Are my symptoms caused by anxiety?

Posted by adams52 @adams52, Fri, Jan 25 2:42pm

Hello all

I am a 23 year old male and for the last two months I've been experiencing some health issues. In summary I've been having panic attacks, bouts of dissociative experiences, discomfort (not really pain) in my back that gets worse when breathing in deeply, a strange pressure near my stomache (near the very end of the sternum) and last but definitely not least: shortness of breath. Also, to contextualize: I've had a very stressful term in university and my examinations started at the same time of the onset of symptoms. Symptoms seem to subside shortly after I had an exam. I smoke regularly (less than 10 a day for only a year). I've had one episode like this before in summer 2018. Doctors tested my heart and lungs. Both were okay at that time. Thanks

@adams52– A warm welcome to Connect. I'm glad you shared your history and I'm sorry that you are having these difficult symptoms. Panic attacks can be very frightening. One of the symptoms that I experience when I'm very stressed is disassociation too.
First shortness of breath is a classic symptom of smoking. We are not doctors so I can't diagnosis you. From my own experiences it sounds as if your symptoms are stress related, they come and then go after your exam is taken. I use to dry heaves before mine!
Your back and other aches should be looked at by a doctor if they don't subside. But when you are tense you can really feel your whole body ache.
I hope this helps. How did you do on your exams?

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@merpreb

@adams52– A warm welcome to Connect. I'm glad you shared your history and I'm sorry that you are having these difficult symptoms. Panic attacks can be very frightening. One of the symptoms that I experience when I'm very stressed is disassociation too.
First shortness of breath is a classic symptom of smoking. We are not doctors so I can't diagnosis you. From my own experiences it sounds as if your symptoms are stress related, they come and then go after your exam is taken. I use to dry heaves before mine!
Your back and other aches should be looked at by a doctor if they don't subside. But when you are tense you can really feel your whole body ache.
I hope this helps. How did you do on your exams?

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Thanks for the reply! It surely helps. I don't know how well I have done yet. I actually have to do 2 more so I expect results to pop up in about a week or two. Let's hope for the best 🙂

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Hi and I'm glad to see you're seeking resources for help. Like @merpreb said, we're not doctors, but your symptoms could be due to anxiety and/or stress. One thing I have noticed over the years is there are a lot of physical symptoms that go along with mental symptoms. I also liken it to fish stress. (If you notice my avatar, it's a fish, but I promise I'm not overly obsessed with fish – this metaphor just came to my mind). Fish get stressed very easily from a myriad of sources and they get all different health problems from it. Not only do they exhibit stressed behavior, they also become more susceptible to infections and parasites.

I would say to visit a doctor if you can and just ask about these things and express your concern about anxiety. I think that you probably have an insight into your own body and I also think it's important to let them know you're thinking of anxiety so that they can take that into consideration. I hope you feel better soon and good luck on your exams!

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@adams52

Thanks for the reply! It surely helps. I don't know how well I have done yet. I actually have to do 2 more so I expect results to pop up in about a week or two. Let's hope for the best 🙂

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@adams52, good morning. Sure sounds like exam time which isn’t easy! Have you tried relaxation breathing before your exam? It really help to settle your mind down. I used to visualize myself taking the exam and doing well and it worked! Just think of all you DO know. Years later, when I had to do a procedure with a patient, I would go thru the whole thing in my mind and then do the procedure. And, project an air of confidence! Good luck. I know you’ll do well!

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Hello @adams52
I'm glad to see that you have joined Connect. Welcome!
I've read your post and also some of the helpful ideas posted by our other members. I noticed that you mentioned having had your heart and lungs checked out. Since you also mentioned a stomach ache I was wondering if you have seen a gastroenterologist (GI specialist) for a check up as well? This might be a good next-step.
I look forward to hearing how you are doing. Will you post again?

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@adams52
I see that @becsbuddy suggested breathing exercises to help with the stress. Here is an excellent video that can assist us all with mindful-breathing. The second video in the series is my favorite because it involves movement of the arms in addition to the breathing. You might give it a try and see how it works for you.
https://www.mayo.edu/research/labs/mindful-breathing/videos

Liked by lioness

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Hi and good morning!
Have you discussed the possibility of an ulcer with yur dr? I too have suffered from anxiety and along the way I developed an ulcer and a Hiatal hernia. The hernia is what was causing pain in my lower sternum and back below my shoulder blades. The pain was caused in part from acid in my esophaguse and probably my adrenal glands going into overdrive. I did experience a shortness in breath as wel. Stomach pain and discomfort as well. Something to consider possibly.

Liked by Lisa Lucier, lioness

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I take nexium for acid reflux, it"s from coming off of my venaflaxine. Good luck!

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