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Health anxiety - neurological symptoms

Community Member

Hi, I am new to this forum, but wanted to see if anyone else was experiencing similar neurological symptoms as me. I have health anxiety, probably from my mum who had lots of mental health issues. 2021 has been a nightmare for me as I was diagnosed with a scary unusual problem associated with cardiovascular disease - I have a ‘penetrating arteriosclerotic ulcer’ in my aorta which causes a weakness that can eventually dissect. If this happens, it is very serious and often fatal. I am being monitored by a cardiologist and vascular surgeon who think it can be managed without surgery at the moment. I found it really hard to adjust having been fit and independent. While in hospital the last time, I started getting pins and needles in my hands, arms, legs and feet. This has become really uncomfortable painful, ongoing prickling, tingling burning sensations in hands, legs, ankles and feet. I have also had some vision changes. I have had an MRI of my head and full spine, blood tests, seen an ophthalmologist, had a stroke ruled out with CT scan and had physiotherapy. The spinal scan revealed deterioration but a neurosurgeon felt that was no, if very minimal nerve involvement. All tests have come back clear, and I have done a systematic withdrawal from medication that has side effects that, may cause these symptoms. When I have these neurological sensations really badly, I struggle to cope. I can’t do things that give me pleasure, e.g. sitting reading a book, playing the piano, relaxing with friends, cooking, because these all exacerbate the symptoms. The sensations are so uncomfortable and there every second of the day. It is really hard to concentrate or do anything being so all-consumed with pain and discomfort and I get very depressed. No painkillers are effective in relieving this. I am so tired of feeling ill and spending my life careening from one doctor to the other without anyone giving me an answer. My GP doubled my dose of anti-anxiety medication but it has made no difference whatsoever. I am literally at my wits end, so my question is, does anyone else out there get these same symptoms, can something this severe and ongoing be due to anxiety and what can I do to start managing this before I literally go mad? Even knowing that someone else out there is going through the same thing would be comforting as I feel very alone with this at the moment. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, it is so helpful to just now be part of this forum.

4 Replies 4

Hi Maisie8yo, 

Welcome to our friendly online community. Thank you for sharing with us here. We are really grateful that you were brave enough to reach out to the forums this evening as we know this can be difficult to do for the first time.

We are so sorry to hear about what you have gone through with your physical health concerns. It sounds like it would be so challenging and also, exhausting. We understand that this feeling must be overwhelming, especially if you struggle to open up to others and reach out. Please know that you do not have to do this alone. Many in our community share similar feelings and understand. Hopefully a few of them will pop by and offer you some words of kindness and advice. 

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Maisie8yo,

Wellcome to our forums!

Im sorry you are feeling this way.

I understand health anxiety and severe anxiety are very difficult to deal with.

I also have a lived experience of this I can tell you more if you want to hear it?

The good news is that I’ve recovered from it….

Have you done a mental health plan with your gp? This can enable you to see a psychologist who can give you many strategies for anxiety.

Meditation is really useful and mindfulness.

Slow deep breathing is also great.

Thank you so much for your response - I would love to hear more about your experiences. I think just sharing and knowing someone else (unfortunately) is going through similar is helpful. I do have a mental health plan and have telehealth consultations with a psychologist who has been helpful up to a point. I am just about past the worry of whether my symptoms are a serious issue, e.g. MS, to just wanting some relief for the constant burning, tingling sensations, etc. They are so debilitating and uncomfortable. It’s very hard to focus on anything when I am in so much discomfort and am losing confidence about going out, being with people, etc. in case I get bad symptoms, etc. Please let me know how I can get more info on your experience - through this form? Thanks.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Maisie8yo,

How have you been feeling?

I can chat to you about my health anxiety here…… I would find a symptom on my body and I’d obsess over it and all the what if’s? I’d go to my doctor to have it checked only to be told that everything was fine but I’d still obsess over it…..

Id google symptoms and convince myself that I had something really serious…….. my doctor would tell me I was ok and my tests would be normal but I’d still obsess and be severely anxious…

It came to a point in my life that my anxiety was very severe…….. I had all types of symptoms……… I saw a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with OCD….. I did a therapy for this disorder and learned many strategies to help me to manage it.

Antidepressants can take up to 6 weeks to work……

I understand your worry… can you go back to your gp and discuss your worries ? If you feel there is something medical that needs attention please have it checked.

In my experience my worries we’re due to my OCD cycle…… I learned how to disengage from this…

here to chat