This forum is for questions and support pertaining to mental health issues such as: Anger, Dementia, Depression, Family Problems, Memory Problems, Personality Disorders, Phobias, Schizophrenia, Transitions and Work Problems.
I don't know what I have but it's affecting my life!
I am not sure what's wrong with me, but I know something is. My memory has gotten worse. I'm getting angier over less, and able to remember/recall less. I am having a hard time "inputting" new information, focusing when someone is telling me something, and I can't "repeat" what someone just said as well as I used to. Anger 'episodes' leave me shaking mad.
I'm misspelling words often (typed for years correctly before), now begun using the wrong word (right instead of write, etc), when I speak and type I've begun to "jumble" my sentences out of order. When I'm speaking I've mis-spoken a word, go back to say it right only to do it again but pronouncing it a different way (still wrong) and still get words "out of order". My mind also "drops" a sentence midway through in my head when I'm typing or talking frequently. Also I seem to be having a hard time inferring what people mean (ie the emotion or tone in their voice) so I'm having to ask things like "did you mean that sarcastically/truthfully/etc?" I've noticed that its happening to me with more frequency. Several times a week, to several times a day.
My physical symptoms are fatigue, body aches, every other week getting some kind of cold, flu, etc. Shooting pains in my arms and legs that feel like needles being dragged through me, a throbbing/overwhelmed feeling that starts in my neck and overtakes my head till I feel like passing out and feel immobilized via dull throbbing pain, "anxiety attacks" in my chest - where I receive a sharp pain if I breathe in. I'm 23 with grey hairs and was told I have minor scoliosis in my back two years ago. Also I was diagnosed with Gougerot and Carteud/Confluent and reticulated papillomatosis (CRP) skin condition a year ago. It was treated with antibiotics, the skin discoloration went away but came back after a few months. I tested negative for Lyme's a few months ago, and have been on birth control for a few years, mostly consistently.
the answer to what is wrong with you is not a diagnosis, but an action statement...get help from a therapist,preferably a psychiatrist, right away. You have a volcanic amount of internal tension that is coming out all over your life.....you need professional help.
I must add this "getting worse" has been happening over the past few months, from about fall to now.
Also, the character limit made me leave out that I am under lots of stress from moving, end of college, and my mother's suicide attempts and general mental disorder.
The physical symptoms have been gathering, higher in frequency for longer period of time - the neck/head throb and the chest pains dating back several years, and there doesn't seem to be a particular "trigger" for it as I have had them when relaxing and when stressed.
I try to help myself, and I've been doing ok. I know I'm not mentally perfect, but the culmination of actual physical ailments and memory problems makes me think its something more than just depression or something like that.
I have not been on any drugs (prescribed for my emotional/mental state) for YEARS, and only then I don't recall what it was but I did not take it for more than a month because of its nasty side affects. Everything else I mentioned. As for anything not legal - nope don't touch the stuff. Even allergic to alcohol.
Sorry should have mentioned (Oi the lack of an edit button!) that the side effects of teh drug prescribed to 'help' back in high school made me paranoid, shakey, and starvingly hungry every 2 hours or so. I think that last effect took the longest to "go away" because I still need to eat lots of protein (a meat with every meal and even snacks) to feel my hunger is satisfied. Sorry I'm including stuff that doesn;t matter, I don't know what does or doesn't or what little thing could be a clue or not!
All the information matters. Or at least mattered enough to take the time to write. And as you were thinking about it, it matters.
I hate how the doctor rarely offers a diagnosis. I understand some reasons why he wouldn't or couldn't.
Often that's all we want. A concrete diagnosis. Something to give meaning to what we're thinking and feeling. (Anything to reduce us stress and anxiety).
I personally think it's stress that's creating your symptoms. That doesn't mean there isn't an underlying medical issue though.
My stress levels have increased significantly recently and I've noticed a significant deterioration in memory and cognitive ability.
I went to my GP today to discuss an increase in chest pains, etc and forgot to even talk to him about them. I'm sure they're probably stress-related but I wanted to get them checked out anyway.
Do you have access to free counseling services? A lifeline or crisis hot-line? A lot of people have gotten support through religious communities or community based support groups, etc. What about a friend or family member (ideally not your mother)?
Many of us try and help ourselves but sometimes we also need to allow others to helps us. Asking for, or receiving, help isn't a sign of personal weakness. It doesn't always mean that we're messed up either. Help doesn't have to be a negative thing.
Help and support often provide us with opportunities to grow and develop as individuals. Help can be healthy.
The physical symptoms you describe can also be attributed to to stress.
I think your relaxed is probably pretty stressed too. It sounds dumb I know but it's known to have happened.
I think the doctor's right. I think that if you have access to support or resources that you should take or accept them.
In many respects you sound a lot like myself and I know I am very close to breaking point. It's a dangerous situation to be in so I would strongly advise listening to the doctor and taking his advice.
(I have GP, psych and psychology appointments lined up for next week).
Thank you Jaquta, a more indepth, not so cague answer as that makes me feel you did read what I had to say and makes me take your advice more seriously.
Unfortunately, there are no such programs in my immediate area - and I do not drive (because I find that too stressful to handle, which puts me at many disadvantages but I don't trust my ability to focus at the moment!)
I'm aware that these could all be stress, and I wouldn't deny it, it's just that I have been handling my own stress for ...since I was born pretty much ... and it's only recently come to this kind of head. Hence why I am concerned that it could be something else since nothing much has changed my stress level lately.
But still - if I can scrape together enough to see someone - who? what title or specialty? A therapist is kinda vague as many have different styles, any particular schools of thought that could address my issues better?
I have forgotten the title of this person, but my mother had seen them and had her IQ, mental abilities, etc evaluated? It had been suggested I do too, since it seemed to also tell if someone had a thinking disorder of some kind. Sorry if that;s too vague.
I'd really just like a title, a name, something more definite - I can look up treatments from there and feel less "crazy in the dark" about these things.
I'm afraid only a doctor can help you. They must rule out the physical possibilities before you move on to the mental side. Just the way it is with a vague collection of ills like you have. Illnesses like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue system can take a long time to diagnose, for example, or it could be something endocrine in nature. Who knows? But I can tell you that anxiety disorders do change over time, usually getting worse. Mine did. As for money, if you have no insurance or money, this will be very hard. This society doesn't care for the poor.
Other people did read what you had to say.
I was actually envious of the response you did get from the doctor. Usually people who present with a degree of self-awareness are perceived by others as less needing of support. This is not always the case as often these people can be in more need.
The doctor did give you some good advice. If I were you I would re-read his comments.
Despite what it sometimes looks and feels like he does understand and does care.
(Fingers crossed this is true. I feel it is).
I appreciate the driving does limit your options. You have good insight and discipline regarding this. I have trouble concentrating and shouldn't be driving, yet I choose too. Hopefully this is something I won't regret.
Your local hospital may be able to offer alternative suggestions??
(You could always mention that the doctor here advised getting help right away).
You can find free support groups on-line but I feel they can be very hit and miss and don't really address issues. If you are really motivated and don't mind a little self-disclosure these can be semi-helpful.
Writing thoughts and feelings in a journal may help release some tension. As could basic stress management techniques.
As an outsider looking in I see you mention things that could increase stress: moving, end of college, your mother's mental health issues, your own health issues. These can all compound. No money is also a huge concern. Not being able to drive. Little things all begin to add up. Even positive events can be stressful, don't forget them either.
If you're concerned it could be something else then get that checked out also.
The doctor recommended a psychiatrist.
The doctor usually advises seeing a talk therapist.
My personal preference is a psychoanalyst.
I don't think doing an IQ test, etc would be particularly helpful. That sounds a little too clinical. For me, all that testing would increase my stress levels. A LOT!
Being able to pick up a thought disorder would be important though. (I think).
Try a psychiatrist. If you have problems try a family doctor (who will be able to advise and refer you). Or try your hospital and it's mental health services.
I have a new symptom to add - motion sickness. Can that be mental or stress related?
I saw a movie in a theater yesterday, that had stadium seating - I have seen many movies like this, and once or twice even from the bottom right corner where my view of the screen was really warped (this time I was just off to the right - my friend thought maybe it was my view of the screen) - and never got this feeling before. I felt nauseous and slightly dizzy, not enough to leave but afterward I felt that way for several hours after. I had a meal (I drink lots of water and don't eat much sugary food) and the feeling persisted.
And unfortunately, Jaquta, I still feel the MD's comment didn't help much. It's a comment I've heard a lot, and I've already SEEN a therapist (I mentioned this). I saw one for years, and obviously nothing was taken care of properly as things have gotten worse. They thought it was more than stress, hence why I'm here asking for help. Nor did it indicate which complaints in particular would be the most important, what made him feel that way, etc. Everyone has tension, and I'm certainly not the worst off with it. I've dealt with everything just fine before - so why now?
I'm sure some motion sickness could be attributed to psychological causes.
I'm not a doctor and don't get motion sickness so I really don't know.
It could have been due to the orientation of the screen and your seating.
It could have been a visual thing or perhaps you were hyperventilating without realizing. Stress and anxiety can also cause nausea and dizziness.
I don't know. Drinking and eating would probably rule out dehydration and hypoglycemia.
If you're concerned you should talk to a doctor (and mention your other symptoms too).
I understand. The doctor can't change our situation for us though. He has given, in my opinion, the best advice. We need more intensive support from professionals in our own area. He can't provide that level of support and it is not his role.
I too have seen a therapist (nine in total actually). Of these I only found one of particular use. Sure you learn things from them but unless you have the right fit/ treatment modality you don't really move forward. Not much anyway.
It's possible the underlying issues weren't addressed. Or perhaps they are new issues?? Perhaps only certain themes were addressed?? Or perhaps your defenses prevented you from working through these issues before.
Everything happens in it's own time. I believe everything happens for a reason.
I think when things effect us this badly it means that something isn't right and we need to make changes.
Stress, anxiety and depression are common complaints when we have issues that need addressing. The issues may be conscious or subconscious.
The primary complaint to work on would likely be the one affecting you the most.
You're right, everyone does get stressed and yes, you'll almost always find someone better or worse off than yourself. This is about your, or my, stress levels though and not somebody elses. It is about how we're being affected by it. Other people would almost certainly be either more or less affected if they were to experience our stress levels.
I think stress is causing us to be dysfunctional and is no longer useful (in the sense that performance declines once over a certain threshold). Stress does indicate that change is needed though.
Because you're not coping, you're not living life as you wish to be (because the distance between your expectations and reality is increasing, not decreasing). Because you're falling short of your potential, because you're starting to ask questions and challenge things. Because you're asking for help.
I think there's usually a defining trigger but perhaps in your case there isn't. Perhaps you won't understand it till later?? Who knows??
It's not always useful to over-analyze things but sometimes just to accept them.
Self-help has it limitations. Therapy, in my opinion, is definitely the way to go.
I just read the comments and thought that I might add some thoughts. Of course, as with what everyone else has said, you absolutely need to see a doctor. When money is a problem, that can be difficult. So, depending on where you live, there are usually some clinics that treat the poorer segments of the population with a sliding fee scale. It might require a little research on the Internet to find some in your area. But, when I first became ill, that is where I received some excellent care.
Stress when it is prolonged and overwhelming can cause so many problems for the human mind and body. That said, your many symptoms are widespread, so you could have any number of things wrong with you, which is why I don't think that anyone wants to start throwing different disease and syndrome names at you. All that would serve to do at his point is confuse and scare you. A doctor would want to take your history and run quite a few different blood tests to rule out illnesses and narrow down the problem.
You mentioned being tested for Lyme Disease. Did they run any other tests at the same time to rule out other illnesses with similar symptoms? Without seeing a doctor, all you can do is "self-diagnose" and that could take you off in some very strange tangents which would just add to the stress and make your symptoms worse.
Although you may well end up at the therapists office also, I am thinking that you should first see an MD, or a rheumatologist. Stess can worsen and in my opinion trigger "by turning on dormant traits that you have a genetic predisposition to" various different autoimmune illnesses that you have symptoms of.
That said, please do not make a leap to thinking that you indeed have an autoimmune illness. Only a doctor can diagnose that and then only by running numerous tests. I hope that this serves to help by giving you a type of specialist area you might want to seek out first and not just add confusion and worry.
Did you ever have a head scan done to make sure you don't have a cyst or tumor that is effecting you? Just a thought please don't let this scare you. That is not my intention. I suggest this because of the speech and writing problems. I am not a doctor however I hope you get the needed help.
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