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Dr-A-Greene, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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Hello. I have suffered from GAD for many years now. It has

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Hello. I have suffered from GAD for many years now. It has been much worse the last 5 years after a cancer scare. Recently, I have been itching all over my body. I do have a rash on parts of my body that an urgent care doctor diagnosed as an allergic reaction. Of course, I have googled myself into a frenzy and am now convinced I have lymphoma. My question is can anxiety cause itchiness?
Yes, absolutely! Hives or other allergic-type reactions can definitely be caused by anxiety. Additionally, a skin rash would be an abnormal presentation of lymphoma. My guess is that your GAD is causing a psychosomatic reaction that results in itching. Are you being treated for the GAD?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have been on Lexapro since 2007 and have been doing much better dealing with my anxiety since then. Yet, any medical issue sends me into an instant, nearly obsessive panic attack. I will search the internet until I am in a frenzy. So, seeing so many forums with people who had all over itching as a first symptom of lymphoma sent me into a tail spin. I'm not sure if the Lexapro is as effective now as it was in the past.

That makes sense. Being on one SSRI for a long period of time (2007 - present) can be alright for some people, but most patients have to change it up after several years. The body can become accustomed to the drug and it can lose some of it's effectiveness. Prozac and Paxil and Zoloft all work well for GAD too (Celexa is a slightly different formulation of Lexapro, so the others would be better). My hunch is that if you switch for a while, the symptoms will lessen again and you will find that your itchiness goes away. Additionally, after you've been on a break from Lexapro for a while, you may be able to go back to it and it will work well again.

Finally, you might want to talk to your prescribing physician about an anti-anxiety med for the short-term (like klonopin) to get you through the panic (careful though, they're habit forming!)

Basically, in the absence of other major symptoms, I doubt you have lymphoma!

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