Is this all in my head??

Hi, this is my first post so please bear with me. A month ago, I woke up with pins & needles in both my hands and my legs feeling really tired, as I had been cleaning the decking the day before I put it down to that, however 4 weeks later the pins and needles are still there along with numbness in my chest and stomache and I reguarlly get pins & needles in my feet, I also lost my balance and had to walk a toddler speed as I pysically could not walk any quicker. I was due to be running the great north run in a couple of months, so I was active before this. I also have waves of fatigue and could go to sleep instantly. I have been to see my doctor who said because I suffer from depresion, this is what was the matter, however as I fell 3 times in one week I went back to him and he has tested my blood for just about everything and it all comes back normal. I am starting to feel a little better the balance problems are wearing off and I can walk a little faster, but last night I had a distrubted nights sleep and whenever I woke the room was spinning. I am due to see my doctor again next Monday, but he is sure it is anxiety or chronic fatigue syndrome, he has however said he will send me for a MRI but it could take months, when I have researched the symptoms they are similar to MS, and I just wondered if anyone experienced the same or could put my mind at rest, -thanks Ruth x

Hi Ruth, and welcome.

Your question is one of the most common we see on this forum (New Diagnosis and Before Diagnosis), yet also one of the hardest to answer, because there are literally hundreds of things that can cause similar symptoms. And yes, people sometimes underestimate that stress, depression and anxiety can make you really, physically ill!

So I couldn’t completely rule out your doctor’s theory. However, he’s taking the cautious approach, and referring you for an MRI anyway.

Unfortunately, when you place the list of symptoms in Google, it almost always comes up with MS, which is how many find themselves here. But the top answer in Google is NOT a reliable way of diagnosing yourself (in fact, diagnosisng yourself is rarely a good idea in any case). These symptoms are quite comon and not specific (meaning not unique to a particular disease), so there are soooo many other things it could be, including a simple vitamin deficiency.

I know it’s hard, but please try not to get too hung up on worst-case scenarios, and obsessing that it must be MS.

MS is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means everything else has to be ruled out first, so as yet, you are a long way from even reaching a shortlist with it on. If you are depressed and/or anxious, then Googling horrible illnesses you might have - but statistically, probably don’t - won’t be helping. I’m sure you know this.

If funds are not an issue for you, and/or you happen to have private health insurance, you could get an MRI privately much sooner, for - usually - a few hundred pounds. I know nothing about your circumstances, but am mentioning it in case. For some this will be an option, for others not.

Hope this helps,


Hi Tina, thank you for your responce. I have had an extremly stressful 2 years, and if these symptoms had arose during this time I would have whole heartedly agreed with my doctor, however the last 6 months have been good and relativley stress free, I have completed my course of counselling, although I am still taking my anti d’s I feel good. Fingers crossed it turns out to be something quite minor and that it is diagnosed soon I am getting paraniod that it is all in my head and I am making the symptoms up. Take care and have a great, but cool (if possible) weekend x