Psychosomatic "pains" (abdomen) and anxiety

Posted , 3 users are following.

Some back story: My grandmother passed away from gallbladder cancer in August 2014 and my husband from liver cancer (at age 37 from health issues steaming from childhood) in January 2015.  I started having anxiety attacks in 2010 from work stress/project deadlines. I managed it with Lorazepam.  After my grandmother passed, I went into a depression. At that time, we found out that my husband had a tumor on his liver. Being his primary caregiver, I had to be able to manage my/his life while he went through treatment and transplant workup. I was prescribed Paxil. It worked, meaning I was able to get up every day and take care of what I needed to for him and not feel the feelings of depression.  After he passed away, I thought I didn't need the Paxil, so I stopped taking it the following month.  I moved on with life, took time off from work to travel, moved out, and found new love.

Fast forward to February 2016.  The week before I started work again (at the same place I was at before my husband got sick), I had anxiety attacks frequently (mostly before going to bed) and a full on panic attack with heart palpitations and not able to get in a good breath where I almost fainted, thinking I was dying. I asked my doctor to renew my Rx for Lorazepam. It helped to cut the edge off when I started to catch myself before having an anxiety attack. I have to add that during the year of "moving on" I wasn't on an anti-depressants or anxiety meds because I felt fine.  March 2016 rolls around and I feel tightness in my chest, can't really breathe that well, coughing, and sore throat.  I immediately thought it was lung cancer.  Saw my GP and she says it's GERD and allergies.  Blood work came back normal and allergy panel shows allergies to pollen, dust, etc.  She tells me to take acid reducers and calcium carbonate for the GERD and use an air purifier at home and take anti-histamines for the allergies.  Ok fine, no lung cancer.  In April 2016 I have some spotting 19 days after my menstrual cycle.  It was minor and lasted only for 1 day.  I call the OB and she says I might be pregnant.  Still no period as of today (day 31).  I saw my GP again on May 4 for an annual physical exam. All blood work is normal, breast/cervical exam is normal. A few days before my appointment up through today, I have had this feeling on the right side my abdomen near the ribs/liver area. Not so much a pain, but more of something is "there." I've constantly been thinking of my grandma and husband and the illnesses that killed them.  Now I'm thinking I have liver and gallbladder cancer!!  I also started feeling this pain on my left breast. I've gotten minor headaches almost every day the past week and have been extremely exhausted. I'll feel these sensations in my lower abdomen, like a shooting sensation for a second and if I press on it so many times, I feel like I make it worse or that there’s a tumor in that spot.  I wake up every day checking/pressing on my breast, liver, and abdomen wondering if these feelings will go away. I feel bad when I talk to my boyfriend about this cause he thinks nothing is wrong with me physically, because I just saw the doctor last week.  I haven’t seen a psychiatrist/therapist since my grandmother and husband passed, but I'm going to finally see a psychiatrist today and tell them about these pains I'm feeling. Are they real or all in my mind? As I’m typing this, I feel a pain in my diaphragm…ugh probably the GERD.  I do notice that when I’m busy or pre-occupied, that I don't notice these symptoms so much.  I just want my life to get back to normal and not have to worry that I’m sick with a terminal illness and enjoy life.  Has anyone had these psychosomatic symptoms?  I'll update this after I talk with the doctor today.

 

1 like, 4 replies

Report / Delete

4 Replies

  • Posted

    I am sorry for your loss. I totally get it, death brings on my anxiety really badly. Sometimes, months or years, I can manage my anxiety fine, but one trigger, one thing can send me spiraling back down. I get all sorts of anxiety related physical symptoms, and because of my health anxiety I always assume the worst. We must remember that the "worst" scenarios are often times rare and highly unlikely. Now, think of something rational... You could be having gallbladder trouble. I'd discuss this with your Dr and get an abdominal ultrasound or CT scan, simply to ease your mind a bit. Those of us with anxiety tend to obsess on things until they are blown way out of proportion. I definitely know how you feel 100%.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. The psychiatrist said that from what I told him, I didn't give myself time to grieve for their deaths, and now my mind is telling me “hey, you need to deal with this.”  Since I might be pregnant, the doctor prescribed Inderal for the acute anxiety and Zoloft for long term. As far as the psychosomatic symptoms, he said those “feelings” in my abdomen are real to me, and to talk with my GP about running some tests, just for my own peace of mind. I get it, I just have to suck it up and make the appointment.  I follow up with psychiatry in a month, then speak with a therapist the following week. I’m optimistic that things will work out, which is a lot for me to even say.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I have gastritis really bad. I wake up every morning nauseated. I am on Paxil, but it quit working back in July. Been trying to figure out what medication to help with my heart palpitations and anxiety and I'm now trying Prozac and weaning off of Paxil which is hard. I'm also on clonazepam 1mg in the morning. I've never been this bad. I'm basically homebound except for the VERY FEW days that my anxiety is low. The gastritis has caused me to lose weight also because I'm so nauseous. I feel really bloated occasionally and hurt up under my left rib right along where my stomach is.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Keep in mind that you may have heightened anxiety or physical symptoms from switching anxiety medications, even if they are the same type. I am currently on Zoloft 50mg and Klonopin .5mg 2x per day. It at least helps me sleep. Also, my Zoloft makes me super nauseated and full constantly. I have been on it for two weeks now. I also have a benign irregular heartbeat, which stress exaggerates, so trying to stay as calm as possible, sleep more, do things you enjoy. It won't be like this forever. I promise. We've all been in that dark place and somehow manage to claw our way out. Sometimes end up back in, but that's the way of it. I also just started therapy and just talking out loud about my fears and symptoms gives me a sense of peace.
      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up