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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Symptoms of Untreated Stress

05/25/2006

Question:

What are some of the possible symptom`s of Anxiety/Stress going untreated. My mother is complaining of impaired vision.We had it checked the doctor`s say her eyes are fine, however she can`t see to read,write, or drive anymore. She has short term memory issues. Repeats herself, can`t remember names. We have had ultrasounds and cat scans done but nothing is ever found. No signs of stroke or anything that could be causing these problems. She did however go through a very stressful time when my step-father nearly died and was in a medically induced coma for nearly a month. Can her symptoms be caused from Anxiety or Stress disorder?

Answer:

Depression can certainly lead to problems with memory, usually associated with sadness, tearfulness, change in appetite and sleep and other problems.  Anxiety is less likely to cause memory problems, but anxiety and depression can exist together.  Neither are likely to cause visual problems.

I am sure you have discussed the possibility of Alzheimer's disease with your mother's physician -- short term memory loss is one of the most common early symptoms, and there are often no abnormalities on CT scans.  It is not unusual for depression to accompany early alzheimer's disease, as the symptoms begin to appear, most people are aware of the changes, and often of the poor prognosis for the future, which can bring on significant depression.

I encourage you to go back to your primary care physician, ask your questions, and listen carefully to what is explained.  Don't hesitate to get a second opinion if you are not satisfied.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati