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470885 tn?1326332637

How do you cope with health anxiety??

Hi everyone!  I'm a 30 year old female from Canada....have been lurking on the site for a couple of months now, reading posts - and I finally just decided to join you :-)

Anyway....basically, I just want to know how you deal with health anxiety, for those of you who experience this?  I lost my mom to kidney cancer nearly 6 years ago and thought I'd dealt with my grief (never sought counselling at the time, though)....had a few OCD-type incidents since and very mild health anxiety that always went away after a couple of days.  Only now, after becoming a mom myself - my son is now 18 mos. old - I have been extremely panicky and fearful of my own impending death due to a terminal illness.  Every little symptom I have, however minor, seems to be a sign of something much more ominous.  

I work in the health insurance field, part of my job is to research illnesses - so I cannot really escape the internet, medical articles, etc.  I have experienced tingling, aches and pains in my arms and legs that had me convinced I had either MS or ALS (the latter scares me the MOST). My doctor reassured me on both counts and ordered bloodwork which came back ok.  Another doctor - mine was on holidays when the anxiety was at its worst and I was having numerous panick attacks - prescribed Ativan to help me sleep.  The pains and tingling went away in my legs and arms but THEN I noticed some breast changes so it was back to the doctor - he prescribed 20mg/day of Celexa and sent me for a mammo and u/s - both of which showed nothing was wrong - of course I was sure that I had breast cancer.  I've also been referred for some counselling and am on a waiting list for that, probably 1 more month to wait.

The meds have calmed me down a lot and I haven't had a panic attack since starting on it, but the thought is always in the back of my mind that something COULD be wrong....I still think that when I have aches and pains.  I want to get off of these meds eventually because my husband and I want to have another child (once I'm in a better place mentally, too), but I don't want to fall back into the same traps, the same destructive thought patterns.  

Any coping mechanisms, other than meds?
2 Responses
404682 tn?1324583418
I used talk therapy to help me learn to deal with my health anxiety and keep things in perspective. Take a look at my journal entry and see if there are any ideas in there that you feel could help you. :-)

Jerz
366811 tn?1217426272
The primary coping mechanism is YOU, your own mind. Get that therapy started, ASAP, so you can get your grief behind you and be the wonderful mommy you truly are. Oh -and hang out here!
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