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.