Anyone out there dealing with health anxiety? just wondering if anyone knows any good solutions to it... i constantly worry about my health.. worry that i have, or am getting, some horrible disease... i had a really bad health scare about 2 years ago, got a wrong diagnoses for a brain tumor.. since then, i have been a WRECK thinking that every ache and pain is the beginning of a fatal disease... not sure how to remedy these thoughts!! i try to tell myself that if i had some HORRIBLE disease or if it really WAS a brain tumor and that got a wrong diagnoses that i probably would've already died by now... or at least been very sick... but since then, i have had SO many ailments... aches, and pains and fatigue .. and the list goes on... any suggestions?
Yes there a lot of us with health phobias and they can wreak havoc on your body and mind. Ive had it going on for years and for a long time was good at dealing with teh anxiety but for the last 2 months off and on it has been getting to me really bad.
The physical ailments come right along with it. Fatigue, aches, shooting pains, drymouth, and the list goes on and on. But try not to worry too much, your situation is not unique, so many of use deal with this and it really sucks. Then the mind starts to wander and you imagine all these weird ailments that you might have, hell I have thought I had 2 or 3 major diseases all within the last 2 months, pretty sad.
The good news is that it can be treated, start by seeing your regular doctor. Im probably going to have to see the doc soon and get treatment because the anxiety has really been pissing me off lately, I usually keep it under control pretty good.
I have the same issues, related to my mom's death from cancer - at least that's my "expert" opinion....I didn't start really obsessing about my health until after she died.
It went away for awhile, then came back when my son was about a year old, right after I returned to work after a year long maternity leave. I've had pains, weakness, vibrations - mostly in my arms and legs....I actually went to the emergency room back in January, convinced I was seriously ill (extreme weakness in left arm) only to realize afterwards that it was a panic attack.
I'm on antidepressants and seeking therapy to help overcome my issues. Also trying not to self-diagnose using the internet and feed my anxiety this way. Or self-check obsessively for symptoms, either. I've been finding that exercise helps a lot....to make me feel better physically and as a general distraction mentally.
Firstly, your post mentioned that you were incorrectly diagnosed with brain tumour and that gave you a scare 2 years back and ever since then you have developed health anxiety. Don't be too hard on yourself, anyone in your position would be rather shaken as well.
I have been diagnosed with GAD and health anxiety. Apparently the health anxiety is an OCD because of the constant worry and preoccupation of dying from a cardiovascular event and worrying about my blood pressure. I got a scare a few years back too, high blood pressure spikes and vertigo.
I have a fear of dying and apparently is it normal when you are faced by a crisis because it really shakes you up and makes you come to terms with your own mortality. One really needs to find a therapist to help you overcome this.
Though I am not entirely happy with my current therapist, I am happy with the progress I am making in reducing my constant worry about blood pressure . I am able to do a lot more than I used to. And this was after 3 sessions. So there is hope for health anxiety. Progress is not as fast as I would like- like you, I have many troubling symptoms but I am confident I will get better. I am sure I will require ongoing treatments.
My therapist recommended practising mindfulness which I was already practising
I call it meditation and I really find it useful. Like I stopped practising it for around 5 days and I feel I am missing some inner peace.
Attention training using sound as the stimulus has also showed good results for treating health anxiety according to some researches in Australia . Apparently the results were quicker and cheaper than CBT for hypochondriacs. It was essentially sound meditation where you took attention away from your symptoms for about an hour per session. Personally, if you can just relax to some good music and forget about your symptoms is good enough. And remember , just baby steps, even if you could start with a 5 minutes where you focus on something else other than your symptoms, this is great. You will find you can then build it up.
Just getting out and walking is great especially if it is a sunny day, housework does wonders too.
If you have a therapist, ask them about treatment modalities. Medication can be useful too but it is the behavioural techniques which need to be developed to reduce health anxiety. This is what I understand from my doctor. I am sure other members will post their personal experience.
It's incredible how many of these postings hit home for me. When I was a child and someone had an illness or died, it was always kept a secret. My imagination just took over because nobody ever explained sickness and/or dying. The tribe I come from has a lot of taboos about death which make sense now but didn't when I was younger.
A lot of family members would whisper about illnesses and I began to think I had them all. I've had myself in the grave more times than you can imagine.
Also had a dr who told me that if I didn't do exactly what she told me to do, I would be dead within a year - my BP was "high/normal". I changed drs.
Again, I thought I was the only one who felt like this.
Yes, I think that most anxiety sufferers obsess about their health and most are convinced that there is some life threatening disease that doctor's haven't diagnosed yet. My anxiety began 5 years ago when I had a molar pregnancy (freak occurrence). The attending doctor in the ER when I rushed in for an emergency D&C had no bedside manner and basically told me that one of the risks of this medical problem was that I could potentially develop cancer down the road. Talk about scaring the **** out of me! I was 27 with a 2 year old at home and my husband was on tour in Iraq!!
Needless to say it did start me on this emotional roller coaster that is anxiety and panic. It did make me come face to face with my own mortality. I think every mother worries about dying and leaving their small children behind.I suffered extreme anxiety and panic for almost 2 years after that. There was a period of time where it almost completely vanished but last spring my anxiety came back full swing.
In that time since, I have diagnosed myself with brain tumors, heart problems, MS, ALS, seizures, pretty much every scary disease imaginable. You are not alone. Even though it feels like you are the only one in the world going through it, this community is full of people just like you and me. My newest thing is tremors of my hands, head, jaw, and pretty much all over. I had posted this myself not that long ago and I got a lot of very reassuring feedback. I went to the doctor today and he wouldn't prescribe xanax because he said I've been dealing with this problem long enough and he doesn't feel medication is the answer to my problem. He thinks I should go to therapy or find something or a hobby or just change my outlook on life. Easier said than done!!
So I walked out of there today with no prescription for xanax and a neurological consult for my tremors which is already freaking me out and I have spent about an hour researching "possible" diseases. Needless to say, I have again scared the **** out of myself. But I have no choice but to wait because my neuro appt is not until June 10.
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