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Can overobsessing over symptoms make them worse?
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Can overobsessing over symptoms make them worse?

can over obsessing over certain symptoms make them worse than they really are?
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, yes, Yes and yes. Thats how anxiety really gets you. The more you focus on your symptoms the worse they are. Just like googling diseases can make you start to think that you have them. It is all in your head. You need to remember that. I kept going back to my doctors and have had so many tests ran and nothing shows up. I finally realized that it has to be me doing all this to myself.  I still worry, but not even close to obsessing like I was doing when my anxiety first started. You have to try and keep busy and start to train your body to not worry so much. Its hard at first. It takes time and patience with yourself. Hope things get better for you. Hang in there.
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316570_tn?1193949367
Ohhh yes, I agree with tostressed!! After I had my zannie withdrawal seizures, I was 'curious' to know what they looked like so STUPID ME got on youtube and actually typed in tonic clonic seizure and watched some clips of people who had epilepsy having seizures. Let's just say I had a massive panic attack after that and got lectures from my mom and boyfriend for doing "research". When I was 21 I graduated EMT school. I had one of those massive trauma books, you know like the only kind you get when you are in emergency life saving positions? Well I had a stomach ache so rather than say "oh, maybe it's just gas" I opened my book...bad idea. The next couple of weeks I was insane with panic because I thought I had an aortic abdominal aneurysm. Yeah, your head can trick you into thinking bad or scary thoughts, I just try not to go that route with any symptom I have. If I don't feel good, it's because I just don't feel good. Same with any symptom I get. You will be ok, just tell your brain to knock it off and think of non devastating things. :)

Oh, when I was younger I also thought I had prostrate cancer once...until I learned what it was
~Amy
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165308_tn?1323190145
the answer is YES as everyone else has said it...obsessing works on any ailment you have. breathing, headaches chest pains, you name it, thinking about it makes it 100 times worse!  You need to divert your attention...Yes, easier said than done, but the more you practice changing your thought patterns the easier it will become.  Best to you.
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311051_tn?1193419806
Oh dear god, Yes! I do everyday from the time I wake up to the time i go to sleep. Anxiety is a tormenter, it feeds off you giving into it. I want to quit too, I am going to a cognative therapist and some support groups this week just to learn how to fight those thoughts. Good Luck! Stay busy.
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263369_tn?1191353669
Not only is obsessing unhealthy... but it can also lead to more 'self-diagnosing,' which seems awfully common among those with even mild mental disorders.  For years I never thought much about my brain or my mental health... until I ended up in a psychologist's office after long-term alcohol abuse.  I was fascinated with all the disorders in the DSM, and found myself pouring through it, as well as picking up all sorts of books in the bookstore... and from time to time came to believe I suffered from all sorts of odd personality disorders.  Get nervous while public speaking?  Social anxiety!  Get angry and shout at your sister?  Borderline personality!  Stay up all night working on a new project?  Definitely a manic state indicating bipolar!

The problem is we tend to focus not only on the big symptoms, but also the small symptoms.  And things that perhaps aren't even symptoms of any disorder at all.  Fatigue?  Perhaps it's not a sign of depression... perhaps we're just out of shape and ate too much!  Anger?  Perhaps there is a reason for it.  Depressed?  Maybe we really do hate our job and should look for a different career...  who knows.  Maybe much of what we come to see as disease is just a normal emotion.

It's usually better to focus on all the things that are right with us than the things that are wrong with us.

mark
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Avatar_m_tn
That is very well said.  I got into the whole self-diagnosis cycle, googling different symptoms trying to figure out what was wrong.  The bottom line is that sometimes our bodies just get out of whack and that is completely normal and happens to more people than would like to admit.  But focusing on the goods things in our lives can only bring about a positive attitude, which is so important when you are struggling along.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, overobsessing can make you seem worse than you are. I recently stopped focusing on what was wrong with me and started positive self talk and stopped worrying so much. It has made such a BIG difference in my struggle to become stress free and worry free. I have since stopped taking my anxiety meds and bipolar meds and I feel 100 times better than I did while on them. I don't even have problems sleeping anymore. I'm not saying everyone should do what I did because what worked for me may not be the same for another person.
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Avatar_n_tn
thats all i do im constantly on the net doing depressionn, bipolar. ocd etc quizzes. and you know what all i have is anxiety but you get so caught up in your minds chit chat you start to believe it.
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263369_tn?1191353669
Congratulations of feeling better 'naturally.'  While I understand there are many who benefit from drugs, I suspect a great many also get stuck in the 'med' trap who may not need to be there.  I've been off ADs and mood stabilzers for most of the year... and feel better than I have in years.  (And no... feeling better is NOT an indication of some underlying mania!)  But that's the kind of trap we fall into... and I can't tell you how many times an eyebrow has been raised when I've mentioned I've 'gone off the meds.'  Because we all know what that term has come to mean in modern society.  Nothing good.  And no matter how mild, or non-existent our symptoms, we are always warned about the nightmare scenarios, whether or not they apply to our circumstances.  I've had several doctors relate horror stories about patients who've gone 'wild' after going off mood stabilizers... ending up in the hospital after spending tens of thousands of dollars or going on crazy sprees of one sort or another.  Well... I've been off meds for many months and so far I'm sleeping better, feeling better, getting more production... and guess what... NO WILD spending sprees or hospitalizations.

The last counselor I checked out kept questioning why I'd never been hospitalized during a couple alcohol withdrawals many years ago.  I told her my family was quite able to see me through those crises... and since I never became suicidal or a homicidal maniac... I think I was better off at home.  She kept trying to get me to promise that I'd check into a hospital at the first sign of trouble.  I finally told her that if I felt like I had to go to the hospital, I'd no longer be needing her services... since I haven't felt the need to go to a hospital, every.

Bottom line... not only do WE often obsess about the worst... but even professionals sometimes have a way of doing this as well.  The good ones are careful about that.  But not all are good ones.

Good luck!

mark
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297937_tn?1309387462
Definaetly find something to divert your attention TO. Something that keeps you active and your
mind busy on something other than what stresses you out. Good Luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
What you are doing is pretty much what all this anxiety is...it's funny to see all these people doing and thinking all the things that drove me crazy, and I thought i was the only one!  Yes, positive thinking can help, but it's been my experience that anxiety and depression can trap you into obsessing and having revolving thoughts..Sometimes meds are necessary to help you end that horrible cycle and help yourself.  I dealt with it for 14yrs? thinking it was up to me to fix myself. That i was a failure because i couldnt make myself normal.  Thank God above I finally resorted to my "last resort" and tried lexapro.  Now my head is clear enough for me to rationalize and know what's a good thought, bad thought, real, or made up to torture me.  Good luck and God bless.
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Avatar_f_tn
Good to see someone else has done it and is doing well. That's great encouragement. The doctors prescribe sometimes based on what is going on with you in the moment and can sometimes misdiagnose or overmedicate.

Over the last few days I've read so much about all of these medications and how they can affect you that I don't want to look at a pill much less take one.

If you can get yourself to calm down and find little moments of peace, slowly you can get back on track and get back to a healthy you.
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Avatar_n_tn
A quick tip - if you find yourself focusing on an anxiety symptom (dizziness, chest pain, whatever) and allowing it to feel like it's growing in intensity try to SHIFT MENTAL SUBJECTS. If you can look at the people around you, or the room you're in then focus on that. Otherwise, there's the pinch approach. I pinch myself (just above the wrist works best for me). It shifts my focus from the anxiety sensation to the pain sensation. Do it a dozen times, and while you're attention is on your reddening wrist the tightness in your chest starts to ebb.

It can be hard to LET YOUR ATTENTION DISENGAGE - I start to worry that if I don't pay attention to the symptom then I won't know if there is a serious problem and need medical help. But the main thing I try to tell myself is that if the sensation is really increasing and serious it will pull my attention back to it.

In this way, I have stopped many panick attacks before they started.
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Avatar_n_tn
my anxiety iz takin ova my lyf an im only 18 wha can i do i keep thinkin im guna die and my body feels lyk it aint there
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Avatar_m_tn
I felt like this too and remember that there is nothing wrong with getting some help.  It may be you just need some help to deal with what is really bothering you even tho you have no clue what is REALLY bothering you!  If you have to start taking a low dose of medication to get you straight it isnt the worse thing in the world.  I was in the military for 13 years and anxiety and down thoughts hit me and it really got bad and I started obsessing and became so fearful.  I lost everything becuase I sunk to far.  I finally gave up and started taking meds and I got my life back...sometimes our brain chemicals get messed up due to stress or just hormones or whatever might cause it but there is nothing too abnormal about it since there are so many young people like you going thru these same feelings.  Please dont feel ashamed and you did the best thing by coming forward asking for help.  No one needs to suffer silently.  I was in remission from all my anxieties for quite some time but have become weak again but I am realizing it and know I need help again.  going to start the zoloft once again and I make the starting dose half of what the dr tells me and build up slowly... once it is in your system after a while everything seems to even out!!    Good luck!!
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Avatar_m_tn
I felt like this too and remember that there is nothing wrong with getting some help.  It may be you just need some help to deal with what is really bothering you even tho you have no clue what is REALLY bothering you!  If you have to start taking a low dose of medication to get you straight it isnt the worse thing in the world.  I was in the military for 13 years and anxiety and down thoughts hit me and it really got bad and I started obsessing and became so fearful.  I lost everything becuase I sunk to far.  I finally gave up and started taking meds and I got my life back...sometimes our brain chemicals get messed up due to stress or just hormones or whatever might cause it but there is nothing too abnormal about it since there are so many young people like you going thru these same feelings.  Please dont feel ashamed and you did the best thing by coming forward asking for help.  No one needs to suffer silently.  I was in remission from all my anxieties for quite some time but have become weak again but I am realizing it and know I need help again.  going to start the zoloft once again and I make the starting dose half of what the dr tells me and build up slowly... once it is in your system after a while everything seems to even out!!    Good luck!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your post mark. that really makes sense.  My focus really needs to be on focusing on what is right!
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