I've been dealing with serious medical phobia (blood, needles, diseases, anatomy, and a large variety of health triggers) and hypochondria my whole life, earliest memory was a panic attack in grade 3. Until now I had convinced myself I was born this way (it runs in my family) to deal and now need to face this irrational fear to move forward in life.
I have been on and off a whole range of anti-depressants, anxiety meds, mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics. They never "cured" my phobia and the side effects were horrible. Currently taking Ativan as needed but I'm hoping to stop when I gain more control.
I am working on getting help a number of different ways like mindfulness, major positive lifestyle changes and drastic eliminations and changes to my diet. I ate and slept horrible before. I just started self CBT with the anxiety and phobia workbook by Edmund Bourne. I'm starting to see a psychotherapist.
It has been very hard to stay strong and I need some support.
I would love to learn what helped you so far with your medical phobias. I am also to looking for a friend with similar problems to talk or email with. It's not easy to find people who can understand severe mental health issues like debilitating panic attacks.
Well, hon, there honestly isn't anymore advice I can think of to give you, you honestly seem as though you're being very proactive about this, which is great!
Some tips for you while you are going through this process, be kind to yourself. Progress takes time. Don't be hard on yourself if you aren't progressing as fast as you think you should, or if you have a bad day, that's OKAY! We want to be fixed right NOW, and unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. The more patient you can be, the better. Also, when it comes time to set goals for yourself, be reasonable. Don't start out with something outrageous. Your therapist will help you with that. Also, celebrate EVERY accomplishment. There are NO small victories in a battle like this, they ALL matter. You are already doing things at home to work on your issues, on top of getting professional help, that's a biggie. The Anixety and Phobia Workbook is fantastic, I recommend it all the time. Also, CBT is the perfect kind of therapy to help you learn how to lessen yur anxiety about the medical world.
Honestly, you're doing everything right! It's rare that people post who already have all their ducks in a row! What a refreshing change!!! Keep us posted on your progress.
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