I have written on here on a few occassions about different health fears/scares. I have been suffering with health anxiety for a long time now. I have gotten through the years without medication/antidepressants up until four years ago when I started taking 10mg of lexipro. I was very reluctant to take it because I was afraid that I might get some side effects. or in my case have a rare allergic reaction.
I worry about my health and I am tired of it. Tired of thinking the worst about every situation. I get a symptom and immediately think the worst, even if i am not sure it is something serious I go out of my way to make sure that it is NOT something serious. I go online looking to make sure that I am okay and I get nowhere.
I have felt lumps on my breast (once under my armpit) I have obsessed over skin discoloration, back pains, heachaches, rectal bleeding, mouth sores(oral cancer), sore teeth ,neck pain, heart palpitations, and the list goes on and on. I immediately go to the doctor when I have a symptom that I believe is serious. If I have a fever I automatically think I have swine flu or a serious infection. When I get a routine pap tests or mammogram I worry for days that the phone will ring and I will get some terrible news from a nice nurse. I recently had rectal bleeding and I skipped a menstral cycle. I panicked right away thinking I had endometriosis. where the period blood could break through to the rectum. I got a colonoscopy and was told I had bleeding hemmoroids (hemorrhoids) and that the missed period could be perimenapause. I had all the blood work done and everything was fine.
I am 45 years old now and I know that getting older will bring on some real illness' So now I worry about that. My latest obsession is whether or not to increase my meds to 20mg. My family doctor says it will help. But right away I go back to the rare allergic reactions that I might get Or that by raising the dosage I will get the same side effects that people get when they first start meds. I started taking lexipro at 5mg.(four years ago) I took it and about six hours after I woke up with a burning chest pain in the middle of the night. I thought I was having a heart attack. My doctor assured me that the pain was from anxiety and not from the lexipro. It went away once I sat up and walked around) I have been fine on the 10mg since then. I beleive the meds help me in other ways example I am no longer edgy or anxious while sitting in a room full of people, I can travel more, etc. However when it comes to this health anxiety, I am not even sure 20 mg of lexipro will help me.
I just wanta cry. I think this is so sad and I know other people suffer with it too. Please anyone who can relate . I would love to talk to others who may have suggestions or advise or who just need support like me.
Your not alone...I struggle every day with health anxiety....and have for ever....it is a horrible illness...the fear and panic are all consuming..I have found myself crying more and more lately because I am so tired of fighting this disease....
You are soooo not alone. I am 35 and been suffering with Anxiety and Panic since I was 19 years old. I seem to be a "pro" at it now. The obsession thing is something you may want to talk to your doctor about. I obsess over pregnancy scares. I am scared to be pregnant since I am on medication. I think I'm just scared period to be honest. I am so use to my life without kids that it's all I think about. I think the worst to like my kid would have down syndrome due to my age and deformed due to the Zoloft I take. It's not just you. Trust me on that one. The thing that helps me is for every negative thought, say a positive thought behind it or say "so what if" before every negative thought. You may find yourself laughing a little. The other thing that helps me is that I have full knowledge of knowing that I have no control over ANYTHING in the future. I think "whatever happens happens.. **** it". I notice that I dont worry as much. I wont say it works all the time, but it does help.
You know your fears are irrational. Were you to receive support from fellow hypochondriacs, that would only serve to reinforce your phobia, perhaps by making it acceptable. The best thing you can do is to find yourself a good therapist. You might also get involved in a variety of activities to distract yourself. Join a club. Go to a gym. Go fishing. Take a class in something you would enjoy. Sing in a choir. You might be spending too much time living internally.
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