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Dr-A-Greene, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 309
Experience:  Clinical and Forensic Psychologist
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Hi Dr Greene. I have experienced the following situations

Customer Question

Hi Dr Greene. I have experienced the following situations which are facts. Just wanted your opinion on them as a person of experience. I have been having neurological symptoms since last July which are still undiagnosed though i have had every test in the book. When i look back at the past 8 months, there are two situations that make me wonder. 1. When it started, I was terrified of MS. I went and had MRIs of the brain and Neck which were normal. My legs started aching and i started reading about ALS.  i thought to myself i don't have fasciculations but i was worried.  That weekend, i started getting the twitches.

2.  I continued to worry about ALS, and am to this day.  I was in my neurologist office after Thanksgiving and he was telling me he didn't see anything serious on my exam or tests.  He told me a story about a guy who he did diagnose with ALS and how obvious it was.  It was his hand that was the clue and how he couldn't pick up a cup.  Up until that point, my legs had only bothered me. That weekend, my hand started hurting.  Has hurt me ever since.


Maybe these are coincidences, but that is how it happened.  What do you think?

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 4 years ago.

What you're describing is very interesting. You said you've had "every test in the book" ; here are some possibilities that you haven't mentioned above:


1) I am assuming that you've had extensive blood work-ups and you are not in any way vitamin deficient? Vitamin B deficiencies can cause muscle weakness, numbness and tremors. It's relatively rare in people who eat okay, but it could be a cause if you haven't had it checked already.


2) Medication side effect - are you on any medications that the doctors don't already know about (including supplements)? Sometimes meds or withdrawal from medications can cause neurological symptoms.


3) Psychogenic tremor - this last possibility is reserved for after you have ruled out all possible (or likely) medical causes. The characteristics of this kind of tremor may vary but generally include sudden onset and remission, increased incidence with stress, change in tremor direction and/or body part affected, and greatly decreased or disappearing tremor activity when you are distracted or otherwise occupied.


I'm interested to hear what you think. These are the only possibilities I can think of after what you've already had checked out. Let me know...


Dr. G.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have had the vitamins checked. B6 and b12. Fine. Never took medications or anything before this so that's not it I don't think. Don't know about the tremor. I was hoping you'd comment on the psychosomatic angle. Both things that I experience didn't begin until I started worrying about them. Again, maybe coincidence.

I'm pretty much resigned to not having a diagnosis. It's better than having a bad one. I emailed my neurologist today and he basically said I appreciate your symptoms but we've tested everything. They have tested pretty much everything. I did submit a hair sample for vitamin deficiency and heavy metal poisoning last week. Figured it was worth a try. I have been sitting around for eight months waiting for the other shoe to drop. I've seen four neurologist and gone to a top hospital in Cleveland to the neuromuscular dept. maybe it's time to stop looking. I
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 4 years ago.

Okay - well, if you've had all the possible neurological sources checked out, then it probably is psychosomatic. I have to say, it does seem fairly coincidental that your symptoms popped up as you learned of them. If it's psychosomatic, it's just an anxiety disorder and can be treated (this is much better news than the physical possibilities). Do you think you tend toward having some anxiety?


Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 4 years ago.

If you think that this is the likely culprit, there are several approaches to take:


1) A psychologist that specialize in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. They are great with psychosomatic disorders. In my opinion that beats something like psychoanalysis (traditional talk therapy) by a long shot and has a proven track record with these types of things.

2) A psychiatrist who can prescribe a low level SSRI and possibly a benzodiazepine to cut down on the anxiety.

3) Don't use meditation or other typical anxiety-reducing techniques. They focus on bodily sensations (e.g. "feeling your breath") - for someone who is battling a psychosomatic disorder, this is contraindicated.

I hope this helps!

Dr-A-Greene and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks. In having a hard time allowing myself to feel okay. I feel like if I think I'm okay, bad things will happen. Doesn't make sense. My psychologist told me I'm a catastrophist. I agree. Irrational but never the less what is in my head. Been like that my whole life expect the worst and you won't be disappointed.
Expert:  Dr-A-Greene replied 4 years ago.

It sounds like your psychologist might be on to something there. Unfortunately, those patterns of thinking are learned early in our childhood and can be hard to combat. It can be done though! It just sounds like some of your worries are making themselves known through your body. If you keep working on the anxiety, it will cease.

Additionally, I wonder, would it kill you (worst case scenario) if you were disappointed every once in a while? I figure that if the disappointment won't literally kill me, it might be okay to hope for what I want every now and again...(just a thought)