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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Is it Anxiety or Something Else

04/10/2008

Question:

Hi, 42 year old female, four weeks ago I started experiencing what I thought was anxiety "attacks". The first one occurred at the airport as I was waiting to get on the second plane, I was sitting and all of a sudden I felt numbness up right leg, in my arms and my face. I thought I was going to pass out. My heart was beating normally and I was not out of breath. The feeling subsided but four days later I experienced it again than two days after that while driving. My doctor prescribed Prozac 40 mg and I felt worse than started to feel better for two weeks....this past Monday I felt the symptoms again - this time tightness in chest, hard to breath, numbness - I did go to a neurologist and had an MRI - Results: Non Specific White Matter and he said he needs to do another MRI with contrast. I read that Non Specific White Matter is a very common finding with MRI`s. What would the Doctor be looking for with a contrast MRI? Thank you.

Answer:

I would not presume to know what your neurologist was thinking is his ordering the MRI.  These are good questions for you to ask him, as understanding tests is an important part of understanding your health.

Many of your symptoms are consistent with anxiety -- if you have not seen a mental health provider (like a counselor or a therapist) in addition to your physicians, I would encourage you to do so at this time.

Good Luck.

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Response by:

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