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Author Topic: is this anxiety or something else?  (Read 8248 times)

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Offline inmontreal

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  • Posts: 77
is this anxiety or something else?
« on: January 01, 2008, 01:17:47 AM »
Its been 2 years i have been battling this "issue" and im not sure whats going on..

I was diagnosed about 5 years ago. It was hard to deal with, especially alone, but i managed. I was working full time, working out 4 times a week..Things were great. Then one night in June, coming out of the gym, i felt light headed and saw blackspots getting bigger like i was going to pass out. I had a few of these minor attacks happen like once a week but they were so minor. That night i felt like i was having heart attack one after the other. I went to my doc the next day and told him something was wrong. My heart was racing a mile a minute and i felt dizzy like hell. They set me up for heart tests and nothing came up. during the next couple of days i couldnt sleep or eat. and my back was starting to feel like it was swollen and i couldnt move my neck. I finally saw a doc in a local clinic and said my back on the left side was swollen al the way to my neck..So i did the physio etc..My HIV doc started me on meds because my cd4s were dropping. My guess was from the not eating and sleeping. My Doc also suggested that maybe im suffering from anxiety..BUT HOW?? I use to love being in public, dancing, walking  even standing on the bus, etc..Now i cant even go into a mall in fear that the feeling of being light headed and pass out.

Fast forward 2 years..I still get dizzy almost like my vision is like a moving camera ..when i go anywhere or have to exert energy like standing on a bus too long, i feel light headed all over again and get really wiped out..This "dizzyness and fatigue has take over my life. I try to go to work as many days as i can. I try to go out to bars on the weekend to mantain a social life but only last about 1 hour till im so wiped out from trying to keep up standing. I had to give up the gym because at night coming home from the gym and work, id feel so dizzy it was almost like being drunk. And when i get to bed i would feel like i was falling so going to bed was just as hard..My friends dont ask me to go out anymore because i get tired (they dont know my status), i had to stop the gym, im sure my boss will eventually get sick of me missing work due to exhaustion..what more do i left to lose??

So can someone tell me is this anxiety and something you went through? Or is this another HIV/AIDS symptom that i just have to live with that makes me feel like im aging to 60 (im 28)? Or is something going on with my brain that no one is paying attention to? My cd4 are about 300-380 and my VL is undectible..Im on a kaletra combo

Offline BT65

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 07:50:35 AM »
We can't really diagnose you over the internet.  Maybe it is anxiety.  Did your doctor suggest a trial of any benzo's? (Meds used for anxiety)  I don't know what it is.  I can tell you, however, that when I used to have debilitating panic attacks, I passed out one time at Kroger's when I started writing a check out for the groceries.  Thank goodness my second husband was with me at the time to catch me before my head hit their cement floor.  I was on benzo's for a long time, but eventually quit taking them because of my addictive nature.  Now I take a medication called Zyprexa, which is not addictive and works very well.  I'm not suggesting that you rush to your doctor's and insist on anything-but it might be something you want to explore further.  Good luck
Peace and happy New Year-
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline inmontreal

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 12:55:30 PM »
Thanks betty, i really hope its not anxiety. I just dont know how it happend like it was overnight. I just want my life back and be able to go on doing normal everyday things like everyone else

Offline inmontreal

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008, 02:22:18 PM »
so im just wondering how did everyone else develop anxiety..did you always have it or did it just happen to you one day?

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008, 02:58:51 PM »
inmontreal, like you I was diagnosed for some time before developing anxiety attacks (though if you doctor thinks this is what it is I do not understand why he didn't refer you to a psychiatrist for a formal evaluation -- or did he?).  In my case they began 7 years after diagnosis.  In my case it had to do with several loosely HIV connected things I was dealing with all at once.  I'd never had panic attacks ever in my life, so it all really came out of nowhere.

If you've not gone to a therapist I'd highly recommend it.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline dutch

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2008, 11:43:39 AM »
Now I take a medication called Zyprexa, which is not addictive and works very well.  I'm not suggesting that you rush to your doctor's and insist on anything-but it
My psychiatrist asked me to choose between an anti-depressant or an anti-psychoticum for my panic attacks. I had been taking Prozac earlier until I got allergic to the stuff. We had a lot of problems finding something that would work with my hiv drugs. I even used her pc to check aidsmeds.com to check if Zyprexa would work. I took 2.5 mg. I started sleeping a lot, even during the day if I got the chance. The Zyprexa worked for me until I developped a depression. I had to be hospitalised. I went on Cipramil. First on 20 mg, then 40, now I am on 60 mg and doing well most of the days. I did have terrible nightsweats for some months. A few months ago I developed a new side effect: When I had taken my hiv meds I would feel hurried and anxious. I had to start taking a benzo to get through the day I stopped taking the Zyprexa and the hurried feeling disappeared. I also got depressed after a few days. I have now cut the dose of Zyprexa to 1.25 mg (cutting up the smallest dose). With the Norvir I am taking it's effect should be minimal.
Is Zyprexa addictive or not? I don't know. I think most mind-altering drugs are addicitive. If you need them and stop taking them you can fall back, especially if the underlieing problem still exists. I have checked some medical sites, but they state that you can develop withrawal symptoms if you stop taking Zyprexa.

Offline BT65

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2008, 04:29:24 PM »
Zyprexa is not physically addictive.  You can have withdrawal symptoms from almost any med, even antidepressants.  I take 2.5 in the evening, and 5 at bedtime.  Yeah, my panic attacks are just that severe. 
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Offline MOONLIGHT1114

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  • Cheech 2.2.94 - 4.23.10 We miss you so much!
Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2008, 04:51:12 PM »
A lot of your symptoms sound like mine, with the exception of the vision trouble.  Yes, physical manifestations from "general anxiety" can come out of nowhere.  I have found that being tired makes the problem worse.  My doc tried to put me on an anti-depressant years ago, Zoloft, saying it would take six weeks to achieve its full effect.  I took one pill and was like a vegetable, I never took any again. 

I did find some relief with taking Xanax, as needed, in low doses.  At bedtime so my mind wouldn't race and I could fall asleep.  Before I went into a public place, cause I would get the fear of falling, too.

I have recently started taking the Xanax again, took some yesterday, but none today, just when I feel like it.  My doc thinks I am starting to suffer from diabetic neuropathy, and I think this in turn is leading to more anxiety and exhaustion.

Oh how I wish I could just chill out for a day, but this body seems to do its own thing, no matter how good or bad my mood is.  Hang in there!
HIV+ since '93, 1/12 - CD4 785 and undet.   WOO-HOO!!

Offline inmontreal

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 09:53:44 AM »
WEll last week my doc, did refer me to a psychiatrist...and i described everything in more detail to what i told you guys. If i do have anxiety, its A-symptomatic (not exatly a typical case with the regular anxiety symptoms) OR it  could be something physical..She said she has to talk to a fellow psychiatrist as well as my doc..that was last thursday..still no word yet though..i'll keep you posted to let you know..i just hope its anxiety rather than something physical or the dreaded fatigue..i just want to be normal and do stuff like i use to and like everyone else..i cant stand being tired and dizzy all the time

Offline Smoothstone

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2008, 04:37:49 AM »
what is your medication combo? 

fatiguewise,is your hemoglobin in the normal range? I was borderline anemic and had to fight for meds. The meds made a dramatic difference and I was back to my normal energetic self.  and overtime I gradually weened myself from the medication. testosterone levels can also affect energy. Is it in the normal range?   some of the "dreaded fatigue" can be treatable.

I remember my short time on ritonavir was permiated with generalized weirdness. Switched because of that. The weirdness vanished...mostly, back to baseline.

Is it the hiv? is it the medications? Is it some of both? Luckily, there are many medication options.  Glad you got that referral to the psychiatrist. Hank

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2008, 04:39:47 PM »
I'm glad to read you've seen a psychiatrist and that it's someone who's going to consult with your doctor and not just rush into prescribing drugs for you.

I know it's hard to be patient when you are suffering with the symptoms you described. I do believe a solution is going to be found and that you'll be able to get back to enjoy life the way you have in the past.

It sounds like you're very aware when things are going on. Keep a little journal if you will and make note of specifics -- like when symptoms are worse or better.That information might be helpful when you're talking with these professionals.

Keep us posted on how it's going. And even when you're (understandably) discouraged, just keep doing the best you can.

Andy Velez

Offline inmontreal

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  • Posts: 77
Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2008, 08:03:05 AM »
hey guys..you guys had some great ideas like keeping a journal..maybe i could see a pattern somewhere..Well like i said, im too well aware of the problem, but so far all my labs dont show anything which is what is confusing my doc. Im prepared to accept that it could be anxiety and get treated, but like i said, i use to love being in crowds and even that small things like being able to stand on a bus. But after that one night, i just cant get myself to stand or walk for long periods of time. Its almost like this overwhelming bout of fatigue comes on from out of the blue. As for my combo its kaletra and this long blue pill which is a combo of two (i keep forgetting the damn name..lol.)
Again thanks for replying people, and i will keep you posted if i get any news. Maybe someone else out there is going through what i am and they can see that they are not alone in this mystery illness.

Offline trip

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2008, 08:19:28 PM »
I to am on a Keletra combo, and I have been dealing with a similar problem for the past 16 months. One night during one of thees episodes, I passed out. My blood pressure was way elevated. I thought I was having a hear attack. I was taken to the hospital, for tow days. I did the heart stress test, as well as a few other tests, and they did find a small damaged part of my heart. the doctors were unable to determine if this was the problem, or some damage done in the distant past. My doctors have also hinted that this may be an anxiety problem. Even though, just like you, it came out of the blue. I hope you have some luck in finding a diagnosis, and you continue to share your experiences. Thank you for sharing! Trip

Offline Winiroo

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  • Posts: 2,082
  • Positive since 1991
Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2008, 05:35:09 PM »
Seems like everytime I go to the doctor they are trying to push some kind of antidepressant on me.
The last one was Amitriptyline supposedly its going to make my stomach pain go away.

Wrong, but I'm keeping it because it helps me sleep better LOL

Doesn't do crap for any anxiety either I have but I fall asleep much easier.
I was given some other pill <sorry I cant remember the name> several years back after my son died. The first and last time I took the pill I freaked out. It felt like my brain was going a million miles an hour and I could feel electricity running thru my body. I didn't like it at all.

I don't like being in crowds of strangers. Its not a conscience thought thing where I'm thinking about the germs or whatever.
I've been positive for 15 years. Crowds didn't start bothering me till several years into being positive. I assume there is a connection between being positive and not wanting strangers crowded around me bumping and brushing against me.

Strange cause I don't care if I'm crowded by people I know....

Offline inmontreal

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Re: is this anxiety or something else?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2008, 05:44:08 PM »
trip after they found the damaged area, did they do anything about it? Or is this something you will have to live with? I 100% believe this isnt anxiety with me but everytime i bring it up my doc thinks im totally tripping and thinks im crazy..At this point i just think i outta live with it and finds way of just getting through my day.
Im sorry to hear about your son wendy..well for me i always was a germ-a-phobe since i was diagnosed but i use to love being in crowds..whether it was in a mall. restaurant, on the bus..or even in a club..but now its like im scared like hell but i dont know if my doc made me this way..i was and still am sure its something else but then when he said it was anxiety i guess in time i just brainwashed myself into believing he was right..now what? lol


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