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Is fear of dying, stressed out, foggy head due to BRAIN TUMOUR?

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Hello, I needed to get a few questions answered. I've been going through a lot lately. My mom passed away 2 months ago, I have a baby on the way, etc. Last Saturday I woke up, and felt off balance. Not dizzy, just off balance. It eased up through the day. On Monday I went to the doctor and she said everything sounded good, and I didn't have a sinus infection. I've been very stressed out lately and I have a fear of dying. I'm a hypochondriac. The feeling in my head comes and goes. It's kinda feels like my head is very foggy and I get a upset stomach sometimes. I'm afraid I have a brain tumor. Are these signs of it or is it just stress and anxiety? Please help


Category: Psychiatrist

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Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 4 Days.

Hello.

Thanks for using DoctorSpring.com for posting your query.



I am sorry for the loss you have suffered.

I have gone through your question in detail and I can understand what you are going through.

From what you have stated and considering your age and stressors, it appears to be a panic attack or anxiety episodes. I frequently attend similar patients in my clinic and most of them respond well to the treatment for anxiety disorder.

None of your symptoms directly point to you having a brain tumor. So you need not worry about it. Since your symptoms have especially occurred in presence of significant stresses, anxiety disorder should be the primary diagnosis. 

You may take a short course of alprazolam or clonazepam or lorazepam to control the anxiety and if the symptoms still persist then you may need to take paroxetine or sertraline to treat anxiety. 

Along with medicines, I would suggest you to start with cognitive behavioural therapy as well. This therapy involves weekly session of 20-30 min duration and involves on focusing on inappropriate thoughts and distortions and getting them corrected. 

Hope this helps.

If you need any further clarifications, do let me know.

Kind regards,

Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD.



Patient replied :

Thank you doctor, and I appreciate the quick response. Like stated earlier, I've always had a fear of the doctors. Whenever something I thought was seriously wrong I always confided in my mom, and she would always reassure me that I would be ok. She was right 100%. Now that she is no longer here, I have nobody to go to, so I appreciate you understanding where I'm coming from. Four years ago I was diagnosed with a slight thing of anxiety. My doctor prescribed me alpralozam. The pills expired in 2012. They helped cause they just took the edge off. My grandmother, grandfather, uncle, and mom have passed away within these past 3 years. It's too much to handle all at once. They all went into the hospital, and never made it out, so that's the way my mind thinks. I think if I go into the hospital, that I'll never make it back out. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but that's how I think. About a month ago I had this slight pain between my thumb and index finger. Again, nothing serious, probably just a bruise, but I took it to the extreme. First thing I did, was search up online if there are glands in your hands. Of course there are, so right away I think it's a swollen gland and something is wrong. I worried about that for a couple days, and must have tensed myself up so bad that my fingers started to ache and hurt. So, right away I start thinking the worse. Why are my hands and fingers hurting now. I worried about that for a week. Sure enough the pain between my thumb and finger, went away. This brings me up to now, where I must've worried myself so much about my fingers and hands that it cause what I hope is anxiety. About a week after all of this happening, I woke up last Saturday and stood up and felt like I was off balance. Nothing serious, figured it was just allergies. It got better throughout the day, and would come and go. Again, thinking crazy, got it in my head that it was something serious, like a brain tumor, brain hemorage, etc. I would constantly search up symptoms of all those things and worry myself day in and day out. This past Monday, 2 days after this occurred I sucked it up and went to the doctor. She checked me out. My BP was 115/75, my lungs and heart both sounded good. I explained this situation and she said to just relax myself. Once I left that doctors office, I didn't feel a thing. I felt like myself. Sure enough, as time went on, that feeling came back. It sucks and I hate it. That's how this whole past week has been. I wake up, and im fine. As the day goes by, I start worrying that the feeling is going to come back. Because I worry, the feeling comes back. It's like a catch 22. During the week, Monday through Friday I woke from 2:30 to 11 at night. I stay busy at work, and for the most part I feel fine. Once we take a break, even though the people I work with talk to me, it's in the back of my head that what if it comes back, and sure enough iy does. It seems like once my mind starts to wander, it comes back. This past weekend it was tough too, especially yesterday. I was fine and then once I sat down with my girlfriend, my mind started going. I had the worst naseau, and I had minor little headaches. I honestly don't know what to do, and I worry myself everyday that I have something seriously wrong with me. I'm so afraid of cancer and always think I have a brain tumor or something wrong inside my head that is going to kill me. What are the main symptoms of a brain tumor? Do you think it's anything to be concerned about? Or is it just all in my head? Like I said, it's more of a foggyness feeling. Thanks again doctor, hope to hear from you soon.


Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 3 Days.

Hello.



I understand what you are going through but trust me you have no reason to worry.

The common presentation of a brain tumor is an elderly patient presenting with chronic headaches, double vision, seizures, loss of balance, weight loss, vomiting and focal neurological deficits (weakness, paralysis affecting a specific part of the body). You have NOTHING to indicate a brain tumor. So please do not worry about it.



However in your case, with the premorbid anxiety disorder, this seems more of an anxiety episode with obsessions that it could be a cancer. Believe me, get treated with paroxetine and fluvoxamine and that will help you a lot in controlling your symptoms and also improve your quality of life. It is a matter to be concerned about and you need to see a doctor. One never dies of psychiatric illnesses and you will certainly come out alive from a psychiatrist. Please consider visiting a psychiatrist and starting on medication and therapy which will really help you.



Kind regards,

Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD.



Patient replied :

I am going to see a counselor on Wednesday. I'm hoping that helps. We will see. I'm being so obsessive over it. That's fear of me dying is getting out of control. The foggyness and the pressure on my forehead is what scares me, and the lingering headaches.


Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 2 Days.

Hello.



You may start with visiting a counsellor. But consider visiting a psychiatrist as well. I am sure you will improve with treatment. The fogginess, pressure in the head and headaches are due to your anxiety itself. Even if you do not consider anxiety, then they could be due to other causes such as tension headaches or an underlying sinus congestion. A brain tumor does not present like that. So let these symptoms not worry you.



Take care.



Patient replied :

If you don't mind me asking, how do brain tumors present themselves. I was good for most of the day today until work. I had headaches that came and went and a little bit of foggyness. Still nothing to be concerned about?


Expert:  Dr. Srikanth Reddy replied 1 Day.

Hello.

Thanks for the follow-up.

No. As I mentioned in my previous reply, common symptoms of brain tumor are chronic headaches, double vision, seizures, loss of balance, weight loss, vomiting and focal neurological deficits (weakness, paralysis affecting a specific part of the body).

In your case, your symptoms do not seem to match that of a brain tumor. It appears to be more of an anxiety that you have. If at all you want confirmation, a plain CT scan of the brain which will rule out a tumor. The only reason you can get it done is for your peace of mind.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Dr. Srikanth Reddy MD.



Dr. Srikanth Reddy
Category: Sexologist
Experience: 
Doctor of Medicine (MD), Psychiatry Residency Program,2001 – 2012
M.B.B.S,Mahatma Gandhi Institute Of Medical Sciences, Sevagram

Certificate Course in sex Therapy and Counselling, Sexology and Counselling, A
Sexology,Medikon Sexual Sciences, Mumbai

Training in Advanced Neurology at a leading corporate hospital (CARE hospital) in Hyderabad

Child Psychiatry Training in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences, Bangalore

Sex Therapy and Counsellingat MEDIKON Sexual Sciences, Mumbai.
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