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Hi Folks,

Sorry to make this long, but I want to explain my symptoms in as much detail as possible, so others can possibly relate.

I'm 26 years old, male, normal weight, non-smoker, non-drinker, never seen a doctor in my life before this. It all started a little over a month ago when I did some cardiovascular exercise and got a little dizzy. The next morning at work, I started reading up on possible causes of dizziness. When I came upon heart-deficiency issues (which have always scared me), it must have freaked me out because I wanted to pass out, like as if someone momentarily took my brain out of my head, but I didn't actually pass out. I came back home, all shaky and sweaty, where my girlfriend (who has a history of panic attacks, now controlled with Paxil) suggested I had experienced a panic attack. That whole week, I had MANY symptoms of anxiety come and go. I went to the ER twice, did ECG's, emergency blood tests, all normal. The 5 doctors I saw all said it was anxiety and that I need psychological help.

Fine with me, but a few symptoms which have been with me since the beginning are still with me 24/7 and have even gotten worse, which is causing me even more stress...

- The spacey feeling is severe right now. My eyes seem to not be in sync with my brain. If I even think about passing out, it triggers a fainting spell. But I never actually faint. My breathing and heart rate stay nice and slow through these dizzy spells. I'm able to keep my cool since I know from past experiences that I won't pass out.

- Head pressure almost all day, every day. It's like a headache wants to come out, but the pressure in my head is dominating, so I never actually get a headache, just a lot of head pressure. The feeling of passing out ALWAYS coincides with a heavy pressure in the bridge of my nose and in my head. When I take Advil to relieve the pressure, it usually relieves the fainting spells as well. But all all starts again the next day.

- Last week, I started waking up with nausea every morning. This lasts all morning and goes away by lunch time, or when I have a bowel movement. It makes me even more stressed thinking that I have liver disease or something.

- The spacey feeling is worse when I don't sleep well. And much worse in fluorescent lighting! I felt really bad yesterday at Wal-Mart. It gets better when I'm at home watching TV in the evening. Driving a car actually helps reduce the feeling as well. But staring at the same spot, such as a computer screen makes it worse, and sometimes triggers a fainting spell.

- Bowel habits have changed. Stools have changed color, a little paler than usual. There are always little "fibers" attached to the sides of the stools. Not smooth and shiny like it was before. Sorry, I can't explain it better than that. Not that you would want me too anyway. ;)

- Very tired, sleepy and weak on most days. Can't concentrate. Will probably get fired soon because of this. I can't imagine finding another job with this state of mind. Completely unmotivated. Luckily, I have a week's vacation next week.

- Muscle weakness/tension. I went to play a 9 hole of golf last week and my legs are still stiff!

- My arms and legs fall asleep very easily. If I fall asleep with my arms at a 90 degree angle, they will get numb and wake me up.

- Aches and pains everywhere! What worries me the most is a dull bone pain that I have at several places. Does anybody else have bone tenderness (not in the joints)?

- Getting more and more depressed and stressed.

I guess what I find the most discouraging is that after all these years of being frightened of going to a doctor and finally being able to do it, they do nothing. They did the finger to nose test, follow the flashlight test, walk on your tippy-toes test, checked my heart with a stethoscope and ECG. Well, this is Canada, it's free. I guess you get what you pay for. I don't have a family doctor, and finding one will be a lengthy ordeal. And an appointment won't come before mid-2005.

So, after all this, I still wonder if I have a brain tumor, or a hemmorhage (since I have had hypertension (whitecoat) all my life and that this all started with exercise). And now, with my sudden onset of nausea (and I NEVER get nausea), I think that I've got liver cancer or another type of cancer that has spread to my brain causing the dizziness. I've had acid reflux since I was 16 years old. Maybe I have gotten esophageal cancer that has spread to my brain. Or MS, etc, etc, etc. Anyway, you can see the extent of my health anxiety! It's bad. Really bad. I was never like this before. I would simply brush off any symptoms I had. A few months ago, I stained the toilet with bright red blood. I just said "Bah, it's a hemmorhoid". Now, I can't help freaking out about every little symptom. So, it would help me a lot if you guys could relate to some of those symptoms I described.

But for now, I just wish I could find something to make the constant spacey feeling go away since it's my main cause of anxiety. I can't function normally anymore. I am willing to try anything at this point. [B]Has any medication worked for anybody's spacey feelings?[/B]

Thank you so much!
What a lively post. I see some fellow posters on here from the Inner Ear boards. :)

Junior, what you are describing sounds a LOT like anxiety, heightened by your sense of balance being disturbed. Most people who deal with disequlibrium issues (me included, 10 years) often also deal with anxiety from it on some level.

It sounds like you experienced some panic after your first feelings of dizziness while working out. Dizziness from exertion (like exercise) isn't all that uncommon. You can probably correct that by slowing your exercise routine and breathing less shallow. Sometimes if you lift weights, that can cause a fluctuation in blood pressure (normal) and that can also cause you to feel dizzy.

Add to that the newness of feeling dizzy, and the rush of adrenaline (fear) from that, of course you would feel faint. Anxiety and panicked thoughts can bring on feelings of dizziness, detachment, numbness, racing heart beat, faintness, nauseau....

The thing about anxiety is that is can come out of nowhere (seemingly) and start to invade all aspects of your life until you are only obsessed with your fearful thoughts and your bodily symptoms.

Headache and nausea also play a part in stress. Although you may not feel like you are panicking, I can tell from your posts that you are beside yourself with worrying about yourself. That tension is played out in different parts of your body, like pressure headaches and nausea - the more you react to your thoughts (internally), the more you will experience symptoms like headaches and stomach issues. Worrying kicks in more adrenaline. The more adrenaline that is pumped into your stomach (a natural process), the more nausea you will feel. Also, the more adrenaline that is pumped into your stomach, the more you will notice a change in your bowel habits and content.

Using so much energy on worry and anxiey is going to drain you, tired you, and make you feel like you are very very sick. Poor concertration is obviously going to happen because you are not functioning at your optimum.

The bottom line, CBT is an EXCELLENT choice for you. You will learn new ways to cope, think, and react to your physical sensations. Once you learn to be a bit more LESS-reactive, and become more objective about your physical sensations and fearful thoughts, you will find life a lot easier.

As for the imbalance sensations, I agree that stress can increase those symptoms, but in some cases (like mine), does not cause them. Ask your doctor for a referral to a neurologist. They deal with dizzy conditions, as well as headaches. It might give you peace of mind, and alleviate your concerns that there is something horribly wrong with you.

As for your exmainations and the doctor "doing nothing", you're wrong. Your doctor needs to look for certain "clues", signs and symptoms when you tell him/her about your concerns. Just by asking you to track his finger with your eyes rules out a few medical concerns RIGHT THERE. Tests for specific conditions (like a brain tumor) does not need to be involved to make a determination of whether or not there is consideration enough to look at that more closely. There are other symptoms and signs that your doctor will look for immediately upon an initial examination - that are probably very transparent to you.

People who are anxious about their physical well being tend to mistrust doctors. Try to have some faith that you are healthy and go from there.

Wishing you a nice day.

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