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Dr John B
Dr John B, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 557
Experience:  PhD in Clinical Psychology, registered clinical psychologist.
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After an ER episode for Diverticulitis and severe abdominal

Customer Question

After an ER episode for Diverticulitis and severe abdominal pain before Colonoscopy, I developed so much anxiety that I felt myself unsteady, tremoring, not sleeping, palpation, lots of worries and wish I could take a pill and not wake up. I am always nervous and anxious and lack of interest in things I used to like. Even after the Colonoscopy which turned out to be normal I couldn't shed my anxiety and now on Activan 0.5mg 3 times a day but it has been 6 weeks and my symptoms have not subsided. I need at least 1 mg of Activan to give me the calm for several hours. OTherwise I could concentrate, always in fear, worries. Everytime I have any discomfort I think of cancer and death. Are these anxiety physical symptoms?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr John B replied 6 years ago.
Hi. I'm glad you posted this. It is impossible to diagnose someone via JustAnswer but I can tell you that the symptoms you describe certainly sound like panic/anxiety symptoms. Intense anxiety can produce a huge range of physical sensations and it is quite common (and understandable) for people to doubt that what they are experiencing could be caused by anxiety. Have you tried Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)? I ask because CBT is widely regarded as the gold standard non-drug treatment for intense anxiety. CBT is a psychotherapeutic approach that aims to solve problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions through a goal-oriented, systematic procedure. There is loads of evidence that CBT is effective for the treatment of a variety of problems including anxiety disorders. Treatment is technique-driven, brief, direct, and time-limited treatment (normally 10-12 sessions). CBT is used in individual therapy as well as group settings, and the techniques are often adapted for self-help applications.
Many CBT treatment programs for specific disorders have been evaluated for efficacy and effectiveness; the health-care trend of evidence-based treatment, where specific treatments for symptom-based diagnoses are recommended, has favored CBT over other approaches such as psychodynamic treatments. In the United Kingdom, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends CBT as the treatment of choice for a number of mental health difficulties including intense anxiety. I would strongly encourage you to consult with a CBT trained therapist as I would expect you to benefit greatly from this approach. CBT is usually offered by Clinical Psychologists (although not exclusively) and you can contact the American Psychology Association for assistance with finding one near you. Take a look at the American Psychology Association's locator service - http://locator.apa.org. You can use this to find Psychologists in your area and there is a phone number you can contact if you want a referral arranged for you. Also, take a look at an article published by the APA - http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2010/05/locate-a-therapist.aspx. It's an interview with a senior Psychologist and covers some of the things you should consider when you looking for a Psychologist. In the mean time you could start by accessing some CBT based self-help material to learn some CBT techniques. I can recommend this book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Overcoming-Panic-Derrick-Silove/dp/1854877011) and also this shorter document (https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic/leaflets/Panic.pdf) as something you can read right now. These publications focus on Panic Attacks but they are still quite very relevant to your own situation. I hope this has been of some help, best of luck!

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