Jun 27, 2008
Many questions on the forum speak to the relationship between anxiety and other symptoms or sensations which seem far removed: burning, itching, buzzing, aching, numbness -you name it! People want to know if these cause the anxiety or panic -or are caused BY the anxiety and panic.
And the answers are: yes, no, sometimes and maybe.
The human body and brain are complicated things. They are like large cities, with a lot going on at the same time. In the big city, if a fire three blocks away from your apartment breaks out, your water pressure may drop when the fire fighters tap into the hydrants and start pulling water from the system. What is the cause of your low water pressure? The fire department? Yes -they started taking water. Should we therefore get rid of the fire department? No, we need that water more for the fire than for your shower. So why did the FD take water? Because there was a fire. Should we therefore do somthing to prevent fires? Makes sense.
You get the picture: EVERYTHING is connected. And if your date asked you why you were so dirty, your explanation that fire prevention wasn't very good might make them question your sanity. Until you explained the chain of events.
The human body and brain are much more complex and sophisticated then the biggest city. And so, while it is tempting to say that burning ankles cause panic (or the other way around) it really is not that simple. There certainly is a possibility that we might be "anxious" ABOUT our burning ankles or buzzing sensation in our neck, but is that the same as having anxiety as a kind of independent presence all its own -no matter what else is going on? Probably not, but MAYBE.
Of course we, as individuals, do not walk around with the complete history of medical science in our heads, so we can't just refer to everything that has ever happened to anyone at any time. Our doctors don't have all that stuff in their heads either, and even if they did, they would find that much of it is contradictory or unsolved. But what medical science DOES have is time tested and frequently updated information and methods to sort through the symptoms we present. There mere fact that 2 patients in a row both present with burning ankles does not therefore mean that both have the same underlying condition. One may have an insect bite, the other may have circulatory problems, and BOTH or NEITHER or EITHER may have high anxiety. Any connection between the anxiety and physical burning may exist EITHER because there is some path through the nervous system and into the brain that triggers it, OR because the symptoms and anxiety present at the same time, so we think we see a connection and -in THINKING we see it, guess what? We actually CREATE it! Like I said, it gets complicated.
So, we here on the forum can't answer questions such as: "I have a buzzing sensation in my arms and shortness of breath. Is this anxiety?" Even if everyone here was a doctor, none could say for sure. You'd need an exam and some tests -maybe more. I don't mean that we can't actually respond to your question (matter of fact, we do respond). I simply mean we have no way to determine if anxiety is at work or not. We have neither the information nor the expertise to say for sure or to say what treatment might be appropriate.
Likewise, asking, "Has anyone ever had...?" will get you what you about would expect: Some have, some haven't, and some "sort of." That does not mean you do -or do NOT- have what everyone else has. It is just a poll. You should not regard the answers of others as the answer in YOUR case. That said, the benefit of asking (and answering) is the establishment of some familiarity with your situation -people know what you are talking about, and the treatments that worked for some might (MIGHT) work for you. It can help you decide your next steps. But it is not -and should be taken to be -a definitive answer.
Check my journal entitled, "Is is Possible? Could it Be?" for more.