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jaylay80

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Hi
My story starts 4 months ago when I started to feel ill every day, just a kind of drained feeling that I couldn't attribute to anything.
This continued for about 2 months and whatever it was that was making me feel this way had started to presented its self as neurological symotoms that were worse at night when I tried to fall asleep.
The symptoms were full body convulsions and the feeling that I was about to die if I fell asleep as well as a pins and needly affect running up my spine and over my shoulders.
By this point my anxiety was through the roof and I ended up in a and e claiming to have a neurological ilness which frightened me to death.
After going through and passing all neurological tests for strength and sensation etc it was clear to the dr that there were no causes for concern and the dr disgnosed me with anxiety dissorder.
This didn't help as the next night I fell asleep for about 2 hours and woke up thinking I was about to die and ended up in a and e again this time I was given medication and referred to a psychiatrist who gave me medication.
The medication helped me sleep and gave me my appetite back (I had lost a lot of weight)
As much as I tried I just could not accept that this was all in my mind, I felt for sure that something was not right with me neurologically.every time I was visited by a psychiatrist I would listen and try to convince myself that this was just anxiety, but there would always be something that sent me back to panic (constant headache in the same part of my head, back pain or percieved weakness in my leg) so this sounds like a classic case of health anxiety and I can see why it would.
So here I am now two months down the line still and I really do believe that the reason for my high anxiety was the first symptom of the onset of a neurological illness..
4 days ago I started to experience a lot of muscle twitches all over my body which I genuinely thought nothing of as i was becoming more accepting of the fact that what I was experiencing was down to anxiety but the next day the twitches were becoming painful as the muscles were actually cramping in my legs and I could feel a constant pulling on my hamstring as though it was constantly trying to tense, it then spread to my abdomen and I'm not just talking twitches I mean full on cramps whilst sitting completely still
I am very worried as it seems to be getting worse and the spasms and cramping are becoming more painful every day and I've had the same pain in my head for about 6-7weeks.i have also noticed a twitch in my mouth it sounds like it is coming from the back of my throat..can anyone give me some info I am feeling alone and petrified that this may be the start of als and the anxiety was actually the first symptom. Thanks for taking the time to read and any info would be greatly appreciated.
 

Tokahfang

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None of that is remotely similar to how ALS starts. Be at peace. In psychosomatic conditions, your sub-concious often fights your attempts to conquer the belief that you have a dangerous condition by turning up the heat. Recovery is a tough process, but keep it up with your psych.
 

jaylay80

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Thankyou so much for responding to my post.
I have been on so many forums and its amazing how many people have such anxieties about health.l have always been reluctant to post any of my concerns as I don't think it's right to do so.
The only reason I did was because I really can't believe that these symptoms are as a result of anxiety.
For a week now I have been getting constant spasms and cramps all over my body without even really moving . I really am scared.
I have been advised to get my medication checked as it might be a side affect of that but I'm grasping at straws really.
Thanks again for responding any help is appreciated.
 

Tokahfang

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I completely understand how that can be hard to believe. Anxiety is kind of absurd. It floods your body with pro-inflammatory cytokines and stress hormones on a chemical level, and on a neurological level can mimic nearly any symptom. If you can do something voluntarily via your nervous system, so can anxiety.

I'm not speaking from an ivory tower here. In my teens I struggled with conversion disorder, another psychosomatic disorder. I would have full body convulsions for hours at a time. It wasn't until I read the PET Scan studies myself that I found myself able to really believe that my mind could do that.

Here's some important things to remember about psychosomatic symptoms:

1. They are not your fault, any more than an "organic" disease's symptoms would be. You can do things you know are bad for your condition and inflame it, and that is your fault, but it works just like a normal disease that way. Just like people allergic to strawberries shouldn't have strawberry desserts after dinner, folks with health anxiety should not feed that anxiety by reading obsessively about it. But the base symptoms are as outside your direct control as that guy who's allergic to strawberries.

2. They are harder to treat than organic diseases, but more likely to get better on their own. Most folks in your situation are much better by the year's end. Good psych care really helps though, especially if you can take your part seriously.

3. They are real, in the sense that they are really happening. You should be smart and logistical about keeping your life on track and working around them. Being caused by your head doesn't mean they are in your head.

4. Ultimately, psychosomatic symptoms are generally a form of attention seeking - not by you, but your mind seeking attention from you and the folks around you. This leads to two things:

4a. The more attention you and others pay to them (outside that smart logistical planning), the more they will show off. If you pay little attention and actively try to move on they will probably flare up, as we discussed above, but if you can get past that they should get somewhat better.

4b. Something was the root of the anxiety, something set your brain into this mode. It is worth looking for what that thing is.

For instance, I was living in terrible, terrible pain. I was a teen and no one took me seriously. I was in so much pain, 24/7, that I was capable of doing myself great injury without it showing up on my internal radar, and I did! Conversion disorder was my own mind's attempt to protect me from this unremitting pain, to get me and the people around me to just stop. Mind you, the subconcious is really dumb, so instead it put me in even more pain and covered up the base pain causing stuff so it didn't get addressed for ages. But the pseudoseizures it caused were real, kept me from driving and enjoying many activities for years, and I wish I had known all this back then. Like you, I just couldn't wrap my mind around the concept that all this was caused by a mental disorder. So I didn't get psych care, and I took a very long time to get better.

I share this with you in the hope that you don't go the route I did. It sucked and was stupid. Live better. =)
 
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vickim

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That is a great post and should be a stickie. You worded it so well. Good job.
 

monster

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I agree! What a great post. Beautifully written!
 

jaylay80

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I'm very sorry to hear of the problems that you have suffered with this wretched disorder.
I think it's very admirable that you are able to use those experiences you went through to help others.
The info you have given me has made me open my mind to the idea that these symptoms are related to a mental disorder
I will refer back to what you have written the next time I start worrying and obsessing about my physical health.
Thanks again.
 

jaylay80

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no one takes me seriously

The last thing I want to do is upset or offend anyone but I am really suffering.

4 months ago something happened to me which raised my anxiety levels through the roof and made me do irrational things like turn up to hospitals at four in morning thinking I was about to die.
This behaviour was very unusual for me as before this I didn't even have a gp because I never worried about my health.
I believe my body and mind was in this state because a neurological illness was beginning to manifest its self.
Unfortunately because of the way I presented myself,claiming to have illness with no physical symptoms, all that has happened is I have been labelled as mentally ill.
For four months I have just known that something is not right and no one has convinced me otherwise, its just a feeling deep inside that all is not right and that the physical symptoms will eventually show, though I have prayed they wouldn't and I would be proved wrong.
If I express my concerns to professional people they look at me like im nuts because they just have to look at my behavioral history over the last few months, however t he physical symptoms are now very apparent to me.
I'm experiencing really worrying cramps in various different parts of my body(thighs, stomach, calves my right calf seems to be worse) I can feel my outer left foot beginning to cramp too. I feel that my gut feeling
from the beginning was right and this is the onset of something, as I have never experienced anything like it before. There is no obvious weakness anywhere that I have noticed at the minute and the symptoms have been constant for about a week now.

I know that this wreaks of someone with real health anxieties because I suppose that is the case, but I unfortunately believe that this anxiety and gut feeling may turn out to be right.
Please please help me..
It came across as though I was crying wolf at the beginning and now I am really suffering and don't have any support
 

jaylay80

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I know it's going to come across that I am being stupid and should just get on with my life, but I really don't think that what I am experiencing is psychosomatic.
My right leg is becoming very tight and my left foot is beginning to cramp up and the cramps in my calfs, thighs and torso are getting worse.
I'm getting cramps in my left arm too.
I am pretty certain this is the onset of something.
I am very worried...I think my gut feeling was right.
 

Tokahfang

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That isn't how ALS works. ALS starts at a particular spine level and goes from there.

I know it is hard, but you need to break this dark cycle you are in. Focus outward, away from you and whatever symptoms your mind throws at you. Volunteer somewhere, bury your focus in a hobby, but don't just keep spiraling inward. Your "gut feeling is right" because your gut feeling is to some extent the source of of your symptoms!
 

jaylay80

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I really will try and put what you have said into practice and see if things improve.
Maybe I'm giving in too easily and need to try and maintain focus on anything but my symptoms for longer.
Thanks for responding I know I'm a pain in the backside.
 
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