficult process to overcome this, but I think you can. Accepting that you have anxiety is half the battle, and it sounds like you are finally there.
 
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Chooper_27

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#8
Thanks for taking time to help and support it really does mean alot, I think half the battle is accepting i have anxiaty and that most probably my symptoms are all related to this and even though I'm beginning to accept it, my pains and symptoms won't just clear over night, I've always been impatient and want everything to happen at the click of a button but that's not the way the world works, I have been reading more and more about anxiaty and I relate to so much of it, for so long I have hurried my head in the sand regarding personal issues and ignoring them instead of taking responsibility, at the moment I lack the energy to tackle these issues but I'm more determined than ever to get them sorted as I think that they also contribute to my negative mindset, it's crazy to think how complex the human mind is and the fact that it can cause real symptoms, I'm beginning to think that I almost wanted these symptoms in a way and my body has responded saying there you go so that I have an excuse not to deal with my personal problems, it's going to be a long road I feel and I need to learn to be patient and not push so hard and accept that there will be setbacks, overall I think this has been coming for a long time and it's just been a build up to the point where my body can't take the heightened state it's been in and is somewhat broken but what gives me hope is the people on here making it very clear that there can be light at the end of the tunnel, it just takes acceptance and knowledge of what your dealing with
 
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gam9147

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#9
Right my friend, assume whether or not you have health issues, you definitely have anxiety, and work on that for now since you can address that. Meditation is good for any health ailment you may have as well as anxiety. If you find yourself not able to meditate well -- firstly keep trying. Secondly, simply work on deep breathing techniques.

If you find after your able to achieve a few minutes of calm from these techniques that suddenly your not in pain/worry anymore, then again chances are its your mind doing this to you.
 
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Chooper_27

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#10
Thanks for the advice I will try these techniques, it's funny you say that there have been a couple of occasions where my mind has been a little pre occupied with something else other than worry and my symptoms don't seem to bother me as much but as soon as I switch back and think oh I've not felt that where is it, all of a sudden it's back, my automatic thought is where is that pain and I start thinking about it, again it's great to have people encouraging more positive behaviours this site must help so many through some difficult times, glad I found this place,
 
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gam9147

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#11
Glad its already helpful :) Its just personal experiences from all of us too. I have health anxieties and my recent bout of problems started with obsessive thoughts about my blood sugar, which was actually a medical problem, but I blew it up worse in my mind and then I started thinking about how I was going to be able to handle other health issues and next thing you know boom anxiety attacks, weeks of effort, back in therapy etc.

But the first reassurance I started with was to just assume I had some horrible problem with my pancreas or what have you and deal with coping statements that I could get through it and there was no immediate danger -- if I fainted etc. I used some practical solutions (glucose tablets nearby) just in case and then just worked on the anxiety. Sure enough my daily anxiety attacks subsided enough for me to realize it was definitely the anxiety or the symptoms wouldn't have subsided.
 

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