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Avatar universal

Much Needed Opinion

I'm a 24 year old male who has been suffering for months! On Dec 1st 2003 I started having a hard time swallowing. My tonsils were enlarged but I didn't have a sore throat. I went to my doctor and and was tested for strep throat, it was negative.  I went to a ear nose throat specialist who said you probably just have a viral infection but your tonsils are moderately enlarged and shouldn't be giving you any trouble swallowing.  Then I started to not feel well. I was having night sweats,trouble swallowing,frequent urinating,diareah,fatigue,trouble concentrating,insomnia,aches and pains,my heart was always racing.Then on Dec 29th, 2003 I was at work and my hands and feet started tingling(pins and needles)like when you foot "falls a sleep". This was constant. By Dec 31st my whole body felt like that. On Dec 31st I was laying down watching TV and all the sudden it felt like there was no oxygen going to my head, and the tingling turned to numbess in my arms and legs.My heart was beating out of control. I was having muscle spasms and I felt like I couldn't move my legs. I didn't know what to do so my girlfriend called an ambulance and I went to the hospital. They checked my blood for lyme disease,vitamin deficiencies,poisons, blood sugar. The doctor told me that they tested my blood for everything under the sun. They gave me a ct scan and a ekg.  They send me home with no diagnosis. I was still tingling and very dizzy. The next night around the same time the same thing happened. I went back to the hospital and they told me I had mono, but I had mono years ago. I went home.  The next day I went to see my doctor and he told me that I do not have mono, I had it years ago. He said he was positive that I was having panic attacks and he referred me to a Physciatrist. I delayed going to see hime and I asked for a referral to a neurologist.  I went to the neurologist and he gave an exam, MRI and a EEG.  They came out normal. My symptoms now were heart racing,mild dizzyness, light senativity, fatigue, insomnia, imtermittent tingling (like electric shock feeling in different parts of body that would come and go). I went to the Physciatrist. He was positive that I had a panic attacks and that I have an anxiety disorder. He put me on 25mg of Zoloft. 1mg of Ativan 3 times a day and 125mg of depakote for the tingling. He said with clean blood work and a clean MRI and my current symptoms that he was positive that this was anxiety/panic and I had a chemical imbalance from it. I'm not convinced that this is all from anxiety. I know I have an anxiety problem but I never heard of anyone having so many nuerological symptoms from it. I still have tingling/prickling in random body part (mostly legs). When I look at the sky or a bright white wall I see like little white specks moving around, like little sparkles, I've had vitreous eye floaters for years and it's not those that I'm seeing. My question is do I trustthe Physciatrist or pursue things further with the nuerologist?
16 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
What you have described is an almost typical onset of anxiety disorder with panic.  YOu have already ruled out major neurological disease, and your symptom picture doesn't fit any other diagnosis, so that is definetly your best bet.
Avatar universal
you have a lot of the syptoms I was having when I was diagnosed with a panic disorder, I didnt believe I had that.  I still think theres got to be something else wrong with me because of all the syptpoms I am having. I wouldnt trust any psychiatrist completely, but they can help
Avatar universal
Sounds just like me.  Thought I was going crazy.  Give the psychiatrist and Zoloft a try.
Avatar universal
I am a 41-year old female. This is so interesting, and so familiar to me.  I experienced many of the same symptoms 10 years ago. It started with the tingling in the hands and arms, then progressed to muscle weakness in arms and legs and jaw, trouble swallowing, spasticity in the arms and hands, etc.  I too was tested for several different things.  Initially the neurologist wanted to put me on Zoloft and I was offended by this suggestion that these symptoms were psychological somehow and not physical.  I didn't take the Zoloft.  I knew I was not depressed, I was happy and fulfilled as a busy mom of 3 boys.  These symptoms went on for over a year, and the neurologist at one point gave me a diagnosis as myasthenia gravis.  He put me on mestinon, but my swallowing problem got worse and he took me off of it.  Tests for multiple sclerosis were negative. My symptoms slowly improved, and after 2 years were mostly gone.  The only things that remain are occasional trouble swallowing, as well as slightly weakened leg and arm muscles.  It was a mystery to me, what had happened to me, but I know these were physical symptoms, not psychological.  I came across a condition one day on the web, and it sounded peculiarly like what I may have experienced, but now I can't remember the name of it!  I will post it when I remember it.  I know how frustrated you must be, experiencing these symptoms and yet having all the tests come back negative...unfortunately, the doctors tend to conclude that it's all in your head, when I think the reality is that they just haven't figured out the real condition you are suffering from.  Hang in there.  Do some research of your own, maybe you can suggest something to your doctor that they haven't thought of yet.  A lot of patients end up helping the doctor figure out the diagnosis.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
The disease I feel I may have suffered from is polymyositis.  You may want to do some research on the different muscular/neuromuscular diseases.
Avatar universal

Do you still have these symptoms?
Avatar universal
I do realize that I have an anxiety problem because I was freaking out reading about every disease on the web for a whole month before the tingling and panic attacks happened.  My main concern now is MS.  I have almost convinced myself that I have MS even though I had a normal MRI.  The reason my main concern is MS is because the Zoloft and Ativan has taken away all my anxiety symptoms successfully.  The only symptom I still have is tingling/prickling in random parts of my body that include my face, arms, legs, back.  My neurologist is not concerned about MS at all.  I think maybe the fact that I'm confident that I don't have the other disease that I was freaking about before like, HIV, STD's that maybe the fact that I still think I have MS is making my Anxiety worse.  My Physciatrist is positive that this is all anxiety related.  He says I definitely have a chemical imbalance from all this anxiety and it can manifest itself is all my neurological symptoms.  All this available information on the web trigger my damn anxiety problem!!  I hate that all this info is so readily available!  I'm still hoping for some other advise from the doctor on this forum.  Thank You All!
Avatar universal
I've pretty much lived exactly what are going through.  It is amazing what anxiety can do to you physically.  I didn't even consider myself an anxious person, but after almost a year of therapy, I can really see now that I was/am.  I agree with you about too much information on the web...I self-diagnosed myself with everything from heart disease to hypoglycemia to brain tumors to cancer.  Had all kinds of tests done.

If it is indeed anxiety, and it does sound like you have been worked up pretty good on the physical side of things, the key thing is to accept that that's what it is.  I still have a hard time when I feel symptoms because they are physical symptoms and very real.  Make sure you get talk therapy...don't rely on medications to be a cure.  They will help control the symptoms, but talk therapy with a psychiatrist/psychologist is what will help you understand where all this is coming from.
Avatar universal
well I am off all my meds now, I didnt have bad withdraws from paxil, except a few nightmares, because I was only taking 10 mg and only for about 7 weeks. I feel much better now, I am still feeling a little edgy, but I take bachs rescue remedy and easy now tea with passion flower and chamomile.  Also I eat healthy and try to go for walks and preocupy my mind with anything good. I have been off the paxil now for almost 2 weeks, I hated that stuff., behavioral therapy works good.
Avatar universal
High Anxiety!  Been on Paxil for 2 days, (I know it's too soon) and have used the internet to find out more about Paxil and anxiety.  My biggest concern is serotonin syndrome.  I take 60mg remeron, 200mg amitriptyline, 7.5mg imovane all at bedtime.  It seems to be working as I've been on these drugs for a long time.  I understand that the drugs mentioned above can cause serotonin syndrome when combined with Paxil.  
Also, can I be experiencing side effects of Paxil already?  Shaking, burning in arms, chest and upper back, a constant feeling of fear and panic.  I feel so utterly alone and I simply don't know what to do?

Can anyone tell me more about the syndrome and pass on some experience of Paxil.
Avatar universal
Forgive my ignorance but I am unaware of Paxil.I have had to try many meds due to reactions but I haven't heard of Paxil.It is possible that it has not reached Australia yet or goes by another name here. I wish I could help you . Your not alone.This pain will pass.
Avatar universal
Paxil's generic mane is paroxetine. maybe that will lead you to some info. :)
Avatar universal
Situation sounds pretty similar to mine.  I had to switch MD's in order to get a referal to see a psych.  I'll explain history -- symptoms began at age 28.  Now 30 (20 months later and still having them!)

Started stinging badly at first, so bad that it would keep me up for days on end.  Went to a dermatologist, he said it was pruritis, probably allergy related.  Went home, spent months changing everything i ate and placed on my skin, as well as used in my home and on my clothes.

6 months later, began seeing gray spots in my vision.  Accompanied by blue sparkles which were wild to look at.  Looked like things swimming around in my eyes.  vision started bluring.  Problems mainly effected left eye, but also were effecting right eye.

Went to 2 opthalmologists in the same dept -- none saw anything that would cause the visual disturbances.  Something was noticed on the eye which had to be watched for glaucoma.  Can't remember the name -- condition happens when the pigment color of the eye bleeds across the lens -- Won't cause visual disturbances though.

Was sent to a Retina specialist.  In 5 mins, he said he found a problem during a slit lamp exam.  Drusen found in the retina.  White and yellow fleck.  Resembled White dot syndrome, yet was much smaller in size then usual wd's.  flourescent diagnostics and visual fields showed no anomolies at first (20 months later visual disturbances worsened, drusen was found in greater quantity).  Now showing obstructed vision in visual fields.  Docs ruled out that the drusen was inherited and assumed to be causing visual disturbances.  During the month which drusen was found in my eyes, docs started throwing around the phrase 'autoimmune disease' and it took hold on my md.

Was sent to a neurologists.  One fair one, one really good one.  MRI, Spinals, MS was considered likely, but was not found.  A few anomolies were found in the CSF during first pull.  Second CSF draw ruled out the anomolies (high protein), however the albumin was still high.

All Blood tests (lots of them) to date have been mostly normal.  Slightly decreased Ceruloplasmin, oddly cholesterol was slightly elevated (not sure why chol came back slightly high -- not overweight, and always eat healthy and in-shape).  Serum cadmium level was slightly elevated also yet i did smoke at that time.  Urinary ketones, protein and bilirubin have been consistantly high.

Symptomotology progessed from sever estinging/crawling/burning/water running sensations of the skin, to gray spots and blue sparkles in the eyes. Then light tremors and high blood pressure developed.

20 months i spent nearly every other day in a new docs office.  Tests were all coming back for the main part -- normal.

Docs tried a ton of medicines from the beginning.  Antihystamines, Pain killers, anti-inflamatories, and who knows what else.  Neurontin (not sure of its catagory, and it was the first medicine that helped alleviate the skin sensations, albiet mildly)  then into anti-depressants.  Nortriptyline, Amitriptyline, elevil, lexapro, effexor xr, Paxil CR, zoloft, wellbutrin xl etc.  Well, placebo effect perhaps, but 5 hours after taking the paxil, the stinging was *significantly* decreased and for the first time in months i was able to sleep.  Wellbutrin helped slightly too.  Neurontin was taken at 1800mg, 65mg Paxil CR, then they began increasing wellbutrin till i eventually hit 450mg of wellbutrin.  High levels to say the least.  I talked to the doc about the levels of meds used, and asked what thier side effects would be after reading about paxil.  He said not to worry, that they were being used for neurological symptom relief, and i wouldn't suffer any side effects of these medicines.  I knew then, that something didn't sound right to me.

I didn't like taking the anti-depressents.  Never thought it would of helped, but 5 hours after taking the paxil, bang, the stinging nearly stopped.  Only symptom which was effected was the incredible skin stinging sensations.  They did make me a little goofy -- a little too carefree, perhaps even a little too happy.  I didn't like the change they created in my personality, but not dealing with the stinging and being able to sleep was well worth it, i thought.

Things get worse, new symptoms -- Heart pressure (systolic and dystolic) began to rise.  High enough to cause concern.  Treated with Nadolol successfully. Termed 'Myoclonic' jerking started at the same time, and my muscles started feeling rigid and hurt like sin.  Bang, flexiril helps that out.  20mg at night, yet doc wanted me to take it in the day, but it knocked me out in the daytime.  Followed were electrical zap sensations within the body, decreasing hand-eye-coordination, difficulty walking.  Falling, feeling as if i was going to pass out on the spot (even did a few times).  Dizziness and sensations of if i was going to pass out also came with *alot* of sweating (clothes drench type of sweating).  Next -- mental confusion.  Started noticing alot of troubles remembering even simple things -- like phone numbers.

Next, girlfriend of 11 years dumps me suddenly immediately after her mom dies.  Who can blame her?  I was ok with it for a few days, then a couple of days later, I completely lost it.  Lost it as in I geuss a breakdown.  I never have felt the way i felt during the next few weeks.  I couldn't function, dark thoughts filled my mind, and friends/parent became very concerned and kept insuring me that it was depression -- i swore i lost my mind, and was insisting on seeing a psychologist.  I been depressed before but they were saying i never have been (im 30, broke up before, been through alot of ****, and know what triggered depression felt like).  But this was different - far worse many times over.  Emotions were blown WAY out of proportion.  Couldn't eat, only cried.  Thought about alot of really wierd things.  I asked for a Shrink on the first day.  Called the MD even and said 'i lost it -- need a shrink', yet he wouldnt send me.  12 days later, as i was heading to the pantry to take the paxil CR, neurontin and wellbutrin xl, it occurs to me of the side effects of these medicines (mainly paxil and even to some extent -- wellbutrin).

I phoned the doc, said i wasn't going to take them anymore, and he needed to find alternative symptomotology relief.  30 hours later, i felt much much better.  The manic depression decreased considerably, and i felt so much more normal.  Total Mental confusion ended, rational thought finally returned and my heart and mind settled.  Doc put me back on the paxil, and i agreed to take a half dose.  3 hours after taking the med, the same damned overwhelming emotions and loss of rational thought began.  Yet, not nearly as intense.  Parent stayed with me till it passed.

The thing i don't understand, is how the paxil and wellbutrin helped the ailments i was suffering after being on them for only 5 hours.  Placebo is my only guess since i am under the assumption that it usually takes 2 to 4 weeks for these types of medicines to build up in the system prior to providing assistance.

After being off the meds for a month, the heartrate has returned to normal, jerking is nearly completely gone.  I don't feel as if i am going to pass out, but still feel dizzy.  Muscular pain is mostly gone.  Coordination has returned to normal.  However, Vision, and sensations on the skin unfortunately still exist at all times.  I don't feel depressed in the least, and actually feel quite a bit happier then when i was on the meds.

Now im scared to death to take any medication whatsoever.  Not even an antacid or a tylenol.  Not sure if i need anti-depressents, or counceling, but i know that these skin sensations are too severe to live with without treatment of some sort, so im going to see a qualified psychitrist.  Switched MD's to one who agreed to send me to see a psychiatric and wrote up the referal.  Hopefully the psychiatrist can use meds which don't cause such strong reactions.  Hopefully my problem is in my head and treatment can provide symptom relief.

i really have no idea what is wrong with me -- everyones saying something different.  Maybe this is an extremely rare auto-immune disease, but probably is just in my head.  All I know in the end, is make sure that the medicator is qualified to medicate with the chosen antidepressents.   And know that while the anti-depressents may help some problems, they may create or intensify others.  The one thing i do know is -- if suddenly you feel very 'off' upstairs, talk to your doc, and make absolutely sure that he helps!   Mental distress of any sort, can be just as deadly as any physical condition!  Read the side effects of the meds to be sure you know what they may cause.
Avatar universal
There is no such thing as mental illness without a pathogen.  Pathogens are the cause of it all and anxiety is just a symptom and not a condition.  With regards person who posted this thread, his original symptoms were obvious signs of infection.  I took the route that a lot of you are taking (mind-altering meds), and things didn't start to get better until I addressed hidden infections.  Doctors don't know a thing and psychiatrists know less.  Give them a prescription pad and they can solve anything (yeah right).  First you have to get a proper diagnosis.  Like I said before, mental issues are symptoms of an infection.  Do you think the body is really that flawed that people "lose it" for no physical/biological reason?
Avatar universal
i defenetly agree with Kaos, i work in a clinic of psychologist and psychiatrists.

we see like 200 hundred patients a day and is exactly what they do they get that pad and dont even pay attention to what you are saying they just start writing and they prescribe you so many medications they dont care wether you need them or not, they just want to get you out of their office as soon as possible.
Avatar universal
The lump in the throat or gagging feeling is refered to as 'globus hysterecus' and ususally accounts for $$$ big bucks in needless medical workups.  Docs usually know within seconds of a history that a patient is suffering from anxiety "but" trial lawyers and patients insistence (at least early in the process of doc shopping) rule the day.

I recommend an old but excellent book called "anxiety, the disease" by Dr Sheenan (spell).  Everyone I lend this too in the early stage of anxiety thank me after just one week!  I often encourage them to get CBT (cognitive behav. therapy) w/or w/o meds depending on their state.

I did see one thread in which a patient was in therapy for anxiety for 1 and 1/2 years...that seems too long in my opinion.  My feeling is why waste any more of your valuable life on finding out "why" when you can find out "how" to cope and move on.  We all die some day so live every day as if it's your last for one day you may be right.  Fear is an awful thing to die from...
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