Anxiety, Depression, Lethargic, Aching

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi there,

I was diagnosed with Chronic Anxiety around 18 months ago, and I had a bad few months before having several Psychotherapy sessions.  They helped a little, but not a great deal.  I had several nights/days where life didn't quite feel real,and although I didn't have directly suicidle thoughts - I did think "Oh, I couldn't live with this feeling constantly.".  Luckily, this feeling didn't last long - I usuually got it aft panic attacks, so both myself and my Doctor put it down to energy resources being used up.

From around March until December - I was getting better, and better.  I had little to no panic attacks, but was still in at a point where I had to know I wouldn't have a panic attack whilst out, before actually going out.  But, that was 100% better than when I first started, where I'd not even try.

I started Univeristy in September 2014, and I've had several panic attacks since, during lectures, and a couple of times at home about Univeristy.  But - nothing I couldn't overcome.  We broke up for Christmas, I was fine and normal.

However, since January 2015 - I've started to feel a little different.  I've had a lot of stress at home due to several things, and had some stress at University which has lead to me taking a year out.  But since January, I've been feeling constantly tired, my joints have ached and most recentley my fingers/hands have been tingling a lot.  It feels almost like you've been out in the cold too long, and they're a bit stiff.

Another symptom to add is I had constant abdominal pain last night, until I finally fell asleep and woke up feeling okay.  I don't know what that was at all.

I went away last week, on the first and second day - I felt better than ever.  I thought being away from technology, and the stress of home was doing me the world of good.  However, on the second night - I was up for hours where I felt worried, and for the first time since the begining of my anxiety -low and not sucidal, but thinking of suciide as a concept.  At this point, I started to feel like I was almost in a dream. The best way to describe this is how you feel when you wake up groggy, and you're not sure what day it is - like that, but rather constant.

I'm seeing a CBT therapist next week, which was originally for Anxiety - but these recent symptoms have started to worry me, that maybe it's not anxiety because I'm not feeling traditionally "panicy" like I used to, it's much more constant.  I'm worried that the depression symptoms, the aching, and dream like state are something new - maybe something unrelated.  I know aching is asociated with anxiety and depression, but I've never had it this bad before.

I think the thing that's worrying me the most is Anxiety has only tended to affect me in certain situations, like being out somewhere - in whin case, the worse case scenario is I can just walk away to avoid it.  But the depression feelings, and aching, and dream like state, are with me a lot of the time.  I know I'm seeing a CBT therapist next week, but I'd like to hear some other views too before I go - hense being here.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

1 like, 12 replies

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey Jr, these symptoms may be related to nutritional deficiencies/imbalances and ensuring that you're putting the right nutrients into your body to maximise wellbeing would be appropriate. I would suggest vitamin B12 orally in large doses, activated folate, fish oil capsules 3000mg daily (unless u eat oily fish 100g 3x weekly). Some people also need to increase potassium & many need magnesium supplementation. Cutting out processed foods as much as possible decreases salt & sugar which are not helpful. It might be worth seeking some alternative  nutritional holistic therapy ( as well as the talking therapy) because western doctors will want to give you chemical remedies which are not usually the answer long term. They do get you through a bad patch though...
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    • Posted

      Hi,

      Thanks for the reply.  I am half hoping the symtomsare related to something else rather than anxiety/depression - simply because they're a little easier to overcome.  I shall certainly be mentioning these comments at my CBT session today. I know the therapist isn't a Doctor, as such, but I'm sure they'll be able to tell me if my symptoms are most like mental-health related or not.

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    • Posted

      Yes - good idea to mention this to your therapist. They should be alert to things like that. Hard to say how long it takes to get over these viral infections. Usually a month or so, but it can tip over into things like chronic fatigue syndrome. Bear in mind too that any viral infection - even a heavy cold sometimes - can leave you in a depressed state for some time afterwards. Sounds like you got a bit low, mentally and emotionally, caught a virus as a result (your mental state has a big influence on your immune system) which in turn is making you feel even lower.

      I'd suggest maybe another visit to your GP after your first CBT session. Did you have full blood tests done at your original visit, btw? I'm assuming you're in the UK, where I know doctors aren't always very good about things like that.

      Hope you'll soon be feeling better.

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    • Posted

      I've been chatting to my Mum today, and I generally think it's deffinetley me being low more than anxiety.  I feel stressed at times, but not panic-strucken like I used to.  I'm wondering if this constant tiredness is getting me down, but as you say - viruses can do that.

      Yeah I'm from the Uk - I've visited my GP three times in the past two years regarding my anxiety.  We talked about a blood test once the second time I went in 2013, but they never issued it beause I improved.  However, I had expected them to give me one with all the tiredness/aching I'd mentioned.  But, no - they just suggested it was stress due to University, despite that I was more or less okay before Christmas and then sent me for this CBT.

      But yeah - I think I'll go back, and get a check up properly.  The Doctors Surgery closest to me isn't always the best.  They've missed several things with my Grandparents over the last year, like really quite obvious stuff.  Which is slightly off-putting.  But, I'm sure it'll all be okay.

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    • Posted

      You should definitely insist on a blood test. There's a specific test for mono, though that won't necessarily come back positive if you're just in a post-viral state. You should also get a general blood test. I don't know what it is with British GPs - when my mother was 75, and had been seeing her GP regularly for 10 years with asthma and bronchitis, I discovered he hadn't once taken her blood pressure in all those years! It was only when she broke her arm and went to casualty that they discovered it was 190/140.

      You're obviously quite young and I'm certainly not suggesting you can't take care of yourself. But would it help for one of your parents to accompany you to the GP?

      The CBT still sounds like a good idea though, as you clearly had a few emotional problems before your physical health went down. You sound like the kind of person who'd benefit from it, as you're someone who really wants to get better.

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  • Posted

    JR, I think the tingling and stiffness in your hands could be explained by hyperventilation. This is common in anxiety states, whether or not associated with panic attacks. In panic attacks, you tend to hyperventilate very noticeably, but you can also get long-term, low-grade hyperventilation in general states of anxiety without being aware you're doing it. I used to get this as a young woman, though my troubles (like my youth, I fear!) are long behind me now. I used to get frequent attacks of stiffness and tingling in my fingers and also my lips, as well as feelings of dizziness and nausea, a little bit like travel sickness.

    Abdominal pain is very common in all kinds of emotionally disturbed states, as the digestive system is one of the first to be affected by stress hormones. Since you say it's not permanent, I suspect it's not something you need to worry about unduly.

    I too used to get that feeling of unreality. Some days I felt disconnected. It even felt strange when I walked - like walking on feather pillows. Other days I was in a state of heightened reality. I remember once looking at a tree and realising I could see every vein on every leaf, right to the top of the tree. (And I've never taken any non-prescription drugs.) It freaked me out totally at the time, but I think I'd welcome the experience now!

    I'm wondering whether you're on any meds. I remember at one time my doctor put me on librium - the first of the benzos and the only one available 50 years ago. That too produced an overly-calm state in which I felt I was walking around in a sort of cocoon. I decided to stop taking it after a couple of weeks.

    I'm glad to hear you're going to start CBT. It wasn't available when I was young, but I'm convinced it's the treatment of choice for neuroses. (I'm a former general nurse but now work as a volunteer in a mental-health centre.) It's going to involve a lot of hard work on your part - it's not a magic bullet - but I really think it would help you.

    Good luck on your path back to full health.

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  • Posted

    You do sound as If you mIght have a physIcal problem; maybe dIet, maybe vIral.

    Not necessarIly psych symptoms; the stomach and joInt aches and cold extremItIes seem more InfectIon-lIke. A good physIcal exam mIght be a good Idea.

    For some reason, EpsteIn Barr or mono comes to mInd. You're under stress, whIch can make a person more susceptable to InfectIons.

    I'm no doctor, but It sounds lIke mono to me. Very common In college-students.

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    • Posted

      Hi there,

      I've just been looking up Mono - and it states the symtoms can last after you've actually gone through the first part of Mono.

      In November/October, maybe I had two long none-consecutive weeks of swolen throat, fever etc.  - I went to the Doctor the frist time, who diagnosed is as Tonsilitus, and gave me antibiotics, and it went away.  It came back a few weeks later, not as bad as the first time - but still came.  Could Tonsilitus be misdiagnosed easily?

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    • Posted

      Yes, JR - mono is often misdiagnosed, so that could well be what you had, and you could still be suffering from the aftermath. When I was working as a nurse, I remember we even had one patient who was operated on for appendicitis, only for the surgeon to find a perfectly healthy appendix and inflamed pelvic lymph nodes. (The patient was actually a med student so there was a certain poetic justice there, I guess!)razz
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    • Posted

      Wow, how ironic!

      Do you have any idea how long the symptoms take to dissapear?  (I'll obviously go and see a Doctor, mention it in my CBT session today.  But it'd be nice to know, if it did turn out to be that.)

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  • Posted

    I 'm going to risk adding a link; i don't know vf the mods will allow it to ne posted.

    i know you're not a woman, but men get thvs, too, and under symptoms, this article lists many of the ones you spoke of.

    https://patient.info/health/chronic-fatigue-syndromeme

    This can happen after an EB viral infection.

    You didn't mentiln the sore throat and swollen lymph nodes, but they can be easy to miss or pass off as a cold or flu.

    Emis Moderator comment: I have replaced the link with a link to the equivalent article on patient.info.

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