hiya i have suffered health anxiety for 14 years different illnesses, at the moment they focus on my heart!! but years ago i went through the stroke episode i was so convinced i had slurred speech my left side would even go numb it was horrible the doctor did blood tests to see if my bloods were normal and lo and behold they were i also had a brain scan which was also normal. the doc told me if you are sooooo convinced that you have an illness you can make your body mimic the symptoms all anxiety!!!!! so if the doctor says you are fine you have to believe its anxiety hard i know
Normal, normal, normal! I HATE it when I'm so normal. My invisible friends reassure me that's I'm really NOT normal, but what the heck do THEY know?
Here's the deal: If I go out today (which I shall in fact, do) and clear brush, dig, till and plant the garden, chop firewood and spread mulch around the flower beds, at the end of the day when I partake of that wonderful clear liquid known as a martini, I'm going to ache all over, I'll be sunburned on my neck, I'll have chigger bites itching the dickens out of me, I'll stink, be exhausted and sweaty, have achy muscles and be I'll be cranky (until the martini kicks in).
Now, I ask you -if I had all the bloodwork, tests, etc., done at that very moment, how would they come back?
NORMAL. But doc!
Obviously, my state of mind and my physical sensations of my body are going to be somewhat different then they will be the next morning when I awake before dawn, tip toe out to the terrace with my cup o' jo, sit down among the twittering early birds and chattering squirrels overhead, my machine gun in hand, and watch the sun come up and think about how GREAT it is to be alive! Also: NORMAL
Which is all to say that we can easily attribute my state of mind and physical awareness of my body to the particular extremes I have just described. And so, when YOUR tests return as normal -but you don't FEEL that way- obviously your body is trying to tell you something. And, if you are neither laboring in the hot sun nor quitely partaking of a healthful adult grain beverage, that leaves your brain, hammering away on the telegraph a "we've got issues" message.
And for that, while we may use some meds to help us manage the symtoms, we will ultimately turn to a specialist who helps our brains figure out what all the fuss is about -a psychiatrist. We would LOVE our regular doctor to be able to help with this, but we should no more expect that of the regular GP then we would expect him or her to do plastic surgery. So I'm on a campaign to get folks in front of a shrink in situations like this. There comes a time when you say, "enough!" and present yourself to someone who can actually get you started in resolving the problem.
And meanwhile, we hang out and receive and offer support for those thousands like ourselves who are "normal." You BET we do. That's why I'm here for you, and you are here for me.
And you know what? It helps. It really, really helps. Go figure: I'm here, early in the morning among the twittering birds and chattering squirrels, in the quiet rolling hills below the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia USA, machine gun in hand; and there you guys are in the UK, or down under or Holland or Canada or the stinkin' MOON as far as I know...and this WORKS for us. If our brains can squeeze some joy juice out of that, just THINK what we can do with the help of someone who does this for a living and is pretty good at it.
Thank you for responding.
I have always been ready to accept anxiety as the chief dx. I just had to be sure because I have 2 little boys. I have an excellent therapist and my neurologist is an neuropsychiatrist. It's nice to know that others have had some of the same symptoms. You know how it can be sometimes though, we tend to think a symptoms is unique, and that we are losing our minds or just plain crazy.
Some without anxiety at this level just don't get it...and that's okay. I can't work though anymore and that sucks!! I'm only 34!! I do take meds and that does help, but very little. I also do bio feedback, self hypnosis, breathing techniques, relaxation tapes, excercise...you name it I've tried it.
I haven't been able to work now for 4 years and believe me I've tried. 5 years ago I was at a job I held for 10 years doing accounting and even did collection calls!! Now I have to coax myself for hours before going to the grocery store. My poor husband is killing himself to provide for us. He's very supportive and I'm very lucky.
Thank you so much for your responses and support
Yes, I suffer from hypochondriasis (health anxiety) and my fears of illness have evolved over the last 15 years. Initially the focus was on my heart. Then I had a diagnosis of a skin condition which could turn cancerous, so for a few years it was cancer. Then I was always breathless when I had to eat and I developed a choking phobia for almost 7 years together with the cancer fear and no psychologist was able to treat me until I learned to relax. Then when I had chronic insomnia I thought I had this prion disease fatal familial insomnia which I read up in the internet. Then when I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and tachycardia 125 bpm at rest the focus was back on the heart and heart attacks . Then when I had vertigo and dizzinessness, my brain is singing its boring tune, what if it's a stroke, I might stroke out, my blood pressure is high, go and check just to be sure. So you are not alone. It is a damn struggle. I am thinking of going back to meditation. I used to meditate for many years and it really did help me get through a stressful life with career, study, divorce, being a single mum etc. But I have forgotten how to meditate or maybe too scared to be alone with my silly thoughts.