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Avatar universal

Obsession with having brain tumor, is this just anxiety?

For the past few months (Since before Christmas) I have been suffering from a range of different symptoms. At first, these symptoms were:

Numbness in the left side of face and head, sometimes both sides and rarely the right side
Crawling/tingling in left side of face or head
Twitching in the right eye
Feeling of panic and hyperactivity
Fast heartbeat at times, but not always
Headaches on one side of head (can vary which side is affected)
Pressure feeling in the left side of head, sometimes, but rarely the other side
feeling of being unbalanced when standing sometimes (not always)
Trembling in hands (mostly when panicking, but sometimes randomly)

i find myself constantly grinding my jaw or biting the skin off my thumbs when panicking or worrying about the symptoms

Poor appetite, only interested in sweet foods or chocolate


I went to a Neurologist, who diagnosed me with Anxiety. Since then, my doctor started me on medication to help me sleep, and calm me down. The symptoms have hugely decreased since this and now I only have a few concerns, but I also have some new symptoms also. Such as:

Lack of sensation in the left lower leg
Random twitching in body parts (can be either side of body)
Numbness across the chest (both sides) and towards the left shoulder and arm
VERY rarely pressure or numbness in the left face or head (still sometimes the other side)
VERY rarely feeling of panic
Finding it hard to focus on something without eyes twitching or moving sometimes (not always)
Trembling in hands (not always)
Sharp pains sometimes in random places of the head
Sometimes get sharp chest pains in the left side
feeling of being unbalanced when standing sometimes (not always)
I have rather large red veins showing towards the back of each eye
Sharp chest pains on the left side which usually only lasta  few seconds when they occur


i find myself constantly grinding my jaw or biting the skin off my thumbs when panicking or worrying about the symptoms

I also sometimes see "floaters" (like tiny sparks that you see in the corner of your eye). But this is VERY rare.


The symptoms seem to mostly start when I am around many people, or when in an uncomfortable situation. And seem to be non-existent when I am doing something of interest. Sometimes, the sensations and symptoms can continue for up to about half an hour before they go away. My neurologist said that she does not believe that there is a brain tumor, because if this was the case, then the symptoms would only affect one side of the body, but my symptoms can affect both sides.

When talking to someone i do not know, I sometimes get like a rush of tingling throughout my entire head and sometimes the sides of my face, this ONLY seems to occur when talking to someone i dont know for some reason.

I always seem to have a high heart rate when thinking about the symptoms, and I am ALWAYS finding myself thinking about death, and being paranoid that I am going to die of a brain tumor. I am VERY concered ALL the time, always assuming i have a brain tumor.
I went on holiday recently, and the symptoms were a lot worse after being on the plane home, I had a lot of pressure in my left side of my head, dizziness, feeling of being unbalanced (mostly when standing or walking) and sharp pains in my head, mostly on the left, which can be relieved by applying pressure to my neck muscles and massaging them.

My first question is, was my neurologist correct to say that my symptoms would only affect one side of my body if there was a brain tumor?

And my second question is, Are these symptoms purely anxiety and nothing to worry about?

If it helps, I am a 16 year old male, 5ft 3 inches tall, weighing approximately 119 pounds. Never smoked or drank alchohol.
3 Responses
1348686 tn?1310654243
I am sorry that you are feeling so horrible.  Anxiety can be overwhelming and it can make us have "symptoms" of all kinds of diseases.  I am not a dr but being that you are only 16 the odds of you having something really wrong with you are slim.  However, it might not be a bad idea to go to your dr and have a physical with a full bloodwork up done.  Most likely things will come back fine and it should help ease your mind.  If you have already been to the neuro and he/she said everything is fine then try and remind yourself of that.  

The fact that your symptoms go away when you are not thinking about them suggests anxiety.  It might not be a bad idea for you to talk with a therapist.  I know that is a big step but you are so young and you don't want to have a lifetime of anxiety to deal with.  A therapist can help teach you coping skills.  

As far as the twitcing goes there is a condition known as BFS that causes twitching and it can be in any part of your body.  It can't hurt you it is a benign condition.  It is just really annoying and it will come and go.  Anxiety and stress makes it worse.  I have it too and I notice that when my anxiety is high I twitch ALOT!!!  

I really think you should go see your family dr and a therapist.  I think that by learning coping skills now will help you down the road.  I worry about death alot too but I try not to let it consume me.  You have a long life a head of you now is the time to enjoy it.

Good luck.  I hope you start feeling better soon....
Avatar universal
I just wanted to let you know that it probably is all anxiety related, but should be taken seriously. I have had similar problems in the past and also work as a counselor with children. The biggest concern in my opinion is that you said you feel worse when you leave your home or go on vacation. You should see a therapist so that you don't develop a fear of leaving your house in general. Many anxiety disorders can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy and most of the feelings arise from a fear of losing control. A lot of people experience this, don't be afraid! I continue to battle pannick attacks, and it's a nightmare. They strike out of nowhere, especially when driving to work. I have to avoid caffine in the mornings lol! I also went to the emergency room on 2 or 3 different occasions convinced that I was having a heart attack or had stomach cancer because of the severe pain I was in. It was all anxiety related and passed. I'm not a doctor, but I'm willing to bet that seeing a therapist about your symptoms could rid you of them all together. I know my problem is my job! lol! Best wishes!

1620360 tn?1318904630
Put it this way, your neurologist had 8+ years of medical school and has probably examined and treated hundreds and maybe thousands of patients. I would think he/she is more qualified to diagnose you than anyone else, including yourself. It's normal to doubt a diagnosis, especially when you are still experiencing these symptoms. Anytime you have to cope with dizziness, light-headedness, numbness etc., it's alarming and very hard to just write it off as anxiety and something non-physical. But over the years, after dozens of tests I've come to realize that it's my own deep rooted anxiety that is what's ailing me. Learn to trust your doctor, and then do less of what triggers your anxiety. If spending time doing things of interest lessens the anxiety, then do more of that.
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