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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Tremors and Anxiety

07/12/2007

Question:

I am 38 years old. I have had a touch of anxiety over the last two years. I recently, within the last two months, have had this on and off feeling of shaking or vibration, like a motor running, inside of me. It started out only occurring a few days during a month. But for the last two weeks it has been every day on and off. I try not to let it bother me, but it is. It gets to the point that I`m upset and wanting it to stop.

I`ve been to my doctor. He just keeps telling me it`s my anxiety. Last year, 2006, I had a nuclear stress test because of heart palpitations and symptoms I was having. It was negative. He, again, told me it was my anxiety.

I`m not sure if this is anxiety related or something else. I just don`t want something overlooked because they think it`s anxiety. I have had blood work done, basic panels, I guess, and everything is fine.

Please tell me if my nerves are getting the best of me, or if could be something else.

Thank you.

Answer:

I am going to focus on your sentence, "my doctor just keeps telling me its my anxiety."  Reading between the lines, I sense that this doesn't seem like a "real" diagnosis, that you are concerned your doctor is not taking you seriously and finding a "real" cause.  Yet, it appears that your doctor has considered several possible causes for your symptoms, and that the diagnosis is "anxiety."  It is important for you to know that Anxiety disorders are quite real medical problems, that can cause as much pain, distress, lost work hours, disrupted relationships and disability as illnesses such as heart disease and thyroid disorders.  If a thorough medical evaluation by a trusted physicians leads to the diagnosis of anxiety, you may want to think about treating the anxiety, rather than trying to find a different diagnosis.  On the other hand, if you do not trust your physician, getting a second opinion from another provider may help you get to a point where you can move onto to treatment.

I encourage you to move onto treatment, as the treatment for anxiety disorders is quite often successful and effective.  Treatment consists of medications (often selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs), counseling (often cognitive behavioral therapy) or both.  Depending on the severity of the anxiety disorder, treatment may last months or years, but success is common.

Take a look at the weblinks for more information.

Good Luck.

Related Resources:

anxiety disorders of america
NIH NIMH anxiety

For more information:

Go to the Anxiety and Stress Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati