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Multiple Sclerosis or Anxiety
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Multiple Sclerosis or Anxiety

Hopefully you can shed some light for me. A year ago, I stopped taking Zoloft to treat anxiety without really tapering down. A couple of days later I ended up in the ER for veritgo, shock like sensations in my neck and tingling/numbness in my left arm. They did a cat scan and checked for diabetes. Both came back normal. The ER doctor said I may want to do a MRI to rule out MS being I was 33 years old and my symptoms mirrored those of MS. With this information, I completely broke down in fear of the possible diagnosis. In the end the MRI came back normal and my doctor concluded that I was having withdrawl (withdrawal) symptoms from Zoloft. Sure enough, all the symptoms disappeared except for the tingling sensation in my arm which continued for about a month. New symptoms arose however, which were a burning and tightness sensation in my L arm as well. I was told that anxiety can cause these sensations and actually mirror any disease. With this info. I started to relax more and the sypmtoms disappeared completely.

One year later, I am starting to feel that I do indeed have MS. A month ago, my left fingers started to tingle again. This then turned into a pinched nerve like sensation in my left elbow and now I have that tightness sensation in my left arm as well. I went to the neuro doctor and she did a nerve conductivity test to make sure it was not a pinched nerve. It was not. She mentioned that although I do not show the classic symptoms of MS, 5% of MS patients have a normal MRI.

My question for you is could this strictly be anxiety again? I am not currently taking any meds. for anxiety and am trying not to think about what is causing this sensation I have. Just yesterday my left leg started to feel a little tinglely as well. Should I get another MRI done of the brain as well as one of the spine? Can scarring show up on the spine and not the brain? I really need some answers so that I can relax and move on with my life which is currently being consumed by this paranoia. Thanks for listening!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I haven't been officially diagnosed with MS yet but I have lesions on my spine and not on my brain MRI.  My LP was positive for ogiclonal bands and I am having my VEP soon.  The doctor wants all of the info before he diagnoses me.  MS is very difficult to diagnose and without all of the info there would always be question in my mind especially since it is only in my spinal cord.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the info. How did your symptoms start out? Are they getting worse?
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Avatar_n_tn
My symptoms are getting worse.  It started out with weakness in my right leg after long walks or running.  It would drag a little.  Not enough to alarm me.  Then my toesstarted to spray out and I wouldn't have contol of it.  I'm talking about over 5-6 years and symptoms not worsening.  Over the last 3-4 months I've had tingling in my right leg that comes and goes and bladder issues and my leg is weaker.  I have really bad restless leg where it wakes me up sometimes.  It has a mind of its own!
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Avatar_n_tn
Do you feel anxious? Anxiety is very common in MS. Doctors like to use anxiety and depression when they can't figure out what is wrong with you. Sometimes it is is anxiety and/or depression, but sometimes you have a real physiological condition they just can't figure out. I don't know why ruling out MS would make you relax, anxiety can be as debilitating as MS and there isn't much in the way of treatment except the same cruddy drugs they had you on before. You can try CBT therapy, but that doesn't work for everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
Alot of what you are talking about and some of the symptoms that others are talking about is what I am experiencing. I made a post a few days ago (no replies), but the big question is it anxiety or MS? The symptoms are real, especially the numbness and tingling and the migraines and bladder problems (incontinence), etc. At least for you they are thinking about MS. For me, its like when the doctors hear my age, they dont even consider that it could be MS to the point, where I had to fight with my last neurologist so that he could refer me for an MRI. I do believe that anxiety causes problmes, but I dont think its so debilitating to the point, where you are affected years at a time. If you are really under axiety and depressed, you might know it already. Have you considered seeing a psychologist too? I went initially and they told me that they dont know why I am there to see them. You fill out a questionaire of things that are going on and then they talk to you if you want. Anxiety has been ruled out in my case and Amitriptyline is a waste of time for me. It doesnt help. I am thinking it may be MS. Also spinal taps can help in the diagnosis, but the procedure is horrible. My mom had alot spinal taps for her intercranial hypertension and the tumor in her eye (optic nerve). Good luck and I hope you get to feeling better. I say trust your gut instinct, if it doesnt feel like anxiety, then go to other doctors and talk to them, even if its frustrating, you may be luck enough to find one who is willing to look beyond the cookie -cutter solution and try new things. there are plenty of those like that out there.
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