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Avatar universal

Anxiety Symptoms?

Hi.  I am a 23 yr. old female looking for some advice on concerning symptoms.  I am a law student, extremely stressed most of the time and have suffered anxiety all of my life.  I have always thought I was sick since I was 8 yrs. old i would constantly take my temp., etc.  When I was 5 I was actually hospitalized because they thought I had cancer, turned out to be stress from my parents divorce.  I have gone through therapy for OCD, had all kinds of tests on my heart because of palpatations, dizziness, etc. which the dr. attributed to anxiety.  I have gotten over the 'heart' anxiety, but now I seem to just be displacing anxiety everywhere else.  I worry every week about a different disease and convince myself that I am sick w/ MS, parkinson's, lupus, lymphoma, you name it - i've had it.  My family thinks I am being a baby about all of these symptoms and they don't understand that (consciously at least)I don't do it for attention, many of my symptoms are real.

Anyway, fastfoward, for the past 5 months (started at a job this summer) I have had muscle twitces all over my body.  Of course and unfortunately, i searched this on the internet to find ALS.  I don't remember if my other problems started before or after this "internet diagnosis", but I have convinced myself that I am having problems swallowing.  I never actually have problems eating or drinking, but I find that i am always "testing" myself, sticking my tongue out, trying to eat tough food just to see.  I feel like someone is squeezing my throat constantly to the point where my gag reflex has become very sensitive. I also feel like my hands and feet are on the verge of cramping.  I hate this.  I am terrified and it is interfering with my school work and studies.  I don't have the money to have all the neuro. tests that would prob. be done if I were to see a neuro. and I just don't know what to do.  Everyone keeps telling me "you've always done this to yourself, you are too hard on yourself, its just anxiety" and I want to believe that, but my symptoms are very real and terrifying me.

I guess what I would really like to know is if anxiety could manifest itself this way?  Could it be related to OCD in some way?
I would also like to know if you can actually cause yourself to have these symptoms by worrying so much about them?  I just feel lost and there is so much i want to do in life, but everyday I feel like I am getting ready to die or something, it's just horrible.  I would appreciate any advice you are willing to give.  Anything right now is such a blessing.

Thanks so much.
9 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
The answer is yes, you can cause yourself this by attending to it, and it starts as anxiety and continues to become somatic and real.  I suggest you start therapy again at this time of your life because you are so motivated and at such a turning point in your life.
Avatar universal
I'm not a doctor, but I experience the same side effects and all my doctors, including psychiatrist, all say the samething... anxiety. The twitching could be a few things: You might be scared about something, or worry, or maybe you overstress yourself on your school tasks. Since I have the same side effects what helped me is relax meditation tapes (like where they have the cds of people counting down into complete relax states.) www.panic-anxiety.com is a good resource for all your questions about anxiety.
Avatar universal
The stress anxiety viedeo idea is a good one . The symptoms themselves are not the real problem. Its the vicious cycle that they trigger. Speaking from personal expeience. The symptoms escalate the more you concentrate on them. Try body large nuscle relaxation thechniques and you will see a lessening of the problem The trigger itself will not go aqay but it will not casue the severe symptoms that it used to. Good luck and God bless
Avatar universal
I can relate to what you are saying.  I have had periods where for two weeks straight I had muscles twitching all over my body, pins and needles sensations, feels like bugs crawling all over my body and I get really itchy.

I discovered it was all anxiety related.  There are days when I am really stressed and don't feel the symptoms and other times when I do.  I think I figured out why I I don't have the symptoms all the time. It seems that the stress builds up to a point and then I have those symptoms.

I have gone to a psychologist and I am feeling a lot better, not totally better, but getting there.

I also get palpitations from stress and when I get the muscle twitches I say, well, better than palpitations.  Kind of makes it not feel so bad then.

Something that helps me is, to be conscious all the time of my muscles.  Notice when my shoulders, neck or stomach are tight and then take a deep breath, hold it and as I exhale, let my muscles relax.  With practice, it really works.

Here is a wonderful breathing exercise I learned from a psychologist:

To breath correctly do it this way: Breath from the stomach like a baby.  It feels like you are filling your stomach first and continue and until you lungs are full.

Now for the breathing exercise:

1.  Take a deep breath in through your nose (takes 4 seconds)

2.  Hold for 4 seconds.

3.  Breath out through the mouth (takes 4 seconds)as you exhale let yourself go limp and relax muscles.  You can also say, to yourself or out loud, "I am relaxed and calm" or something similar that will make you feel better.

4.  Wait 4 seconds; and repeat.


This will really help you in stressful situations.  I hate waiting in lines up and get really anxious.  When this happens, I do my deep breathing exercise.  It really, really helps.

Another thing that helps, smile when you are scared.  It tricks the brain into thinking you are happy and it releases good endorphines and eventually you do feel better.

Don't let anxiety rule your life.  I did for so many years and I'll tell you, I missed so much.  

Take care.  Maybe come back to this post and let me know if it helped.

Avatar universal
An excellent resource for anxiety self-help is the book "Don't Panic" by Reid Wilson.  Very easy to read and understand.  Also, the audio tape series and workbook from the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety is EXCELLENT (Lucinda Bassett).  It has been very helpful for me to be able to listen to the tapes in the car, on a plane, etc.  whenever I need a little encouragement or self-esteem boost.  There is lots of self-help out there.  Good Luck!
Avatar universal
Another thing that really works is to try to practice in turning Stress into U-Stress. U-Stress is the opposite of Stress. What you do is make a concious effort to lace your daily schedule wiht a series of little events that you find joy in and put these into your concious daily schedule. You will find that you will eventually look forward to a stressful day that is full of little perks(things that make you happy and make you smile.Pictures of you favorite loved ones, meditation of a happy event from the past or present or your favorite candy bar or snack treet-something that will make you smile. I call it the "pay yourself first system-ciddle yourself and make yourself happy for even a minute or two during the day and be concous that this is what you are doing.Making yourself happy and giving yourself a feel good event. Eventurally you will be so happy that you will not have time to think about your bad stress causing concerns.Good luck and God bless
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