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Curious about lightheadedness and paresthesia

Hey everyone,

About 17 months ago, I started experiencing brain fog during a day at work. At first, I thought nothing of it; maybe it was my brain telling me I needed to stand up and walk away from the computer, or even take a break. I noticed as the day went on, though, that it didn't fully go away. There was always this lingering cloud that couldn't take the hint to go away.

That continued for about a week before the cloud seemed to grow. I started having trouble concentrating, finding it was more ideal to take a break than actually work. My work quality suffered, but I powered through. At this point, it was only the brain fog.

About three months in, I started getting episodes of lightheadedness, at which point I went to a walk-in clinic to see what, if anything, they could do. They diagnosed it as a side effect of a recent cold, and gave me some pills to help clear it up. As someone who has experienced a number of colds during his life (always tend to get one whenever the season changes and, living in Illinois, that is often), I knew this was different.

I don't want to walk through month-by-month what happened, but the brain fog and lightheadedness have not gone away since that day. I've had a number of tests - bloodwork, a CT scan (done about a year ago), various EKGs and a 24-hour heart monitor - done to see if there was any underlying issue, but they all came back clean.

About two weeks ago, during a visit with my general practitioner, he thought it could be related to anxiety. Not so much that I was having panic attacks or feelings of anxiety on a constant basis, but he opined that the anxiety could be causing these symptoms, which in turn could be affecting the anxiety. He prescribed me some buproprion and I started taking it the next day. My anxiety levels have dropped, but those symptoms still persist.

Earlier this week, I started feeling paresthesia in my skull. The pattern would never be the same; it would start off on my right side, move to my left, then occupy both sides. I went to the ER last night because both the paresthesia and a bout of lightheadedness hit at the same time, but after yet another EKG and various bloodwork, they said I appeared fine and to follow up with my GP.

I'm planning to meet with him next week to chart next steps, but was wondering if anyone here has gone through something similar. I'm tired of feeling this way. I feel like it has affected my intelligence (not being able to find the right word sometimes, constantly procrastinating, etc.), my energy and even strained some relationships with my family. I'm hoping there will eventually be a diagnosis, but until then, I just have to hold out hope.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
One thing you might want to keep an open mind to is it may be in your imagination. Over-analyzing your body can make a big strain on your mind if you are anxious and constantly feeding it information that you feel are worrisome symptoms, which will feed back to make you even more anxious.
Consider a therapist to see if they can help you relax and get you feeling like you used to. If you can relax, then anything that is just in your imagination will go away. Personally I am wondering if you got the "brain fog" or if you just spent too much time thinking about it and accordingly it seemed to be bigger than it really is. But no one can diagnose you from here, so consider a therapist.
Avatar universal
One thing, in your post you don't actually mention suffering from anxiety at a level that interferes with your life.  Do you actually feel anxious at a level that would cause this much disorientation?  If not, it's not likely to be anxiety.  Also, you say the wellbutrin reduced your anxiety, but is that anxiety caused by this feeling you've been having or were you anxious to begin with?  I ask because that particular medication is the most stimulating antidepressant out there and wouldn't usually be given if anxiety were the problem.  If it's working, have you been feeling depressed?  At any rate, both anxiety and depression are marked by thoughts, not physical symptoms alone.
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