Sudden anxiety and "brain fog"

Posted , 6 users are following.


I'm a 22-year-old girl who just got back from a 5-month trip in Southeast Asia.

About a month ago, I suddenly began experiencing extreme anxiety and a kind of "brain fog" that has turned my whole life upside down. I've never previously been a nervous, shy or worried person, so I find this change both weird and scary.

When I came back from Asia, I had little red bumps on my fingers that were extremely itchy. I tiny area on my arm also blistered up, lasting for about two weeks. I was told at first that it was herpes, but that has later been disconfirmed. Now I get what look like small bites appearing all over my body, often no more than one bite in one spot, that itch for a couple of days before disappearing. They seem to reappear in the same places.

I now experience a lot of anxiety every single day. I can't seem to concentrate, and the littlest of things can make me have small "panic attacks". Being on the underground with a lot of people or trying to concentrate at somebody talking to me can suddenly cause my heart to race, my hands to sweat and nausea. I am starting university this autumn and am terribly worried that these sudden changes aren't going to go away, and restrict me during my studies.

I have been reading a lot on the internet and suspect it maybe to be Lyme disease or a parasite picked up in Asia. I would be extremely grateful if anyone could give me any advice or have any ideas of what it could be. Here are a list of my symptoms to make it a bit easier:

- Anxiety (this is the most problematic symptom!!)

- Panic attacks

- Periods of depression

- Mood swings, irritability

- Feeling tired all the time

- Stomach issues

- Irregular periods (never had this before)

- Pain in right pelvic area, especially when urinating - this isn't always present, so maybe irrelevant

- Difficulty concentrating

- Constant brain "fog", feeling mentally distant

- Reoccurring itchy bites (arm, breasts, hands, stomach)

Oh, and I've already checked whether I'm pregnant. I'm not.

Please, please help if you have any information you think may be useful to me. Thank you


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6 Replies

  • Posted

    You definitely need to make an appointment with a doctor. it sounds like an infection or a disease. just coming back from Asia is no coincidence. Hope I"m not scaring you, but seriously, make an appointment.
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  • Posted

    Thanks for the advicesmile I've actually already been to see a doctor.. twice. Both have just said it is probably stress and that I just need to try to relax etc. I've taken several blood tests as well, but nothing shows up. That's really why I wrote on here... I have no idea what to do! And, I'm almost certain it's not "just stress".

    Thanks though! I might try another doctor..

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  • Posted

    It sounds like more than stress. Did you see an infectious disease specialist or one specializing in tropical diseases? Some of the itchy bites and other physical problems would also cause stress but I would continue to look for a physical cause and hopefully a cure.
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  • Posted

    No, I haven't been given a referral by any of the doctors I've seen.
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  • Posted

    I know this was posted last year, but I wanted to find out if you were ever able to get some relief? I have been suffering from something quite similar minus the marks on my skin. All other symptoms are the same though. Hope to hwar how you are doing!
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  • Posted

    Brain fog is one of the most debilitating, frustrating things I have every endured. I decided to post this to hopefully provide some reassurance to others out there and to share my story. In 2013, in full health at the age of 21 I left home to go travel South East Asia and live and study in Hong Kong for a year. I spent three months travelling, no problems, except for my 'social smoking' getting completely out of hand and becoming a full gown dependency. On moving to hong Kong, after three months of travelling, I started the quitting process. Here's where the correlation/causation boundaries become mixed. Whenever I would try quit smoking, my head would become so engulfed with a hazy fog I couldn't even hold a conversation, or think, or interact. It was the most horrible thing in the world and I would smoke again out of sheer frustration, at which point a blast of mental clarity would hit. At the same time, over the space of a few months I developed awful anxiety which would manifest in me being convinced I had various diseases or problems; hypochondria. Eventually, in January, at my wits end, I gave up smoking for once and for all and decided to struggle through it. I must say as well, while I have always had a healthy diet, on quitting I got crazy sugar cravings which I indulged in, eating loads of sweet and starchy foods, which was very unlike me. Ive read many reports of candida causing brain fog as well and I got a really bad case of thrush, the doctor said it was indeed a candida overgrowth. I went on a sugar detox and passed out on the first day! However the sugar cravings thankfully decreased over time. On quitting smoking and sugar, I was sleeping for up to 14 hours a day, was highly irritable, immersed in an awful brain fog and would get dense headaches. To say it was hell would not be exaggerating. I failed two exams, was moody and irritable and verging on a deep depression. I returned home in May, began a waitressing job from which I promptly got fired for being "too slow", again, purely the brain fog. HOWEVER! over time, and I'm talking about a year and a half here, things have vastly improved. I am not completely better, there are still times at which I can't concentrate. However, I have learned over time various things which have helped immensely. Firstly; fish oil supplements. Secondly, meditation and thirdly, exercise. Through incorporating these three things into (a sugar free and plenty of sleep) lifestyle, I have regained I would say 90% mental clarity. I don't know if this will help anyone, but I understand completely the hell that is brain fog at its worst and I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. The very best of luck to anyone suffering from this. 
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