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Avatar universal

Anxiety and Neurology?

I have read alot of the postings and don't know how many doctors I want to visit for all of my ailments especially if they are brought on by my anxiety. Even if anxiety causes all of these symptoms, isn't it still neurological because anxiety changes the chemical make-up of your brain? I am currently not taking any anti-anxiety meds. I am usually aware of my anxiety but of late it has manifested itself in different symptoms. Sharp ear pain, dizziness, leg pain, hear palpatations and pounding, headaches, a feeling of being "out of it", trembling, tightness in head, muscle twitching are some of things I have experienced over the past 3 years. My father also had anxiety problems as well as Meniere's disease (tinnitus, inner ear disorder). I read that Meniere's, fibromyalgia, TMJ are all common in people with anxiety disorders. I guess my question is , "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" Do I continue to treat these symptoms (I have appt. at ENT this week) or slough them off as anxiety? Is the anxiety really causing a chemical, physiological change in my brain/body that could be detrimental. Should I see a neurologist?
11 Responses
Avatar universal
I believe in evaluating symptoms before labeling them as secondary to a psychological condition. Therefore, I believe seeing a neurologist to ensure that there is no structural or physical problem is reasonable. Although psychological conditions can be due to changes in the chemical function of the brain, these disorders are treated by psychiatrists. So if these symptoms are realted to anxiety I would recommend you seeing a psychiatrist who can design a drug and therapy program. Good luck.
Avatar universal
Hi Jess, All these symptoms require some kind of medical attention whether you have anxiety or not.  Any one of these symptoms could cause anxiety simply by the fact that there is a history of some of these in your family.

Look, you have to deal with life, which is stressful enough, then you start having all these other physiological symptoms and that can causes some worry and over a period of years when they don't go away, stay the same, or increase, it's bound to make you stress on some level.

It might be a good idea to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist (for Mienieres) and Rhematologist (for FM test)and Nuerologist to rule out any other autoimmune diseases just to put you at ease.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
I came across this website and thought it might be of interest.  I have various neurological symptoms, all of which seem to be anxiety related as no other explanation can be found, even though I didn't think I was suffering from anxiety.  I thought this was quite interesting though as it does cover a lot of my symptoms.


Avatar universal
Thanks so much for the responses! I did go to that link that whatamess posted and it is exactly me! It helped me feel better already although I will still visit the ENT and need to find a therapist that specializes in anxiety. I might go to a psychiatrist as well.
Avatar universal
Dear Jess32,

I don't know if my story can help you but take a look at my comment posted to a question by Phil 2004.  What I describe can not hurt you but may help.

Avatar universal
Diagnosis of Anxiety, Medication, etc.  I agree that far too many doctors jump to the conclusion that many of our symptoms are anxiety based, particularly if the diagnostic testing to date has all been normal.  I had a second opinion from another neurologist, which was all of 20 mins.  He told me that I didn't have anything neurologically wrong with me and that I should go home, forget about it and take some anti-depressants and get back to work.  Well, I was not depressed, nor did I have any anxiety problems, hangups, etc.  Yet, I have not had any improvement in my physical symptoms, the  numbness and pins and needles feelings are present in all four extremeties so it has progressed.  I had a pyschiatrist certify that I was not clincally depressed, nor did I suffer from any anxiety, phobias, etc.  

I went to the anxiety website listed and I think every disease and symptom possible is listed there.  If that is the case, then we are all "basket cases" and don't stand a chance of being heard or understood.

I found the following comments from another board, (Braintalk Communities) that was posted by another person in response to anxiety DX.  It follows:
Here are couple of comments.
1. I do not know how many doctors love the "anxiety" diagnosis. We are all anxious and anxiety and panic attacks can be quite a problem but ordinary doctors should think twice about giving this ruling unless it is obvious. There are anxiety/panic disorder specialists and they are the best one to make that determination. Taking anxiety medications without a diagnosis can cause damage. Some of these medications can be a nightmare to get off of. Even if and when you are properly diagnosed for anxiety certain medications will work better then others.
2. Please find out the side effects of the medications that you are taking.

3. Push all of your doctors to eliminate the most dangerous problems such as an impending stroke or tumor.

4. Hopefully your MRI will be normal but I believe that to test for MS there is also a lumbar puncture (painful).

5. Post this note on the MS forum.

6. There are things that you can do for yourself if it is anxiety. Anxiety and depression can go together.

7. If the doctors have eliminated the worst things then you can relax a bit. Still keep pursuing but you can at least relax.

8. Numbness can be also caused by disk, pinch nerve problems. Yes, numbness can be a symptom of anxiety.

I am not dismissing anxiety but it really bothers me when that is one of the first things that doctors go for. I am quite aware of the anxiety/panic dosorders/conversions/dissacociations but it takes an expert to diagnose these. It is important to get a proper diagnosis before starting medications. Also, we are all quite unique and trust me medications act differently on different people.
Good luck!

[This message has been edited by zorba (edited 01-19-2004).]

Avatar universal
Hi Jess32,

I had some of the same symptoms you mentioned related to stress. I had a torn muscle that has been making me ill for
about 2 years.  I had dizziness, muscle twitching, tightness in my face, feeling "out-of-it".  I walked around for several months feeling like I was drunk all the time.  I was a wreck.  This turned out to be the result of the tightness in my face and neck(stress), which can cause some lightheadedness.  My doctor put me on low dose Paxil to calm my nerves and within 2 weeks my head cleared and I felt better than I had in months.  I still have the muscle twitch which drives me crazy but the Paxil did make me feel better.  And I hate taking meds.

Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
I am no doctor but far as I know anxity can be caused from defisensy. I take vitamin b complex, lecithin and flax oil. All are very important to the central nervous system. After taking vitamin b I felt great only after a few days of having tremors, dizzness, numb head, vomiting, diarea. Doctors couldn't tell me anything after I took a vitamin b complex I was cured. I was so pissed that when a doctor told be I had a type a personality. And all this was caused by anxity. She acualy suggested  might Alcohol decline my tremors. It didn't. Vitamin b helped doctors cant even tell when you have a deffecenty. And they will not even suggest taking a vitamin. Doctors will always tell you your problems are cause by stress. It is buch of sh*t. Talk to your doctor about supplements before they treat your symptoms and not your problem. Look I was 26 not 70. I think my old nerologist  should have to take a class in nutrition. If doctors don't even suggest that there is other posiablitys there a joke. If as much research whent in to vitamins and supplements as they do in drugs this would be a very diffrent world.
Avatar universal

I read your comments and actually found some relief in them. I, myself have had disconcerting symptoms (numbness and tingling) and decided to check the net out for some explanations or solutions.  It seems to me as if  there is quite a lot of potentially misleading information on the net, for example MS has an exhaustive and perplexing amount of symptoms with no 'typical case' as such. This means someone who is experiencing a certain combination of symptoms might find a 'case' or an article that could indicate and support the possibility of MS. In reality the article could be heavily generalized and therefore quite misleading for the untrained eye.
There also appears to be information, which is presented in such a way that it can be misinterpreted by someone who is not a qualified doctor.  Afterall a lot of us on these forums are not in the medical profession and even though the internet is a valuable source it can also lead to hyper anxiety and reading in cirles as it were. You might read one article that states one thing, causing you to panic, then later you might find another article that contradicts the former. I think you could spend your whole day reading around this matter and that matter. I am speaking from personal experience.
As for doctors, the best experience l had was in korea with a korean neurologist. I didn't need any referals, they put me straight through to neurology and l had a cat scan with the results that afternoon. I asked him if stress could be the cause for all the numbness, his comment was 'unlikely'. I really don't know what to think of the medical profession or their icey prognosis.  I do believe there are alot of lazy doctors out there though with sloppy attitudes and proceedures.

Good luck.

Avatar universal
I have been having numbness, tingling, nerve pain around the ankles area, fatigue, muscle spasms, tremors and constant light headedness couple with a frequent vibration in the back of my head for several months. The neuro I visited did a nerve conduction test, asked me few questions and said that I have a panic disorder. He even suggested I take Prozac. I was happy that at least this was something I could handle (without Prozac, of course). I went back to work and crashed (acute fatigue)and had to get bed rest for a few days. One morning, very recently, I get out of bed and almost fell because I couldn't feel my right leg! The feeling lasted for a minute or so. I am getting a second opinion and having a MRI done (of course I had to convince my family doctor to refer me another Neuro). In the meantime, a new symptom has developed-twitching, mostly concentrated in my arms and legs. I am thinking MS.... I do believe that if you find that your doctor/Neuro is not taking you or your symptoms seriously, you should go find another.
Avatar universal
I have had similiar symptoms but I have always thought that mine were related to allergies.  After reading some comments here I have been thinking that maybe the pressure in my head has to do with something in my neck.  I have found that when it gets real bad and I have that 'not i touch with reality' fealing that two things help.  1st:  A gentle massage of my neck and a real hard pressure at the base of my skull.  When the pressure is applied there i can feel the top of my head and the right front lobe start to tingle.  2nd:  For some reason sex makes it better.  I always figured that the pressure builds up becuase my lymphnodes get jammed and that maybe the act of sex causes them to drain.(really dont know why) My girlfriend thinks I make that part up of course.  

I tend to over analyze things and cause my self anxiety too.  I recently started having heart palpitations and a dull pain in my left arm and a my left pinky and ring finger were slightly numb.  So of course I think my heart is failing, then I get chest pains all the while pain in my neck is growing worse, of course my chiropractor is on vacation, and eventaully my head pressure kicks in full force.  (this all happened over a span of 2 weeks)  So after looking around, it seems to me that this could all be caused by anxiety.  The mind can do powerful things.   You can do anything you put your mind to right, than why can't you cause all these symptoms.

I still think allergies play a role,and sugar definately makes my heart skip too, but i also think that anxiety makes it worse.  
I am 23 a vegetarian and to not smoke or drink or take drugs. and if i can help it I will not take any meds.  Doctors get you to take meds then additional meds to counter act the first ones.  They work though, becuase pretty soon you have so many other symptoms you can't figure out which one is the worst.

The most positive drug for your body is possitive thought.  A wise man once said, that everytime a negative thought comes into  your mind, you must immediately grab ahold of it and twist it around into a possitive thought. No matter what the situation.  Negetive thoughts send electrical signals throughout your body and throw off your core.  While possitive do the same but in a possitive way of course.  Its worth a try right.

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