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Causes for anxiety disorders

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I had a spehoid sinus infection last September. Since I have had constant headaches with dizziness. I have been on antibiotics on and off for about 5 months. ABout 3 months ago I got a few panic attacks which tend to last about 20 minutes. Feeling of suffocation, heart palpitations, hypoventillation, hot and cold. Since then the doctors have told me I suffer from anxiety.They have tried me on Lexapro and Zoloft which had adverse affects.Racing heart all the time. Internal shaking, night sweats, on edge all the time and very little sleep.I stopped this medication after 3 weeks. For about 3 months I have shortness of breath, I feel tightness of the throat (all the time especially while I am eating)and get very dizzy with ongoing headaches.What else could cause these symptoms apart from anxiety?I have stopped working and do very little because I feel as if my breathing is restricted all the time. I have had lots of MRI's&CT scans of the brain and sinuses,chest X-ray & a echocardiogram

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replied August 16th, 2009
Anxiety and Stress Answer A7064
According to the symptoms you rpeorted (feeling of suffocation, heart palpitations, hypoventilation, feeling of hot and cold, night sweats, insomnia, shortness of breath, feeling of tightness in throat, headaches and dizziness), you might be experiencing anxiety disorder. Anxiety might be caused by external factors present in the everyday life, but other chemical disturbances within the body might be also responsible for this. The anxiety that has its origin from within the body is not completely examined. Therefore the treatment might be hard and might include a complex multilevel approach with behavioral therapy and anti-anxiety drugs.

It is true that the symptoms you report might be related to other conditions if they are separate. For example, shortness of breath and a feeling of suffocation might be present in people with heart disorders due to the inabillity of the heart to pump the needed blood volume. Dizzinees and headache might be due to a bad blood supply in the head. The palpitations, night sweats and changes of temperature might be related to bad functioning of the thyroid gland.

You might want to visit a specialist for internal diseases to check for heart problems. A physical examination and ECG might be needed. Laboratory tests that would check for the thyroid gland hormones might be recommended. If nothing is detected then the symptoms might be related to anxiety and you might be referred to a psychotherapist. Which psychotherapy approach and which medications would be given, depends on the evaluation based on thorough observation made by the psychotherapist.

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