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My brain feels swollen, is this anxiety?
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I feel like this most of the day,everyday. Very rarely it will go away and if it does it will go away for about an hour and than come back full force. It is very hard to explain, it almost feels like my brain is swollen or drowning and it causes SEVERE pressure in my forehead area and at the base of my skull by my upper neck area and also causes very bad stiff neck. My eye ridges will feel pressurized too causing me to have difficulty focusing on things. Sometimes I will get very violent thoughts / urges during these "episodes" and will experiance to cold sweat. I have also noticed my cognition has declined tremendously, so has my memory. When I was young, I was recognized for my incredible memory, now I have difficulty remembering what I ate for breakfast not to mention my constant "brain farts" due to the unbearable brain fog. I can hardely hold a decent conversation with someone while feeling like this because I can't think of what to say and I space out so much to the point that I don't remember what the other person has said to me during the conversation.I have gotten an MRI, several blood tests, been to an ENT Specialist, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and am giving up hope pretty rapidly. My depression kicks in full force when I start to experiance these symptoms and its hard to go outside feeling like this. Please does anybody have any idea what is wrong with me? Can anyone relate? Who and What can help? Thank you in advance!

P.S During these episodes I rarely get any REAL anxiety symptoms like racing heart, shakiness, tingling and panic. These feeling increase in intensity and decrease in intensity as the day goes on... the worst being a 10 and the best being a 3 or a 4 from a scale of 1 - 10 in discomfort.
Posted on 12/27/09, 01:12 am
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Reply #1 - 12/27/09  4:04am
" Hello, I wish I had some insight for you. That has to horribly stressful for you. I had panic attacks in the past and it was horrible figuring out what it was, I couldn't believe it wasn't something physical. What have the drs said so far? It sounds like you're doing all the right things as far as getting tests done, etc. I would say that getting help for the depression part is important, are you in therapy now? I think you need support in dealing with the stress of this and help sorting out what your going through. Hang in there, and I really hope things get better soon! "
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Reply #2 - 12/27/09  6:25am
" I think your next step should be a neuroligist he probally could help you more then and ENT. "
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Reply #3 - 12/27/09  7:30pm
" same happens to me :(
the pressure at the base of my skull, the bad thoughts, etc..
i wish i knew what it was "
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Reply #4 - 12/27/09  8:15pm
" I get pressure in the top of my head, forehead, and the base of my skull/top of neck area. I thought I had a brain tumor or something seriously wrong with me, because like you... my head feels really tight and like my brain is being squeezed.
It wasn't until I went to massage school that I learned about certain muscles in the head, face, neck and down into the tops of your shoulders that cause this. For me, it was muscle tension. For you it may be that as well. I would find a decent massage therapist and get a massage on those specific areas. Or even massage it yourself. You will seriously be amazed at how much tension gathers in your head, neck and face. "
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Reply #5 - 12/28/09  10:55am
" I can certainly relate! Sometimes I feel like I want to escape my body, yet my mind has nowhere to go! It's like my mind wants to explode!

The only thing that calms me down is physical exercise, which is a great outlet for that aggressive beast within me that has violent impulses, exhausts me, then 3 Valerian Root tablets at night to help me sleep. Valerian Root is a natural herb that acts as a muscle relaxer. It's a great substitute for medication. Consult your physician, of course, as it will interfere with any other meds you might be taking. It's in the vitamin counter of any drugstore. "
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Reply #6 - 12/28/09  12:35pm
" Hi, I am so sorry for what you are going through. I have all the same symptoms....pressure in my head, disorientation, off-balance feeling...I also have tingling on my head sometimes and a feeling of numbness and burning jabs. It really is a vicious cycle because I get angry and anxious about the symptoms and that makes me feel worse. I went through this same thing in my early 20's, it passed and I have done very well all these years so I am feeling like it will pass again. For me, exercise works very well. I also have to keep a positive frame of mind and really get out of my head. I try to force myself to be around others (even though I don't feel like it) and I just really take extra good care of myself. I have been on the web searching for others with these symptoms and there are so many others out there I cannot tell you!! I am sad that so many people are going through this but I don't feel quite so alone and that helps.

One thing have I noticed with me is that a sinus infection seems to bring this on and then the swelling of my head just never goes away. Have you had a sinus infection at all? Just curious.

Anyways, take good care of you and I will send you lots of good energy!! "
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Reply #7 - 12/28/09  1:01pm
" Something else I am curious about........I feel like my head is hyper-sensitive to everything. For example, if I scratch one side of my head all the blood rushes to that spot and I can feel it throbbing and swollen there for several minutes. Do you happen to experience this? Again, just curious as I feel like the more we share the better we can understand this.
Thanks!! "
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Reply #8 - 12/28/09  1:32pm
" Thank you all for your replies its so nice to know that I am not the only one. I will be going back to a doctor to try to figure this out. I also had my a really bad panic attack last night and had to take some clonazepam to help me sleep, so far I feel okay, still kind of "swollen" in my brain. PFyre I am not sure if i get that "blood rushing" sensation, i just tried to scratch my head right now and I didn't get it. I will try when I am having the head pressure. "
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Reply #9 - 04/12/10  12:10pm
" hi,

I know this is personal but if you smoke marijuana to reduce anxiety here is something to think about...I recently saw a documentary on the use of marijuana (tv show nature of things) and they are discovering a few dna types that either recieve thc well or do not recieve it well. For those not having the dna that helps the brain recieve it in a "good" way they say may lead to schizophrenia. Some of the young people started to become catatonic, spacey, very forgetful, voices inappropriate thoughts etc....there is more to it for a better understanding try and find and watch this documentary if you can David Suzuki Nature of things was on Sunday April 11 evening. Thats one thought, another is also I am on this journey of feeling better menatlly and physically and discovered that certain foods were making me ill, I mean food that I thought was healthy and well all this time my body was rejecting it. I went to a natropath and discovered I had a low tolerance for dairy, eggs, gluten also included was asperagus, garlic and other things I thought were good for me! I discovered that when eating these things my body is not absorbing the minerals vitamins I need and was having great affect on me mentally feeling sad, tired, really low at times irritable. in my research I found lots of articles stating that some one who eats dairy and gluten has intolernace for dairy or gulten can suffer from depression amoung other things. No I am not allergic to these things I just have to eat these things in moderation,I am creature of habit and can eat the same things over and over but since cleaning up my diet I feel me again happy jolly lots of energy. I am no expert , I do not suffer from anxiety but reading some some of this I can relate to some of it. Overall I just ask lots of questions and dig and dig for answers..Thats my life learning so far hopefully it provides some insight take care of yourself and ask lots of questions to get where you need :O) "
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Reply #10 - 04/12/10  2:39pm
" I had something very similar to this, pressure and pain emanating from my neck all over my head. I realized that it was muscle tension as well. Heat and massage worked for me (hot bath or heating pad on the neck while massaging). For me, exercise wasn't easy because it made my head worse, but in general, I would recommend exercise if it isn't painful. Even a brisk walk. My headaches stopped just about a week after I found out what it really was (sometimes the mystery drives the illness). Good luck to you! "

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