"Phantom disease" , Anxiety, PTSD

Hi , guys I'm Eric 20, studying enviromental engineering.

My English isnt that good, so pardon me. All my life I have been an introverted guy, never really cared about others, was a top A student, elementary school and high school too. I had a little bit of anxiety from childhood as far as I can remember , so it is in my genes I guess ( my father has it too). 3 years before, standing outside the football field at my high school , something went flying straight forward my head, while panicking, I moved my head fast and hit the edge of a trash can ( Iron one as in the photo ) so my head moved 1 meter down btw my kness were standing it was just my upper part tha moved , I didnt pass out, nor did I feel dizzy, went in the bathroom cleaned the blood ( it wasnt that much, it was just kind of a cutting) , called my mother and the doctor. put 3 stitches and came back home. That week I was supposed to rest, but no one told me that , so I went by studying ( goot 4 A-s btw ) and just after 9 months, ( during this period of time I went in extreme depression due to break up, a death case in my family, and surgey ) , and have been in a forehead numbness, floater, dizziness, lightheadedness , light sensivity, sound sensivity and find it hard sometimes to concentrate. Add the fact since 3 yers I have never slept before 2 am reading all the day , studying and so on . Every mri, ct scan, blood test turns out all right, I just wanna overcome this :(. Any tips ? Can I recover years after brain injury? Can I graduate :( I need that diploma too much due to the difficulties I had in my life ?

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9 Replies

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  • Hi Eric

    If I understand what you are saying, you suspect there may be a link between the bang on your head and the anxiety you are feeling? If all tests were negative, my guess is that the anxiety is directly related To the stressful events in your life and the pressures of studying. The constant stress has caught up with you and your nerves have become sensitised and the reason why you are feeling anxious all the time.

    To overcome anxiety, you need to learn to accept all the symptoms you are experiencing and be ok about not feeling ok. By acceptance, I also mean not doing anything to rid yourself of the feelings, not fighting, not resisting. Just leave it be and carry on. Anxiety and all it's symptoms are completely harmless, it is just excessive adrenalin finding an outlet. Anxiety thrives on avoidance techniques and loves to try and stop you doing things that, ordinarily, you wouldn't think twice about doing. My advice is to do it anyway so carry on with your studying but take steps to manage the stress by taking breaks and exercising regularly. This will help burn off the excessive adrenalin, which will promote relaxation and help you sleep too. Don't strive to get rid of the anxiety because it will go in its own time. Your nerves have become sensitised and takes time for them to de-sensitise and build up a buffer/resilience to situations that, prior to anxiety, never bothered you.

  • Yes, that was what I was saying also a link between head trauma and anxiety and these symptoms, ( but I said ) that every result comes back as fine. I dont know man, my life has been a living hell the past 2 years fighting this thing, maybe it is so as you say, accept it who knows..

  • I'm not a medical expert and believe the effects of trauma can be very stressful. However, when fear of the symptoms caused by stress is added into the mix, it leaves the door open to anxiety, panic attacks etc etc. Fear and confusion about the way you feel sensitises your nerves, especially if you live in fear for a period of time. Anxiety is a natural bodily reaction designed to protect us from danger and doing what it does best. We either fight or run away from the danger. However, if you worry and stress too much your fear/flight response is very easily triggered by the most mundane situations (waking up, going out, thinking about the weekend) and the sensations are magnified many times over. Coping with those sensations can be very difficult and you then fal into a cycle where you worry about worrying, fear the symptoms of fear. Fear is the culprit. Fear is the root cause of all anxiety related disorders. Remove the fear and recovery is inevitable, it just takes time for your nerves to heal and de-sensitise so that your fear/flight response returns to normal levels and doesn't matter if you have anxiety or not. It's about learning not to care about the symptoms. When I had anxiety, I was more concerned about the feelings of anxiety and not the cause. Nowadays, if I get anxious about anything, I focus on the reason (exams, for example) and not the anxious feelings. that to me is the difference.

  • Wanna know something? If you ask me where have you been living for the past 2-3 years , in a blink of an eye I would say " In the constant state of anxiety " ... Im just scared that all of this was due to the trauma in my brain, and the other people keep saying to me that Im the same guy, nothing has changed, Im that same kind, shy, introverted guy, but a better version now, man im just scared what If that trauma left a ever lasting change on the way I learn things...

  • In my experience, I would put money on it being caused by a combination of the head injury, family bereavement and relationship break down that caused you much stress. You then became fearful of the symptoms of stress and started searching for answers and the anxiety tricked you into thinking it was the head injury. You have spent all your time worrying about it. You admit yourself that it scares you which means you fear it. Like I said, fear is the root cause and keeps anxiety alive and kicking.

    In my opinion, that is the reason you have become stuck in the anxiety cycle. Not because of the head injury, it is because of the constant worry and fear thinking about it. Anxiety bluffs us into thinking the cause is out there somewhere so we spend all our time searching for the answers, chasing our own tails when all along, the problem is the anxiety itself. If you lose the fear (and you can through understanding how anxiety manifests itself into scary thoughts and feelings) recovery will come to you. Don't fight the feelings, do nothing about them and go with the flow.

  • Eric - Beevee has given you good advice and I suggest you reread the three postings Beevee has sent to you again and again for you will find no betterremedy to your problems. In fact print them out and refer to them in the future. The many medical scans and tests you have had indicate no lasting damage to your brain, you must accept that as fact and not doubt it. You have been under stress for a long time and this has sensitised your nervous system and is causing the bad feelings. Only by Accepting those bad feelings temporarily do you stop First Fear causing Second Fear and the cycle of anxiety causing symptoms causing more anxiety causing moresymptoms will be broken and you will fully recover - but you must let time pass, there is no instant fix. So stop frightening yourself and feeling bewildered by the consequences - make a copy of the three replies above, read them and re-read them - and start practicing today!

  • Hi Jeff, thank you for the reply. I know it may be anxiety related, but I kbow way too much about neuroscience an the micomolecular damage that is done to the axons ( pathways ) in the nerves due to head trauma, I even can see floaters now and the eye exams seem to turn all fine.. I may try his advice but I have everyday reminders about these things so it is hard to move on...

  • Eric, have you ever heard the saying 'a little learning can be a bad thing'? You have learnt a few things about medical matters and are making decisions about yourself that only qualified doctors who have been to medical school for 3 years are qualified to take. You've had the ultimate scan, an mri, plus a ct scan and they show nothing physically wrong, you must now accept that your problems are not organic. You now mention floaters in your eyes and you did the right thing a had an eye exam which showed your eyes are ok, no retina detachment or even posterior vitreous detachment, so accept your floaters are normal.

    It is known fact that when we are stressed we tend to notice floaters more, I have had floaters since I was a child, I notice them more because I am short sighted, but I know they're normal so I don't worry about them and I don't even notice them BECAUSE I'M NOT LOOKING FOR THEM.

    Your eyes have been examined and they're fine, accept that, too much introspection, constantly re examining ourselves, is not good for us. You do seem determined to find something physically wrong with you regardless of highly qualified medical judgement and the most sophisticated tests that are known to medical scuence, you seem to brush all other advice and remedies such as Beevee has given you aside and can only concentrate on physical causes for your problems regardless.

    So I can only say again, accept that your problem is anxiety - and look to the remedy you have been given.

  • Great posts Jeff! I had blurred vision which panicked me but the optician found nothing.

    I may be repeating myself here but the problem with anxiety sufferers is that they are trying to fix their anxiety with an anxious mind! Talk about adding fuel to the fire! Anxiety makes you worry over irrational things and is a master at creating worries that don’t actually exist but sufferers keep suffering because they spend time worrying about them and just go round in circles. Those worries are just the anxiety finding an outlet to release all that negative energy so the trick is to step out of the way of this process and let it happen without resistance.

    The way to do this is to create a space between you and your anxious thoughts/fears/worries and see them as a manifestation of your anxiety through anxious thinking. By not giving them any respect, you gradually stop worrying over a made up worry and those anxious thoughts will melt away. If you believe what your anxious mind is telling you (I know how convincing they can feel but assure you they are just a bluff) you remain stuck in the anxiety cycle.

    Those anxious thoughts is your mind's attempt to release an emotion that has been suppressed. Sufferers spend all their time trying to rid themselves of those anxious thoughts when in fact, the thoughts are trying to leave you...but you won't let them because you keep worrying about them. This is what I mean by stepping out of the way and not suppressing the release of this excessive energy.

    Practice allowing your mind to have all it’s worries and fears but just be an observer where you are not seeing them as true and not getting involved with them. By accepting the thoughts and feelings and learning not to pay them any attention, you stop pouring fuel on the fire and your anxiety will gradually disappear. You are the log jam stopping the anxiety from leaving because you believe the anxious thoughts, preventing them from leaving.

    To begin with, my anxiety focussed on my health, then my job, then my relationship. It attached itself to these subjects for one single reason. I believed the anxious thoughts being created by my anxious mind, hook, line and sinker! For a while, every single thought that flashed into my mind came turbo charged with anxiety. It was overwhelming and made worse because I chose to believe them, especially those relating to my health, job and relationship because they meant more to me. I now know that was the wrong thing to do. Instead, I learned to let go of the anxious thoughts and stopped trying to do anything about my anxiety. When you recover, those anxious thoughts won't be there so don't waste energy fighting them. They are a figment of an anxious mind and not real.

    The following quote sums it up perfectly and is very true.

    "You won't get better until you stop trying to get better."

    It is the "trying" to do something about anxiety that keeps it hanging around. Do the opposite and do nothing (masterly inactivity) about it in the way I have described and you will recover.

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