I first experienced the onset of my symptoms a few years back, well about 5 years ago to be precise, within the space of around six months to twelve months I went from been a slim and active young man, happy to socialise, used to drive around a lot, go places and do stuff, to been a shell of my former self overnight, it’s like I went from been young, slim and active to been, to been a fat, confused and forgetful old man almost overnight who at times doesn’t know where he is, the greatest amount of change I experienced was probably within just a few months.
Now I have suffered from OCD and depression for a number of years previous, the OCD pretty much throughout the whole of my life, or at least symptoms in line with experiencing obsessions and compulsions, whether it’s exactly OCD or not I will leave up to the shrinks to decide, I am not the only one on my mother’s side of the family to experience weird mental health symptoms, I have seen them in other members of the family, my mother has since done a far bit of reading about mental health related stuff and suspects that a number of us in her family may be on the ASD spectrum or something, we certainly seem to exhibit symptoms of not been either entirely neuro typical or however you want to put it, basically not the same as most people in regards to mental health, previous to this major decline over the past few years I had received both anti depressant medication and CBT for my obsessive compulsive symptoms. Anyway that’s just something I have always had pretty much since I can remember and although there have been some tough times generally on the whole I was able to cope, like I say I was active, fairly sharp and in most respects led a fairly normal life. There was however one problem and that was in order to cope with having less than normal mental health to begin with, like many in that situation do I was kind of self medicating and had been a fairly heavy user of marijuana for a good few years. Anyway during the period that I first started to experience this significant decline in health I don’t think I was taking any medication just smoking pot, but what hit me in the course of however many months it was, was so severe that it has completely destroyed my life, I was noticing that the marijuana use was aggravating my symptoms especially the mental health ones so I had to quit using it and haven’t used it in 5 years. I think there was definitely a connection between my marijuana use and the onset of my symptoms for one whenever I would smoke some it would just make my anxiety and brain fog a whole lot worse immediately after, it’s just something I had to stop, I just really couldn’t use it any more in the end, but whether it was this that was causing my symptoms as a result of its direct effect on my mental health, or whether it was making a separate underlying condition worse which in turn was causing these symptoms I don’t know, and I suppose this basically what I am asking, as many of you probably know marijuana can affect all kinds of things in your body like hormones and god knows what else. Anyway here are a list of the symptoms that came on within the space of 6-12 months:
• Memory loss, impaired cognitive abilities, brain fog, struggle to find words, thinking can be like swimming in treacle, everything is hazy and foggy. It feels like my whole consciousness has changed, everything feels misty and almost not real, it’s like been on another plane, almost like some kind of limbo, feel really out of it, although sometimes are worse than others, sometimes it’s like I am in another world. Can’t drive anymore, I wouldn’t feel safe as it feels as if it would be like driving intoxicated.
• Anxiety, restlessness and irritability, depression (not always).
• Nasal congestion, always having to use a decongestion spray.
• Sore feet which has been diagnosed by the hospital as plantar fasciitis. (probably not related to anything else, except maybe been over weight). Can’t do more than about 20-30 mins walking a day.
• Significant weight gain on the upper body but my arms and legs have stayed thin, extreme pot belly puffed out and bloated face. The fat on my body is extremely disproportionately spread.
• Sensitivity to noise can’t stand load noise, feels like it hurts my brain.
• Sensitivity to movement, this too can also feel like it hurts my brain.
• Full of excess gas and often having to burp and not been able to control it, even in public.
• Excessive stomach acid, always having to take anti acid tablets several times a day.
• Have a lot of poo’s, stools are fairly loose, often have diarrhoea.
• Can sweat a lot in the night, often wake up wet.
Now as you can imagine having already been diagnosed with mental health problems and having used pot I think my doctors just think most of these symptoms as a mental health related problem and I have been seeing the same shrink for the last five years sometimes taking anti depression medication and sometimes not and making very little progress and am still experiencing all of the above although the mitazipine I have been on for the last couple of years has helped with the depression and these days most the time I don’t actually feel that depressed, but still have all the other stuff, however in the last few months there has been some new developments and the following new symptoms have occurred:
Most recent symptoms which have developed in the last few months
• Fatigue sometimes need to have naps in the day.
• Can’t go for too long without eating, when it kicks in it’s like a drug withdrawal and causes intense stress and irritability, when I eat it relieves it.
• High white cell blood count.
The food thing is getting ridiculous it’s like I have become some sort of addict, when it hits me it’s extremely intense and the only thing that will pacify it is eating, it’s particularly bad when I wake up in the morning and before I go to bed. I recently went to my doctor about the food thing and asked for a blood test to check for diabetes and hypoglycaemia and they came back negative so we know it’s not that, the strange thing is though is that my white blood cell count was high, my doctor asked if I had a cold or sore throat to which I said no, I haven’t had anything wrong with me as far as I know, absolutely nothing. It seems like my health is getting worse this food thing is really becoming a problem and causing me significant distress, this is definitely a new development which I have only just stated to experience, the brain fog and memory thing has seemed worse of late too and according to my last blood test my white blood cell count is high, anyway I was thinking could some of these things be related? My GP doesn’t really know what else to suggest and just said maybe the problem when I don’t eat extremely regularly is a side effect from the anti depressant and that I may wish to ask my shrink about it, although he can’t explain why my white blood count is up which it’s never been before and due to the fact I have relatively little medical knowledge I don’t know whether there is need for further investigation or even what the heck it is that would need looking at.
Like I say something hit me like a train a few years back and turned me into a shell of my former self, the amount of weight I gained alone must show that something changed inside my body, could at least some of these things be related? Could what’s been happening to my health rather than me just having gone crazy have a underlying and connected psychical cause? Or at least the symptoms that have I have experienced in the last few months? Now I appreciate that a lot of these symptoms can just be that of mental health related problems especially depression and many people will probably just think I am paranoid, crazy or the worried well, I know my credibility in even raising the possibility of what I am asking probably has little weight with most due to the fact I am suffering from a mental health problem, but could there be more going on here, I have heard of cases where people have suffered from depression and mental health problems but there has been another underlying condition that was causing it, sometimes stuff to do with glands and hormones and what not, you only have to Google various symptoms I am experiencing and you can find all kinds of conditions that can cause them, especially my new symptoms, like I say could it at least be possible that there may be some undiagnosed and connected underlying physical cause or condition? If so what sort of thing do you think may need looking into?
I don’t know what else to do, like I say whatever it is that has happened to me has robbed my life, if there is anything else that can be done I think I owe it to myself to at least look into it, any advice is greatly appreciated.
Also and I donât know if it has any relevance but just to list all my symptoms I also snore like a pig, oh and every now and again I hear like a weird squelchy noise inside my head. If anybody has any suggestions as to what sort of things I may need to get checked out I would be most grateful as my life has completely fell apart and I am desperate to get it back. My GP and shrink donât seem to be much help and I am at my wits end and donât know what else to do.
A bit of an update, I did some further research and it seems that it is just possible that there could be something going on to do with hormones maybe a problem with my body processing food, possibly some kind of metabolic syndrome, anyway the more I read about it the more it led me to believe that I may benefit from seeing an endocrinologist, so I got a referral and seen one tonight and he seems to think the is a high possibility of insulin resistance or some other kind of hormone problem, he also said there could be a sleep apnea connection, but he wants to investigate further with some hormone tests first.