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Anxiety, fear of being killed, conversion disorder, cognitive behavior therapy

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 299 Questions
hi doctor my grandmother has had a disease that we could not find a cure for, the disease is that she cant move alot she crawls to the toilet, she shakes alot and i mean ALOT, she is not a diabetic no heart problems she went through an MRI scan nothing showed everything was good. At night she is usually scared that someone might come and kill her. the shakiness started in her legs then her hands then she felth that her body is getting weak. all of that started when her brother shouted as her sister in a VERY loud voice. now she cant eat alot , she is shaking. she has pills and medications but they do no use. please help us doctor!
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Vidya Muralidhar 14 hours later

Thanks for the query.

Your grandmother seems to be having an acute illness which is more related to the mind than her body.Since you have given a history of family problems and inter personal relationship problems , I feel that such incidents repeatedly have affected her causing a fear with in her she seems to be suffering from anxiety and fear that someone would kill her , as she feels insecure about her life when some one shouts at her

The symptoms of shaking of legs and body may mean a conversion disorder , where patients unintentionally transform their worries into physical problems to seek help and make people understand they have some problems which bother them.She needs a lot of care and re assurance long with medicines.

People who know her well and those who can understand her , must talk to her , assure her that she will be fine and tell her that no body will shout at her again , they need to talk to her , understand her worries and also try giving solutions for the same .A lot of affection and empathy is what is required for her

She may also need to consult a Psychiatrist for medicines.In old age Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, parkinson's disease, dementia and other neurological changes are expected to occur causing tremors and other complaints like shaking of the body, etc which need treatment.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy and other psychotherapies are the other treatment options apart from pills, to be followed with or without medicines.The psychiatrist is the right person to guide her on this.

She must also continue her high blood pressure medicines and not stop them without consulting a doctor , if she has not started any medicines for BP, she needs to start them if the pressure is high always.

Hope I answered your query.I would be available for follow ups as well.
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