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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 35549
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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Do i have encephalitus? I feel really really spaced out

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Do i have encephalitus? I feel really really spaced out
Hi--can you tell me more about your symptoms and how long you've had them?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just feel completely spaced out like im not here at all. Thats the only symptom.

Im so scared. Ive felt like this for 3 weeks

OK Rosie but the term spaced out is a little vague--can you tell me more exactly what's going on?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I dont know how to describe it its so hard. I feel like im sitting on the sofa now and im not here. Like im not in my body. Its sort of like im a bit unconscious

I understand Rosie. How old are you and do you have any medical conditions?
And any fever or headache?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Im 27, no medical conditions, no fever or headaches

OK Rosie. Definitely doesn't sound like encephalitis--that involves a bad headache, fever, stiff neck, and maybe blurry vision. This could be an electrolyte problem, though, like low magnesium, low potassium, even a problem with low thyroid. The only way to see exactly what's going on is for you to see a doctor for an exam and some blood work
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ive been to doctor. Im also pregnant so had some tests done but not sure what.

Im really scared. I feel so awful i cant stop crying

I understand Rosie--did you talk to the doctor about this spaced out feeling?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes ive been twice they said its anxiety but i just cant believe that.

Do you think im.dying? I really feel like i am

No, you certainly aren't dying Rosie but this could be a combination of anxiety and depression. Since I don't know what blood work you've had I can't say for certain this isn't a physical problem though. You need to talk to your doctor again and ask if he's checked the areas I mentioned. If he has, then this could well be anxiety and depression and you'd need to be referred for some counseling
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ive definitely had thyroid checked i know.

Could it be anything life threatening if physical?

Doctors is closed over weekend.

Can anxiety really make me feel this ill 24/7

No, anxiety wouldn't be a 24/7 thing Rosie. But if this is physical it isn't life threatening so you need to stop worrying about that part. Try your best to hang on for the weekend and call your doctor on Monday morning
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well mines there 24/7 this spaciness is just there constantly so does that mean it must be physical?

Yes, then it is physical but like I said before Rosie this is nothing life threatening--you aren't going to die I promise. Just give your doctor a call on Monday morning and let me know how it goes. For now, though, please remember to rate my service to you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I feel so ill though how do you know i wont die?

So whats the possible things it could be?

Ive also had blood pressure checked, urine analysed, pulse checked and examined behind my eyes

I told you it could be a low magnesium or potassium problem Rosie. I just know from what you've told me this isn't anything life threatening. But if that doesn't stop your worrying about this then go to an urgent care center today to get checked out.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, just to try and put my mind at rest what symptoms would i have if it was life threatening?

High fever, severe headache, lots of nausea and vomiting, and a very stiff neck.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I dont have any of them just feel really awful and anxious 24/7

If its not the things you have mentioned above what else could it be?

My doctor has said anxiety buy obviously it cant be if its there 24/7

Rosie, I can't examine you and I can't order any tests right now so all I can say is this is not life threatening and if you'll notice another expert agrees with me. Just give your doctor a call on Monday morning and for now please let's close this page with a rating of my service
Dr. Chip and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Im so sorry im.just really really frightened.

I cant believe how ill i feeling i cant sleep i can hardly eat coz worried.

I understand Rosie but you need to eat and drink plenty of fluids for now and rest until you can see your doctor on Monday
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is there anything i can do myself at the moment to help this?

I dont feel safe even sitting on sofa. Im convinced im going to die any minute

Are you alone?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No im with my partner

Then talk to him and do something with him--get out and go to dinner or a movie--be active
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have been talking but i feel like im just not here. Its like i dont know where i am. Its like im not actually alive like im almost unconscious, thats how it feels

Then keep communicating with your partner and get physically active--don't just sit there
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How can i stop this feeling like im unconscious? How do i bring myself back.

Is this really not serIous to feel like im.unconscious and not really here. Its like im looking at my partner but hes not there and im not alive

You need to get active and stop dwelling on how you feel--that's really all you can do for now. Nothing life-threatening here.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I feel so out of it though i cant get active coz i dont know where i am

Then have your partner take you out and spend time with you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can you promise nothing will happen to me? I keep thinking ive got a brain condition

I promise this isn't anything serious like encephalitis
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just want to feel like im here, i dont even feel like i would know how to brush my hair or do anything im that out of it.

We're really not getting any further here Rosie--just get active and call your doctor on Monday
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do you think ill get better?

What if they cant figure out whats wrong? My doctor just keeps saying anxiety anxiety over and over

Yes you will get better and your doctor will figure out what the problem is
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They have told me anxiety and thats what they have diagnosed me with. I know thats what they are going to keep saying everytime i go

Then perhaps they'll refer you to a therapist for that
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They already have done and im on sertraline. But what if it is one of the problems you said and they wont take me seriously

I really can't do anything about that Rosie--that's up to your doctors. At least, then, call your therapist
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know that but do you think they are right with their diagnosis?

Right now you sound like this is a depression and anxiety problem and not a physical one Rosie, even if you don't believe that
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yeh you said earlier that it cant be there 24/7 and mine is

Anxiety, no. Depression, yes
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So can depression give me the spaced out unconscious feeling and not feeling safe like im going to die?

Yes it can.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

All day long? What can i do for this?

Depression is a constant thing. For now all you can do is get up and get active. I sounds like you'll need a change in your medication
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thats the problem because im pregnant i cant have alot.

What meds would you suggest?

Maybe just an increase in the sertraline dosage. But I'm not your doctor so I can't suggest a change in that on my own
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Its been increased from 50 to 100 2 weeks ago but i feel worse now then i dis then

Rosie we need to stop the discussion at this point. I am not your doctor and I can't treat you here. You need to discuss this with your doctor
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I no im sorry and just really scared what is happening to me. I just want to know i can get better

Yes you can get better Rosie but you need to contact your therapist just as soon as you can
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I need to wait till next week till i get appointment i dont have one yet.

Do you think ill be ok till next week?

How long will it take do you think to feel better?

Well the sertraline increase could still kick in in another week but you don't need an appointment to call your therapist and let him know you aren't doing well
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I havnt been assigned a therapist yet. Thats what im waiting for.

Does the sertraline normally work in a couple of weeks?

When it's started or when it's increased it can take two to four weeks to kick in
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well it was reduced in november from 100 to 50 it was a month later i started feeling ill. Its now increased back to 100

Then you need to give it another one or two weeks
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do you think it will work and i wont be stuck like this. Im so scared this is now my life

How were you doing before the dosage was decreased and why the decrease?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was fine felt brilliant was reduced because id been well for nearly a year

Then the increase should get you back there but you need to give it more time
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So you dont think ill be stuck like this i couldnt bear it.

I literally feel like im hanging on by a thread and im nearly dead

No you won't be stuck but you have to be patient
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just read about people who are like this for years and cant get out that really scares me.

But you weren't like that before so you can get back to feeling good again--just let the medicine do its job
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Its just how to cope in the meantime. If i could just feel like i was here a bit i would be able to cope

For now act as if you are here--get up, get off the computer and go out with your partner. There's an old saying--fake it til you make it
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Are you sure that this isnt serious? I feel like im almost dead

That's just your depression--you aren't going to die
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I dont even know what i think im dying. I thought depression just made you feel ill and not want to get out of bed. Im the opposite i cant sleep and dont feel confortable anywhere. Its just like im not here

We have to stop the discussion here Rosie--depression can do all that