I am a 43-year-old male. For the last several years I was under a lot of stress from work. My symptoms were feeling hot, perspiring, unable to concentrate, facial burning and flushing, weight loss, feeling tired, pains in chest, etc. This got to such a stage that about a year ago I left my former (well paid) job and started a new business with several colleagues. Most of the stress symptoms subsided. However, throughout this time I have suffered from facial flushing and burning (made worse at times of stress) and borderline high blood pressure. I have had numerous tests performed (5HIAA, VMA, Thyroid, liver, kidney, ECGs, Exercise tests, abdominal echo sound, leg Doppler, etc) - all coming back as normal. I have also undertaken Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to try to alleviate my feelings of concern over my health.
For the last several months I have had pains in my legs. These pains are worse when sitting, to some extent helped by exercise. The pains start in the outer side of my calf muscle, radiate to the back of my ankle. The pain gets worse throughout the day with both my lower and upper legs with feelings of burning and tightness. This burning spreads to my abdomen and can also affect the back of my neck and shoulders and upper arms. These pains go away at night, to restart mid-morning the next day. I work at a computer and have tried a number of correct posture techniques and chairs, etc. Physical examinations have revealed no trapped nerves or muscle problems.
My doctor's current view is that these pains too are related to stress and continuing concerns over my health. Are such pains common, and can they be associated with stress or anxiety? I seem to be in a cycle of gaining improvements in my anxiety, then getting a new 'physical' symptom which then starts my concerns and anxiety off again.
Yes, these symptoms can be, and probably are, caused by anxiety. One of the reasons things keep popping up as somatic symptoms is because you are not getting to the heart of the problem. Ask your therapist to switch his or her approach to a more dynamic, discovery approach so you can get to the heart of the matter. If you want some help doing that online, go to my site, www. masteringstress.com and start working on a stress related problem.
I would just like to share my experience of the leg pain as well. I to have been told it is stress related.I was just wondering though how you find the cognitive therapy? I have been reading the feeling good book by david burns and find it hard to be focused. How do you use it for dealing with worring about your health? I am in constant worry about my health , from a leg pain to a chest pain to a as little as a gas pain at times. I am a 27 yr old female who feels like I am loosing my mind when it comes to health issues. Thanks
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