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Feeling really terrible & don't know what to do

(14 Posts)
LilacLilyPad Wed 24-Aug-16 16:42:09

I've been suffering from weird and seemingly unrelated physical issues for almost 6 months now after I had a terrible panic attack (my first one) following a long period of stress, that have been building gradually and a lot are 24/7 constant.
This has sent me into a total meltdown, since the physical stuff is constant - derealisation (the worst), dizziness, visual stuff, nausea, vomiting, tingling, ear problems - I became obsessed with finding a cause.
I have seen many specialists, had SO many tests and scans carried out, spent so much money and everything keeps coming back normal. The only abnormal thing has been raised prolactin levels which, in itself, can be caused by stress so isn't necessarily significant.

Doctors keep telling me it's just extreme stress manifesting physically, but my fear about it all has caused me to gradually develop bad anxiety and depression.
I have completely isolated myself from friends, rarely leave the house and spend most of my time on my phone or laptop trying to distract my brain from feeling bad and thinking about the physical stuff.
I literally have not gone a day in 6 months where I have felt normal or relaxed. Even sleeping has become a problem, frequently waking, having terrible dreams and never feeling refreshed.

I've tried citalopram (had me crawling up the walls within one dose), sertraline (made the derealisation/spacey feeling worse so I spooked and stopped after a week), seroquel for sleep (it worked but I didnt like forcing myself to sleep so stopped it) and finally diazepam 4mg, which is the only thing that helps although at such a small dose it just about takes the edge off & I limit myself to how often I take it. I've also tried CBT with no success

I just don't know what to do at this point sad it had been such a downward spiral with no sign of things improving, and I find it so hard to separate what could be genuinely physical problems and what is being caused by my anxiety/depression.
I just needed a bit of a vent sad

lovechocolate123 Wed 24-Aug-16 17:23:22

I have had problems like you for the last 11 months. It started with feeling nauseous all the time and some abdominal pain. The doctors thought it was gallstones but it turned out it wasn't that. I ended up having heaps of blood tests, an do scan, endoscopy , colonoscopy but still they can't find out the cause. I also have become obsessed with trying to find out the cause and worry myself sick. I have spent hours on the Internet too googling all my symptoms. I have had CBT that has helped a little. I had such bad tummy cramps I went to the out of hours doc on Saturday and the gp yesterday. They couldn't find anything. But told me to monitor it. Please don't worry you are not alone! I sometimes wonder if it is all hormonal. I am 43 soon... Are you of similar age?

LilacLilyPad Wed 24-Aug-16 18:07:28

Sorry to hear that lovechocolate sad it really isn't a fun situation to be in, feeling so wretched and being certain something is wrong yet nothing shows up. I'm constantly doubting doctors and wondering if they have missed something, but with the amount of different people I've seen & all results being negative, it seems so unlikely. But the other part of me is always wondering 'what if'
No, I am only 24 so I can't really blame it on hormones sad although saying that, obviously my prolactin levels are elevated (which I have to go speak to my doctor about next week) and my periods have been ALL over the place, so something funny is going on with my hormones, but this could be related to coming off the pill at the start of March or even just due to all the stress of this.

It's really getting me down and I don't know what to do. Through my desperation I've even looked into woo such as acupuncture and all sorts of weird herbs and vitamins, as well as limiting things like dairy and gluten! I literally am doing everything possible to try and make myself feel better

The anxiety and depression over it all really does become overwhelming some days (like today) and I find it so hard to cope. Googling my symptoms brings up all sorts of scary things, most of which have luckily been ruled out by bloodwork and scans. I've become a real hypochondriac and it's ruining my life

LapinR0se Wed 24-Aug-16 18:12:02

Sertraline has really helped me with very similar symptoms. However, it can take up to 3 weeks to be effective and then take it religiously every day. You've got to really stick with it to feel better. One week isn't going to help.
Could you give it another go?

LilacLilyPad Wed 24-Aug-16 19:35:34

Lapin, did it help you with any physical symptoms? Part of my problem is I'm unable to accept that any of the physical stuff could be caused by anxiety and so I'm constantly running back and forth between doctors.

Yes, I still have the box of Sertraline in the house so could start again at any time. I just got spooked after how much worse it made the derealisation/spacey feeling, but I know I have to push through that to see if it eventually works - it's just hard when you're in the thick of feeling terrible

LapinR0se Wed 24-Aug-16 19:49:02

I was constantly at specialists getting investigated for dizziness, stomach pain, migraine, constant need to wee.
That has reduced by 80%

LilacLilyPad Wed 24-Aug-16 20:01:22

Oh that's very interesting thank you. The amount of terrible illnesses I've self-diagnosed myself with is ridiculous

lovechocolate123 Wed 24-Aug-16 20:16:32

I could have written a lot of what you have. When the doctors tell me it's the anxiety that is causing my symptoms my reaction is always one of disbelief. Is your life quite stressful at the moment? Don't ever Google your symptoms ... If you ever get the urge search ' health anxiety' then the symptom . It seems that anxiety can really have physical symptoms. I do yoga and it has helped a little

LilacLilyPad Wed 24-Aug-16 22:30:22

My life was REALLY stressful before it all began, and now it is only stressful because I'm worrying about all the symptoms! It's a horrible cycle I've got myself into. If i woke up feeling 100% I wouldn't feel so stressed and unhappy.
I suppose I worry about medication just worsening things, but then I'll never know until I try..

lovechocolate123 Thu 25-Aug-16 06:16:33

I know exactly how you feel. It is like a vicious cycle. Stress brings on the physical symptoms then you stress about what is causes these symptoms. The cycle never ends. Have you got someone you can talk to about this. What are the physical symptoms you are experiencing ?

LilacLilyPad Thu 25-Aug-16 11:31:29

I've tried CBT but because it's all physical and only a small bit psychological I didn't find it all that helpful
Derealisation, unsteadiness (feeling of being on a moving boat), tinnitus, clogged ears, vision stuff (blurry, floaters, flashes, sometimes double when looking at letters on a screen), nausea, twitching...and many other things im probably forgetting
Yet ive been checked by many GPs, neuros, an ENT, optician, ive been to A&E a few times and been checked out. Everything comes back normal! Its infuriating

gamerchick Thu 25-Aug-16 11:39:30

Stress always shows itself physically with me, anxiety is always physical as well. It's a pain in the arse but I recognise that stress can seriously impact your body and eventually cause illness like stomach ulcers and whatnot.

The treatment along with betablockers for me isn't Drs, it's actively looking for things to have a break from my brain, a good laugh with friends, learning a new skill (learning to drive is mine atm) and refusing to let the bastard beat me.

Simple things like a night to love myself, nice smellys, good food, a new game to lost myself in. The husband is very stressed at work so once a week on a day off I make him unplug and spend a chunk of time doing something he enjoys with no interruption.

You have to let your mind take a break sometimes.

gamerchick Thu 25-Aug-16 11:47:12

There's also how you treat your body during times of stress. If it's all crap food and alcohol your body will struggle so eat clean, lots of water, no alcohol and few chemically made up drinks like pop. Go for a brisk walk until you're slightly out of breath and sweaty. All of those things help.

lovechocolate123 Fri 26-Aug-16 08:17:15

LilacLilyPad- how are you?

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