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I wonder if anyone has experienced similar symptoms to me? I don't know what to do next ...

For the past year or so I have noticed that I just don't feel right from time to time. I have had headaches, dizziness/lightheadedness, mood swings, aches and pains, visual disturbance (flashing lights, shapes) disturbed sleep patterns (sometimes sleeping for 14 hours and cannot get up, sometimes cannot sleep at all) panic attacks (bad ones), terrible vertigo attacks and so many other symptoms like my lips occasionally turning purpley blue, all kinds of things.

I have been getting on with things as best I can, and telling myself that I will get over it, and usually I have. However, for the past couple of months I have felt so unwell with all the above symptoms and more that I have stopped doing pretty much everything, including working. I thought I may be having some sort of weird migraines or visual problem and went to my optician who said my eyes were fine.

I have also been to the GP and I have had a few lots of blood tests: full blood count, hormone tests, coeliac test and various others which have all come back fine (except the hormones which were up and down) They have checked my reflexes, visual field, blood pressure and listen to my chest for a few seconds which they say is all fine too. They have come to the conslusion that it is probably all stress related. I did not know stress could make someone feel so ill, and I am thinking that I should go and get a second opinion? I am doubting myself now as I think I am wasting doctors time, but I really do feel ill and I would have thought doctors would suggest a scan or something, but I can only assume they know what they're talking about that anything sinister would have shown up in my blood???? Lately I have had really bad head and neck pain and clicking in my neck and head. I am told this is a pulled muscle and/or tension and stress (again) and have been given strong anti inflammatories, & told it will heal though it's been bad for 3 weeks now, not improving very much at all, and I can't get comfortable for the pain, especially in bed at night. I don't know if all my symptoms are related or if there is more than one thing going on here, or if the GP is right and that it is all physical symptoms brought on by stress. Has anyone else had such stress that it is stopping them from working and getting on with things?

Thanks everyone
Hi Smithy123, I have read your post and was wondering if you have been able to get any help with your neck problem and related symptoms?
I too have had all the same symptoms as you have described and I've been getting more concerned as time goes by. This problem has developed over the last 3-4 years. I've had many blood tests...but all returned fine, I've even had a head scan after pestering my GP that l was not OK....but again all was fine with the scan.
My GP then said the symptoms must be down to stress and prescribed me some drugs to help with what he called "underlying stress", but I do not think they helped at all as they made me feel even more tired, therefore I stopped taking them after a while with no adverse effect, but at least I was back to what I was feeling like before taking the tablets, which was bearable.
However, I agree that stress is a likely contributing factor to some of the symptoms due to work, family etc but don't we all!!, but it cannot be the only reason for feeling like this, surely.
It's really difficult to explain family, friends and work colleagues when you are feeling ill, light headed, having constant headaches/migraines, pressure in the head, neck clicking etc, and it's really starting to get me down and I do not know where :to turn next :dizzy:!!!
If you have received any help please let me know?
Hope to hear from you soon

I have seen patients with the exact same symptoms your having, the real kicker is I have also experienced what your going through on a personal level. I don't know if you've found a diagnosis since your posting but I once I've read and re-read your posting to make sure I was understanding the map of your symptoms I believe I can help you. On more than one level. On the first level I would have to say what your experiencing is an acute anxiety attack. However the type and severity of your attacks are indeed unique to a very few such as myself. I had them for the longest time on and off during my post graduate year. It was during the first couple weeks of classes. One day I noticed I just was not feeling correctly, my balance was off, I felt shaking and when I walked into the commons for food I kept noticing flashing all around me. I knew immediately something was wrong, and I started to further panic. I thought for sure I must be experiencing a potentially life threatening/changing illness. I walked slowly for fear of loosing my balance and falling. I also kept seeing random flashes of light, but by far the worst was the vertigo really. I just couldn't understand what was causing it. I thought maybe it was something I did to myself, or something my friends did to me as a nasty joke which could have potentially been deadly for me? I just didn't know. The dizziness was overwhelming. I became more and more dizzy as I thought about the predicament. I got to the nurse and asked her to take my blood pressure and pulse. I also asked her to check my oxygen saturation. I was thinking my symptoms might be due to lack of oxygen figuring I may be suffering from a cardiac disease, or lung problem. Everything not only turned out fine (other than my blood pressure being elevated due to the nature of anxiety) but she declared me in good health from my vital signs. (excuse me but I felt as though I was far, far from healthy, I mean I thought I may pass out) I asked her to bring me to the hospital, and she said the doctors office is right down the street. We went to the doctors office and they took an electro-cardiogram (EKG) and it came back normal other than increased heart rate. I asked the doctor I think what must have been 5 times if she could re-read the test, also if she could run it again. I still could not believe that nothing was wrong. She left and came back shortly into the room with the diagnosis of Acute anxiety but of the worst kind. The kind where the body is wracked with paralyzing fear, so naturally what does the body do? It goes into a hyper version of what some call flight or fight. The body's mechanism for protecting the vital organs of the body. It starts directing blood from non vital parts of the body to the core of the body. This would mean blood is drained away from the outer most parts of the body to the heart and brain ect... Except in the few cases where patients experience what we have. The body orders to much blood from the brain to the core and leaves the optical nerves starved for oxygen, (causing the flashing and shapes you've experienced) The light headed feeling coupled with bouts of dizziness. Also the vertigo. In my case I had extreme vertigo with all the other symptoms but the vertigo and dizziness together caused me to panic it was such an odd sensation. My legs felt weak and shaky. Again blood being directed to the core. And yes... the purple lips. This happened to me as well. I also started to get horrible headaches the likes of which I had never experienced. They would just come on out of nowhere, and in varying intensity. Again the few extreme acute anxiety cases such as us have very overly exaggerated CNS and peripheral nervous systems that although not very typical, when its does happen even the lack of blood in our lips will cause hypoxia. Lack of oxygen turning lips purple/blue. The doctor gave me a medication called Alprazolam (Xanax) which she described to me as if one were to consume a glass or 2 of wine. I didn't want to take the medication at first because I had thought that indeed she was full of crap and I must be dying, that with all this anxiety and all the symptoms my body was surely to weak to withstand the medication. (That's how anxious I was, thinking an anti-analytic would cause me to become more anxious because of my incorrect theory that I was dying). For people like yourself and I we can't convey to others what the experience feels like. You truly would have to experience yourself to understand. Anyway, this went on for 5-10 days straight. To varying degrees of course. I would wake up at all hours of the night, and then miss classes during the day because I was literally to weak and exhausted from the anxiety. That last night I woke up after around 3 hours of sleep and thought once again I was going to die. I knocked on the dorm masters door and he took me to the hospital. They hooked me up to every machine imaginable to check what was going on, again found nothing, and so they gave me that medication I mentioned before in my IV, and I instantly felt normal. I was a bit sedated but the anxiety went away. I should have just trusted the Dr I saw two weeks ago, then I would not have suffered so much. I had that same medication in a bottle in my dorm room and I could have just given it a try. Anyway I felt like an idiot. Since then I have had anxiety and panic attacks but never as bad as those days back a long time ago. I do carry around some of that medication when its needed but its not often and for the most part I grew out of it. So don't worry! I honestly believe you'll be fine. Go to your GP and ask him/her about this theory, and see if he/she will prescribe you Alprazolam (.5mg), Diazapam, or klonopin. These are all called benzodiazapines designed for anxiety disorders. They are hard/fast acting medications for some of the worst anxiety disorders and they do the job well. However, keep in mind they are not a long term solution to our problem. They are for the emergencies. Long term SSRI's can work as well, although never did much for me, everyone is different. Good luck!
Hi SICU, many thanks for your response to Smithy I found it very informative.

I agree that my symptoms could be anxiety related as they do get worse when I'm faced with situations which take me out of my comfort zone. Even though I don't regard myself as a stressed person, dealing with a busy home/young family/work life pretty well if I am really honest, I suppose my GP could have been correct when diagnosing me with symptoms of "underlying stress".

My old GP (now retired) prescribed me Propanalol Hydrochloride (80mg) which I stopped taking as I did not feel they were helping in any way. I'm reluctant to try and explain all this to my new GP again as I'm fed up with constant blood tests, scans etc with nothing being detected. However, don't get me wrong, I was always very relieved that these tests did not detect anything more serious.
Finally, are these Propanalol tablets related to the drugs you mention in your post, or should I discuss this further with my new GP?

Many thanks for your time on this it is very much appreciated
Hi Streakyap,

The medicine you speak of is actually used mainly for blood pressure, angina (chest pain), but mostly just the former. It's a selective beta blocker which means it slows the messages to the heart telling it to beat more slowly. This lowers blood pressure because of this it has been used with some limited success in helping people with anxiety issues. However your doctor should not be playing around with the intricacies of the heart, not because of anxiety... According to all the medical research I am familiar with your best course of treatment involves SSRI's, and benzodiazapines for the serious anxiety attacks. Maybe even something like seroquel XR. Using a beta blocker solely as a method for controlling anxiety is not indicated, certainly not if all other avenues have not been used.
Your symptoms point to your neck. Please go get your neck checked out. These are all common symptoms of a problem in this area. I have years of experience with these symptoms, and most doctors miss the source and look elsewhere. Get your neck checked out, a problem in this area, just the muscles in your neck, upper back and shoulders, when tight and in spasm, can put pressure on the blood vessels going to the head, causing dizzy spells, headaches, light headedness, lack of concentration and the list goes on. The treatment if it is the deep muscles, is physical therapy that takes the tension out of these muscles, and the symptoms go away. Yes, stress can cause this, I deal with it a few times a year.
Hi Kasey,

I also thought about this problem; However some of the important symptoms do not add up in regard to that diagnosis. This does not mean your right but if so would indicate a dual diagnosis rather than the neck being the sole culprit. Smithy also stated he had purply, blue lips which indicates a state of hypoxia most likely from a peripheral nervous response, or lung issue. Furthermore he stated nothing about having breathing problems so this can be safely disregarded. The vertigo and dysequilibrium can be caused by a cervical problem, but he mentioned no head trauma, the chances of a cervical diagnosis being the culprit without significant damage or at least knowing of some sort of trauma is minimal almost non existent. The likelihood that the symptoms are related to a cervical axial and atlas issue, without prior history, or the patient knowing about it is minimal; However unlikely I suppose trauma to this region without prior record of it is possible. An MRI of the cervical region will rule out trauma as a cause for these symptoms. The clicking does concern me and it does warrant a closer look we can not ignore that even with the physical manifestation of symptoms...; This alone to someone who is very much in touch with ones own body can cause all of these symptoms related to anxiety, in fact the clicking and neck pain could be secondary to the anxiety and that acute anxiety may be inflating his perception of a more serious physical diagnosis. This is why Anxiety is such a horrible and hard to deal with disease; It's a master at deception, manipulation, and makes one loose control of themselves. It causes real physical distress and symptoms. With all this said; I would like to say it would be a good idea to get the neck scanned by MRI, but first maybe a standard x-ray... and by all means if his symptoms are related to just the neck then that would be a much easier thing to deal with, and is curable.
I'm an NP specializing in Trauma/Trauma Recovery. My real interests are in diagnostics and am thinking about a change in specialty.
[QUOTE=Kasey443;4832901]Your symptoms point to your neck. Please go get your neck checked out. These are all common symptoms of a problem in this area. I have years of experience with these symptoms, and most doctors miss the source and look elsewhere. Get your neck checked out, a problem in this area, just the muscles in your neck, upper back and shoulders, when tight and in spasm, can put pressure on the blood vessels going to the head, causing dizzy spells, headaches, light headedness, lack of concentration and the list goes on. The treatment if it is the deep muscles, is physical therapy that takes the tension out of these muscles, and the symptoms go away. Yes, stress can cause this, I deal with it a few times a year.[/QUOTE]
Hi Kasey, I totally agree with your comments about my neck, and I do intend to pick this up again with my new GP to see if some treatment/exercises can help.

My neck problem certainly does adversely affect my symptoms, as they get worse the more my neck is in tension/pain. Stress could certainly be making this matter worse, but I believe it is a vicious circle, as the stress is being added to by the resultant symptoms.

Thanks again for your comments they are very much appreciated. Hopefully I can get my neck sorted first and then see if any/all of the adverse symptoms ease or go away completely.

Many thanks
Hi SICU, yes that is exactly why I stopped taking the Propanalol as my blood pressure has always been spot on, and I never experienced palpatations or raised blood pressure along with my other symptoms.
Therefore, I think I will pursue the issue about my neck maybe causing some of the adverse symptoms being experienced. The stress factor is only being made worse because I do not know what is causing the symptoms. If it is my neck then hopefully I can get the right treatment and then see if any/all of the symptoms ease or go away completely.

You mention SSRI's - what are these just in case it is not just my neck?

Anyway, I will arrange to see my new GP asap and see where this course of action takes me. I'll let you all know what happens, soon I hope!!!!

Many thanks for all your help, it is very much appreciated

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