Anthony Bray MD : Hello again!!!
Anthony Bray MD : Yes I think that anxiety is definitely an active factor with you! You may have other issues but I really think that you need to have the anxiety addressed. Do you get regular exercise?? Do you have any wheezing?? I believe we need to keep an open mind and reasonable with your symptoms to keep the physical possibilities in mind as well....
I don't really get regular exercise. I don't have any wheezing, it's mainly feeling like I can't really breathe deeply and I'm also having chest discomfort. This is usually not an anxiety symptom for me. I tried buspirone for anxiety over the weekend and was feeling great so I thought it helped a lot, I only had 4 pills to try and ran out Sunday, but when I got it refilled Monday it didn't seem to help nearly as much. I am having a lot of physical symptoms now even after 4 doses of buspar over 2 days.
Anthony Bray MD : I do think that you need to have your anxiety addressed as well if not already with a combination of medication and counseling....
Do I have anything to worry about with the slight shortness of breath and chest discomfort? I have had some back pains and pains under my arms too
Anthony Bray MD : BTW....Buspar really takes weeks to work properly.....
Anthony Bray MD : there are other options as well that may help you....
Anthony Bray MD : the tightness in the chest and your description of feeling that you can't take a deep enough breath is actually VERY consistent with anxiety as the cause of these symptoms!!
Okay, thank you. I have just been worried about it because of breathing in the cat litter. that couldn't cause any lung infections or anything could it?
Anthony Bray MD : it could be an irritant of lungs --- sure -- that would be very possible but would typically be short lived... Also a bit of a cough would be typical from a caterer
Anthony Bray MD : Cat litter irritation ( typo above)
Alright. So the back and underarm pain is probably not related? When it happened I felt the symptoms for about three hours, then it got better, then the next day I went to class and had been walking around a little bit and that seemed to re-trigger the chest tightness. Then today I woke up with the symptoms and the back/underarm pain
Anthony Bray MD : I hope this helps . Let me know if you have further questions! Best regards,
Anthony Bray MD : Anthony Bray MD
In regard to the other symptoms, I was feeling worse a little over a week ago and went to a walk-in clinic and had blood work done, and everything was perfectly normal. Then this weekend I felt better than I have in a very long time, now I feel worse than ever. Would any illnesses besides anxiety behave this way?
Anthony Bray MD : what makes the back and underarm pain worse?? Any movement ?? This would be helpful clue as to the cause of this symptom...
Not really, they are just kind of short waves of pain
Anthony Bray MD : Does it hurt to take a deep breath? How about change in position? Laying on right vs left side??
It doesn't usually hurt to take a deep breath but occasionally it does, the pain kind of comes and goes. It doesn't get better/worse with any certain position
Anthony Bray MD : iIt sounds that it is not severe or too frequent so I would advise you to try to minimize your worry about this symptom.... You might try 2 Aleve twice a day and this would help if it were muscoskeletal pain...
Anthony Bray MD : I would think that your anxiety is raising the level of your concern of this pain out of proportion to its real seroiuosness...
Anthony Bray MD : I hope this is helpful for you. Best regards
Okay but with the other symptoms, I was feeling worse a little over a week ago and went to a walk-in clinic and had blood work done, and everything was perfectly normal. Then this weekend I felt better than I have in a very long time, now I feel worse than ever. Would any illnesses besides anxiety behave this way?
Anthony Bray MD : Well I think that the anxiety plays its role.... You have some other reason for the back armpit pain I would say but it does not sound serious in nature.... The anxiety makes many such symptoms worse... Intensifies your perception of pain and worry....
Anthony Bray MD : I'm glad that your blood work was normal....
but there is probably still a physical cause for all of these symptoms beyond anxiety?
Anthony Bray MD : Not all--/ the sense of shortness of breath and tightness in the chest is very likely purely anxiety driven...
Anthony Bray MD : Each problem would need to be evaluated within its own reasonable perspective....
Well I feel like I've completely stumped doctors. It's so strange to me that one week I'll feel like I'm about to die and then I will feel almost normal the next day, then I will go back to feeling worse again.
I am also kind of starting to worry about blood clots from nuvaring because of the chest and back discomfort
Anthony Bray MD : Well I think that the dramatic ups and downs would fit more with anxiety than any chronic lllness....
Here is how my symptoms went today. I woke up with the chest tightness and discomfort and felt a bit anxious about it, went back to sleep for a while, woke up feeling extremely weak, lightheaded, and shaky, felt slightly better after eating, but still felt lightheaded throughout the day with the back and underarm pains, then I took my second dose of buspar, took a shower, got out and felt very lightheaded and like I couldn't get deep breaths, now my stomach is starting to hurt and I'm feeling really weak and foggy-headed/sluggish
Anthony Bray MD : Yes--see I think this would be typical of your anxiety problem that you immediately worry about the worst possible scenario... My guess is that your symptoms would not approach the lev of pain, shortness of breath and rapid heart rate that a blood clot to the lung would produce....
I also feel like the symptoms as a whole are getting worse. I used to have more days of feeling good but lately it seems I'll only feel good for a couple days at a time, then feel awful, and every time I feel bad it's worse.
Are there any specific conditions this could be besides anxiety?
Anthony Bray MD : Hello again,
Anthony Bray MD : i really think that the main initial focus for you should be to concentrate in getting effective treatment of your anxiety. I think that you suffer from somitization symptoms secondary to your anxiety. Control of your anxiety would therefore help with physical symptoms.
thank you. so no specific physical disorders come to mind with these symptoms?
and is somatization different from health anxiety or hypochondria?
Anthony Bray MD : Hello!
Anthony Bray MD : Yes-- hypochondria is always seeking medical treatment with false belief that you have multiple illnesses--/ you would for example tend to believe you had same illnesses as family members and friends.....
Anthony Bray MD : Somitization disorder has to do with mental stress causing physical symptoms.... You don't specifically seek treatment for specific false believed illness....
Okay, thank you. So you don't think there are any specific physical disorders that could be causing my symptoms?
it just feels like it has to be something bad since the symptoms are so severe
I also tend to feel better really late at night. Would this be consistent with anxiety/somatization instead of a phyiscal cause?