Aa
A
A
Close
147426 tn?1317269232
Psychic Groans - Anxiety or the Real Thing?
This topic of anxiety symptoms versus real ones has come up a couple times recently and I decided to do a blurb on "Somatization" or the appearance of symptoms that represent anxiety or psychiatric difficulty expressed as physical symptoms.

For the last week I have been doing reading and I will tell you that I come away both suspicious of the medical profession's take on this topic and confused about what I really know and what I want to believe.

I have always believed that people can express their fears, anxiety, and psychological pain with physical maladies.  Afterall  we all know by now that there is no real separation of the mind and body.  As a pediatrician I saw babies children with vomiting and abdominal pain in response to parental fighting, or problems at home.  Children with a parent with a back injury would begin to include back pain in their common complaints.  My mother was a caretaker for my grandparents.  My grandma was rather immature and always had vague complaints - as well as serious real ones.  She would invariably end up in the ER within a day of any vacation my mother had planned.

We all know that some of this exists all around us.  We all know people who truly live in great fear that every symptom they have is something dread and fatal.  Or people that magically develop every symptoms they hear about.  Okay.  Those people do exist.  But, I have also noticed that these people "know" they are anxious, but can't fight it.

I have to say, though, that after 30 years in medicine and another two on this forum, I am beginning to feel that there is a HUGE group of people out there with real disease that the medical profession is completely dismissing - all with good intentions.  On one hand there is the recommendation to make sure people do not have something serious, but it is countered by equally strong recommendations to NOT "feed into people's neuroses" by doing a large workup.

When I look at the articles and psychiatric journals that describe this I tried to discern the characteristics of somatic complaints, the type of symptoms that they are calling somatic and how they presume to tell the difference.  

First I looked at the lists of symptoms that are given as typical of somatic complaints:

Abdominal pain *
Amnesia
Back pain *
Bloating *
Chest pain *
Diarrhea *
Difficulty swallowing *
Dizziness *
Excessive menstrual bleeding
Fatigue *
Frequent urination *
Headaches *
Impotence *
Irritability *
Irregular menstruation
Joint pain *
Nausea *
Pain during intercourse
Pain during urination *
Pain in the legs or arms *
Palpitations *
Paralysis or muscle weakness *
Poor Balance*
Poor Memory *
Tingling in places*
Sexual apathy
Shortness of breath *
Vision changes *
Weakness *

* = things seen commonly in  diseases like MS, Lyme Disease and Autoimmune disorders

I found the lists of symptoms completely unhelpful.  Some lists led me immediately to a mental diagnosis of MS!  

Then I tried to see what characteristics these symptoms seemed to have.  This was "a little" more helpful.  These are the things that frustrate the doctors caring for such people.

1) Symptoms are vague, yet described with very expressive and unusual language

2) Symptoms move around from place to place often, or they are fleeting. (I kind of agree with this one)

3) Sensations are felt "all over" with no ability to describe differences from one location to another.  Examples, "I hurt all over."  Or weak all over.  Numb all over.

4) Symptoms that do not correspond with things found on exam.  Example, the complaint that the legs are weak, but on exam the strength is completely normal or complaint of blurred vision, but acuity is normal.

5) Symptoms do not change, nothing improves them and no cause is found.

6) A history of many different symptoms for which a cause is never found and that eventually go away.

7) A recurring history of symptoms that occur when stressed, only to resolve.

I tried really hard to think through all of these characteristics and I was still not impressed that they were clues to somatic complaints.

The ones that I found most persuasive are 1) the complaints that are "global" and vague and constantly changing - hurting or numb all over without being able to pinpoint any differences (but, this can happen with people who are not very self-aware or who have poor skill in expressing themselves)  2) a patient's history that over years many complaints would come up and never be shown to have a cause, then would resolve only to be replaced by another, 3) the history that the symptoms dance around rapidly.  Another big point here is that these people must never have suffered any kind of deterioration or disability related to their symptoms (but, of course this can be determined only in hindsight.  This is not useful if you are looking at a disease which has a disappearing window for effective treatment.

But, when I thought about these points, they still didn't convince me that somatic disorders are widespread.  Not all chronic diseases lead to disability.  A person with Celiac Disease may just live their entire life with terrible abdominal symptoms (pain, diarrhea, bloating) but otherwise be pretty "healthy."  

Another tip-off cited is when a person comes in with complaints in many different systems in the body.  Uhhhh, does MS ring a bell?  The hallmark of many autoimmune deseases and many infections, like Lyme Disease, is the vast nature of their possible symptoms.  So, that criterion didn't impress me either.

Another tip off was "doctor-shopping."  The history that the patient sought help from numerous doctors for their problems.  This will be a whole discussion soon.

Finally, there was this "tip-off" that was frequently mentioned:  The doctor finds himself frustrated and/or angry at the patient that seems to be wasting his time.  If he's frustrated maybe it's because the patient doesn't have anything wrong.

So, what did I end up deciding?  I still believe that many people have vague discomforts from internal stress.  These come and go.  But, I am more and more convinced that the medical profession is losing our confidence because of the diagnosis of "It's due to anxiety" is thrown out too fast and too early and is substituting for real thinking.  And, too often real abnormal findings (on exam and tests) are ignored in the rush to blame it on the patient.

Finally most of the articles point out that all of the things that are mentioned above can also be seen in people with "real" disease.  There are criteria for diagnosing people with somatic complaints.  I have read them and need to find them again.  And studies have been done to assure practitioners that the diagnostic criteria are quite accurate by following up with people and showing that they didn't actually have some real disease.  The articles also comment on how hard it is to treat this "condition."  Could this be because talk therapy doesn't undo real disease?

But, I still don't find that reassuring.   In my mind our limbolanders might fit that "follow up", but does a lack of diagnosis "really" mean there isn't disease?  For two years I was without a diagnosis after having been judged to be one of the Walking Worried.  If you checked on me before I saw the right neuro you might have assumed that the diagnosis of "Somatic" was correct.

I am throwing these thoughts out for discussion.  How do we know when we are having a "psychic groan" symptom?  How does a doctor really know?  How many of you have ever had a symptom that you were told was due to anxiety and you could see that it was likely true?  When there are real abnormalities on exam, can the diagnosis of anxiety still be true?

The floor is open for discussion.

Quix
Cancel
69 Answers
Page 4 of 4
147426 tn?1317269232
What an awesome discussion!  I can't thank you all enough.

In terms of my own experience, I have had chronic depression for about 20 years and finally just resigned myself that I will likely need anti-depressants for life.  I have chosen to be the one who brings this up with new doctors or with new symptoms (especially those that might fit with depression).  I try to say something like, "I know depression.  It is something I have batted for the last 20 years.  "This" (meaning whatever I was coming to the doctor about) is not from depression.  This feels completely different."

This way I try to pre-empt the thought that might be forming in their head.  I tell them I know the difference and this isn't "it."  I find they generally accept this.

Quix
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
428506 tn?1296560999
Thank you Quix for the research and time and heart that went into this.  I have yet to read all the responses, but am looking forward to it.

My condition is not diagnosed and I've had several doctors (including neuros) suggest that stress/anxiety is the underlying problem.  I want to be well and am not fixated on a romantic diagnosis.  I did my best to fairly address the possible role of stress in my health.  I saw psychologists and made lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, and quit smoking and drinking, all in hopes of regaining my health AND to address stress in my life.  While these efforts have no doubt strengthened me and helped me cope with my situation, they did not stop, cure or reverse my condition, nor have they protected me from having my symptoms dismissed as originating from stress.

I would certainly count myself as one who has lost confidence in the medical community.  I would describe the doctors who have failed me as lazy and biased.  

I began my difficult path to get a diagnosis/treatment when my odd symptoms began to present at 28.  The world was my oyster.  I had just gotten out of grad school, I'd won a prestigious and competitive national fellowship, my relationship of over 6 years was going strong, and I was full of self confidence.  Now, I am facing the possible need to take a leave from my work and struggle daily to remain positive.  I know at this point that I have become depressed, and feel as though the label placed on me by my doctors was a self-fulfilling prophesy.  

There is no way that I will stop trying to regain my health.  However, now I need to haul around the baggage of my own mistrust and fear of being labeled and dismissed.  I don't know how to avoid or break the horrible cycle that my acquired obvious discomfort around doctors only supports the branding of me as difficult.

I do still have a gut feeling that I will find my answers, and I still see my old self in the mirror once in awhile and know that I'm not lost.  The past year has given me a new sense of compassion and interest in taking care of myself.  So while this certainly was not "the plan," I've certainly still got some aces up my sleeve.

So in summary, what has for me been the most difficult aspect of the stress diagnosis is that if one is truly chronically ill, it is just a matter of time before one does suffer emotionally.  This may even be sped up by the self doubt and confusion that come with being in limbo.  I can see how for a lazy and disinterested doctor, it is an easy cop out:  Even when the label doesn't fit, they know you'll grow into it over time.

Thanks again Quix, and now I need to read all of the other member comments!

Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I must say I am very grateful that I have a brain that produces serotonin in adequate amounts.  
I worked for an OB-GYN who was treating someone for depression and asked him about her (way before HIPPA).  I said she seemed to have everying, great husband, good kids, no financial issues, beautiful home,(everything I could think of).  I couldn't understand what she had to be depressed about.  He is the one to told me,  "this is more than being sad,  this is an illness, an imbalance of hormones in the brain, it's not something she can control".  I had a better understanding after that and had alot more compassion for people who deal with this on a daily basis.
Sally  
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
620877 tn?1282767697
I will say thank you to Quix too - you are such a great wealth of information!  We are so fortunate that you take the time to research and then share these topics with us.  You also do a fantastic job of breaking it down so that those of us who are still learning the terminology can understand it.  Thank you.

I am undiagnosed at this time also.  I have had my PCP tell me that she thought my numbness/tingling was caused by anxiety.  She wouldn't to give me a referral to a neurologist because of that.  I am not an anxious person by nature and when I told family & friends that that was what my doctor thought was wrong - they were all stunned.  I am one of the people mentioned "that knows something else is wrong" and will continue to fight for a diagnosis.  With the way that my symptoms have progressed over the last year, I find it very hard to believe that anxiety is what is causing my health issues.

Do I think that being chronically ill and seeing how my symptoms are gradually worsening with each "episode", is effecting my mental health....without question.  Do I think that being dismissed by doctors who are too busy, too lazy or whatever to do a proper work up or follow up, make me anxious, frustrated, angry....you bet.  Chronic pain or illness has been proven to effect the mental health of the patient.  

My personal opinion is that if a patient's symptoms don't fit into some tidy little box, doctors don't know what to do, so they take the easy way out & say it's anxiety.  Or just write a prescription for valium or xanax...

Chrisy


Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
572651 tn?1333939396
re: Somatization - I am so anxious to see how you are going to summarize the responses given here.  There is a concensus among the responders that anxiety and depression go in tandem with MS but are not the cause of our symptoms.  This forum provides some of the best therapy available for all of us in dealing with our individual progression with this process.  My best to all, Lulu
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
My problem, no, one of my problems with the mental health angle for explaining away symptoms, which seem MS-like, is that it is not logical that these symptoms would exhibit themselves in an episodic fashion.

I could see if the depression/anxiety was episodic and the symptoms appeared correspondingly, that it would make sense to consider depression/anxiety as the possible cause.   However, when the depression is constant, and symptoms relapse and remit with no correlation to any extant event, then I consider this particular rhetoric to be a leaky vessel at best.

Not to mention that this depression/anxiety would cause symptoms that tend 70% of the time to be unilateral (left side in my case).....

On the bright side, neither of my middle fingers has been rendered inoperable by my depression!

OPERA!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Excellent points.  I really think the depression diagnosis, though often correct, is a cop out for physicians.  A quick answer to a problem they won't take the time to deal with.  As if a person couldn't possibly be dealing with another health issue in addition to the depression.

Sally
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
378497 tn?1232147185
I forgot to mention: I actually HAD depression last spring for several weeks and again at the end of the summer into the early part of the fall. It's a VERY different feeling, something that is unmistakable (to me). It's not just the blahs or a temporary downiness or blues. It's daily, from the moment the eyes open until you drag into bed at night. It took sheer force of will for me to put one foot in front of the other or to lift my fingers to the keyboard to work. And then...it went away. I "manage" depression in ways that are designed to counter the neurotransmitter deficits, including exercise, laughing, relaxing. So I came through both of those periods--periods the likes of which I don't ever remember experiencing--and haven't had one now since early September. And I KNEW what was happening...it wasn't like I somaticized it. I consciously knew I was depressed and talked a lot with my husband about it (another one of my "management" approaches). Wasn't seeing a doctor at either point, and I didn't mention it to the only one I have seen since April (that'd be Neuro 3, a.k.a., RLS man).

Bio
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
580765 tn?1274922960
Here is a good one.  I looked in my medical chart and found that my doc wrote that I had anxiety and depression and that I displayed multiple somatic symptoms.  He gave me lexapro and sent me on my merry way.
Here's the kicker:  six days before- before he saw that all of the test results were negative- he wrote that I displayed NO signs of depression or anxiety and was in strong mental health and that my symptoms (the very same ones taht I described 6 days later) we consistent with possible MS.
Isn't this proof that the somatic lable is a way for docs to pass the buck when their first impressions are not supported by test results?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
147426 tn?1317269232
crswin - That is amazing!!  I assume that you are NOT going to keep seeing this jerk.  Yes, it means that his "assessment" that you are somaticizing means nothing.  I would write a letter of complaint and send it to him with photocopies of these two visits, commenting that when he found himself at a loss for a diagnosis, he ignored his earlier opinion, treated you with Lexapro, and dismisssed you (I'll bet without follow up).

This letter should also be sent to the state board of Medical Examiners.

What a travesty!  What a jerk!

Sheeesh!!!  Now I am spitting nails!

Quix  :(((
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
649926 tn?1297661380
Quix,
Thanks for the post. I have read most of the responses and the timing is perfect since I am currently suffering severe anxiety. It started with a panic attack that woke me out of a sound sleep on Thurs and has been at my heals ever since.
Here's my question/thought - I never suffered anxiety before I got sick (ms,r.a, sjogren's and endometriosos). I know that anxiety and depression often worsen symptoms but don't they also come as a result of the daily pain and the diseases themselves?
  I am currently on cymbalta and tried another because it seemed more fitting with the anxiety. I even asked to see the psychologist and took some good things away from it. I don't suffer often but when the anxiety comes it is overwhelming and can last for days.
  Does anyone else have a history without depression or anxiety until after the "real" illness or illnesses came?  If so, then maybe the disease messed up some balance in the brain and the anxiety is a result. Also has anyone found any meds to recommend?
  Help please
   Erin
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
648910 tn?1290666683
I am double posting this because I want to be sure you see it.  For others who read this it comes from my post in response to this post. Wrap your head around that...it made me confused.  LOL   Quix very kindly was worried she had offended me...and she DID NOT!

In no way did I take your posting as such.  I agreed with what you said,i.e. it is an overused excuse, there are people who are anxious and exhibit it through somatic symptoms, etc.  My concern was simply that the way the doctors use it, it becomes a catch all phrase, an excuse for them not to look any farther.  If they would educate themselves they would better understand what they are looking for. You did, why can't they?  No time...BS

I was impressed with your reasoning on how to separate the anxious from those who have symptoms, are anxious because of them, but are truly suffering. I have copied and pasted the part from your post I am speaking of:

The ones that I found most persuasive are 1) the complaints that are "global" and vague and constantly changing - hurting or numb all over without being able to pinpoint any differences (but, this can happen with people who are not very self-aware or who have poor skill in expressing themselves)  2) a patient's history that over years many complaints would come up and never be shown to have a cause, then would resolve only to be replaced by another, 3) the history that the symptoms dance around rapidly.  Another big point here is that these people must never have suffered any kind of deterioration or disability related to their symptoms (but, of course this can be determined only in hindsight.  This is not useful if you are looking at a disease which has a disappearing window for effective treatment.    


My point in writing my post was to maybe? help someone determine if they are experiencing anxiety in the sense of an anxiety disorder, thereby, hopefully giving them the strength to get treatment and/or continue to fight for answers.  there is no reason that the anxiety/depression or any other mental/physical disorder cannot co-exist with MS.  Although listening to what doctors tell our forum family would lead you to believe otherwise.

One more thing I addressed the anxiety from the point of being a mental/ chemical imbalance disorder.  I was pleased to find that sailorsong discussed it from the point of situational anxiety.  For all tho I have a chemical imbalance, situational anxiety is as real as that caused by a chemical imbalance.  The difference is usually as the situation resolves itself so does the anxiety.  Mine walks with me 24/7...365 days a year.  Also it is very true anxiety and depression are opposites sides of the same coin.  We me the anxiety is more prevalent, I have had only had two episodes of what I would call clinical depression, lasting for more than two weeks.

So I want you to know I in know way think you were making light of the issue.  My main point was that people like me who know they have anxiety tend to blame everything on the anxiety and that is as dangerous as letting a doctor send you away with a dx of it is all in your head.

Wishing well, terry

PS, I really worried about you when you fell. (Did I spell that right?)
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
bump for Mandy...........................
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
338416 tn?1420049302
>  How many of you have ever had a symptom that you were told was due to anxiety and you could see that it was likely true?  When there are real abnormalities on exam, can the diagnosis of anxiety still be true?

I've wondered about this particular problem, because as you may remember, I have frequent shortness of breath.  Sometimes my heart rate is elevated.    It feels similar to an anxiety attack.  However, I do not have the 'vomiting butterflies' in my stomach that tell me I'm experiencing anxiety.  What I've decided is that this is a weakness in my abdominal muscles, perhaps my diaphragm, and it's preventing the bottom part of my lungs from completely inflating.

Now, on to the real stuff:

Specifically, cognitive problems.  When I first mentioned them to the neurologist, he told me I was 'confused' because of the diagnosis.  I immediately knew that this was flat-out wrong.  We all know the cognitive problems that come with MS, and this wasn't just being confused.  So I immediately had a red flag on this neuro, after the 2nd visit.  (And yes, I'm still with him, but not for much longer.)  I pushed for the neuro-psych exam, and he dragged his heels.  I had to bring in the results of the exam myself, because his office lost them.  Then he dragged his heels again when I asked for Aricept!  Sheesh.

It makes me wonder how many people out there have MS, have cognitive problems, and have to hold down a full-time job.  They don't have the luxury of being a little slower than everybody else.  Cognitive problems can cause money problems - from incurring late fees because you forgot to pay the bills, to making poor financial decisions, to losing your employment because you can't keep up!  

The neurologist is on the front line when it comes to making sure MS patients can still live quasi-normal lives.  It doesn't help when you have to fight your neuro every step of the way to improve your quality of life.

Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
691864 tn?1298922797
One thing that I wanted to be careful of was not only the anxiety but the need for drama.  Growing up in a chaotic household, the one with the most drama won the attention/affection which was usually our mother, then, later,  my brother.  I had to do a careful analysis of my own behavior keeping in mind, "is this real?" or "is this my drama?"

Personally, I dislike drama.  There's too much of it in my job.  The other thing is that even if the physical symptoms were somatization, the cognitive "furball," as you put it, was the real attention getter for me and for the people around me.  When other people note that you're stumbling on words,  it's time to pay attention.  I take pride in my memory of obscure facts, of paying attention to the smallest details.  The very nature of my job necessitates it.  However, when I am getting lost, forgetting if milk is added to eggs for French toast, and my ability for more executive planning functions such as reports, notes, and assessments is impaired...I knew something was wrong and it wasn't just anxiety or in my head.

As for managing the post-symptom anxiety and diagnosis...my motto for life is, "it is as it is" and I will deal with whatever "IT" is accordingly, being mindful and being in the moment.  It would just be nice to have a few answers.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
bump...............................
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I will start by saying that i think that this is a great topic and would like to share with you all a little about me. and the misdiagnosis i have endured

almost 10 years ago i went to my then family doctor compaining of severe back pain and belly pain so bad it was almost difficult to function. The doctor put me on anti-inflamatories + Tylenol 1's as i refused anything stronger (i hate pills) and sent me on my way  one or two times a month i would return with the same complaints this went on for a year ( he also tried to put me on anti depressants which i refused) when finally the doctor attempted to do a PAP, he stabs me with it says he can;'t cause im bleeding (well of course i am after being stabbed with a spec.) and tells me i should be thankful i am a healthy girl when i asked him why i was in so much pain and why my belly was swollen he told me i wasnt and to stop complaining. i immediately went to a walk in clinic where the doc performed another pap and the results came back pos for chlamydia (I was married)  angry you bet!

misdiagnosis #2 9 years ago

compaints of severe right sided headache nothing took pain away went to doctor after 1 week doc put me on percocets and sent me home. perc's made me feel sick, pain continued almost for one more week when one day i was sitting at the table trying to eat soup when i felt a bubble go up the back of my neck into my head ( kind of the way a water bubble looks) i noticed spots on my calves that looked like bruises that night i was woken from my sleep vomitting violently and immediately taken to ER were a lumbar puncture was performed twice (due to the first being a bloody tap) anyway turned out i had meningitis and was hooked up to iv antibiotics.  nice i could have died and am lucky i came away with no brain damage.

misdiagnosis#3  

complained to my doctor for a year (yes another year of complaints) of nausea and stomach upset constantly was given antiacids. after a year of getting no where went to ER a ultrasound was done and i had an ulcer and was treated for Helicobacter Pylori.

I know what stress is  i went through 2 bouts over the last 6 years 1st time was after having my second child i was apart of a large family (something i have never had or experienced) where everyone had an opinion this was hard for me as i had already raised a child on my own. anyway i ended up with post partum and began thinking too much and talking out loud to myself as a result. I knew something was not right I took myself to my doctor and asked for something as i was experiencing mental stress.

The next time was when my hubby and i were having a rough patch. we were having difficulties understanding what eachother needed to grow as human beings separate from our relationship anyway i went to the doctor and got us councelling and we grew together and things are great

so as you can see from my situations for me being told now that my symptoms are stress related is very frustruating because i know when i am stressed out and i am well aware of my body and when something is not right.

thank you for letting me share
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Thank you ambro, for telling us what you've been through.  I'm also undx and been having symptoms for close to 20 yrs.

I haven't been told, YET, that my symptoms are from anxiety.  I have been told I'm just getting old, that's when I was 46.  

It helps everyone here to know that we are not alone and that by being here sharing our stories we are helping others to cope with the unbelieveable things that are said and done to us by the medical community.

Thanks again,
doni
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
486038 tn?1300066967
Hi to all.
Quix, this is a very good thread, and everyone who has posted- it is wonderful to read.

I have been down the whole "your just depressed" road with my very first neurologst- after he told me "you have possible MS". That was honestly very difficult.... and if anyone remembers, the AD's he put me on made me awfully throwing up sick for several days. When I returned his only solution was to return in 6 months and try another AntiD. I did go very low after that- I couldn't walk and here that was all that was being offered?

And the whole doctor shopping is a very touchy subject... I left Neuro1 becuse of the above, and N2-4 just said, you have us stumped. They were all very kind doctors, but I had thoroughly confused them in their fields of medicine. So, that left me feeling like they had gave up on me so I am now going on to N4.

And as far as knowing if you are a psychic groaner, I think you would know. Deep inside somewhere. But how? Becuase don't their pains feel as real as ours? That's a tough question. I know I was on the brink of giving up when I went to NY becuase of my neurologist telling just offering my Antidepressants and brushing off my symptoms (when he saw I couldn't walk he suggested I just walk barefoot more), and to be honest I was thankful that a few tests came back high just to at least let me know I wasn't crazy and that something was wrong with me. I was beginning to wonder and questioning my sanity, and I truly was going to refuse anything more further in the medical field of testing and just say "ok, that's enough".

But, now, I have a track, a history of repeated symptoms that are same and they are not vague, and they do occur over and over and are backed up by test results. And for example, with my seizures, and I can tell you that they occur only in the evenings around the time I take my daily meds and they only occurr when I am very tired and have a lack of sleep.

This is a hard question, and answers are hard to find. That is probably why people unfairly get this lable.
~Sunnytoday~
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
338416 tn?1420049302
It's a real problem.  Many people these days are still diagnosed with conversion disorder or belle la indifference, when the problem is really organic brain damage.  The cart before the horse, or the chicken and egg question - does the conversion disorder cause the problems, or does the brain damage cause the appearance of conversion disorder?  I'm beginning to believe that conversion disorder is actually very rare, and almost all the people who complain of symptoms, yet remain undiagnosed, actually are sick.  

Fibromyalgia is now recognized as an actual disease, but as lately as ten years ago, people were still calling it a 'fake' disease.  Something the hypochondriacs would make up so that they could pin a name on their symptoms.  Ridiculous, isn't it?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
bump for Katie...............................................
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I like what you said about believing conversion disorder is very rare.  I think you are right.  Any normal person would get concerned with some of the symptoms we experience.  This is the first time I've looked at this forum for a couple weeks or so, and I am totally involved in something else that is fun and exciting in my life.  But yesterday out of the blue I started feeling some strong vibrating at my waist which I'd never had before and I started getting electric shocks in my hands, and mid-day while typing some things for work my fingers couldn't hit the right letters.  

Now, I can understand if I was going around worrying about that happening and looking for it that maybe it could just possibly happen (not sure how, but I guess anything is possible), but if I'm doing other things, having a good time and not even consciously thinking about what my body's doing, wouldn't it be reasonable to think that it's possibly not from anxiety?  

But I'm ok with where I'm at right now.  I've had the testing and everything they've done has come back normal.  I've decided to not be hard on myself for all the money that was spent for the testing, it needed to be done, and I'm not going to feel foolish anymore.  Whatever it is, it's real, and if no one else knows or thinks that, that's ok for now.  I'm following doctors orders, and out of this whole deal I got some medicine that has helped tremendously with my fatigue.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
378497 tn?1232147185
Just today, I was thinking of the first time a doctor blew me off. I was 19. I entered college when I was 17, and to that point had only ever seen our family practice doc and a couple of specialists in my hometown for real, bona fide things. I'd never had a doctor just dismiss me as crazy. At college, in my first three semesters, I had a severe UTI, I fell and cut the **** out of my arm, and I had another "real" problem that was completely documented at the school health center. Well...at the end of my sophomore year--my fourth semester there--I went in with stomach pain. The doctor came in, said, "You're barely 19. You've only been in college for a few months and you already have this thick file?!?!? You're obviously just crazy." I mean, he really practically said that. I was stunned and tried to explain that I'd actually been at the school now for almost 20 months, that I wasn't a freshman but about to be a junior, that I'd been there far longer than he was assuming, that everything in that file was "real" if he'd just look---but he completely ignored me and sent me away. Well...ultimately, it was determine that I had a real stomach problem that required medical intervention.

And from then on...I've felt very wary of doctors and their attitudes about mental health.

Bio
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
This is a really interesting topic and for me very relevant. I have posted elsewhere about waiting the results of an mri and have had an appointment with a neurologist having been in hospital after having paralysis down one side, blurred vision and .not being able to speak. they told me i had a stroke. the neurologist said not a stroke and that i either have inflammation of the brain which could lead to ms or i have functional/dissociative symptoms. I had collapsed in the supermarket one day and had further episodes of paralysis and then numbness, shakiness, tremors and fatigue. Having looked up about functional symptoms i've found various labels meaning the same thing, conversion/somatization/hysteria/functional weakness/ and closely associated with dissociation/depersonalization. Most info seems to point to stress and anxiety being the root cause. having been in hospital and having a load of tests being told i had a series of strokes (at 47) and having now been given 2 very different ideas of what i might have wrong, i am certainly anxious now. I feel I know  a lot about anxiety depression, my husband has had ME for years and depression, I try to live a day at a time and meet my troubles head on, i dont think i fit any of the labels of functional weakness or dissociation. I dont neccessarily think i fit ms either. I agree with opera about the episode thing,how does your body convert anxiety into episodes of strange symptoms over 3 months? I also agree with doni about how can the docs make an instant diagnosis of depression anxiety when they have only met the person that day.and spoken to them for 20 mins.thing is i do get panic attacks and told a&e docs that but said this wasnt like anything i've ever had before. maybe they latched onto that though. i would like to know what is wrong with me though as my life has changed totally in the last 3 months.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
338416 tn?1420049302
Part of what clouds a diagnosis, I think, is that neurological problems can cause symptoms similar to panic attacks.  Shortness of breath, pounding heart rate...  I've had all of those, but without feeling 'panicked.'  I know what feeling panicked feels like!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
147426 tn?1317269232
bump
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
147426 tn?1317269232
bump for singingalong
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
572651 tn?1333939396
The past week to ten days we have heard this dx a bunch of times around here, including my GI doctor telling me my throat and chest pains are a byproduct of anxiety.  Thanks for digging this one out for all of us to reread.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
712568 tn?1268108507
Wow , thank you for posting this again! It has been very helpful! I am still wondering what or where I should go with this. I know my body, I know that, it would not be caused by this disorder. I thought, that if you had tests and they come back inconsistant, then isnt that a red flag that there is a problem??? I dont know. I am still fuming.. But you know what? I am going to take their stupid meds, for the month they told me, and see if it works... I am desperate, willing to try anything.
I saw one of the nuerologists in the hall last night, and I asked him what I should do about the physio therapist. She saw me yesterday, had great concern over my numbness, and weakness on my left side, and wanted me to stay another night, just to retest it in the morning.
Well, when I told the nuero that in the hall last night, he flipped, and said "well, I don't know how your gonna fake your way outta that one, but, do it and get out, so you can go home"
WHAT?!?!
I am shocked.
I also asked him why they didnt come to see me yesterday, ( he was supposed to discharge me yesterday) was because "we didnt have time"
WHAT!?!?

I just dont know where to go from here. It has knocked me to my knees.
But, this is a great post. Thank you for bringing it back, so I could read it. I know I am not alone, it helps to know there are people out there, that are and have felt the same way.

Love, Shari
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
147426 tn?1317269232
I found it!  Bump.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
847433 tn?1243013252
I am dumbfounded that these threads are coming up after I just experienced this yesterday.  I am going to read all the replies tomorrow written here.  I feel in my heart that my lower extremity symptoms are coming from my cervical injuries and I want the surgeon to admit that just becuase I dont fit into the 90% percentile of degree of cord compression in my neck or thoracic region that it is still possible to have muscle weakness in your legs.  And by the way does anyone know CAN YOU FAKE HYPERREFLEXIA IN THE KNEE???  Thats what i'd like to ask the surgeon and neuro and also I am going to ask "Please show me the medical text book or journal that quantifies cord compression"  "How much cord compression does it take 2%, 5%, 10%, 20%,30%, what does it take to cause lower extremity weakness, cause I sure as hell want to know".  Are we all the same, do we all have to have the exact same amount to experience myelopathy or are we individuals with individual spinal cords and varying degrees of tolerance to comression!!! God im pissed.

missy
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
147426 tn?1317269232
bumping for tj
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Hi all,

It's been awhile since I've posted. I mostly read and find comfort in the comments of others. But Quix's points really hit home for me. My first neuro seemed to be more interested in dismissing my symptoms as "all in my head" than he was in trying to figure out what's really wrong.

I know my body, and I know how it reacts to stress - and I know that anxiety is NOT what's causing all my problems. Sure, especially the first couple of times I had a flare, I was definitely scared, but I think neuro #1 got it all backwards and said that stress was causing the sympto
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Sorry - hit a wrong key and posted before I was finished.

Anyway, if I suffered from anxiety as bad as he said I did, I'd need to be committed, and I certainly wouldn't be able to function well in society.

I'm finally going to get to see an MS specialist Tuesday. She has a very good reputation and is on MS Society board. I've heard that she really listens and wants to help people. I sure hope so because neuro #1 certainly left me with doubts and a lot of dissapointment in the medical profession. He made numerous mistakes in his notes - including sending them to a doctor I don't even see and saying he was waiting on reports from other doctors that he never sent me to. The entire experience was a nightmare, and meanwhile, I continued to have flares, and now I have to use a cane or walker most of the time.

Limboland is a terrible place to be! I've seen were a few on here have finally gotten a dx after many years of living without answers - so there is hope.

Thanks to everyone who posts here - it's certainly comforting to know I'm not alone.

Cassrox
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Hi there.

Just want to say that I've been active in this forum since October '07, and in that time there have been far more than a few members who have graduated from limboland. Several dozen at the very least, most of whom have gotten an MS diagnosis. We've had a fair share of others who have learned they have MS mimics, from Lyme disease to B12 deficiencies, and even cancer. We've also had a small number whose problems were indeed psychiatric and they agreed with that assessment.

Unfortunately there's no way to do an accurate count without going through every post, and that would mean thousands of hours of reading. Quite a lot of members no longer post, or post seldom, but that's the nature of the beast, I guess.

Still, I think my diagnosis estimate is very conservative. Don't give up trying.

ess
former limbolander, diagnosis Jan. '08.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
738075 tn?1330579444
Wow, what a thread!  I'm surprised I messed this one...

I was blessed by having a cool Neuro, who, in front of my hubby and all, said "this is all very real.  You don't  see me handing you a referral to a psychiatrist"  Of course, if he did, I would go to the shrink, anyway, to prove I'm OK.  This was all at the beginning of  my path to diagnosis.  

I've been in and out of depression since I was 10 years old, and my best way out was talk therapy.  I've never taken an antidepressant, and when things get a little dicey upstairs, I have only to phone my therapist, and just a few sessions get me straightened out and coping.  I'm actually amazed I haven't had any major depressive episodes since my diagnosis, or with the addition of Rebif.  Hmmmm...Knock wood!

Cheers,
Guitar_grrrl
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
410281 tn?1254232664
Hmm...I've been in and out of the fight/don't fight struggle lately. Y'all may have changed my mind yet again....

Keep talking.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Hi Quix,

Thank you for your post!

I have been in the medical field for about 28 years also as a medical transcriptionist.
In 2003 when something reared its ugly head for me I was truly totally healthy except for occasional migraines.

After my initial episode of right-sided body tingling and severe numbness leading to TN when I first saw my neuro it was "stress/anxiety/worry."  Also he said I needed to change professions as being a medical transcriptionist could be my problem as well.

I went back a couple days ago because I had not seen this neurologist in about 2 1/2 years it was "I told you it is not MS, its stress/anxiety/worry."  He basically told me to stop shopping around for doctors and that the wrong doctor could "hurt me."  I told him that everyone has stress.

Only we know our bodies and when something is terribly wrong.  I absolutely dreaded going back to this neuro but all the doctors in my area are in this one particular practice.
(They do not know us) and could not possibly differentiate if we are hypochondriacs or not.

I have always been an extremely positive person and still am.  I've tried the whole get over it scenario but it just does not work.

What it is that the doctors are afraid of by not openly talking about this with us?  If they would just "talk to us" instead of making us feel like we are crazy, depressed, and stressed out.  

Neuro suggested physical therapy, Effexor, and he increased my Neurontin this office visit but if I have no neurological issues, why doesn't he just dismiss me as a patient and send me on my way to a psychiatrist?

Thanks Quix.  It is nice to hear your professional/personal take on this post.

Tj


Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
147426 tn?1317269232
bump for newbies
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
338416 tn?1420049302
My neuro thinks that anxiety is what's causing my elevated heartrate and shortness of breath on standing, or sitting upright from a reclined position.  

Needless to say, I need a new neuro!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
147426 tn?1317269232
Horsefeathers!  Your neuro is a stinker and needs to be replaced!
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1086746 tn?1288627989
WOW!!! WOW!!! WOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!
THANKS FOR THE AWESOME ENTERTAINMENT!!!    I SUCKED UP EVERY WORD, NOT A DROP LEFT!! lol

I BELIEVE EACH ONE OF US HAS A NATURAL INNER VOICE THAT MAKES US AWARE  THAT SOMETHING ISN'T RIGHT.

TOO OFTEN WE KNOW SOMEONE WHO "IS" A WHINER /DRAMA QUEEN,
THEY TURNED US OR OTHERS OFF AND WE DON'T WANT TO BE THEM SO WE STAY QUIET OR IGNORE OURSELVES.

WE NEED TO LISTEN TO OURSELVES MORE AND QUIT PUTTING OFF MAKING THAT APPOINTMENT, BECAUSE  "IT'S PROBABLY NOTHING" ,OR FEAR OF BEING TOLD SO.         (ME)

I HAVE KNOWN SOMETHING WASN'T RIGHT FOR THE PAST 2 YEARS OFF AND ON.   I WENT THROUGH 2 YEARS OF PURE HELL DURING THAT 2 YEARS W MY HUSBAND. I WAS QUITE SURE MY NURVES WERE SHOT .

I WENT TO MY FAMILY DOC AND TOLD HER HOW I WAS FEELING AND ASKED
FOR AN ANTI- DEPRESSANT AND A REFURAL  TO A THERAPIST.

I'VE ALWAYS BEEN VERY HEALTHY AND STRONG, BUT I KNEW I WAS AT A PLACE WHERE I NEEDED HELP TO COPE.
I SAW THE THERAPIST A YEAR AND WAS OK, SO WENT OFF THE PILLS.

ALL ALONG THE WEIRD PAIN ON MY LEFT SIDE THAT CAME AND WENT, I CHAULKED UP TO WORKING TOO HARD.

UNTIL LAST MONTH THAT IS, THE BOTTOM FELL OUT OF MY BUCKET AND I HAVE TO ADMIT  "I AM VERY SICK"  I GUESS GOD HAS A REAL GOOD WAY OF GETTING OUR ATTENTION SOMETIMES WHEN WE WON'T SLOW DOWN LONG ENOUGH TO LISTEN!! LOL

I HAVE LEARNED SOMETHING GOOD ALREADY... IT'S OK TO REST AND LET THE RESPONSIBILITY REST ON OTHERS IN MY LIFE FOR ONCE. I'VE BEEN THE ONE TO "MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, OR THE FIXER UPPER..." NOW I CAN'T SO I DON'T HAVE TO. I'M SICK ENOUGH I DON'T MIND HOLDING STILL.  

I'M READY TO MOVE ON BUT IN THE MEAN TIME I HAVE DECIDED TO ACCEPT
ALL THIS AND ENJOY THE VACATION FOR NOW  
IT WOULD BE NICER W/OUT ALL THESE SYMPS, BUT THEN I WOULDN'T BE SITTING HERE WOULD I.... LOL     NiCee
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
410281 tn?1254232664
I have to apologize that I didn't read through every post on this thread, but not only do I want to thank Quix for researching this topic, but what really stuck out in my head was:
"if you agree there is some underlying depression or anxiety, then treat it and see what is left."

I'm sure that many of us have gone through this. Are we crazy, are we not???  It's very hard to be in limbo and not know if we are really suffering from anxiety/depression or not?  

Recently, after a year in limbo which was preceded by a very long streach of chronic daily headaches, the only advise I can really give is do not give up. And really, really listen to what the people who know you best observe. If it weren't for my hubby, I would have never gone for a sleep study that discovered three separate sleep disorders, which was an obvious cause of my horrifying fatigue.

And, I think "doctor shopping" is a good thing. Find someone that will listen. We all deserve that, despite the dx.

Love you all.
Heather
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
987762 tn?1331031553
I've been doing a lot of research, following any and every lead i can find and i started to think about my mother who is dx with bipolar and prior to that it was called manic depression, dx back in the early 60's. For years and years every medical issues she has had is ignored or left untreated due to the assumption that its anxiety and depression related, that is until she's in a medical crisis. EG

1) Hypoglycemia - untreated, cause not investigated
2) Pancreatitis - untreated, she doesn't drink so why, cause not investigated
3) Kidney issues - UTI - self treated unless she goes into renal failure then medical intervention other wise medically untreated, cause not investigated
4) Emergency gall bladder removed, prior years of sx went untreated,  cause not investigated
5) Anxiety - untreated, on antidepressant but still a major sx, cause not investigated (pattern of feeling anxious if skips meals), unresolved leads to feeling weepy & apathetic.
6) Depression, treated with Zoloft, feeling sad etc very rare sx, anxiety chronic see above
7) Chronic reflux - self treated, dx sx of anxiety/depression
8) Plurisy - dx common cold, caught late by ER,
9) Trouble breething - dx smoker cough & anxiety, she's never ever smoked, ER shadow on right lung early pneumonia

Absolutely everything has been dismissed as being anxiety and depression related, until she is at the ER and in crisis, only then has the medical reason been discovered and thats after years and years of having sx that have been passed off because she has a long standing dx of depression. Now i believe she has had enough 'real' medical issues to think her depression/ anxiety could be secondary, caused by something like an undx adrenal/thyroid issue, possibly auto immune, even lupus. She's not a worrier but sometimes its obvious that her fight or flight is on over drive, even menapause sx was not addressed because she couldn't tell the difference. It makes so much sense to me that there is more going on than depression/ anxiety that isn't being resolved by the taking of antidepresants.

Ok, genetic link maybe, my little boy was dx with anxiety, specifically panic attacks at the tender age of 4 and has been on Tofranil ever since so thats 8 years now. To be clear here, when we removed the foods he reacts to, the sx of panic attacks disapeared, it took years before any dr took the causation seriously, he's even still on the same dose he started with. After about 6 years of being panic free he ate his birthday cake which had more than a few ingredients he hasn't eaten for years. Within hours he's again describing those old feelings, and was drenched in cold sweat, sweat running down his back, chest and his hair dripping wet, clammy, heart visibly pounding, disorientated, needing to be close to mum, huge pupil's, excessive urination and feeling shaky and strange.

Long story sorry but i find it rather interesting that from oldest to youngest there is a common recurring theme, anxiety and depression is quickly dx even when there is a heck of a lot of 'real' evidence that points towards anxiety and depression being secondary to the medical issue that isn't being addressed or treated. I have no issue at all with anxiety or depression, they should be treated medically pronto! What i do have issues with is treating anxiety and depression and the medical complaint is still unresolved, shouldn't that be a red flag. If the primary cause IS anxiety or depression wouldn't the presumed phantom sx disapear or am i barking up the wrong tree with my way of thinking?

Ohhh brother i wrote a novel, whoops sorry!!! :-)

Cheers........JJ

    

  

Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Thank you for this!

I have never had a doctor say outright, or even write in my chart (that I'm aware of, and I've seen most of my records), that I was ill because of stress or depression. However, I have OFTEN felt they weren't taking me seriously.

The first (and so far only) neuro I saw spent more time telling me I COULDN'T have MS because my brain MRI showed no lesions (not true, I know) than he did examining me.

When my new PCP checked my arm reflexes, I had no response. Seriously. My right fingers flicked a tiny, tiny bit, and from my left side, nothing at all.

Had the jerk of a neurologist I saw taken me seriously, I may not have damage in my arms that I do today. Maybe he would have looked for something, found something, treated for something that would have slowed things down.

Maybe I'd be able to do my job better and spend longer hours at it because my cognitive issues wouldn't be as advanced.

Maybe not (things have gone downhill rapidly), but maybe. He certainly shouldn't have taken it upon himself to decide nothing neurological was going on. It was clear to me then that it was, and now it's obvious to all.

I don't think a truly somatic person will give an honest answer - but that just reinforces the believe that doctors should err on the side of caution. It isn't right to throw my life, and the lives of thousands of others, away just because some people who come in with the same complaints are seeking attention.

For gosh sakes, give them the attention - just make it a policy to give the attention! Sooner or later someone will catch on to them before any harm is done - but if the patients with real physical problems wait have to wait until later, we face real damage to our bodies and minds.

On a side note, the most dramatic friend I have (if she has a tic, she calls it Tourette's; if she's exceptionally tired, she says her CFS is acting up) is also the most likely to treat me like an attention seeker. Sometimes she's a great friend, though - so I just have to take her in small doses and gauge her attitude for the day.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1045086 tn?1332130022
I'll be back later to finish reading all the responses to Quix's original question.  This is clearly a topic that produces rapid and heart felt responses.  I'm hearing the protest of deeply wounded people.

I will share my initial reactions.

I know when anxiety causes my body to react.  I can tell because my blood pressure shoots up to levels seldom seen outside the medical environment.  The stressors in my life (environmental, situational, or physiological) have in the past been followed by migraines, hypoglycemic episodes, and brief bouts of depression.

When the stressor went away, so did the physical and emotional symptoms.  I'm pretty clear in my own mind that when physical symptoms force me to give up activities and hobbies that once brought me pleasure and relaxation --- that's just not me making me sick.

I have very little confidence that anyone in the medical community can determine that a patient's bodily symptoms have no physiologic cause.  This same group is constantly changing it's recommendations about what we should eat, what screening tests we need, what normal test results are, standards for diagnosis, etc. etc. etc.

There are entire series of programs these days that chronicle the cases of patients that went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years and years (after seeing a succession of doctors) before a detective minded physician finally pinpointed a correct diagnosis.  Most all these people were dismissed with anxiety or depression along the line.

Did you ever hear the story of the woman (always a woman) who penned the epitaph for her own grave marker?  It read, "I told you I was sick."

~Mary
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
147426 tn?1317269232
bump
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1394601 tn?1328035908
My last two visits to the ER for breathing problems would be enough for anyone to think it was stress related and I was a nut case.  Trying to explain what was happening to me was like talking a foreign language.  I tried to explain it was not shortness of breath but the muscles were not working.  I couldn't make myself cough.  I couldn't clear my throat.  I couldn't blow my nose.  The muscles were not working....I was aware of breathing shallow.

Right away they wanted to give me something for stress...Which even my neuro gave me the following day.  Has it worked?  No.  If I take double (her orders) it is enough to put me to sleep so...yeah...now I am breathing.

I have an appointment with a pneumologist tomorrow.  Wish me luck.  I sure hope it isn't blamed on stress and someone helps me.

I think doctors are too quick when they don't have answers to dump medicines on us....As a young mother I used to call it "Mommy Medicine".  Medicine given to make Mommy think the child was getting good medical care.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I'm new to this forum.  I have some undiagnosed neurological symptoms, mainly in my feet and legs.

To be fair to my GP and Neurologist, neither of them said they thought my symptoms were caused by stress or anxiety.  I was actually disappointed to hear that.  I would take anxiety over MS any day.  I do, however, feel that my symptoms are worsened during times or stress.  I'm convinced I have real Neurological issues, but that they are also worsened through stress.  I'm also convinced that these days when I'm stressed and anxious it is 'always' due to my symptoms.

My wife still thinks my symptoms may all be down to stress, but she is supportive and understanding.  I suppose she is just hoping it's stress herself rather than MS or something serious.

I wonder how many of us give in to the diagnosis of stress as it's prognosis is far better than MS.  But then, deep down we all know our bodies, and the stress card doesn't fool us for long.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1260255 tn?1288658164
Fortunately, it has never been suggested to me that any of my symptoms could be due to anxiety, stress or depression.

I have had times in my life when I have experienced all of the above and was able to recognize it for what it was. And yes, I did experience some of the symptoms on the list, but nothing like what I am going through now.

If a doctor were to ask me if I felt anxious, under stress or depressed, I would be able to draw on those experiences and outline the few symptoms I had and their duration and why this is different, as well as bringing up test results which support some degenerative process.

I just started seeing a therapist recently (tons of fun at home with a 20 year old Peter Pan as well as other issues including balancing work with health). He commented about how much I am juggling right now and I told him that I did not think I was depressed. He agreed and thought that I am approaching things in a very pragmatic manner. With the neuro sx, he has MS patients and a lot of insight into the varying personalities within the profession and the difficulties patients face in terms of diagnosis.

This is probably yet another reason to make sure that you obtain transcripts of your doctor visits. While the doctor may not say it directly to you, it might be in the transcript that "patient appears to be anxious". Then it puts one in the position to decide whether to discuss this with the doctor or move on. If a doctor does suggest this to you, hopefully you can gather yourself together and explain in a rational, not emotional way why you do not believe this to be the case.

And no, I don't want to go on any SSRIs. I went on them when this journey first started. My PCP said they had ruled out the obvious possibilities and that the process could include finding something much more serious. He asked if I would be able to handle the diagnosis of a serious medical problem; at the time I felt I could not. Paxil was prescribed. I wanted off after 18 months, but was not weaned off it. I found my emotions going dead and went off cold turkey; the 1st two weeks were a nightmare, the next few months I was a drama queen (which I explained to all that I was coming off medication and might be a DQ, so please just tell me if I'm off) and within 6 months, my brain chemistry had been able to get back to being able to function normally.

Can I handle the possibility of a serious medical diagnosis now? Certainly. I'm that much older, wiser and more mature! Every day is a gift.

Audrey



Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Your Answer
Avatar universal
Answer
Do you know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Answer
Post Answer
A
A
Doctor Ratings & Reviews
Who are the top-rated Neurologist in your area?
Multiple Sclerosis Community Resources
Top Neurology Answerers
987762 tn?1331031553
Blank
Australia
5265383 tn?1483811956
Blank
ON
Avatar universal
Blank
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499305393
Blank
Queen Creek, AZ