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Hi. I have a history of health anxiety and OCD mainly centered around believing and being terrified that I have diseases. My phobia used to be Herpes and AIDS, but now it is MS. I have had some vague neurological symptoms over the years that have convinced me that I have it.Basically that is my worst fear. I am a 27 year old female. Recently, I got a panic attack while drifting off to sleep. I became very aware of every sensation in my head as I fell asleep. That problem went away. I have been under incredible stress lately(because of my fear of MS)Everyday has been hell because of worrying. A week ago, I woke up out of a sound sleep with my heart racing and my eyes darting back and forth. I tried to go back to sleep and the second I closed my eyes I felt like I was falling backwards.Almost like being on a rollercoaster. My brain would feel like it was moving in waves and I would feel like I was moving up and down. Hard to understand, I am sure. I am trying to explain it the best way I know how. And my eyes were moving very rapidly even while closed. Because I am afraid of neurological symptoms and because I am so sensitive to every sensation when I am sleeping, every time I felt the wave,it would make me have an anxiety attack and not sleep. Now, I have this sensation every night. The second I close my eyes, I start to get anxious. I am taking Xanax now, and it seems to stop the brain movement sensation, but my body feels like it is moving, almost floating. Going to sleep has become a traumatic thing.I used to love to sleep. My main concern is that this is a neurological problem because it came on so suddenly. But I was under a great amount of stress when it started though so maybe that means it is psychological..? Does this sound like anxiety? It has made me so depressed. I feel like I will never be able to sleep normally again. This is ruining my life. I am afraid to sleep. Could there be something wrong with my brain? I can't seem to find anything about it on the internet. By the way, the internet is what got me started on my health anxiety. Looking up symptoms and imagining I have the worst thing possible.I have a psychiatrist appt. on the 10th, but I need help now because I am very scared. What could it be?
Given your past history of OCD, health anxiety with fear of Herpes, AID and MS, panic attacks, your symptoms at sleep are probably due to anxiety. Your anxiety induces neurological symptoms, which in turn cause further anxiety ensuing in a vicious cycle. You need antidepressant, anxiolytic and CBT.
Paxil is a good SSRI antidepressant which is effective against anxiety, phobia and OCD but it takes 3 weeks to work and its dose may need to be stepped up gradually. In some individual, it may cause initial anxiety and insomnia. Axiolytics are Benzothiazepines, such as Xanxa, Klonopin,..which relieve anxiety very quicklyand also useful to counteract the initial side effects of Paxil for instance and induce sleep and abort a panic attack. Benzo are habit-forming long-term. Buspar is an anxilolytic that does not cause dependence. Medication and psychotherapy combo is the best tretment for you. CBT is Cognitive-Behavioral psychotherapy. Please see post dated 16NOV at <a href=http://www.medhelp.org/perl6/MentalHealth/messages/C32374-5.html>http://www.medhelp.org/perl6/MentalHealth/messages/C32374-5.html</a> and messages dated 20OCT, 25OCT and 26OCT at <a href=http://www.medhelp.org/perl6/MentalHealth/messages/C32351-11.html>http://www.medhelp.org/perl6/MentalHealth/messages/C32351-11.html</a>.
I know how this feels! I went on for a year like this because I was afraid to take the meds. Don't repeat my mistake. I. too. obscess about the health thing. My therapist says it comes from my childhood (my mother had MAJOR OCD). I am interested to see if you, too, had a stressful childhood.
In the past I have used LUVOX and found it very helpful for my OCD symptoms. I don't care for the benzodiazepines (Xanan, Klonopin etc,) because when used daily (even at low dosages) they are higly addictive. Good luck
Hello Ledwards and GentleWarrior. :) To answer your question, Ledwards, my childhood was absolutely wonderful. No complaints there.My mother had depression, but I never knew about it until I got older. However, I have had OCD, I believe since I was 10. I too was afraid to go on meds because I am afraid of side effects since I obsess about my health sooo much already.I have been taking Paxil CR for a week, and I have started having frequent urination.This is scaring me because I am not sure if I have something bad, or if it is a side effect. I knew I would start to freak out about "possible" side effects and start to thinking I have an awful disease, and of course it is happening.I have my first appt. with a psychiatrist tomorrow. I do know I need medication though. I will just have to find one that has the absolute least amount of side effects.I have been taking Xanax before bed, and I am now able to sleep. I am afraid of addiction, but since this is the only that is allowing me to sleep, I kind of have this worry about that later attitude. I have yet to try Luvox, but I imagine, by the time this is all over with, I will try many different meds. Thanks for responding, and I hope you both stay well.
I found trazadone useful for sleep. It is used for depression, but also helps with sleep. When I first started trazadone I had flu like side-effects for about 2 weeks and was ready to stop the medication. I am glad I stuck with the medication, because it really helped with sleep. Ambien might help with sleep, I didn't help me, but each individual reacts to medication differently.
The health-worrying thing is so yucky and overwhelming! I am much better with the SSRI that I take. Anyone with this form of OCD will not understand. I do. The therapy helps alot and you will be glad you saw someone for it. I know how you feel about the side effects worrying... I always figure that if there is a side effect..I'll get it. Truly, other than the OCD, anxiety junk, I am pretty healthy. Someday we will be amused at all this.
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