Discussions By Condition: Anxiety

I need to know what this is...even if I don't want too!

Posted In: Anxiety 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • January 22, 2007
  • 01:33 AM

First, I am married to a mental health counselor. Second, I know that I am mildly O.C.D. (she confirms this). I am also a worrier (kind of goes with the O.C.D.).

About two months ago, I decided to quit smoking after almost twenty years. I saw my doctor who put me on a considerable dosage of Bupropion. My wife found it to be a large amount...more than three hundred mg a day. But that's what it had taken for me to try to quit with some success once before. That time, I took Wellbutrin. This time Bupropion. I haven't exactly adjusted well. I have experienced most all of the side effects known to be caused by the drug. Insomnia to aches and pains...I thought it would settle down if I just hung in there long enough...the doctor said to try just a little longer too.

But in the last month or so, I've had the sensation of feeling a lump in my throat...nothing that can be seen or felt externally. The best description is that it 'feels' like I have a golf ball in my throat. I am also on a wild anxiety ride believing that something awful is wrong (like a dreadful disease or something).

Others who've quit smoking have told me that they felt the 'lump' sensation too...but this just won't seem to go away...and nowadays, my head aches, I have all the side effects of the drug (aches/pains, insomnia) and my teeth even hurt! My doctor has seen me three or so times since early November and hasn't found anything really wrong on cursory examination in the office. My wife (the mental health professional) says she believes it is anxiety, compounded by the Bupropion, nicotine withdrawal and my natural tendency to worry.

I want to believe her. That would mean I've quit smoking and everything is okay. But it just keeps nagging at me and I don't want to go back to the doctor again before my next appointment in a couple of months.

Can an anxiety disorder create all these physical symptoms and make you believe you have a real physical problem or disease? Help!

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5 Replies:

  • Oh, and I forgot to mention that on occasion...I have experienced a numb tingly sensation in different areas...face, hands, legs...became afraid that I was having a stroke...
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 22, 2007
    • 01:43 AM
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  • I am also on a wild anxiety ride believing that something awful is wrong (like a dreadful disease or something). Can an anxiety disorder create all these physical symptoms and make you believe you have a real physical problem or disease? Help! I did not have a good experience with Wellbutrin/Buproprion. First, while I have been suicidal since about 1997, I never had any clear idea of how I would do it if it ever came to it. However, when I was placed on this awful medication, how I would do it finally came to me. And the odd thing is, as soon as I went off of it, I was immediately back to not knowing how I would do it. It also made me extremely paranoid. The thing that stuck out about your posting was about believing there was something wrong with you. Now mine either had to do with quitting Effexor cold turkey (which I may remind people NEVER EVER DO THAT) or being placed on Wellbutrin/Buproprion, but I went through being terrified I had diabetes right to being terrified I had a retinal detachment to the final straw of being terrified I had MS, which ultimately led to a breakdown. Finding out that someone else actually had a similar experience makes me think that maybe it was the Wellbutrin/Buproprion. I personally have, when I reached a certain level of anxiety, started to actually experience symptoms of diseases, so I think it is possible to be anxiety. Or you could just do what I did and drive your doctor nuts. I did not realize all of my problems were from anxiety until after I went off the medication, if that makes sense.
    MMMMForbiddenDonut 14 Replies
    • January 23, 2007
    • 05:20 AM
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  • I personally felt those same symptoms. My problem, my thyroid. Has your doctor ruled that out? Just a heads up, you could have a normal tsh level, but if you have grave's or hashimoto's, both thyroid auto-immune diseases, your antibodies will be elevated. If your doctor hasn't already, have him test your T3, T4, and your thyroidglobulin anti-bodies, along with your TSH. Or maybe your parathyroid is your problem, same symptoms. This is tested by your calcium levels(being high), your blood pressure(if it's elevated) and your mood. Also if you have had acid reflux or GERD. I could be totally way off with this but it is worth a look into.
    crazybrazy 30 Replies
    • February 1, 2007
    • 08:11 PM
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  • this is called "globus hystericus"your description of it as a "golf ball"is often used to those exact words.it is a very well observed and documented anxiety symptom, associated with mild ,but long lasting anxiety.quite consistent with the description of you as "a worrier"but it is not serious in any way whatsoever and wholly illusory.compelling i know ,but entirely an artefact of your unconscious mind. what function it is supposed to perform is beyond me to tell. there is nothing wrong.treat as anxiety.i am a fan of "rational emotive therapy "by albert ellis as first aid for worriers.your wife would find it useful too.it is an easy read and you dont have to read it all.------------(o.c.d.?just possibly, but beware, all wives think their husbands are slightly crazy!)let me know how you get on with this.i feel certain that you are not one of those forum users who generate concern then leave you wondering how things worked out.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 19, 2007
    • 10:46 PM
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  • I have been doing enough research on endocrine abnormalities to hazard a guess regarding the lump in the throat symptom associated with smoking cessation. First off smoking significantly elevates cortisol. If you were a chronic smoker, you were essentially putting your body into an artificial state of constant stress. in this state, the fight or flight hormones (i.e cortisol,catecholamines) are given priority and ,essentially, have the effect of slowing down the thyroid. I suspect the thyroid eventially compensates to some degree to function normally in the presence of chronically elevated cortisol and the adrenal glands become less sensitive to the pituitary. Stopping smoking must result in a sudden drop in cortisol levels which allows the thyroid to be overstimulated by the pituitary. The lump could be a swollen thyroid.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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