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I have been having a decent amount of anxiety as well as…

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I have been having a...
I have been having a decent amount of anxiety as well as clenching my jaw. Today I am also having some tightness of throat and neck pain. Is that normal with the clenching and anxiety?
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Oncology
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Answered in 1 hour by:
11/18/2017
Oncologist: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 6 months ago
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 19,566
Experience: Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Hello from JustAnswer. This is Dr. Love.

While we would not call it "normal", it is common that anxiety can cause some tightness in the throat or neck pain. Anxiety can cause a wide variety of symptoms, and virtually every subjective symptom can occur from anxiety.

If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
The neck is more like a painful pressure. I had. Bunch of scans done of my neck and brain back in January and March and was told there is nothing there so I am thinking that it is anxiety. What are “normal” symptoms if you say those aren’t “normal”
Oncologist: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 6 months ago

We do not consider any symptoms of anxiety to be normal, at least not in this context. It is normal to feel anxious in certain circumstances for limited periods of time. For example, if someone is almost run over by a large truck and jumps out of the way at the last second, it is normal to feel anxious for a short time after the incident. But for someone that is having ongoing anxiety that is causing other symptoms, that is not "normal". In that setting anxiety is a medical condition, not a normal condition, and the symptoms caused by the medical condition are also not normal.

It is more accurate to say that symptoms that occur from a medical condition are "common" symptoms, or "typical" symptoms, or "expected" symptoms.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
I have been dealing with anxiety for the last year we have come to the conclusion of. The anxiety is really affecting my body. I have an appointment in a few weeks to start on anxiety meds but I want to make sure that nothing more serious is going on
Oncologist: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 6 months ago

That is certainly valid. While anxiety can cause many different symptoms, as I noted above, there is no test that proves that a specific symptom that someone is experiencing is being caused by anxiety. So, there are two possible approaches. The first option is to perform an appropriate evaluation to exclude other possible causes, and if nothing is found to conclude that it is due to anxiety. The second option is to treat the anxiety and see if other symptoms improve. The second option is particularly worth considering in someone with significant anxiety that warrants treatment whether it is causing other symptoms or not.

It sounds like you went through the first option when you had several tests done back in January and March that did not show any other abnormality, and your conclusion that it is anxiety is appropriate. If your current symptoms are similar to the symptoms for which you had these tests in January and March, then it is not necessary to repeat the tests.

Therefore, the decision to start anxiety medicines in a few weeks is reasonable.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Is there a certain kind of anxiety med you would suggest over others? The doctor had me research celexa and Wellbutrin. Is there something better than these? I did a little research and found that Wellbutrin can cause more anxiety is that true?
Oncologist: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 6 months ago

I typically use an SSRI as first-line treatment. There are several SSRIs available, including Celexa, but several others, such as Zoloft or Lexapro. As a second line, I would consider an SNRI, such as Cymbalta. I would typically only consider Wellbutrin if an SSRI or an SNRI does not work.

Yes, Wellbutrin can increase anxiety in some people, but all medicines that relieve anxiety can paradoxically increase anxiety in some people. However, some medicines are more likely to do so, such as Wellbutrin or Prozac. Performing gradual dose adjustments can lower the likelihood of worsening of the anxiety.

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Oncologist: Dr. D. Love, Doctor replied 6 months ago

Is there any further information that would be helpful?

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