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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Anxiety and Stress Disorders
Identifying Symptoms of Anxiety
7 years ago I had my first panic attack, although I have had shyness and anxiety issues all my life. I researched this 7 years ago and was able to move through it with relief for 2 years. About 1 year ago, I started having dizzy spells, 2 were actual vertigo, and the rest were zips of disorientation, blurred vision, like a zap to my head, all while driving. I do have anxiety but it is related to the constant feeling of head pressure, dizziness, constant lightheadedness, like walking on a boat or a bed all the time. It scares me feeling like I might fall down all the time and at times I lose my breath for a second or two, I cannot swallow or anything, very brief 1-2 seconds. My eyes feel like they cannot focus or like they are zipping around when I try to focus. My body feels sluggish and aches. The most constant symptom is the head pressure, behind the eyes which causes balance issues and the lightheadedness/loss of breath zips. Is this all anxiety related?
Certainly many of the symptoms you describe can be caused by anxiety disorders. I encourage you to read more about anxiety on the attached weblinks. However, I certainly cannot say if all your symptoms are due to anxiety. I encourage you to make an appointment for an evaluation with your primary care doctor for a full examination as a starting point. Your primary care doctor can also begin the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety, although you will likely benefit from also seeing and being evaluated by a mental health professional, like a counselor, therapist or psychologist.
Nancy Elder, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati