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Possible panic disorder involved?

My son, now 32, has been diagnosed with adhd with subclinical seizure activity when about fourteen or fifteen. He has had a lot of anger management problems but has calmed down a lot. He is extremely nervous unless absolutely focused on something. Now he seems to have developed some form of panic disorder and has become attunted to fine bodily functions, or so it seems. I won't say he's imagining the symptoms, but rather exaggerating.

Has recently been treated for acid reflux and has complained of an annoying tightness in the throat that has become persistent. Went to the emergency room three times recently due to a feeling of not being able to breathe and a gagging sensation. Put him on prilosec, acid reflux symptoms went away but this throat feeling seems to still be there, almost constantly. Also complains of bouts of nausea off and on. Has become afraid to eat because he's afraid of getting sick, and seems to have lost his appetite, though will eat quite good every two days or so.

Has also had some sort of severe sleep disorder. Takes ambien now to sleep, for he talks about having out-of-body sensations upon trying to fall asleep, that his body is slowing down and is afraid he won't be able to breathe. I'm a bit concerned about ambien dependence, though he takes only 10 mg a night. Has also awoken up twice with the loss of ability to move fingers on his left hand. Doc says he may have carpal tunnel.

Also has begun to notice widespread muscle twitching all over his body, not constant, but a few times during the day. I can see it when he told me to look. No pain or loss of strength, but he became worried he has MS or Lyme or something. Claims to have to move his limbs around from time to time to see if he has movement.

Is all of this a symptom of panic disorder? He has since he was 20 been overly frightened of death and has talked about hating to get older. I'm concerned because he has started to run up medical debt, and most emergency rooms are letting him out quite quickly. He wants all these tests done, which can be very expensive. Family doc has told him to see a neurologist and a gastroenterologist.

1 Responses
242532 tn?1269553979
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Your son sounds like he is having somatic anxiety, a form of hypochodriasis.  What he needs is psychotherapy, not more emergency room visits..ask him to find a therapist he can talk too about his fears and anxiety.
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