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Anxiety after a upper Respiratory virus

I recently had a upper Respiratory virus that caused a lot of sinus pressure.  Soon after I experienced a problem
of anxiety.  I don't have a history of this problem and wonder if this virus could have brought it on.  My doctor doesn't  
think so.  I couldn't take paxil, but I'm taking a small dose, 2.5 mg of Ativan as needed.  There is no stress in
my life that would contribute to this problem.  I'm a 64 year old healthy female who is enjoying life and would like to
understand this anxiety problem.  Are there any studies out there that could inlighted me to this problem?  
4 Responses
531684 tn?1216745984
If you find any studies let me know. I've had sinus issues for almost a decade. I know for sure that these issues along with alcohol abuse helped to create patterns that amplify my anxiety.

I've had trouble breathing through my nose since I was a kid. Forcing air through your mouth (or mouth-breathing) has been proven to cause stress. It sux. Allegies and a tiny nasal passenges have been my problem.
480448 tn?1426948538
Nasal makes an excellent point.  While it seems to be an "odd" connection (sinus type issues, etc and anxiety)...there are a few mechanisms that would almost guarantee an anxiety response.

Depending on the severity of the infection you had.....simply your body trying to fight something off can produce anxiety...not to mention ANY type of shortness of breath....even if you didn't perceive it to be severe....can make one anxious...even without really thinking about it.

Whether that is what CAUSED the anxiety you are experiencing or not....is hard to say.  That is the cruddy thing about anxiety...9 times out of 10 it does NOT make any sense to the sufferer.  We are often left scratching our heads thinking WTH?  

Eventually, in a lot of cases, the REASON becomes less important than addressing the anxiety.  In YOUR case...depending on how badly the anxiety is affecting you....you could certainly wait it out a bit to see if it starts to improve as the illness resolves completely.  That absolutely may happen...and as quickly as it came it may go (MY fingers are crossed for you).

Keep an eye on it...and certainly get to your doc if it starts getting worse, so that you can start dealing with it before it gets too bad.  Also, I would insist on some basic diagnostic studies to rule out other causes JUST to be on the safe side....ie...basic lab work (blood count and electrolyte panel, to r/o a possible anemia and/or electrolyte imbalances  and perhaps some thryoid studies), and maybe an EKG, again JUST to be on the safe side.  A minor imbalance of one of the electrolytes, or a mild anemia can cause anxiety.  Chances are, everything is fine, and it is your body just responding to the illness in an atypical way.

Since you have NO history of anxiety, and like you said...are not experiencing any significant stress...that is MY advice to you.  Don't be afraid to take the Ativan here and there, as needed for the anxiety.  I'm assuming you meant your dose is 0.25 mg, not 2.5 mg?  The latter, and what you first indicated is actually a high dose.

Glad you found your way here....we can certainly help you muddle thru this.  Take Care.
476009 tn?1211466989
I don't know if this will really help any but my daughter started suffering from anxiety after a flu like illness with respiratory problems 1½ years ago.  The fever etc eventully passed and we thought that with time she would get better but actually some 10 months later her anxiety was worse and she was becoming very depressed.  The doctors started treating the depression and anxiety but we really had a hard time getting them to look for any underlying cause since the original illness had been so long before.  

Long story short (well shorter) one of the tests run with the onset of her illness had been positive for Lymes disease (though they thought otherwise) and she'd gone through a short time on antibiotics at that time.  Her pdoc recognized her symptoms as possibly Lymes related and  treated her with antibiotics and she improved dramatically.  Now she's off all drugs and is doing fine. Did she have Lymes or was it just time passing helped along by antidepressants etc? I don't have the answer but I did want to say that yes......anxiety can certainly be triggered by an illness if you ask me.
Avatar universal
Are you taking flonase??  Google blogs on flonase side effects.  It was amazing and doctors don't tell you this stuff.  I am not taking flonase as of today!!
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