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Avatar universal

HEALTH ANXIETY

Hello i was hoping to gain some help. I was ill back in Feb the doctors i saw before this queried labrynthitis, sinusitis or migraine, It was the first time in 26yrs i had been ill really & it scared me as i felt rotten. Since then i suffered badly of health anxiety all related to my head & thus overtime this caused a nervous breakdown & depression as i was so worried that i had something serious wrong with me. Overtime this has improved through the use of a natural drug 5-htp..
3 weeks ago i got heartburn & pain for the first time & you know what i am going to say, yes i thought i was having a heart attack. I had an ECG & this was normal & was given some omerpazole & sent on my way
Since then i now regularly get palpitations- which i feel in my throat on occasions they are that bad. The omeprazole does seem to have helped both the GERD & palpitations however for the last few days i have had this strange cold feeling in my chest which i am worried about???

Truth is this health anxiety really gets me down... & ironically i am a nurse & perhaps know to much for my own good sometimes. But having this & the fact i have change really gets me down...MY doc has tried sertraline which made me ill & suggested maybe counseling would help but afford this on my salary.

Do you have any ideas on how to help me overcome this as its ruining my life xxxxx
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2 Responses
370181 tn?1428180348
While it's true that too much information can be dangerous, too little can be harmful as well. As a nurse, you know this better than most. But being a nurse does not give you some sort of magic "protection" against anxiety.
Back in February, when this all began, what was the final DX the doctor gave you? That this lead to you suffering from health anxiety to the point of having a nervous breakdown and depression should have had your doctor making sure you got into therapy. Shame on him that he didn't, unless, of course, he didn't know. Then shame on you for not telling him/her how you were feeling. I'm glad to hear that this seemed to be a transient episode and that thru "natural" methods, you overcame both the breakdown and the depression. I shouldn't have to tell a nurse that if this should ever happen to you again, you must let your doctor know everything.

You are around age 26 and three weeks ago suffered your very first bout of heartburn and pain!? I find this incredible. You must have a stomach of steel. It is very common that you would think you were having an MI and since this was your first ever bout with heartburn/GERD, you were very smart to have a cardio work-up, which came back normal. The omeprazole, I assume, took care of the heartburn/GERD issue.

The palpitations are also new to you? This also is difficult to believe as almost everyone has had them. But you seem to be quite adept at avoiding many of the "common" problems most of us have. As a nurse, you are very aware that heart palps, in the VAST majority of cases, are harmless and benign..........just the heart "readjusting" it's rhythm. They are annoying, scary as hell for most of us, but harmless. They can be brought on by many things, anxiety being a biggie. (And they are often felt in the throat and neck area) But your heart was checked out very thoroughly and it is structurally fine. The palps, in my humble opinion, are a simple side effect of your fear/anxiety. One thing I don't understand is how the omeprazole helps with the palps, unless the heartburn/GERD thing gets you feeling very anxious and taking the Prilosec calms THAT down which then calms YOU down.
Because all of this is new to you, you have developed  what we call "health anxiety." It comes from being over-vigilant about what is going on with our bodies. You are focusing too much on every little twinge and ache you have which leads to hyperventaltion which leads to more fear which leads to more symptoms because of the added adrenaline and then your heart begins to beat faster and your stomach releaes more acid............do you see the horrid merry-go-round you've gotten on?
The coldness you are feeling is your chest is a new one for me. I've heard many people complain of a burning sensation, but not cold. Is there any pain or other symptoms associated with this feeling. Are you sure it's your chest and not your stomach?

All of us here can relate to how these feelings "get us down!" Trust me on that. You are not alone in any of your fears and if you read some posts here, you will understand not only how many of us there are, but the unbelievable range of symptoms that anxiety/panic and depression can create.

I must agree with your doctor and urge you to get into some therapy. I know it's not cheap, but if we don't get to the root cause of our anxiety and deal with it, it will be with us our entire lives , and can frequently get much worse. Most therapist will work on a sliding scale, but there are other alternatives as well. If you work in a hospital, you should have access to a certain amount of mental health coverage and your union will also be able to assist you. Most of us these days are pretty short on cash, but your mental health should be at the top of your priority list.
Until you figure something out, you can always come here, and while we are not doctors, we have a combined history of these sorts of problems that extend back about 600 years! No kidding! LOL
You're going to be fine, really. You hit a rough patch, that's all. There is a way out, so try and calm down and know that we'll all be here to help you find it.
Peace
Greenlydia          
Avatar universal
Hi nickieb.

I have experienced the coldness in the chest area from time to time.  I've felt that sensation too, intermittantly, for years and years.  I am still here and will be for a long long time.  :  )  I finally came to realize, although, ironic as it sounds, most of us who have dealt with health related anxiety issues usually end up out-living most people...... and over all we usually have the better or healthiest medical reports from doctors tests, etc..(compared to many others').  Don't know why that is.  I think it is due to the fact that we usually haven't noticed sickness / illness very often and when we do.......that's a big whammy feeling for us.  We are not accustomed to; nor, are we use to feeling something that we would consider "out of the ordinary", so to speak.  I feel that is the beginning of the health anxiety process.

Once when I had to visit the emergency room, a nurse I've never seen, was wheeling me into xray.  As she was pushing my chair she said, "You must not have felt sick or ill very often."  I said, "No.  I haven't.  What makes you say that?  How did you know that?"  The nurse never answered back.  Years later, now I know what she was saying.  

We begin to imagine something horribe must be wrong and worse no doctors are going to be quick enough, compassionate enough or smart enough to find the problem until its too late and anxiety builds.

That is what happens when we allow ourselves to continue to think and think and think and think about that "odd" sensation; thus, dwelling upon it night and day.  Then we set ourselves up and become hypersensitive and begin noticeing and feeling something else and something else.  Vicious cycle!  

I feel that It is possible to create most of our own fearful symptoms manupulated by our own thought processes.  For instance, "think" of holding a lemon in your hand.  Look at it.  Now, begin peeling it.  Smell it.  Break it into.  Take a huge bite out of it.  Begin chewing.  WOW!  It is extremely SOUR!  What is happening to your mouth right now?  Is it watering?  Why is that?  You didn't even have a lemon.  Even so, why is your mouth already going through the process of digesting, nontheless?

Remember, we cannot go through anything that is not common among all men/woman everywhere.  Every person "feels" and are "feeling" things.  Even things that make no common sense to us or doctors at the time.  But, some are activily "choosing" not to dwell on it and therefore eat the fruit thereof; and some are activily "choosing" to dwell on it and eat the fruit thereof.  We have those two choices to make about what we are going to do about it when those things do occur.  Either way, we make our choice and travel the road where it goes.

I understand what you are going through.  I hate that feeling too!  These are blocks in our path.  Don't just pass them by, climb over or go around to avoid them; becasue, when we do that they remain to revisit at a later date.  When you come across 'em.  Crush it!  That way its gone forever.

Go out and have a blessed and worry free day; afterall, it is yours to have.        

  
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370181 tn?1428180348
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