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I'm afraid of getting cancer because I thought of it!

Hello everyone,

It all started about a month and a half ago. I was trying to correct my sleeping cycle (was sleeping during the day and being awake at night.) During the process I was waking up (in the morning or at night) terrified of nothing specific. I thought it was because of the change so I ignored it. At the time I was watching Two and a Half men and in one episode Charlie wanted to get medical tests after his friend died in his house. During the episode and as always they made fun of the prostate exam, but for me this was a scary thing (prostate cancer).

I spent the next three days trying to reassure myself that I have nothing to worry about (being 25 years old) by reading about the prostate and the prostate cancer, which -as one would expect - wasn't a good idea. So I ended up scheduling an appointment with my doctor to get checked. The problem is that I was being worried in a hysterical way (started imaging my death, remembering my childhood, missing my family and the people I love) so in a way I knew I was going to still be afraid after the test and negative results (and the fact that I read about wrong diagnosis didn't help here.)

Everything went as I expected: got checked, negative results, still had fear. The while after the test was horrible, I was thinking of how they could be wrong and that there is no way of knowing for sure and so on. I was worried that I started getting a headache every time I was worried and thought about the whole thing so intensively. And here I got another fear that I might have a brain tumor (maybe from too much thinking and worrying!). The whole thing was horrifying. So I went to my doctor again and explained to her about the fear (nothing about the brain tumor, though). She told me there is another test for the prostate, a blood test, that I can do. I was relieved. I think not because of the test, but because I talked about the whole thing to someone. After the test and the negative results I was less worried, so I ignored my thoughts about the whole thing (including the tumor, knowing from the internet that one could get a headache from anxiety.)

But I think a week after that I had the idea that even though all these ideas were coming because of my anxiety, it might be that I will get the sickness because I thought about it so much. I know it sounds weird, but I'm worried.

Did anyone have such an idea and how did you deal with it?

2 Responses
Avatar universal
This sounds like an OCD issue, if you are having repetitive thoughts.
Well, I actually have had OCD my whole life, but this is a lot worse. It's the fear that is eating me up!  
Avatar universal
Repetitive thoughts isn't OCD.  OCD involves what it stands for -- obsessive thoughts and compulsions followed by obsessive actions.  I know, I have it.  But what I've also learned is that the label doesn't really matter as much as recognizing you have an anxiety disorder.  While the treatment for true OCD is different from that for other types of anxiety, the main thing is to get treated as all anxiety (and depression) involves obsessive thinking.  If you can stop thinking obsessively, you will feel better, and if you can do this in therapy instead of with medication you will actually have dealt with it instead of just tamped down the symptoms.  As to prostate cancer, why would you think at such a young age you would have it?  I also question why your doctors would test you for it, as those tests aren't even recommended for older people unless there's a strong family history of it or actual symptoms of it given that that type of cancer grows very slowly and the tests will often lead to unnecessary surgeries.  They are no longer recommended as a matter of course for this reason.  This is why it's so important for you to focus on treating the anxiety while you're young and nimble.  Forget about all the other stuff and all the labels and try to find a psychologist who specializes in anxiety treatment so you can put this period behind you for good.  Good luck.
Thanks Paxiled for your answer. I think my doctor thought the result would reassure me and it did actually. And I'm thinking of going to a psychologist, but the thing is it's hard to get an appointment any time soon, so I thought I should deal with these thoughts on my own for the time being. But truth be said, it's really hard.  
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