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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Could physical symptoms and illnesses be caused by anxiety?

 emmylou - Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:46 pm

I am currently having an extreme amount of anxiety. I am having a hard time making it through the day and am constantly in fear of sleeping, as I am afraid I will pass in my sleep.
I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in 2007 after the passing of my friend to lung cancer. In July of 2008 I was diagnosed with pneumonia and have had it once more since that time. I also currently have what I believe to be a yeast infection, but have not been diagnosed by a doctor. I am treating myself at home first.
I was wondering if all of these illnesses I've encountered here lately could be because of the amount of stress I've been under and the amount of anxiety I've had in the past six months. Prior to July, I could be around someone with any number of infectious diseases and not get sick. Now I seem to constantly be ill.
I'm having constant chest pressure and fullness and was wondering what I should do.
Thank you
 leykoka - Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:46 pm

i joined the forum with my own probs...jus saw ur post, n as a final year med student, jus wanted to point out tht yes, anxiety,depression, such negetive emotions decreases ur immunity n thus could be the reason of ur gettin sick more often than before.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Fri Nov 14, 2008 4:08 pm

Hi Emmylou,

Anxiety can influence symptoms and can help cause some conditions. I'm concerned about the range of symptoms you are describing. With your history of pneumonia, your chest pressure and fullness could be another episode. Please see your doctor as soon as you can to have your symptoms reviewed.
The possible yeast infection should also be reviewed with your doctor. Your susceptibility to illness is a concern for your doctor to evaluate. Also, you are quite active sexually. It is vital that you take precautions and have safe sex. The range of symptoms you are having could even be related to a sexually transmitted disease.

The level of your anxiety and your fear of passing during sleep are very troubling. You may have a Major Depression that requires prompt treatment. Please see your doctor as soon as possible and review all of your symptoms and concerns with him.

Good luck, and I hope you feel better soon.
 emmylou - Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:01 pm

Thank you for the help...The pressure and fullness seems to be relieved the longer I take the antibiotics...
I know that I am a hypochondriac. I'm concerned about having HIV and AIDS quite strongly because I know that recurrent pneumonia is a symptom of AIDS. However, someone I slept with recently has just had a child and is clean. I know that this is a possibility...
I feel like I'm going crazy. Thoughts of illnesses and diseases consume my thoughts. I've made an appt. with a psychiatrist but they could not get me in until early December. I'm not sure what to do. I just wanna feel normal and live a normal life. I keep feeling like I will never have a chance to get married or have children or do anything that I looked forward to doing because I have been so sick here lately.
I know I sound crazy. I guess I just want someone to tell me that I'm okay and I can be helped.
 emmylou - Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:14 pm

My last reply didn't seem to post for some reason...
I know that HIV/AIDS is a big possibility when you are sexually active. I feel or think, at least, that I am okay on that level. However, it does stress me out a little bit. I've watched two family members pass from the disease and dying that way scares me. I think that's why I am so scared. I'm not ready to pass yet.
I've been researching a lot of different illnesses online and seem to have at least one symptom from all that I've looked at...
I feel like I'm going crazy. I know that getting pneumonia doesn't necessarily mean you're going to die, but since this second bout with pneumonia I've convinced myself that every little ache or pain is something deadly, to the point that I think I am imagining some of it. I've made an appt. with a psychiatrist for the beginning of December, but cannot get in until then. Any ideas as to what I can do until that point to forget about all of this and live a normal life until then. I really feel like I have nothing to look forward to, and that I shouldn't make any long term plans in life because I may not live long enough to see them through.

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