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lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Numbness in the arm anxiety related - is it going to be a persistent problem?

Asked by lightsourcetrickster (1902points) October 27th, 2012

In December last year, I had to go to hospital because the NHS Direct service suspected I could have been having a mini-stroke. I went through a lot of tests, all of which said there was nothing wrong with me. My doctor tells me that I have anxiety. I don’t understand why though. I’m not mentally anxious about stuff, so why is this a problem?
Also…more than once I have been getting a numbness in my left arm – sometimes also in my hand, which lasts for a good while (about fifteen to twenty minutes or so), and then goes away. Sometimes it’ll go away after I’ve been to sleep. It’s not a very common problem for me, but it’s been happening a few times now. I see my doc, but he just says “it’s anxiety related” – as if it’s not really a problem, doesn’t give me any meds for anxiety, just might as well tell me to grow a pair and deal with it like a real man or something.
I guess I’m after finding out if other people have this kind of problem with anxiety related stuff, and if anyone has a way of breaking through it so it’s not a regular issue. It’s becoming a problem to the extent that I’m not actually living life normally, but my doc is just persistently sending me off with no clue as to how to deal with it, and I think it may become a problem with various government organizations (which I don’t particularly want to delve into the details of).

Anyone got the same kind of issue, or any advice?

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7 Answers

Shippy's avatar

I also suffer anxiety, and one day I had a very bad panic attack. I felt only what I can describe as a loss of control or coordination in my left arm. I thought I was having a stroke. I didn’t have tests, as I do believe it is part of the anxiety attack. Although, it makes it worse as when it was happening it was triggering even more anxiety..

It happened once again, but now I am on medication for anxiety and I haven’t had a repeat attack. I find it very odd that you have been sent away with no assistance at all? Because my anxiety tablet has helped me immensely. Can you not go to a different Doctor? Are you in the UK? It just sounds at though the help you are receiving for the anxiety is not great?

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Ah @Shippy are you a sight for sore eyes!

Yep..I’m in the UK. I do need to get a different doctor, but right now that’s not possible because I’m at my girlfriend’s. She’s let me pop the occasional ‘Kalms’ pill, which helps a little but not much. My doc I thought was okay, but the last time I had a real bad numbness in the face and the left arm, I got the paramedics out and one of them said that I was on old meds for indigestion and he really started to badmouth my GP. So a new doctor would be a good idea. The help I’ve been getting is less than ideal. My GF has the same problem – more or less, only she’s been signed out of work for 18 months…I haven’t had a damn thing.
What have you been taking for it?

Lately I’ve stumbled on moodGYM ( and I’ve only just started working through that to see if it’ll help any.

RocketGuy's avatar

I got the same symptoms by over-exercising my deltoids. I went to a chiropractor to loosen them up then stopped exercising those muscles at the gym. So far so good.

lillycoyote's avatar

Are you female? Unfortunately, even in in this day and age, doctors are still more likely to ascribe some issue that they have been unable to diagnose to “anxiety” more often in woman, than in men. I would do two things.

1. Get a second opinion. Numbness in your extremities could be all sorts of things. I checked your profile and noticed that you are a former smoker. I am a current smoker so congratulations on quitting. I don’t know how long or how much you smoked, but smoking can sometimes lead to circulation problems that can persist even after you quit.

2. Pay attention to what you are doing with your body, your arms and hands when you are going to sleep, when you’re on the computer, that sort of thing. Keeping any body part in the same position for a long time can cause trouble.

Shippy's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster I thought I would double check as I am moving to the UK for assistance! in terms of my own depression anxiety and bipolar disorder. Here you pay even to get a repeat prescription (I am originally from there). Oh well I can’t have second thoughts I just sold my home!!

My anxiety was so bad, I couldn’t even sit still when having an attack. I couldn’t text clearly either. (As I have a friend on BBM who understands panic). I couldn’t even watch relaxing videos on You Tube, or listen to music to try and calm me. Nothing helped. I visited my psychiatrist, which was a long time in coming, and she put me on Rivotril. (Amongst other BP Meds’) Rivotril currently has a good name since it is none addictive. Reason being it is slow acting, not fast acting like for e.g. Ativan. I have had no panic attacks since. Plus I try to make sure I sleep a full 7 or 8 hours, as this also seems to stir up my panic etc.,
I agree with other answerer s that one cant say of course what is wrong with you in terms of your numbness, but it was strange seeing your post, as I could identify. Thank you for the link I will have a look at it :)

marinelife's avatar

Find another doctor and get a second opinion. Make sure they rule out coronary and diabetes.

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