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for anyone dealing with health anxiety
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for anyone dealing with health anxiety

I suffer from severe health anxiety and I've noticed that a lot of people posting here do too. I wanted to make this thread for everyone to post about their health anxiety, the tests that have been done and most likely come back negative, and how each person deals with it on a daily basis.

My health anxiety is focused on my stomach. I constantly worry about what's going on with it and focus on every little feeling. Its been difficult for me to eat because I fear that eating will make whatever horrible disease I happen to think I have worse. For the entire month of september I was convinced that I was having gallbladder attacks and needed it removed. I went to the er 3 times that month and all my tests came back fine.

So then I began thinking I have something horribly wrong with my stomach like cancer or something thar the docs just don't know about. My doc has me scheduled for and upper endoscopy and more bloodwork coming up in january. She's convinced I'm just dealing with ibs as a result as the extreme stress I'm under constantly worrying about my stomach. She is probably right...when I take xanax my nausea and stomach pains subside...which clearly points to anxiety since xanax only helps anxiety not stomach ailments.

I'm finding it hard to live a normal life. No matter what's going on I'm always focused on how my stomach is feeling. I can't have fun anymore because of it and its slowly destroying my relationship with my boyfriend. I've been going to therapy for it since this all began after my grandmother died back in january. I was very close to her and it was very traumatic for me.

So I hope others will share so we can all see how we all do the exact same worrying about what's going on with our bodies. Maybe it'll help us just knowing that we aren't alone and that there are a lot of people suffering from health anxiety.
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Avatar_f_tn
Good post and I'm sure you will get many folks responding.

The one thing that really jumps off the page for me is the fact you've been seeing a therapist for almost an entire year and you don't seem to have really benefited much from the experience.
That the Xanax controls your anxiety but does nothing for your stomach issues makes me wonder why she hasn't sent you to a Gastroenterologist to rule out any problems there before apparently blaming it all on anxiety.
It may be time to search out a new therapist who will help you move on.
And there is no question that you, or any of us, is alone with our health anxiety!
I am very sorry about the loss of your Grandmother. Most of us can also relate to the traumatic loss of a loved one. It is terribly difficult.
I wish you the very best, and write to us anytime you need to talk.
Peace
Greenlydia
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Erin, sorry things aren't any better for you.  Hang in there you'll find lots of people who share this same anxiety. Take care.
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1348686_tn?1310657843
I too have health anxiety issues.  Mostly about my heart and my head.  I use to always think I was having a heart attack, brain anerusym or stroke.  I have had countless test and thankfully they came back negative.

My anxiety started almost 11 years ago when my grandfather died suddenly from a heart attack.  He was awaken from his sleep from the attack and by the time the ambulance got to him it was too late.  Two weeks later I had my 1st panic attack that woke me up out of my sleep and I went to the er because I thought I was having a heart attack.  Things just got worse from there.  

My anxiety comes and goes in phases.  I did therapy and meds in the past and they helped for awhile but eventually the anxiety returned.  I currently have a therapist that I love and she is helping me with CBT therapy which seems to be working.  Currently I am not on medication but I am doing things to try and live a healthier lifestyle.  I try and eat right, exercise, and I take a multi vitamin everyday.  I am not saying this is a cure but it does seem to help me.

I was doing great until recently.  I just found out my niece has Leukemia and my brother her fahter has Non Hodgkins Lymphnoma (stage 4).  My nieces prognosis looks good because she is stage 1 and they began treatment right away.  My brother is currently going through intense chemo.  He is only 28 so the fact that he is young is a good thing.  It is just really scary and now I am like a nut with my own kids.  I freak out over every little bruise.  I know I can't live like this so that is something I am working on with my therapist.

I truly think that with the support of the people on this forum and some hardwork we can all get better.

I hope that I didn't ramble on too much and that I was able to offer alittle insight to my health anxiety.  Thanks for the post and for listening.  I hope you feel better soon!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been dealing with  health anxiety for about two years. It all started when I had this mysterious black out and fell on my head. After that incident I kept having severe panic attacks all day for about a month. I didn't sleep or eat either. To this day I am not sure if it might of been psychosis or just panic. It was very scary, I felt like I was going insane. Everyday I constantly monitor all my body sensations. I have a fear of getting Psychotic Depression. Sometimes I get these weird sensations in my nervous system that makes me very irritable. When that happens it is just the most uncomfortable feeling, like I cant escape myself. I haven't really had any really bad moods in a while, so I think i am finally starting to get over it and deal with things better.  In time things will get better along with practicing positive thinking.
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1525827_tn?1334761605
After two deaths of people who I was close to, I started to develop what I believe is health anxiety. I worry about every little ache, pain, twitch, or tingle.

My anxiety mostly revolves around neurological issues. One week I believe I have MS and the next week I believe I have a tumor. Now, I'm worrying about ALS.

What doesn't help is that I research every symptom. It just adds to the stress and anxiety. I can't eat. I can't sleep until my body will literally shut down. My mind is working overtime.

It's horrible and debilitating. I can't concentrate on anything else. It's a vicious cycle.

My issue is that I also refuse to take medications for my anxiety.
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1448936_tn?1363209946
Greenlydia: I may have worded it wrong but the only time my stomach feels normal is after I take xanax which is why my doc is pretty certain it is all just anxiety. I am seeing a gi in january for a few more tests but so far all bloodwork and xrays have showed nothin abnormal at all. I am doing a million times better than I was a few months ago. I actually get hungry again but I start getting anxious while I eat or right after which makes me feel sick and miserable. It hasn't been very fun to say the least.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think it may have been me who misunderstood..........but if the Xanax does help the stomach problems, then it is more than likely anxiety related. I'm still glad that you are going in for a couple more tests as it's better to be safe than sorry.
If they can't find any physical reason for you to feel anxious and miserable during and after you eat, then it must be something psychological which means therapy.
You're doing everything you can to figure this out, so listen to your doctor, ask questions if you have any and I'm sure they will find an answer for you.
Perhaps if you change some things about how and when and where you eat, it may help. Maybe a few really light meals throughout the day rather than 3 big meals? I'm just tossing ideas out, but I'm pretty sure you've tried just about everything. Does it help if you watch TV or read while you eat? Keep your mind off how you're feeling while you're eating?
Hang in there, Toots. You'll be OK.
Peace
Greenlydia
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Avatar_n_tn
I think you have opened my eyes to what my younger brother is suffering. He is extremely afraid of any changes in his body, particularly his heart and head. He had heart palpatations and was convinced he was having a heart attack. It has been 1 1/2 years since and he constantly gasps for breath every minute of the day because he thinks he will run out of oxygen. Tonight, his ears were ringing. He broke down crying and shaking convinced he would pass out. How is only 8 years old... do you have any suggestions for me? We have no idea what to do any more...
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1448936_tn?1363209946
I started having health anxiety when I was 6. I was always scared that if I ate I would get sick and throw up so I refused to eat unless I was at home. My parents took me to a child psychologist who I saw for about 3 years. They have therapists that specialize in children. Its not uncommon that kids have anxiety but there are a lot of doctors that can help.

It does seem like he's suffering from health anxiety. Until he can start seeing a therapist just keep reassuring him that what he's feeling is normal and everyone feels the way he's feeling at sometime or another. That used to help me when I was kid...my mom used to have to put her hand on my stomach as to reassure me that I just had gas in my stomach and that I was ok and it used to help me feel better.
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Avatar_f_tn
I suggest you get your brother to a doctor for a complete work up. Gasping for breath "every minute of the day" may be his anxiety, but there may be more to it than that. Maybe his anxiety is manifesting because he can't breath right. Ringing in the ears can frequently be a side effect of some medications, but I gather he isn't on anything.
I just think it would be very wise to get him to his pediatrician as something is going on and it shouldn't be ignored. It may be nothing physical in which case he would probably benefit from seeing a child psychologist/psychiatrist.
Peace
Greenlydia
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Erin626,
                I'm sorry for all what you live each day... I feel the same way than you, but for me my anxiety is not focused on my stomach but into my heart and head sensations. I post a thread 1 day ago about my anxiety problems, you can read it if you want.

Like you, I also constanly worry about what's going out with it and every little symptoms I feel inside my body. A heart beat skip, a fast pulse rate, a slow pulse rate, an not stable pulse rate, red ears (who is linked to high blood pressure), all of this lead to panic attacks every day because i'm focused on my heart and think that I will die from a heart attack or heart failure when I will do    a big panic attack (big panic for me mean pulse rate above 200 or more with extreme chest pain who lead to a black out), I experience once in a while those big panic attacks and they destroy the small positive thoughts I have or the small hope I have when I succeed to sit in a car and go far away from my home for more than 1 hour... I don't know if you understand what I mean? It's like every little small victories are completly forget by my brain each time I have again a big panic attack and I have to Re-done all the same process of progressive exposure to driving or being a passenger in a car, or stay in the shower even if my pulse rate is very fast and that I start having tremors or feel like I will faint or like my blood pressure is really high.... It suck all my energy.

I also worry a lot about my head, of course, I had a MRI done last january for the chronic headache and the result was negative, no problem with my brain, no cancer or anything else... but I can't stop focusing about the headache, especially when my headache increase in the evening and when I can feel my pulse rate on the left side of my head, near the temple. That lead to panic attack also. Since i'm med sensitive, I can't take some Advils for the headache or anything else...

Of course, I can't exercises cause every little increasement of my pulse rate lead to panic. And like you, i'm on a Benzo med, I take 8 mg of Rivotril a day, but strangely, it's not decreasing the heart obsession or the headache issue, or the anxiety. In fact, I think that the huge dose of Rivotril I take each day and the addiction and the fear of missed a dose just lead to more anxiety in me. I take 0.5mg of Rivotril every hour now... I find the rebound anxiety to be less annoying than taking the whole 2 mg at the same time only 4 times a day.

I don't know what is your dose of Xanax each day, but if it's low, it's ok. If it's higher than 4 mg, I think addiction can be a problem and just lead to more anxiety... Since Benzo meds tend to stop being effective after several years of use, in my case more than 3 years on the Rivotril at high dose...  and 2 years on low dose of Valium. Yeah, I stop them 2 or 3 times, had to taper the Rivotril very slowly, but wasn't able to stay Benzo free for more than 1 week and had to return on them because of the panic disorder...

Also, i'm like you, I had so many test done this year, with the Cardiologists (2 different Cardiologists, just to be sure the first didn't miss something important), a Neurologist, had several blood work, lungs X-ray, several ECG for my heart, especially when I go to the emergency because I was thinking that I had a heart attack, and like you all the test come back negative!!!

I also find it hard to have a normal life and my relationships with everyone are affected. I lost all my friends, can't go out of my house, can't have fun, don't have a boyfriend.... My family is the only friends I have now, especially my mom...

I'm also sorry for your grandmother and I understand your pain. I lost my grandmother 8 years ago and I was close to her!!! It was like my mom for me... the second mom...

Like you, I see a Therapist since last March. No improve so far... She's not a bad therapist but I don't improve a lot because I have a lot of anxiety disorders (Social phobia, GAD, OCD, as well as some personnality disorders), so that's maybe why I don't improve a lot.  I also done a group therapy for panic with agoraphobia and had no improve at all, in fact I was feeling just worse after it cause I was very frustrated about seeing the others in the group improving and not me!!!

I agree that share with others who live the same situation with the anxiety help a lot and decrease the anxiety or at least decrease the high tendency to dramatize every negatives experiences we live each day...

Well, I wish you good luck and keep the faith!!! You are not alone!!!

Bye!

Vince ;-)
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1522533_tn?1291395149
Hi erin, really sorry you've had to suffer from anxiety from such an early age, I hope things start to improve for you soon, how are you doing with trying to give up smoking?
Try to convince yourself that this really is a positive step and keep heading in that direction, I know its easier said than done but I'm sure all your hard work will pay off eventually! Good luck and God bless!
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1541359_tn?1293842866
My anxiety all hit me because of undiagnosed acid reflux diease for the longest time i thought i had something wrong with my stomach and now i get full blown anxiety attacks whenever i get any pain or numbness in my body. Here are the tests that i've had done Mri of the head, and neck ct, abdominal scan, echo stress test, 4 ct scans of the head, xrays of the neck,  xrays of the chest, and like 30 blood work tests and i'm still freaking out, i have dizzyness all the time chest pains, feel like i cant breath, migraines and still no answer other than you have anxiety it ***** i wish i never had this
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946813_tn?1299970178
Great thread....it is at least a little comforting to read that others are dealing with similar issues.  I too have health anxiety and depression - on and off for close to 20 years.  It seems to be getting worse for me as I'm getting older.  I can relate to the others whose concern is heart and head, although I also go through periods where it's cancer or muscular diseases like MS or ALS.  Today it's my head that had a pain - stroke? anyerism?  It is exhausting to always be so aware of every ache and pain and then worrying about what it "is" or "could be".  I try to appear normal, but I certainly don't feel 'normal' -- I feel like I'm losing it!  I don't have insurance so I really try to keep my doctor visits to a minimum.  I haven't been to the ER, although there have been times when I was sure I needed to go...my husband is very helpful in talking me down from whatever is freaking me out.  Night time is hard for me - not sure why.  My anxiety seems to intensify when I wake up in the middle of the night.  The dark maybe makes me feel trapped.  I'm a bit claustrophobic too - I need to feel like I can get 'out' if I need to.  (not sure if that makes any sense???)
I've posted in this forum before - I appreciate all the many responses I've gotten!!  
The silliest things and thoughts make me cry lately - it's like I'm always on the verge of sobbing.  I hate being this way...it's not who I want to be...
Thanks for starting the thread!
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1118884_tn?1338596450
This is an interesting thread.  What I am seeing is that frequently an event, maybe unexpected ''real' illness or death of family member, can be a catalyst for all these worrisome health anxieties.  If we also have anxiety due to no health insurance...am certain that amps up the anxiety.

Funny thing.  I never thought much about serious health probs: my sis was the ummmm slightly hypochondriac in family.  Then...bang...one year after retirement and a colonoscopy which indicated all was well I was diagnosed with stage IIIb anal cancer.  

That was in 2007.  I am alive and well....but must admit that I have 1) lost confidence in docs to an extent and 2) have health anxieties I never did before cancer treatment.

So...our challenge is to face the fears.  I now have visited several specialists for repair work and gotten my mammogram, etc.  After cancer, I found myself avoiding the usual tests, something I always did without a second thought.  

Get to the doctor or ER when you are really feeling awful. It could be a physical ailment.
If at all possible get into therapy or to a psychiatrist if tests indicate you are well.

Love Green's suggestion on eating.  Hope you will try that.  Distraction is a tool I use daily to overcome fear of getting out of apt.  I have a real problem, but like erin, lots of it can be conquered with 1/2 clonazapam in my case.  I have no sphincter muscle, so for me to get out and to the Y is a major victory.  I have accidents, but no longer let memory of them stop me.  

We are in this world for a limited time.  Lets face fears; let friends or spouses help us through hard times, and carry on.  One of my sons was murdered in March, and that event caused agoraphobia to ramp up.  Grief was expected.....but passing out in public ..no.   So I know what the death of a loved one can do to your emotions.

AM...re your crying continually.  My doctor has told me many times that unrelieved anxiety inevitably leads to depression.  I am glad you have an understanding spouse.  I live alone...well, if you don't count neighborhood cat who is now spending more time in my apt!  BTW: cats are great at calming you down...bet you already knew that!
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1549915_tn?1294621104
Wow, god Im so sorry about everything and everyone. My health anxiety began after my drink was spiked in a nightclub I was rushed into hospital with a heart rate of 180, and was told I would have a cardiac arrest if they didn't get fluids in my stystem immidiantly. I'm here 6months on and I'm incredibly paranoid! I've been to A ana E countless times... Had countless  ECG's...blood tests a 24 hour heart moniter and they've all come back fine. However I still get aches and pains in my chest and I constantly fear I'm having a heart attack or going to have a cardiac arrest, Its taken over my life too, I can't be on my own anymore, and constantly break down about these pains! As they are real! And I fear that everyone thinks I'm mad when I explain them to people, argg but surely by now...I would of had a heart attack...thAt's what keeps me going and the amount of tests and diff docs I've seen surely they would of picked up on something!?
Thinking of you all, this isn't forever! It just feels like it
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1551963_tn?1302296332
Hello, I have Health Anxiety but i don't view it as a disease. I think it is our bodies warning us and it is installed there on purpose. Let me explain, My mother had anxiety for 40 years. The first 10 years they blamed anxiety until she was diagnosed with diabetes type 2 but of course the doctors still treated anxiety which i must admit was nessasary. 20 years later. she flared up again and went back saying something is wrong. when they told her it's nothing,she refused to stop searching and they finnally found the breast cancer stage 2. they got her into remission but in the process the chemo messed up her heart so she had to have a pace maker. 15years of being in remission and still treating anxiety. she started having another episode and they found nothing. they did all kinds of tests. blood, xrays, cat scans, and every other test you can think of to look for cancer but nothing. at that time she was also having breathing problem and one of her vocal chords was paralized. they could not explain why. they just gave her some kind of shot that helped alittle. they thought it might be gravis but test came back negative. 3months later, after they convenced her that she would be fine and alot of it was anxiety, she went back to the doctors for head aches and neck problems. this doctor put some dye in her spine and found all her problems. stage 4 breast Cancer with a mass that went from her neck to the bottom of her right lung. She died on Nov 4th, 2010. I've had stomach problems for ten years. blood preasure problems for two years and now my heart is skipping with light headedness. they blame it on anxiety, well i've had anxiety attacks where i would nearly pass out from hyperventalating and my hands drawed up to my chest like i was having a stroke but i never had my heart skipping and feel faint all of a suddon. So do i just take a pill and ignore what my body is saying or do i keep fighting for my life.
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1551963_tn?1302296332
I will say that worring does not help but it is nessassary to rule out everything and to do it with more than one doctor because they are not God and they make mistakes. I miss my mom and there is nothing i wouldn't do to change what happened but i can't. The one thing i can do is make sure i'm o.k and you can't hold anything against me for that, right?
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946813_tn?1299970178
I am so sorry about the loss of your mother!  I'm sure it's even worse to think that things could have been different if her symptoms were looked into more thoroughly.  I hope I don't sound mean or unsympathetic when I say, those kinds of comments are VERY difficult for some of us to read.  It's hard enough to deal with feeling like you always have 'something', so reading comments like yours puts more worry/anxiety into my head.  (I can't speak for anyone else)  I know it's an open forum for comments, I guess I just like ones that don't have such tragic endings... sorry!
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Avatar_m_tn
I have had anxiety on and off for many years.  I suffered greatly with this disorder.  I would get skipped heart beats, racing heart, dizziness, lightheadedness, be off balance, chest pains, gastro problems and headaches.  My legs felt like jelly at times.  I would check my heart constantly.  I would shake and tremble.  I would panic in large crowds and would make sure I knew where the closest exit was everywhere I went, or I would just stay in the car while my family shopped.  Driving was almost impoissible.  My heart would race when I was at a red light.  I had all the usual tests done including MRI for the headaches and dizziness. I tried medication and yes it did help but the side effects were more than I could bear.  I had to do a lot of research.  Here are some of things that helped me.  I am not saying this will help everyone I am just saying what helped me.  First of all I realized that staying in the car had to stop.  I had to face my fear.  Also I decided that running out of a situation when I had a attack was also out of question.  It was very very hard but I had to face reality.  When I felt better with this next I attacked my driving.  This was more difficult but evenutally I prevaled.  Most impoirtantly I had to change my diet.  If you read some of my other posts you will see that I cut down on sugar and carbs.  Sugar is one of the worst things you can put in your body.  It does a number on you. Check labels!  Carbs turn into sugar so carbs must be limited also.  I also took good nutritional supplements (whole food supplements not synthetic ones found in suchplaces like drug stores).  Vit D3 is a very good vitamin to take.  It is the sunshine vitamin.  It helped me out a lot.  I went to the health food stores and told them my problem and they were very helpful.  With trial and error I found the right combination that helped me.  I am not saying this will help everyone but it did help me.  Also part of my problem was lack of sleep.  Anxiety made me tired but I could not sleep at night.  I found that taking magnesium before bed helped me sleep.  Talk to your doctor about supplements also to make sure you don't make any interactions.  I hope my story helps.  I don't of course have all the answers, I am just relayimg to everyone what helped me.  
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1549915_tn?1294621104
I'm really sorry but I have to agree, my minds slightly racing now. I know you mean no harm and I'm really sorry for the loss of your mother.
Keep smiling
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1551963_tn?1302296332
I'm sorry if i've made anybody more anxious, i would not wish that feeling on my worst enemy. I just want to try and help others. I know that it doesn't mean you have cancer or even diabetes, I'm not trying to scare the pants off you guys. I'm simply saying that it is a good idea to pay attention to other symptoms you may be having that the anxiety is masking because we all know ones you go into full blown anxiety mode, you don't really know where it is coming from. I just got an upper GI scope done today and they said i have real bad acid reflux and Gastritis but they didn't see any cancer or anything life threatning. the doctor says it could be from stress but he did a biopsy to make sure it's not an infection. I reminded him that i was treated for H.pylori 2mths ago and that i would think it would be the culprit. He said,we will see. I'm not a doctor and i don't know what you guys are going through other than the anxiety but i just want you to look at the big picture and maybe find another way to treat your problem. for me, it is definitely tied to my stomach problems but i would not know that if i didn't keep searching for answers.
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1551963_tn?1302296332
I also found out that some people have no symptoms with H.pylori . so it made me start thinking that maybe they do have symptoms but the doctors are not putting two and two together. I'm just saying it only takes a ***** of blood for the test and you'll be positive or negative. you just have to ask your doctor to check you for it. what could that hurt. they give you antibiotics and that is supose to clear it up. if it doesn't. then you take another round of antibiotics. Like i said before, i'm not a doctor, i'm just trying to make sense of things. and my problem is isolated to my stomach i have no doubt about that anymore.
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1551963_tn?1302296332
if you go to the acid reflux forums you will see that there is a strong connection with anxiety and stomach problems.
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1551963_tn?1302296332
I guess what i'm trying to say is that anxiety does not cause anxiety. There are many things that cause your mind and body to go into what i would call i type of shock. It could be stress but not everyone that has anxiety is dealing with alot of stress. it could be a tramatic event but not everyone has had one of those either. sometimes it could be other events that are happening in the body. that does not mean it's truely life threatening but it could mean that your body is warning you. Maybe a food alergy (allergy) and/or other alergies (allergies). Maybe an infection or an ulcer. Just because a doctor has said it's anxiety and wants to throw pills at me is not good enough for me. i want to fix the problem, not cover it up with mind and body numbing drugs. Now, if it is stress or trama, that is another issue that may call for certain anxiety/depression meds obviosly, but if that does not exist in your life then don't except that it's just anxiety because thats a lie!!!!!!
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946813_tn?1299970178
obviously anxiety doesn't cause anxiety, but anxiety can cause aches and pains which can lead to more anxiety.  you're right, doctors don't know everything - but running tests can be helpful in easing fears that something is going on.  no offense, but the people in this forum don't need continuous comments about all the 'what if's' or that doctor's only 'say' it's anxiety when there's really something wrong....  just my opinion
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Avatar_m_tn
First of all, I am so sorry that you lost your grandmother. My anxiety was triggered after my grandmother was diagnosed with melanoma on her cheek, and all my life she's been just like a mother to me. Since there is no one else around, I spent almost a month in hell calling on the phone and traveling, trying to find the best place and doctor to treat my grandmother. Luckily she is fine now, and they found out it wasn't a melanoma after all. The night we got the good news I got my first panic attack. I thought I was having a heart attack. That was 5 months ago. I don't have panic attacks anymore, but I have a constant fear that I am terminally ill. I was first obsessed with my lymph nodes. Even though my lymph nodes were completely fine, I was convinced that they were enlarged, and I had AIDS or leukemia. Then I got a really bad chronic pharyngitis. the anxiety destroyed my immune system, and my body just couldn't handle the illness. I was convinced it was a throat cancer. Then I got a problem similar to yours. My stomach was bloated under my left ribcage, I had a strong dull pain on the right side of my chest and a sharp pain bellow my ribs, I could feel spasms in my stomach... I believed I had colon cancer, liver cancer, spleen cancer, gallbladder stones. Now it's my heart. Ever since the anxiety started my blood pressure is high. I'm 27 and my BP is 140-150/100-110. I am convinced there's something terribly wrong with my heart. Even the medications I was perscribed by the doctor to lower my BP won't help, and I am desperate. I've spent the last three months visiting the doctor so often, that honestly, I am ashamed to go again. It's interesting that when I obsess myself about a new disease, I completely forget about the previous. That's when I loose the symptoms too. I am desperate because I can't trust my own body anymore. If something hurts, I don't know is it a real problem, or my anxiety. The doctor found out that I have a terrible pharyngitis after I went to have my tongue checked. I was so focused on the little red spots I had on my tongue that I completely neglected that fact that I had real problems with my throat. Oh, by the way, my worst enemy is the INTERNET. I spend a lot of time surfing for symptoms, and it just makes me feel more frightened. I still can't believe this is happening to me. I used not to look after my health at all. I would never visit a doctor, unless I really got terribly sick, and now this? I was on Xanax for a month, and it did help a lot, but it completely erased my memory. I hate that. it feels like I wasn't even there. I  can't wait to start therapy next month. I can't deal with my dizziness, tachycardia, and trembling anymore. I just want my old self back. It's funny how I am completely aware of all this, but still can't find a way to control it. I also feel lucky that I found a place where I know i will be fully understood. I have a great support from my family, friends, and bf, but they could never know how I feel. I wish all of you the best.
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1551963_tn?1302296332
If you have read my comments then you would have seen that i do except that stress and tramatic events can cause anxiety but i also said that it would be smart to look further if stress is not high in you life or you've had no tramatic events. I was only pointing out that anxiety can also come from other events in your body. knowledge is good. I was sharing it. Sorry if that bothers you. It was my mother that i lost. I'm sorry for your lose.
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anxiety is not a wonderful thing and i don't want to come across like it is. This is my personal opinion and it helps me deal with things. I like to try to figure out why things are happening and my personality makes me question what doctors say. i think it is smart to research things. The only problem i see is when we let anxiety control our mind set. I have personally came tp realize that my anxiety is a feeling of loosing control but one day i came to the conclusion that i never had control. i can't control when i die or how i die. i thought i could by avoiding things but that is not the case. people die of all kinds of diseases every day and some have never used tobaco and some wash there hands after and before everything they do. that probably helps your chances but it doesn't mean it won't happen. so i asked myself how long will i allow this monster to control me and then i decided to fight back. I told myself that i would go down swinging. so when i felt it coming on i would keep doing what ever it was i had planned and i don't care if i pass out right there and die. i already looked insane to people so i figured they could just get over it and i was going to win this battle or die trying. i was sick of not having a life and i knew i had three choices. i could take my own life which is stupid and selfish. i could allow this thing to control me for ever or i could look the demon sqaure in the eyes and punch him in his damn mouth! i haven't taken meds for anxiety in years. i still have some spells but i know how to deal with that toothless demon. it didn't happen over night and the battle is not over but i win every time now. after i had gained control of my mind i then could relize where it all was coming from. My stomach
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i hold down a good job now i have a wife and four children and my life  is pretty good  even though some people still thing i'm crazy s and some stomach issues i'm treating. I don't know when i'll die and i don't care. i'm gonna live my life as long as the good lord allows me to and i'm gonna do it as a fighter. i hope that helped clear up my views on this topic.
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Hi Erin.  I have the exact same anxiety as you.  Exactly.  Except I can't even type the word because it freaks me out too badly.  I can't eat at all.  If I do (like when I take my meds) I have horrible anxiety afterwards.  Then I have anxiety for about an hour or two before I even have to take them just because I have to eat with them.  I'm lucky to get down a piece of bread.  I'm hypervigilant too.  Bad.  I'm constantly checking in to see how it's doing/feeling.  I actually laugh with joy when my stomach growls because that is the opposite of you know what.  Sometimes when the fear gets too bad and is making it worse, I have cut myself to make it stop.  I'm not proud, but that is how strong my fear is.  I have had it since I was 7.  I am now 39.  I can't even say the word of what I'm afraid of in therapy.  So my therapist knows I have a phobia just not of what.  I've never even tasted seafood b/c of the potential for food poisoning.  Same thing, I stopped eating chicken 15 years ago, samonella you know.  I don't eat mayonaisse on anything.  I refuse most vegetables which take a long time to exit the digestive tract.  Especially lettuce.  I eat bread.  That is all.  Sometimes chocolate.  But mostly just one slice of bread a day.  It *****.  So bad.  I cook for my family every night and it smells so good!  I've never shared this fear before.  Ever.  No one can figure out why I never eat.  I just tell everybody my meds take away my appetite or "I ate earlier" or some dumb excuse.  
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How is your weight if you dont mind me asking? Is the lack of eating causing any other problems? I am super paranoid about food as well. I wont eat if my husband cooks it! Or my mother or stepfather. Pretty much everyone! But when I cook and prepare it I am ok with it. I overcook my chicken always. As far as mayo I am irrational and have to have a new jar open each time I use it. I am the same way with lettuce.
I hope you are getting help with the eating. We need to chat some more!
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I apologize if I seemed insensitive or rude.... I may have misunderstood what you were saying.  I'm glad that you have a loving family, it can be such a help when dealing with this type of problem.  If people think you're "crazy" then they are the ones with the problem... EVERYONE is dealing with SOMETHING and the old stereotyping of people with emotional/depressive issues - calling them crazy - is just annoying to me.  I hope that you continue to heal and find ways to deal with what you're going through.  Again, I apologize for the misunderstanding... I was having a bad day and may have been typing out my own frustrations.
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some suggestions:

deep breathing  (breath in- positive energy/happy----breath out  negative energy/toxic)
visualization
meditation
brisk walks/exercisize  (at least 3 hours before bed)
yoga
calming teas (chammomile)
calming music
bath bedfore bed
get rid of toxic people in your life
there are lots of supplements  for anxiety/sleep that can help a lot
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Jl: I have a hard time eating as well. And I use the same excuses as you. Eating in a restaurant terrifies me because I don't know how safely they handle the food. Most time I just nibble small amounts of food. If I even can eat. I'm anxious for about 3 hours when I do eat. And like you...I'm so terrified of my phobia I still can't talk directly about it with my therapist. My bf doesn't understand it because I've been sick from drinking but I was so drunk I had no idea it was even happening so he doesn't know about the phobia. Its a terrible thing to fear.
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I've been super anxious the past week or so...actually I thought my anxiety was getting a little better, then someone I work with had a brain aneurysm.  That was it for me -- even though I tried not to think about it, it was in my head.  Since then I've been freaking out with every little pain or sensation in my head.  Last week I started getting a cold so of course along with that there's some pain... well is it my sinuses??  is it from the cold??  or is it something worse??  It's making it difficult for me to sleep because I lay there focused on whatever pain I'm feeling and thinking what if something happens or what if something is wrong.  It's exhausting!!  I HATE having this health anxiety!!  I feel like it's selfish, when all I'm thinking about is me and 'what if's'.  We don't have insurance so I don't go to the ER.  My doctor knows I have an anxiety problem, I wonder if his way of reassuring me is by NOT ordering a bunch of tests...?  Maybe I should request a CT scan of my head.  I don't know.  If it's not one thing it's another -- and right now it's my head.  Like someone previously mentioned, always worried about aneurysms or a stroke - that's me too.  I'm not really sure how to stop the cycle of worried thinking.  I wish I could cuz it's making me depressed.
(thanks for starting this thread!!)
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AM,
I'm so sorry you're having a difficult time.  All this obsessive thinking really stinks, right?  I know, believe me I do.  It's all part of it.  That must have been quite traumatic to have a coworker with an aneuryism!  It would throw me for a loop, that's for sure.  I know this isn't much, but whenever I start obsessing, I just say to myself.  "It's not true, my brain is playing tricks on me" over and over and over.  It helps some.  Makes me giggle a little.  I try to be on the look out for what if statements and cut them off at the pass.  Mainly, I just try to be really, really aware of what I'm telling myself and then focus on what is true and what isn't.  I know, it isn't much, but it's all I got on this one!  Hope you find some peace soon!  Jen
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I have constant burping and fluttering sensations in my upper chest I think I am going to die all the time,I can't take it any more,it's driving me to distraction. It all started ten years ago when my step father and grandad died in the same year. I am severely obese now and a type 2 diabetic I am having gastric band surgery soon,please let this be the answer to my prayers!!
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i have had anxiety for a couple of years already, and it usually never pops up unless I scare myself.

I am only 14 years old and I freak out about everything. This summer has been pretty much wasted on worrying, and I'm sick of it. Whether it be my stomach feeling odd, my organs feeling sore or pains, headaches (caused by stress), or any symptoms that allergies pretty much decided to contribute into my issue.

My only relief is that I talk to my mother and she reassures my that I'm fine, it lasts for a while and then I scare myself into another stupor. I don't feel hungry a good amount of the time, i still eat just so i won't lose weight, but when I calm down, I feel fine, and I eat normally until it comes to my mind once again.

Sometimes I'll go hang out with friends and I'll feel fine, but not lately, when I only was scared about my anxiety, I was fine, hanging around with friends and my girlfriend, but since the allergies kicked in and the laziness from the summer kicked in, my body's health feels like it has plummeted. I feel tired and fatigued all the time, my arms and legs fall asleep a lot. I know I should go back to a normal sleep schedule, but I stay up anyways. I eat bad, I don't exercise much anymore like i know I should, and the anxiety is just icing on the cake and makes things 10x worse.

I freak out so much, and I'm ready to get over it, I also refuse to take meds because I know it's a challenge I can overcome. I've been through ridiculous fears, cancer, hiv, blood related diseases, all that, and I just debunk them one by one, i'm just ready to stop it completely, and to be normal again.
best regards,
marcus.
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Your post helped me identify when my health anxiety started. My sister was diagnosed with Tuberculosis about a year and a half ago, did not spread it to me or my family members, and is now cured. But it left me very health conscious...

The biggest anxiety attacks included the following:
1. Thinking I might have somehow got heartworms from a coughing dog when staying with some relatives for two weeks... Even had the dog tested... I am quite embarrassed about it now that I think back.
2. Lead poisoning from helping to renovate an old house. Tested, totally fine.
3. Lastly, and more current. I am very conscious of the risks of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other currently incurable diseases... I avoid physical contact, and dwell on ridiculous things! A friend of mine was a little drunk at a party, he went to the bathroom, washed his hands, and joking touched my chin with his wet hands. I try to not let others know about my health anxiety, but that experience bothered me for days... and whenever I go to the doctor for blood work to check for anything, it makes me paranoid that the needle might be reused accidentally and I may contract some kind of disease from that!

The more I learn about health and diseases from my college classes, the worse it got. A helpful tip for anyone with health anxiety, is to simply not looking up symptoms for diseases online (I know this is really hard to avoid). If you are sick, go see a doctor! Please do not self diagnose, one real symptom may just lead you to imagine other symptoms of a specific disease. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.

Health anxiety is a pain and this is my first time sharing this with anyone. Feel free to reply to reassure me of anything! =P and share your own story.
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hi DancingJean

I came across this comment and I have the exact same circumstances and symptoms/ hang ups as you described. I too lost 2 people and I worry about MS and MND all the time.

Did it get better for you in time and what were your symptoms I hope there is hope for me yet.

thanks

emma

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Hi just read through all these messages as i too feel the same. Its so exhausting!! I feel like a freak and im tiered of worrying. I worry about my heart and head also and have suffered panic attacks as well as ending up in hospital alone after collapsing when drunk outside a club! Such a bad experience and its brought on so much health aniexty!!
Everytime i hear a bad story about someone having headaches and dropping dead or having a stroke and end up paraylsed i convince myself its gunna be me next and i picture people visiting me in hospital. Its horrible like a constant nightmare when i am awake. Only problem is...what do we do about it???? PMA is always a good idea but hard keeping up. Im always dizzy mainy and feel 'weird' i know deep down its the anxiety but im thinking i have a brain tumour also..or about to have a stroke. Exhausting!!!
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I have to agree with you the "what if" comments are what keeps us "anxiety sufferers" In a constant state of fear. "what if its this, what if its that" I know you mean no harm but it does /will send people into a panic attack or relapse the progress they have had beating anxiety, saying "what if it's a infection or an ulcer" might not help, cause maybe they didnt get tested for those things... which in turns throws them back into panic mode :( i know you dont mean harm but it might be harmful to say it like that
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I am in the SAME boat as you THE EXACT SAME!!!!
I ALWAYS feel dizzy/lightheaded (24/7) I always worry that its a tumor or heart issues, I have had tests done ALL clear, I know DEEP DEEP DEEP down its anxiety, but how is it that anxiety can make one feel like this ALL the time, why doesn't it ever go away EVEN tho you try and face what the problem is... I often sit and wonder why I have anxiety trying to pin point the root of the cause and every time I hit a wall and can't see what's causing / caused it..... It really is a battle to live like this everyday, I feel for everyone that has been dealing with this for YEARS as I only have had to endure it for the last year......
It does come and go sometimes it goes for a week sometimes a month, but it always comes back with the same ugly face, and to try and redirect your mind to something else so you don't put your self in a panic state is hard. (for me) the next day after feeling extremely mild symptoms I will go to sleep and DOOM that morning I feel foggy in the head and then after the fog clears the dizzy feeling is back.... and it sicks for a long while....
Will this ever stop?!?!?! I do sometime I feel like I'm going crazy cause I keep it in my head that this just can't be anxiety it has to be something else. But the 5 doctors I have seen in the last year all say its Anxiety..

The test I had done were, A ECG for the heart (clear) Blood work (clear) Lung tests (clear) the only thing I didn't get done was an MRI... every time I went to the doctors I told them that I had mild chest pains on the left side, every time they checked my blood pressure and it always comes back good I went for the ECG to pin point a heart problem, My heart is fine and strong. My lungs are strong and clear (I'm a smoker go figure) the only thing i can't shake is the feeling in my head..... I don't get headaches
My
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                                    (continued from last post)

My sleeping pattern is way off but I still get 7-10 hours of sleep, so did they miss something doubt it 5 doctors all come out with the same answer's. Im sorry for everyone lose in family's and I'm sorry you all have to feel the way we do :( I would not wish this on my worst enemy. I just want my normal old life back when I would wake up and feel normal and eat what ever when ever and not feel sick to my stomach when I eat or worriy I'm gonna be sick if I do eat.
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Im scared everyday. I get shooting pains, sharp ones that come and go. Always in different places but the ones by my heart freak me out the most. I always get pains in my chest. Iv been checked out and nothing shows up. Docs say its anxiety why i get a tight chest. I had a panic attack 3mnths ago were my hands woukd siezed up. My face muscles siezed. Couldnt speak at all. Av never been so scared. I dont sleep well, eat well, im not enjoying life at all. Am 25 and i av a 4yr old girl and i think its unfair to her because i dont wana do things. Im to scared to take medication. Av tryed life coaching, hypnotherapy, counciling, i jus want to not think that what if the worst happens to me. What wil my daughter do. Will it hurt. I dont want to die right now. Please help
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After I lost my brother in a tragic accident and my mother disappeared I began to obsessively think about death and I even think that I have HIV or some other serious illness but after I had tests done my doctor reassured me that I was healthy and my mind is still so disorted that I still think something is wrong and anxiety will cause me or anyone else that  something is wrong when it's not so I constantly have to tell myself that things are okay. I believe that just as much as I obsess over negative things I also can obsess over positive things and it's really about redirecting these negative thoughts and thinking the opposite and my chronic worrying has turned into a complete anxiety disorder that almost stops me from being myself and living my life but I am a fighter and I battle every day and it's never easy but I know I will win and you can too.
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After I lost my brother in a tragic accident and my mother disappeared I began to obsessively think about death and I even think that I have HIV or some other serious illness but after I had tests done my doctor reassured me that I was healthy and my mind is still so disorted that I still think something is wrong and anxiety will cause me or anyone else that  something is wrong when it's not so I constantly have to tell myself that things are okay. I believe that just as much as I obsess over negative things I also can obsess over positive things and it's really about redirecting these negative thoughts and thinking the opposite and my chronic worrying has turned into a complete anxiety disorder that almost stops me from being myself and living my life but I am a fighter and I battle every day and it's never easy but I know I will win and you can too.
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I have anxiety attacks over my high blood pressure and chest pain it's awful wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Im 22years old the past 2 months I've been from doctor to doctor some say I'm alright and some wanna put me on meds I don't know where to turn I don't have an appetite anymore I was very energetic no symptoms but now I have all kinds it's defeating me....I have been on here alot reading trying to get comfort...I've had a EKG come back abnormal but doc said it was normal after my heart echo which showed everything to be fine..I have a small leaky valve but he said it was normal don't be concerned cause it was very small..so that worried me alot too..even tho he said don't worry it sounded serious...but if anyone can talk to me or has any knowledge of my experience or condition please inbox me please I hope all of you find comfort in god and your problems god bless
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I have anxiety attacks over my high blood pressure and chest pain it's awful wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Im 22years old the past 2 months I've been from doctor to doctor some say I'm alright and some wanna put me on meds I don't know where to turn I don't have an appetite anymore I was very energetic no symptoms but now I have all kinds it's defeating me....I have been on here alot reading trying to get comfort...I've had a EKG come back abnormal but doc said it was normal after my heart echo which showed everything to be fine..I have a small leaky valve but he said it was normal don't be concerned cause it was very small..so that worried me alot too..even tho he said don't worry it sounded serious...but if anyone can talk to me or has any knowledge of my experience or condition please inbox me please I hope all of you find comfort in god and your problems god bless
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I too suffer from health anxiety. And it helps to know I am not alone. I am always worried about my heart or having stroke. My therapist and doctor tell me I am at low risk since it doesn't seem to be genetic. I smoke too so that probably contributes to my anxiety since it increases stroke/heartattack cancer ect.

This all really started last year, before this I still had health anxiety but never panic attacks about it. I would always be searching symptoms. And as funny as this sounds, when I first had my menstrual cycle, I thought I was dying. Crazy eh?  Anyways, before my first panic attack, my sleeping and eating wasn't well to begin with. The night of my panic attack, I was awake till 10am, drank a lot of coffee and smoked a lot of cigarettes. So when I went to lay down, I was really edgy. Then I started to feel weird. For some reason I thought I was having stroke. I Felt lightheaded and heavy. So I was pacing around hyperventilating and my boyfriend called 911.

I sat down and waited for them to come. By this time, I had already calmed down and decided not to go to the hospital...I regret it because I could have used to reassurance.

I couldn't sleep at all for days, or eat. I was worried something bad could happen any minute. My vision was hazy, I had pressure in my head, I just could not relax. At this point in time, I was ready to give up and end it all. I kept going to the hospital and they eventually sent me to mental health services. And he prescribed me a benzo. At this point it was almost 3 days with no sleep. EVerytime I tried to sleep, I could feel my heart and it didnt feel like it was beating fast enough. I was worried it was going to stop. So I decided to take the benzo and I passed out. When I woke up I still felt weird but I made a dr appt and got in quick. She put me on cipralex and because of the pressure in my head, she ordered a CT scan to ease my worry. The results came back fine. Finally 2 weeks later, I started back to normal. My body recovered from all the stress and worry.

Last weekend I had a panic attack at work and had to go home. Silly me decided two months ago I would be fine without my medication, and didn't bother talking to my doctor. Now, I'm a bit anxious and been getting chest pains. But I feel that I have made progress, because my first panic attack really messed me up, but this current one wasn't as bad. I made sure i wasn't hyper ventilating, I talked myself down. But I had to go home because I was light headed and couldn't stand for long.

All in all, I am really glad I am not alone. Health anxiety is the worse thing to experience with panic attacks. I am still worried now, so i'm seeing my doctor soon. I hope that all of you can learn to cope with your anxiety and take any help you can!! We are in this together :)
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I know what it is like to be from doctor to doctor. You should ask for anxiety medication or medication for your high BP. Your leaky valve is likely caused from the high blood pressure, and is no need for concern. :)
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Thank you for the post. I too, suffer from health anxiety. At nineteen years old, I am a complete and utter hypochondriac. I am constantly checking my body, as if I am LOOKING for something wrong with me and praying that I find nothing at the same time. I am constantly on Google, day in and day out, putting in my symptoms and figuring out what they mean. I am always looking for reassurance from my friends and family, and even ask them to check certain parts of my body for me that I think are strange. Recently, I am convinced that I have breast cancer. It all started when I was PMSing, and my breasts hurt. That I knew was normal. Then, after my period had ended, my breasts still hurt. That had me believe that it was only one thing: breast cancer. I know that I most likely do not have it, and it's all in my head and I'm either growing or have fibrocystic disease. (most women experience them and they are not fatal.)However, I am ALWAYS worrying, to the point where the anxiety makes me sick. I really just want my life back because I am afraid that every normal ache and pain in my body will lower me more and more into depression. For all you hypochondriacs out there, you are NOT alone.
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Hi Erin,
You're not alone by any means! My anxiety has always been focused on something.. when my children were little it was on their health, but over the years my health became my focus! I became hyper-sensitive to any symptom I may have been having, and as a result have had a whole range of tests.. halter monitor, colonoscopy, bp monitor, many ECG's, scans.. more than likely all were completely unnecessary! I have just started taking Zoloft.. so there goes a whole new thing to worry about! My heart has been a big focus for me, before that it was my bp, and before that my ovaries... sigh.. I feel exhausted just reading it. I'm hoping to find some relief now on meds, and i have also been seeing a cognitive therapist. I know how embarrassing and difficult it can be.. my self esteem has taken a massive hit in recent years..I feel that no one understands how hard it is.. I'm sure my friends and my hubby think I'm crazy.
It has been good to be able to see other people with the same issues.. it can be very isolating, especially when your so inwardly focused and stressed which can take up all your time!
Take care.. you're not alone.. :)
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I have to agree . While I'm a great believer in getting things checked and never shy away from seeing the doctor.. this health related anxiety is just that.. irrational and 99% of the time based on nothing.  I have had many tests done for something I was convinced was wrong, then simply moved onto the next thing when I found out everything was fine.  You cant live your life thinking that everything you stress over is real, that you body is trying to tell you something. When you suffer from anxiety your mind tends to need a focus. For some it is OCD tendencies, others health related etc..If you actually follow that line of thought that everything you start feeling anxiety about is happening.. you 'd go insane!
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I've been dealing with Anxiety for about 6-7 months now. I'm completely convinced that I'm either dying of a Brain Aneurysm, Lung Cancer, Car accident, or especially LUNG CANCER. I have it all day - everyday. I can never breathe, I'm always tired, I smoke (which I shouldn't, since I think I have Lung Cancer). I always think I'm not gonna wake up from my sleep. I just don't know what to do. I stopped going to the ER because all they did was keep me over night and monitor my heart and then tell me there was nothing wrong with me and it was just Anxiety.

A part of me KNOWS its just anxiety but then I sit and think about how I have it 24/7!! Most people that have Anxiety have it periodically - NOT ME - I seriously have it all the time. That's why I believe I have something wrong with me. I have a full time job Mon-Fri 9-5 and I have no time to see my primary doctor so I run out of my meds fast. I'm prescribed Klonopin's and they work (sometimes) but if my Anxiety is VERY BAD it will barely do a thing. She also prescribed me Celexa for Anxiety - but then my anxiety convinces my self that I'm also bi-polar so I'm scared to take the medicine.  I just dont know what to do anymore - I try to be normal as much as I can but it's killing me inside.
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I also suffer from health related anxiety mine seems to be to do with my heart and chest,  It started about 3 years ago wen my dad had a stroke and I had wot doctors say was a panic attack and since then very pain twinge I have I believe am having a heart attack or stroke and it terrifies me I live alone with my 6year old daughter, I have had all kinds of tests done which all come back clear and doctors just seem to fob me off, but all the clear tests doesn't help the fact that I do have pains in my chest tightness and find it hard to get a satisfying breath to which they say is in my head
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I have been suffering from health anxiety all my life. But I could keep it under wraps .even after a long traumatic relationship ended I was able to keep it together and move on and still keep it kinda of normal. But then I got engaged and when that relationship need I lost it. I was convinced and still am kinda that I have HIV . To me it's scarier than cancer. It's the ultimate fear. My parents dragged me to a doctor forcedme into a full medical work up , blood work , ultra sound on my uterus, even an X-rays for my sinuis because I had a stuffy nose.  Except for pcos which is not life threatening .  I was fine.. But in that  blood work up they didn't include a HIV test. But I was such a massive head case at the time it wasn't until after we got back all the results I called and asked the nurse why wasn't it included.  She said that after all the blood work came back the doctor didn't feel it was nessary but that I could come in and have it done if I wanted . But now I'm terrified and every time I come close to going I have a crazy panic attack and practically faint. It's crazy . I swear I'm pretty normal otherwise but , I obsess over every tiny thing ion my body.  I have noticed that when I'm very stressed and under pressure my anxiety starts to rise and then the doubts start.  When I'm calm common sense kicks in but as soon as the anxiety starts all logic goes out the window. It's affecting my personal relationships.  I haven't dTed in 2 yrs because I'm scared that I will meet someone and they will have HIV and give it to me. I want to go to therapy I know I should. But I have no time.
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