Crazycow, you are not alone! Ever since my grandfather had a stroke, health has been a huge topic in my home. It is normal to be afraid of illesses and diseases especially when we do not understand much about them. Once I educated myself on strokes, I realized that it is very rare to get them at a young age. The fear had once took over me because my grandfather was sick. But now, I am okay. It just takes time for you to realize that there is nothing to fear. Look up stories about patients who survived strokes and read about how they got though it. See the signs (you'll see that you dont have them!).
Just take one day at a time. If you live your life that way then you will be okay (easier said than done...I know!). ;)
I also have health anxiety and aneursyms, strokes, and heart attacks are major fears of mine as well. I have had a ton of tests done and thankfully everything came back normal.
I use to freak out about every little pain in the head or chest and I use to check my pupils constantly thinking I had a brain anerusym. I would search the net to try and find answers to my "symptoms", it was just consuming me!!! I was totally out of control because I have a major fear of death. For me it is the fear of the unknown.
I am no where near cured but I am in a much better place. I have been going to therapy and my therapist has been really helpful with me in dealing with my fear of death. First we have to accept the fact that we have a fear and accept that is all it is a FEAR.....We have to learn to not give into the fear because then we spend our lives freaking out over everything and we don't live, we worry. One of the things that my therapist has me do is write my fears down in a journal and it does help. Just getting them out helps. I don't go back and read what I wrote because I don't want to feel like that again but I do write when I am anxious. She also told me that because I believe that we all go to heaven then to think of it as a family reunion with our family and friends that have gone on before us and that does comfort me too....
Another thing I don't do anymore is search the net for answers to my "symptoms" because it only adds to my anxiety. It might be a good idea for you to stop doing that as well. I still get weird head pains but through all the tests I had done they found a herniated disc in my neck. So that and poor posture (which I discovered I had through yoga) are things that can cause me to have the head pains. I realized that if I reposition my neck when I have the pains they go away so that tells me that it is my neck and or my anxiety causing them.
I have gotten to the point that I am tired of worrying. I am missing out on so much with my children. I don't want to give my fear of death that much power over me. There are times where it overwhelms me but that is when I pull out my journal to get those negative feelings out.
You can overcome this fear and get your life back. You just have to figure out what works for you. This is a great forum for support so please keep posting here.
CC...thanks for posting that...i'm just randomly reading posts on this board (which is a wonderful help), and I'm feeling a little better after reading that...
Never doubt the power of words...
Journaling is a very good thing to do. Im glad that you mentioned it. =D
Yeah health anxiety is a big trigger and seems co-dependent with us sufferers. I think it has to be a chemical or your brain trying to find a "reason" for all of the panic. I to worried intensely for no reason about Aneurysms when I was younger, which I think I saw on TV and self diagnosed.
Hers the thing, I bet right now your are either clenching your teeth, or do at night, and your shoulders are probably hard as a rock. Typically when I hear jaw and neck pain I can almost imagine myself during GAD and how tight my muscles get, which then turns into pain and we see it as a symptom. Try to notice your muscles and clenching over the next week and relax them if you notice, you may see that they symptoms go away. Your tense because you worry, then worry about the symptoms tension gives you.
Like so many things in life, what we fear the most is what we don't understand. Hence the oft quoted "knowledge is power" mantra on the forum.
So many of us with health anxiety who lose a loved one to an illness will become obsessed with that illness and even begin to manifest symptoms of it. What you are putting yourself through right now is very, very common. And very "normal,"..............for US.
Looking up symptoms, as I'm sure I don't need to tell you, is the worst thing you can do.
I don't know how old you are, but very, very few young adults die from aneurysms. There are screening tests you can take and many hospitals hold free or low-cost screening clinics.
The next time you see your doctor, make it a point to ask about aneurysms, your risk factors, symptoms to watch out for..............get as much information as possible.
I'd also suggest you go to our Aneurysm Forum and talk to the people there. If you want really accurate information, who better but those who have been through it?
As for the TMJ, your dentist can tell you with simple X-rays if this is the cause of your headaches, neck and jaw pain. I am also a "clencher" and have headaches almost daily, (apparently I only clench while I'm asleep) when I get up in the morning, my jaw is so stiff and so painful, I can barely open my mouth to brush my teeth! My neck and shoulders are always tense and because "everything is connected," I suffer with incredible muscle pains in my upper body. A thousand times a day I realize that my shoulders are totally hunched up under my ears! SHEESH! Any wonder by the end of the day I feel like I've been hit by a bus?
Your dentist can give you an "anti-clenching" device to wear and yoga IS great to become really aware of what your muscles are doing. Massage, expecially deep tissue massage, which gets all the toxins out of your muscles, is really beneifical, but horribly expensive if your insurance doesn't cover it. Many companies will if your doctor recommends "therapeutic" massage.
So the answer to your question is a resounding "YES!" Thousands of us do exactly what you're doing.
What you want to do about it is up to you. Therapy helps. Medication helps. Both help. Knowledge helps. A medical check up will help. Writing to us helps...............
With your fear of strokes, here is a simple acronymn that may help you save not only someone else, but yourself. If you see anyone displaying any of these symptoms, including yourself, do this quick and easy assessment which is known as "FAST"
F.......face. Is one side of the face drooping? Look especially at the eye and mouth area.
A......arms. Ask the person to raise BOTH arms over their heads and hold there.
S......speak. Have the person speak a simple sentence. "The day is very sunny."
T......time. If the person, or yourself, cannot perform any of these tasks, call 911 immediately. Time is critical during a stroke. The faster help, in the form of clot busting medication is administerd, the less we lose of the person.
Hi. Look at the fact that with all your worrying, you've not had an aneurysm/stroke. This is a big indicator that you are fine, and will continue to be. Therapy can help you to overcome this worry. Don't worry your life away, you want to live it! I hope you get some help and take care!
Just googling to try and ease my anxiety and thoughts that I'm about to have an aneurysm and came across this! How reassuring does it feel to know I'm not alone in these debilitating thoughts and fears!
I have always had a mild health anxiety but in the last couple of years it's has gone off the scale! I need to contact my therapist to start chatting things through again but this has helped already! I'm also at the point of starting my sertraline again!
This is consuming my life and I'm sure it's draining my husband too, with each day I have diagnosed myself with another terminal illness or critical condition which is going to kill me when I'm asleep :(
My uncle died at 29 in his sleep of a subdural haematoma, a brain haemorrhage caused usually by a nasty blow to the head! Hence my fears! Recently I've had three friends or acquaintances diagnosed with brain tumours, one of which has passed away now :( Again, I think this is another reason my anxiety has flared up again! Sorry to be such a downer but wanted to tell my story!
Thanks for the posts they have helped put things into perspective! I too fear not seeing my children grow up and as my husband says I'm missing it at the moment anyway living as a prisoner to my health anxiety xxx
Wow, thanks so much for that post jul04. I'm 21 now but have had severe obsessions and anxiety about brain aneurysm, strokes, tumors and heart problems my whole life. It's so great to see other people with similar fears are able to somehow cope with it. I go through phases of knowing that it's just anxiety, but whenever I start to get a headache or feel my heart beat a little fast, I immediately assume there's a fatal cause. Is there anything else you find helpful in retraining your mind to avoid anxiety? I agree yoga is a great tool but I'm always looking for new ways to get back on track and away form fear.
I feel your pain ive had a lot of people in my family die of different reasons so ive always had bad anexity about having heaet attacks or something wrong with my brain lately been having small dull pains in tge right side of my head and ive been worrying myself sick abour it been to the doctor four times worried about stuff its been miserable but seeng this has really helped