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Anxiety? Cancer? Fibromyalgia?

I'm a male college student, and also a part time worker. Sadly I'm not as a active, exercise-wise, as I'd want to be.

Basically, it all started in early July (or late June) of this year. I started feeling weird sensations throughout my body. The best way I can describe the feeling is it's as if I'm high on vicodin; I feel somewhat tingly and restless in my back and arms. Also during the early stages of my symptoms, I would experience on and off fatigue. My fatigue was moderate since I noticed that I can get through daily activities, although I would feel powerless as a consequence. I also experienced random muscle and joint aches throughout my body. Sleep was unrefreshing, even though I would sleep enough hours sometimes even more (plus naps).

In August, my symptoms somewhat intensified. There were incidents where I felt overwhelmed with (what I think was) dizzy spells or fatigue. Similar symptoms carried over from the previous month. In early August, I went out to play baseball with my brothers, and I noticed that even after 30 mins. of light to moderate throwing, I again felt lethargic. The same week, I went swimming with family friends and it felt as if my calves were going shut down. After these two activities during the same week, I never felt like I've recovered. My left arm/shoulder (I'm a lefty) has felt sore almost everyday since; same goes for my (the following are on and off) back, left hip, elbows, legs, neck. At one point during middle August, (for one evening) my heart was pounding loudly and quickly, and I also felt light headed. There was also this one time during late August where I was unable to attend school, because I felt too lethargic and dizzy.

Now it's September, and I've noticed the fatigue has subsided. I still have dizzy spells, and carrying over from late August, is discomfort in my throat; not quite sore but there's definitely some scratchy, hot, lumpy sensation. My shoulders/back/arms/legs/neck still ache sporadically. Particularly during this month, have been headaches (or migraines, not sure)(intensity and duration varies), which tends to radiate from the left side of my head (once or twice, the headache felt like it numbed my face). Sometimes, my eyes would feel sore and blurry as a result. I've also been waking up with really sore calves (feels like a ran several miles).

Physically, I am miserable. My mental side has also taken a beating. Everyday, I wake up with worry regarding my symptoms. I've become socially withdrawn, irritable, anxious, and sometimes depressed. I've visited the doctor a couple of times, and even had a blood test, as well as an HIV test. The blood test revealed that I'm completely healthy. And the HIV test showed I'm negative. I also had a physical done , where the doctor checked for any obvious enlargement in my organs (liver, spleen); which also proved that they were completely normal, thus healthy.

Other observations:
-Had good days and bad days
-Weird kind of dizziness (not quite vertigo). Feels like there's a rubber band pressuring the sides of me head.
-Most of the muscle/joint discomfort favored left side of the body
-No fever, diarrhea, rash, swollen lymph nodes (as far as I recall), urine color normal, appetite normal, weight stable, sun/heat exacerbated condition
-Sometimes I would even feel dizzy when sitting down (some occasions when I would shake my leg, as soon as I stopped shaking, I would like I'm "moving")
-Sporadically, I would feel lightheaded if I stood up or got up too quick after laying down or even when sitting (sometimes my heart felt "loud")
-I've had rare moments where standing felt tiring.
-Basic motor skills, reasoning, logic, balance, and sensitivity are all normal.

Medication: Ibuprofen (sporadic, irregular use [no more than two pills used on a given day]) Daily vitamin supplement intake, Vitamin Water

What I think it may be: Brain tumor, POTS, CFS, Fibromyalgia, Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Question: Can I experience anxiety-related symptoms even when I'm not having an attack?
Help me please...
1 Responses
3455166 tn?1347507133

You went to the doctor and everything came back in the green, so you don't have any organic issues. Plus it is very unlikely for your age since you are young. Even though you are not as physically active as you may like to be, it doesn't mean in any way that you are ill, just because you don't exercise doesn't mean you're sick...

I'm working from bottom up on your description of your symptoms: First off all, anxiety in itself (if it becomes a continuous tendency or a disorder like GAD) can cause some people to worry over their health, thinking that the physical symptoms are indictors of some underlying problem, which is totally irrelevant and mainly irrational. That is the basis of hypochondria. One of the things that probably contributes to the hypochondria-like thinking, is that the symptoms of anxiety are enormous, there are many different physical manifestations of anxiety and some can be generally annoying and some can be rather distressing. For example, I had a few months with some really palpable anxiety and at one time I had a panic attack, and the sense of my heart beating so fast was rather frightening to me and over time when I had a few others, it made me fearful of my heart health but I know logically my heart is perfectly healthy and when I exercise I feel fantastic, but the irrational fear was definately a bit hard to get over but I have and am getting over it.

There are many, many symptoms of anxiety, all are harmless but they sometimes don't feel that way.

Sometimes after sitting for a long while, and suddenly getting up, a little lightheadedness is normal. Same goes for lying down for a long time. If you just wake up in the morning and flee out of bed you may feel a bit lightheaded for a few seconds, which is normal. Try not to get up so quickly after being dormant for some time.

The pressure on the sides of your head is most likely a tension headache, caused by the muscles contracting and being tensed up (anxiety is a likely cause besides bad posture or a tight neck) and when they tense up it has a tendency to feel like there is a band around your head. An awareness of the heart beating could be palpitations (harmless) which can range from a racing heart, to a flip-flop feeling, fluttering or a thud. Palpitations are one of the most common symptoms accompanying anxiety, usually only when you are very anxious. They can be a bit weird or alarming but they are normal.

Overall, it sounds to me like you may have GAD, or just bad anxiety tendencies. And yes, you can experience anxiety-related symptoms even if you are not "conciously" anxious. A lot of anxiety disorders are truly "unconcious" in nature. That is why they are really a "disorder" in the first place, they go on without the person actively participating or knowing about them, but that's okay. In a way it is like a bad habit, but like any habit, it can be stopped for good but it takes work. You need to identify what is causing the anxiety, this takes a big burden off your shoulders. Being uncertain about what is causing the anxiety can be contributing to it. That may make you anxious about being anxious, LOL.

Second, you need to recognize that the reason why you are worried about your health is because of the symptoms of the anxiety, not some actual problem. Then, read about anxiety, research it, the more you learn about it, the more you can understand its mechanisms. A lot of people are anxious about being anxious simply because they don't know how it all works and comes together. Learning about it can be very, very helpful. I did this and its helped me tons. Knowledge is power.

On a side note, being a mild health worrier (getting over it now) I know what some hypochondriacs may do when they get a symptom: They magnify it, make into something big and bad, then they search usually not knowing anything about hypochondria itself and they end up "reading and relating" to things they see on the internet and the cross up and confuse the symptoms they are feeling with acutal illnesses. That catastrophize over something that is a mental construct.

Taking one or two ibuprogen per day isn't going to do anything to you, no worries there. Multivitamins are good.

So to conclude, you are probably just fine, but experiecning general anxiety with some hypochondria, spurred on by these symptoms you are feeling.

All the best!
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