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Hi all, I am 20 years old and struggling. This may be quite a long post full of symptoms, so apologies in advance but please stick with it because I'm desperate for help
Basically this all started just over 4 months ago. I had been going through a really stressful time in my life and since then it seems to have been one thing after another. I'll note I've always been an anxious person (shy, a worrier, catastrophiser, negative etc). However, i've never actually suffered from distinct anxiety, as in it never affected my day to day life. I had loads of friends, a boyfriend, did well at school and was doing really well at Uni. Part of all the stress was moving away to uni in a different country, living on my own and trying (and failing) to make a long distance relationship work with my bf. This was really taking a toll on me and had been going on for about 6 months before everything i'm about to get into began.
I smoked weed for the first time, and it really affected me badly (panicked, dry mouth, switching between uncontrollably crying with laughter to crying with sadness, paranoia/fear and feeling really 'heavy'. I think it must have been strong and I had way too much, since it was my first time trying it and I didn't know how much to take etc. This lasted a few hours then passed and I felt really spaced out the next day, but this also passed.
I had a 5 day headache after this that I couldnt get rid of with painkillers.
Then the next weekend, I was sitting doing nothing in particular when suddenly my right arm and right side of my face went numb/tingly, my vision blurred and I felt faint and lightheaded. This lasted a minute or so and then happened a few more times within the next while. It really freaked me out so I went to the ER thinking I was having a stroke.
While i waited in the ER I was sweating, feeling like I was going to pass out, felt so sick, had blurry vision and was smelling burning (!!).
They did basic neurological tests, told me it was likely a migraine and sent me on my way.
This happened a few more times thorughout the week, i was given Sumatriptan for migraines but aside from getting rid of a headache i had at the time, it really didn't do anything.
The week after that I felt mostly okay aside from the odd dizzy/feeling sick and faint spell, as well as just generally feeling anxious because I didn't know what had happened to me and felt 'off' as in not myself. I was very on edge.
About a week later I suddenly started feeling dizzy and tried pacing around my house, but it just got worse and I started feeling like I was either going to vomit or pass out. I lay on the sofa for an hour unable to move or turn my head, then went to bed. When I woke up I still felt slightly dizzy and spaced out.
(The spaced out/depersonalisation has stayed with me to this day - constantly 24/7 feel disconnected, like I'm in a dream. It's the worst symptom BY FAR)
I was getting bad headaches and stabbing head pains that i never had before as well as a full sensation in my head. I also felt very fatigued and was always napping.
THEN i started having a fullness in my ear, it 'echoed' my voice when I spoke and I was unable to pop it properly, and I had spells of a different kind of dizziness, more like I was on a moving boat/swaying. The fullness lasted for about a month maybe more, and this new dizzy/swaying/rocking feeling began to persist and now it is also constant 24/7. I always feel like i'm on a moving boat or as if the ground is moving below me. It worsens when I close my eyes e.g. in the shower washing my hair.
My ear still doesn't feel 100%, it almost feels as if there is fluid or something in it. It sometimes feels clogged and full and sometimes a tiny bit sore.
I also began having bad ringing tinnitus which, yet again, has persisted. I get pulsatile tinnitus in one ear too (i can hear my heartbeat, it gets worse when i hold my neck at a certain angle or just after excercising).
I had constant aching back pain for no reason for 2 weeks which neither a physio nor painkillers could alleviate. It was worse when I woke up in the morning and would be there constantly throughout the day. It seemed to just go away by itself. The only weird thing was that the physio cracked my back and a few hours later my thighs literally went numb. The muscles felt as though I'd done a SUPER intense workout (which I hadn't) which then progressed to literally feeling numb. They were sore for days!
I've had random episodes of shortness of breath which started in maybe month 2 or 3. As in they literally happen for no reason, I'll just be sitting watching TV and suddenly I feel like I can't get a full breath no matter how hard I try. This can last for like an hour and breathing exercises don't help, I just have to wait for it to pass (whilst panicking about it!!!)
I get random muscle twitching which doesn't really bother me, except that when i hold my neck at a certain angle my neck/head twitches almost like a tic. It isn't noticeable to look at but I can feel it and it's really uncomfortable and freaks me out.
Around month 3 I started having tingling on the tip of my tongue/a metallicy taste which comes and goes throughout the day every day. Also have visual issues such as floaters, flashes/sparkles & visual snow which I never had previously.
I never feel like I get a good nights sleep. I'm aware of myself waking up throughout the night a lot. And I wake up really early with my stomach feeling nervous and my heart pounding. I'm tired every day - not in a debilitating way, I can still function and do excercise etc, I just always feel like I could easily take a nap when i'm sitting around.
Sooooooo yeah. A LOT of different things. The symptoms I've mentioned that are constant are just that; CONSTANT. I get no break from them any day. It is miserable and has resulted in me dropping out of uni and returning back home.
I have been seen by a lot of different GPs. Had basic neurological tests, bloodwork done. All normal (except slightly high total cholestroal & slightly high iron - which surprised me). I saw an ENT and had a hearing test. He couldn't find anything in particular but tried a few meds (prochlorperazine, betahistine) which didn't do anything. Also saw a neurologist and had an MRI which came back clear.
My initial fears were things like stroke/TIA, brain tumours, MS, anaemia, b12 deficiency, thyroid, inner ear problems. All of these have been ruled out by the various tests I've had.
I've been given diazepam (which helps reduce the anxiety but doesn't actually alleviate any symptoms). I tried citalopram (had a horrible reaction) and sertraline (made me more spaced out). Doctors seem at a loss on what to do or suggest at this point.
I still get scared that it's something physical underlying it all. Just because my symptoms are CONSTANT. They don't worsen when I'm stressed or lessen when I'm relaxed. The 24/7 ones don't wax or wane. They don't really go away when i'm distracted. It is consuming my bloody life and i am miserable.
My newest fear that I've latched on to is Lyme Disease. I live in the UK so I know if i suggest this to my doctor I won't be taken seriously as it's not as prevalent here as other countries. The idea of it being that actually scares me cos it seems quite hard to definitively diagnose/treat, from what I've read a negative blood test isn't conclusive. But IDK.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Help? Advice? I'm so, so unhappy. Even if it turns out it is stress and anxiety thats caused it all, the symptoms themselves have given me anxiety as well. I get racing intrusive thoughts, feel constantly nervous and on edge, depressed. I felt suicidal at one point and drove myself to the ER - that's how bad its gotten. None of which I ever had before the past few months.
I see a psychiatrist and I have CBT therapy. My brother is a doctor so I can ask him about various fears I have. I don't know what else I can do at this point. I'm only 20, this should be the best time of my life yet I struggle to get through each day and welcome bed time and sleep with open arms as it's the only break i get from it all. I'm exhausted from fighting this every day.
So sorry for the ridiculous length of this.
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