Hi all! I have been reading the forum for a while, and it has been easing my mind to some extent. I am a 22 year old active, healthy eating female college student. Basically every member of my family on my mom's side suffers from anxiety. August ended up being a really stressful month for me. So much that I ended up in the ER thinking I was having a heart attack (im sure many of you can relate). I was told it was anxiety and all was ok. I still had severe chest tightness after that and occasaional hyperventialtion. One weekend I decided to drive home for the weekend and as I was driving I felt some pains going down my legs. This of course scared me so I had a panic attack and ended up having to turn around and go back and it has all been downhill since then! Here are the symptoms I have had since about beginning of Semptember and in order of their progression.
tingling feeling in my arms and hands
arms and hands felt heavy and week
pains down legs and down arms into fingers
bad back and neck pain
upper back and right calf had a burning sensation
.....Mom thought it was a pinched nerve since I had been sleeping on a futon since August. Went to a general practioner who prescribed me a Medrol pack to see if it could reduce any inflammation on any nerves. Did bloodwork for hypothyroidism or vitamin deficiences..all came back normal. Took the 7 day dose of Medrol, went to get a massage, had a nice relaxing spa bath. Then then pain got worse
started getting cramps in my feet and calves....not the the point of charlie horse but achy tight feeling
started getting twitches mainly in calves
tingly crawly feeling on tip of my nose and around my right eye
legs felt achy like a growing pains type of feeling
still getting pains in arms and legs
pain worse when first wake up in morning and lay down at night
legs feel restless and like i have to move them when sitting down or laying down
pain in neck, shoulder, and arm on side I lay on in bed
feeling spacy and "out of it"
upper back sore
...freaked out and did WAY too much looking online. Got scared that I had MS. I went back to my GP who suggessted I see a neurologist and get an MRI. I got got a brain and C spine MRI..all came back normal. Went to the neurologist who did all kinds of weird tests...said my nerves were not damaged and everything looked fine and he saw no signs of MS or neurological problems. He suggested I get some bloodwork done to test for any rheumatological diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthrits. This of course freaked me out and basically the day he said that I started getting pains in my joints and Im still getting the pains and achy feelings in my arms and legs!
Im so tired of living my life like this...it has drained me to the point that Im not myself anymore. Its the only think I think about. I definitely feel like a hypochondriac. I keep telling myself if the rheumotological bloodwork comes back fine then Im going to move on and accept that this is all anxiety...but when will i really stop! I have been researching online about lupus....i don't really have any of the other symptoms other than joint pain and muscle pain, so I am trying to ease my worries with that fact.
Im so scared! Can this really all be in my head? I sure hope so... except that ill feel like im going crazy! No one seems to understand :( I know some symtpoms can be caused by anxiety...but can muscle pains and join pains also?? Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated....sorry for the novel!
I get very similar symptoms to some of yours, such as the achy legs and slight cramping in the calves. Sometimes my feet and hands will ache. My symptoms come and go and never seem to get above a certain level, although on the odd occasion it can feel quite bad, but not in an agonising sort of way. Some days i can be pain free, but then i usually get the spaced/dizzy type feeling in my head. It seems to be either one or the other with me, rarely both at the same time, thankfully.
Because they come and go i've just put it down to stress and anxiety. Do yours come and go or are they there all the time?
Stress and anxiety can cause debilitating pain for some people, even when they are'nt particularly feeling stressed or anxious.
I feel like they are there all the time...but to different degrees. When I focus on them they definitely get worse. However, there have been a few times that I have been really focused on what I was doing or having fun and I realized afterwards that I didn't notice any of the symptoms at that time. Wish I could be back to my old self!! Is it possible to ever be who you once were after anxiety takes over your life like this??
I go for a four mile walk every day, even when i have leg aches and it never seems to get any worse. In fact my legs often feel better when i'm walking. This is another reason i think it's just caused by stress and anxiety.
I have wondered that...before all of this I was very active and would work out about 3 times a week. But since all this I have been so scared to make anything worse that I have definitely not been active like I used to be
the weirdest thing to me is the fact that the joint pain didnt really bother me...occasionally stiff hands...but when the doctor decided to test me for lupus etc...I know feel like it bothers me the worst and my other symptoms other than the pains in my arms and legs...have mostly subsided
I never really thought hypochondria could be real...can I really be bringing these things on myself??
I am having bad joint pain in my shoulders and knees now...sometimes fingers and feet also :(
Sorry to hear your anxiety is back You one of the first people to answer me I didn't take the lexapro I was able to get pass mine I hope the same for you I'm not all the way there and may never be but I am learning to deal with it in other ways I just started doing things I used to do and to trying find myself again I don't try to over think anymore I think or try to stay positive Good luck to you
I don't think you're a hypochondriac, but I do think you're suffering from anxiety. The family history reinforces that belief for me. I have painless tingles in my rear end, of all places (sometimes in the legs and feet), that used to come and go. Now, they seem to be with me all the time in the house, but leave most of the time when I go out. I've had just about every test and all come back normal. I don't feel nervous or depressed except about the tingles, but everyone tells me it's stress. It's very hard to accept that it is, but I guess I'll have to. I have a broken rib right now, but before that happened, I could exercise a lot and feel better. Like the poster above, I feel a lot better when walking or even cycling. To me, that rules out a pinched nerve. I feel worse when I try to relax, but it's not RLS or fibro. I hope all of us get some relief and feel better soon. God bless.
It was really good to hear someone else is feeling the same way I do. I am a 30 year old mother of one and have never been anxious in my life. And yes I am soooo over it. To make a long story short it started in January when I went to the hospital (felt like I was having a heart attack or a stroke) they said I was low in potassium and gave me some Xanax. I was scared to death to take any anxiety medicine... me anxiety I don't think so. Anyway time went by and my potassium tests kept coming back normal but I was still having symptoms....
short of breath
back, neck and shoulder pain
tingling in hands, legs, feet and face etc..
So since then I have been to numerous specialists-neurologist, cardiologist, endocrinologist anyway my tests have been normal. The doctor wanted me to start Paxel. Again I did not want to so I told her I would much rather do counseling. In the mean time I did decide to go to a Chiropractor. Even though it feels great I still have not seen my symptoms go away. The counselor of coarse finds everything going wrong in your life so that does increase your anxiety. But I do have to say it has been helpful and I have learned a lot about myself in the mean time. Her famous quote is it will probably get worse before it gets better. Well it did!!! Anyway after a few sessions with the counselor my symptoms got worse. Being desperate for relief I started popping the Xanax and yes it does take the symptoms away. Since Xanax is not a good long term solution I did agree to start the Paxel and take it for 6 months. I have been on that for about 45 days, after 30 days it was not working so the doctor doubled the dose. Now on 20mg waiting to see if I feel better after 60 days.
In the mean time I decided to try acupuncture, what the hell do I have to lose now… I have been twice and I like it. He also adjusts me like a chiropractor will do. I still have symptoms but I like that fact he is looking at the whole picture which is something I feel the doctors lack. He has put me on some vitamin supplements. I go for my third visit this afternoon and looking forward to it. It is very relaxing. I have also decided to get a series of massages. It is hard when everyday is a struggle and you keep feeling like you have something more than just anxiety. Since none of my friends or family have experienced this they do not understand and sometimes its hard for me to understand. Anyway when I read your entry it made me feel like I was not alone. Thanks for listening…. Sorry I guess mine became a novel also
It so relieving to hear that other people have the muscle pains and weakness because that is one of my worst and most annoying symtoms (symptoms)! I hate it so much....even when I am having fun or not focusing on my pains at all I will still have the pains in my arms, hands, legs, neck, back...basically you name it. Thats why I freaked out and went to the nuerologist but of course everything was normal. My dr also gave me a small dosage of xxanx. I have taken a half a pill only a couple of times when my chest was really tight. I am scared also because I know it is not a long term solution. I am really contemplating trying the acupuncture...I am feel the same as you...what the heck do I have to lose at this point!!
Its crazy to think and hear about all of us who have spent so much time and energy worrying, going to different dr's, getting tests and bloodwork, waiting for results...yet nothing make our symptoms go away permanently. They say anxiety is a learned behavior but sometimes I really wonder!
God bless!....everyone say a prayer for me that my rheumatological bloodwork comes out ok...I am supposed to find out Mon or Tues...
I enjoyed my acupuncture appointment yesterday. It was very relaxing. I have to agree with you on a learned bahavior since nobody around me has anxiety. Even growing up my parents were not anxious. Let us know about your blood work. We will find something that works just keep on writing. Hang in there one day at a time.. Talk to you soon..
I think people should do what works for them as long as it isn't harmful. I mean, I'm not into abusing drugs or anything, but I don't see anyone here doing that. If acupuncture works, go for it. If massage works, go for it. If Paxil works, take it as long as you experience no bad side effects. Heck, if taking a mile long walk every day works, do it! I hope everyone feels better and all our tests come out wonderfully normal.
I agree with you... I think different things work for different people.. What ever gets us through the day..(harmless ways) I do think when this happenened to me I learned alot about myself.. I look at things differntley now... I hope everyone is well
I just wanted to tell you that I read your whole comment and it just made me feel so much better because literally every single word that you wrote about your symptoms is EXACTLY how I feel.. I almost feel like I was reading something I wrote. I am a 23 year old female and I am finishing up grad school... My entire dad's side of the family has anxiety issues and I have had anxiety for about 4 years now. It all started one day while i was in one of my classes. However, I only had mild panic attacks maybe once every 2 months.
Ever since this past August, I have never felt so horrible in my entire life.. it all started with me not sleeping so great at night. Then I became exhausted throughout the day and started having high levels of anxiety every single day. I went to my PCP and told her about all the symptoms just like yours: pains in my legs and arms all the way down to my finger tips, feeling restless like i need to move, back pain, wicked bad headaches and head pressure, etc. She told me it was all anxiety... one night i even woke up out of a sound sleep in a panic so bad that my boyfriend was 2 seconds away from calling 911 because my heart was beating so fast.
I have been seeing a psychologist for about 6 weeks now and he just basically gives me new ways to breathe and relaxation strategies... they dont work that great but they are okay. I totally know how you feel about not being able to stand living your life like this... I am soo sick of it too... I feel like i'm all alone because no one can understand how it feels... everyone just tells me its all in my head and i'm the only one that can fix it... it's just sooo much easier said than done.. I feel so bad for my boyfriend that has to deal with my horrible attitude towards life lately... thankfully he has been so great through all this as well as my mother... I feel like I have been to the doctors more times in the past 3 months than my entire life! It's horrible... I just had blood tests done today. I can't even do every day activities that I used to enjoy because it is taking over my life! It's awful....
Anyway, I hope it helps to know i'm EXACTLY like you because it helped me to read your comments..
Wow! I totally feel for you girl. It sucks so bad to be so young and be going through all this. I feel like everyone else is enjoying college and living the best years of their lives while im stuck worrying my life away and waking up everyday wondering how bad the pains will be that day. I too have been to the dr way more in the last 2 months than I ever have in my life. Waiting for the results is the worse. Its like a never ending cycle. Waiting only brings on more anxiety. I too hate so bad when people say "its all in your head". That why this forum has helped me so much...to see that others are going through what im going through and can understand. Its good that you have a good boyfriend and good mom who will be there for you. Good support it such a huge help. Good luck to you!! And you are definitely NOT alone...hang in there!
My ANA blood results came back normal!! I am so relieved. I think I have had just about every test done at this point, so I am going to try and move on with my life and accept that this is anxiety. I refuse to live my life like this. You only live once and I dont want to waste anymore of it worrying....we will see how long this lasts haha :)
I wanted to share that I have started walking around my neighborhood for about 2 miles every night when I get home from work and it has seemed to get some of my anxious energy out. My worst time for my anxiety is usually at night and this seems to be helping it. Just thought i'd share!
Ok so I am going on my 5th day with no Xanax. Hopefully I can make it the rest of the day with out it. So I guess something is starting to work (Acupuncture, Vitamins, Massage or Paxil) at this point I do not care as long as its working. I still have numbness in my leg and airms, sometimes a twinge on a muscle here and there, hardly an appetite and I am super tight in my back, neck and shoulders,. Does anyone know the big differences between Anxiety, MS or Fibromyalgia/CFS? It seems like the symptoms are all about the same. Thanks for listening and congrats on normal blood tests.
I think thats the big problem and one of the things that causes all of us so much anxiety....the symptoms of them can all be so similar. I think just about everyone of us has gotten freaked out that we had MS . One of the main things I guess is if you can notice the symptoms coming on or getting stronger when you feel your anxiety worsen. I know sometimes when I was really focused on something else I wouldnt have the tingling but when I would start to get really anxious I would get the facial tingling. Also if you have several other symptoms of anxiety it is very likely that these symptoms are also coming from your anxiety.....of course the only way to know is to go to the dr and make sure...and most of the time this is the only way us anxious people can calm our nerves....Congrats on your 5th day! Keep up the good work and good luck continuing it
Just want to tell you all I know how you feel! I have social anxiety ,panic attacks and I'm scared to take Meds even though the doctors tell me I have anxiety I feel there's something wrong like I'm dyeing from something I can't believe how your body can make up all symptoms over stress. My symptoms are
1. Tingly and numbness finger toes and a burning sensation
2. Heat palpitations Rapid heart beat
3. Pain in fingers arms back legs head comes and goes
4. Chest heavy feel like i can't breath
5. When i get a panic attack i feel like i can't move
6. Weak always tired
7. Lump in throat
8. A feeling of unreality Derealisation (feeling unreal or dreamy) Depersonalisation (feeling outside yourself or like you don't exist)
9. Shaking visibly or inside
10. Smothering or shortness of breath sensations
11. Nausea, bloating, indigestion or abdominal discomfort
12. Dizziness or unsteadiness
13. Feeling light-headed
14. Fear of losing control or going crazy
15. Chills or hot flushes
16. Skin losing colour
Blushing or skin blotches
17. Urgently needing to urinate.
I'VE BEEN TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FOR HAVEING A PACIC ATTACK not realizing what it was I thought I was having a heart attack .
I have anxiety all the time and panic attacks at night at night So I started seeing a therapist "family counselor" for anxiety and they told me I have congested thoughts they started doing MDR on me it's rapid eye movement it puts your thoughts away in the right file and helps you to move on, Now all of my dad side of the family has anxiety my aunt wakes in the middle of the night with panic attacks still she's 53 I don't want to live like this . It's getting better I can cut the symptoms list in half .I started working out it helps. I don't take medication"xanax" on a regular bases I take it if I start feeling like I'm going to have a panic attack. I never wish it on anyone . It's not a disease.
I am so sorry to hear about what your going through because I know how you feel. It is so hard to "work on your anxiety". Its easier said than done. I have been doing better since I feel that have done about every test possible on my...but Im still getting symptoms....just not as often or as severe. Exercising is a great start! In my mind...if I can exercise without passing out or falling over in pain then I must not have too bad of a disease :) I take xanax too but only when I feel a panic attack coming on. I am going to the Dr on Tuesday and I am considering Lexapro. My only concerns are when I want to stop or if there are long term side effects because I am so young now.
Litereally my entire moms side of the family suffers from anixety. My aunt, Uncle, and cousin are all on lexapro and it has really helped them.
I too am tired of living my life like this. Im not myself and being in pain sucks! No one understands what your going through but HANG IN THERE!!
Anxiety is a learned habit and we havent suffered from it our entire lives...it is something we can overcome. My dilemma is can I overcome it on my own or do I need medicine to help
I guess I feel like if my anxiety can bring on so many crazy symptoms that are running my life and making me upset...medicine may help...because when will the anxiety stop...when will I stop worrying about every little ache or pain
I have all of your symptoms and started thinking I had MS, too. Still do, at times. I'm acutally seeing a neuro on Tuesday to put that idea to rest. It all started for me in June. I'm 29 by the way. I was reading with my head in a weird position and felt a searing pain up my neck and then started trembling and diarrhea - oh, and left arm pain. We had been driving the day before and came to an abupt stop and felt my head snap forward. Slight tingling,burning in neck but it went away. Well, as the week went on the symptoms got worse, I think I had a mild concussion which didn't help. I went to the ER and they said anxiety - since I had suffered from it for 3 years (but never like this). I took an antivan (but the doctor literally had to sit with me for 20 minutes before I agreed!!) Then the neck pain/stiffness set in...and back to the ER. I had never been to the ER ever -- and now twice in one week!! I had cervical neck strain (whiplash) and the neck stiffness and pain was so persistant as was the trembling, etc I started having:
1. brain zaps - electrical shock feeling in brain right before falling asleep
2. tingling and numbness in legs, started in feet I think
3. buzzing feeling in body and head
4. ears felt plugged - especially left side
5. joint aches and pain
6. dizziness - feeling of swaying
7. jittery - couldn't sit still
8. brain fog - out of it and spacey -- couldn't focus enough to even read or watch tv
9. twitches all over my body - legs, back, etc
10. tight feeling in head (like wearing a tight hat)
11. facial numbness and pain
12. horrible headaches - like elephant sitting on head
13. horrible cramping in legs
14. lost weight
15. tight upper back, neck - related to whiplash
16. internal shaking
17. trembling hands - minor
18. couldn't sleep through the night
19. mentally - I would get this dull feeling in forehead and feel out of it, like I was losing my mind
20. Neck spasms - related to whiplash
21. Zero appetite
22. At night, I would wake up and feel like my body was on fire - wave of heat swept over me
23. feeling weak and achy
These were constant feelings, not a panic attack that went away within 30 minutes (which I'd had before with shortness of breath, tight chest, sweating, jelly legs). So, I started thinking I had every disease known to man. I saw a lot of doctors as well as an accupunturist, chiro, etc.
Thankfully a lot of the symptoms have calmed down. I'm still having crampy legs, weak feeling in hands and legs at times, jittery, internal shaking and buzzing at times, brain fog. I get dizzy, swaying feeling at times -- sometimes constant. I also get minor muscle spasms in neck when I'm espeically tense. I also notice my symptoms increase when I'm focusing on them or when I'm reading posts like yours! Thankfully, my appetite is back, but I almost want to eat all the time, which is unlike me. It's like I have so much nervous energy I could eat all day long.
I take a magnesium powder drink at night which helps the twitching A LOT, so I highly recommend it. I barely have any twitching anymore. Also, there's a book called Hope and Help For Your Nerves that was written in the 1960's or something but it's helped a little. The accupuncture also helped me sleep and relax a bit.
I'm meeting my neuro soon, so I can't WAIT! I'm also thinking about doing some work with a therapist if necessary. I make sure I eat often and snack in between to keep my blood sugar normal. I'm also taking a new vitamin supplement.
Join a yoga class if you can. I now go three times a week and it's been wonderful.
Good luck -- you'll get through this. Good thing you had all the tests done so you can put your mind at ease. I have never been so obsessed that I have some disease before. It's very scary but having a positive attitude through this is very important.
I said I wouldn't even dare get on the computer again to look for some other crazy disease I had, but today I am actually glad I did!
I have been going through all of the same symptoms for 2 months. I have been to the minor er 2 times in the past 3 months for possible heart attacks, and have been tested for hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, all vitamin deficiencies, stress tests, heart ultrasounds, gosh I can't even remember everything. Anyways, I saw a therapist twice and 3 different doctors, a nutritionist, and a chiropractor. Where does it end?
I was doing just fine over a month ago with running 5 miles a week with my jogging stroller:), seeing my therapist, and reading about the Charles Lindeman anxiety books (which I HIGHLY recommend), and then I went for a follow up with a nutritionist (who I think is a quack and preying on people in dark moments and taking their money) who told me I had a gluten sensitivity based on a ridiculously expensive DNA test and that I cannot eat any gluten or I would get a plethora of diseases (including cancer- which my mother passed away from 3 years ago). So with that lovely information- my arm, chest and neck pain has all started again and its continuing all over! Argh, I AM SO OVER THIS!!!!
I don't take the anxiety medication everyone wanted me to because I was scared to and wanted to work through it on my own. I do take xanax once or twice a week for the past 3 weeks and it is great but then I try not to take it and have been worrying about all this freaking pain!!!!! I was doing so well for about a month, so its very frustrating for me when I have bad moments and panic attacks at night.
Both sides of my family suffer from anxiety. I know logically this all has to do with my mom being sick with cancer for 10 years and her always worrying...and I know logically all this pain is related to my stress and anxiety, SO WHY CAN'T I STOP QUESTIONING MYSELF?
I am so sorry to hear all of you are going through this hell, but I have gotten my life back to 90% normal during the day, but it's at night when it's worst. If it even rains a drop I freak out (I went through Hurricane Ike here in Texas and I think it traumatized me) and I am searching for tornadoes, storm tracks all at 2 am when my kids and husband are sleeping. Thankfully I have had sooo much support, my husband is the best- but this forum is amazing. Everyone is so honest and nobody judges. I wish you all a night full of great sleep until next time.
I just want to go back to one of your original questions about stress/anxiety causing pains.
Just think about it for a minute and take notice the next time you feel anxious. When you are anxious, you tend to tighten your muscles which can cause muscle spasms and even joint pains. Have you tried deep breathing exercises, meditation, or other measures to relax yourself? Sounds like you are adept at research. Maybe research some of these measures that could help you relax and that way your not so fixated on something negative. It may make you feel empowered to do something positive to relieve your anxiety. Also, you said you take xanax occasionally which is great for a full blown anxiety attack, but if your having anxiety daily maybe you should reassess with your DR/ if you could take something more long acting and regularly as more of a preventative for the anxiety, atleast until you get it more under control. I use to only take xanax, but changed to klonopin which you can take at small doses twice daily and have amazing results at the correct dosage.. I'm no expert, but just want to share what I know and what could with the help of your DR really make a difference for you. If your against adding or changing meds maybe check out my first suggestions. Good luck. Anxiety can affect people physically in so many ways especially over time, so it's best to get it under control.
Hang in there. Everyone at this site is great, so you definatly found a good place for support. There are some on this site that I could never thank enough, so I try to be there for others hurting so badly from Anxiety and all it causes!!
PM me anytime.
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