Psychiatrist Questions Psychiatrist

Stress causing shakes?

My mother in law past away on Jan 7. My father-in-law isn't handling it well. His stress level is obviously really high. His chest hurts all the time. He has slowly been getting worse little by little as the days go on. Today has been the worst so far. He woke up and said it started with his fingers twitching, then it moved up his hands, up to his arms, into his shoulders, and now even his head is shaking. He was sitting and rocking involuntarily earlier. He hasn't been sleeping much. Barely eats. I know someone grieving shouldn't be alone, his daughter and her husband live with him. But they cause more stress than they help. So I try to sit with him as much as possible. But I am really worried about him tonight. I'm afraid he's showing signs of maybe a stroke? His blood pressure keeps spiking. It will go back down after I sit with him for a little bit. I sit with him at night until he falls asleep. But when I wake up in the morning, he's already awake and messaging me saying his blood pressure is already high. And his chest is already hurting. His eyes look a little swollen tonight also. But now that I've been sitting here with him for a few hours, he said his chest isn't hurting as bad, and he has stopped shaking. Was he trying to have a stroke?

Male | 51 years old
Complaint duration: 1 month

6 Answers

When you're feeling anxious, your muscles may become tenser, since anxiety primes your body to react to an environmental “danger.” Your muscles may also twitch, shake, or tremble. Tremors that are caused by anxiety are known as psychogenic tremors.
I am so sorry for your loss. My best advice, apart from the medical issues he is having, is to be with him, physically, emotionally, and mentally as much as possible. It seems he has physical support at his house but he might need you as emotional support to be with him and hold space for him.
First have see a medical doctor for a full medical workup. That said see this link...,anxiety%20and%20not%20because%20of%20some%20health%20problem.
Yes, that is very likely.
You should have him get checked out and if it's all due to stress may be getting him on something for that and going to therapy will likely help.
Please have him see his PCP or a cardiologist. His blood pressure should not be going so high so often. Hopefully, they can give him some relief. Grief can result in something called “broken heart syndrome “ so he might benefit from grief counseling as well. You are right, he needs support but also be sure to give him medically checked out.