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mstimc

Scanning for Symptoms, Real or Imagined

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mstimc

One of the manifestations of my anxiety behavior and subsequent withdrawal was "scanning" for symptoms of various diseases and ailments.  I think its a fairly common behavior in anxiety/OCD.  During the years at the height of my anxiety, I thought I had a brain tumor, kidney disease, thrombocythemia, (an exotic disease causing a high platelet count),  prostate cancer,  eye disease, arthritis and oral cancer.  I drove my medical providers nuts and of course researched each ache and pain on the Internet.  Obviously I had none of these or I wouldn't be here now.  I did, however, get four dental implants because I clenched my teeth due to anxiety, and I inherited a history of crappy teeth from my parents. 

 

I've seen advice that the last thing you should do is perform your own Internet research on what you think may be wrong with you.  This is a lot easier said than done.  When you have OCD and a tool as handy as the Internet, its almost impossible not to reach out.  From my own experience, here is what I discovered during my journey to discovery:

 

1.  If you do look up your symptoms or supposed disease, try to remember that the worse outcomes usually show up first on an Internet search.  The boring, benign, harmless, and far more common causes don't show up.  There were many times when I went to the doctor convinced I was dying, and when he told me I had a simple virus or pulled muscle, I went home, checked the Internet and found the little things comprise 90 to 99% of all symptoms. 

 

2.  Bear in mind modern medicine is technologically driven and litigation-sensitive.  The number of tests done during a routine exam has doubled or tripled in the last 30 years. The more tests you do, the more likely you are to find an anomalous result.  The problem is, one abnormal result rarely means anything by itself.  However, some doctors will order additional tests simply to avoid potential malpractice suits, adding to patient anxiety (and high medical costs).   As I've aged, I've had a number of "abnormal" results, but none of them were indicators of serious disease. 

 

3.  If there is something seriously wrong with you, chances are it will manifest in more than one way.  A blood test may be off a bit, but absent any other symptoms, you're probably fine.

 

4.  Anxiety itself causes profound physical symptoms that often mimic symptoms of other serous diseases.  Night sweats, shaky hands, chronic head and neck pain, noticeable changes in heart rate, are all consequences of anxiety as well as other more serious ailments.  

 

I guess what got me past the constant scanning was the fact I kept on living.  I'm 59 and have my share of aches and pains one would expect as I age, but we do a lot of walking and I try to eat right.  I can now give myself time--if I get a new ache or pain, I give it a few days, a couple of Advil and a heating pad, and it usually goes away.  It may not be realistic to tell an anxious or obsessive person not to search the Internet or instantly assume the worst, but being armed with some perspective may help.

 

 

 

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Lynnardgirl

Thank you so much for this ! I have been trying to stabilize for months and 

today my chest anxiety was really really bad! So I thought for sure I have

something else wrong! I have never had this bad chest anxiety and it has got 

me so worried, thank you for your insightful words

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RusTW

I was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. All during withdrawal I had symptoms that were related that I just put to withdrawal.

During withdrawal I had OCD about symptoms that would come and go. It was prior to the medication I was worried about dying.

Prior to the medication I had the symptoms that I have now and it was overlooked by my urologist. I have had my PSA level and DRE exam every year that showed normal. In the recent two or three years I was having more infections in my prostate that were treated with antibiotics. Come to find out it was candida that was infecting the prostate due to weak immune system and antibiotic use and probably early stages of cancer. 

Right now I'm about a week out from my biopsy of my prostate with major symptoms not knowing what to do but knowing I can count on myself to always trust my gut feeling now. I'm learning when it's time to really run to the doctors and that's the only time I'm going to go.

During these last few years I was ridiculed about being obsessed about my health and my gut feeling was right something was wrong. Just saying here don't chalk everything up to withdrawal because it might not be.

Be logical methodical take notes and ask questions and be as proactive as you can. Never let a doctor intimidate you on how much time they spend with you or how much they need to explain because it's your  Sanity- and your life.

Since the beginning I remember telling the first doctor I seen I thought I had prostate cancer and he laughed and said I was too young.

I had to face my fears over the past few years and it became a reality. I know I didn't will myself cancer. I think I have finally overcome the fear of it though. My good friend withdrawals helped me with that.

If you're out there in your scared of having it. I can say from my experience being obsessively scared of it is worse than having it. Don't let your fears rule your life because we only live for so long. Withdrawals or not it's our choice.

 

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mstimc
10 hours ago, Lynnardgirl said:

Thank you so much for this ! I have been trying to stabilize for months and 

today my chest anxiety was really really bad! So I thought for sure I have

something else wrong! I have never had this bad chest anxiety and it has got 

me so worried, thank you for your insightful words

When I get super anxious,  it hits me in the chest, too.  But I think it  "feels"  muscular as opposed to buried in my chest like a heart condition would.  

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mstimc
6 hours ago, RusTW said:

I was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. All during withdrawal I had symptoms that were related that I just put to withdrawal.

During withdrawal I had OCD about symptoms that would come and go. It was prior to the medication I was worried about dying.

Prior to the medication I had the symptoms that I have now and it was overlooked by my urologist. I have had my PSA level and DRE exam every year that showed normal. In the recent two or three years I was having more infections in my prostate that were treated with antibiotics. Come to find out it was candida that was infecting the prostate due to weak immune system and antibiotic use and probably early stages of cancer. 

Right now I'm about a week out from my biopsy of my prostate with major symptoms not knowing what to do but knowing I can count on myself to always trust my gut feeling now. I'm learning when it's time to really run to the doctors and that's the only time I'm going to go.

During these last few years I was ridiculed about being obsessed about my health and my gut feeling was right something was wrong. Just saying here don't chalk everything up to withdrawal because it might not be.

Be logical methodical take notes and ask questions and be as proactive as you can. Never let a doctor intimidate you on how much time they spend with you or how much they need to explain because it's your  Sanity- and your life.

Since the beginning I remember telling the first doctor I seen I thought I had prostate cancer and he laughed and said I was too young.

I had to face my fears over the past few years and it became a reality. I know I didn't will myself cancer. I think I have finally overcome the fear of it though. My good friend withdrawals helped me with that.

If you're out there in your scared of having it. I can say from my experience being obsessively scared of it is worse than having it. Don't let your fears rule your life because we only live for so long. Withdrawals or not it's our choice.

 

Prayers and hopes for a good outcome, Rus.  I think you offer good advice on a lot of items.  Only you know your body and you know when something isn't right.  Talking to your doctor is a lot better than doing fear-based research on your own.  And yes, dealing with the reality of a condition is preferable to dealing with the unknown.  In the past few years I've dealt with a few conditions of my own and of family members, including the deaths of two family members, one of which was very untimely.  We are stronger than we think!

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Lynnardgirl
10 hours ago, RusTW said:

I was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. All during withdrawal I had symptoms that were related that I just put to withdrawal.

During withdrawal I had OCD about symptoms that would come and go. It was prior to the medication I was worried about dying.

Prior to the medication I had the symptoms that I have now and it was overlooked by my urologist. I have had my PSA level and DRE exam every year that showed normal. In the recent two or three years I was having more infections in my prostate that were treated with antibiotics. Come to find out it was candida that was infecting the prostate due to weak immune system and antibiotic use and probably early stages of cancer. 

Right now I'm about a week out from my biopsy of my prostate with major symptoms not knowing what to do but knowing I can count on myself to always trust my gut feeling now. I'm learning when it's time to really run to the doctors and that's the only time I'm going to go.

During these last few years I was ridiculed about being obsessed about my health and my gut feeling was right something was wrong. Just saying here don't chalk everything up to withdrawal because it might not be.

Be logical methodical take notes and ask questions and be as proactive as you can. Never let a doctor intimidate you on how much time they spend with you or how much they need to explain because it's your  Sanity- and your life.

Since the beginning I remember telling the first doctor I seen I thought I had prostate cancer and he laughed and said I was too young.

I had to face my fears over the past few years and it became a reality. I know I didn't will myself cancer. I think I have finally overcome the fear of it though. My good friend withdrawals helped me with that.

If you're out there in your scared of having it. I can say from my experience being obsessively scared of it is worse than having it. Don't let your fears rule your life because we only live for so long. Withdrawals or not it's our choice.

 

 

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Lynnardgirl
10 hours ago, RusTW said:

I was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. All during withdrawal I had symptoms that were related that I just put to withdrawal.

During withdrawal I had OCD about symptoms that would come and go. It was prior to the medication I was worried about dying.

Prior to the medication I had the symptoms that I have now and it was overlooked by my urologist. I have had my PSA level and DRE exam every year that showed normal. In the recent two or three years I was having more infections in my prostate that were treated with antibiotics. Come to find out it was candida that was infecting the prostate due to weak immune system and antibiotic use and probably early stages of cancer. 

Right now I'm about a week out from my biopsy of my prostate with major symptoms not knowing what to do but knowing I can count on myself to always trust my gut feeling now. I'm learning when it's time to really run to the doctors and that's the only time I'm going to go.

During these last few years I was ridiculed about being obsessed about my health and my gut feeling was right something was wrong. Just saying here don't chalk everything up to withdrawal because it might not be.

Be logical methodical take notes and ask questions and be as proactive as you can. Never let a doctor intimidate you on how much time they spend with you or how much they need to explain because it's your  Sanity- and your life.

Since the beginning I remember telling the first doctor I seen I thought I had prostate cancer and he laughed and said I was too young.

I had to face my fears over the past few years and it became a reality. I know I didn't will myself cancer. I think I have finally overcome the fear of it though. My good friend withdrawals helped me with that.

If you're out there in your scared of having it. I can say from my experience being obsessively scared of it is worse than having it. Don't let your fears rule your life because we only live for so long. Withdrawals or not it's our choice.

 

Thank you, so sorry what you had to go through hopefully you are healed and god bless you!

I just seem to have this awful chest anxiety and seems to be getting worse after 11 months from 

my last taper! Kinda worried it’s something else with my heart!

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Lynnardgirl
4 hours ago, mstimc said:

When I get super anxious,  it hits me in the chest, too.  But I think it  "feels"  muscular as opposed to buried in my chest like a heart condition would.  

Yes your right but mine is so strong this past week! I guess just wait it out because I did have a good window

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RusTW
4 hours ago, mstimc said:

Prayers and hopes for a good outcome, Rus.  I think you offer good advice on a lot of items.  Only you know your body and you know when something isn't right.  Talking to your doctor is a lot better than doing fear-based research on your own.  And yes, dealing with the reality of a condition is preferable to dealing with the unknown.  In the past few years I've dealt with a few conditions of my own and of family members, including the deaths of two family members, one of which was very untimely.  We are stronger than we think!

We have a chance to find ourselves during this time.We have to CRUSH all fear.It does nothing but fuel anxiety and other symptoms.I can sit with the crazy akathisia now and say f u .i own it.Each day the bus comes for us we don't know what kind of ride it will be. We can still see out the windows and imagine what we want.Its  our ride now not some punk psychiatrists lol

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RusTW
6 minutes ago, Lynnardgirl said:

Thank you, so sorry what you had to go through hopefully you are healed and god bless you!

I just seem to have this awful chest anxiety and seems to be getting worse after 11 months from 

my last taper! Kinda worried it’s something else with my heart!

Start doing deep breathing.1-10 count then build on that.breath into your stomach.let thoughts come and go.dont try to control.

if it was me i would do cardiac check up.its important to monitor your health.eesp during wd.wd taxes the whole system.Nothing wrong with that.Its the ocd about it.Accepting and Letting go is the key.

 Russ

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RusTW
9 minutes ago, Lynnardgirl said:

Yes your right but mine is so strong this past week! I guess just wait it out because I did have a good window

Best is to learn to be ok while going thru it.own it when it comes and your brain stops fighting it.This has worked for the akathisia with me. 

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drugged

Before I found this forum I pretty much wrote off any new symptoms or changes in body function to being fibromyalgia.  Now, believing "fibromyalgia" is primarily iatrogenic CNS sensitization from psych drugs, in my case a real cocktail of drugs, I tend to assume any strange sensations or symptoms are the affects of the drugs and tapering from them.  Sometimes there are things that I think, "Maybe you should get that checked out", but I'm very reluctant to go to a medical practitioner for even routine care.  Sometimes I think that I'd prefer to go untreated and die from something prematurely than risk being "treated" by the medical profession.  

 

 

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Lynnardgirl
3 hours ago, RusTW said:

We have a chance to find ourselves during this time.We have to CRUSH all fear.It does nothing but fuel anxiety and other symptoms.I can sit with the crazy akathisia now and say f u .i own it.Each day the bus comes for us we don't know what kind of ride it will be. We can still see out the windows and imagine what we want.Its  our ride now not some punk psychiatrists lol

Yes it’s so hard! I try so hard staying in the now, be present of  my surroundings, it’s so hard when my heart is pounding 

and telling me lies! If only (maybe one day) I could peacefully stay in the moment with or without withdrawals and

be content! I’m trying, it takes tremendous will power and time.

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Lynnardgirl
2 hours ago, drugged said:

Before I found this forum I pretty much wrote off any new symptoms or changes in body function to being fibromyalgia.  Now, believing "fibromyalgia" is primarily iatrogenic CNS sensitization from psych drugs, in my case a real cocktail of drugs, I tend to assume any strange sensations or symptoms are the affects of the drugs and tapering from them.  Sometimes there are things that I think, "Maybe you should get that checked out", but I'm very reluctant to go to a medical practitioner for even routine care.  Sometimes I think that I'd prefer to go untreated and die from something prematurely than risk being "treated" by the medical profession.  

 

 

I agree with you, I try and stay away from doctors, after my doctor says withdrawals only last a month!

He has to be kidding, but unfortunately they are uneducated don’t want to be bothered with

the truth! So sad the damage these drugs has caused so many and it’s not stopping any time soon.

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Lynnardgirl
3 hours ago, RusTW said:

Best is to learn to be ok while going thru it.own it when it comes and your brain stops fighting it.This has worked for the akathisia with me. 

Wow that’s a tough one akathisia, so maybe if I stop fighting it, accept then when it comes it will not

be so intense! You are strong, hopefully I’m getting closer! Today I have not let my mind wonder off to

the hell it wants to go staying in the now! One day at a time

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RusTW
2 hours ago, Lynnardgirl said:

Wow that’s a tough one akathisia, so maybe if I stop fighting it, accept then when it comes it will not

be so intense! You are strong, hopefully I’m getting closer! Today I have not let my mind wonder off to

the hell it wants to go staying in the now! One day at a time

Yes no reason to figure it all out.As my mom says it sorts  out in the laundry.My biggest mentor said it is what it is.That's it.own it dont let it own you. You will have your life again.its time to go to work now and find yourself in this **** hell.Theres a gem in this.When u reach it nothing will touch you if you own it.

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RusTW
2 hours ago, Lynnardgirl said:

Yes it’s so hard! I try so hard staying in the now, be present of  my surroundings, it’s so hard when my heart is pounding 

and telling me lies! If only (maybe one day) I could peacefully stay in the moment with or without withdrawals and

be content! I’m trying, it takes tremendous will power and time.

This is what i mean.peacefully in the moment will be your mission.dont will it.work towards calm in hellish times.your brain will accept as norm and let u relax a little more.lol.so will you.

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icequeen

Running to the doctor with every minor symptom is normally a waste of time and money but it’s important to remember that some problems must be checked. My ”chest anxiety” turned out to be pneumonia. Twice. My stomach pain and constipation was ileus requiring two surgeries. So please be careful and don’t brush everything off as anxiety!

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Lynnardgirl

Ok question!!!!I don’t think I’m in tolerance 

but when I take my morning pill , I do feel a little 

better for a half hour or so! I thought after you take your meds and In tolerance when you take your meds it makes you feel worse!

Hopefully this wave I’m in is making my brain

think of thoughts that need not to think 

I have been holding for over a year and doesn’t seem to let up! 

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Colonial
On 12/16/2019 at 10:23 AM, drugged said:

Sometimes I think that I'd prefer to go untreated and die from something prematurely than risk being "treated" by the medical profession.  

 

We probably would all have MORE time left just riding it out than having the treatments kill us earlier due to a lethal side effectd of the treatments of even worse for some....

Lengthening our lives with side effects we would have wished we had just let our self die early.

 

Are we living a little longer with these treatments?  Yes, some....

But its Russian Roulette on the odds of if You will have wished You had done so...

 

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mstimc
37 minutes ago, Colonial said:

We probably would all have MORE time left just riding it out than having the treatments kill us earlier due to a lethal side effectd of the treatments of even worse for some....

Lengthening our lives with side effects we would have wished we had just let our self die early.

 

Are we living a little longer with these treatments?  Yes, some....

But its Russian Roulette on the odds of if You will have wished You had done so...

 

This is often true.  I had an elderly cousin who was never married and was fiercely independent.  She retired early and travel led the world.   The last few years of her life were miserable because she was bedridden with arthritis and back issues.  Her worst suffering wasn't physical; it was having to depend on others and losing her independence.  She had a pacemaker that kept her going but it probably wasn't worth it to her. 

 

On the other hand, the will to survive is basic.  She often said she wanted to die, but then would ask me to set up a doctor appointment to check on some new ailment. Its a tough call that only be made by the person going through it.

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Colonial
17 hours ago, mstimc said:

 

On the other hand, the will to survive is basic.  She often said she wanted to die, but then would ask me to set up a doctor appointment to check on some new ailment.

And in the end, suffering refines character and teaches the next generation watching it how to cope when there day comes.

I firmly believe if it had not been watching my Father survive through the last 4 years of His final Crucifixion...

I would had had no idea just HOW MUCH we can survive when we find there is a reason to do so, and a purpose to go om, even if it is  only for others...

It is what enabled Me to know I could get through this period in my own life If I chose to employ the "bunker down we're in for the long haul" mentality..

Eventually, it helps keep You not only calmer, but it frees Your mind not to worry about the issues, so You able to "Notice" the good when it still happens..

And then You learn to force Yourself to think only on those good things..

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mstimc
3 hours ago, Colonial said:

And in the end, suffering refines character and teaches the next generation watching it how to cope when there day comes.

I firmly believe if it had not been watching my Father survive through the last 4 years of His final Crucifixion...

I would had had no idea just HOW MUCH we can survive when we find there is a reason to do so, and a purpose to go om, even if it is  only for others...

It is what enabled Me to know I could get through this period in my own life If I chose to employ the "bunker down we're in for the long haul" mentality..

Eventually, it helps keep You not only calmer, but it frees Your mind not to worry about the issues, so You able to "Notice" the good when it still happens..

And then You learn to force Yourself to think only on those good things..

One thing I learned....in the Gospels when Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law and she got up and served them.   As a wise Episcopal priest once told me, the lesson here is that she paid it forward, as should we.  That's one of the reasons I'm a mentor here.  If I can give others some hope in recovery, then my own journey was worth it.

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Lynnardgirl
2 hours ago, mstimc said:

One thing I learned....in the Gospels when Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law and she got up and served them.   As a wise Episcopal priest once told me, the lesson here is that she paid it forward, as should we.  That's one of the reasons I'm a mentor here.  If I can give others some hope in recovery, then my own journey was worth it.

Yes mstimc I feel the same way! That’s all God really wants from us to help and love others .

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Colonial

It's true, if we are all going to continue to live, we have to be doing something.

There are going to be periods of good times and periods of sacrifice where all Your good for is serving others, in some small way.

Other people sacrificed for us before we were even old enough or wise enough to see it.

I think of all the stories of people who either risked their lives or died saving others.

We are all allotted a certain amount of time in this life when things are good, and when that ends?

We continue forward and repay those who have gone before us by NOT dishonoring their sacrifice for us by paying it forward.

As the saying goes:

"Your life is a gift FROM Your ancestors TO Your descendants". 

Not for us to selfishly spend out lives on ourselves or sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves when the tough times do.

 

 

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