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Scared of getting cancer because of x-ray?

Hi, everyone. So, a few months ago i got really sick and had to take an x-ray of my lungs. As soon as he took it, i felt pain in my back. It lasted for a few days and went away.I forgot about it till last week, when my mind started making me believe that i probably got cancer from that. I have OCD, so it's no surprise that i'm obsessing over the idea of getting sick. Am i really sick? Or is it my ocd?
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973741 tn?1342342773
This is anxiety at work.  They use a protective cover when taking x rays. You are sick only with anxiety which IS treatable.  If you have OCD, what do you do about it on an ongoing basis?  This is what you need to think of as the sickness, the mental health issues that make you worry about things that deep down you know are not worries.  good luck
Avatar universal
Do you really have OCD, or do you think you have it?  OCD means you not only are anxious about certain things but that you repeat behaviors over and over because if you don't you get very anxious.  I ask because so many people on here don't know what OCD really is, they think having obsessive thoughts is OCD.  It isn't, everyone with a mental disorder has obsessive thoughts or they wouldn't have the disorder, and OCD is treated with different methods than other forms of anxiety.  One X-ray won't give you cancer.  Today's X-ray machines are much safer than the ones from years back.  Now, none of them are safe, they're just safer, but despite what people hear, cancer isn't that easy to get -- you have an immune system that fights if pretty well.  It takes repeated exposures to toxins for that to cause cancer.  As for your back pain, if you had a lung problem, you would feel that in your back, so that explains that.  
8 Comments
Paxiled, the compulsion part is not present with all diagnosed with OCD.  There is something called purley obsessional OCD believe it or not.  I have a neighbor whose child was diagnosed with this and while it is a low percentage, it is none the less a reality for some.  Intrusive thinking habits are the hallmark.  These people may have rituals/compulsions though (unlike typical compulsions/rituals) but they are more covert such as asking for reassurance in a systematic way or thought rituals.  

But I agree that OCD has unfortunately gotten to be much like ADD.  People use it at the drop of the hat about themselves or a loved one (often in a joking way) without regard to the real criteria for diagnosing it or any intention of really doing anything about it.  Like the punch line to a joke.  

OCD under the anxiety umbrella is okay for me to say for them to treat their OCD and it's anxiety all along because getting people to begin taking action to overcome irrational fear is my goal.  :>))  
I know it's a diagnosis.  I don't believe it's an accurate diagnosis.  I believe it was invented by drug companies to sell drugs approved to treat OCD.  I believe the same has happened with Bipolar, creating all kinds of bipolar diagnoses that are not psychoses but just versions of depression.  I had a quack shrink -- the same one who caused my Paxil problem that ruined my life -- who tried to use those idiotic tests to diagnose me with bipolar.  People have always felt the anger or irritation or other things accompanying depression without it being labeled bipolar, and everyone with mental illness has obsessive thinking.  My worry is the labeling and the possibility of being directed to drugs that might be much more difficult on the brain than an average antidepressant, and also the effect this has on the person's belief that therapy can fix this.  Therapy, after all, can't fix true bipolar.  There is a ton of controversy over the evolution of the diagnostic manual used by psychiatrists, and this is one of the areas that is highly contested.  My own opinion is these labels get in the way of people getting help who can be helped -- not all of us can be, of course, but those who can need to try, and only a cure that doesn't involve medication can lead to a cure.  Medication takes away the motivation to try and fix things and after long use makes it very very hard to ever treat this stuff without medication because the brain isn't any longer the one we were born with.  So many people come on here labeling themselves as a disease instead of a person with what we hope is a temporary problem.  That's my beef with this -- not that these diagnoses exist, I know they do, but whether they should exist and whether it's useful for them to exist.  I just have my own theories, not answers, and everyone gets to make their own decisions, but I do worry about over-medicalizing everything with scary sounding diagnoses that were invented by companies trying to sell drugs and put into textbooks by authors paid by the pharmaceutical industry.  Now, I have real OCD now, so I know the difference between it and obsessing over irrational fears.  It's a wholly different animal.  But it's also based on a lot of listening to NPR, when I was still able to exercise, and hearing from the actual researchers rather than the clinicians and they do not tell the same story.  Again, it's an unsettled area of medicine, and I don't have the answers, just the questions, but I really do believe when someone tells us we're this or that it can order our whole lives and if we're not actually this or that then it hampers our lives for good.  That's my two cents worth, anyway.
And let me state again, I am on medication.  Therapy didn't work for me, and i tried a lot of it.  So I'm not saying everyone can be helped by it and nobody should take medication, some of us have no other option, but these diagnoses were created to put people on medication and that creates a bias that might harm those who could benefit from therapy or other modalities that don't have the risks of medication.  
I guess that's another cent worth, eh?
We have a few differences of opinion.  Which is okay and good.  We've had different experiences leading to our current opinions.  I've been with those with the unrelenting thought patterns and they need help.  I want them to get help.  I don't know more than doctors and not all doctors know more than me.  So, I have more faith than you do and just try to be as informed as I can be.  

The impact that someone's anxiety has on their life to me is the indicator of needing treatment or not.  Everyone has anxiety and bad days or even bad weeks.  But if they have a pattern that continually causes them to live differently than they'd like or in fear---  they need help.  We can't decide that for them nor should we.  That is a personal judgement call and decision. but when someone writes that this is an ongoing issue impacting their life, then it's my opinion that we offer a suggestion to find help for it. That is sometimes medication and sometimes not. Therapy can be wonderful as can meditation, healthy living and my all favorite, exercise.   And many --  people take medication without issue.  While I'm truly sorry your experience was negative and you have major regrets, that does not translate to every person or situation. With family members that have taken antidepressants long term for either depression or anxiety or both, the experience has been that it has helped them without so much as side effects to complain about.  That's my experience.  I think every person who ingests something, medication, supplement, etc. needs to be very careful and mindful.  Absolutely and it is not a light decision to make.  I dread any time I have to take medicine.  Or give it to my kids!  I question and question and only do it when it appears to be the best option in the situation.  
But, back to the poster.  No one should have to live with unrelenting thought patterns and fear that impacts them on a regular basis.  There IS help.  Whatever form that takes, there is help.  good luck to you.
paxiled, I think we are probably up over a dollar of cents now.  LOL
That's about as much as I can afford!  I'm glad you're here to disagree with me, Mom -- people need to see this is an area where even the professionals have no consensus.  I think that shows them there are options out there even if what they tried doesn't help.  If I tell them medication isn't necessary yet and you tell them yes it is, they can see from us that nobody really knows, they have to do their homework, and then make a choice.  And once they make a choice, be optimistic about it and work to make it work.  Peace, Mom.
Ah, exercise.  Two weeks now without any.  Everything I do just makes it worse.  Yuck.  I feel like I'm stuck in quicksand.
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