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Am I really ill or am i just too anxious about my symptoms?

I'm 17 and I've been suffering from multiple symptoms for over a year and a half, that have really started to affect my life.

It started quite suddenly during winter at the beginning of 2008, after going through a tough time of losing my grandad and stressful school exams. I remember being out with friends and suddenly feeling a tingle in my left arm. I couldn't lift it for a few minutes and there was a weird sensation. I eventually got movement back but it scared me and for weeks after I became very worried and ill as I became accompanied by more and more symptoms including digestion problems, general weakness and fatigue and headaches. I used to look up these symptoms and spend hours trailing through the internet finding all these different fatal or life effecting diseases I could possibly have. I became so worried and down about it that sometimes I would lose feeling in limbs such as my legs turning to jelly for a day or two and my arms being really light. I also got real muscle tightness around my head, like a band of tightness. I saw my GP about this but he never really took it seriously. I had blood tests and even saw a neurologist but nothing was wrong with me. My GP put it down to anxiety and sent me to a see a councillor. I did this for a while and it worked a little bit talking about my problems but I never really got down to what was effecting me most, which was my fear that I was really ill and would become disabled or even die young. I eventually reached a stage where councilling wasn't getting anywhere but I felt generally a bit better after the summer so I left it. Then, some symptoms began creeping back more and more and I became down again going into winter. One weekend I could not even walk I was so weak and genuinly felt I was losing control of my body and had something like MS or ALS. I saw the GP again who put it down to more anxiety and suggested I didn't react well to winter and some viral infections. I got a bit better again and opted against councelling because I thought I might be going crazy. I began keeping the symptoms to myself cos I felt embaressed and paranoid. I didn't want my parents and GP thinking I was some loony hypochondriac. Over the past 6 months since seeing my GP for the last time my emotions and fears have been bottled up inside me. I keep going through cycles of feeling ok and feeling really really low. Symptoms have generally included extreme weakness in arms, especially my left arm, tightness in the head, light-headedness, dizziness, lack of concentration and motivation, tingling and twitching, flakiness on my arms, black specs on the skin on fingers very occasionally, numbness, very blocked nose, heavy head and eyes and general weariness. I have many mood swings which effect my relationship with my parents and my friends but I can't tell anyone about this cos they will think I'm crazy. I often genuinly feel a sense of doom like I'm gonna die any second. I hate it and I try and take my mind off it by going out with friends and going for runs. I eat healthily, do some exercises and play football but I'm scarily skinny, especially in my arms, which doesn't help my anxious state. My arms are veiny and have little muscle, along with the numbness and feeling of lightness in them like they are gonna stop moving - its really concerning me now even typing. I don't know what to do. I just want to be better and enjoy my life. Can anyone help me who have had similar symptoms?

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Look, nobody on a website can tell you if you have some medical problem, but even if you did, being as anxious as you are about it would be self defeating.  So no matter what, you have an anxiety problem.  So get back in to therapy and work on the real problem, which isn't that you worry about being ill but that you obsessively worry.  You have to learn to recondition your mind so you can stop doing it.  As far as whether you have a physiological illness or not, you've seen doctors, which doesn't mean much, they miss a lot, so if you're really concerned see another physician.  If you again find nothing wrong, then it's probably anxiety, but again, people who have medical problems don't obsessively worry about them, they treat them.  You'd still have the problem of obsessive worrying.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
I have somewhat of the same as you. I am 18 years old and have had anxiety since i was 14. It went away after the first year of high school but since I graduating everything went down south and it came back again. I have been going to therapy and it helped the first time. As magically it came it magically goes away out of nowhere. Everyday I suffer from tightness in my throat and chest. Heat sensations.Dizzy spells. Fear i am going to die which is my biggest fear and choking. I have dropped 10 pounds since this whole thing. i don't eat much anymore which use to be my favorite thing to do. I cry all the time when I feel bad. I know it is all anxiety and you are probably going through a life change as so am I. By going to a therapist that you know will help you and you feel the most comfortable with will help you get through this because talking to someone is the best way. I think you should tell your friends what you are going through. Don't tell them all the symptoms and stuff just tell them what you have and hopefully they will understand. When I was first diagnosed I wouldn't tell anyone other than my family but then when I would get panic attacks while with my friends I had to tell them what was going on. Who knows maybe they are going through the same thing as you. Just keep thinking your going to be ok because in the end you will. I've concoured this once without medication and Im going to conquer it again! I hope everything is ok for you and i'm happy to know there is someone around my age going through the same things as me!
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