From a S. American teen: well im about 16 just moved to a whole new country with my family i been dealing with anxiety pain and drama also living with my moms problem and covering her i don’t know what is happening im having nightmares everytime i sleep and i’m never hungry i have major headache and now my left arms keep getting numb and i can’t feel it at times. i feel like im not even here cause there is a point when my body just goes numb. i also get feeling that my heart beat gets fast then slow now im just really upset but i seem not to really show it i also been having really bad mood where i don’t want to be with everyone. i need help i don’t know whats going on with me and what’s happenin …i need advise please

A: This must be quite frightening. I’m glad you are trying to take care of yourself by looking for some answers. You could have a medical problem, an emotional reaction to stress, or both.

The very first thing you do, and do immediately, is see a doctor. Even though you are going through a lot of changes and drama, you could still have a medical condition. With the symptoms you are reporting, it’s important to rule that out first.

Whether or not you have a medical problem, you still might need some psychological support. It could be that some or all of your symptoms are the result of a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. In that case, it would probably be helpful for you to see a counselor to help you manage the many stressors in your life. Please ask your doctor or some other trusted adult to help you find a counselor who works with teenagers.

Please don’t wait to make an appointment with your doctor. I’m concerned about you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie