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Ask Dr. Phil, MD Your Own Question

Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 54193
Experience:  GP in the United States
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Hello there, im having such a bad time at the moment, im feeling

Customer Question

Hello there, im having such a bad time at the moment, im feeling very very spacey and not real like im not on the planet.

Ive been to my doctors who have done a full set if blood tests for, liver, blood count, kidneys, thyroid etc which were all fine. Ive also had my blood pressure done which was fine and the doctor has looked into the back of my eyes and done some balance tests which were fine.

Ive felt like this for 8 weeks and just dont know what to do. Please help
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Phil, MD :

Hello. I'm Dr. Phil, licensed and practicing internist. Excellent service is my goal.

Dr. Phil, MD :

please enter chat

Dr. Phil, MD :

standing by

Dr. Phil, MD :

Hi there.

Dr. Phil, MD :

I'm Dr. Phil

Dr. Phil, MD :

Can I ask your first name?

Customer: Its natalie
Dr. Phil, MD :

Hi Natalie.

Dr. Phil, MD :

nice to meet you

Dr. Phil, MD :

Sorry you are feeling so bad

Dr. Phil, MD :

Do you take any medicine for any reason?

Customer: You too, please help me
Customer: Im on sertraline
Dr. Phil, MD :

how long have you been on it?

Dr. Phil, MD :

and what dose?

Customer: Ive been on it nearly 4 weeks and im on 100mg
Dr. Phil, MD :

Okay

Dr. Phil, MD :

That is the reason Natalie

Dr. Phil, MD :

This is a high dose and a common side effect

Customer: I felt like this before i started taking it tho, thats the reason i was put on it coz the doctor says i have anxiety
Dr. Phil, MD :

yes, but the medicine is making this spacey feeling worse

Customer: In convinced im dying
Dr. Phil, MD :

it helps anxiety but it doesn't help this feeling and makes it worse

Dr. Phil, MD :

You are not dying

Dr. Phil, MD :

but is the medicine really helping?

Customer: I dont know, it has in the past but i feel really terrible this time
Customer: Im so certain im dying i feel that terrible
Customer: what can i do
Dr. Phil, MD :

I would recommend you get on additional meds for anxiety

Dr. Phil, MD :

possibly a short acting drug like clonazepam

Customer: Do you think it is anxiety that is wrong with me?
Dr. Phil, MD :

yes I do

Dr. Phil, MD :

especially with all those normal tests

Customer: Would there of been something found there if u had cancer or something more serious?
Dr. Phil, MD :

yes of course

Customer: Is there anything i can do to reduce spaciness and feelings of unreality? I asked for the short terms meds u mentioned but the doctor wouldnt give me them. Would only give me diazapam
Dr. Phil, MD :

diazepam should work

Dr. Phil, MD :

Try to eat healthy, stay hydrated and exercise

Dr. Phil, MD :

and plenty of sleep

Dr. Phil, MD :

are you sleeping?

Dr. Phil, MD :

hello?

Customer: Its not really helping at all. I fall asleep ok normally but wake up at 4am and cant get back to sleep
Dr. Phil, MD :

are you sleeping well?

Dr. Phil, MD :

That could be the key here

Dr. Phil, MD :

Do you exercise?

Dr. Phil, MD :

take melatonin?

Dr. Phil, MD :

Natalie?

Customer: I feel to out of it to do anything its so bad and scary. What is melatonin?
Customer: Yes im still here
Dr. Phil, MD :

it is a natural sleep aid you can get over the counter

Dr. Phil, MD :

3 mg 4 hours before bed will help

Dr. Phil, MD :

you need to get out and exercise though

Dr. Phil, MD :

also ask your doctor if he will put you on a beta blocker it will help

Customer: Ok ill do that thanks
Dr. Phil, MD :

you're welcome

Dr. Phil, MD :

any more questions ?

Customer: i just feel so awful i really think im going to die. Can anxiety make you feel like this?
Dr. Phil, MD :

yes absolutely

Dr. Phil, MD :

I see it every day

Customer: Really? Is this a common symptom? Is there any serious illness that i could have with this spacey feeling that may not have been detected from the tests ive had done?
Dr. Phil, MD :

No.

Dr. Phil, MD :

no serious illness causes this

Customer: How would i feel if it was a serious illness? Would there be pain etc? Will this ever go away?
Dr. Phil, MD :

yes, there would be pain or specific neurological symptoms

Dr. Phil, MD :

yes, it will go away eventually

Customer: What kind of symptoms?
Dr. Phil, MD :

like weakness, double vision, etc

Customer: Would the spacey feeling not class as weakness
Dr. Phil, MD :

no, I mean like hand grip weakness, leg weakness

Dr. Phil, MD :

Know what I mean natalie?

Customer: Yeh i get it now thanks. Its just so extreme and i feel i cant function and i just dont feel like im here
Dr. Phil, MD :

this is all part of the anxiety and the medicine

Dr. Phil, MD :

It will improve

Dr. Phil, MD :

Trust me

Dr. Phil, MD :

Any more questions for me Natalie?

Customer: What can i do to stop feeling so scared?
Dr. Phil, MD :

I would try the melatonin for sleep

Dr. Phil, MD :

exercise if you can

Dr. Phil, MD :

And ask your doctor about the beta blocker

Dr. Phil, MD :

okay Natalie?

Customer: U promise im not dying? Sorry to keep asking but im terrified
Dr. Phil, MD :

I promise

Dr. Phil, MD :

No question in my mind

Customer: Can you get the remedy for sleep in the uk
Dr. Phil, MD :

yes

Dr. Phil, MD :

melatonin 3 mg

Customer: Thats good, im gona try that. Will it help to give me a sound sleep aswell?
Dr. Phil, MD :

yes it should

Customer: I just cant settle anywhere, not even in my own house. I hate feeling this strange and ill
Dr. Phil, MD :

you will be okay Natalie. Just hang in there

Customer: Is 8 weeks a long time to be like this? I cant even go into work at the minute
Dr. Phil, MD :

No, that is not super long

Customer: How long will it take do you think? It just seems never ending. Will this medication work?
Dr. Phil, MD :

I think it might take a few more weeks

Dr. Phil, MD :

yes, it will work

Customer: Should i try and go back to work or not?
Dr. Phil, MD :

not until you feel a bit better

Dr. Phil, MD :

your sleep improving will help a lot

Customer: Yeh, even tho im waking up at 4am im still getting about 6-7 hours per night
Dr. Phil, MD :

okay that is not too bad

Dr. Phil, MD :

give the medicine more time

Dr. Phil, MD :

and talk to your doctor about the beta blocker okay Natalie?

Customer: Yes ok, what do the beta blockers do?
Dr. Phil, MD :

they block the surges of anxiety

Customer: Will they help with the spaciness? Thats my main issue its there 24/7
Dr. Phil, MD :

Yes, I believe they will

Customer: Any other medication for spaciness
Dr. Phil, MD :

no, you are on it

Dr. Phil, MD :

Natalie, did I do excellent work for you today?

Customer: Ok i just wana no it will defo go away
Dr. Phil, MD :

Yes, it will

Customer: Ive read on forums and things that people have felt like this for years. Thats what im scared of
Dr. Phil, MD :

No, I don't think so

Dr. Phil, MD :

I have not ever seen that in my experience

Customer: Thanks is this quite a common feeling you see?
Dr. Phil, MD :

yes

Dr. Phil, MD :

Okay Natalie

Dr. Phil, MD :

I think you have a great deal of good information

Dr. Phil, MD :

Would you be so kind as to rate positive before leaving?

Customer: Yes i will thanks
Dr. Phil, MD :

Thank you so much.

Dr. Phil, MD :

I appreciate it

Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 54193
Experience: GP in the United States
Dr. Phil, MD and 5 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry forgot to ask. What exercise would you recommend?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
Just walking at a good pace to start
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Im sitting in my house now, dont know what to do, i really feel like im going to die. I cant get an appointment at docs till next week. How long does the sertraline take to work?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
usually by this time you might need a higher dose
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I was on 50mg they upped it to 100mg a week ago? I dont want to die im do scared
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
that is the right move

it will take a while for the 100 to kick in
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Are you 100% sure im not dying and this is anxiety. This spacey unreal ill feeling just will not get any better
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
yes I'm sure and it will get better
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Not to be rude or to question you but how do you know?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
Because I have treated many patients just like you

blood tests have ruled out serious causes.

You are on the correct medicine

And now the dose is correct

you might even need 150 mg of zoloft. That is usually the dose needed for severe anxiety like this

that is like asking a zookeeper how they know a gorilla? They have seen thousands and can identify them easily
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry for asking just need to try and get things clear in my mind

Would the blood tests show up all possible causes tho? Thats what worries me
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
yes,they would
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks, i just feel like i couldnt feel so not there and ill if im not bad. I know you are the doctor and i should trust you rather than myself but im so paranoid and convinced.

Do you think im going mad? If im not ill i must be coz i truly believe it
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
No, you are not going mad
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Why is it so distressing? Am i doing this to myself? Thats what every1 keeps telling me. I always thought of anxiety as a panic attack then you felt normal. Not 24 hours of these feelings
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
panic attacks are short

this is anxiety

they are totally different
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Really, well thats something new ive learnt. I need to try and understand this. Everytime i tell myself its anxiety my mind says no it cant be coz you feel awful.

Were your other patients this bad. Thinking they were dying and seeing no way out?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
Yes they were
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok thanks. Just one more thing? Why does this spacey/ unreal feeling happen with anxiety? I was absolutely fine 1 day then hit me the next. Its so frightening
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
I don't know the reason actually. It is just common with it
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Aw right, well im hoping i get rid of this soon. Its the most awful experience. I was on citalopram before sertraline and i started to cut this down myself. Could this have caused it to come back?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
Yes that is possible
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just cant stop worrying. I need this to go away. I feel like my life is over. I just dont no what to do to feel comfortable
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
Try exercising
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Im lying in bed now trying to go to sleep but xant as scared wont wake up, what can i do?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
melatonin
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yeh ive got some, i really need to believe. Im just so scared. How can i feel like im dying 24/7 if im not?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
I'm not sure what else to say to reassure you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I just want to know theres an end to this, is there not anything i can do to reduce this spacey unreal ill feeling while the meds are working?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
I think I have already addressed that question several times wouldn't you say Natalie.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes you have, but all the things you have suggested im already doing and non have worked. I just want it to be managable so it doesnt feel like im being tortured
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
you have to give the zoloft time to work

the dose might be 150 that you need
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yeh maybe. Its just so hard to get thru everyday, i dread waking up in the morning coz i no how much torture im going to be in.
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
I can continue to help you and reassure you Natalie but I would ask for another rating periodically

I can assure you that..

1)this is anxiety

2)it will get better

3)you are on the right meds

4)you will be okay

Please don't forget an excellent rating. I appreciate it
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thankyou, i feel like everyone is getting fed up with me and ive got nowhere to turn
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
I'm not fed up with you Natalie but I also don't like repeating the same information many times

I'm happy to help further but again would ask for a rating periodically
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yeh of course, ive been asked to go bowling with friends tonight. Donu think it would benefit me going?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
of course!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My thoughts are scaring me coz i feel like I'm losing all hope and don't want to live anymore
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just to clarify i dont want to hurt myself i just dread getting up everyday to feel like this
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
please don't forget a positive rating or open a new question

thanks
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Can sertraline cause loose stools? I tend to go once a day but is looser than normal
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 3 years ago.
yes it can

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